There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear

No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

I cannot believe that Preacher is gone. This has been without a doubt the longest, saddest, busiest week of my life. Before this week, I wasn't sure how I would handle the passing of my father in law. I told McCauley that I knew I would be sad, but that I wasn't sure how much grieving I would do because of sadness I was feeling, or if it would be more grieving for the rest of my family who was so terribly sad. My thought process here was that I would be more sad for my husband and his family who had enjoyed a lifetime with Preacher, not thinking I would be terribly sad since I had only known him for more than a few years and had only been a part of the family for 4 months.

Whenever Angie came into class last Sunday morning, my heart was instantly gripped with fear. She looked at McCauley & I and said, with tears in her eyes, "We need to go home". While McCauley wrapped up his few last words with the teens, I grabbed Achaya & rushed to the car. What I was feeling was different, was raw, was scary. I didn't make it out of the door to the church before tears filled my eyes. I didn't even know what was going on and my heart was pounding. This was not what I was expecting! We rushed into the back bedroom and all enjoyed precious last moments with Preacher, even though he wasn't aware we were there. We all said our last words, we cried, and we sang. My Preacher, my Hoppy, my precious, precious father-in-law passed at 1:35 that afternoon.

This past week was filled with a variety of emotions. We have experienced some great, joyful times. Laughter has exploded talking about the quirky and funny ways of Rick Austin. Times of remembering Hoppy and things he loved, times of remembering Preacher and things he taught. We have had some very, very sad times. McCauley, Angela, Will and myself went through a Taco Bell drive through earlier this week and were all nearly depressed thinking about the countless numbers of Big Beef Burrito Supremes we have ordered in the past, and how we wouldn't have to order one of those that time around. My heart has broken at the thought that my kids will never know their Hoppy. My heart breaks for my dear mother-in-law. I cannot imagine how I would hurt if I were to lose McCauley, my husband of 4 months, and she lost her husband of 33 years.

I miss him. Thursday afternoon I was home alone and became really sad. Before I got a job, I would come home in the afternoons and Preacher was always there. We may not even be in the same room, but his presence was a comfort. I wished so badly on Thursday afternoon that while I was sitting on the couch He would walk in from his room and say "Hey baby, you need anything?" I will never, ever forget the prayer he had with me as I was walking out to interview for a job that hired me on the spot. I will always treasure the memory of the phone call I got as he was on his way home from the hospital, thanking me for being a part of his family, and for putting up with his crazy son. I told him I just wanted to be a part of his family, and I knew marrying his crazy son was what I had to do to accomplish that. :)

He was an amazing man, one of the Godliest that I knew. Also one of the most loving, compassionate, and caring men I have ever known. It was a blessing to share some time with him on this earth. As much as I hated that McCauley & I had to move out of our trailer and in with his parents, I will eternally be grateful for the extra time that we got to share with him. I know without a doubt God had that planned for a reason. I thank those of you who have offered condolences, I know you are grieving as well. For those of you who didn't know Rick Austin, I am terribly sad for you.

I ask you all to pray for McCauley & I. McCauley has been announced as the interim pastor of the Friendswood Baptist Church. It is an exciting time, but bittersweet because of the circumstances. This new role, if even temporary, will majorly change my life. I'm not going to lie, I'm scared. I'm scared, but I trust God. Please continue to pray for my family, especially Faith. We are all still experiencing very hard times, and believe that God has designated times of grief and are not trying to rush past this time. We still believe that God is right, and give him all the glory. I praise MY Lord, because my Hoppy is no longer in the pain and suffering that he has been in the past few months.

Oh, how I wish I could experience what Hoppy is experiencing now...


Not my will, but as YOU will...

When I got married on August 9th, 2008, I had NO idea the things that God had in store for my life. Some things were good, some not so pleasant, but all planned by our Holy & sovereign God. These are my reflectings.

The week we got back from our honeymoon, Ryan & Kaylan stayed with us like two or three nights in a row. Some might think it is unorthodox to have guests so soon after a wedding, but it was a HUGE blessing for me. I am fully convinced that them staying with us greatly helped me in the transition from Grand Prairie to Friendswood. I am soooo thankful for God moving them to Deer Park, as I have found one of my best friends in Kay.

Not even a month after we were married, Mac & I found out that the man who owned the property that our mobile home sat on was selling the property and that we had until February to either move the trailer. We thought about moving it to another location, or getting a house of our own. We decided to go the house route, and I was extremely excited about this. Then, just one short week after finding this out, Hurricane Ike hit. Since we were living in a mobile home, we were very worried about the damage that could possibly be done. The morning of the day that we evacuated we moved ALL of our belongings out of the trailer, and into a church van & travel trailer. When we got back to Houston, we stayed with my in-laws while deciding what to do about the trailer. It didn't suffer severe damage from the Ike, but all of our belongings were out of it & we were faced with choosing between moving it back in for a few months, or staying out while searching for a new place to make our home. We decided to stay with my in-laws and go ahead and sell the trailer now.

Nothing majorly huge happened immediately after Ike & our move. Amber, Josh & Jossy started coming to church right after Ike - they have been SUCH a blessing to me. I love that Jossalyn with my whole heart. Preacher was already suffering with liver cancer, but he was able to get around pretty well, although he did experience some pretty bad pain. My life was becoming a routine of school & home in the afternoons. I was desperately searching for a job. A few weeks after Ike, as everyone was just getting resettled, we found out that Preacher's liver cancer had spread to bone cancer, and that it was affecting several areas of the bone. This was devestating news, but we immediately began praying for healing. The Lord blessed me with a job, an awesome job with a great boss. Things seemed to be good. Not optimal, but good.

While all of this has been going on, I have heard from several people "I can't believe how strong you are being! You have gone through so much in such a short time, it's unreal." I would hear them, but to me it just seemed like the natural thing was to be strong. I was married to the love of my life, and despite a few setbacks life was GOOD. Leave it to the devil to wreak havoc when I was feeling the strongest and most content with this craziness of a life that I'm living. I really started to struggle. And I mean REALLY struggle. All of a sudden I was discontent with my schooling, discontent with my living situation, discontent with everything going on. As soon as I gave into one of thought of discontenment, it all came crumbling down. And, on top of it all, Preacher's cancer has only gotten worse and his pain has only multiplied.

It wasn't until this week that things started to become better. I had talks with my awesome mom, an amazing friend, and the best husband in the world. And then Thursday morning, in my art class, I listened to a sermon podcast by Mark Driscoll about praying like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. I cannot even begin to explain how much that sermon ministered to me. As Jesus prays that night, he prays "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." As Driscoll preached on this example of prayer from Jesus, my heart was seized. Several times, sitting in class, listening to this sermon, my eyes welled up with tears. I realized several things. I realized the selfishness of how I had acted, and how above all it is HIS will that we need to seek after, not our own. And when it comes to Preacher, if I had my will I would heal his body TWO years ago, but it's not my will, it is as YOU will.

I am unsure really of how to tie this all in. All I know is that I have been ministered to, and my perspective has changed. Many circumstances in my life are not going the way I would want them to go, but I am now going to try on contentment instead of try to hurry things into being MY way. In all that I do, I am now praying for GOD's will to be done, and not my own.

I want to thank anyone, if anyone is reading this, that has been praying for Preacher. We appreciate it so much, and he needs all the prayer that he can get. But, as we all pray for him, let us be careful to pray for God's will to be done above all.


Thought Soup

I have to write something. I need to think. I need to think less, and get my thoughts out somewhere so they won't be swirling in my head so much and giving me a brain-ache. If I were to type out all of my thoughts, you all (if anyone reads this) would think I were a complete crazy person.

I can't even think straight enough to have a complete thought. I have one prevalent thought but I can't get it out. I don't need to have a public online blog -- I need to have a secret diary where i can REALLY write all the thoughts I have. I'm not this crazy.. it's just one of those days.




bank accounts suck. bills suck. having a bill drawn out of your bank account that isn't yours REALLY REALLY sucks. i'm so frustrated. i don't know why it's bothering me so bad. maybe cause we don't have answers right now. we have to wait till tomorrow to really find out if someone is stealing our money or not. and because of this i couldn't buy my art supplies today, because i put a temporary hold on my bank account. so i won't be able to do anything in class tomorrow. i might as well skip.. blahhhlkiodjfkdjsafij afbsf ji fjdbfi i seriously want to scream. but that would seem a little awkward right now.

i like to type but i don't really know what to say. nobody understands me except for married people and younger people, like teenagers. also older people who have been married at one point or another. but besides that -- yeah most people don't understand the new life that comes with marriage. that is really frustrating. when you are constantly blamed or made to feel like you are not allowed to live your married life because your being held down to your old life and expectations are held for who you used to be. blakdjfkdjfkdfbdjka

maybe this doesn't make sense. it makes sense to me.. i wish everyone was on my level. i like to write and type -- i already said that before. i could type forever seriously.. which is why i need a job. where i can type. then i wouldn't feel like such a bum. please find me a job?

could i complain anymore? God is GREAT to me.
1. i have lived for free since i got married
2. i married the most amazing guy in the entire world
3. i have such good friends in my new home already
4. my new church has reached out to me with open arms & loving hearts
5. i have a pretty dang good family

i should stop complaining and count my blessings more... i should get off the computer and go read my Bible. i want to study esther again. she was such an awesome woman. i pray that God can use me like he used her. i pray that my life here has purpose & that i use the abilities God has enabled me with to serve that purpose

i love achaya .. if i could adopt her i would in the blink of an eye. in all seriousness


Hold me fast, let me stand..

in the hollow of thy hand. Keep me safe, till the storm passes by..."

Well.. I've survived my first hurricane! The picture to the left is the glass from our shattered window -- about the worst of the damage we sustained so praise GOD for that! I really thought that we weren't going to have a home to return to but HE really provided. Especially considering the homes around us -- one has the walls torn open and insulation showing through, the one to the right of us had part of it's roof ripped up, and others down the road had damage from trees falling to being completely demolished. So all praise goes to HIM for what HE has done for us.
Besides hurricane news, not much is going on my life. My school is closed "until further notice" and our power is still out. So we are currently staying at my in-law's house... which isn't bad, I just miss having a home of our own. I'm not big on blogging. I have to get a more interesting life.



"married life"

i really am not sure how to blog, because i feel dumb writing things. i feel especially mad at myself today, because i've seen other peoples blogs and they post pictures as they update loved ones on their lives and this morning before leaving to watch achaya cheer at a football game, i saw my camera's USB cord in my purse and took it out, thinking i don't need this. well, now i'm at the church (my only internet outlet for the time being) and thinking i would love to upload the pics that me and mac took last night and that i took this morning so i could show you as i update you on my life.. guess i can just do that later!

my first week of married life is over - it was a very interesting week. we had our first houseguests stay with us on sunday and monday night and that was a whole lot of fun for us.. the rest of the week i have just been spending my time at the church with mccauley or at home reading or watching arrested development (our new favorite on dvd tv show) i REALLY need to find a job... monday afternoon is dedicated to that. i emailed my resume to FIVE places online, but have heard nothing back.

the people at friendswood are REALLY great to me, but it is really different from calvary. i miss everyone pretty bad -- and am so excited to see them next weekend!

besides that, there's not much to update on. we went to achaya's football game today and she was so cute it made me yearn for motherhood.. but don't worry, i still faithfully take birth control at 11:30 every night.


here comes the bride..

getting married..




picture didn't work the first time around .. i love him
woo-hoo i changed colors


trying the whole blogosphere thing out.. i'm pretty interested in reading blogs, i've just never done one for myself.. well, not since xanga if that counts. it should be an interesting ride.

getting married in just a few days... yay

i tried posting a picture -- not sure if it worked