Thursday, December 29, 2005

a merry christmas had by all

It was a great Christmas and so fun to watch Jack this year...he still isn't really old enough to get it, but he was so much fun...i actually think it may be more fun that way, because we didn't feel pressure about getting certain presents(we didn't really get him much anyway, because the grandparents had that under control!)...we just enjoyed time together and watching him enjoy the family. We were with my family this year and had a great time...I sang at the candlelight service on Christmas Eve...I had never been to it before, and I am so glad I got to be a part of it, it was amazing to stand up on stage and see all of the candles lit. We spent lots of fun time with my parents and my brother and sister...I am so glad that they all love Matt and that he loves being with them parents left yesterday to visit my older half-brothers and 4 nephews in South Dakota...I wish that we could all be there, but I am so glad that my parents are's some pictures of some of our Christmas fun(thanks to the digital camera that we were given this year to replace the digital camera that we were given last year, which I managed to break)...

Jack and Daddy before church on Christmas morning

Jack and his rocking horse from Santa

Jack's favorite gift so far...he loves to shoot the ball and then shout "OOooohhhhhhh!" along with some very funny jibberish that, when combined with his facial expressions, sounds surprisingly he's talking some trash!...I have no doubt that he AND DADDY are going to have fun with this one!

Christmas Eve at Mimi and Pappy's (my parents)

Uncle Brad, Jack and Matt enjoying some yummy breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve.

Jack loves his auntie Em!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Well, I have officially been a blogger for a year now...I wish I had some great thing to say on this posting has been less frequent in the past few, if you are still reading...thanks, and I'll try to get back on the ball...I know you are all anxiously awaiting that!

We had a great Thanksgiving in Smithville with Matt's family. Jack was all over the place and loved being with everyone and eating all that food! Nothing beats that cherry fluff! We also went and saw Walk the Line, and I was really impressed with Joaquin and Reese...they sang and played the instruments...I just have so much respect for those actors who really do the work.

Matt also gave me some really exciting news about Christmas...he has gotten a free hotel stay at any Marriott in the country, so we are going to NEW YORK!!! Instead of getting each other presents we are going to save our money and plan a trip for sometime in the next few months...I am very excited obviously as this will be my first trip to New York...seeing as my degree is in theatre and I teach theatre classes, it will probably be good for me to finally see a Broadway show! I am so excited and can't wait to start planning...what a sweet husband I have!

Well, not a whole lot else going on here...I'll leave you with some amazing and powerful words from The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning that hang above our desk...
How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car.
We are not pro-life simply because we are warding off death. We are pro-life to the extent that we are men and women for others, all others; to the extent that no human flesh is a stranger to us; to the extent that we can touch the hand of another in love; to the extent that for us there are no "others."

Friday, November 11, 2005

WHY, Pat Robertson, WHY?!

How do you post something like this on your website...and then, say something like this??!!

I am just so saddened to think that for many, this is what Christianity looks like. I was under the impression that we served a merciful and compassionate God, whose love was not reserved for a select few. If his remarks are true then where is the hope for any of us, as I am most assured that not one of us has made it through life without "voting God out of our town"?

I am becoming more and more worried about the damage rather than good that "christian" politicians and tv personalities are doing for the kingdom. I do not want to be disrespectful, for then I would be no different than brother Robertson. I see so much good being done at the same time, and I praise God for that. And it is my fervent prayer that our generation does not lose the drive and desire to reach out to the broken instead of giving up on them.

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Little Punkin(s)

We took Jack to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch last week, and had so much fun watching our little man.

Jack sure does love his daddy (and who can blame him...I'm a lucky girl)

He's getting so big!

Matt and I look like a two-headed person in this one, but it's so rare that I am on this side of the camera, I was just glad to get a decent shot of all three of us!

Scary...but I just loved it that he was walking around the house in his costume and his diaper! They look so cute, but this doesn't really help my case for getting the playstation out of the house!

I just thought we needed one more of the cutest little puppy in the world! Look at those teeth!

Monday, October 24, 2005

ABC...Trips 1, 2, and 3

A is for "Airplane"...the one that Jack slept on all the way to Minnesota, and all the way back to Dallas...what a great kid!

B is for "Blake and Katie's Wedding" sweet to watch our amazing friend, who went all the way to an orphanage in Haiti to meet this amazing woman, get married and prepare to go back to that work with his new bride. (I guess in this section, I should also mention "Baja Burrito"! Wouldn't be a trip to Nashville without it)

C is for "Car Trip"...the one we took to Nashville through the night, with Baby Jack sleeping again! Thank goodness for our cooler of snacks and the portable DVD player that cousin Melissa Jo loaned us!

D is for "Donna Hester" of my favorite professors and people in the world, who performed her amazing piece, "Iron Apron Strings", at the Zoe Conference. It was so incredibly moving and made me even more thankful to know that precious woman. What an encouragement to be reminded of the powerful ministry that theatre is, aside from those cheesy little "don't put God in a box" skits...I only hope that I can use my gifts and training in theatre to minister the way that Donna does.

E is for "Elmo"...the adorable little red puppet, whose singing we got to enjoy for many hours on the road to and from Nashville!

F is for "Farmland"...which we saw alot of in was very beautiful, the wedding was at a quaint country church, and we even saw an actual pumpkin patch...not the kind we have in Texas where pumpkins are lined up in a grassy area at the fruit stand, but an actual patch where pumpkins grow!

G is for "Girls Lunch"...the one we got to have in Abilene over Homecoming weekend that was so good, and way too short! I love getting to see my girls and it was so fun to watch Baby Jack and Baby Kadin play together...and to hear about the sibling that Kadin has on the way!

H is for "Homecoming"...a fun weekend in Abilene with friends and family.

I is for "Ira"...the sweet baby boy who went with us on all of these trips...and who is HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL! We have read this sweet family's blog for many months now and feel as though we know them. We were proud to wear our green Ira Lester Hays Bracelets and to tell people about this amazing little boy and his amazing family. We continue to pray daily for this tiny soldier.

J is for "Jack Franklin Pinson"...traveler extraordinnaire...he was so wonderful and so much fun...we had many offers from the grandparents to watch him while we traveled, but I am so glad that we ended up taking him with us...because he made everything more fun, especially when he started officially walking the night before we left for Nashville! He is all over the place!

K is for "Ko Jo Kai"...a lovely little club of women that I was a part of while at ACU, with a lovely Homecoming breakfast whose only fault is how horridly early in the morning you must wake up in order to attend!

L is for "Laundry"...I just thought it never ended before! I am just so relieved that I don't have to repack this time!

M is for "McCloud Inn"...our lovely accomodations during our stay in Nashville. It was so nice to see our friends TJ and Holly, and their ADORABLE house...We were sad that they had to leave town while we were there, but so thankful for their hospitality.

N is for "Nashville"...a beautiful place where Matt and I feel strangely at home and have a hard time leaving.

O is for "Otter's"...a great little place on Music Row that Matt and I ate in's all chicken tenders, so all three of us enjoyed it!

P is for "Parade"...the one in Abilene that Jack loved so much...where we got to see his Uncle Kyle march with the other Brats, where Daddy and Uncle Brad were sad for how sad the Galaxy float was, and where Mommy was proud of the Kojies finally winning again!

Q is for "Quiet Time"...and I definitely had some on my stretch of the drive between 3 and 6 am. It really was nice, when my eyes weren't crossing!

R is for "Recouperation"...we're still working on that!

S is for "Super 8"...our lovely accomodations in Minnesota, which included one room for myself and 4 boys...I am just glad that there were two beds and I only had to share with Matt and Jack!

T is for "Tennessee Family" thankful for the time we got to spend together with the Daniels in Franklin...their new house is beautiful and Jack had fun with everyone...especially his sweet great aunt Donna.

U is for "Unpacking"...two words...NO FUN!

V is for "Video Camera"...something that we did not use enough on any of these trips...we are rookie parents...and of course, we taped him constantly back when he was a newborn and all he did was lie there, now we are so busy chasing him, we forget we have the camera!

W is for "Walk-In Clinic"...the one we spent 3 hours of our day at before leaving Tennessee, because poor Baby Jack had croup. But, once again, he was still such a good boy, despite the fact he felt just awful.

X is for "Xmas"! relation to any of our trips really, and I actually don't like that abbreviation, but I needed an X, and just wanted to remind everyone that there are only ten more Saturdays to shop!

Y is for "Yummy Homeade Soup and Cornbread"...made by my Aunt Donna on a perfect Fall evening in Nashville. It was a wonderful treat to enjoy as we cozied up and watched some football.

Z is for "Zoe Conference" amazing time of renewal, awesome worship, and challenge to be Jesus in this world. I was also privileged to witness the first public viewing of the "Mike Cope Sings the Classics" video, which in itself is a classic!
(Z can also be for "Zoo", where we just took Jack for the first time this past weekend...perfect weather and lots of fun!)

Well, we had lots of fun and survived all of our trips over the past few weeks. We were reminded over and over again how blessed we are to have such an even-tempered baby. He adjusted to every change so well, and was so wonderful through hours on planes, in rental cars, in the stroller, and in all kinds of climates. We had lots of fun, but are very happy to be home for awhile! I can't really take credit for this post, as it was my sweet sister's idea...but I thought it was a good way to cover all of our travels without writing way too much as I have been known to do! Although, this is one is probably still too long by many's standards...definitely by my husband's! Oh well...thanks Em for the idea, and I hope all of my little teacher friends out there are proud!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Family Adventures...

Over the next few weekends, Matt and Jack and I will be having some firsts in our family traveling adventures...Tomorrow morning we fly to Minnesota for our friend Blake's wedding. It is our first to time to fly with Jack. He is 14 months old and doesn't have his own seat. My main concern is that we keep him happy and comfortable, and also that we are considerate of those around us. We know to have him drink as we are taking off and landing...but other than that, does anyone have any tips for flying with kids? Honestly, I have just been praying that we won't sit next to someone who hates children! I might also add the fun tidbit that I get to share a hotel room not only with Matt and Jack, but also with Eric and Micah, two of Matt's friends from highschool! Hope they don't mind a 14 month old waking up in the middle of the night because he is in an unfamiliar bed in Minnesota!

Then, next weekend, we are driving to Nashville to go to the ZOE conference. read that right...driving...Now we have made road trips, but I think only about as far as Houston...and that was back when he was sleeping 16 hours a day anyway! We are leaving Wednesday night at bedtime, with the hopes that we might maximize the amount of time he is sleeping in the car(and maybe to limit the amount of Chevy Chase "Vacation" quotes I have to hear from Matt!)...but just in case, any tips here? We are also looking forward to staying with our friends TJ and Holly when we get there...any tips for being houseguests with a baby? He's such a good boy, I'm not anticipating any problems, but I always like to hear from those who have more experience than myself.

As you can see from the picture above he's already quite the little I am sure we'll have some fun stories to tell!
In case you missed the last post, you can look at more pictures by going to Memorable Moments Photography at

Friday, September 23, 2005

it wasn't me!

Isn't he adorable? And not mischevious looking at all huh?! For more pictures of my sweetie, click the title of this post. It's memorable moments photography by Kristin Morales.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

laying down our lives

Sunday morning Matt and Jack and I got to go with some of our friends from college to hear Donald Miller speak at the Deep Ellum Church. It was a great group of people and, in a community that has long been associated only with darkness and evil, they have an amazing heart for the mission of Christ. I was so impressed with the hearts of the pastors of this church who have committed to planting a place of refuge, and have some amazing future plans for shining Christ's light in a dark corner that many don't have the courage to go. Matt and I had really enjoyed Donald's book, Blue Like Jazz, and Matt has also read the second one, Searching For God Knows What. I just got him the third one, Through Painted Deserts, and we are looking forward to starting that one. In Searching For God Knows What, he compares our relationship to Jesus through analyzing the familiar play Romeo and Juliet...this is what he spoke about on Sunday, and it was a beautiful analogy that I, even as someone who studied theatre in college, had never fully realized. He focused on the balcony scene, as Juliet tells Romeo that he must deny his name and take his own. He spoke also of how the two characters never consummate their marriage, but only become one through death. It was really enlightening. He also talked about how our society wants so badly to market God...we all want a three step plan, and not a relationship. One thing that he said that I really liked was this...
"The message of the gospel is not, 'Buy this and you will be happy', but instead, 'This is something worth dying for'"
It made me think of my own faith, and how much I doubt my own ability to "lay down my life".In the wake of all of these natural disasters, along with other horrible, sad, and confusing things I am witnessing, I am reminded that we were not promised comfort or peace in this life, but that we can know the one who IS comfort and peace...the one who gives us life to begin with. And I pray that I can open my eyes to the many opportunities that God is putting before me where I can lay my life down and serve Him by serving others.
We are praying for all of those affected by Rita, especially many loved ones of ours who are traveling and sad to leave their homes...we also pray for those from Louisiana who are moving for the second time...I hope that we will all embrace one another, and commit for the long haul to the long process ahead of picking up the pieces.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

an insightful response

With all of the writing on Katrina, my mind is in a fog, and I find I often lose sight of what are truly the most important lessons. I need to talk less...I need to open my ears and my heart to those who have gone through this ordeal, and to what the Lord wants to teach me through it all.I have tried to sit down and write something, but the words have not come in a way that would be even close to intelligible...I am still just groaning...

So today I just want to direct you to my friend Jarod's blog. I think his latest entry is one of the best responses I have seen recently.

I will try to get back to more regular blogging soon...I know you are all just sitting on the edge of your seats!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

open eyes, open hearts

I cannot get my mind around this horrible tragedy. More than that, my heart has just been broken to watch the desperation that people are feeling. This whole ordeal has just reopened my eyes to the reality of poverty and racial/class distinction that still exists within our society.

Now, I am not one who likes to politicize things too greatly, and I think that the expectations for response cannot solely lay with any one person or organization. I am saddened, however, when I hear people on the radio, or television, or next to me at the grocery store talking about how those people should have been able to save themselves. I have heard people make remarks about the ignorance of those waiting in their houses, and then screaming on their rooftops to be saved. But it is my opinion that many of these people have been crying out to be saved for a long time, and no one has heard them.

When you have no money in the bank, no car, and nowhere to go, escaping isn't as easy as it may seem. There has been amazing outpouring of love and compassion on the part of many people and organizations. I do not believe that these people are suffering in this aftermath because of their race. But it is necessary to realize that the majority of the population in New Orleans is black, and at least 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty level. We cannot close our eyes any longer.

Now as you can tell, this post is not flowing as well as some of my others. I do much better to stick to mushy posts about my baby boy than I do trying to talk about political matters! But for me, this is not about politics or race, or anything else...but people. People are hurting, people are dying, people are becoming so lost in the desperation for survival that they are turning to evil. And this is when we need Jesus more than ever.  Jesus makes so many statements in scripture that clearly point to his compassion for the poor, and he commands us to care for them as well. Whether we agree with or can identify with any one of those people...we are commanded to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And he made no distinctions...HE WANTS US ALL.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

to my sweet baby Jack

I cannot even believe that today you are one year old. It is amazing how quickly time has gone by, and yet how it also feels like you have been with me forever. You have changed so much in this last year. You are getting so big, and it is so exciting to watch you explore and discover new things.
A year ago today was an exciting and scary time. You were coming four and a half weeks early and we were so scared about whether or not you would be alright. But the Lord was so faithful and at 5:00 am on Wednesday, July 28, after two early labors being stopped, weeks of bedrest, and 4 days of labor, he gave you to us--a healthy, perfect, tiny baby boy. I will never forget the moment that they handed you to me and I held you in my arms. You didn't even were so peaceful, looking up at me with those big blue eyes wide open, as if you were just taking it all in. That moment was the greatest miracle I have ever been a part of. After 9 months of a rough pregnancy, worrying about you and about my own weaknesses, we were given an indescribable gift of peace. We learned alot about God's provision and were reminded that God does not call us to a spirit of fear, but of hope. I have been reminded of that lesson many times already in your first year of life as I think upon my great responsibility to raise you to look like Jesus in a world that does not look at Him at all. It has been truly amazing how many lessons you have taught us in this past year, Jack. I have been reintroduced to the cross in a whole new way by looking at you and loving you so much--and thinking about how much greater God's love must be to have given His perfect baby boy up for this world. Thank you for teaching me more about God's love.
Thank you, also, for your amazing spirit. It is so much fun to watch as your little personality develops. You are intelligent and so funny. It is so special to watch as you thoughtfully play with your toys and figure out each little detail. You have kept me on my toes, as I pull you away from the things that catch your eyes the remote controls, computers, electrical cords, telephones, the list could go on...I adore your sweet little voice, the hilarious faces and noises you make, the way you can't help dancing when you hear music, and that laugh that is infectious. I am so thankful that you already have a love for music and for reading, and no one cuddles better than you. You are an active little boy, always on the go. You have changed from that little string bean 4 pound peanut to a cuddly, chubby, and unmistakeably adorable bundle of energy that I am totally in love with. You have deepened the love that your daddy and I have for each other as we marvel at the blessing and responsibility that God has given to us through you.You have taught your neat freak mommy to loosen up a bit, and I know that will only grow as I continue to experience the joys of having a little boy. I don't look forward to the bumps and bruises, but I hope you know that I will always hold you when you hurt. There have been times that I have held you and felt helpless myself, wondering how in the world I am capable, but then I can have peace in knowing that while I hold you, someone much greater is always holding us both.

There is a song that I sing to you each night as I rock you in your room. It is a song that was recorded by ZOE, one of our favorite groups to listen to together. I changed the words a bit the first time I sang them to you from "I" to "You", and each night since, they have been a prayer that I sing over you--praying that you would know how deeply you are known and loved by God. Here are the words...

You have a maker;
He formed your heart.
Before even time began,
your life was in His hands.
He knows your name.
He knows your every thought.
He sees each tear that falls,
and he hears you when you call.
You have a father;
He calls you his own.
He'll never leave you,
no matter where you go.
He knows your name.
He knows your every thought.
He sees each tear that falls,
and he hears you when you call.

My precious baby boy, I pray that you will always know how much you are loved by your daddy and me. We are so thankful to have you in our lives. This first year of your life has been the greatest learning experience, joy, and blessing of my life. I pray that even more than our love, you will know the love of God that will never fail you. I am so thankful that He allowed me to be your mommy. You are mine for awhile, but you are His for all time. While you are here, I will always be so very thankful and proud to hear you call me mama. I look forward to many more years blessed by your sweet presence.

Happy birthday, sweet baby Jack--I love you ten thousand miles high

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

questions with no answers

Okay, so it has been awhile since I have posted. Not that I think tons of people are out there anxiously awaiting my next post. But I have had some people ask me why it has been so long. Honestly, I have had a really hard time figuring out what to say. Not that I have nothing to say, anyone who has known me for about a week or more knows that I have plenty to say. But lately it has seemed like I just have so many words and thoughts and don't know where to begin. I find that when it gets like that, I sometimes have to take a break and get my thoughts in order. However, I have a feeling this particular post is still going to be somewhat jumbled.

To be honest, I have been angry lately. I have experienced some serious questioning of the Lord and it has been hard. I am not through it and do not know when I will get there. All I know is that someone long ago was very is not fair. Why is it that my husband and I became pregnant four months after marriage, while on birth control, totally unplanned, still with a year left of college, even after doctors told me it might not even be possible...and yet...I have family members whose babies have died in their arms...complete strangers whose blogs I read daily whose babies are fighting for their lives,some who have not won? Why is this? I love my precious baby boy and thank God every day for the blessing he is in my life. But I refuse to believe the foolish words of those trying to be a comfort saying that "it's all part of God's plan" for other babies to die. NO! Death was not part of His plan. Our fallenness took God's perfect gift of life and turned it into the sin, pain, injustice and death that we witness daily.

I love the Lord, and I do believe that He has a plan. Do I believe that He can work through horrible catastrophes in our lives? Yes. I have seen it firsthand. But I also know that I am a comfort to no one, especially one who is watching their child suffer, when I pretend to ignore the pain that cuts us deep, that makes us human. We cannot ignore the questions...maybe I am just a cynic, but I guess that's why I am also what Mike Cope has called an "already, but not yet" kind of Christian. Yes, I believe that God's reign has broken in, but I mostly long for what is still to come. As he said in part of his January 3rd post...

I deeply love "already Christians." I need to be prodded by them. But I don't share much of their outlook. And it seems at times like their hyper-confidence is damaging to struggling people.
When they talk about all the times God has spoken to them, I think of all the silences. When they speak of instantaneous healings, I remember all the people I've pleaded with God to heal but who died (including my daughter). When they talk about how God keeps pouring down his blessings (often meaning homes, cars, vacations, etc.), I think of all the people who become poorer as a result of their faith.
They speak of a way of blessing. The gospel speaks of a blessing that involves loss and persecution. They leapfrog to Easter Sunday; the gospel goes through Good Friday and Silent Saturday.

There is a new song by Natalie Grant that has really ministered to me because it speaks of this very thing, and is just completely raw and honest. I just love the song because it speaks so boldly and truthfully...i think that is why it can touch people, because it doesn't try to cover up with the same old cliches about God always having a plan...while of course this is true, that is sometimes not the most comforting thing to want to be told that it is okay to hurt and to grieve...and to know that this is what His love means for us...not that this world will not be hard, but that when it is hard and horrible and full of sin and pain and death, He will hold are the lyrics...

Two months is too little, they let him go, they had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would take a child from his mother while she prays is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares? We're asking why this happens to us who have died to's unfair...

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness...we want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow. The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

If hope is born of suffering...if this is only the beginning...can we not wait for one hour, watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.

This is what it means to be held.

I appreciate the line at the beginning that says it is appalling to think of a child being taken from his mother as she prays. I do not pretend to know what it is like to lose a child, or that I have the perfect words to say...I don't think there are any words that you can say. Even now as I type, I know I am failing to say what I truly wish I could. As a mother, I cannot imagine losing my sweet baby Jack. I do know that instead of trying to have wise words about what God's plans are...I am going to leave those plans to God. He will be the ultimate haven of rest...but in this life, I want to be a shoulder that is okay to cry on, an ear that doesn't mind the screaming, and a heart that shares the pain of my brothers and sisters.

Death was not part of His plan. I trust in the Lord and His unfailing love. I know also that the same Lord who gave us that love watched His son die on a tree for my fallen soul. And I know He must have hurt deeply for His child. Perhaps we can learn a new lesson from that familiar story. It's okay to hurt, it's okay to be angry. It's important to remember Friday as we anxiously await Sunday.

I thank God for the ways that He does use tragedies to bring people to their knees, to bring families together, and to turn His children's eyes to Him. But I also pray, more than any of this...

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

extending the prayer chain

Because I know that I have friends who occasionally read this(right?!)...I am asking you to pray a special prayer tonight. Matt and I do not know this family from New York, but have been reading their blog for several months now...their baby is to be born tomorrow morning, and he has a congential diaphragmatic hernia-this basically means his diaphragm did not fully form, allowing organs to crowd the chest cavity, preventing lung growth. You can go back and read further on their blogs to understand all that they have already had to endure over the past months at

It is an amazing thing to know that Christians from all over the country, and the world, can come to the same table to present our requests to the Lord. Although we do not know each other, and though we may never meet in this lifetime, our prayers lifted up from thousands of miles away are spoken to the same God. I don't know why, maybe because I am a mother now, but I have had a special ache in my heart for this family who I have never even met, for months now. Isn't it amazing that the internet can actually do something for good?! Please, wherever you are, tonight and especially tomorrow morning at 7 am when they induce Laura Hays, stop and say a prayer that their precious son Ira will be the vessel for a miracle...that the doctors will have no explanation but the Lord's mighty power.

Join the Hays family...Joe, Laura, and 2 year-old Sophia in praying this prayer:

Healing power of Jesus Christ, fall afresh on Ira,
Healing power of Jesus Christ, fall afresh on Ira,
Touch him, Stir him, Unfold him, Love him,
Healing power of Jesus Christ, fall afresh on Ira.
(prayer from Howard Booth)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

thanks, baby einstein, i'll take it from here...

I was reading another blog the other day that talked about the amazing amount of commercialism associated with children's got me to thinking about some of the birthday parties that i have been to for younger cousins in past years...they all seem to have to have some major theme, that is usually associated with a children's show and every piece of decoration, food, etc. is covered with their favorite, i don't mean to criticize...i don't think that television is evil...i mean, we all had our favorite cartoon characters, and yes, jack does watch the occasional baby einstein, sesame street, and ball games with his daddy...but i agree with this other blogger that i don't want jack's room in a few years to be covered from floor to ceiling with tv show paraphanalia...

and more reminded me once again that my mom threw the BEST birthday parties in the world!
i could go on and on, but just to name a few of my favorites...

my 5th birthday was a tea party...everyone came in their dress up clothes and brought their baby dolls-except for one girl who chose to come dressed as a mom made tiny sandwiches and set up card tables in our living room, and she and some of her friends were the waitresses...then after we ate, she had baked little individual cakes for all of us and we got to decorate was such a simple idea, but it still is one of my favorite memories...

on my 8th birthday, i got to have the infamous sleepover...i do believe that was also the year i got the hot pink leather, gotta love the 80s...i have a summer birthday, so we had the olympics in our back mom set up an obstacle course, consisting of my brother's fisher price car, a swingset, a hula hoop, a picnic bench, a baton, a wading pool and, of course, a was so fun...we all went through and cheered for each other, and then at the end got medals and sang the national anthem in the silly way that you can imagine a bunch of 8 year old girls doing! then after we got inside and cleaned up and opened presents, had cake, etc...we had another game where we paired off...i believe we were given notecards with animal names on them and we had to close our eyes and make that animals sound until we found the other person doing the same sound, and that was our partner! then we were given a roll of toilet paper and sent to various places in the house and told that we would have a toilet paper fashion show in 20 was so fun...we had players...and to this day, i still cannot figure out how in the world my friend shara made such a beautiful wedding gown, veil, and boquet out of one roll of toilet paper! surely she is a fashion designer now!

my little sister's 3rd birthday was in the backyard, a hamburger cookout and a pony that all of the kids got to ride in a circle around the brother's 4th birthday was a jungle party where we all wore safari hats and my mom had decorated the living room with plants and sheets, and made it into a also helped that the living room had bright green was also always fun that at a siblings party, we were allowed to invite one friend also...

oh, i could go on and on...but mainly i just wanted to talk about how blessed i feel to have grown up in a house where creativity and imaginative play were encouraged and modeled-i hope that even in this age of severe overmarketing and, to quote that other blogger, merchandising frenzy, that i can teach jack to appreciate creativity...i hope he will have campouts in the family room under a tent of sheets and pillows, i hope he will put on shows for matt and me on saturday nights, i hope that our home will be filled with stories and music and not just the hum of a television in the background...and i hope that my son will never lose the God-given ability to dream beyond what common sense tells you is possible...

i believe i have one of the most creative mothers in the world, and i feel so lucky that she was the one throwing my birthday parties, making stories from the Bible and other books come alive, and teaching me to embrace my imagination...she has always had a natural ability to engage children, and they can't help but fall in love with her...i got an extra bonus...i get to call her mom

Monday, April 04, 2005

Just for Dad

I'm Tarheel born and Tarheel bred
And when I die, I'm Tarheel dead!
Go Carolina-lina
Go Carolina-lina
Go Carolina-lina
(inappropriate words for Duke, tonight Illinois, go here)


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

counting the cost...and going anyway

Some words from Beth Moore today...

Our nation today knows very little about persecution. We too rarely hear
accounts of people like John and Betty Stam, missionaries to China, who
were beheaded just one month after their arrival in Tsingteh, leaving
behind a three-month-old infant. Or, what about Peter and Lydia Vins,
missionaries to the former Soviet Union? Peter was imprisoned and
never seen again. Lydia's imprisonment followed later. Such a heritage
might be enough to dissuade a child from faith in the gospel. Not so.
Their son, Georgi, surrendered his life to the same pursuit, on the same
field, and was ultimately imprisoned as well. Enough is enough, right?
Nope, his son, Peter, Jr., grew up, dedicated his life to Christ, and
followed the same path to prison. In 1979, under Jimmy Carter's
leadership, the surviving Vins family members were released
from prison, and they continue to serve faithfully in the United States
and abroad. Consider this excerpt from The Hidden Price of Greatness,
written by Ray Beeson and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker:

It seems a paradox that the death of Christians could be the key to
church growth. Yet as surely as the cross of Christ was essential to our
salvation, the sacrifice of believers is crucial to world evangelism. That
is as true today as ever. In fact, the rate of Christian martyrdom has risen
dramatically in recent years. The World Evangelization Research Center
estimates that there were approximately 35,600 Christian martyrs in
1900 compared to an estimated 325,000 in 1989.Martyrdom is a fact of
life in at least fifty countries. The Center concludes from its research that
out of the two thousand or so plans for global evangelization by A.D.
2000, martyrdom is probably the most potent and significant factor of all.

When we read such accounts, we wonder if people like the Stams had any
idea what their commitment might cost them. Would they have dared
surrender to such a sentence? Consider this excerpt from a speech
delivered to the Moody Bible Institute graduating class of 1932:

Let us remind ourselves that the Great Commission was never qualified by
clauses calling for advance only if funds were plentiful and no hardship or
self-denial involved. On the contrary, we are told to expect tribulation
and even persecution, but with it victory in Christ...It is ours to show, in
the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in personal communion with
Him, a joy unspeakable and full of glory that cannot be affected by outside

The speaker? John Stam, just before his departure to China.

Monday, March 07, 2005

mommy tip of the day

When trying to get those last few pounds of baby weight off, just don't even walk down the ice cream aisle at the grocery store...TORTURE!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

lessons from the nursery

there really is nothing like the feeling of holding your sweet baby in your arms and watching him fall asleep. baby jack is sick again and i feel so awful for him. this is the second ear infection in a month, and his little tummy is also not doing so well with the medicine for the ear...what a vicious cycle! he just wants me to hold him all the time, and i really don't mind because he is just about the most adorably cuddly little thing in the world! i finally got him to sleep for now...we'll see how many hours he goes before waking in pain...poor little guy, on top of it all he is congested...matt spent the night with him the other night on a blanket in the bathroom with a hot shower running so the steam would let him breathe...what a good daddy he is!

there really is something just so amazing about the fact that my arms have the ability to comfort this little bring him a feeling of safety, warmth, peace, and love. my little boy continually gives me a new picture of God's love for me. i realize that i look to alot of other things to bring me comfort before looking to the source of ultimate peace. my little boy knows where to look...why don't i? i once heard chris seidman explain the holy spirit with an analogy of his little boy. Chris said he didn't think his baby always knew what he needed when he cried...he just knew he needed something, so he cried, and it was his job as a parent to figure out what he needed. in the same way, when we don't know the words to pray and all we can do is groan and cry out to God, the Holy Spirit intercedes and speaks to God on our behalf...i have always thought that was beautiful and it has taken on new meaning since jack was born. just recently i have been reminded again that i often put my faith in people and not in the Lord, and then i am disappointed when people fail me. but God will never fail me. as my baby boy grows, although i love his need for my comfort, i pray that He will always look to the Lord to be His ultimate strength.

one thing about chris seidman's analogy that must happen on our parts...we must cry out...we must look to the Lord...i have learned yet another lesson from my seven month is not far away...all we have to do is cry out, reach our arms up and let our Father hold us in His arms...

things have been crazy lately...i have let myself get completely overwhelmed and unfocused...but as i held my sweet boy in my arms tonight, i cried...i prayed...and i rested in the overwhelming peace of knowing that the Father was holding us both.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Trip to the Alma Mater

So we went to Abilene for Sing Song this last weekend. It was alot of fun...the clubs that Matt and I were in (Ko Jo Kai and Galaxy) both got second place...again! But they were very cute and both had good shows. I had to remember to be sensitive to my brother and sister, trying to remember how upset we were when we lost. I had to assure them that there is no conspiracy, though I do remember wondering about that when I was the Kojie director! I am confident that their lives will go on and they will still be able to function in society...eventually! The hosts and hostesses were fabulous...I was especially proud of the ones that I knew, and equally entertained by the ones I did not. I am always amazed at the talent. My favorite number in the show was an a cappella version of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" to the beat of none other than SHADES, the ACU step team! It was AWESOME! Sing Song is such a funny thing when you really think about it...what a neat tradition...and yet, so weird! I got to talk to Kendall and Vivi (the director and his wife) and they told me that they are thinking of having a big reunion of old hosts and hostesses next year for the 50th Sing Song and 100th year of was actually pretty sad just how excited I got about that! Being a hostess is one of my favorite memories from ACU...we had such a fun group...and there are people that I am great friends with today because of that experience...Watching the show reminded me how much fun I had being on stage in both Sing Song and all of the theatre productions I was a part of. There is just something about live performance that you can't beat.

I got to Abilene last Tuesday because the Kojies wanted some advice on their show ( I obviously wasn't much help!) Matt couldn't come out until Saturday, so I got a SMALL taste of single-parenthood...and it was SO HARD! How do these people do it?! I wasn't even going to work! And I only have one child! That's just a side note, and it takes me back to a blog that Mike Cope wrote a few weeks ago about reaching out to single parents. I am so thankful for my partner, and help-mate...He is such a good daddy and I don't know what I would do without him. I was also very relieved to read his blog last week entitled, " I hate bachelorhood"! I'm glad he didn't enjoy it too much!

Every time Matt and I are in Abilene we realize how much we miss it there. We actually drove around on Sunday afternoon just looking at all of the houses for sale! We just talked about how while we love where we are and being close to our families, we still feel like we have not found a home. We don't know where we are supposed to end up...maybe just on another side of the metroplex, but we definitely have that "just passing through" feeling. We still would really love to go to Nashville, but who knows what God has in store? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Thank you Casting Crowns for Today's Inspiration

"Who am I,
that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name;
would care to feel my hurt?"

Who are we not to feel the hurts of others and to reach out when the God of all the universe has given us so undeservingly not only his love and salvation, but his broken heart for our sins, our sadness, and our loss.

Who are we to turn our back upon the widow and the orphan, the homeless man on the street, the person sitting next to us in the pew?

Who are we to fill our thoughts and storehouses up with things of this world, when a home more rich and beautiful than anything on this earth has been prepared for us?

Who are we to set our eyes and hearts upon the things that will surely burn, when God has promised us eternity with Him for only fixing our eyes on things eternal?

Who are we to withold from others the forgiveness that has so freely been given to us?

Who are we to deserve this love, this forgiveness, this hope, when all that we do is hate, hold grudges, and complain?

Answer: We are no one, we are nothing, we are hopeless...

But thanks to his mercy and grace, we are free...

It will never be possible to attain the promises that God has for us, but we can choose to live our lives in hope of that day and bathed in His righteousness. We can choose to set our eyes on the only one who can truly satisfy, and we can try to remember exactly who we are...

"I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean;
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling;
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling.
And you've taught me who I am.

Friday, January 21, 2005

a parent's love...indescribable

Got to spend Monday and Tuesday up at the was good to be with Jenna and to see the Cope's. The boys are doing better, but do have quite a long road ahead. I can't imagine how very long it must be in the eyes of a 12 year old especially. I pray that the Lord continues to give them strength and peace. Jack is starting to feel better. In light of all that has been happening, I have realized how very true it is that your whole perspective changes when you have children. All of a sudden, anything that happens to any child, you imagine that being your child. I wanted to protect Jack and take away his virus last week...I cannot imagine the helpless feeling of a parent watching their child lie in ICU, or in a casket.
It took me back to 6 years ago, when I, as an 18 year laid in a hospital bed at the North Texas Hospital for Children at Medical City Dallas for 6 months. I have always been grateful for the sacrifices that my parents made for me, and for my mom sitting at my bedside every single day and night from October of 1998 until March of 1999. But it has been given a whole new meaning to me that I don't think I can even put into words. I am so very grateful for the second chance that God gave me at life, and I will never ever take for granted or second guess the love of a parent again.
It terrifies me to raise a child in the world that we live in. I just want to hold him and protect him, but I know that I must trust in the Lord to hold my child in HIS arms. And I must spend every day on my knees praying that he will choose to let those strong arms hold him always. I am going to include a comment that I made on Mike Cope's blog last week, because it becomes even more relevant now. As I think of all that has happened to these sweet children from Highland, I know more than ever how important it is to show our children each day how very much they are loved.

I am a 24 year old who spent much of my teenage years struggling with bulimia and then anorexia. Being a parent now, I realize even more the fear that my own parents must have felt as they watched me lie in a hospital bed learning how to eat as an 18 year old.
One thing that I would point out about eating disorders specifically is that so much of the disorder, while it is based in physical appearance and body much of it really has to do with control. In my own personal experience, I felt that I could control nothing in my life. I had found a way to stay skinny by throwing up after each meal, and then people found out what was going on and began to follow me to the bathroom. So I decided, fine, I just won't eat. No one can MAKE me eat. I was in a total state of rebellion and self-destruction. I felt that this was the one area of my life that I was in which I had complete control. This was obviously proved wrong when I was admitted to the hospital after my 85 pound body collapsed with no one else at home but my terrified 13 year old brother.

I have wonderful parents who stood by me each baby step of the way. They loved me unconditionally, but refused to let me throw my life away. They helped me to learn that being in control of my life was not my job. And that no matter how "in control" I might have felt, God's plans are always bigger than our own. How thankful I am now to be free of the bondage and pressure of feeling like I needed to do God's job!

I am now the mother of a beautiful 5 month old who is a physical reminder every day to me of God's love. He has given me a whole new picture of the cross. It terrifies me to raise a child in this world, but I know, once again...I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

It is an unfortunate reality that children and teens are going to struggle with self-image. It is also a reality that this struggle does not magically disappear when we become adults. I think that there it is so important to take an active role in our children's lives; to remind them that they are not only our children but that they are first God's children and that He loves them and has a plan for them. They should be told how beautiful and special they are, every single day. Even more, we should live our lives reflecting that love and submitting control to God.

I do believe that parents need to talk to their children; to know what struggles they face. But the most effective thing that can be done is something that I am so thankful that my parents did for me. They lived as examples of Christ's love and devoted their lives to serving Him. They did not escape heartache, but always submitted control of the hard times to His will and plan. Thanks to their love and their faith in the Lord, I was delivered from the disease that enslaved me and given the chance to start a new life that was lived in the realization of the blessing of being out of control. I am not perfect and never will be...but I am free.

I still struggle in other ways with the attempt to control things in my life. I worry about things that are not important like keeping my house spotless. I am still young and have so much to learn. I have been introduced to the responsibility for another human life, and appreciate all the more all of the sacrifices that my parents made and all of the prayers that they said. I am by no means an expert in parenting and do not attempt to give advice to people that have much more experience than I do. I just wanted to share the blessing that it was for me to have godly parents striving to do exactly what so many of us are .

I only hope that I can live my own life in a way that points my son toward the cross. It is my prayer that as my child grows, he will be more familiar with my head bowed in prayer than with my obsessive need to get the laundry done.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

please pray

We pray for the Cope family and especially for sweet Christopher. We also pray for the Folwell, Lemmons and Bennett families. We grieve with the Bourland family in their loss and pray God's peace over their spirits. May angels surround them all tonight.

You can follow my links to Mike Cope's blog for more information and updates. There is also information on BST's blog and Val Durrington's blog which is

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad

I have to post twice today, because I also want to say Happy Birthday to my sweet dad.

Today my dad is 60 years old. He has lived an amazing life, and has given so much to so many people. He is one of the most loving, unselfish people I have ever known, and I will never be able to say thank you enough for the love he has given me, the example of his life, the sacrifices he has made. He has given us a heritage of faith and has always put his family first. He never thinks twice about giving. Through all he has been through medically, it has been clear that God wanted to keep him here and that he had more for him to do...we are so thankful for that and for the life that you have lived, Dad and we look forward to many more memories.

I am so thankful to be able to pass on his heritage to my baby, and I hope that each time my little boy writes his name, he will think of his Poppy and the wonderful man that he is.

So, happy birthday, Roy Franklin Tyndall. I hope you know that we all love you very much, especially Jack Franklin Pinson.

a prayer for my baby boy

It never gets old to witness someone put on Christ in baptism. It never fails to put a lump in my throat as I watch someone make that life changing decision; as they proclaim Christ boldly before their new brothers and sisters.

Last night we performed the first half of "The Bema". There was a wonderful response and I can't wait until next week when we do the second half. We performed it in October on a weekend in the youth center, and I am so thankful that God opened the door for the whole congregation to see this life-changing drama.

After service, a young girl was baptized. Once again I sat there with a lump in my throat, along with the feeling that has become very familiar to me ever since July 28, 2004. You see that is the day that my precious son was born. Ever since that day, when I see someone baptized, especially a child, all I can think of is Jack. I am reminded of the day that I was baptized, a young girl who could barely see over the baptistry. Last night as I watched that little girl who was also too tiny to be seen except on the screen above, I was moved by that image of a little child coming to Jesus. But what was most powerful was the conviction with which she made her confession. As always, it brought me to tears and was a reminder of the bold and unwavering faith that God calls us to.

In that moment, I thought of my tiny baby boy and the day that he would make that same decision. I am a new parent, and I have already realized the great honor and responsibility we have to pray for our children. I believe it is important to pray for every aspect of their life of course. Their health, their happiness, their mate (should God's will be for them to be married).
But the most important thing we can pray for our children, every single day, is that they will give their lives to Christ; that they will make the choice for Him to be the Lord of their life, and will spend their lives seeking His will and doing all for His glory.

Today, my prayer is for my son, and I wanted to write it down so that I could share it with Him each day of his life.

My sweet Baby Jack,
I love you so much and I am so thankful that God made you my son. Out of all the angels in heaven, he sent us such a special one and I pray that each day of your life you know just how much your daddy and I love you and thank God for you. Although our love for you is so deep, it can never even compare to the awesome love that God has for you. We will fail you sometimes because we are imperfect. The only thing that keeps us going is the love and grace of God, which is completely perfect. God's love saved us from our sin and renews us each day even when we continue to fall. The Bible tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. God gives us the amazing blessing to choose to do that now! Our prayer for you is that you will seek the Lord and that one day, when you are ready, you will choose to give your life to Him. God loves you so much. He created you to be a beautiful person and you will always be His child. We are so thankful that He has let you also be our child. We love you and pray for you each day. We pray that you will love the Lord and that you will one day choose to put Him on in baptism and confess His name outloud. Until that day comes, we will never cease to pray that we will live our own lives in a way that leads you towards the cross and to that choice. We count it an amazing blessing to be your parents and we will always be here to pray for you and with you. Know that we love you and are so very proud of you.
Love, Mommy and Daddy

I cannot imagine the great joy that I will feel on the day that Jack is baptized. I know that the road leading up to that day will be full of opportunities for me to share God's love with my child, and I pray that I will take hold of those. I pray that I will always live my own life in a way that shows Him a physical reminder of the love of Christ.

I know I have a great responsibility in getting him to that day.

And then, once that day comes...the real journey will begin!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I resolve to have a broken heart.

Not a line you hear every day, I know...but bear with me. It seems that I have so desensitized myself to the evil and broken world that we live in that I can watch the news and think, "That is so sad", but then I go on with my day and often give no more thought to the horrific pain, suffering, and sin that exists all around me.

I have many "resolutions" this year, as usual...lose the baby weight, read more, drink more water,begin my graduate studies and work towards my job goals...blah, blah, blah...WHO CARES? If I am not making it my business, my priority, my LIFE to glorify the Lord, then my life is worthless. Rick spoke Sunday about boldness, about truly living Paul's words that, "to live is Christ". He made the point that yes, life is hard and we will fail...but JESUS IS LORD, and there is no mistake that we can make that will keep God from being glorified if we make that our priority.

In 2004, my life was definitely changed. I was introduced to the responsibility for another human life, and to a love that is greater than any I have ever known before. But in the midst of all this, I fear I have become even more self-centered. I love my baby boy, and I know that God wants me to do all I can do to be a good mommy, a good role model and disciple to him. But I know that even that is not my greatest responsibility in this life.


Christ's heart is broken at the sight of our sin. It is broken at the sight of all who are lost and are not being reached out to. His heart is broken for the people of Asia, the people of Africa and Iraq, and for the person next door to us that we have not shared His love with.

My prayer tonight for this new year is that my heart would be broken for the things that break my Lord's heart. My prayer is that I will live boldly; that I will not live my life safely, but in a manner that drives fear into the heart of the evil that lurks outside my door. My prayer is that God will break my heart. That He will break my heart and fill it with His love, His heart, and His will alone.

If I can truly take my focus off of me and put it onto Christ and His children, then maybe I can finally wrap my head and heart around the amazing promise contained in the second half of the verse...TO DIE IS GAIN.

The best is yet to come.