Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday morning we awoke to the beautiful sight of fresh snow! It snowed until about 3:00 in the afternoon--just long enough to cover all of Hutchinson with a white blanket of snow and make everything Christmasy! Here are some pictures of us in the snow. Boy was it cold and windy!

In the afternoon we went to the Cosmosphere which is the science museum in Hutchinson. It was very interesting and it was nice to find something to do indoors:)

That evening Kyle and I went to his friend from high school Nic's house where we had dinner and played games with his wife Tiffany. They have two very cute little boys--Carson and Coen. We had a great time just hanging out with them!

Sunday morning we were able to attend the church that Kyle went to when he would come home from college in the summer. The people were so kind and the sermons were rich and convicting. We both had a great time fellowshipping with the body of Christ and hope that we end up in a church as biblical as Grace Bible of Hutchinson. Kyle was able to see many old friends which was a blessing.

This afternoon we went to the Kansas Underground Salt Mine. We had an interesting tour 650 feet below the ground! Here are some pictures of that as well.

Tonight we are going to a Christmas concert at the Sanderson's friend's church. We are having a great time and are looking forward to our first Christmas together here in Kansas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Stick and stones....well actually, just sticks

4:30am was the time that we had to wake up to make our flight to Kansas on Thursday morning. The airport was the busiest we had ever seen with travelers flying to all different parts of the world to see family and friends for Christmas. Our destination was Wichita, Kansas to join the rest of the Sandersons for the holidays. Apparently not too many other people wanted to go to Kansas this year because once we made it past the incredibly long line to security, we found ourselves at a very sparse gate where the plane is so small they board everyone at one time. We made it onto our flight in time and it was smooth sailing all the way to Wichita. Kyle and I had to pack three suitcases to fit all our clothing and the many Christmas gifts we brought for everyone. Once we collected our bags we found Debra, Kyle's sister, faithfully waiting for us right outside the baggage claim. As we were driving home we enjoyed the beautiful scenery thanks to the huge ice storm they had just a few days before. Here are some pictures of the Sanderson's house.

That night we enjoyed just hanging out with the other half of our family that we dont' get to see as often. The next day we slept in and went to Roy's for lunch. I wish I got a picture of Roy's because my description surely won't do it justice. They told me it was a BBQ place and so being a Southern California girl all my life, I was picturing a place like Rattler's or Wood Ranch. Well, Roy's was more of a backwoods southern BBQ. It was the tiniest place you'd ever seen with only a few sit down tables very close together. You wait in line to order your food with a very simple menu...BBQ, BBQ, and more BBQ. Oh yeah, they had BBQ beans as well. The lady who took our order knew the Sanderson family well and was as sweet as pie with her dainty southern accent. She took our order and added up our total with a hand held caculator. I can't remember the last time I saw someone do that! I ordered a half a BBQ brisket sandwich and boy was it delicious! With it's small town charm and delicious food, I can surely see why this place is a favorite for the Sandersons. Thanks again to the ice storm, we spent a good part of the afternoon picking up huge branches that had been splattered all across the Sanderson's yard. You would not believe how much the trees were demolished from the storm. It took Dad, Kyle, Debra, and me a good few hours just to haul the large branches to the front of the house where the city will pick them up later in the week. We didn't even attempt to pick up all the sticks that now cover the lawn and driveway. Here are some pictures of it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here!

My favorite time of year is the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the cold weather, hot drinks, Christmas lights, holiday aromas, Christmas name it! I LOVE Christmas! Poor Kyle has to patiently endure me as I get in "all things Christmas" mode. He does a good job of getting into as best he can:) We have decided to make it a tradition to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. So, on Friday we headed off to Target (we are a poor seminary family you know) and purchased ourselves a stunning 6 foot Christmas tree. Okay so it's not the prettiest tree you've ever seen with it's large gaps all around and needles falling all over the place, but it's ours and we love it! We enjoyed playing the Carpenter's Christmas CD as we decorated with the few ornaments that we have. I was able to get all our Christmas shopping done that morning and much of the wrapping finished so we even have gifts under the tree! Teamed up with our stockings hung on the wall (for lack of a fireplace), white lights bordering the inside of our apartment, and wreath hanging on our front door, we are definitely in Christmas time mode. Here are some pics of us decorating our beautiful tree:)

Our 1 Year Anniversary

On November 11, we celebrated our one year anniversary! The Friday before our anniversary, we went out to dinner at Chevy's for some yuumy Mexican food, and then we went to Pantages Theater to see the musical Wicked. We both really enjoyed the show and had a great time together. On our actual anniversary, my parents treated us to a nice brunch at The Smokehouse. We planned on watching our wedding on DVD after that, but our plans were interrupted when the power went out at our apartment. We were able to watch the DVD a couple of days later though. Then at bible study the next week, we had to feed each other cupcakes in honor of our anniversary! Here are some pictures. We are so thankful for the past year. The Lord has truly blessed us by giving us each other.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Belle and Tigger

More of my adorable niece and nephew!

Shelby as the most beautiful Belle!

And Jason as the cutest Tigger!

And I'm really not biased! Don't you agree that they are the cutest children ever? :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My sister just sent me these pictures of Jason and I had to post them!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shopping for Time

Our little book club will be beginning our next book, Shopping for Time by the Mahaney girls in just a couple of weeks. This is a very short little book and yet it's topic applies to every detail of our lives! We are excited to learn how to be better stewards of our time and yet I think we're all a little scared of the high standard we know this book will remind us of! So let me know if you want to read along with us!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Hospitable Heart Opened

Well, we have officially finished our book. I definitely enjoyed it, some chapters more than others. This chapter on Lydia seemed very short to me, but I did really like it. One line I underlined in this chapter said, “Lydia was a remarkable woman who appeared suddenly and unexpectedly in the biblical narrative, reminding us that while God’s sovereign purposes usually remain hidden from our eyes, He is always at work in secret and surprising ways to call out a people for His name.” I think one thing that has really stuck out to me in every chapter we’ve read, is how from a human perspective, it is almost surprising to see the women He has chosen to follow him. A young teenage girl to be Christ’s mother, a demon-possessed woman to be one of His most adamant followers, women who struggle with deep discontentment and selfishness—women just like us! How gracious God is to choose any of us to follow Him! None of us deserve it yet God has given us the most wonderful gift imaginable—salvation!
I have been so reminded of that precious gift as we’ve read this book and also have hope for the unbelievers in our lives who do not yet know our Lord, but who are just as much candidates for His grace as we were! This chapter really focuses on how God was the one who opened Lydia’s heart. How foolish I am to forget that at times. And once the Lord had opened up her heart, she was so faithful and obedient. What an encouragement this chapter was!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Working and Worshiping

I was very challenged by this chapter on Martha and Mary. The undeniable fact is—I am a Martha. I have heard people say this so many times as an excuse for why they are not good at ministering to people’s hearts and why they are lacking in passion for the Lord and I do not say this to offer such an excuse. I mean it only in that I find it very easy to serve people and be hospitable to them…so much so that I forget the good part…worshiping at the feet of my Savior and really having a passion in my service and caring deeply for others souls. I was both encouraged and convicted by this chapter. I was encouraged because John took the opportunity to highly esteem Martha’s heart for service. It is a good thing to be hospitable…it is a gift that the Lord has given to some. Her desire to serve the Lord and her guests was completely pure and wonderful…at first. But she allowed her service to become self-focused rather than others focused. Her desire should have been to serve others so that they could fully enjoy and take in the presence of their Lord. She should have delighted in being able to serve others in this way. But another thing that she should have done is left everything that could be left till later so that she could also enjoy the fellowship with Christ! The dishes can wait, but what a unique opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus! That is where I struggle most. I confess I do sometimes struggle with having bitterness when I serve…like Martha did with Mary. (She even accused the Lord of not caring that Mary wasn’t helping her! Martha Peace pointed out in our conference on Saturday that she was actually trying to manipulate the Lord!) But even more than that I struggle in delighting to do dishes rather than delighting in having sweet fellowship with the body of Christ. My gracious husband reminded me of this just the other day when we had our Bible Study over for dinner and I started to clean up while they were still there. I was joyful in my cleaning and my heart to do it was pure, but I was missing out on something so much better. He said to me, “The dishes can wait till later. Come join everyone out here!” Oh how my heart misses out on so much because of my tendency to be task focused rather than others focused. This is something that the Lord has been teaching me for several months now and I have been sharing with the girls from my Bible Study. It is something Kyle is very good at and I want to learn from him! I want to continue to be hospitable, but for the purpose of being focused on others and knowing when being focused on them actually means letting things get messy and instead ministering to their hearts!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

For Kim Duran Duran

I decided to post all my previous comments about the book Twelve Extraordinary Women because Kim Dandurand acutally said they encouraged her! Praise God! And thank you for your encouragement my faithful reader:) I can't wait till you get your blog up and running!

Thought I could also take a moment to post some pictures of my two favorite children in the world too:)

Shelby is such a big girl!

She even drives now!

And Jason...well, he loves to swim naked:)

Here is his very funny face.

Finding the Water of Life

I did like this chapter on the Samaritan woman, but felt it was a little more intellectual rather than applicational than some of the other chapters. I was surprised to learn how the woman was already drawn to the Lord before she even met Him. John talks about how she didn’t lie when she said she had no husband, but rather seemed ashamed of her sin. Jesus actually commended her for speaking truthfully! I was struck by his compassion over her even though she was living such a sinful lifestyle. And her response was exactly what we would hope to see in anyone we witness to! Of course Jesus knew her heart—something we cannot do when we interact with people. But we should have the hope that God can save anyone just like that if it is His desire to do so. I thought it was really encouraging to see her response and to remember how compassionate God is to sinners…to us!

The Faithful Witness

I am very curious why John chose to write about Anna rather than one of the many other women in the Bible who seem to have more relevance. What about Esther or Elizabeth? Yet John calls Anna the most faithful of all these women because she prayed and fasted for over 60 years faithfully. I guess that does make her quite extraordinary doesn’t it?? Like Karyn and Denise, I was very convicted about my prayer life. I have gone through good times of prayer and dry times of prayer throughout my life…and I am currently in a very dry time! My prayer life can barely even be characterized as weak right now as I find it difficult to devote even five minutes in the morning in reverent prayer. I justify it by saying that I will pray throughout the day…which I sometimes do, but not usually. The truth is, I must do both! I must begin my day with a time devoted to the Lord in prayer…giving only Him my attention at that time. Then I must pray without ceasing all day long. Please pray for me in this and hold me accountable. I desire to be intimate with the Lord and I cannot do this if I am not committed to prayer.

A Portrait of Feminine Grace

I finished reading the chapter on Hannah this afternoon and I was thoroughly blessed by it! I had no idea what an amazing woman Hannah was. I loved how John went into the love she had for her husband, for heaven, and for her children. I loved that her desire to have kids was purely to glorify God and that was proven in her request to God and her fulfillment of her vow to Him. I loved so many things about her and pray to God that I can be a wife and mother like her! One thing I was especially encouraged by was the fact that John says she was so pure when everything around her was so wicked (or something like that). He was saying that her faith in God and devotion to Him was especially refreshing because there were very few people like that during her time. How amazing! I find myself so dependent on my circumstances and my church and fellowship and what I'm learning...but she was faithful despite her unfavorable circumstances! Not to mention she desperately wanted to have children but was unable to and was taunted by her husband's other wife! What an amazing example of faithfulness she was. I pray to God that I would have such faith.

Loyalty and Love

One thing I really appreciated about this chapter on Ruth is that it gave me a new look at Ruth's love and loyalty to God and not just to Naomi. I have always read this story and thought that when she says, "Your people shall be my people; and your God, my God," that it was showing her loyalty to Naomi and not necessarily to God. That if Naomi had served a false God, she still would have followed her and made this false God her God. But John explains it so well that this was an act of faith for Ruth and she was a believer...and that it must have been Naomi's powerful testimony that the Lord used to save her! How amazing is that? Your testimony can be used by God to save your daughter-in-law...or any family member. I found this so encouraging as we have many unsaved family members and challenged me to really have faith that God can save them and that I need to be aware of my testimony at all times.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Horrible Life Redeemed

This week our book club read about the amazing story of Rahab. She is the epitome of a lost soul that can do nothing to save herself. I was reminded of how gracious God is and how He can transform any life. No one, not the gravest sinner, is beyond the reach of God’s love. Paul says he was the chief of all sinners in 1 Timothy, and yet God saved him to show how incredibly patient He is and to ensure us that our salvation has nothing to do with our own worth. I loved the quote by Spurgeon at the end of this chapter, “This woman was no mere hostess, but a real harlot…I am persuaded that nothing but a spirit of distaste for free grace would ever have led any commentator to deny her sin.” I think the title of this chapter is perfect, “A Horrible Life Redeemed,” and it was a great reminder to me that no one is beyond God’s grasp; thus we should share the gospel with everyone!

Human beings are so proud that we want to have some sort of responsibility in our salvation. I’ve always wondered why Rahab is mentioned in the “Hall of Faith,” when she lied to keep the men safe. It seemed almost like a contradiction to me. So this chapter made it so much clearer that God actually used her imperfect faith to demonstrate that it is only God’s grace that saves. We don’t have to justify Rahab’s lie. She was an imperfect person like the rest of us. She was drastically changed, enough to protect these men by risking her own life. But she was not perfect. It is not her lie that is ever commended, but rather her faith to hide the men. I understood this all much better after this chapter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hoping Against Hope

I really enjoyed this chapter about Sarah! I feel like I learned so much about her. For instance, I have always thought that Sarah’s laughter was extreme doubt in God’s ability to allow her to become pregnant at such an old age. And I wouldn’t blame her! But as John points out, we know that Abraham’s laughter could not have been out of doubt, because Romans 4 so clearly tells us that he was not weak at all in his faith even with their old age—yet he also laughed when he heard the news! So why would Sarah’s laughter be any different? I’ll be honest though, it took me some serious thinking about this to be convinced that she wasn’t doubting, just because that is what I have always believed. But the truth is she was just so excited and overjoyed that God was finally giving her a child! I would laugh too!

As much as I enjoyed hearing about Sarah’s faith and submission, and I was really challenged and encouraged by that, I think I was most challenged from the beginning of the chapter where John talks about Sarah’s struggle with wanting children. John says, “From the time she became Abraham’s wife, Sarah desired one thing above all others, and that was to have children.” She actually perverted this pure, God given desire to have children, when she succumbed to that immoral, unrighteous, and foolish scheme to give Abraham a child through her maidservant. I sometimes fear that I will not be able to have children of my own. It is so common these days for women and men to have various problems that prevent them from being able to conceive. John said of Sarah, “She desperately wanted to be a mother, but she finally concluded that God Himself was restraining her from having children.” I too desperately want to be a mother, but what if God Himself restrains me from having children? Will I respond like Sarah by making this desire my idol and falling into self-pity and foolish schemes? Or will I cling to God and trust Him and know that there is nothing better in this world than knowing my Savior on a personal level and having an intimate relationship with Him? I have Christ; there is nothing better than this! So my prayer is that whether the Lord allows me to give birth to a child or not, whether He keeps me surrounded by loved ones or takes them away, whatever He has for my life, I would delight in Him more than anything else and find my joy truly in Him!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mother of All Living

So we recently started a book club! One of my best friends, Karyn, along with her mom, Candie, and my sister, Denise, and mom, Cathy, have begun to read through John MacArthur's book Twelve Extraordinary Women together. We have begun to email one another with what we are learning from the book so that we are challenged to actually apply what we are reading. So I figured I could post what I'm learning here on our blog as well. Last week, we read about Eve, the mother of all living. Here is what I wrote to the girls. If nothing else, it may encourage you to start your own book club!

I think it is a wonderful thing to meditate on the creation of the marriage institution. As John MacArthur was describing the first wedding ceremony ever, he reminds us of four things (pages 5-6): the husband and wife are fundamentally equal; unity is ideal in every marriage relationship; marriage is designed to be deep and meaningful; the woman has been given a divinely-designed role (mother, comforter, nurturer, and helper). How beautiful this all sounds! But we know that practically speaking, our selfishness and sinful tendencies mar this beauty so that we not only do not fulfill God’s design for marriage in a way that is most pleasing to Him but we often gripe and complain about the plan that he has for us as women!

Not only do we go against the Lord’s plan for us as wives—just like our mother Eve—but we seek to justify our sin in countless ways! On page 17 John goes into how Adam tried to blame Eve for his sin and Eve tried to blame the serpent for her sin. Do our marriages look like this? Do I blame Kyle, my circumstances, hormones, fatigue, or any other outside factor for my complaining spirit, my lack of love for those around me, my preoccupation with my own wants and needs? I confess that I some times do! So my challenge to myself from this week’s reading is to always examine what sin is in my heart when I am frustrated, impatient, whiney, or any other unpleasant attitude that I am inflicting on myself and others! Then I need to accept responsibility for my sins by confessing them to God and to anyone else I have affected. Also, I want to meditate on how God has designed the marriage relationship to be pure and unified. I hope these two things will help me to be a better helper to my husband and servant to our Lord.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Picture Perfect

My sister sent me this picture the other day and I just had to post it!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Joyful Celebration

On Saturday, I got to go to one of the best baby showers ever! My good friend Joy is adopting a little boy from Korea, and he could arrive here any day now!
The shower was so much fun as I was able to catch up with many old friends from Grace to You where I worked for three years.
We were able to shower Joy with many gifts to express our great excitement for her and her husband, Nate!
Joy and Nate have been such a faithful example of contentment, patience and trust in the Lord as they have been waiting for many years for the Lord to provide a child for them. And God is so good to bring Grant to them in His perfect timing!
I was blessed to be able to make a cake for the event, and it actually turned out okay!

A Night Out

Last month, we had the opportunity to join many men from the Seminary and their wives at the spring banquet!

The banquet was held at the Reagan Library where we got to tour Air Force One and the museum commemorated to this great President.

One of the highlights of the evening, especially for Kyle, was having Jubilant Sykes and Christopher Parekening perform a concert for us! We also really enjoyed getting to know so many neat couples!
It was a beautiful evening and we praise God for having us at the Master's Seminary!