Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First T-ball Game

Introducing #7 on the Texas Rangers...
(drum roll, please!)
Drew Jenkins.
We had our very first game last night, or as he likes to call it "the sandlot"!
His baseball face.

We bought Kade a Texas Rangers shirt too.On the back of his shirt we put his name and the #3. Too cute!

"Which way is first base Drew?"
The first swing!
The first hit.
The first time he made it on base.
Nana and Pops came to watch his first game.

Drew's biggest fan ;)

Chelsea, Holly, Ryan, Cash and Mikah came to yell for the Rangers.

(Drew has a lot of people who love him!)
First time on the field, Drew played first base.
Before the game, Drew's Coach, Hoyt called me. He remembered my parents were going to be in town this week, so he put Drew at first base and pitcher. He wanted my parents to get to see Drew get tons of action. I was shocked that he remembered and cared enough to arrange that. We are very blessed to have him as a coach.

I have been teaching him to STEP and through.
It is a little over-emphasized right now ;)

I don't know if we won our not. I don't think there was more than 6 outs total in 3 full innings.
I am glad there is no score in T-ball!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kader Tater

Debbie took these pictures Sunday evening. Kade was taking Mikah on a little tractor ride.
Do you see the bruise on his head?
That poor little guy is always hitting his head on something. The bump initially came from falling into the wall Saturday. Yesterday, he fell into the entertainment center and hit his head in the same exact spot.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On a lighter note...

Our first fishing trip of the year. We went the weekend before Spring Break. The sunshine felt so good!
Lake Allen Henry - Post, Texas
Daddy's first fish of the season.
Drew's first "catch" of the year.
(Ronnie actually caught it, but Drew reeled it in.)
Our view from the boat.

The book I was reading on the lake.

(It is a must read!!!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why God? My attempt to answer Dan's question

I received this comment yesterday on my previous post:

"I don't understand this undying love for Jesus... Is it something people choose to believe in because they need hope in their lives? As though they don't believe enough in themselves that they can do things on their own/with the help of a tangible being (ie- a friend, family member, etc..)?It's an honest question, so don't tear me up over it, but what is the reason that people go to god in their lives? Can't they just be good people in their own eyes and not need a higher power suggesting they do so or get thrown down to (you know where)?"

I am so thankful for this question. Thank you for your courage and honesty Dan, and this blog will always be a safe place to ask those questions. Please forgive me because my reply will not be a great theological answer on the "Case for Christ". But, I would love to share my "God-story" with you.

I grew up knowing there was a God, but I didn't have a relationship with Him. I saw Him as a judge on a thrown who would love to squash me with His heavenly fly swatter every time I did something wrong. (And if you read the G-rated version of my testimony HERE, you would know I was afraid of being slapped quite often;). I also grew up not liking Christians. I saw them every Sunday going to church, and then not living any differently from me Monday through Saturday. They complained. They were miserable. Some of them were mean. They looked down on me for not going to church every Sunday. In my mind they were hypocrites.

To get back to your question, at that time in my life, I actually had a lot of hope in myself. I believed if I worked hard enough and studied hard enough I would be happy. I believed my level of accomplishments equated to my level of worth. I thought making good grades at a good college, getting a good internship, and stepping into a big-time career with a big salary would make me happy, secure, and content. I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish and more. I jumped through every hoop and chased every carrot the world dangled in front of me, but every time I accomplished another goal, the joy was short lived. The emptiness would creep back into my heart. I remember being so frustrated with myself when the feeling of "needing and wanting more" would return, because "I" COULD NOT make it go away. That was the one thing "I" could not fix. I felt like something was wrong with "me". Why wasn't "I" enough for myself? "I" was doing all I could, and still I couldn't hang onto any lasting peace. I always needed to do more and be more.

I had wonderful people in my life. I have great, loving, encouraging parents. I had sweet, loyal, fun friends. I even had a really sweet boyfriend my first two years at A&M, but after our break-up, I realized I had a serious problem.

I was hateful.

It was impossible to satisfy me.

And I hated myself for it.

Do you know what I wanted more than anything in the whole world?

I wanted to be loved. I had a desire to rest in the security of unconditional love. My parents love wasn't enough. My friends companionship wasn't enough. Even the love of a boy wasn't enough. I just kept thinking, "If anybody knew the "real me", they wouldn't love me anymore. If they knew my fears, my dark ugly thoughts, or the past mistakes I kept hidden, they would all leave me." At the same time, I also had a desire to be fully KNOWN, inside and out. I was constantly trying to fill the hole that was inside of my heart. I craved WHOLENESS. Relationships and accomplishments where not filling the spot. Sure I would be happy and at peace for awhile, but eventually the "high" would wear off. Then I'd find myself back at square one again, wanting and needing to be more.

The summer after the bad break-up, I started searching for something to make the emptiness go away. I had everything in life going for me. I was never without friends or calls from "suitors", yet I had never known such lonliness. On the outside I looked bright and shiny, but on the inside I was so unsettled. I started wondering if love and true happiness were even attainable anymore?

Then I started noticing married couples who were REALLY in-love. The reason I mention that is because I was surprised to find the common denominator between them was their love for God. I was surprised by their joy and peace because they were different from the Christians I knew growing-up. I'd hear them talking about their relationship with God, not their religion. Over the next two years, God started whooing me into a relationship with Him. I started reading a book called, The Purpose Driven Life. Then in September of 2000, I met Ronnie. He was a Christian, and God started using him to break down all the misconceptions I had about a relationship with God. We married in May of 2002, and God continued placing friends and co-workers in my life who testified to me about His love and not His judgement. But I still would not surrender all my control to God. I had so much hope in MY way, MY plans, MY abilities, and I was unwilling to surrender it. I was a control freak. I was afraid of being vulnerable.

But in January of 2003, my husband walked out on me. He couldn't take the pressure anymore. I expected him to be my everything. I had placed him in a relational pressure cooker. I needed him to make me happy, read my mind, and meet all my emotional needs. I wanted him to be "the man" in our relationship, yet I wanted him to be at my beck and call. Ronnie couldn't convince me he loved me because I didn't love myself. I felt so unworthy of love. My insecurity was too much for him. He couldn't take it, and he left.

That was the night I hit my knees and told God, "my way" wasn't working. I was tired of doing it my way. I was tired of depending on other people to fill me up. I was tired of always wanting and needing more. I was tired of the restlessness. I was tired of the emptiness. I was tired of being a victim to the circumstances in my life. I hit my knees and told God to take it all. I surrendered it all to Him. That was the moment I was born-again. That was the moment I experience the Living God.

See, I had always known Jesus died for my sins, but that night I allowed Him to become Lord of my life. You see, Dan, God knows EVERYTHING. He created me. He knit me together in my mother's womb. He watched me make every disgusting mistake in my life. He has heard my ugly thoughts. He knows every fear,


He loves me so much, He would have sent His only Son to die, even if I was the only one who needed saving.

That is REAL LOVE, Unconditional Love!

The exciting thing I want to tell you, Dan, is He loves you that much too!!! Your question on this blog was not a coincidence. God is whooing you. He is calling you into a relationship with Him. It has nothing to do with being good. God, the Father, sent His Son to die for us when we were all covered in sin. Jesus, who is all powerful, took on human flesh. He was beaten and spit on by the very children He came to save. He didn't do it so we could have a religion or to force us to be good. He did it all because He desires a loving relationship with us. He desires a relationship with YOU!

The day I surrendered the hope I had in "my way" and "my ability" and placed it all in Him, I experienced true WHOLENESS for the first time in my life. Now I know the emptiness in my life was my "God spot" aching to be filled. He filled it with true lasting peace, real joy, sweet rest, and LOVE. I can't explain it logically because faith cannot be explained to our mind. Faith is confirmed in our spirit. But, I can tell you, Dan, God is real.

I have experienced Him.


I am fulfilled by His love everyday. My hope in Him is not a wish, but an expectation. He has always comes through. Yes, I still have hard times because I live in a fallen world, but I've never hit rock bottom since the day I gave it to Him because His love shields me. His compassion never fails.


His grace and salvation are free and do not hinge on my behavior or performance. Thank God, because I miss the mark daily. My love for Jesus is not about religion, being good, going to church, or staying out of hell. My love for Jesus comes from His AMAZING love for me.

He has freed me to be the person I was created to be.

At times, He was all I had. He has never left me. He has never quit loving me. HIS unconditional love has led to me into security and wholeness like the I have never known. He has redeemed my marriage, restored broken relationships in my life, wiped away every trace of guilt from my past, and taken away fears. I cannot stop praising His Name because He never stops amazing me.

I want to apologize to you, Dan, for every Christian who has hurt you and judged you. I apologize for every time we, as children of God, have acted in ways that do not reflect the One True God. God is LOVE, and sometimes Christians act very unlovely. Please don't let our imperfections and our failures to love like Jesus make you doubt that God is real.

If you have more questions about God, please click HERE.

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to email me at

Readers, if you would like to leave a word of encouragement for Dan or other viewers, I urge you to leave a comment about what God has done in your life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fear Raised It's Ugly Head

Yesterday I had rough day.

We all have fears.
Some people fear death.
Some people fear the economy.
Your probably fear (fill in the blank).

95% of my fears are wrapped up in those two amazing, sweet, beautiful boys you see posted all over my blog. I love them so much; I feel like I am going to explode sometimes. But I can't protect them from the pain. I can't make their decisions for them. I can't choose the path they will take. That scares the C.R.U.D. out of me.

I fear for their safety in this mean world.
I fear for their purity in a society where young men are constantly taunted with images that threaten to create strongholds in their lives.
I fear for the shortcomings I have as their mother. I told my mom, nobody gave me a book that tells me the right things to do for my two sons, in my town, in this generation. I am not always the mother they need me to be. I get tired. I am selfish, and sometimes the last thing I want to do some nights is read another bedtime story.

But my biggest fear, the fear that threatens to swallow me whole, is the fear that my boys will grow up and not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This fear is a the slippery slope that lands me in the pit every time.
It makes my stomach hurt.
It makes my arm pits sweat.
It turns me into a crazy woman who pretends to play the "what if" game as if I am God.

It makes me do the "ugly cry"

(you know what I mean ;).

Ugh...I should know better.

Back to yesterday.

The time is coming for my first baby to start Kindergarten.
(Deep sigh)
I would love to home school my boys
(especially when I watch 19 kids and Counting :),
I am called to teach, and Drew is a social butterfly (that boy has the gift to gab and enjoys a good conversation ;)
Where did he get that from? Hmm...
I have taught in public schools and in a private school. Before my experience at Levelland Christian School, my opinion was, "Public school was good enough for me. It will be good enough for my boys. I turned out alright, and you can't keep your kids sheltered forever."

Then I taught for a year and a half at LCS.
I knew God was saying this was a fit for my family.
After 4 years of knowing (I mean I KNEW in my bones) that Drew would attend Kindergarten at LCS, I opened the door to doubt yesterday. It started with some false news that might affect my son's classroom teacher next year, topped off with a little more drama when I asked another parent, "What do you think about _____?"

Big mistake.

Just a little side note here...why do we as Christian Mama's feel like we need to ask another Mama, "What do you think?" We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us that leads, guides, and directs us on a path for OUR CHILDREN. What is right for Drew might not be right for another child. AND ONLY GOD KNOWS THAT.

After listening to a few opinions from different people, my head started spinning. What do I do? Sundown ISD? Levelland Christian School? Whiteface ISD? Levelland ISD? Should we build a concrete fort out in no-man's land and home-school them there :)? I was speaking out of both sides of my mouth; I felt anxiety and fear erupting inside of me.
I was talking and acting like a crazy woman.

I want my son to have the best education, but the most important thing to me is for him to become a godly man. I am more concerned with character than SAT score. I am more concerned with good friends and community than art, music, and athletic programs.

Because I know from personal experience, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M on a full scholarship doesn't add up to a hill of beans if you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I kept saying to my friend, Holly, "I want to put Drew and Kade in the best possible environment, so they can make the best decisions possible." Let's be honest, I am almost 30 years old, and if I get around other women who gossip, complain about their husbands, talk trashy, etc. it eventually rubs off on me. How can I expect my 5 year old to not be "influenced" when he will be spending more time at school than at home?
I finally got so worked up last night that I vomited all my anxieties on Ronnie and had him worked up by the time dinner rolled around.
When I finally got quiet enough while I was washing dishes, God spoke to my heart...

"Do you trust me Dawn?"

"Do you believe I have good plans for you, Ronnie, Drew and Kade?"

"Yes, God I trust you. I love you, forgive me."
You see, the reality might be we live in an crazy world. The reality might be that I "choose" the wrong school, BUT the TRUTH is only found in God's Word. Our realities can change. Our circumstances can change, but GOD'S Word is the same yesterday, today, AND TOMORROW.
His Word says He will finish the work He has begun in Drew and Kade.
Then, not 5 minutes later, I received a call from the administrator at the Christian school. She offered me the Pre-K position for the 2010-2011 school year. It will be Monday-Friday, 8-12, and I get to be with/near my boys the whole time!!!

God is faithful, even when I am not.

Today, I read the second to last chapter in Beth Moore's new book, So Long Insecurity. She tells a story about a time in her life when she was overcome with fear and the conversation God had with her...
"Child (Beth), tell me your worst fears."
As she poured her heart out to Him, she expected to hear Him tell her none of it would ever happen, but instead He said,

"Let's say those things happen...picture yourself going through the whole process of one of your worst fears becoming a reality. Get all the way to the other side of if. What do you see there? What then?"
Beth goes on to say,

That's when I figured out what God was after. He and I both knew what I would do. I would be devastated at first...But I knew that finally I'd go face down before God just as I have a hundred other times, accept His grace and mercy, believe Him to take up my cause and work it ALL TOGETHER FOR GOOD, and then I would get up and choose to live...It was as if He (God) said, "As long as you're going to borrow trouble on the future, why don't you just go ahead and borrow the grace to go with it and see yourself back up on your feet defying the enemy's odds...just as you and I have done a dozen other times."

I felt like I had a V8 moment.

In this world Drew and Kade are going to stumble. They are going to make mistakes, suffer pain and rejection, fall short of the glory of God, take the bumpy road, and disappoint Ronnie and me. It will probably happen many times, but in 2 Cor 4:7-8 it says it is through all our cracks and imperfections that the greatness of God's faithfulness shines through.

Drew and Kade might not always have the "best teacher", "best youth leader", "best coach", "best school", but it will be in the valleys where they will grow closer to God. It is through the trials that they will develop character, compassion, thankfulness, empathy, patience, endurance, and self-control.

So I had to ask myself, "Do I trust God? Do I believe His Word is true?"

And in the end, if my biggest fears come to pass and they decide to say, "No," to a relationship with the Lord. I will, like Beth Moore, be DEVASTATED, but I know the power of my Jesus. When I get face to face with Him, the tidal waves of pain and sorrow never hit with the full force of the storm. He holds them back. He lifts my head, and I continue to walk in the magnificence of His grace and His love. I know this because I have experienced it.

It is a reality in my life.

You know what the interesting thing is?
If I would have never experienced pain, regret, shame, loss, or rejection I would not have the intimate relationship with my Mighty God. I would not know Him as my Hero!
Why would I want to keep my boys from knowing Him in this way?

Beth goes on to say, so many times we are asking ourselves,
"What will I do if...?"

Instead we need to ask the following,
"What will God do if...?"

His Word answers that He will:

  • perfect everything that concerns you (Ps 138:8)
  • work all things together for your good (Rom 8:28)
  • fight this battle for you (2 Chron 20:15)
  • equip you with diving power (2 Chron 10:4)
  • meet all your needs according to My glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)
  • give you grace that is perfectly sufficient (2 Cor 12:9)
  • be your power in weakness (2 Cor 12:9)
  • do immeasurable more than all you could ASK or THINK according to the power that is at work within you (Eph 3:20).

As children of God we are called to be different. When others worry, we are suppose to trust. When others fear, we are suppose to stand on the Promises of God.

So I guess my question to you today is, "What do you fear?"

Bankruptcy, divorce, death, illness, rejection, failure...

Well, let's just say the worst of the worst comes true in your life. What then?

If you have experienced the love and grace of God as your Savior you can say,

"If _________, THEN GOD."

Say it. "Then God!" Do you feel the peace washing over you? Jesus Christ is the lifter of our heads. His Spirit lives inside of us. When we look through the eyes of faith, fear cannot enslave us. The chains are broken. We are free!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Have A Great Neighbor

February 20th, on my way home from a conference, I called to see how Ronnie and the boys were holding up. To my surprise, Drew had leaped over a huge milestone while I was away.
I was incredibly sad that I missed it, but so grateful my amazing neighbor, Debbie, caught it on camera for me.

Since we are on the subject of bikes, I have a story.
Last week while the boys were outside riding bikes, Ronnie talked me into riding his bike. I am not much of a "bike-rider".
One reason is because I am so uncoordinated, and the second reason is that I had a really, really embarrassing fall my freshman year at A&M on my bike.
Let's just say I bet those four cute boys are still laughing at my expense. ;) But...
Ronnie talked me into getting on his bike, and taking it for a ride. I was doing great for the first 15 minutes; laughing, racing, and taking in the neighborhood with my two favorite boys.
I ran over Drew.
Yeah, you read right...I ran over my son with that silly bike.
We were pretending to "crash"
(I mean my boys love tackling, crashing, and anything that has to do with destruction),
and Drew fell off his bike right in front of me.
I tried to stop.
I tried to go around him.
Instead, my front wheel and I ran right COMPLETELY over his left shoulder.
(in front of 6 + of our neighbors I might add)
He cried.
I held back tears.
I picked him up while Ronnie applied the bandages, and we had the following conversation.

Me: "Drew, Mama is so sorry."
Drew (with big tears running down his face):
"Mom, why did you run over me?"
Me: "Well, Daddy made me ride his bike, so it's really his fault ;)"
Drew: "Dad, is it your fault?"
Ronnie: "No, I think it's your fault Drew. You fell off your bike right in front of Mama's wheel."
Drew: "It can't be my fault Daddy."
Ronnie: "Why?"
Drew: "Because I am the one who is hurt silly."

Well I guess this disqualifies me for the "Mother of the Year".
(Deep sigh)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Titus 2 Woman and Guest Blogger: Pastor Daphne Delay

I met Mrs. Daphne 3 1/2 years ago on my Walk to Emmaus. Her personal testimony and love of God's Word was contagious; it was a fire that lit a spark within me. She gave me hope that even though I was saved later in life, it was never too late to know God through His Word. God has used Mrs. Daphne in my life in MIGHTY WAYS through her audio teachings, books, devotionals, conferences, and personal words of encouragement. She will FOREVER be part of my FAITH story, and I thank God for placing this Titus 2 Woman in my life. Here is a little bio I copied off her website:

"Daphne Delay knows first-hand what unworthiness, guilt, and condemnation can do to a believer. Not being raised in a Christian home, she carried all her insecurities from the world into her walk with God when she was born-again at the age of 21. After several years of struggling as a Christian, God planted her in front of the mirror and told her to tell the girl looking back that she loved her and forgave her. It was then Daphne realized God had not been withholding Himself or His promises from her – she had simply been ignorant of her righteousness in Christ.Through the years, God has developed a gift in Daphne to teach and minister His Word to others concerning righteousness in a simple and easy-to-grasp-and-apply approach. What she once thought was a “Daphne” problem, God revealed it as a “believer” problem – one that can and must be overcome in order to bring in the end-time harvest! Mirror Ministries was launched in 2003 by Daphne Delay with the release of her first book, Take A Closer Look, which explains righteousness interwoven with her own testimony. The mission of Mirror Ministries is to spread the message of righteousness to the Body of Christ in order to help believers walk in their God-given authority. Daphne believes one of the biggest hindrances to advancing the Kingdom of God is a lack of understanding by the believer of who they are in Christ.Mirror Ministries is located in Seminole, Texas, where Daphne serves alongside her husband, Tod Delay, who is the Senior Pastor of Family Harvest Church. They have three beautiful children: Emily, Benjamin, and Christopher."

Now, so you can get a little taste of her writing, here is this week's devotional:


Forgiveness. The very thing that will set us free is often the very thing we withhold the longest. In many ways, I believe it's because we don't understand why forgiveness is so important. In our mind, we think if we forgive it is the same as saying what the other person did was okay. But that's not true. It is never okay to hurt another. Forgiveness is simply God's opportunity to heal our brokenness.

Jesus gave us this instruction: "And whenever you stand praying, if you have ought against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11:25-26). The word forgive means to release, let it go, dismiss it, cancel it, and give up resentment. Easier said than done, huh? When we have been deeply wounded by another, it's hard to let it go. Even if we wanted to, our flesh (and broken heart) struggle with the pain of it.

What we fail to understand is that those who choose not to forgive burn the bridge over which they themselves must pass. In the beginning, there was a great valley of separation between God and man. In an act of great love and mercy, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the bridge between our separation. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Jesus laid down His life and restored our access to God. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). He became the bridge which crossed the valley of separation and brought forgiveness from God to mankind.

And now, Jesus declares we must do the same. I must admit, I have wrestled with this at times wondering how God could expect us to be like Him and extend such forgiveness. After all, we are only human, right? But then I thought about it again: when we fail to forgive we burn the bridge over which we ourselves must pass. Jesus is the bridge between me and God. And everything I have need of is in God. In most cases, when I've been hurt and wounded, what I need most is comfort, peace, and healing. Yet when I refuse to forgive, I have burned the bridge which carries comfort, peace, and healing to me. No wonder it remains hard until I relent and forgive.

Another thing we fail to realize is forgiveness is an act of our will, not a feeling. Sometimes, we must grit our teeth and do it anyway. If we wait until we "feel" like forgiving, we never will. Forgiveness is two parts faith. First, it is faith in God's Word. We forgive because His Word instructs us to do so and we trust that He always has our best interest in mind. Second, forgiveness is faith that someone can change. In the moment, that may be hard to believe but we must remember we are not the person we once were. "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). Every person can change through the power of God. No one is without hope.

And when Jesus said forgive "...that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses," He was referring to our failings and shortcomings. None of us have arrived. I may be the one hurt today, but tomorrow the roles could be reversed and I'm the one who hurt another. In that hour, I will need forgiveness from God and man. David said it well when he declared, "Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight" (Psalm 51: 4). When we hurt another person, we have sinned against God as well. We need His forgiveness lest we find ourselves separated from everything His presence gives us (hope, peace, joy, healing, safety, etc.).

And lastly, we must understand forgiveness is required for any little thing. That is what the word "ought" means in the original language. "Whenever you stand praying, if you have [any little thing] against anyone, forgive him..." Why? Because those little hurts are like small bombs slowly attacking the bridge you must cross. It's not always the big bomb which destroys the bridge. A small bomb targeted just right can do the same job as a big one. So release it, let it go, dismiss it, cancel it, and give up the resentment. In the end, your act of faith has protected the bridge.
Until next time...Daphne Delay

Sign-up HERE to receive Daphne's weekly devotions.

blogger templates | Make Money Online