Sunday, February 21, 2016

And, we shall try this once more....

So, I have been super convicted for a while now about the waste of my life that is social media.

I don't want to waste my life.  I want my life to point to Him.  Scrolling through Instagram photos and Facebook posts of people that I knew 20 years ago isn't exactly leading me to be living a life that is super purposeful and God-glorifying.

So, I've got to quit.  Today marks the first day of my intent to do just that.  Quit social media. (does blogging count as social media?? -- if so, today marks the first do of my intent to quit all social media other than blogging)!  I feel like I still need an outlet.  I like having a place to post cute pics of my kids and to, sort of, journal life.  This is going to be that outlet.  So, here goes...

I do still hear the voices of doubt - will I still be able to relate and do ministry well without connecting with people on social media?  Will I wish that I had an account when my children become the age that they start having their own accounts, so I can troll and stalk them and their friends (for their own protection, of course)?!  So, I respond to those voices of doubt with the Truth of God's Word and His Character.  He is so much bigger than all of that!  If I am relying on social media to draw people unto Himself, then I've got it all wrong.  My life sold out to the single passion of bringing glory to His Name is what my focus should be in reaching/loving people!  My children are His in the first place, not mine to stalk!  If I am being obedient to eliminate the things in my life that He, Himself, has led me see are wasteful, then He is going to take care of the rest, including the ministry that He has called me to, and including the welfare of my children.

Phew.  I feel better already, actually.  I'm also super excited to see what this blog turns into for me.  Obviously, it has been more than a couple of years since I was in the world of blogging.  I liked it when I did it, but I guess life just hit and I got busy with little kids - OR it could be that I was in such a place that I didn't want to be journaling my every thought and the day-to-day life that I was living?  Could be a combination of both, I suppose.  Add to that the fact that I think I tried a few times to log in and I had forgotten my password, so I quit trying.  Whatever the reason, I am glad to be back.  I really kind of hope no one actually reads this - which, how are they even going to know it's here unless I lead them to it, right??  I truly feel like God is going to use this outlet to replace what I thought I was needing in the social media world.  We'll see!  I actually make whole blog posts in my head all of the time and nothing ever comes of it.  Ha!  Yes, I talk to myself in my head quite often!

There is actually quite a bit going on with me lately - spiritually, physically, relationally.  I'm excited to, sort of, talk through some of those things on here.  I'm hoping it will be freeing and cleansing and that The Lord will use it to speak to me and help me be real and open about what I'm walking through.  I pray that He use this new phase in my life to glorify Himself!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

So, it's been a few weeks...

I visited my blog site today for the first time in several months (clearly) and I read each post and was totally inspired!  It's so awesome to look at and remember how God has worked so intimately in your life. So, I'd really like to try and pick it ack up, even if no one ever reads it-ha! I'm not even going to try and play catch up on all of the missed things from the last year and a half of no blog updates- I'll just attempt to paint a picture of the current:
- lance is full-time at Conroe community church, and we no longer deliver real estate magazines!! Woo-hoo! He leads worship and I think may have some title  having to do with media arts or something? We still minister to junior high, high school, and college students, which really is a lot of fun.
- I still teach little kid gymnastics classes at the city rec center and ladies Bootcamp at 5:30 in the stinking morning!!
- Boston is in FIRST grade at a private Christian school and we loooove it! He is extremely smart and super sweet!
- dash is 3 years old and still hangin' at home with mom (except for when we're at the rec center or volunteering at Boston's school). He's hilarious and cute!

More updates and pics later as the blog makes a come-back!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Yes, I am going to blog about a conference I attended. I feel like it will help me organize, in my mind, ALL that God taught me, spoke to me, revealed to me AND I feel like it answers the call to Live Out Loud, to be real! It's DEFINITELY going to be a jumbled mess to you, my millions of readers, but oh well! I also think its cool to think about the fact that about 30,000 other students heard the same speakers and attended the same conference and could blog about totally different things that God spoke to their heart! I would never seek to glorify this conference or the speakers, but it is fitting, I think, to honor Passion and thank them for being obedient to their calling to make Jesus famous and share His love with college students! No, I'm not in college nor am I college age, but if I get enough college students together and talk them into paying the registration fee, they let me attend the conference as well!!! Anyway, I'm so blessed and so thankful that God showed up in my heart this weekend and now, I'll TRY to articulate some of that. So, here goes... First rattle out of the bag (I actually have no idea what that means, by the way), during our first worship time together on Friday evening, I was prompted to sit and write these words that we were singing and pray them over myself and the group... "Like a mighty wind, light the fire again, come and breathe your breath on me." The whole weekend, we were reminded over and over again, by whomever was on stage, that we are at the mercy of God, totally! He doesn't have to show up, reveal Himself to us, allow His Holy Spirit to fall on us, etc... So, it was good to be mindful of that and truly beg/ask for Him to fall fresh, to light the fire in our hearts, to breathe on us, and then be so incredibly thankful if/when He graces us with His presence. Then, Louie Giglio opened up Philippians and stopped after the first verse. No joke! All it says is, "Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ." This is how they introduced themselves, because this is WHO THEY WERE! So, the challenge was basically presented - who are you? Who/what are you serving? Then, a very CLEAR instruction for me, that repeated itself over the weekend, was spoken: The clarity of who Jesus Christ is should cause us to, 24/7, desire to serve Him. Have I lost that clarity? Why? Because there are obviously things hindering me from serving him 24/7, so where did that clarity go? Louie talked a lot more about freedom in Christ and to live is Christ and to die is gain and seeing Jesus in a real, revolutionary way. And I wrote it all down and I am sure that God will use it, because it was great and true, but I pretty much stopped at the clarity issue. That's where God was focusing my heart. From there, we went on to our community small groups and that is the thing that I shared. There are things making blurry the person of Jesus Christ in my life. My prayer was (and still is) to see Him more clearly, for exactly who He is. Day 2 began with Francis Chan speaking to the leaders. He was very passionate about what God had laid on his heart to share with us. He told a story about what someone had told him a few months ago -- Francis, I think God could use you, if you're willing to be lonely, willing to be misunderstood. -- WOW! How could Francis Chan be lonely and misunderstood? He may or may not be, but he has to be willing to. He has to be willing to stand alone amidst ALL of the false teaching out there. He has to be willing to go against the flow when seemingly Christian leaders start speaking incredible untruths (yes, it was obvious at this point who he was referring to)! I was SO glad to be hearing this, to see that God was so obviously putting these words in his mouth for the college and youth leaders at Passion to hear and understand! Not only does Francis Chan have to be willing to be lonely and misunderstood, but so do I. Being lonely for me may mean that I don't look like this world thinks I should look, I won't seek after the things the world (even the Christian world) thinks I should seek after, I won't back down when God is being misrepresented and or put down, I will know the truth and will proclaim it. I've got to quit trying to fit into the mold that Conservative Christian America has set up for me and quit trying to make people feel good or okay about their sin and speak truth! LIVE truth! He read 2 Timothy 4:1-5, which talks about false teachers teaching people what they want to hear, gaining popularity. Rebuke it! Teach the Word! There is a hell, he said! There is one way and the Bible is very clear about that! Decide, right now, are you willing to be lonely when you stand up against whats popular, for Truth?! Then, for me, the clarity part came in again -- we broke into small groups and read Philippians 2:5-11. "Let our gaze fill up on the greatness and glory of Jesus." If I were to truly do that, gaze on Him, make the mindset of Jesus be my life, not the supermom down the street, not the put-together ministers wife, not the rockin' body personal trainer, but JESUS, the clarity of who He is would take over, would be in control and I would speak up, I wouldn't care how lonely I was!! Carol, make the clear picture that Scripture presents of who Jesus is, the measure of my life, not anything else! And when the person of Christ is clear, the Truth of Him and His Word will be what I proclaim!! Francis also spoke about how simple God's Word really is. We keep trying to read all of these things into it, to make it more complex, to make it fit into today's society, but I was very convicted when he said -- just read it, for what it is, for the simplicity and CLARITY of it! This was convicting, yet comforting. Just read God's Word and allow Him to reveal Himself to me through it. I don't have to keep up with the latest theology or what so-and-so thinks this portion of Scripture says or the latest trend in teaching a certain area of Scripture -- just read it and seek JESUS!! So, that led right into Francis Chan's next large group session -- Philippians 1:27-28. "Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Who Christ is has got be clear to me first, before I'm able to measure myself up against who He is. I've got to know the gospel and love it before I can try and defend a life worthy of it. READ HIS BOOK! Quit getting sucked in, quit being frightened, just live for the gospel that you love - even when its in direct opposition to our culture's norm! Then, during that worship time, God spoke once again through the lyrics that we were singing. It was as if He was saying -- this is the simplicity of Christ, this is what you're living for, this is what needs to be clear: "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ is coming again." We sang that over and over again and it is so simple, so clear. That's the gospel. Then, we had an afternoon session devoted to hearing testimony from some people who had been serving overseas in Africa, with an unreached people group. Look at these statistics: - There are 6,872 unreached people groups in the world - That's 2.8 billion people who live with less than 2% of Christians in their particular people group and most don't even have the Word of God in their own language. - That's 40% of our world!!!! Those of you who know me know where this is going -- God just reaffirmed, once again, in my heart, that He has called me to take His Word to these people in some form, at some time. It was as if He was saying - your calling to full-time mission work hasn't just gone away, and it won't!! Then, John Piper. His life message is that God deserves glory and that glory comes when we rest in Him and enjoy Him and are satisfied in Him. Today's message was that we would enjoy being made much of by God, because in doing, we are make making much of God our supreme treasure. I'm not even going to try and explain this, but essentially, it boiled down to making all the we do, all of our joy, be founded in Christ. When my joy ends with me or is selfish, it's unsatisfying. But, when my joy is based on the person of Christ, it's all satisfying! Then, we were asked to leave that session in silence as we walked to our small group time. Lance and I were separated, so I was just walking by myself (our community group was about 3 blocks away). I was prayerful during this time, but didn't necessarily feel like God was doing this overwhelming work in my heart at that particular time. Well, earlier in the day, I thought that I had seen someone from college that I knew and my initial reaction was to run and hug them. It wasn't someone I knew, though, so I refrained from the running and the hugging. But, I think what was going on in my heart was this: Since we've moved away from our home 3 1/2 yrs ago, we've been forced into a totally different culture, essentially. I know that sounds weird, because we're still in TX and we're still in a Southern Baptist church even. It's very hard to explain, but the mindset is absolutely different and I fight against becoming someone I'm not, every day. It may just be that we're no longer in small town West Texas, but everything is so busy and so filled with "stuff" and the pressure to fit into that and to look a certain way and have certain friends and be at a certain status is, sometimes, overwhelming. So, I definitely feel lonely sometimes, like I'm trying to not let the world around me change who I am. I was sort of longing for someone who knew ME, who was around when God was forming me into who I am, and that's why I felt the urge to hug that friend from college. Anyway, all of that say, that God knows what we need and He knows how to provide. As we were walking in silence, I look to my left and there was Reggie Franklin, a guy who I grew up looking up to. I'm not going to disclose exactly how much older than me he is, but he was like in High School when I was a little kid. He was there when God called me unto Himself and I accepted Christ as my Savior. He knew ME for ME and loved me and I just walked right over to him and we hugged and God knew it was what I needed at that very moment. I tried to explain all of this to my small group, but I don't think it was very understandable. Could've been that I was also crying while trying to explain? Then, as if that were not enough already, John Piper spoke again to our group of leaders on the last morning and it was crazy awesome! It was extremely practical and full. He was just laying it out there, as if directly from the Lord to us. I loved it. And it was all about His Word and knowing it, because how much more clear is Christ going to become?! He said that hearing from the Lord comes from reading His Word. He gave several reasons why we should know God's Word (and when I say know, I mean KNOW, like from memory). A couple of the reasons really stuck out to me -- 1) because it is our sword and how we fight temptation and sin -- this is so clear in the Bible and so true!, 2) it's how we bring Christ to to others in situations where they need to see Him. He shared a story about his first year as a pastor, visiting a family in the hospital and they asked him for a Word from God and he went blank. He went home and promised that that would NEVER happen again, and he memorized a Psalm that could help someone in just about any situation they were in. I love that. That is exactly who God has called us to be. It's so clear. It's so simple. Know His Word -- to fight temptation and sin and to love the people around us, and to see Christ more clearly! That's a lot, and I could keep typing, but I doubt if anyone is even still reading!? It definitely hits some of the high points for me. There may be more to come? Promise to post pics of cute kids in the near future!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Totally Worth It!

Couple of things ...
1. Joy erupted in my heart on Sunday morning. I don't really know what it's like to have career aspirations or seek a job/career for how much money it will make for me. From a very young age, I've just felt His calling on my life for actual vocational ministry. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing the career that God has called you to, even if that career makes you lots of money. He needs disciples in all areas of life. He just hasn't called me to be a millionaire! Anyway, all of that to say, there are moments, and there have been a handful of them, when God just hits me with overwhelming joy for the work He's called me to. It brings me to tears every single time and I just praise Him for using me to further His Kingdom. So, it happened this Sunday - it's when you see students whom you've invested your all into, choose Him, on their own. You see them seeking Him with their whole heart. They abandon the things of this world for intimacy with Christ. You witness them being obedient in the hard things and it just makes it all worth it. I will be poor (financially) for the rest of my life if it means that God can continue using me to move students closer to falling deeply in love with Him. Don't get me wrong, I am, in no way, taking any type of credit for students choosing Christ. They do that by the grace of God and their own free will. I'm just overjoyed to be giving my life and my time and energy and my resources to give them every opportunity to make those right choices. I just love it!
2. I can not, for the life of me, seek God enough to find the answer to what will be totally worth it in the life of mr. boston. He wants to spend as much time as possible with his mom and dad, which I love. I want for his innocence to be protected and for his little mind and heart to stay open and free. He needs the interaction of children his own age, I think. I think he would enjoy the structure of a classroom. He needs to learn to be a light in the midst of darkness, even if that's not always easy. But, when's the right time to set him loose in the big world? Is it age 5, kindergarten, because thats what the US Govt and society say? I know, I know, I just need to seek the Lord and trust that His answer will come at the right time. Until then...?!?!?!?
3. I don't have a #3, but it didn't look right to make a whole post with only 2 points, so I'll just use this post to say that Boston has been playing soccer and loves it. Dash has hand foot mouth disease at this very moment, but it has got to be the mildest case in history, because he does not act bothered by it in the slightest. Lance is doing an awesome job at the church and enjoying it more and more everyday, I think. I am still coaching cheer, personal training, and teaching gymnastics -- I would have NEVER thought those things would be in my job title, but God knows what He's doing and prepared me for each of them in an incredible way along the way.

...and that's all folks! (no pics, sorry)!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Too Much!

To begin... these kids are TOO MUCH, aren't they?!
I can't help how cute they are - that's just the way they are!
And yes, we absolutely have 1 of each (1 lance and 1 carol) - it's really funny!

And now for the blogging,
There's just too much. I mean, what did I expect after taking a 5 month blogging hiatus?! Well, here's the thing. I get so much joy and conviction and wisdom and insight and pleasure from reading other people's blogs. I'm not going to claim to be able to provide any of that for the 2 people reading this (whoever you - my mom and sister most likely), but I just want to be obedient to God impressing upon my heart to be more real, to be open about who I am and my walk with Him. I have several 'friends' who inspire me when I see their lives lived out on their blog or facebook or whatever, to be more of who God wants me to be. So, here it goes.

Well, since I last blogged:

- we've moved out to Montgomery, TX (about 10 minutes from where we lived in Conroe, TX)

- I've become a cheer coach and part-time PE Teacher at a Christian School

- I've quit my job as a PE Teacher! (more about that in a bit)

- I've traveled to the Rose Parade in Pasadena with a dear friend, her mother-in-law, and Mr. Boston

- I've probably gained about 10 pounds (not a good thing for someone trying to sell herself as a trainer!)

- Lance has gone full-time at the Church

- I'm sure there is a ton more, but that's a bit of it anyway!

Here's what God is teaching me now --

In August, I started teaching PE at a Christian School, after already taking a job as their Varsity Cheer Coach. I was reluctant to do the PE as well, but it was very part time and they needed someone, so I agreed. It did not take long at all for me to realize that it was a career choice that I could definitely see myself enjoying but not right now. I still needed to be home with my kids! Financially speaking, it was not/is not easy to give up a paycheck to stay at home with your kids for free! But, it was very clear to me that it was where I needed to be. I do not doubt, however, that God uses our circumstances to teach us things. As I stay home full time once again, I am more THANKFUL to be here, to be the one loving on and teaching my kids; I don't long to be somewhere else. Does that make sense?

In November, my family lost a cousin, DPS Trooper Jonathan McDonald, who was in a car accident on his way to a call. He has a young wife and 6 month old baby at home. It was incredibly humbling and gut-wrenching to think of how their life is changed forever. Being there for the grieving with my family and funeral and burial, seeing how hundreds were coming to honor my cousin, it caused me to wonder what exactly people would have to say about me if I were to die tomorrow. Am I loving at all costs? Am I giving and serving and selfless? Do people see Jesus in me, without question?! What needs to change in my life in order for Him to be glorified?!

In December, a friend from college died in a car accident, leaving 2 small children, a husband, and a newborn they had to deliver via c-section before she died! My friend (Melissa) is keeping everyone updated on the status and you can find links to more info there. But, God is just opening my eyes as I follow this story, convicting me of how much time and energy I waste on things that are of absolutely no importance. I have precious time to invest in the lives of my children, to invest in the lives of those around me, to invest in my own relationship with the Lord, to be about seeing Him glorified in all that I do and say, and I choose to be lazy or selfish instead! Brie was doing all of those things, being the woman God called her to be and now her children and husband will live the rest of their lives without her. She didn't waste the time that she had. I've been really convicted lately to do the same. My friend, Melissa, who was very close friends with Brie, is loving on Brie's family, serving them, and being a prayer warrior 24/7. She's inspired me to be that kind of friend, to be that kind of person, to raise my children to trust in the Lord like that.

January -- here we are, 2011! I pray for my position as a Cheer Coach, as a Gymnastics Teacher, as a Personal Trainer - to be who God wants me to be to the people I encoutner in those positions. I pray fervently for my children. I want them to know Jesus so intimately. I want them to glorify Him with their lives. I pray that I can be the mother that they need to be that will show them the love of Christ. I pray for my church and where it's headed and my place in it. I pray for my friends, old ones, new ones, close ones, distant ones, that God would work miracles in their lives, that they would see His love clearly. I pray for the students in our ministry, that we could lead thim into a deep, intimate relationship with Christ, that we could show them what that looks like, that they would fall in love with Him! I pray for my extended family, their families, their witness, their circustamnces, and my relationship with them. I pray for my marriage, that it would bring glory to Him, that we would daily partner together to be whoever He wants us to be, wherever He wants us to be.

So, that's that. Maybe I'll blog again in the next few weeks. I love to see God at work and I hope to be able to share some of that with you through this site.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hot Lava Sorry

i thought this little story was blog worthy:
So, we've been helping out at our church's youth camp all week. It was an outdoor camp this year for the first time, which was really cool. A family in our church lives out on a big ranch about 25 minutes from town and hosted us for the week. The kids slept in big huge tents and everything was, well, outdoors! I had no other choice but to take my 2 sweet children out there with me each day if I wanted to take part in the camp. So, on Wednesday, Boston spent practically the entire day in the pool. He got in at about 10:30 am, got out for lunch, then right back in, then out for crafts, right back in, then out for dinner, right back in, and finally out for good around 7:30pm! No joke. Luckily, the pool was located in the center of 'camp' so someone always had a close eye on him, but he was in his swimsuit ALL DAY LONG! Naturally, he began to complain of some pain inbetween his legs where his wet suit had rubbed him a little bit raw. He fell asleep in the car on the way home (seeing as how it was 11pm - I'm a terrible mom, I know) but when we did arrive home, I decided to put some cream on his legs. He was half asleep standing in the middle of the bathroom. I have the cream on my finger, I move towards the affected area to apply the cream when all of a sudden, my sweet groggy little 4 year old boy tee-tees right in my face! I yell "NO!" He immediately perks up, realizes what he's done, and begins apologizing like this:
"Oh mom, I'm so sorry, real sorry, like Hot Lava sorry!"
How can you not laugh at that?! Needless to say, he did not get into trouble - we applied the cream and went to bed!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Emerging, Emergent - Whatever.

Okay, so I've had a bad taste in my mouth for this whole movement of emerging or emergent churches. I can't remember if I've blogged about it before or not, so sorry if I have. Apparently I should not interchange the names emerging and emergent, because emerging simply describes a style or philosophy that a church can take on while emergent is actually a church that has joined some association called the Emergent Church. Whatever! This is a Carol Dockrey definition, but here's what it boils down to, in my opinion: an emerging/emergent church is a church or a group of christians doing all that they can to be "relevant" to the world around them so that they are attracted to Jesus Christ (i can feel the hate mail from those associated with this style or philosophy, explaining to me how wrong I am, but oh well). It's like they sort of go to the extreme to prove that they are not simply traditional religious folk, but that they have a relationship with Jesus Christ and can basically, live like the rest of the world, and then they hope that this type of life looks appealing to those who don't yet know Christ. That's my opinion of what it's all about anyway.
So, what happened to simply preaching the Word of God and allowing people to be attracted to that? What happened to simply living like Christ (loving unconditionally) and allowing Him to draw people unto Himself? IJS!
Here's the thing - I've recently seen an overall lack of "awe" (for lack of a better word) for God's Word among His children. What am I doing to cause this? How is my life not exuding the importance of knowing God more intimately through His Word? It grieves my soul! So, what am I gonna do about it?! I care absolutely nothing about being "relevant" if it means that God's Word takes a back seat. I don't think that God's Word calls us to live like the rest of the World. We've got to trust that He is powerful enough to draw people unto Himself when we are obedient to surrender to the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit, NOT the leadership and guidance of this world and this evil culture!!!

----stepping off soap box now.