My Christmas Wish List

Normally, this time of year I am begging Clay to go up to the attic and pull out of all my Christmas decor. Normally, I love to decorate the tree. Normally, I love to put all of the other decorations in the perfect spot around my house. Normally, the James Taylor Christmas album can be heard throughout the house. Normally, I can list several things I would like to receive and spend hours picking out gifts for people on my list. Normally.

This year none of that seems to be the case. Granted if I could find that cd James Taylor would probably be playing but it must have gotten lost somewhere between Knoxville and Keller.

I don't know what my deal is. I just can't get geared up for Christmas. I seriously asked Clay if we even had to put the tree up. To which he replied, "We don't have to, but I think we should." Can some elves just come set it up and twist and turn every pre-lit light until there are all working? I just don't feel like it. All I want to do is fly home.

It has been a year since I have seen my friends. It has been a year since I have sat in my mom's house. It has been a year since I have played with Tyson (my dog that is really more of my mom's dog these days) And it has been a year or really more than that since I have ate at Steamboat, Wasabi and some other places near and dear to my stomach.

I miss it all. I miss it all A LOT.

So if I skip all of the decorating, can I just fast foward to Dec. 25 at 11:05 when my plane lands at home? I have zero desire to move to Knoxville at this moment, but that doesn't mean I don't want to spend a few days there. A few days spent enjoying the comforts of home. A few days playing with that dumb dog and eating at all my old favorites. A few days spent laughing with friends until the wee hours of the morning. Friends who know me. I mean really know me. You know, the ones who can tell stories that get you fired.

That is what I want for Christmas.


The Bigs and the Little

A couple of videos of the dogs playing...the last 10 secs of each are pretty boring. I wasn't quite sure if they were done fighting.

November Cakes


Another Amy Beth Post

Several months ago, I wrote a blog about a girl I knew in high school who took in a friend who was having a baby. Well, the young lady had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I have the blog on my links...it is entitled Ministry So Fabulous, but I thought I would repost her blog post from today just in case you didn't have time to click the link:

All her scarlet letters.

On Monday night, right before Roomie began pushing, I got as close to her bed as possible, looked her in the eyes and, with tears rolling down my cheeks, thanked her for not having an abortion.

Listen to me. Please, please listen to me.

If you think that Christian girls in their twenties are not having abortions, you are dead wrong. I could give you a list of girls I know who seriously love Jesus and have seriously had an abortion. When you are “caught” in actions that you shouldn’t have been in, you would be amazed at the choices that suddenly seem applicable to your situation. Things you never thought you would do can suddenly seem like the only option out.

This is the ugly truth, you know. It would be so sweet for me to be able to tell you that Roomie never considered that option, that I would never consider it if I was in her situation.

And it would be a lie.

About two months ago, I began literally laying myself before God every morning and asking Him to show me how to best love Roomie. Through tears, I would beg Him to let me experience some of the emotions she was feeling simply so I could understand what it felt like to be her at this time in her life. Once He began letting me feel them, I wished I had never asked in the first place.

I’ll never forget driving to a meeting in another city for Starlite when God began granting my prayer to feel what Roomie felt. As I drove, I thought about what she must have felt like. She was 23, just like me. She was highly educated having just earned a master’s degree, just like me. She was planning a vocational career in ministry, just like me. She was wanting love from her family, just like me. She was lonely, just like me. She believed he meant it when he said he loved her, just like me.

And in one moment, with one bad decision, the rest of her life was changed.

When I hear Christians talk about wanting to put an end to abortion, I sometimes just want to scream. I want it to end, too, but if it became illegal today, I am convinced that we would be in one heck of a mess unless the body of Christ suddenly wakes up and gets a spirit of adoption, of fostering, of being willing to take these babies into our own homes.

We are asking for something that we are not prepared to receive.

When we get down on our knees before God and beg Him to put an end to abortion, we need to also beg Him for hands that will reach out to all the babies that would suddenly have a legal right to life. And listen, I’m speaking to myself here, too. A year ago I would have never believed I would have done this, that I could have done this. There’s nothing glamorous about this experience, no big amount of thanks at the end of the day.

But there is a baby, swaddled and asleep at this very moment, given a chance to live.

And a girl who can take all her scarlet letters — S for sin, A for alone, U for unwed — and trade them in for a new letter: W.

Because, in His eyes and mine, she is wanted.

WOW. Amy Beth, very well said.


One year

Today marks our one year anniversary in Texas.

They say the first year of marriage is hardest, but I completely disagree. The first year you live away from almost everyone you know is the hardest. We miss our family and friends and that wonderful, crisp autumn air that is abundant in Tennessee right now. But we know that for this time, this is the place God wants us. To celebrate our first year, I thought it would be fitting to document some of the things I (we) love most about our new home:

1. Our Church - we absolutely love our church. It is a place where you can just be yourself, no matter who you are. God is doing some amazing things in the lives of those at our church and I can't wait to see what He has in store!

2. Our Texas friends-Clay and I were fortunate enough to know a few people when we moved to Texas and it has been great reconnecting with them. Even more special have been the people we have met here. I have been lucky enough to have a couple of best friends who have "been there since back in the day" so in Knoxville I never really needed anyone else. Now, I have been so much more open to meeting new people. At 26, I honestly haven't "made" a real friend in a long time so sharing experiences over lunches or walking through the neighborhood with a new friend are really some on my cherished times in our new world.

3. Cheap furniture- okay, the first two were fairly serious so I needed to have a little humor. But seriously in Texas you can find some great wood furniture for next to nothing. Today, Clay and I found several pieces that we love. When we returned home, Clay found similar furniture on the internet for double the price. We plan on buying out the store as soon as possible!

4. NASCAR- not really, but I couldn't do a post today without telling you that Clay and I spent Halloween in a box at the truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Clay's work had a box and lots of tickets so off we went.... Honestly, it wasn't that bad. We had free food and drinks and didn't have to set with thousands of drunk rednecks. We only stayed for about half of the race ( I mean, how many times can you watch them go around) and while there were a few exciting moments (a pretty big wreck during the second lap) it was pretty uninteresting. I was surprised by how large the track/infield were as well as how loud it was. I think that will probably be my one and only NASCAR event for my lifetime. :)