Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Weekend in the Metroplex

Howdy blog folks. My mom, dad, and I just got home from a wonderful trip to the Dallas Metroplex. Boy, was it fun, relaxing, and just what I needed! The fam decided last week to drive up to wander around the new Cabela's store they just opened in Fort Worth. It was a lot of fun, but there were a gazillion and one people that had the exact idea we had, I guess great minds think alike:) This store was incredible they had tons of stuffed things on the wall and in "natural habitats" for people to see. An added bonus was that on Friday night Laura, my brother's girlfriend, called and asked if we would like to meet her parents who live in the Arlington area. When we arrived in Arlington, our stomachs were growling, so we decided to eat at our favorite Metroplex restaurant, La Madeliene, and Laura, Grant, Laura's mom, and her brother Andrew met us there. It was so fun. After our feet were screaming at us in Cabela's, we all decided it was time for a break and some dinner so we called the Pattersons to see if they had any dinner plans. We were invited to their house and after we visited a little while we went to Saltgrass Steakhouse in Arlington. All in all, it was absolutely wonderful to meet Laura's sweet parents. They were such lovely people and we are so thankful God has brought Grant and Laura into each other's lives. Today we slept in a little and went back to La Madeliene for brunch. We then decided to poke around Grapevine Mills a little while which is always really fun. I love to shop! We did not stop there. We then proceeded to go to Pier One, one of my mom and I's favorite stores ever, where I got to quench my candle obsession with the purchase of one called Biscotti. It is out of this world! We then decided to make one more trip to Cabela's to pick up something for Grant, and by this time, people were getting out of church and making their way into the store. After our second trip into Cabela's for the weekend, we decided to head back to A-town, where we are getting ready for company coming in for my great-grandmother's memorial service on Wednesday. I am very thankful for little excursions like this where the whole family gets to recharge the batteries. Well, I'm off to see what needs to be done. Too ta loo.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cabela's Superstore

Tomorrow is a special day. Well, at least to the men in my family. The Cunningham men are hunting and fishing enthusits. Basically they enjoy anything that is performed outdoors. So to any other red blooded American male, raised in Texas, the Grand Opening of a massive Cabela's Superstore as close as the Metroplex is a dream come true. That means that this store is just a mere two hours away from Abilene. I imagine Grant and my dad will frequent this shrine to everything that a male would consider a good time. This Cabela's Superstore is supposed to be even bigger than the Bass Pro Shop, which happens to be Grant's favorite store of all time. All I can say is Boys, have fun! My mom and I will at least have La Madeline, our favorite French bistro in the entire world. Any trip to Dallas is fun and relaxing with my family and I can't wait to go!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Grandma Lillie's New Life

This morning at 1:43 a.m. my great-grandmother, Lillie Averitt, passed away entering the courts of Heaven after living a long 97 years. Sweet Grandma left on her own terms, and we all expected nothing less. This was a woman who was very, very strong-willed and determined. She was a native of San Angelo and held to the very strong core values that make West Texans who they are. Her family made their home on a small farm a couple of miles right outside San Angelo, her brother Ace and his wife Billie still call the farm home. I have to be honest, it has been such a blessing to witness the way in which my grandmother and my mom have compassionately served this precious woman. It has also been very difficult in these last days. She was uncontrollably restless and panicky as she awaited the angels. Grandma grew up in the era of the idea of completing works to enter Heaven, she did not know the grace that God extends freely to those who claim his promise and his way. It has been such an incredibly long road for Grandma Lillie to know complete physical healing! These last few days have been really hard for me to sit back and watch because I had to watch my precious grandma work so hard. To see a woman who has always been hearty and healthy whittle down to mere skin and bone was absolutely unbearable. She was not completely calm and comfortable until 12:00 this morning. She knew comfort for the last hour and a half of her ordained time. One sweet picture that Mom told me about was right before she died when she raised up both of her hands as if she was being welcomed by a family member that had gone before her. As she was reaching out Mom was telling her to find her husband, her mama and daddy, my Mom's first husband, Glenn, and many other cherished people. Now I imagine she is sitting in the lap of Jesus. I hope tomorrow she gets a personal tour of the mansion that has been lovingly prepared for her. Enjoy Heaven, Grandma. Give God a kiss for me. We love you and we know that you are watching down with new joy and fulfillment.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Will and Anna

Today our home was filled with women oohing and aahing over two 6 week old fraternal twins. They are the blessed new additions to Kelly and Megan Cheek, who are the daughter and son-in-law of one of my mentors, Jayma Savage. Today was a celebration of the fruition of a long-awaited dream. Kelly and Megan have been married for five or six years and they have not been able to get pregnant on their own, so naturally they decided to adopt from Christian Homes. The most miraculous part of this sweet story is the fact that their first adoption fell through. The first time Kelly and Megan tried to adopt a baby, they had to travel all the way to Rochester, New York and at the last second, before the papers were to be signed and everything was to become official, the birth mother decided to keep the baby. So about a month went by and it had always been Megan's dream to have twins. About that time Christian Homes let the Cheeks know that a birth mother was expecting twins and that they would need to place these precious babies soon. Well, the birth mother leafed through the placement book and chose to place her twins with Kelly and Megan. On April 7, 2005 Anna Marie and Wilson Gabriel were placed in the Cheek family. It has been so sweet to hear stories of this precious, godly couple becoming new parents! God is so faithful and so full of wonderful surprises! Welcome to the world Will and Anna. We love you.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sickness and Senior Sunday

For the last week I have been sick. I mean really sick. It seems I have a full fledged sinus infection. I decided yesterday that I would not sing in church because my throat was so incredibly sore and it was really hard to be completely silent because today was one of my favorite Highland Sundays. Today we celebrated our 48 graduating seniors with a service that was entirely planned by them. Our worship leaders were Steven Moore and Mark Hadley. It was entergetic and a lot of fun, so as you can see, I was very sad that my voice would simply not cooperate. One really touching part of the service to me was when Nicole Pollock, a radiant young woman who has been confined to a wheelchair all of her life, was presented with her Senior Bible. At this point in the service, the three Huddle Leader couples came down off of the stage and surrounded her with hugs and warm wishes. I was a total wreck! I tend to be highly emotional during this particular Sunday, that is not to say that I can't turn tearful at the drop of a hat! I was richly blessed today in the midst of my sniffles and sore throat to know that God was in our midst and that He would provide a hedge of protection around this amazing Class of 2005. Be blessed today.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Target, Gilmore Girls, and Phantom of the Opera

Well, my summer has begun very nicely. Over the weekend my mom, my nana, my aunt, and I went to Target, one of my favorite stores of all time. There is just something about this particulat store. I absolutely love it. Target has everything that a person might need or want. As I was carefully perusing the aisles, I came upon the newly released season of my favorite TV show, Gilmore Girls. As you might imagine, this filled me with glee, for you see, my first summer days could be filled with watching my favorite episodes of the third season. For those of you who have not seen this show, new episodes air on the WB on Tuesday nights at 7:00. Any college age girl who knows what is good for her watches this addictive show. I was given the first two seasons on DVD for Christmas this past year. From the pilot episode, my mom and I have been hooked. We watch this show religiously. I thought the fun was complete after I found these DVD's but I was wrong. Shortly after depositing my find in my mom's basket, I went back to see what other great things were in store for me. I always enjoy checking out the selection of newly released videos and DVD's. I am a movie lover. To my astonishment, I happened upon The Phantom of the Opera with Emmy Rosman, the eighteen year old phenomenon who played Christine flawlessly. She is incredibly talented. Phantom is my favorite musical of all time. I have never seen it on Broadway, but the music is absolutely incredible! I gave Phantom to mom for Mother's Day. Anyway, as you can see, I enjoyed my first weekend of summer. We even enjoyed some great family time. Be blessed today. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

This entire last week while I was studying for final exams, I was trying to figure out what gift to get my mom to ensure that her Mother's Day was extra special. As is usual for me on special occasions, I made mental notes of appropriate Mother's Day tokens of love and appreciation. I tried to get valuable information out of her, but she always says that she doesn't need anything. Like that is supposed to be helpful! Come on, that is not what a daughter wants to hear! One of the most cherished gifts to her is to receive a letter from me expressing my love for her. She tells me all the time that I have a gift of writing and that words speak more loudly than material gifts. I am somewhat daunted when she wants letters because I don't know where to begin. Her influence has been far too great to put into words. For the past 22 years, beside Jesus, my mom has been my most trusted and precious friend, mentor, teacher, and confidant. She has provided a haven for me in which to cry, laugh, hope, doubt, and to celebrate. With the wisdom and guidance of the Lord, my mom has helped to cultivate the fruits of the Holy Spirit within me, she has helped shape my prayer life. she has taught me to unreservedly feast upon the richness that an intimate relationship with the Lord brings to life. My mom has shown me through the fruit and the gift of her own journey of faith what unfathomable joy and peace there is in surrendering my life unto an all sufficient Creator and Sustainer. My mother has also shown me how to create and maintain a beautiful Christ-centered home. I have learned hospitality from a woman who embodies authenticity, generosity, and gentleness to her core. My mother, Cheryl, has been the most abundant, Spirit-filled blessing of my life and for her I can only be eternally grateful. She has helped make me the young woman I am today and the woman of God that I hope and pray that I am becoming day by day. I love you Mama! Be blessed today.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the time to come. She speaks with wisdom, faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed.

Friday, May 06, 2005

One Down, One to Go

Well, I finished my next to last final at 10:40 this morning. I have another test at 12:00. Hopefully it won't be too hairy. Summer is so close I can taste it. I am almost free! I have a quick prayer request for whomever may wander by my blog today. Please pray for Jonathan Shaub. This is an incredible young man who was hit by an oil truck about three months ago. While there is no visible infection in his leg anymore, he has suffered an incredible fever. 104 degrees to be exact. The many people who have been on their knees for him know beyond doubt, that this is a tool of Satan to breed discouragement and doubt. Just a few days before we all learned that Jonathan was experiencing very visible, tangible steps of victory. Please get on your knees for this servant of Christ and his precious family. They are all hungry for mercy, healing, peace, and wholeness. Sharon, Jonathan's mom is staying with him in New York, while his dad is in Nashville where the family calls home, and his sisters are finishing up the semester. I don't remember where Nicole and Megan are in school. Jonathan is a student at Vanderbilt. THank you for visiting today. Be blessed as you enjoy the Lord.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Few of My Favorite Things

This week I have been reminded of so many blessings I have to be thankful for. Here is a list of my favorite things, with the blessings mixed in. The life I live is such an abundant joy.

1. My relationship with Jesus Christ
2. Cherished, longstanding friendships
3. My close-knit family
4. West Highland Terriers
5. West Texas sunsets
6. The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network
7. Chris Tomlin's music
8. Intercession
9. Mary Engelbreit
10. Highland Church of Christ- my church home
11. My baby cousin Emma Beth
12. red, sage, and gold- a few of my favorite colors
13. having a younger brother- I love you, Grant
14. having so many cherished mentors willing to disciple my journey of faith
15. witnessing my parents marriage
16. having my grandparents in Abilene
17. my Yorkie Rose
18. being renewed and challenged by Scripture
19. New beginnings
20. God's infinite love
21. roses, calilillies, and hydrengias
22. having my mom as a precious friend
23. Bath & Body Works
24. having my daddy as an elder at Highland
25. having Mark Lewis as a friend, mentor, and my personal elder
26. being raised in Abilene, Texas
27. being able to attend ACU
28. Ephesians 3:14-21, Provers 3:5-8, Isaiah 58:11, 1 Peter 3:4
29. Knowing that God is at work in me
30. Living in joy, praise, and ceasless thanksgiving to an infinite Creator and Sustainer
31. Knowing that Jesus longs to be my daily bread and that I have the honor of courting the King of my heart.

This life is full of both simplicity and hardship, the goal of all of it is to shape us, to challenge us, and to make us into what we were created to become through Jesus. Be blessed as you count the blessings of your journey.

Monday, May 02, 2005

4 Days and Counting....

Finally, in just four days I will be free of deadlines and schedules! I am ready for a three month break. Summer cannot come fast enough. The feeling of freedom is all over campus. It seems that students, faculty, and staff can all feel the need for a long summer break of rejuvination and relaxation. I don't have any huge plans for the break other than a mission trip to Eugene, Oregon in June with several families from Highland. We are traveling to Eugene as a part of the Into All the World campaign. I cannot wait until we get a chance to worship with Christ Fellowship. I am really looking forward to being reunited with Matt and Sarah Lynn Grubb. I really miss Matt and Sarah Lynn's presence in the Highland body. I have also heard of some great ministry opportunities such as Hosea which is a homeless shelter for teens. I heard about this particular ministry from Steve and Chelsie Sargent as a result of Steve sharing some tidbits from spending two months in Eugene before beginning graduate school at ACU. I have heard incredible things about the people that are a part of the Christ Fellowship congregation and I cannot wait to see and meet them for myself. Be blessed these last few days of the semester as we finish tests and look forward to a very effective, productive, restful summer break. Come sweet summer come!