Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I've been a bad blogger in December. It has been busy! I'm working on my top 10 for 2007. I could probably give like a year in pictures, but that might be cheesy so I'm gonna stay away from that. December has been excellent, just extremely busy!
More coming soon!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A thankful heart...

Thought I would get a head start to the bazillion things I wanted to do this Thanksgiving. Once I go home, it is all about the cooking. My responsibility is making rolls. They are wonderful... it's my mom's recipe, so no credit can really be given to me. :)
This year, I am truly thankful for all the everyday things that God blesses my life with, but one thing stands out above other things this year. I was reading in Acts last week. Acts 10:34 states, "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality." Yes, that is what I am truly thankful for this year, that God shows no partiality. In His goodness, He made provision for me to have salvation. It is definitely not something I have earned or deserve, but He opened the door for all. Such a simple thought, but one that blows my mind. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness... I pray that God blesses you and your family this Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some randomness

Have you ever had those days when God just seems to be bugging you? Not in a bad way, but in a good way, like you can't get the thought out of your head. That's been me lately. I pray that God will reveal His lesson to me soon... sometimes I'm a slow learner.

Here goes, I love bullet points!

  • My mom had an exciting report about her cancer this week. The pill form of chemo is working, so she will not have to take iv chemo for now. This makes an enjoyable Thanksgiving and Christmas without all the side effects of chemo. God is bigger than cancer. I can't say it enough.
  • I'm taking a church history class this term. I had no idea the volume of information included in church history. The more I learn, the more excited I am that I am a Christian.
  • My small group girls are reading through Acts. I've learned so much. Some will be reflected in my Thanksgiving post.
  • Speaking of Thanksgiving, it is one of my favorite holidays. Not all the pressure of gifts, but just an enjoyable time. There is supposed to be 25 of us this year for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited. The more, the merrier. Plus, I have about a million reasons to be thankful.
  • One thing I am not thankful for is holiday traffic. It is already crazy here. It just reminds me of the commercialization of Christmas. Today, the thought actually came to me to not buy/recieve gifts, just enjoy the holiday. It's not about us anyway.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Exactly a week ago, I saw Shane & Shane in concert. I've seen them a couple times at different events or concerts. In my opinion, they have the most honest and open concerts of any musician(s) I have ever seen. They tell the stories behind their songs along with the Scripture that inspired the words. Their song "Beg" is not one of those deep theological songs, but more of a crying out to God.

Here's the second verse and chorus:

So here I am. Got my deeds for the day.
All my cute little words about how I am saved.
Am I saved?
Could I love you with my mouth like a church kid should?
At the end of the day my words get burned as wood.
Oh, but I was good.

I'm haunted by my God
who has the right to ask me what by the nature of my rebellion I cannot give.

I beg for you to move.
For you to breakthrough

I cannot get this song out of my head! I don't think I want to...

Friday, November 02, 2007

The power of words...

My day was totally made today by a sweet compliment! I sometimes forget the power of words to make or break people. I hope that my words always build up those around me.

You know who you are, thanks for making me smile!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Roommate #1 Married

So, I have to backtrack a little. On October 13, 2007, April got married. It's quite the funny story about how April and David got together. He liked her long before she even knew that he liked her. The three of us were at our apartment one day and April said, "I think I might be ready to date someone." This made me laugh a little, cause I knew that David liked her and had tried to tell her this. About a week later, David asked her out. About a year and a half later, we celebrated their wedding. It was quite the experience and the wedding weekend was one of the most fun times in my life. All three of the roomies had been a bridesmaid in many weedings, but we had never been in a wedding together. It was so much fun! Teri got to be here for a few extra days and we had a blast together!!! So, a late congratulations goes out to April & David. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Electronic Gizmo

My beloved digital camera has died. Of course, everyone knows that you cannot live without a camera. So, I bought a new one. The options are so much better than when I bought my first camera 3 or 4 years ago. Being the fashion-consciences girl that I am and realizing that every electronic that a girl owns is more like a fashion accessory, I bought this:
It is so beautiful I hate to put it in a case. It matches my pink cell phone and ipod. 'Cause it's really all about coordinating your accessories.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

highlighter v. pen

For the past year and a half of my master's classes, I have used a highlighter when i read. My friends all use pens and just underline. I think I have given in to the peer pressure, although I must use a pen with colored ink (not black or blue) and only gel ink... kinda crazy. I think this combination offers the best possible emphasis for the text!

What about you? Do you use a highlighter or a pen?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cheap Grace

I read this today. It's a quote from Bonhoeffer. I love his writings. He will be a person that I will want to chat with in Heaven.

"Cheap grace - people congratulate themselves that they are forgiven, without repenting; that God is on their side, without their following the way of God as revealed in Jesus; that they are Christians, without it making much difference in their way of life."

Does being a Christian make a difference in the way you live?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thought-provoking class

I'm taking a Christian ethics class this semester and the topic of Racial Prejudice has come up many times, especially with related to the church. So, this got me thinking about my personal life and reminded me of my dear friend Danyel. I met her about 6 months after I moved to Memphis and her friendship has proved to be one of the highlights of my time here! We have sat through some really boring accounting classes together, ate lots of Red Robin burgers, enjoyed birthday lunches, some graduation parties, and a wedding! I have had the privilege of going to church with her and being a part of her family! And I have loved every minute of it! I'm so grateful for her friendship even though our skin is opposite in color.

So, anyway concerning prejudices in the church - it is definitely an issue in the Memphis area. How do we resolve this? I'm not sure... thoughts? comments? How should the church respond?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Busy all the time...

Last weekend, my older brother and his family of 5 moved to Memphis. Tomorrow, my little brother will be moving into my apartment. Yesterday, my roommate moved out. Tonight, my mentoree is spending the night with me. Too much busyness, not enough time to blog! Happy Friday! I love the weekend!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday! He's 65! Yep, quite the old man. :) To me he's the best dad ever. I'm his only daughter so that makes the dad/daughter bond a little more special! My favorite thing about my dad is his love for my mom. Also, he is such a Godly man, the world needs more people like him!

Happy Birthday Dad! I wish you the best of days. You have been and always will be my hero!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A plethera of random

Bullet points are my favorite and most appropriate for now:
  • My mom has finished her second chemo treatment. Chemo is awful and has the most horrible effects on your body. We rejoice in every good day. I read Nehemiah yesterday, he told the people to stop mourning because, "the joy of the Lord is their strength." That's a great promise when dealing with cancer of someone you love. I'm hanging on to that one.
  • I've got a new group of girls for Sunday morning. Actually, they are an old group. I had them in 6th grade and now I have them in High School. I love them. We are bonding again. They seem a lot cooler than me though! :)
  • My brothers are both moving to my town within the next 2 weeks. Scary. My little bro is coming to live with me. He's a cool kid. I'm glad that he is going to be around.
  • I saw the Bourne Ultimatum this weekend. I'm a cheapskate and never go to movies because they are so expensive. This was worth my money. I would see it again.
  • I'm working on a new Bible study group and Girls' Retreat for the fall. Crazy, yep! I love my job and the opportunities I have been given.

That's it for tonight. I have a birthday sometime this week! Maybe a post about that later! :) Peace out!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Free Stuff

Today was the most incredible Thursday. Well, not exactly, but I did get some free stuff.
First of all, Chick-fil-a (the greatest fast food restaurant ever) gave out free Chicken Biscuits!

I love chicken biscuits anyway, but free one's just taste better.

This afternoon, as I was sitting at my most favorite place, Starbucks, the manager came up to me and some Bible study girls and asked if we would like to try the new Blueberry Frappuccino.

A tall Frappuccino, of course!! Blueberry is not my favorite drink from Starbucks, but pretty good! :) Then, she proceeded to give us gift bags with cool Starbucks stuff!

What more could a girl ask for in one day... I love free Thursday!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Where have I been?

In the past couple of weeks, I have been to Missions Camp and a Mission Trip to Brazil. I've celebrated people's birthdays, experienced airport delays, and much more. Information on all of this is coming soon. The most exciting news... I have a new nephew, he was born last week. His name is Jack Ryan. I'm so excited about this sweet baby boy. I cannot wait to meet him.
Pictures from the past couple of weeks will follow in the coming days.

For now... I'm so happy to be home.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saying what I've been thinking for a long time...

Sometimes, I read things and I think, "Wow, I've been thinking the exact same thing." Check this out.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Normal Things

I'm working on writing my book, "Life Doesn't Always Turn Out the Way You Plan!" Just kidding, although sometimes I feel like I probably could. Anyway, my dad believes that during this time with my mom we should live life as normal as possible. I agree wholeheartedly. These are some normal things that have happened lately:
  • My friend/co-worker, Andy, has a blog. I'm so excited about this for a number of reasons. I promised him a long time ago that I would read his blog if he ever decided to blog. And he is a deep thinker. His words are challenging. Check it out, I promise you will not be disappointed. He is the work theologian. I give it a good stuff guarantee.
  • No relation to the above, I am terrified of toads. I had a tramatic experience last week and I'm still working on the recovery.
  • Way of the Master Radio may be my new favorite thing. I cannot get enough of it. Thankfully for me, there is 2 hours a day of it!
  • Next week is Missions Camp in Lousiana. I'm excited about teaching my family group. The theme is "Here and Now." The lessons are though-provoking. I'm learning a lot as I study, I hope this carries over in me being able to share with my girls!

My mom has 1 more test tomorrow. We are praying for great things!! God is bigger than cancer. More info as it becomes available.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I've been putting off blogging because of some not so great news. I could just start talking about something else and pretend like it's no big deal, but it is a big deal. My mom has more cancer, maybe in her colon and some on her pelvis. More scans and tests will be run to see the extent and course of action to be taken. It's been a tough couple of days. I will definitely share more later. Looking back, I believe God was preparing me and my family for this. If ya get a chance, pray for her. Prayer provides the greatest hope...
Believing in miracles,

Sunday, July 01, 2007

They didn't know...

On Sunday Mornings, the 7th grade girls are going through characters of the Old Testament. This morning, I taught on Esther and that famous line, "Yet who knows where you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?" I shared the background of the story and the girls had no clue about any details in the story. I'm not sure if they had even heard the story before. I think I ended up teaching in shock. How can you be a girl and not know about 1 of the only 2 women in the Bible who have a book named and written all about them? I absolutely love everything about Esther's story and these girls were clueless. I believe I need to do a better job communicating with them. The Old Testament has some fascinating stories and real life application for now.
Wow... my burden as a teacher has increased!

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's a pretty good day...

So today is my mom and dad's 39th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! I completlely forgot about it till yesterday, being the fabulous daughter that I am.
The best thing about today is not that it is their anniversary, but that my mom received a call from the cancer doctor saying the mri showed that the tumor on her sciatic nerve is gone. Hopefully, this means she is cancer free. She will have pet scan on Monday to determine if there is cancer anywhere else. Stay tuned for part 2.

Today is also Friday and the first Friday in a long time that I don't have school work. I'm so thankful for that. I have some plans with my small group girls and a little relaxing at my best friend's pool. Life is grand.

My r on my laptop is sticking! More later!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A recap

In the last few weeks, life has consumed my life. Here's some randoms:
  • My mom started another round of scans yesterday. She will have an MRI, X-rays, and PETScan before the doctors give her some information. It makes me more nervous than aything having to wait, but I believe the prognosis should be good. Expect the best, right?
  • I finished my Communicating Biblical Truth class. What an experience! I "preached" a sermon and I pray I never have to do that again. It was quite interesting and lot of work. I am thankful for the experience, but most thankful for Pastors who put in the time and effort every week.
  • Today is Kimbo's birthday! I will blog about that later.
  • I'm preparing for Missions Camp and a Mission Trip to Brazil in July. I'm guessing that it will be a busy month.
  • My old roomie Teri came home from Mexico for about a month. I'm trying to spend as much time with her as possible. I'm so thankful that she is home. You can't help but have fun when she is around.

That's life for now! No complaints here! More later!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

up to my eyeballs or something like that...

I like to run at warp speed... yep... definitely.

I have started typing this blog a good 5 or 6 times and always get distracted by something else. If I may, let me share a list of the something elses.
  • Summer Class - Communicating Biblical Truth (essentially a preaching class) for 4 hours Tuesday and Thursday Evenings. 3 books to read on preaching, 2 papers to write, plus a complete sermon manuscript
  • Bible Study with Kimbo. We just started new book on Servant Leadership. It's incredible, but I desire to give her more so she can learn and grow.
  • VBS Lessons for Middle School Students - I'm teaching on my series in 1 John that I put together for my New Testament class. Obviously, I didn't put enough in it to make it "teachable," so I'm tweaking them. I'm learning a lot, but it is time consuming.

That's my list. It makes me tired just reading it! So many incredible opportunities and I wish that I had time to dive into each one and make it great!!! I'm giving my best effort though. This is only for a short time. Obviously, God has a lot to teach me, so I'm getting it shoveled in all at once!

That's my story for now... Peace out!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the benediction...

These words are the last "song" on Jimmy Needham's cd. I never get tired of hearing them, because they always make me think... tonight I cannot get them out of my head.

No one is good – there is not even one.
The front pages of papers of children raped by rapists, Iraqi torture chambers
And we the blamed claim we’re blameless.

And swelling up inside of us, there’s this pride in us, this arrogance.
And our only line of defense is the sense that I’m not half as bad as this friend of mine
So I must be fine. We mean well, don’t we?
Yet I’ve never seen good intentions set a man free from

This poor unfortunate soul, filling a single void with toy after toy, girl after boy…
How boring! This wasn’t meant to be humanity’s life story,
Warring with God, saying, “What have YOU done for ME?”

Hanging out for six hours, marred beyond recognition
In complete submission to the Father’s will,
Still, a proclamation was made, louder than the loudest temptation
With more beauty than all His creation
More eternal than eternity
More angelic than the heavenlies:

You are bought with blood.
For freedom has come.

Monday, June 04, 2007


It absolutely blows my mind when I try to do something nice for someone and they end up "repaying" me far greater than I could ever expect or imagine. I don't do nice things to get something in return, sometimes it just happens. God has blessed my life with some special people. That's all I have to say...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Confessions of a campaholic

My name is Shawna and I'm a recovering campaholic. Actually, I survived camp. It was the most beautiful week on the beach in Panama City Beach, FL. I learned a few things about camp... the main one being: No matter how prepared you are for camp, you are still not prepared for camp. I feel like when we plan we try to cover all the bases and think of every last detail, sometimes ya just forget. I felt like I forgot a ton of things. I'm thankful for Wal-Mart.

The students were so much fun on this camp, every year the dynamics of the students are different. I would say that these seemed to be younger and little more immature than groups in the past, but they are middle school students and that's just how most of them are. Middle school students are always funny, so there was a lot of laughs. One thing I did appreciate was not a lot of drama... that seemed to be a first for camp in a long time.

The leaders and student leaders were incredible. God seemed to put a group of us together that bonded and enjoyed working together. I had a lot of laughs with them as well as being able to share burdens for specific students. My heart continues to go out to one particular girl. I pray God gives me more opportunities to show His love to her.

So many good stories about a great camp. A few students accepted Christ and others were challenged in their walk with Christ. Very exciting stuff! One thing camp always does for me is increases my burden for students. What an opportunity I have to show Jesus each and every week to these kids! It's a scary responsibility, but I'm ready for the challenge!
Oh and one more thing... this one guy from another church looked exactly like Brandon Heath.
That was way too funny! I should have taken a picture of him!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I'm getting excited about camp! Only 1 more week of planning. I absolutely love my job and getting to put things together for trips and camps, but nothing is as much fun as actually participating in something that you have spent months preparing. I haven't done all of the work, not even close, but I love it when the event actually happens. I was thinking today that I'm ready for some change as well. Life has been quite the "normal" routine lately and I'm excited that camp is coming to mix things up a little bit.
I've been working on stuff for my small group. The Bible studies are on Joshua. It's gonna be great. I love learning and teaching about incredible characters in God's Word.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My new phone...

Thursday night, I got this phone, a Samsung Blackjack. It has got to be the coolest phone I have ever had, cause of all the really cool stuff that it can do. The problem is that my phone is cooler than me. Or at least it is smarter than me. I have done multiple things to mess it up and I'm still not really sure about all the features, but I'm trying to learn. I know one day I will be a pro with my phone, but until then I'm somewhat of a Blackjack Idiot. I'm also going to get some kind of cover for it, for the following reasons: 1. I have a tendency to drop my phone (a lot). 2. According to some of the students, PDA phones are manly. Because of these reasons, I'm going to make my phone a little girly. I'm somewhat excited about this!
Ok, so other things this week. I finished my current class New Testament 2. I have about 2 weeks off before my next class, Communicating Biblical Truth, begins. I'm excited and nervous about this class. More on that later.
Some of my extended family is coming next weekend for my cousin's High School Graduation. I'm excited about that, cause I have the greatest extended family ever. Pictures and information will follow sometime after next weekend! Also, we are getting ready for camp. I cannot believe that it has come so soon!! I'm excited about what God is going to do!!!
I'm starting to fall asleep. Until next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An ode to my cell phone

Dear Sweet Cell Phone,

Today, you let me down. We have been through so much together and last week, you experienced the horrible incident of being dropped and a little broken. Still, I continued to use you as I am addicted to you. Well, it's not really you, but the people you connect me with. Unfortunately, I dropped you in cup of water today and you no longer function. What will I do without you? Because of your untimely death, I will be forced to pay large amounts of money to replace you. And because I cannot live without you, I will pay.
I hope that you have enjoyed our time together. I certainly have. You will be missed, but will probably be soon forgotten as I plan to replace you with a newer model. Thank you for your service.

With love,

Monday, May 14, 2007

No focus

As I type this, I'm aggrevated with myself. I have a set of lessons due tomorrow for my class and for the most part they are done, but I think they stink. I am so easily distracted and drawn away into other things, that I'm pretty much not able to give 100% focus to the things that need my complete and total attention. I hate it. It's like having ADD as a 25 year old... I'm off to go study for my exam.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My oldest friend...

I've been thinking a lot about people lately. I happen to have quite a few people in my life who make life a little sweeter, so I've decided to blog about them. Above is my dear friend, Misty. I have been friends with her longer than I can really remember. We met when I was in 2nd grade, she was in 1st (although she is only 3 months younger than me.) If you do all of the calculations, our friendship has perservered through almost 19 years. It absolutely blows my mind. There are a few times in our friendship that I'm not so proud of, but the great memories far outweigh anything bad. We have gotten into more trouble than any 2 people should be allowed. We have pulled numerous pranks and she is the person who always makes me laugh. In high school, we had about 1,000 inside jokes and enough nicknames to call each other something different every time we saw each other. Misty was famous for writing me poems, but not like a really nice poem... her poems always rhymed perfectly and made sure to let me know that she was the queen of poetry while at the same time cutting me down. They were so cheesy, and still make me laugh to this day. She will always be the one to understand that to have a good party, ya gotta have cheese dip! :)

Misty graduated from college on Saturday! I'm so proud of her. No, she hasn't been there forever, she worked for awhile before starting. Our lives are completely different. She is married with a fun 2 year-old boy and well, I finished college 3 years ago and haven't really gotten married yet. I'm so grateful for her friendship. It has been tried and tested in so many ways and I'm thankful that after all these years I can still call her a friend. Normally, I embrace change, but I'm glad that a few things have remained the same.

Mom & Me

On Friday, May 4 my mom finished her cancer radiation treatments! That evening, we went to a Mother/Daughter Banquet together at my parents' church in Jonesboro. This is just a snapshot of us before the banquet. I think my mom looks absolutely beautiful! God has been so good to me and my family. I had some great laughs with my mom, but my favorite part of the evening came at the very end. The lady in charge of the banquet asked Mom to pray. I have never heard a more beautiful prayer. Mom's prayer came out of the overflow of her thankful heart. I will never forget it as long as I live. I'm so thankful that blessings abound and grace has been sufficient to meet our needs! How amazing it is to serve a God who cares! He has proved Himself so faithful!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


So this week has been emotional... I think that I am the most emotional person I know. Pretty much everything makes me cry, whether good or bad. It has come to be a joke with my roommate and after saying anything she will respond with, "Does it make you want to cry?" My mom gave my family a pretty good scare on Thursday when Drs. ordered a cat scan on her head to see if she had a tumor there. After receiving a cancer diagnosis, it is scary to think of what could be next. Thankfully, she is ok and only has one more week of radiation.

This week I have had breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the following people: Amanda, Eric, Jessica, Nathan, David, Andy, Jessica (again), April, and Bettie. I enjoyed the company of all these different people almost every day this week. It was fabulous. I happen to enjoy my friends very much. I'm so thankful for each of them. If you were one of the people who happened to pay for my meal, my stomach and I thank you! I'm excited to see who I get to enjoy a meal with next week: plans so far, lunch with my prayer partner on Thursday, a mother/daughter banquet with my mom on Friday night and a breakfast date with my dad next Saturday, Graduation lunch with my best friend from high school on Saturday! Good times! I'm already excited!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just another manic monday... not quite!

Time is not my friend, I have decided! There's just not enough to do all the things I want to do and the things that I get to do end up taking longer than I had originally planned. I'm like a time nazi, so this is not good for me. So, bullet points for today! I think I do everything in bullet points!
  • I spent the weekend in Jonesboro with my mom and dad. They were pretty much the people that I saw all weekend, except for the people at Wal-Mart. In Arkansas, you can never miss the people at Wal-Mart. I have about a bazillion Wal-Mart stories... I should share sometime. My favorite part of the weekend: getting up early on Saturday morning and talking with my dad! And I did all of this without coffee (small miracle). It was great, he's one of my favorite people to have a conversation with and he always listens, even though we disagree on some stuff!!!
  • My little brother is probably moving to Memphis to be my new roomie when my old roomie moves out to get married! Kinda crazy, yes. I'm excited for like 2 reasons: first of all, Jimbo cannot live without dvr (I want dvr, but I refuse to pay for it) and second... he's a cool kid, so I know it will be fun!
  • My mom is doing good with her radiation treatments. A lot of fatigue and lack of appetite. She should be done by the weekend before Mother's Day! Yeah! Thing that I have learned from cancer lately: Nothing comes as a surprise to God! That's pretty comforting for me.
  • And lastly, the lesson for my girls this week was on Isaiah 6:1-8. I got a whole new perspective on Isaiah's call to the ministry. It was so exciting! Sometimes, I wish the students were as excited about learning as I am about teaching!!! I absolutely love the opportunities I have to serve.

I had a lot of fun this past week and weekend with a bunch of random people and met some fun new ones as well. Life is dandy...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Highlights of my week and weekend!

Not a whole lot of time for blogging lately and some things I just didn't want to write for the whole world to read. Here goes:
  • My sweet little "mentoree," Kimberly found out that her daddy has cancer in his colon. Surgery and chemo will probably be used to treat this. Life is forever changed for her and her family. Unfortunately, I know what they are going through. We've cried a lot, laughed some, and held on to promises from God's word. Some bad days are ahead, but I believe that God can use cancer for His glory.
  • I had the opporunity to minister to a girl whose problems are bigger than any adult should have to handle, and she's not adult. Lesson learned: dependence on God for words to speak.
  • I attended a Youth Specialties "CORE" seminar of handling hurting kids. I was already excited about what I would learn and am even more thankful for the opportunity to gain some extra knowledge in light of recent events.
  • I had some of the most interesting conversations with some co-workers, friends, and students within the ministry here at my church. Sometimes the students say the most interesting things and I wonder why do they need leaders, they know more the me.
  • My Small Group Lesson was on Hosea this week, my favorite though from the whole book of Hosea: Hosea 14:3, " you the fatherless find mercy." What an incredible promise! God has blown my mind as I thought about that the last few days. We can say that about no one else, except for the loving Heavenly Father we serve!!!

That's me for now... one small note, I ate lasagna off of a styrofoam plate for lunch. I think I also consumed some styrofoam that stuck to the food, I hope styrofoam is ok for your body... scary.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The best enchiladas...

My all-time favorite place to eat growing up was this Mexican restaurant in Jonesboro. I still think that they have better Mexican food than any Mexican restaurant in Memphis. They also have my favorite, Enchiladas Supremas, plus some wonderful cheese dip (what you really need to have a good time). So, any opportunity to eat there is good for me. On Friday, I had lunch with my best friend from high school, Misty. We had the best time. I know that the waiters thought we were crazy, because we laughed so hard. It was like being back in high school and everything was hilarious, especially when we talked about some of the crazy things we got into back in the day. I hope Misty and I always remain friends... we had a time where our worlds kinda grew apart, but over the past couple of months we have grown closer to each other. Thanks for the time Misty, it was fabulous... thanks to you, El Acapulco... you still make the best enchiladas.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Short and sweet

I'm back in my hometown for a few days to visit my family and get some rest. One of the few things that I like about this place, it is always quiet. That's good for me for a few minutes. I have more time to do things I enjoy like read! I'm having lunch today with my best friend from high school. More on that next time!

The real reason for this post. My friend/co-worker, Adam now has a blog. This guy leads worship for our youth ministry and always has some really great stuff to say... I'm sure he will have some great things posted. He is so passionate about worship and God just has a way of speaking through him!

Today is already a busy day! More from me later!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mind blowing...

Sometimes God puts people in my life and I'm not really sure why. Normally, if the person is difficult to deal with, I have a one-sided conversation with God about how I feel about the situation... In my life, God has always won and I'm put in a somewhat interesting situation with no clue what I am supposed to do. This has been my life for the past 2 weeks.

God put this student in my life. I'm not sure why or what brought this about, she chose to share her life and stories with me. Often, I would listen and wonder why is she telling me this. Her story was not the norm, but what blew my mind the most was her lack of belief in God. How can you not believe in God?? I have never had to argue that God exists to a student before, but I believe so I presented my case. She listened, over and over again. It was like talking to brick wall. How delightful for me.

I offered Jesus as the solution, the answer to our problems. He's the only answer I have, cause I'm not a psychologist or phychiatrist. I don't understand how the mind works or the best medicines, so Jesus is what I have to offer people.

Imagine my surprise on Monday afternoon when she came into my office and wanted to talk about Jesus. I thought she was lying. I shared the Gospel from beginning to end at least 3 times. How can you hear this and not believe and not accept Jesus? That afternoon, she said something about more time. I tried and failed. Good thing for me, God uses the Holy Spirit and not me to convict of sin. I would give up too easily.

On Tuesday evening, I shot down every excuse she could throw at me for not becoming a Christian. "I'm not good enough, I have things in my past, I don't understand everything, What if I don't feel like a Christian?" She drained me of everything I knew to say and all I could do was offer her Jesus. She chose Jesus!!! 2 weeks of craziness could not compare to the pure joy that came from that moment and has continued since then.

God used me. Why? To share Jesus... it blows my mind.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy April!!!

I love the month of April. It is Spring and my allergies are screwed up, but they seem to always get a little better in April. Time will tell. Ok, so many stories!

My roommate, April, got engaged. Yep, we were planning this really cool surprise birthday party on Friday night where she was somewhere and we showed up with the decorations and stuff and yelled "SURPRISE!" Imagine my surprise when we walked in the door and she is wearing this t-shirt that says, "I said YES!" Kinda crazy, huh??? A few people knew, but since I'm incapable of keeping a secret, they didn't tell me. A decision those people will regret later as I plan on giving them a hard time for a long time. I think I had this feeling of shock for a few moments and then did a sweet recovery and congratulated the happy couple, as it should be! :) It turned into an engagement/birthday party, pretty much fun. We were way tired!!!!!!!!!!!

On April's actual birthday (the next day) we got to spend some time together at one of our favorite places in Memphis, Shelby Farms. It is this wonderful place in the middle of the city that has hiking, bike trails, lakes, bison, kite flying, and so much more. It is absolutely beautiful, you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere just enjoying the outside! We had a great time just hanging out! I think it might be a sign that we are getting old!

Ok, gotta run for now! More soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Best day ever...

Today was quite possible one of the best days I have had in a long time. Could it have been because I had a wonderful free lunch??? Maybe. I realized today (not for the first time) how much I absolutely love my job. It gives so much freedom to be creative, think, minister to people, accomplish something with an actual purpose, watch students grow, and the list could go on.................................. I know that I could do better and I'm definitely not perfect, but each and every day I get to go to work and do things that I enjoy. How sweet is that??? This morning I could not wait to get to work, cause I had a brilliant idea to share. My job beats the socks off an accounting job any day.

Rejoice! --Shawna

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The best place.

It's been 3 weeks to the day since we learned that my mom has cancer. How my life has changed in 3 weeks? I have realized that God has a lot of things to show me and maybe needed to get me out of my comfort zone and begin His work. My family has learned so much already and the journey continues.

My mind has been overtaken by this thought of being in the best place. Because of cancer, I have chosen to be with my mom over some of the daily/routine activities where I seem to find myself. I was encouraged to chose time with mom over a youth trip that had been planned for months. My time with mom was greater than any trip I could ever take. I chose to be available for some hurting friends; it was the best decision. I chose mom this past weekend instead of my usual fun-filled craziness. Mom was the best choice. Why has it taken cancer for me to realize how much I love her and enjoy my time with her. Even in her pain, she still gives so much to me. We had a blast and from time to time she would say, "I just needed my daughter." I experience such joy from hearing things like that. I want to be more open to being in the best place. It seems like I always have multiple options about where to be or what to be doing. I want to chose the best place... right now, I'm working on that!

Monday, March 26, 2007

This week...

My ultimate goal this week is to... cook a decent meal. My roommate and I have been suffering. We need good food. It's like being back in college again, although I pray I never eat ramen noodles again. I'm working on one of my best blogs ever. Look for it soon (like after I tackle my small mountain of schoolwork.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Bunch of Random

So much crazy stuff has been going on in my life, so I'm going to share as much as possible, hopefully in order of importance.

  • My mom started radiation this week. She is doing pretty good. The spot on her leg where they are doing the radiation is a little swollen, but she seems to be tolerating it quite well. My prayer is that this will completely kill the cancer. I'm going home to visit and take care of her this weekend. I'm kinda excited, I actually miss my mom and I know that she misses me!!
  • My best friend's grandfather passed away earlier this week. Today I get to go to a funeral for him. The greatest thing I have realized during this time: It's an incredible thing when you are able to say, "I'm here for you" and actually put those words into action.
  • My sis-in-law is having a boy. So that means I will have 2 nephews and 1 niece (exactly like my siblings and me). It will be wonderful... my niece is already so much like me, but probably cooler than I was at 3. I'm excited, and I have to wait till July before he actually arrives.
  • **This is not actually important to anyone but me.** I bruised my left leg bone by tripping over a speaker/monitor thingy. It has been a week and it is still quite painful. It's so not fun being a klutz.
  • I started my new Master's class for New Testament 2. We went through the book of Galatians on Tuesday night. It was incredible, gave me a whole new love for the book. My professor is so structured and presents things in the most wonderful way. I love it! I expect to learn a lot.
  • And last and certainly not least, we are making summer preparations within the ministries that I work with. I'm excited about what God has in store. Our first trip will be Beach Blast with the Middle School students. I absolutely love those kids. I enjoy the planning of these trips, but love when we actually go and get to see the results of all the planning/preparation. God is definitely working in the lives of students and I know that camp will be a life-changing time for some of them.

My randomness is out! My Memphis Tigers have made it to the Sweet 16. I will be cheering them on this evening!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Your life is not in danger...

After 2 weeks in the hospital, my mom finally received some answers. What was once thought to be a sciatic nerve problem is now a cancerous tumor. After multiple tests, scans, biopsys, etc. she was diagnosed with a cancer called carcinoma. She will undergo radiation for the next 6 weeks. The cancer has not been found anywhere else in her body and the doctors are hopeful that the radiation will shrink and destroy this tumor. My family was completely shocked to take in this news. Cancer always comes to other people and it is so different when it affects your family. We have been affected and by the grace of God we are continuing on. I'm going to use this blog as my outlet for discussing this. My family has been very open about this situation and we talk about it a lot. My parents have incredible faith and I have seen it put to the test in the last week or so. We keep saying that "God is bigger than cancer," and if we say it enough it starts to be a little more believeable. Personally, I have been down a tough road this week. Cancer completely robbed the joy in my life. I hated the thought, the words, and the diagnoses. It is so easy to say things like, "trust God," or "God is working," and it is so much harder to cling to these as your promise when reality is hard. My dad keeps telling me that we say we have this faith, but until it is put to the test does it become refined and strengthened. It goes without saying that my faith is being tested, some days are easier than others. I have chosen to be encouraged and optimistic about the situation, although sometimes my feelings prove to be the opposite. And the title of my post, the doctor said those words before my mom left the hospital last Friday, "Your life is not in danger..." We needed to hear that.

More to come.

Friday, March 02, 2007

What a Week!

I'm blogging from a hospital room. Not me, but my sweet mom is currently residing in the hospital. She has a tumor on her sciatic nerve and will be undergoing surgery early next week. I've spent time every single day at the hospital and I have come to hate being in the hospital. Although, I do appreciate good doctors and nurses. My mom is getting the best care one could imagine and I'm thankful for that.

I had no idea what an emotional wreck this week would make me. I've cried my eyes out more times than I care to count. As I sit here, I can only ponder what God is trying to show me through this time. I'm not sure I've learned it yet. I'm ever reminded of my dependency on God and my lack of control in all situations. I have seen the great faith of my mom and dad. I want to be more like them when it comes to trusting God. They look at this time as an answer to their months of prayer. I feel like I only see a small piece of what they see. I have prayed that God would strengthen and increase my faith. Maybe after this trial is complete, I will be able to look back and see how God was working. In the meantime, I'm still learning.

I met a new friend today. It was an interesting experience. I love meeting new people, especially when conversation comes easy and nothing seems forced. I enjoyed the short time we had a chance to chat. Hopefully, our conversation will continue in the future.

More blogging later. The hospital can get boring real fast. I'm also thankful for best friends, who realize I need some dinner and are more than willing to come and meet my need for food and friendship. My life is sweeter because of them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My two biggest fears combined:
#1 - That Hillary would become president.
#2 - I will meet my future husband in Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart seems to be the place where guys ask me out. Kinda freaks me out!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Restless Heart!

My dad asked me on Thursday how's life? I responded with "its some kinda rollercoaster." In January, I feel like God has taken me and shaken me, turned me upside down, stirred my heart, and so much more. How great is my desire to serve Jesus with reckless abandon? How great is the pull of every other thing and person to make me hang on to things that are absolutely worthless? I've been teaching my Sunday School girls, some pretty incredible things of the Old Testament characters of Rahab, Joshua, and Gideon. Each week, I'm challenged by their relationship with God. I loved what God said to Gideon in Judges 7:2, " The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, let Israel claim glory for itself against Me saying, My own hand has saved me." How awesome, God would shrink an army in order to ensure that He would be the only One worthy to receive the glory. Things like this have hit me like a train wreck over the past month.

Then, I have had these wonderful feelings of inadequacy. Yep, me, not knowing the answers. Students come to me hurting and I feel absolutely helpless. One particular girl has become "my project." Because of things in the past, she has lost all faith and trust in God. Sharing Jesus with her is not enough. Talking to her about it would require something that breaks down stone walls. The only answer I have seen is to show her Jesus. How exactly am I gonna do that? I have no idea. I've been challenged to get outside my box of structure and "it's the way I always do things." I have such a heart for people; its not always easy to deal with the heart break that these people present. My dependency on God is becoming an everpresent reality for me.

I've screwed up in so many ways this week. I'm so thankful for forgiveness from God and other people. Yep, definitely a rollercoaster ride. One constant: God is faithful. Always has and always will be. May you see Him working in you as I have seen Him over and over this week.


Friday, January 05, 2007

A Whole Lot of Random!

Wow, almost a month. I stink at blogging! I could probably write a book on the events of the past month, but I will just touch on some highlights. You know how most people get that feeling of post-holiday let down or whatever you call it, I remember experiencing that when I was younger and it was a feeling that led me to Jesus on December 29, 1991. Last week, I celebrated my 15th spiritual birthday! Its something I never want to forget.
Speaking of not forgetting, I had the most memorable shopping trip with my one and only niece, Kate. She's 3 and think she's like 13. I adore her. We went to Target on Saturday afternoon before Christmas in freezing Ohio. It was so much fun. She shops just like me, we look at clothes and then toys. Of course, shopping makes you hungry, so we ended with her favorite snack of popcorn and an icee. We had a lot of fun, just the two of us hanging out. I think I have the advantage over her other aunts, they are all 10+ years older than me.
Actually, I've gotta get going for now. More really soon!!