Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WOW God Wednesday: Headed Back to China

Let me just cut to the chase and avoid any kind of introduction. I don't want to bore you with a huge build up, I would rather just tell you how awesome God is right up front!

Jon is going to China for Aric and Rachel's wedding!!


Did you hear me? Jon is going to China for Aric and Rachel's wedding!!

Alright, you are probably wondering how this happened, so here are some details. This past Christmas when Rachel told us she was engaged Jon and I had decided that it would be next to impossible for us to go to her wedding in China. Don't get me wrong...we wanted to, but financially we could not afford another trip to China. We were planning to attend one of the receptions they were having in the states in August.

But GOD!!

A couple weeks ago, after attending our friend's wedding I really began praying that Jon would be able to go to his sister's wedding. I knew that we could never pay for both of us to go, but maybe we could swing something for Jon. So I prayed and prayed and begged God to some how let Jon go to his sister's wedding. This is a once in a lifetime event that I did not want him to miss out on.

One afternoon as I was cleaning and found some cash in an envelope in our closet. I really did not think anything of it, because I thought that it could not be more than $20.00. I was so wrong!

Jon had emailed his Uncle Gary to find out how much it would cost to fly to China with one of his companion passes. Jon told me that Gary said it would be $700 for Jon to fly from Dallas, TX to Bejing, China.

As we were discussing how we would come up with this kind of money I remember the envelope that I had found the day before. I ran to our room to count how much was in there. To our surprise it was $680!! That is just $20 shy of what we needed for Jon's ticket!! WOW GOD!!

On top of all of this, Jon was able to get time off from his new job to attend his sister's wedding.

We still have to pay for tickets from Bejing to Chengdu, but I believe that God will continue to provide the money we need for Jon's trip. We are so thankful to Jon's Uncle Gary who has been generous enough to share his companion passes with Jon.

I am so happy that Jon will be able to go and be in his sister's wedding! We are humbled by how God continues to provide for us financially.

We need your prayers for Jon as he travels. In one week, Jon is flying standby to get to China. This means that he does not have a guaranteed seat on the plane. Please pray that he is able to make all his connections in time to attend the wedding. Thank you for praying!

Just for fun I added here are some recent pictures of Aric and Rachel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Worth a Listen....How to Fight Fair


I am a huge fan of Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott. I was excited when I found this Focus on the Family's daily broadcast featuring this incredible couple!

This is the first Focus on the Family's daily broadcast that I have ever listened to and I think it will be a wonderful source for great teaching on marriage, family and spiritual growth.

This message by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott is on fighting fair. While directed at married couples, the truths they share about dealing with conflict are valuable in every type of relationship. They talk about using conflict to your advantage by allowing it to shed light on your relationship.

Here are the links to listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

How to Fight Fair Part 1
How to Fight Fair Part 2

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Guest Book

When we first got married Jon thought it would be neat to have a guest book in our home. Whenever new people would come over to our house we could have them sign it. Then in the future we could look back at all the people that had been in our home.

Like I said, this was an idea that Jon had when we first got married over 4 1/2 years ago! Ever since we have been been searching for a guest book. I didn't want something too plain, too boring, or too expensive. All the the guest books that we had found up until this point have not met our/my criteria.

However, that all changed this weekend!!

This past Saturday, Jon and I went out on a date. We decided it would be fun to hit up all of the Christian bookstores and browse! Yes, we really like bookstores that much. While we were at Lifeway I went to see what they had hidden in their clearance section. To my surprise I found this guest book. There was not a clearance sticker on it and I thought it had been placed back there by mistake, but Jon told me to take it up front any way to find out how much it cost.

When the cashier did the price check he told us that it was $1.69! I could not believe it!! I am so thankful that God provides for us!! Also, I just want you to notice the pretty cover! Our God is good!

Our new guest book!!

So pretty!!

Now you all have to visit our home, so that you can sign our guest book!! Even if you have been there before, you need to come back to sign the guest book!

We hope you can visit soon!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flashback Friday: Jon's First Flight Job

Jon's last day at work with LeTourneau University is coming up this next week on June 30!! As a result I thought I could use this flashback as a way to express our gratitude for the job that Jon was blessed with at the university.


It seems like just yesterday that we were praying for a full-time flight job for Jon. We prayed and sought the Lord about whether or not we should move out of Longview. We begged God to provide Jon with the perfect job. On, May 7, 2010, our prayers were answered when Jon received a job as a flight instructor at LeTourneau University. To read more from that day, click here.

There are so many things that we are thankful for that I will just share two of them with you.

I am so thankful that my husband gets to fly an airplane everyday. There are many pilots who cannot find work and end up getting a full-time job in a different field. However, it is a blessing to know that everyday Jon has the opportunity to fly which is what he truly loves to do.

We are so thankful for how God has provided for us during this time. We are confident that God will continue to provide for our every need.

Jon will begin his new job in July. If you would like to read more about his new job, click here. We are so excited about this new opportunity! Please continue to keep Jon in your prayers as he is studying about the new airplanes he will be flying.



Visit Lauren for more flashbacks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Because I am Loved

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This morning my heart is tired and weary. I am not going to get into all the whys at the moment, because I am still trying to process them. However, I will ask that you would pray for me. I feel like I am in the fight of my life and Satan is relentless. He is attacking my heart, my mind, my marriage, my self-esteem, and more.

But God is so good! Even in the midst of being overwhelmed emotionally, God still comes to me to offer some encouragement and remind me to cast all of my fears and worries on to Him. When I get to the point where I want to give up, God reminds me why I should keep fighting

There is so much in this Proverbs 31 devotional that speaks to my heart. It convicts me, because I crave love and approval from others, I mean who doesn’t? But instead of turning to God, I try to be loved. I feel like I am always trying and never getting anywhere.

God has gently spoken to me this morning as He reminds me to humble myself so that He may lift me up at the proper time.

I am not good at this, but I hope and pray that God will work in my heart to continue to humble me and make me more like Jesus.

"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17

. . . . . . . . . .
Because I am Loved
June 23, 2011
Lysa TerKeurst

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5: 6-7 (NIV)

My friend, Kathrine Lee, once challenged me with this question: Are you doing this because you are loved or so that you’ll be loved?

Her question is a great one.

Doing something “so that we’ll be loved” is a trap many of us can get caught in. When I do something because I’m trying to get someone else to notice me, appreciate me, say something to build me up, or respect me more, my motives get skewed.

I become very “me” focused. I put unrealistic expectations on myself and the other person. And I can get stinkin’ angry when I don’t feel more noticed, appreciated, or respected.

I can get all twisted up and take my frustration out on myself and that person in an unfair way. I typically sabotage my own efforts and bend to discouragement and defeat.
But, doing something because I am loved is incredibly freeing.

I don’t view the relationship from the vantage point of what I stand to gain. Instead, I look at what I have the opportunity to give. I am “God focused” and love directed. I keep my expectations in check. And I am able to lavish the grace I know I so desperately need. I live free from regret with clarity of heart, mind, and soul.

So, how do I know if I’m doing things because I’m loved or so that I will be loved? See how easy or hard it is to apply this Scripture:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5: 6-10 NIV)

Because I am loved, I can humble myself.
When I’m trying to be loved, I must build myself up to look better.

Because I am loved, I can cast all my anxiety on Him.
When I’m trying to be loved, I cast all my anxiety on my performance.

Because I am loved, I can resist Satan and stand firm in my faith.
When I’m trying to be loved, I listen to Satan and stand uncertain trying to rely on my feelings.

Because I am loved, I know God will use this to make me stronger – and I want that.
When I’m trying to be loved, I don’t want to be made stronger – I want life to be easier.

Indeed, I want to pursue life, relationships, and the goals I set from a healthy and free vantage point — because I am loved.

Dear Lord, I don’t want my motives to get skewed today. Help me to not be so ‘me’ focused. I want to live each day knowing that I am loved. Living because I am loved is freeing. I long to stop trying so hard. I know You love me, Lord and that You are making me stronger. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pieces of Our Weekend, III

We had an awesome, but busy weekend. Here are just a few of the highlights!

After work on Friday night Jon and I rode to Dallas with our friends Russell & Ginger. Our mission was to get some good, authentic, Chinese food! We all decided that we would go to Plano, TX. After a long drive, we finally made it to Little Sichuan. The food was so good! It was awesome to be surrounded by Asians! What can I say, we miss China!

We got home really late Saturday morning around 1 am. I tried to sleep as much as I could before I had to get up to lead my very first Weight Watchers meeting. If you want to read more about that, click here.
Me and my first flip chart

That afternoon, Jon got off work early, so that we could attend Matt & Annie's wedding! This wedding was more like a worship service to the Lord. I am so blessed to know these two people who love the Lord so much. It was a beautiful wedding, not just because of the decorations. But the Lord was honored in such an incredible way, that you could not help but feel His presence in that sanctuary!
Matt & Annie's Wedding Party

Sunday was Father's Day! We just want to wish both of our Father's a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!! We are so blessed to have Dads like you! In honor of Father's Day here are some cute baby pictures of us and our Dads.
Here is a picture of Jon and his parents!

Me and my Daddy!

Sunday morning was attended church like we normally do. We watched this hilarious YouTube video, because it was Father's Day. If you have not seen it you need to stop right now and watch it!



When we tried to leave church our car would not start. Our friend, Larry, gave us a jump. We drove straight to an O'Reilly's to see if it was the battery or the alternator. We turned off the car and it would not start again. As it turns out our battery was complete dead. We had to buy another one and replace it before we could go anywhere.

Jon working hard on the car

I just want you to know that I have an amazing husband who stood in the 100 degree weather patiently working to get the old battery out. The entire process took longer than we anticipated, but we tried to have good attitudes about it. I guess God was just trying to exercise our faith to help us learn to trust Him a little bit more than we did the day before.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Final Leader Training

This is me ready for my meeting. Do you like my flip chart?

I just wanted to ask that you all would be praying for me! Tonight is my final Weight Watchers leader training session. I am responsible perform all of the duties as if I were the real leader. The meeting I am leading begins at 5:45pm (central). So if I come to mind, just shoot up a quick prayer for me. I really desire to honor the Lord in everything that I do, therefore pray that all the glory will go to Him!

Thank you!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WOW God Wednesday: Something New

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There is something new on the horizon for the Newsham’s and it is NOT a baby.

…drum roll please…

Jon got a new job!!

That’s right!! God has provided a new flight position for Jon with LS Aviation. Our friend has a small aviation business and he has asked Jon to come and fly for him. We prayed over this decision a lot. We are very familiar with LeTourneau, because it is what we know and we were not even really looking for a different job for Jon. However, God had different plans. He has showed us that this is in fact the direction that He wants us to go in and He has given us peace along the way. We are trying to be faithful to follow where He leads!

Yesterday, Jon turned in his letter of resignation to LeTourneau University, which was bittersweet. He has learned and grown so much as a pilot through the experiences that he has had at LeTourneau. We are so thankful for the job that Jon has had with the university as a flight instructor. However, God has some new things in store for him.

Starting July 1st, Jon will begin his new job with LS Aviation. He will be flying different kinds of planes than the ones he flew at LeTourneau. He also has a lot to learn about professional aviation. This new job also means that Jon will be gone from home more often. However, we are excited about this new opportunity that God has given us!!

We need your prayers as Jon makes this transition.
Pray that Jon will make the shift to these new airplanes smoothly.
Pray that Jon will also be able to be a light to non-believers that he meets while he travels.
Pray that we are able to make the most out of the time we do have together, because he will be gone more often.
Pray that God would continue to provide for us financially as we work to pay off our student loans.

This is a new adventure and we are looking forward to what God is going to teach us along the way.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Readjusting My Priorities

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I do my best to try to be a good and Godly wife. I keep my house clean, do laundry, wash dishes, work, and make dinner. Aren't those all the things a good Godly wife is supposed to do?

This past Sunday, Jon and I had an opportunity to hangout and relax! This does not happen very often, so I was really enjoying our time together. We were watching the NBA finals having a good time, when all of a sudden my To-Do List began screaming at me, as it does so often.

All these thoughts began to bombard my mind, "I need to wash the dishes in the sink", "I need to pack our lunches", "I need to put away the laundry", and "I need to take a shower". Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with guilt, because I was not up and taking care of my responsibilities at home.

I tried to explain to Jon that I needed to go do a few things.

"What do you need to do?", he asked.

I began to recite the my list, when he looked at me and asked if he was on my To-Do List. Defensively, I told him that course he was on my list! That's why I was hanging out with him.

Then he asked, "Why am I not the number one thing on your To-Do List?".

OUCH!

That was not what I wanted to hear, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. What a great question! Why wasn't Jon at the top of my To-Do List, like I thought he was?

I believe that all too often, I think I am putting Jon at the top of my list. I try to keep a clean house and make sure he does not go hungry. However, am I doing these things for him or more for myself? If I were completely honest I would have to admit that I like having a clean house, especially if we have friends that just drop by for a visit. Do you know what matters most to Jon? It's not the laundry being folded and put away. It is that we are able to spend quality time together!

Unfortunately, my own expectations of what a Godly wife should do and be has crowded my mind. I am going to begin to ask the Lord to show me what a Godly wife really looks like. I am also going to pray the God would help me get my priorities straightened out: #1 God, #2 Jon, and #3 everything else.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pieces of Our Weekend

Weight Watchers Training

On Saturday, I had my third session of Weight Watchers leader training! I had such a great time. The people who attend the Saturday morning meeting are so nice! They have been very patient to bare with me as I learn what it is like to be a Weight Watchers leader.

This Thursday, is my last session of leader training. I will be leading the entire meeting by myself. I have to pass this session, before I become a Weight Watchers leader, so please pray for me as I prepare for my meeting.

Our Sunday Walk

For the first time since moving into our apartment, which was over a year ago, Jon and I went for a walk on the trail near our home. It was about 98 degrees outside, which was okay, because the trees provided some much needed shade. We had such a great time talking while we walked the trail. We only walked half of the trail and we will have to walk the other half soon!


Car Trouble

Almost three years ago, God gave me a free car while Jon was gone in Alaska! If you would like to read the entire story, click here. For those three years, we have only had minor problems with our car, Praise the Lord!


However, this morning Jon and I had to take in the car, because it's having some issues. Honestly, I hate having car problems!! Please pray for us that whatever the cost ends up being that God will provide the money we need to pay it!

God gave me encouragement on Sunday morning when I read my Bible that really applied to my life this morning.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6

I am glad that God is giving us the opportunity to apply what we have learned in real life.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flashback Friday: My Top 10 Photos

We had an amazing time in Portland!! So for my flashback today, I want to share with you my top 10 favorite pictures and moments/memories from our trip. These are in no particular order.

Meeting Kenneth and getting to hold him in person!!

Meeting Lucas in person and getting to love on him!!

Spending time in Portland with our friends!!

Being apart of my sister's wedding! It was so wonderful to watch her get married!!

Watching Uncle Jon and Kenneth become buddies!!

Having all the guys together!!

Going out for some girl time to get pedicures!!

Seeing this smile in person!! My heart melts every time I look at this picture!!

Seeing my sisters and the wonderful mothers that they have become!!

Having the entire family together in one place!!


Visit Tia for more flashbacks.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting Up Again

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This morning I got up and went into the living room to read my Bible. You would think that this was a holy time where I could focus on the most important person in my life, the Lord. However, that was not the case this morning. I woke up tired and irritated. It did not help that Jon’s alarm was going off while I was trying to pray, then after I turned that off his alarm, someone’s car alarm started going off outside!

What is up with that? Don’t people know that I am trying to focus and spend time with the Lord.

I wrote in my journal and prayed that God would help me focus and not let me be consumed with all the distractions around me.

I finished my time with the Lord and went to get ready for the day. I had not left my poor attitude with the Lord and therefore the Jon saw a side of me that I am not proud of, because I was moody and disrespectful. These are not words that I want people to use to describe me!

After realizing Jon called me out on how I was acting I began asking God for help and strength by praying that He would change my heart!

I even went to my can of encouragement that I have to pull out a Bible verse praying that it would speak to me. On my note card was Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Then after getting to work I sat down to read the Proverbs 31 devotional that I was too busy to read yesterday. Do you know what it was about? Getting up again and not giving up! Do you see the repetition?

My morning started off bad, but I have a choice to make. I can let that ruin the rest of my day or I can apologize get up and try again.

With God’s help I am going to try again, please pray that I will rely only on God today.

Is there something that you have given up on? I pray that God would help you stand back up and try again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Reading

I have been trying to figure out what to do with my lunch breaks. I want to use the hour that I am given wisely, but I also want to be able to have a break from my work!

Yesterday, I joined GodsRadioGirl's book club on Facebook. GodsRadioGirl is really Lisa Williams from the K-LOVE Morning Show. This summer Lisa is inviting people to read The Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury with her. There are five books in the series: 1. Redemption, 2. Remember, 3. Return, 4. Rejoice, and 5. Reunion.

I considered buying the first book of the series online, but instead I decided that I would try to get it from the Public Library.

Today, on my lunch break I headed down to the Public Library to get a library card and find Redemption. I have never been to the library in this town, so I had a little trouble finding it. Then, when I got there I had a little trouble finding the book. However, my mission was accomplished as I filled out the paperwork for my library card and checked out my book!

This is the book I checked out today!

Me and my book

I was sad that I did not have enough time to start reading. As soon as I get off work from Weight Watchers I am going to go home and start reading it!

This is my first time to ever be apart of a book club! I have never read anything by Karen Kingsbury, I think this is going to be good! I am really excited to start this book and talk about it with others! This also means that I have the perfect lunch activity...reading!!

Click here, if you would like to join GodsRadioGirl's book club and read The Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury this summer.

What books are you going to tackle this summer?

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Hole In My Ceiling...?

I woke up this morning around 5:30am, which is normal for me. I got up and was ready to read my Bible in the living room when I head a noise, "drip". Turning around I looked in the dining room and kitchen to see what could have possibly made this noise, however I really did not make much of an effort to get up and investigate. I opened my journal and I heard the noise again, "drip". Where it that coming from I thought? "Drip"...."drip"...."drip....

This is going to drive me crazy. Who can focus on there Bible with noise like this in the background? "Drip"

Reluctantly, I put my Bible down and got up to search for this "drip". I thought this it was coming from something in Jon's backpack. Instead I was able to determine that this drip was instead coming from our ceiling!


There was a wet spot in the carpet where this drip had been making it's mark for a while. Disoriented from just waking up, I stood there wondering what I should do. "Why do things like this always happen when Jon is gone?", I wondered. Just as a personal side note, I believe that these things happen while Jon is gone, so that I will learn to depend on God in all things.

Slowly I made my way to the laundry closet to pull out a bucket and some rags. I put the bucket on a chair, so that I would be able to wipe up the water spot on the floor.


I went back to my room to read my Bible and prayed that the constant drip, drip, drop would not drive me crazy. Even as I write it is distracting, but oh well there is no sense in getting upset about this.

Look at all the water I have collected so far!


I called our maintenance office and I am sure they will fix this as soon as possible. I keep singing the song, "There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza..." Only in my case, there is not a hole in my bucket, but my ceiling.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flashback Friday: Vivian's Wedding

Today's flashback takes us to Vivian's wedding! Daniel and Vivian were married on May 22nd, 2011. It was such a beautiful wedding. We are so happy have have Daniel be an official part of our family!

Here are some of my favorite pictures taken by Lasting Impressions Photography.

Mom and I trying to get Vivian's dress on without messing up her hair.

Mom lacing up Vivian's dress.

The bride and groom!



Vivian was such a beautiful bride!!

Daniel and his guys!

Vivian and the girls!


Daniel and Vivian with their bridal party.

Vivian and the guys

All the couples

The new family!! Daniel, Vivian, and Kenneth!

Kenneth

Vivian's side of the family

All of the girls and our pedicured toes!

Daniel, Vivian, and their parents

My brother Jake walking Mom down the aisle.

Tyler and Me

Bobbi and Kenneth

Dad and Vivian

Such a beautiful ceremony!


Daniel and Vivian with their beautiful cake!

Vivian and her boy! She is such a great Mommy!


Congrats to the newlyweds!!


Visit Tia for more flashbacks.

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