Monday, March 20, 2017

Staircase update.

We have a bunch of stairs in our home.
I had recently seen some ideas on Pinterest that looked like fun so I decided to give it a go.
This was the easiest project I have taken on in YEARS!

I love the look of a stair runner but that is pricey and it will probably take years for me to decide what I want so I cut out some numbers on my Silhouette machine and stuck them on!

Painting seemed so permanent and I wasn't sure I would even like it.
These are stickers and stick VERY well. I misplaced one and it was pretty difficult to remove.
I continued up the stairs to our newly redone hallway.

I'm a big fan and so is Reyna!
She traded in one book at bedtime so she could count the stairs again. lol

Friday, March 17, 2017


In recent conversations, the idea of discernment has come up.
What is it? what does it look/sound/feel like? How constant is it?
I decided to practice a week of discernment. For everything.
I've been taught that God is in EVERYTHING. that he cares about EVERYTHING I do.
If I believe that to be true then he is in every decision I make. What to cook. What to buy. What to wear. Who to spend time with. What to read. What paint color goes on the wall.

These are all decisions that I can make but usually make on my own. Truly. I don't usually ask for discernment on what book I should read. But could I and would it work?

I think it did. Here are three instances that were so obvious for me this week.

1. Dinner
The dreaded question "what's for dinner?" When I work, I cook less. I usually cook what I feel like eating or what is easiest. I had plenty of groceries to make a few dinners. I asked for discernment all day and by 4:00 it was "Eat the chicken". I didn't want to eat the chicken. It had to cook for 45 minutes. 45! That means I had to PLAN AHEAD! oh the struggle. A strong feeling of guilt fueled this decision. In my heart, I had to respect the chicken. my 4 pounds of chicken was going to expire within the next two days. Turn out, I wasn't gonna have the time (45 minutes) for the next two days, though I didn't know this at the time. We had chicken. In this case, I'd say discernment felt like guilt.

2. To buy or not to buy.
I am trying my best to stick to my budget. There are three things I wanted to buy - Bench legs, gallons of paint, and a bed for Reyna. I could buy two of these but not all three. Instead of asking what I should buy, I asked, "What should I not buy"? And I decided I would buy none of them until I had a clear answer about what NOT to buy. About a week later, a friend of my sent me a text:

FREE?! I'll take it! and the lady happened to have it in her car and lives downtown near us so she delivered it!
(sidenote: this group is part of the Buy Nothing Project. Information can be found at try and find one in your area. Basically you cannot sell anything. People give away things OR food, random acts of kindness, etc.)
It matches her room perfectly and she is so proud of it!
3. With some friends, I am reading a book called Let Your Life Speak. Its a book about vocation. I read the first chapter and immediately required my class to read it. It's something I think I needed to hear early on in my college career. Anyways, I love my job for SO many reasons. This book really focuses on using God given talents to find a fulfilling vocation. While I love my job, that would be a selfish reason for continuing a job. I like my schedule. I like interacting with students. I, I, I - selfish. I asked for a way to discern the value of my talents to those I come in contact with daily. Do they recognize my work? Would they agree that I am meant to do this? Well, what do you know. On Wednesday I got called into the Dean's office to read through my annual review. It is a synopsis of what all faculty think of my work. It was great and with above average ratings. Then, I walked to my office to find flowers at my door. They were from a student who stopped by to chat a couple of weeks prior about job vs. graduate school decisions. Then after lunch, as I was leaving, a student came to me with a gift (a beautiful scarf) and note from her mom! She is an international student and she mentioned me to her mom a few times and her mom just wanted to say thank you for investing in her child. All.In.One.Day!
 This is by no means a bragging post. This is simply a narrative of an answered prayer. This answer directly correlated with the idea of the book. What was mostly recognized by these students was not my academic acumen or test preparation abilities or even my presentation skills. It was my nurturing nature. The kindness and patience I had in our interactions. These are the gifts God gave me for my vocation.
This "experiment" has been hard. What I found difficult was that I still had expectations of what the "answer" would look like. I thought maybe the sale on paint would end. Not that a perfect colored bed would literally fall in my lap! I thought I might get good student evaluations. NEVER would I think gifts. It has become easier to use discernment and that makes me much more confident in my decisions. I also found that discernment looks/feels/sounds different in every situation.
So many words. Sorry. Thanks for sticking around!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Break 2017.

Reyna and I shared a Spring Break.
We started the weekend with a trip to Iowa for a wedding.
Reyna stayed home with Nana and Popo where she went all over the place including Kiddie Park.  
We got to visit family and dance the night away.

We came back at Popo and I took her to the Safari Ranch.
She was fearless until we got to the ostriches. They were pretty aggressive!

 They had a petting zoo too.
 This is what her hands looked like after. LOL

The next day we took her to the aquarium.
They had a dinosaur exhibit with a sand pit.  
 Also, an outdoor aviary. She looks like shes 10 here.

The rest of the week we hung out in Waco with friends.
At gymnastics.
 We went to a movie and the candy store.

 And we celebrated a friends birthday party. We lovingly call her "baby sister".
 And she joined a band.
While it was low key, we kept busy and got to do lots of cool things for the first time.

Monday, March 13, 2017


This sermon by Guest Preacher Dr. Atchison at our church last Sunday was very powerful.

As we celebrate Black History Month we welcomed his perspective on what might be considered legacy. He talked about carrying the bones of others with us through life. The bones of people who invest in our lives and yet, their names are not known.
I thought about those people in my life. Obviously my parents are the strongest voice but because I don't want them to be forgotten, here are a few people who have invested in my life.

Gloria Doubleday
This lady. I mostly hated her. LOL. She was a middle school teacher. She meddled and pushed too hard BUT she gave me big responsibilities at an early age and helped develop a high level of self confidence. She put me in leadership positions and expected a lot out of me. Therefore, I expected a lot of my self.

Frank Garcia
He was a basketball coach but taught me about life. He had a daughter around my age going through Cancer treatments and he walked that struggle with grace and strength. He gave me a heavenly perspective on sports and taught me that GINC - God is in Control. He helped me control my competitive nature.

Cindy McEwen
She served as a volunteer and coach in my elementary school. She demonstrated to me that assertiveness and kindness can live in harmony. She showed me what a strong woman looks like. She was well respected without using fear as a tactic.

Dwayne Britton
He was a family friend. He made me (and my sister) feel beautiful always. He had a passion for life and appreciated the frills. Every time he was around, he made the normal feel extraordinary!

Eva Doyle
She served/serves as mentor and friend. She taught me the value of second chances (both in her life and mine). She is encouraging in all her interactions - even the tough ones. She is considerate and aware of cultural difficulties and she uses her privilege for the greater good.

There are so many more - Mr. Pitzer, Niki Fullbright, Mrs. Hill....

What makes those listed above so much more special is that they are all part of a group that has been disenfranchised, forgotten, overlooked, or discriminated against. Of course, at the time I didn't realize it! I am grateful to have grown up in a diverse family/community where the minorities were the majority.

 I am glad to carry these bones with me.