Tag Archives: service

Don’t Close Up Shop.

I can let life swallow me up.  I can.  I can allow the activities and antics of three children cause me to close up shop on sharing my gifts with others.  Serving others.  Because, it seems like too much at that moment.

But, it’s not always too much.  It’s not usually as stressful as we make it out to be.  It’s just our response to those busy moments that mess with our head.  Okay, maybe it’s just my head.  Maybe, it’s just me? 

I almost let one of those moments make me close up shop yesterday afternoon.  My sweet husband had a dinner meeting with airplane-ish type folk.  I had household obligations, two children with obligations, and an infant who, well, was only obligated to let me know when he was hungry.  And, he was.  Of course, he was.   Have you seen him?  Only the cutest chunk of love in the history of chunks of love. 

You see?  I do not lie, friends.

It would have been easier to let these things – life things – consume me.  Stay home.  Pretend there was nothing or no one else besides myself and my three little people.  It really would have.  But, one thing I’ve learned (and my parents have taught me) in my thirty-five plus years on planet earth is this:

My life will be more blessed when I live beyond myself. 

Beyond me.  Beyond my kids’ homework and schedules.  Beyond the constant needs of an infant.  Beyond making sure I’ve emptied the dishwasher.  Beyond getting my hair ministered to – which by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was able to fit that in.  Can I get an amen on coverin’ them roots? 

I was responsible for teaching the youth last night.  And, for some dadgum reason, I can’t say “youth” without thinking of My Cousin Vinny.  You know the line.  “Your honor, two utes.”  I seriously can’t.  I drive myself crazy sayin’ it.  ANY. HOW.

By choosing to overcome any stress that parenting, sans my awesome husband, brings, I used one of my gifts.  More than that, I just served.  And, instead of staying home, putting my children to bed, and contemplating how hectic my day was….

I put my children to bed, and then I went to bed fulfilled.  Content.  Happy.  Blessed.

I think that’s what Paul meant in Acts 20 when he said, “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” 

But, don’t get me wrong.  If any of y’all wanna come keep three little people and send me to the spa, I will not make you withhold those good gifts.  You know.  Since that would bless y’all and all.


I mean, Amen.


Filed under giving, life, making an impact, Motherhood, parenting

She’s A Fly Girl Who Loves Her Country.

Meet Beth Ruby. 

She’s my super cool, brave friend serving in the Air Force.  Oh, and she’s pretty much the smartest chick I know, too.  She wrote this post a while back, and I asked her permission to post it here.  Want to know why I and so many others are proud to call her friend?  Well, just read why she serves our country.

Guest Blog:  Beth Ruby

“Why I Serve”

I have been asked numerous times by friends, family, and strangers why I chose military service. I always answered this question without thought; a sort of conditioned response that contained a very mediocre answer. I always thought that I wanted to serve to protect our freedoms, and because I wanted to be in the world’s greatest Air Force. While these reasons are worthwhile, they are not truly why I am called to serve. I gave these reasons because that is what everyone else says. The real reason, however simple, just became clear to me tonight as I watched footage from World War II.

In the not too distant past, America was called into a war of nations to protect the security and freedom of millions of citizens, both foreign and domestic. Fascist dictators were spreading their evil empires across continents. When America entered World War II, it was not to simply lend a hand. We knew that an outright defeat of these regimes was essential to the continued prosperity of every nation. The urgency and importance of this war was realized by almost all American citizens. Men set aside their goals and ambitions, and volunteered to fight; others were drafted to serve. Either way, these men were torn from their families, their careers, and every bit of comfort they enjoyed in America. They were thrown into one of the bloodiest and most devastating wars in history, and without hesitation, they fought and died. On the home front, every citizen gave up luxuries to support the war efforts. Items were rationed, women went to factories to work, and hundreds of families got letters each day explaining their loved one was killed in action.

The average American today has no concept of the sacrifices made by every person that was alive during those times. Only the eldest members of our society witnessed the extreme loss and suffering that took place during World War II. Sadly, the veterans that fought in World War II are nearing the end of their lives, and soon they will be only memories.

Not too long after World War II, America was forced to once again stop the spread of evil in both Korea and Vietnam. American citizens were torn from the comforts of home and whatever plans they had made for their lives. In both conflicts, these brave Americans were fighting with their hands tied. We sent them there to win, but did not give them the support they needed to do so. Thousands of Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen died in these conflicts. Many others were taken prisoner, or were never accounted for. For hundreds of military members, returning from Vietnam was almost as difficult as fighting in country. Some have said it was even more painful. Unlike World War II, our fighters did not return to a grateful nation as heroes, they returned to quite a substantial number of protestors. Some of these protestors spat on them and called them “baby killers.”

Now that brings me to today. I am very grateful that I was born an American, and I am even more grateful for the brave men and women that came before me that made being an American so great. We are currently fighting in a very controversial war on terror, and American men and women are dying every day in service to our country. Just like in Vietnam, we are fighting a war that is not fully supported, and unlike World War II, our actions are governed more by public opinion than by public good. Americans sacrifice nothing in modern warfare. We still get to pump as much gas as we want into our Hummers, and it is completely cool to bash whatever leadership you want in the name of free speech. This is all fine, until you cross the line. In my opinion, you cross the line the moment you bash or blame the military. Remember that the San Franciscan sipping a latte has as much influence on foreign policy a the soldier in a hole in Iraq.

Finally, I have arrived at the reason why I chose to serve. Contrary to popular expression, I will not say that I serve to protect the rights of the very protestors that bash the military. This reason is very frequently used, but it carries little value to me personally. I would love to see the protestors try to hug a terrorist and use their infinite wisdom and logic to out reason a radical belief system. The real reason I chose to serve is simply to say thank you. Thank you to the millions of men and women who gave everything to give me something. No amount of words or gifts could ever convey my profound appreciation for those that fought before me. Hollywood has done a pretty good job of depicting some of the most memorable war stories. However, I do not consider my enjoyment of a movie as a sincere token of gratitude for the heroes depicted in it. Personally, the only possible way to express my thanks is by service. Although I am just one person, I am joining a great tradition, and a great symbol. The military is a group of individuals that collectively symbolize the very essence of freedom. I am about to begin a new course of training as an officer in the United States Air Force, where I will carry on and always remember the legacies of the heroes that came before me.

Thank you to all veterans, prisoners of war, those missing in action, Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coasties, Reservists, Guardsmen, families of the military, civil servants, and every American that supports men and women in uniform!

Thank YOU Beth Ruby.


Filed under giving, making an impact

Marriage And Growing A Person.

This weekend, I used Kris’ Marriott points that he accumulates when he flies to luxurious vacation spots by working so hard for the family.  After I arranged for the kids to spend the weekend with Falon and Janet (our friends and most awesome babysitters), I surprised him with a night downtown the big OKC.  We woke up to the glorious phenomenon known as room service, and then, I sent Kris to an already scheduled massage at the spa.

Sorry, men.  I’m taken. 

I need not gloat that much in my wifely awesomeness.  I realized it had been entirely too long since I did something special for Kris.  I recognized I was becoming disgruntled with me not being the center of his attention.  With me not being catered to or lavished with some fun surprise.  I was focusing on me.  After all, I AM growing a person, right? 

In my discontentedness, I began to evaluate myself as a spouse.  Have I thought beyond myself lately to do anything out of the ordinary for Kris? 

I knew the answer. 

So, I made a choice to step outside myself, my wants, my stuff and do something all about him.  Because, I love him.  I love being married to him.  HE matters.

In serving my husband this way, my discontentment seemed to fade.  Because, I served him.  This is true in most every area of our life.  When we step outside of our stuff and serve something or somebody else, we take our eyes off of that stuff. 

And, we become content – fulfilled – again.

It’s how Jesus Christ lived His life.  He so loved us that HE gave.

It was a great time together.  He makes me laugh.  Really laugh.  When I asked him Saturday night to carry me to bed, he responded this way, despite the look of fear in his eyes:

“Uh, okay.  Just let me stretch a little first.”

Oh, I love that man.


Filed under giving, gratitude, Love, Marriage, pregnancy

Gifts We Can Give.

I realized something kind of huge last week.

There are areas I don’t serve my husband where I should. 

It’s true.  I recognized this in myself after I sighed at his request for me to go to his office and check the mail.  Check.The.Mail.  Sounds miniscule, I know.  It just seems that with two kids in school, one on the way, and compounding lists to complete, driving twenty minutes one way is not something I want to do.  So, I sigh.  And, I run these office errands with great disdain. 

God convicted me of my attitude in running these little office errands.  He made me painfully aware that I’m not serving my husband in this way.

There are things I’m not going to want to do in my marriage.  But, if I look at those things as a gift I can give my husband, it changes my attitude.  As a matter of fact, I become excited, because I GET to give Kris this gift.

So, the next time your spouse needs something from you, and you are resistant in obliging, remember this:  it’s a gift you can give him.  Or her. 

And, that my friends, keeps the home fire a burnin’. 

Is there a gift you can give your spouse?


Filed under giving, Marriage

Extreme President Make-Over

I’m coming down from a sugar high from the massive amounts of Valentine treats collected by my children.  So, y’all bear with me.  I’m going to pretend the Christmas holidays are just now ending and make a resolution to eat healthier; forsaking all sugars until pounds I do part.  Selah and Amen.

It’s President’s Day.

What better way to honor our presidents than these completely respectable, life-like crafts?


I had to take a second look at George Washington there.  It’s hard to distinguish if it’s Washington I’m seeing or my great-aunt Kate with rollers in her hair.  In any case, I cannot tell a lie.  I love those kids.  I love this country. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.”  While you or I may never be president of the United States, we can choose to live a life that is beyond ourselves.  A life that is rich in service.  A life that is rich in love.  I would hate to know that I lived my life only concerned for my own needs and wants. 

I pray the same prayer over my children every night.  In part of that prayer, I ask God that they “may always be a blessing to people.”  Because, I know that in living a life that is life-giving, that there will be life in their years. 



Filed under Kid Stuff, life, making an impact