Thursday, July 15, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

Oh dear Brazil. I just spent 10 wonderful fabulous days in another country without Carl and my kiddos...what was I thinking?

I did my best to consult my mentor and former boss, Dr. Phil Jett as to what clothes to wear...what was I thinking?

I jump on my plane on Friday, sat on the runway in Tulsa for 2 hours, came back to the terminal for 2 hours and then set off once again for Houston. I land in Houston with just enough time---perhaps 40 minutes to make my connection to Sao Paulo and I get a phone call from my wardrobe consultant/personal travel agent/great friend, Lyle Larson. Uh my group (that I didn't even know in the first place) from Jackson, Mississippi was delayed at the airport in Jackson and would not make the flight. AND I would be flying solo to Sao Paulo...what was I thinking!!

Did you know that not many people speak English in Sao Paulo airport? And did you know that I only know two words in Portugese? Good morning--and thank you. Seeing as I landed at night only one of those words were working for me....what was I thinking?

Well some how (hello we all know it was the Lord), I made it onto my flight to Porta Segua where I was greeted by the wonderful missionaries for Pioneer Evangelism, Eduardo and his sweet wife Rosa.

I am always amazed--at the graciousness and thankfullness of people in other countries. They are so grateful that you would come and help them minister to those in their country. It has been 8 years since I have been on an international mission trip...what was thinking?

I finally meet the wonderful team from Crossgates Church in Brandon, Mississippi. For the record there is nothing like southern people. We take a 6 hour BUMPY ride up the mountain and reach our final destination.

Our week consisted of construction work,

washing feet of precious Brazilian children, giving reading glasses, dental clinic, playing games with these children, speaking at a conference

has the opportunity to lead 6 people to Christ--one who was a bar owner and one precious lady who had tried to commit suicide more than 4 times...what was I thinking?

I will tell you what I was thinking....I serve a God who can take an ordinary girl like me and through His power do extraordinary things! I was thinking I serve a God who is worthy to leave my husband and children for 10 days to love on people who need to know about my Saviour. I was thinking how incredibly blessed I am!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

I dearly love Father's Day---because I dearly love the two most wonderful fathers on the face of the earth that are in my life---Jess Stenner and Carl Lopez.
I'm really at a loss for words--I am not kidding, I really am. Because I am just overwhelmed by these two men. I know they neither one are perfect--for those of you that know them---I am not kidding--they aren't. But for sure they both were the two perfect men to have in my life to make me into the woman that I am and to love me for who I am.
One of my favorite memories growing up, was to stand at our big picture window that looked into the driveway of my grandparent's house about 50 yards away and wait for my dad to pull in their driveway to drop my grandpa off (they rode to work together Everyday for almost 50 years---I am not kidding, they did.) Anyway, as soon as I would see them I would take off running down our drive way which was very long---just so I could hop in the truck and ride home with my daddy. I can't even tell you how exciting that was to run to meet him just so I could ride up the driveway with him. I loved and still do spending time with my daddy.
Last week my LITTLE sister turned 40--I am not kidding, she did. Which is totally weird considering I am only 35 myself. But she did and so I drove to KC for her birthday party. I had to turn around and come right back to Tulsa the next day because of my crazy little family and our crazy little schedule--I am not kidding, it is! But on my way out of town, I stopped at my dad's machine shop and visited with him for almost two hours. He was running some parts so in between putting the sheets of metal in to be cut by the laser, we talked ALOT about my grandpa.
This is our first Father's Day without him. Can not tell you the sadness for my family--BUT the joy of having such a godly heritage. My sweet 89 year old grandpa went to be with Jesus 6 months ago. I am so thankful for his character, his work ethic, his love for the Word of God, his desire that EVERYONE know Jesus--and that he passed that on to my daddy and daddy passed that on to his girls and to his grandkids.
SOOOOOO thankful for Father's Day and for the chance to say thank you to my daddy and to Carl----for showing us on a consistent daily basis the love of our Heavenly Father.
One of the things that has made me sad today is to think of people in my life that are spending today with out their fathers-- perhaps for the first year. My prayer for them today is that they will find comfort in knowing that we have a God who has promised to be a Father to the fatherless--I am not kidding, He has. (Psalm 68:5)
Happy Father's Day!
I do hear by solemnly swear to be more consistent with blogging---I am not kidding, I really am!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

9 Months Behind

Well well well--it looks like it has been almost 9 months since I last entered the blogosphere. When I started my blog, one thing I wanted for sure was to be transparent--like that would ever be a problem with me. Could my lack of blogging be any more transparent of who I am--inconsistent. And as with most of my former posts, I usually try to relate; to all my 5 readers, something that God is teaching me through just EveryDay stuff. And well my inconsistency is no different.
Literally I blog for sure once a week---in my head. Why is it that it never makes it to the lap top and onto my blogspot? Why is it that I long--desire--want so badly to share my thoughts--lessons--ideas and yet do very little about it. Why is it that I feel horrible and guilty and like an L-7 loser when someone says, "I wish you would blog Denise" Okay so that is only my mother but still...I feel laden with guilt for not following through with something that I started. Why is it that I feel soooooo incredibly guilty and worthless when I fail to blog?
Well isn't that where we end up spiritually sometimes--inconsistent and left feeling guilty? Oh how I love my Southern Baptist conservative roots. And oh how thankful I am for disciplines I learned growing up in a wonderful little church in Kearney. And sad to say along with that wonderful heritage came a baggage of guilt for not measuring up to what I thought God expected of me. But at 45 years of age (are you kidding me?--I am halfway to 90) the Lord is teaching me to do less and be more--live in grace. And so well my desire, my hope, my intention is to blog more often--for sure more often than once every 9 months--but if I don't it'll be okay. Won't it?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Baby is 7!

Today was Austin's birthday. Wow when did she get so not a toddler, she is a kid--and it makes me sad!! What a doll she is. She is for sure our carefree, want to make you laugh, tell a STORY, hug on you, love on you, not afraid of anything, little girl.

We started our day with the usual decorated door. Although her and Avery "camped" out in the living room--I still did her door--started to decorate the mantle--didn't have the same feel to it. And of course Mr. Patient, Carl helped after midnight with the task of the night.

It was not the most creative but it matched her invitation and so, well enough said!

Love having a birthday on a Saturday! We celebrated with breakfast on the patio and a candle in her breakfast burrito--which was her menu request.

Next she was off to take Abby swimming (Abby needy a little mommy's day out away from the puppies--yes for those of you who do not know--PUPPIES--AGAIN--we are irresponsible dog owners what can I say?) via a bike ride with Daddy. She looks soooo old.

We had her party at Bounce U--which for those of you who know me KNOW I do not (or rarely) do a party any where other than my home. You can do much cuter things in your backyard.

But Bounce U is where she wanted it--so Bounce U it was. I was reminded why I do my own parties when it was time for 25 kids to have pizza. Give me a C...give me an O...give me a N...give me a T...give me a R...give me an O...give me a L. What's it spell---CONTROL!!! I like control. So needless to say I wasn't very happy with Bounce U. However I was very sweet and nice to our two little hostess girls...for the record.
So we opened presents, blew out candles, made our own ice cream sundaes...and THEN the pizza came! They didn't even give me a discount---and believe me I tried. So my advice to you would be just say no to Bounce U. But Austie had fun and so did her friends so that is all that counts. Right. Whatever.
So after her party we came home, got a bath, and then packed her bags to go spend the night with her best little buddy Kinsey.
What...yes it's true my baby, my last little chick in the nest, went to spend the night on her birthday with a friend. I am okay....really I am. But seriously could everyone just STOP GROWING UP!!!
So right now I am going to bed with a clean house--thanks to Bounce U--what a minute I am mad at them.

And going to bed thankful for the little gift named Austin Olivia Lopez that the Lord gave us 7 years ago today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Little Boy is 13!

Okay so today is AJ's birthday and he is 13! What are you kidding me? I promise he was in kindergarten the other day and could not say his r's, l's or s's. We have been over the top blessed with AJ. We are already seeing God's call on his life. Sunday night he was riding in the front seat with me driving home from church and he said, "I can't wait for Mexico." Which to be honest has been the common phrase at our house for the past month. Our youth group is going to Rosarita, Mexico near Tijuana to an orphanage during Spring Break. Yes--in case you are wondering, I do know that the State Department has issued a warning for people NOT to travel across the border. YES in case you are wondering if that concerns me--it does!

So anyway that statement was not uncommon, but taking any opportunity I can to have my kids talk to me I asked AJ, "Why do you say that bud." He said, "Because I think God's going to do great things." Okay, YES in case you are wondering I was totally proud. No describing do you hear me--none-- the feeling of your children getting it. Knowing that God is going to use them and that it will be GOD that does it.

Yes in case you are wondering I cried later that night thinking about and thanking God for that little guy!

So today in the normal Lopez fashion AJ got his birthday muffins with a candle in it.

He woke up to a decorated door this morning. I decorated his door with a golf motif--had a 3-d golf club, putting green and you guessed it 13 golf balls with a sign that said:

AJ We think you are one Tee rrific Guy.

A little cheesy--well here take a look for yourself. Hard to see the balls against the white door but they were there!

Not as creative as usual but it was nearly 1 in the morning because I stayed up chatting with my sister on Facebook--oops! Yes in case you are wondering this sadly to say has become a bit of a habit.

So tonight AJ went to RCG--youth small group in homes and had a Sandlot moment where someone tossed his football over the fence into the neighbor's yard and it got eaten by this guy--AKA--The Beast!

Yes in case you are wondering I think that is hilarious AND what a great 13th birthday memory for AJ.

Then we made our way home to find that Carl, Avery and Austin made AJ a birthday cookie. Which we quickly ate so that we could get to AMERICAN IDOL. YES in case you are wondering I already have my favorites and opinions--will blog another day about that! Loving Kris, Danny Megan and even Adam!

Life is just a little more fun with AJ!

One compliment that we get regularly about AJ from his coaches--regardless of what sport, is that AJ is very coachable. Love that he wants to learn and that he takes instruction from others--that will serve him well in life.

This is our first spring since he was in kindergarten that he has not played baseball. This was my favorite picture of AJ last year--a little happy to score! I love when a little boy moment sneaks out! They are coming further and farther between but am thankful our friend Mark caught this one on camera!

AJ is on the Jr High golf team for Union. He had his first tournament Monday. They took third--behind Broken Arrow and Jenks--was not pretty--but he looked adorable in his little golf outfit!!Yes in case you are wondering I am a proud mom! We are loving getting to see God grow this once little guy in to a young man that wants to live for Jesus Christ! Happy Birthday big guy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grandma Vivie

Well I certainly didn't mean for it to have been 6 weeks before I blogged again but well it is.
The day after my last post my Grandma Vivie went home to be with Jesus. We were all expecting it, she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago. Her four children took turns EVERY single night spending the night with her and caring for her and my grandpa for an entire year. Talk about your children rise up and call you blessed--her children rose up and blessed!!!
My little Grandma really was a walking miracle because she lived way longer than any doctor thought that she would. In fact for more than 10 days, hospice kept telling my dad and his sisters that it would be 24-48 hours. Finally on January 6th, the hospice nurse told my sweet little grandpa that he should tell her good-bye and let her know it was okay to go. So that afternoon he did. Can not imagine what that must have been like to tell the love of your life good-bye after 70 years!
I am thankful that I got to tell my grandma good-bye and to thank her for being faithful--because a thousand generations of our family will be blessed because she chose to love God and live for Him "...showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments." Exodus 20:6
Although we were expecting it, and even though I thought I was ready; I was not ready to let this lady who influenced much of my life go.
My grandma was an only child. But boy did she make up for the lack of relatives when she married my grandpa--the third of four boys!!
When Grandma died, she had 4 kids, 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. Not to mention all of their spouses. Isn't that amazing!!
I had the awesome privilege of growing up in the country right next door to my grandparents.
One of the things that amazed me most about my grandma is that each grandchild had their own special memories with grandma--that were ongoing. Her grandchildren, at the time of her death, ranged from 20-50 years old! The youngest, Andrew was one of the grandkids to speak at her funeral and he mentioned that my grandma never missed one of his birthdays. Which may not seem like a big deal but a couple of those birthdays were in Virginia and at least 7 of them were in Singapore!!
I have a ton of great memories of my grandma--we both loved antiques. The first antique I bought I called my grandma up (from a payphone mind you!!) and asked her if it was a good deal---she said yes, so I bought a pie safe. We got the famous Grandma Vivie's Hot Spice Tea recipe when were were antiquing in Greenwood, Missouri--in 1985. She served it every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas until last year. It really is delicious, but that isn't why she served it, it was a memory--that's why! I could go on and on about barbies, doublemint gum, The King is Coming, Hello Dolly, Silver Dollar City, etc etc. But the crazy thing is that every grandchild--all 14 had special memories with this lady. How on earth did she have the time??? I guess she made the time. Wow--I want to be like that. To MAKE the time for those who are special to me.
So I have been missing my grandma. The greatest thing about my grandma is that she chose to follow Jesus. She got saved as a little girl but really it was as a young adult that she began to LIVE for Him.
I am so thankful for a godly heritage from this sweet lady, an example of loving and living the Word of God and a heritage of taking time for family.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Hmm First let me offer my apologies for my absence in the blogosphere. To be honest I blog once a day in my head and think I need to go log in and get that down--but I do not.

Secondly, I have Facebook which is a great thing but also a time consumer. So I need to find balance between Blogspot and Facebook.

Thirdly, I had an amazing A Christmas Gathering tour. We did 5 Gatherings from November 7th to December 5th. Sooo much fun and God blessed all of those events from Nashville to Jackson to Corpus Christie to Tulsa!

Fourthly, we had puppies--8!

Fifthly (is that numerically correct?) I have four very active--cute but active children. So, well you get it.

Sixthly--hello it has been Christmas.

On to my New Year's Resolutions...

1) Blog more consistently--tee hee

Seriously, For the past several weeks the word that the Lord keeps bringing to me is PEACE. He has done this through different avenues. Of course through my quiet time--one verse in particular that has been showing up everywhere is "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

I do not know what 2009 will bring. I don't know what will happen or not happen in 2009. But I have resolved that whatever it is I will be at peace and I will get my peace from God--not the world.

Another thing that the Lord has been showing me is that my home needs to be a place of peace for my children. We run a tight ship around our house. It is a loving ship but a tight ship. But I always want our home to be a place of peace and not stress--a refuge for my children.

Another thing is that I want my life to exemplify peace. For whatever reason crazy and I mean crazy things happen to me--don't ask for them--don't go looking for them--they just happen. Um check out some previous blogs if you don't believe me. And I think it is easy to get stressed--worked up--whatever you want to call it about craziness but I want my life to show PEACE--the Peace that only comes from walking daily with a Holy God.

So that's my resolve for 2009--Peace--His Peace. Anyone care to join me?