Monday, December 21, 2009

Remembering Oral

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Oral Roberts since I heard about his passing last week. He and the university that he started impacted my life in so many ways – it was a time when I wrestled with what I really believed, found the man of my dreams, and learned to be comfortable in my skin.

Oral was no longer living in Tulsa when I went to ORU, but he visited several times and one of my fondest memories include watching over 2,000 students stand up in chapel making an “O” with their arms and chanting “OOOOOOOOOOO…” as Oral walked into Chapel. He was larger than life and regardless if I was loving ORU that day or frustrated with the institution, he never ceased to mesmerize me - (oh, and I was also fascinated by his big ears – seriously, they were huge).

My friend Sarah Bessey wrote a lovely blog about Oral that seemed to capture my thoughts much more eloquently & brilliantly than I could ever do – here is an excerpt that stood out to me:

In chapel, we were surrounded by words written on the walls. The words that Oral felt God speak to him about the founding of the university (most of us can still recite it):

"Raise up your students to hear My voice,
To go where My light is dim,
My voice is heard small,
And My healing power not known,
even to the uttermost bounds of the earth.
Their work will exceed yours
and in this, I am well pleased."

I am happy for Oral. I am happy that he is with his "darling wife, Evelyn" (as he never failed to refer to her) at last. I am happy that he is, I believe, resting in the arms of Jesus, hearing the words "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I am thankful he lived to see his university become strong again, headed towards a bright future. I am thankful for his every act of obedience, for starting ORU and reminding us every day that it was "forged in the fires of healing evangelism." For his leadership, his guts and his love. I am thankful for his three hour long sermons, right over lunchtime. I am thankful for his memoirs, his big ears, his "expect a miracle!" and "something good is going to happen to you"s. I am grateful for his life. His legacy lives on in millions of us, all over the world.

Also, I am grateful for how uncomfortable he makes me. For how he makes me wonder if my plans and dreams are too small, how he makes me wonder if I am putting God in a box, how he challenges me to open wide my expectations, my heart and my obedience to all that God is and has and does.

I encourage you to read the rest of her post at:

And I’m left today asking the same question as Sarah – “Are my plans too small? Am I being obedient to all that God is asking me to do?”

If you are interested in hearing more about the life of Oral Roberts you can watch his memorial service live today at 2pm CST at:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Fainted in Red Lobster

As I promised in a previous blog…It is time for my story about fainting in Red Lobster.

In all my 30 years I’ve never fainted, passed out, or been unconscious as far as I know. I’m the picture of health and somewhat proud to be a strong girl. I’m also somewhat proud that every Monday I’m typically the lone woman at our weekly pastor’s lunch (Pastor Cherri attends sometimes too)…

I try my best to hang with the boys at this weekly lunch. It is every Monday, so discussion revolves around the weekend’s sporting activities (golf, football, etc)…and although I typically don’t have a ton to contribute, I do try to listen & pipe in with the occasional comment. Mostly, I try to go and show that although I’ve got long hair and shave my legs, I can hang with the boys and love being a pastor too. I do my best to NOT be an emotional female or bring any attention to the fact that I’m different.

So far, my plan has worked fairly well – well…that is…with the exception of the day I burst into tears (an entirely different embarrassing moment) and our fateful Monday two weeks ago...when I fainted in Red Lobster. It all started with the fact that I’m pregnant & not fully adjusting to the fact that someone is sucking all my energy and nutrients. I love Baby Selah – but seriously, this girl is throwing me for a bit of a loop. You see, I’m a go-getter and often I go so much that I forget to stop for important things…like food…water…& rest. Well apparently, that plan doesn’t work so well when you have a little person growing inside of you…

So, there I was in the middle of Red Lobster sitting amongst the eight men trying to hang with the boys when I begin to feel hot…a little sweaty…and light headed. I was trying to have a conversation with Jantzen across from me when the thought hit me – you are going to pass out. “No!” I told myself, “you are a strong woman…this will pass...keep talking” as I grabbed a menu to begin fanning myself. The sensations became stronger so I fanned harder and started asking about the water I had ordered.

Within seconds, black dots were swarming in my eyes…and again I thought “you are going to pass out & look like a pansy.” And, as much as I tried to be strong and will myself to focus the black dots grew stronger & Jantzen’s words grew foggier. I actually said (or slurred), “I phink I gonna pass out…so…sorry” as my head on the table fell in defeat. I was actually laying there still somewhat coherent thinking – this is ridiculous – get up! You are with the boys…

What ensued next was quite hilarious…and I’m so thankful that I apparently did not completely faint because I heard part of the conversation. First, the table got deathly quiet AND THEN the eight men went into ACTION (this is what men do when a problem arises)

Here is what I heard:

Pastor Keith – He began to yell at my husband Josh who was on the phone & somewhat oblivious to the fact that I had in deed fallen on the table. His words were something like this, “DUDE, GET OFF THE PHONE – YOUR WIFE IS DOWN! THIS IS YOUR WIFE…YOUR RESPONSIBILITY…YOU NEED TO HELP HER!”

Josh – He quickly got off the phone & looked around helplessly…then picked up the menu & started to fan me.

Jantzen – He kept asking…”Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?”

Pastor Dean – He was out of his chair in a flash – yelling for water…when he didn’t find anyone he jumped behind the bar and got water himself (or so I was told)

Pastor Robert – He was on a mission too – CRACKERS! I NEED CRACKERS!!!!

Pastor Gary – He started to instruct Josh: “Lay her down on the floor or in that booth over there…you need to elevate her legs!”

Mind you, all of this was going on simultaneously, and as soon as I came too I had in front of me:
  • 2 glasses of water
  • A mound of crackers
  • A plethora of menus ready to fan me
  • And 16 eyes staring at the woman pastor…
I took all of their advice - I laid down in a booth for a few minutes with my legs elevated, drank the water, ate crackers, and let Josh fan me for awhile. Once I felt that I had regained my equilibrium I sheepishly returned to the table embarrassed and very aware that I am not one of the boys.

And yet, in that moment, I realized just how thankful I am that although I’m not one of the boys, I am thankful that I have these amazing men in my life. I’ve learned so much from each of them over the last few years. Some of them abound with wisdom…some with humor…some with passion…and all of them with love. They have welcomed me into their circle and they respect me for what I bring to the table – they see my value as a woman but they also see my value as a minister.

So, I’ve decided that although I will do a better job of keeping Selah fed, I won’t worry so much in the future about trying to be one of the boys…if I faint–I faint…If I cry-I cry…but mostly I’ll just be myself and bring what I can to the table even if it comes in the form of a girl fainting.

Have you ever embarrassed yourself in front of people you want to impress?
Are there situations where you need to embrace just being yourself?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where I Am - December 2009

Where I Am: It is 10:18 on a Friday night and I am already in bed…this is what pregnancy has reduced me to, but I’m surrendering and embracing my exhaustion to the best of my ability! Josh is entertaining our 5-year old nephew who is visiting with my sister-in-law, Joy, with an AMAZING fort and movie. I feel that my husband’s expertise and fort-building is a good sign for his prospects as a dad in the near future. So, here I am doing my best to follow-through on my commitment to start blogging 2-3 times a week. I’ve made some writing goals for myself and blogging seems to be a good way to keep the juices flowing!

What I’m Listening To: Love the new Shane & Shane CD – “Everything is Different” CD. I’ve listened to it off and on since purchasing it at their concert in November. My sister has been raving about the Glee Soundtrack, so I’m currently contemplating making a purchase for my own listening pleasure. Other than this…it’s Christmas music in the Allen household. Mostly via Pandora and radio stations because I like to keep a good mix going. Would LOVE to know what you are listening to & if you have any recommendations!

What I’m Reading: I have a PILE of books waiting to be read. Seriously, it is ridiculous just how many books are looking at me longingly…and yet, I’ve mostly resisted because I haven’t had the time to get sucked in…so, I’ve been spending more time reading blogs & making lists of which books I will read first (did you know that I like to make lists? I REALLY do!). I picked up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society earlier this week & next on my list is Donald Miller’s new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I promise to let you know if a couple of weeks the results of each of these books.

In the meantime, here are a couple blogs that I currently frequent: (for thoughts on theology & ministry) (for inspiration regarding ministry coupled with art) (for pretty things that make me smile)

What blogs are you reading? I’m especially looking for a good blog on mother-hood that is maybe a bit…unconventional (like me)…let me know if you know of something & of any other blogs you would recommend!

What I’m Watching: Not much to report here – I enjoyed the movie The Blind Side…I got sucked into Glee (because of my sister Leslie)…Josh and I watch Community occasionally…

OH, and I saw two episodes of Hoarders on A&E last Sunday. Seriously, disturbing and yet fascinating all at the same time. I think I was especially hooked because in our last house, our next door neighbor was hoarder. I don’t mean she had a little trash around the property…NO, she had 7 storage buildings in the backyard, her car was filled to the place where she could barely get in, and neighbors constantly called the police because the stench was bad. My heart broke for her, and yet we could never seem to connect or find a way into her life. Anyways, the show was mindboggling…and I can’t help but keep thinking about our neighbor – praying she finds freedom and someone that she can trust.

Most Embarrassing Moment: I’ve decided that this needs it’s own post…so, I’ll just tempt you with this little picture – Me (in my pregnant glory) fainting in Red Lobster in the presence of 8 very concerned men…more to come soon.

Favorite Picture:  We took Levi & Joy to Santa Land tonight- I love lights, cold weather, hot cocoa, and smiles on kids faces!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thoughts on His Grace

In my sermon this past week I shared some notes that I had written during my study time on the atonement and grace of God.  I've had a few people ask for copies of this, so thought I would share them with you all.

Satan loves to spiritualize guilt & condemnation – all other religions are based on this concept that we must atone for our sins through acts of penitence or karma or the repression of our desire…in my world religions class over & over as I read my student’s final papers they realized that it is this truth of grace – this truth of God’s love & Jesus’ sacrifice FOR us that sets our faith apart…It is this grace that brings life, joy, and true freedom.

AND YET, how many Christians have accepted the thought of Christ as their Lord & Savior yet don’t really live in His grace & love. They feel that they deserve punishment or they fixate on their past sins almost looking over their shoulder for the retribution that they feel they deserve. Or they limit their future – the plans that God places in their hearts all because they can’t fathom Him using them in their fallen state. When in fact, we are all fallen – we are all tainted – we have all sinned & we must all face the guilt that accompanies it.

But God says, STOP living with your guilt & receive my Son’s atonement His Grace for your sins. For you to say that you receive it but not live in it is literally to minimize what He has done for you. It is like your parents giving you a gift – a car - & you receive it…you are genuinely thankful for the gift but you never do anything with it. You never try to drive the car. It would sadden their hearts because they did not give you the gift for you to store it in the garage but they gave you the gift so that you could go somewhere – so that you could live your life & be productive! How much more does God say – here is the gift of my Son – it cost us everything & we are happy that you took the gift of His life, but you aren’t getting the purpose of our gift when you refuse to walk in His atonement. When you refuse to walk in joy and freedom & life it is as if you send the message that the gift isn’t enough…that the gift has no value in your life…but the gift was the LIFE of MY SON – it has more value than you realize…but you don’t know the power of a car until you drive it and you can’t know the power of walking in CHRIST & receiving His grace until you choose to walk in it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bra Debacle: Secret Trials of a Female Preacher

I had the opportunity to preach at Church on the Rock this past weekend and as always I absolutely loved every minute of it. I just love getting to study Scripture, receive revelation from the Lord and then pass it along to people who are seeking for His truth and grace. This weekend was no different – I spoke on Freedom from Guilt and saw many people respond and take steps towards greater freedom!

Since most of my readers are ladies, I have to share with you a part of preaching as a woman that most people aren’t ever aware of. I read the book “Gifted to Lead” by Nancy Beach last year and so appreciated her candor about a few of the obstacles women have to face when they are preaching. Not only are we trying to honor the Lord and share the truth that He has revealed to us…and not only are we also thinking in the back of our minds that it is an opportunity to change stereotypes and prove that just because we are on stage does not mean we are feminists or starved for power…but there are a multitude of other things that we have to subconsciously think about…

you know, important things like – am I wearing enough lipstick…does this outfit make me look professional and nice (we know how ladies think & know that they are looking us over either wondering where they can get a blouse like we are wearing or wishing they could nominate us for “What Not to Where”)…plus there are microphone issues - where exactly is the most appropriate place to put a lapel mic…not to mention the issues with my long hair getting tangled in the countryman microphone…and don’t get me started on the importance of comfortable shoes, dangling earrings, and the like.

So, I typically take great care and caution to think through my wardrobe and typically I think that I do pretty well. That is until this past Sunday in what I will term the bra debacle. Not only do I at this time have to worry about basic clothing issues but at this moment in time I also have the protruding belly of a 6 month pregnant woman & was trying to work with that…plus my body temperature is off whack…so, when I found this amazingly comfortable black shirt that is breathable, comfortable & modest I was sold & decided this would be my preaching shirt.

The bra situation started harmlessly enough since I don’t have as many bra options as I had – oh, say 6 months ago – there are basically two options in my house – a white bra and black one – so I grabbed the white one (which is more comfortable) and was on my way to preach the Word of God! I spent great time in prayer that morning & talked to some people around the church when I quickly ran back up to my office to check the make-up and get ready. As I glanced in a mirror, however, I was horrified to realize that you could in fact see my white bra through the black shirt…and then thought about the fact that I would be standing on a stage with stage lights thus magnifying this reality a hundred fold.

I’m ashamed to tell you that what happened next was not very preacher like of me. I grabbed my cell phone and called my sweet husband who was still at home. I realized that church literally started in 10 minutes and doing the math that it is a 15 minute drive from our house – screamed into the phone as soon as he answered, “Get my black bra & bring it to me NOW!” It took a few seconds of my hysterics to awaken him, and thankfully he was on his way. He texted me the entire drive – letting me know the progress of the black bra & just as the worship was beginning I bolted out of the sanctuary to go meet him in the parking lot for our secret drop-off. I quickly changed…decided I didn’t trust the power of the black bra & also grabbed a sweater cardigan just to be safe.

I did my best to gracefully walk back into the sanctuary…and I did my best to focus on the Lord during worship…thinking this wasn’t exactly the attitude or way I had envisioned beginning this Sunday service. But it was my reality. The service went well – I was told I looked like I had a nervous tick as I continually tugged at my sweater just to ensure that the bra was shining for all to see…AND YET – in spite of my crazy attitude and the bra debacle – God was gracious. He showed up- in spite of me and ministered to a lot of hearts that morning.

During the worship time of the 11am service the Lord & I had a good conversation. I now had a tank top on buffering the shirt from the bra and thus was no longer consumed by the superficial…and in that time of singing He reminded me this was just one more opportunity to learn that this whole opportunity and world of preaching is SO not about me – it’s not about my words…it’s not about my presentation…it’s not about what I’ve learned… and it’s definitely not about performing. Rather, it is a moment in time when I get to join Him in what He is doing…in what He is saying…in how He is moving in hearts. And the more I can remember this truth and get out of the way – the more He is free to work in lives.

Oh, and as I lamented a bit more to Josh after the service – reminding him of yet one more reason there are a few more obstacles stacked against women…he reminded me – men have their own clothing issues at times – it typically comes in the form of fly that is down – so true…so true…

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Two of the sweetest people I know

So much to say since I haven't been on here in forever! I don't know if you are like me but I just keep putting it off when I feel like I have too much to catch up, I'm just going to start taking a small bite at a time...and start with something simple - family birthdays! We've celebrated a couple of my favorite people's birthdays recently & I wanted to share a couple pictures with you.

Stay tuned - I've written quite a bit about my trip to India & I'm just trying to gauge what is blog worthy...then there is this whole pregnancy & becoming a human incubator part of my life - oh my...had no idea just how weird & yet somewhat great this whole process there will be blogs about that coming as well.

But for now - I give you a few pics from Molly Kate's 1st birthday & my mom's (we will leave out the number) birthday!

All three sisters seemed to enjoy the eating of the cake!

I think Molly Kate (MK as I like the call her) is the sweetest baby I have ever met...and she loves her Gigi - here are the b-day girls together
My sister Leslie has become quite the cook lately. Here is her Italian Creme Cake, which is DELICIOUS!!! You can read about it on her blog The Skinny Chef in Disguise
Wow!!! Look at the fire on that cake! Yes, we put a candle for every year on there...

My parents with MK

PS - if you happen to read this in the next two days & live in Lubbock...come out to COTR - I'm preaching this weekend & excited about what God's given me to share.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quick Update

I haven't blogged in quite some time - I'm rethinking the way I blog & have been preoccupied with some other things lately. BUT, I'm flying to India tomorrow & thought I should give everyone a quick update of the life that belongs to Josh & I. I also wanted to request prayers from all of you blog readers... So first, an update from the past 2 months
  1. Zoe started & we're having record numbers - between 70-90!!! Woohoo!
  2. Took 40 young adults camping (yes, I went camping pregnant...and actually, I LOVED it!)
  3. Helped with the Tapestry Women's Conference...enjoyed getting to know Leif & Margaret Feinberg...she made me think about some things & was used by God to plant some dreams in my heart...
  4. Started to get a big belly - yep, in the words of my Pepa, "It looks like you swallowed a watermelon or something..."
  5. Laughed a lot...mourned a little...had some deep & hard conversations...trusting God about things we just don't understand...
  6. We found out that in that watermelon resides a precious little girl! We are super excited & thinking about just who is this little girl?
  7. Met our friends Lukas & Dita in Houston for the U2 Concert - it was pretty much amazing
  8. Had an amazing week with the Pursue & SMI Conferences - LOVED watching God move in people's lives & LOVED getting to share life with some phenomenal people from around the globe
  9. Prepping for India!
So that is our wrap up! We travel to India tomorrow & would cherish your prayers. If we come to mind, especially pray for health & strength...pray that our baby girl is covered & protected...also, we have some mind-boggling opportunities before us & I desperately don't want it to just be meetings or a chance for Paige to talk - I want God & His LOVE, His presence, and His truth to be evident, real, and at work in their lives! Here are highlights...please pray for us!

Itinerary Sunday - Tuesday: Travel

Wednesday & Thursday Oct. 28 & 29 - Josh teaching at Pastor's Conference in Aminabad; Paige teaching at Bombay Teen Challenge (this is a home for women rescued from sex trafficking)

Saturday, Oct. 21 - Josh & Paige preaching to 4,000 young people in Aminabad

Monday, Nov. 2 - Minister at LIFE Center (this is a Children's Home)

Tuesday, Nov. 3 - AM - children's school; PM - Paige speak at Ladie's Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 4 - Josh at leader's conference; Paige will minister to 20 women who work in the Red Light District (these are former prostitutes & madams who now return to brothels 6 days a week to minister to current prostitutes...they lead Bible studies & orchestrate rescues)

Thursday & Friday, Nov. 5 & 6 - At leader's Conference; we also may speak at some youth meetings

Saturday, Nov. 7 - Return Home

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where I am - End of August

Where I Am: Just finished a fantastic nap & I'm watching a little television while the hubs is at a Fantasy Football Draft (I hope he gets a great team! He has been prepping for days - literally...he has been reading, planning, etc). I am about to go support two of our amazing zoe small groups - first young professionals & then the Tech connect group.

What I've been listening to: I've been on the search for some great music for PURSUE & I'm finding that there is some great songs about missions out there right now (loving "Two Hands" by Jars of Clay & "Follow You" by Leeland)...also, I've been stuck on the Ingrid Michaelson pandora station when I"m working - it helps mellow me out (I've needed that quite a bit this week).

What I've been reading: I'm in a dry spell when it comes to reading...I've tried to start Crazy Love but I can't seem to get into I'm spending most of my time reading the Bible, blogs & pregnancy books...

What I've been watching: Project Runway is back!!!! Love me some PR...Mad Men is back too - Josh and I love just how true they are to the time period - it's kind of dark, so not sure if others will like it...but we've watched it from the beginning & are jazzed that it is back. I went and saw "500 Days of Summer" on Friday night - I really liked it! Also saw "Time Traveler's Wife" - didn't like it so much...

Crazy Things that have Happened Recently: Just this past week my belly popped some points I love it - love that it is finally obvious that I'm pregnant & at other points I'm kind of feeling weird about it. Got some great maternity clothes from my sister...we'll see how much longer I can squeeze into my regular clothes though...

Cool Things that have Happened Recently: A couple of weekend's ago Josh and I took a weekend get-away to Ruidoso (I LOVE the mountains). It was just what we needed - we went hiking, played golf, ate great food & spent some time resting and connecting before the craziness of fall hits.

zoe started this week, and I love our young adults ministry! It makes my heart happy to see our young people back in town & ready to jump into what God has in store for this year. One thing that was super cool is that we have some friends from Belgium in town for a couple of weeks. Christian & Mieke are a young couple that Josh and I met a couple of years ago when we traveled to teach at a Bible School in Belgium...anyways, they attended our first zoe service this past Thursday night & after it was over they asked us to pray for them. During the service the Lord spoke to them that they are to go back to Belgium and start something like zoe. They asked us to pray over them & it was a really powerful time. I was incredibly honored & it was almost like a small encouragement from the Lord at the beginning of this new year that we are doing something right...and it is contagious!

Favorite pics fro the last couple weeks: These are from our trip to Ruidoso...LOVE watching my husband play golf...I should mention he shot 1 over par during this round...he's quite good.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Women are a Solution

Just wanted to share this short video/article from the New York Times. It is a testament to the fact that around the world women are not the problem but rather the solution.

After I watched this video I just stopped to think & realized this is SO true. Although I've met many wonderful men around the world who are making an impact, the stories that I've heard from women and the lives that I've seen them live are typically what sticks out in my mind - mostly because they've had to sacrifice, prove themselves, struggled along the way...and yet they sacrifice with love, prove themselves with passion, and struggle with such grace that I'm always in awe.

So, to women like Missy & Rhoda who made a food truck a reality here in women like Elizabeth Lee who works tirelessly to share the gospel in women like Dita Targosz who juggle a business while also building a church in Czech women like Ina in India who teach other women to sew so they can build a better women like my mom who are willing to take on major dreams like a Dream Center or starting a business to help women who've been sex trafficked...

Thank you for showing the world that we are can be a solution.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where I am - August 2009 & a bit of a rant

Where I Am: As usual, I'm sitting on my lovely couch...just got home from work, but the cray thing is - I'm not really happy about it. I need to work more...I want to work more...I'm doing things that I'm passionate about, but this pregnancy thing is throwing me for a major loop. I literally feel as though between the hours of 3-5pm my body (including my brain) completely shuts down. I'm good for nothing - so I find myself either staring into space, aimlessly trolling around on my computer or just giving up and going home. Today I decided to take a stand. I WANT to work, so at 3pm, I took some work to the local coffee shop (I love you Sugar Brown's) & had a cup of coffee (everything I've read says that 200mg of caffeine a day is fine - so give me a break)...and then I did some work. Actually I did some reading which was work for me today. I read a long letter from a missionary, which left me with the conviction that I need to hop on a plane & go visit...and then I read a lady's talk that she is giving at an upcoming Walk to Emmaus...she had asked me to critique it for her (Wow!!! It was fantastic & I learned so much more about her life)...Sorry for the tangent, but that is what I did as I sipped my iced vanilla latte. So by golly, I worked until 4:30pm today - yay!!!! Sorry for the rant, but I'm the girl that typically works at least one 12 hour work day a week...because I love it...and I'm so frustrated because it hasn't been working for me these past 3 months. Bring on the 2nd Trimester with MORE energy please!!!!

What I've been listening to: This past weekend I went to Rock the Desert Music Festival to work a tent for Pursue Missions ( & I listened to some great live music there. I found out that my team loves LaCrea & I really enjoyed Leeland & the winner of the Battle of the Bands (Josh Bramos). When I'm at work - perhaps because I'm so tired - I've been so lethargic I've been listening to Family Force Five. It's so crazy, but I love it! Kyla & I are slightly obsessed with them right now :)

What I've been reading: The Pregnancy Journal & What to Expect when you are Expecting. Good information, but it's also a bit redundant... I also started Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (see, I'm trying to embrace this time of slowing down with grace) - so far so good. It is all stuff that I know, but definitely not what I live. I'm praying that it sinks in - what I like about this book too is that she doesn't just describe rest as doing nothing but talks about playing, giving, and other ways we rest as we love God & love others.

Favorite pictures of the past couple weeks:

Madison at Taylor's Birthday party...she was slobbering...but isn't she just gorgeous?

I LOVE Taylor's expression here...she just realized that Ally bought her a BIRD for her birthday. She was SUPER happy about this.

Josh's sister, Joy & her daughter Zoe came in town for a weekend. Here are the siblings in their superhero T-shirts.

At the 4th of July, Uncle Josh helped Ava with her shrimp. He's going to be the best dad!

LOVE this picture of my mom & Ava. Ava has the squinty eyes when she smiles big too! It is a family trait.

At Rock the Desert this weekend. We gave away Flavor Ice (Popsicles) the end of our time there, these fabulous people decided to race to see who could eat one the fastest. As you can tell, Katie was the winner.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Surprising Interruption

I'm at work...and I should be working, but I just had to share this moment. One thing that I equally love and hate is the fact that I'm often interrupted here at the church. The truth is that the interruptions are almost always gifts from the Lord, but my response to the interruptions is dependent on whether or not I'm in people mode or task mode...whether or not I want to be selfish or actually "be a minister." Anyways, today has been a little rough for me. I got sick after lunch (Amoeba Allen didn't really love the bar-b-que that I had)...and I knew that I would be up here until at least 7pm working.

So, I went home for a couple of hours this afternoon to rest & get my stomach somewhat settled. I was driving back to work around 4pm begrudging the fact that I had to come back, and just basically telling God that I just would like to feel better. When I'm in these moods the last thing I want to do is smile & be nice to people - that's just the truth.

But as soon as I walked through the doors I heard a lady say, "Hi Paige, you could help me!" I turned to look at her and vaguely remembered that I met her 3 weeks ago. I was wracking my brain to retrieve her name, but I was unsure so I just plastered on the smile & said hi. She was standing there in the foyer holding a bottle of olive oil & she asked if we could go somewhere to talk.

I brough her upstairs to my office, and as I looked at "Crystal" (I remembered her name) it was obvious that she has not had an easy life. She began to tell me her story - a former meth addict for 25 years who has been sober for the last 2 years. She moved from Arkansas, and she said she had a weird request. She pointed to the bottle of oil & asked if I would pray over it. She explained that she is living with her in-laws who have addictions & after fighting for the last few months for their freedom...she said, "I just can't do it anymore." However, she said that God told her that He would help her fight...and so her plan was to anoint the house that night & ask God to use that oil to break bondages & addictions.

The more I talked to "Crystal", the more I realized I was sitting with someone courageous & actually living "the Christian life." Yes, there she sat without a bra & smelling of cigarette smoke, but there she sat willing to fight for her family's freedom! She is living it - she is fighting for her own faith - and she is winning.

I got a couple of other people to pray with us over the oil...and it was powerful - mostly because we all saw her faith & therefore knew that God would use this - He will use her...

So, I'm thankful for my interruption. I'm thankful that I saw someone today who was giving her all to live the life Jesus is showing her...I realized that today's interruption was the reminder I needed to get my focus off of how I'm feeling & to more fully live the life He intends for me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


"you have NEVER been unloved." - Max Lucado

Just finished reading Christa Black's blog, and I'm resting in this one sentence. May we all get this truth in our hearts...even in the worst your darkest have never been unloved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Where I Am - July 2009

Where I Am: So here I sit on my couch - just woke up from a late nap & I'm listening as Josh jogs on the treadmill - he is so dedicated! I'll be happy if I get out later when it cools off for a walk (that is the plan anyways)...

What I'm Saying: Well, I've been saying a lot lately - even got to preach at Church on the Rock this past weekend (I love getting to preach)...but what has been on my lips most recently is my new news - that I'm pregnant. The news has been somewhat out for a couple of weeks now, but for some reason I feel as though it is "officially public" because...wait for it...I put it on facebook. Yep, so crazy that this has become the best way to disseminate information, but there it is...I actually made mention of it on my status update and I have almost 40 responses - wow! People are excited for me...perhaps relieved or shocked as well??? Regardless of the reasons for the outpouring of comments - I'm feeling really loved!

What I'm Listening To: At this very moment, I'm listening to Christa Black's myspace page - she just uploaded two new songs & I'm LOVING "Drift Away"...I've also been reading her blog for the last couple of weeks - she is sharing her story of battling an eating disorder & breaking into the music world. I don't know this girl, but she is inspiring and you get the sense that she genuinely cares about all the young girls out there who are following her since she on tour with the Jonas, you should check her out.

What I'm Watching: So, I love summer reality shows, and since we aren't traveling this summer (Josh and I usually are out of the country at least twice every summer)...I've been watching WAY too much TV! But I've just got to make a couple of comments: The Next Food Network Star - I'm just not sure who I want to win...maybe Melissa although occasionally she gets on my nerves. I also just started watching Desing Star it is a favorite in my family & I'm super excited about it! I think my mom should go on that show - she would rock it - the woman is brilliant!

What I'm Reading: I recently finished the book "Angry Conversations with God" by Susan Isaacs - it was a memoir & I enjoyed it although it might be offensive to some of my readers (not going to lie)...I'm searching for something good to read right now. I'm reading a couple of fiction books...but I need something with more substance - would welcome any suggestions!

Favorite Funny Moment: So, this morning I had my first sonogram & I was instructed to drink 32 oz. of water an hour before the appointment. In case you don't know, I'm typically an overachiever - and today was not different...I think I actually consumed about 40 oz. of water. All was fine until there were some problems with my paperwork & the ultrasound kept getting postponed. By the time I actually got back to radiology I was literally dancing & almost crying because I just wanted to pee!!! I was really looking forward to this ultrasound (hoping it would make this a little more real) but if I'm completely honest all I could think about was hoping I didn't wet my pants during the ultrasound! As soon as the guy turned on the machine he said, "Woa, you have a really full bladder!" I laughed & said, yeah...I really need to use the bathroom, but I smiled & tried to act like a jubilant mother to be, but I just kept watching the guy & thinking are you done? I was also making exit strategies in my mind & wondering how far the nearest bathroom was. Even when he was showing me my baby (which was a nice black amoeba)...I just smiled - said, "okay, great!" And then I begged to go to the little ladies room! So much for any poignant moment. Once I came out, I thought to ask a few questions about the health of the baby, etc...but the moment was lost! All I know, is that I will be an underachiever the next time I am requested to consume large amounts of water.

So that's it for now...I'm going to try and be a better blogger, but I say that so often...we'll see!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

San Diego

Wow, it has been way too long since I've updated the blog. So, I will keep it short & mostly share some pictures. My parents, Heath & Kelsey, & Josh & I all went to San Diego a couple of weeks ago for vacation. We had a great time & amazingly enough it was actually a relaxing vacation! Here is a look at some of the fun we had!

To begin the vacation, Heath & Kelsey felt that it was imperative that they find the right gear to keep their heads warm while also looking stylish. This is the option they liked best. As a good sister, I vetoed this idea...

San Diego is famous for it's zoo, so we of course made a trip! I took tons of animal pictures, but I decided you wouldn't really want to see them, so I'll just share some highlights
We were all AMAZED by the gorillas. They were absolutely beautiful and interesting.

Josh & I - I was trying to get the zebras in the picture behind us...but I wasn't successful

My lovely parents

Josh making his monkey face...he was inspired

We also spent quite a bit of time around the water! We went to beaches at La Jolla, Coronao Island, and Missions Beach. All three were fantastic and they each had their own personality...while we were at La Jolla, the boys decided to learn how to surf
Doesn't my husband look like a surfer here?

And it turns out that he's actually a pretty decent surfer so long as he sticks to the small waves! I should note that Josh learned to surf a few years ago when we were in Hawaii...

And Heath got up too!

I think this is one of my favorite pictures from the makes me laugh...

While we were at Mission Beach, Josh decided to show us some of his other skills & he climbed a tree to win me a blow-up monkey...yes, he did make it all the way to the top! Is my man talented or what?

On Coronado Island evening. I decided that I could live here.

This is my only picture of all of us together - at the Padres game!

It was nice to get away! Until next time, San Diego!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Going on Vacation

Good-bye blog world. I'm going on vacation for a week to San Diego & then traveling to Tulsa for a girls weekend with Wendy & Angel. I'll be back in about 10 days!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chambers Quote

Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you. - Oswald Chambers

I read this quote this morning and it continues to convict my heart. How often do I limit God and others to the "principles" that I've conjured up based upon my life & what I have seen to be true of God rather than giving them & more importantly HIM the permission to bring truth and creativity into their lives?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Zack Morris

In case you haven't already seen this...wanted to share!

Zack Morris was on Jimmy Fallon last night - this made me laugh!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I learned how to head bang!

I don't quite know how to start this blog other than by stating the truth: I NEVER thought I would spend 22 hours in a Coliseum (in Snyder, TX no less) with Rock Music playing non-stop (actually only 17 hours of music)...but that is what I did this past weeekend...and although my ears still ache and there were moments when I became delerious with exhaustion...I must admit that I had fun...I had a lot of fun!

So how does a girl who prefers the likes of Corrine Bailey Rae, Brooke Fraser, and Phil Wickham start to describe head banging and screaming? I honestly am unsure, so I'll just share my pictures & hope that they do justice for our trip.

First, a little background info: Myself along with 7 others traveled to the Red Letter Rock Fest in Snyder, TX to promote Pursue Missions & LIFT. It was amazing that other than the bands it was us, AirOne & Compassion International. Our booth was actually on the ground where the concerts were taking place, so we got to talk to a LOT of people...

Here is Missy & Greg talking to a few kids about LIFT

The concert started on Friday night & here is my amazing team ready to ROCK

I wasn't too sure about some of the bands Friday night.
Norma Jean...Spoken...Disciple...
But when Audio Adrenaline came on I realized two things: 1. I'm old & 2. I still like them!
Here is Kyla & I doing the moves to Big House

The headliner on Friday was Family Force 5...although I didn't know their music I have to admit that I am now a BIG fan! These guys were AMAZING performers. I mean, who sings while wearing Hulk Gloves? And of course I love a band who says things like, "Shake your BA-DONK-A-DONK for Jesus!

Oh, also Kyla & I got all-access passes & we even went on stage twice to scream about Pursue & Lift. We were hoping that we would get good slots to go on stage & sure enough...we went on before Audio Adrenaline & Superchick...very cool!

Saturday morning started out with the band: Stars Go Dim & they were my FAVORITE! Seriously, I think you should check them out...I got their CD & have been listening to it since I got home. Plus, it was nice to look at the lead singer's arms (I'm not gonna lie...)

Randall joined us on Saturday!

They had a resident artist that would paint something during each band on the main stage. Here are two of the works that he did. It was really amazing to watch him paint & I loved his artwork.


Hawk Nelson

Missy & I - we were pretty much done at this point...oh yeah, I get delirious when I'm super tired...
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