Wednesday, March 24

He Will Never Let the Righteous Fall

So I'm walking this journey... this thing called life.  It has ups, it has downs and millions of moments in between.  My walk with the Lord has never been as strong as it is now.  I feel as if He walks beside me every day and in every situation.

One morning this week I woke up from a terrible dream.  A dream that seemed so real that it shook me.  It stirred feelings and emotions in me that I thought I had moved past, as I made my way to my office computer to email my dad I found myself in tears, overwhelmed with sadness and frustration.  I kept asking myself, why is it so hard for me to just give this to God?  How many times to I have to give it to Him before He will take it from me?  Why can't I just let go?

I prayed that morning, really prayed.  I talked with a friend who reminded me of God's intentions and remembered that we walk through some sticky stuff in life and we do it so that we can cling to Christ and grow closer to Him. 

This past week I was inspired to start drawing again.  I'm not an artist.  I would never classify myself as such.  I have always called myself a "doodler."  I've treated this drawing pad as an emotional journal.  Drawing expresses feelings and emotions that I cannot seem to wrap words around.  It's been an incredible release. 

After my dream the other morning I grabbed my "emotional journal" and sketched how I was feeling.  After praying and talking with loved ones a new picture came to mind and that too was placed on paper.  It's difficult for me to find the strength to share these images with the world... they are personal, intimate and very genuinely raw.  But I want you to know my heart... bruises and all. 

The first one is titled, "Misunderstood" and is the one I made to reflect my emotions about the dream and the true life events that led up to it. 

This second one is what I drew after the morning had passed... It shows my current feelings and newly found strength in the Lord.

I'm finding peace today, knowing that I am protected and held by the hands of God.  He can carry me through any struggle, any sadness, any tragedy.  "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."   - Psalm 55:22.  I am so thankful for the grace of God and am happy to be filled with hope and joy today.  I hope these words bring you comfort as well in your daily walk through life. 

Ore City Weekend Trip

This past weekend Josh and I packed up our car and made our way out to East Texas to spend the weekend with our grandparents.  Papa has been in a rehab facility since the end of last summer and Mimi has recently been moved to an assisted living home.

Trips to Ore City used to mean four wheeling, fishing, hunting, swimming and spending great quality time with family.  These days we have to really prepare ourselves before arriving.  Seeing someone you love so dearly, someone who has always been a strong individual, lying helplessly in bed, hooked up to machines... It's just so difficult to see.  Papa's face always lights up when we walk in the room, he gets this incredible grin and his eyes sparkle and shine.  It makes my heart ache every single time.  We are struggling to avoid feelings of resentment and anger towards the doctors- it seems as if they have simply given up in hopes to make him healthy again.

Sitting in the room with Papa is peaceful.  We know that every moment spent with him is precious and it makes the emotional struggle a little less difficult.  Please continue to keep him in your prayers.  Pray for the doctor's knowledge and for continued effort in making him healthy, that they would not give up hope and that they will continue to work day and night to help make him better.  Pray for strength for Papa, for hope and peace.  And please pray for the Morgans and Peebles, I cannot even begin to fathom the toll it has been taking on them.  I've only known Papa for 7 years and it kills me.  I believe in the power of prayer with all of my heart, I know that God makes miracles happen everyday, all we can do is hope and pray that Papa will be one of those miracles.

We stayed with our other grandparents, Grammy and Peepaw, over the weekend.  It was so much fun getting to catch up and spend time with them.  Megan, our 7 year old cousin, was also around for the weekend and she always makes for some fun times.

Josh got a phone call from one of his childhood friend's dads while we were in town wanting to meet us for dinner one night.  So Saturday night we headed to Bodacious BBQ *THE BEST BBQ EVER* and I got the opportunity to meet this family.  Josh played baseball with Travis, their son, all throughout his childhood.  Travis' mom pulled out old photo albums and let me look through them, I loved seeing "little" Josh and getting to poke fun at his haircuts or tucked in shirts with high waisted shorts.  We spent the entire evening talking and it was past 9:00 before we knew it.

It was a good weekend overall, great moments with our family and reliving old times with friends.  We plan on visiting again soon, the more moments in life we spend with family, the better.  :)

Tuesday, March 16

The Ups and Downs of Life

This past weekend was an emotional roller coaster for me.  Funeral on Friday, Wedding on Saturday.  Needless to say, I cried a lot.

Mark is the music director at our church, I sing in the band with him on Sundays.  This past weekend he got married to Maggie, the love of his life.  Their wedding was the most beatiful, spiritual and asthetically pleasing wedding I've ever attended (second to my own, hehe).  Mark and Maggie are an adorable couple and their lives exemplify the love of Christ so well.  There were, what seemed like, thousands of people in attendance at their wedding, a live band at the ceremony and their reception was unlike any other I've ever been to.  There were couches and lounge areas, a photobooth, deserts and candy everywhere you looked and the love was so thick in the air.  It was a joy to be a part of their big day.

After the wedding Josh and I headed home for a quick change, grabbed Charlie and headed over to my folks' house.  I made dinner for the family and we all sat around talking like the good old days.  It was the first time my whole family *minus Melanie* sat around a table together in years.  It was as if we didn't miss a beat.  I haven't seen my dad light up like that in a long time, my mom was all smiles and i grinned every time I looked up and saw my brother smiling back at me. 

We introduced Tony to the game Settlers of Catan after dinner where I whooped up on everyone and won, despite their efforts to sabbotage me.  We decided to play one more game since the first one was just a warm up for Tony.  My better half won that game.  It was a Morgan domination night. :) 

Sunday morning my brother came to church and heard me sing for the first time in years.  I was giddy knowing he was in the congregation.  He makes my heart so happy!  After church we headed out for Josh's flag football game.  The weather was gorgeous and they won.  That afternoon Josh left to spend some time with his friend Lee for the evening so I packed up some things and headed to my parent's house for another afternoon of games.  Aparently my brother had spent a while online reading about Settler's strategy in hopes to beat us in the game.  It must have worked because just before I prepared to win he surprised us all and finished first!  Exhuasted from the time change and the emotional rollercoaster of a week I had experienced I called it an early night.  I was in bed at 6:00, woke up at 8:00 and stayed in bed until Josh got home at 10:00.  It was much needed rest.

Week 3 of working from home is going wonderfully.  The pets love having us home and staying in my robe most days is nice, too!

 (can you see Mr. Jealous in the background??)

I'm all typed out now... Time for a break. :)   Thanks for keeping up with us!

Coping with Loss

Last week I received a text message from a close friend of mine.  She was asking for prayer as she had lost her brother that morning in a car accident.  My heart sank to the bottom of my chest and I felt helpless.  All I wanted to do was to call her, to visit her, hug her.  It's a miserable feeling knowing that someone you love is broken and you cannot do anything to ease the pain.  I immediately prayed for her and her family, that God would surround them, give them comfort, peace, understanding...

Friday morning we attended Greg's funeral.  I'm 24 and this is the second funeral I've ever been to.  Both were young men, both involved vehicles.  Greg was only 25 and engaged to be married in the upcoming months. I had met him on a couple different occasions, he was always soft spoken and polite.  As we sat in the audience listening to the stories told by his loved ones I was brought to tears.  Each person had their own special story about him and every single one ended with the fact that they knew Greg was in Heaven, finally getting to meet his one true hero, Jesus Christ.  His heart was devoted to God, he was saved and eager to share God's love with anyone he encountered. 

We don't understand when someone so young and so incredible is taken from us.  We ask questions, we get angry.  But we were reminded at his funeral that our time here on Earth is just a blip, yes most of us will live well into our 80's and 25 does seem too young to die, but in the grand scheme of things Greg lived a good life. It was finally time for him to be with his Father. 

As I sat and watched his family I was inspired.  Yes, there were tears.  Tears of anguish, saddness and hurt. But there were also tears of happiness.  Mr. Butler talked to his son and ended with, "Save me a spot, I'll see you soon."  His family is at peace knowing that Greg is in Heaven and knowing that someday soon they will all get to be together again. 

It was a beautiful funeral, so emotional; tears, laughter, singing, silence.  It was very moving.  I cannot put myself in their shoes, I don't think I can fathom the weight of their loss... if I even begin to try tears stream down my face.  Their immediate family of 7 was very tight and they all love one another so deeply.  Do you tell your family members every chance you get that you love them?  That they mean the world to you?  Life is not a guarantee. 

Just this past week I finally got my brother back.  I have been getting to know him all over again and soaking up every moment with him.  His laughter, his smile, his big blue eyes, his since of humor and his heart.  Greg's death hit me hard because it made me think about losing my brother.  There is so much I still want to tell him, to learn from him, to show him.  My heart aches at the thought of losing him now.   I am grateful to be blessed with his presence in my life and want to take advantage of every moment. 

Death is a part of life.  Everyone will experience the death of someone in their lifetime.  What can we learn from those experiences?  What will people have to say about you when you are gone?  I barely knew Greg, but I left there Friday with a good sense of the man that he was- he left a legacy.  He impacted those around him, he may not have had much to say but he sure walked the walk. 

I am thankful for the life that the Lord has given to me and am determined to continue walking in His light, to continue learning and growing.  I am far from perfect.  I am a work in progress.  But today I love a little harder, feel a little stronger, and smile a little bigger because I know that tomorrow is not promised to me.  I want to leave a legacy, my life will not have been lived in vein, I am here for a purpose and I intend to fully live that purpose while I can. 

Be inspired today.  Death is never easy, but it can make us stronger.  More united.  Continue to show love to those you care about, you never know what goodbye will be your last. 

Please continue to keep the Butler family in your prayers, they are on a new and difficult journey and your love and prayers help to make that journey more barable. 

Thursday, March 11

The Return of Tony

Well the day I had been waiting to arrive finally came around... My big brother moved home this past weekend.

Last week my mom flew to North Carolina to help my brother and his wife pack up their home and get ready for the move.  If anyone was going to help, she would definitely be the one to do so, she is incredibly handy at that type of thing.  After two days they had gotten the house packed up, cleaned and ready to move out.  Friday she hopped on a plane and flew back home.  At the same time my brother was hopping in his moving truck, car in tow, and making his way to Texas.  It's quite a long drive for one person to do alone but he was motivated and ready to see the rest of his family.  He finally made it in late Saturday night. 

Josh and I had been at a dinner celebrating our friend Amanda's Birthday that night but as soon as the festivities were over we headed toward my parent's house to see him.  I was gitty with excitement, it had been over TWO YEARS since I had seen him!  I walked inside and threw my arms around him smiling from ear to ear.  My big brother was finally home.  It was late so we only had the opportunity to chat for a little bit, he was exhausted from his long two day trek and needed to get some rest.  After saying goodnight to the family Josh and I headed back home to settle in for the night.

Sunday afternoon my brother and parents unloaded his moving truck into storage.  After a while my mom, sister and brother came over to our house.  It was the first time Tony had seen our home and it was fun giving him the tour, it was just nice having him around.  We introduced him to the Wii where we discovered that he wasn't a very good bowler, but his tennis skills were up to par.  He played Mario Kart with Josh for a bit and then we all headed out to dinner.  Since it was his first full day in Texas we decided to take him out for some good Mexican food, Uncle Julios!

Jamie, Kenneth, Kellie and Cameron all joined us for dinner as well.  It was fun introducing him to my friends for the first time and we really enjoyed his company.  Dinner was excellent of course, but you could tell that Tony wasn't quite himself, he was desperately missing Melanie.  I mentioned before that she was staying behind in NC until she finshed out her semester in May.  She will be visiting in just a few short weeks during her spring break and we are all counting down the days until she arrives. 

I am so embarrassed to admit that I didn't snap a SINGLE picture of his arrival or our time spent together.  It just goes to show you how wrapped up in the moment I was. It was a chance for me to really get to know my brother again and the last thing on my mind was taking pictures.  Lucky for me he's not going anywhere anytime soon so I'm sure there will be pictures to come!  Their little peanut is the size of a strawberry this week and Melanie is doing wonderful. 

I guess that's all for now, but stay tuned for pictures and more fun stories as I get to know my brother all over again!  God has blessed me beyond measure with his return and I am very optimistic for an incredible 2010.

Even more Birthdays

Our good friend, Amanda, celebrated her Birthday this past weekend and we were happy to be able to join in the festivities.  She had her big dinner at Texas De Brazil in downtown Fort Worth and had quite the crowd!  The company was amazing and the food, well... if you know us at all you already know what we think about their food, NUM NUM NUM. 

Here's a few pictures from our night.

Happy Birthday, sweet Amanda!  Thank you for making us a part of your big day!  I hope this year has SO many good moments for you, we can't wait to continue being a part of it.  :)

Wednesday, March 3

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps... YUMMM!

Last night I decided to make a new veggie side dish for dinner.  I was getting a little tired of oven roasted asparagus (even though it's pretty much my favorite).  So I did some browsing online and stumbled across these lovely little treats, Zucchini Parmesan Crisps.  Josh even ate a few of them!  Thanks to Food Network for the recipe.


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Per Serving:
(serving size, 1/2 cup)
Calories 105; Total Fat 6g (Sat Fat 2g, Mono Fat 2g, Poly Fat 0g); Protein 5g; Carb 8.5g; Fiber 1.5g; Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 222mg
Excellent Source of: Molybdenum, Vitamin C
Good Source of: Calcium, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Protein 

Tuesday, March 2

Out With the Old, In With the New

Our company has been preparing for a change for the past few months.  We have been looking into different options for work space and after much research decided that we would co-locate our server and work from home.  Lots of questions ran through my mind when that was brought up.  I was mostly excited, but a little apprehensive.  Josh and I already work together and we handle it quite well, but to work together at our home.... This could be troublesome.  After much prayer and thought we finally decided it was a good idea.  So this past weekend we packed up our office and moved home.  We worked well into the evening Friday getting everything set up and did a little more moving and cleaning on Sunday.  We are officially settled in and mostly up and running. 

My set up in the guest bedroom:

 Josh's set up (above)

Our first day of work, Monday, was very trying.  Our internet wouldn't work in all of the rooms which caused for a day full of stress and frustration.  With the help of some friends we figured it out and are over the biggest hurdle.  Josh is in the office and I am set up in the guest bedroom.  It's nice being in different rooms because we still have our space, it's pretty much like it was at the old office.  Charlie is loving the fact that we're home because he isn't in his kennel all day long anymore.  We now have 3 computers at home with a total of 6 screens!  Phew.

Saturday was a gorgeous day here in Fort Worth.  It was the first time we all got outside and enjoyed the weather.  Charlie had WAY too much fun and picked up every single piece of dead grass he could in his coat.  See below...

I then had to brush him out.... 

Josh enjoyed the sun and took a few swings with his bat:

See how beautiful the sky was??!!
I also enjoyed a wonderful breakfast date with my Daddy.  He took me to Mimi's Cafe and we sat and talked all morning long.  It was much needed.  I am a very blessed lady to have two very incredible men in my life, a wonderful Dad AND husband.  :)

That night Josh spent some time with his friends playing Halo like the good old days while I went and hung out with some friends from church.  It was SO much fun getting to know them all better, we had pizza, great conversation and a very fun game of Settlers of Catan.  If you haven't played it, don't be intimidated by the way it looks, it's very fun and very easy to get the hang of.  :)  I would have won but my friend Shaun got to ten points right before me.  Had he waited one more round I would have taken it home!


Sunday after church I ran errands while Josh played flag football with the guys.  We also finished moving the rest of the filing cabinets from work.  That evening we drove out to Grapevine to celebrate one of my best friend's birthdays.  Jami turned 24 this past week and wanted to celebrate with friends and family at PF Chang's.  It was my first experience eating there and I really enjoyed it!
The birthday girl with her boyfriend, Matt.
The weekend was truly wonderful.  We also made our first furniture purchase this weekend.  On Saturday we ventured over to Haverty's and found our kitchen table!  It was delivered this morning.  We couldn't be happier with it.  It is PERFECT in our kitchen!  No more card table set up for us!

Next is painting and window treatments.  So much fun!!  
Good gracious... this has turned into a very long post.  Please forgive me!  I am almost done. 

Some more good news... My brother and his wife are officially moving to Texas!!!  It's been 8 years since our family has been together, I am so overjoyed that they will be starting this new chapter of their life here with us.  It's going to be such a wonderful journey, I cannot wait to have my brother back and to really get to know my sister-in-law.  Plus the added bonus of a new baby on October 11th!!!!  He will be here Saturday March 13th and Melanie will be joining us after her semester is finished in May.  I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to come with their arrival!

That is enough yapping for today... :)  Until next time.