Worlds of FUN!!!

Today I went with Drummerboy to Worlds of Fun. I have been looking forward to today, since it has been YEARS since I have been there. We got there about 2:30-ish p.m., and rode a few of the easy rides. The first big ride we did was Fury of the Nile, which I have absolutely loved since I was in High School. I was pretty wet by the end of it, but I expected that since it's a water ride. *grin*

Our next ride was the Mamba Roller Coaster. I have been on this coaster several times before, but it has been so long, I couldn't remember it. It was such a hit, we rode it four times. It was the PERFECT day to go because there weren't long lines, so you could pretty much get off the ride and then get right back on. The Mamba is a steel coaster that does not flip, but has a 205 feet drop at 75 miles per hour! I loved it!!! It has 5 or 6 hills in it, and I LOVED every second of it.

After that, I honestly can't remember the sequence of rides that we did. I do remember having Drummerboy drive the Taxi Cars, which was fun. We also did bumper cars SEVERAL times. At my request, we rode the train as a miniature break from all the excitement. We also saw the dog show.

At about 8:30, we got on the Patriot Roller Coaster. I had never been on that coaster before, and was VERY excited about it. It is a coaster that has the track ABOVE the passengers. It was A BLAST! It has loops and twists and turns, and due to the way the coaster is made, I really never knew what was coming up next on the ride. I found myself saying WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Well, okay, you had to be there, but it was fun!

After doing the Patriot 4 times, Drummerboy decided that he wanted to do the Mamba one last time. I will openly admit that I wasn't thrilled about that idea simply because the Mamba is so far away from the Patriot ride and my legs were TIRED. But, I didn't want to let Drummerboy down, so I agreed. As it turned out, that was one GREAT idea he had. On the walk to the Mamba, we walked through Snoopy's Hot Summer Nights Lights. I LOVED it. I have never seen lights like the ones they had tonight. (I will also admit, I never did see the Christmas Lights at SDC.) It was really special to me. Plus, I had never been in the park past dark, so it was even more special because of that.

As it turned out, we rode on the LAST car of the night for the Mamba. After riding the Patriot, I honestly expected the Mamba not to be as cool as it was prior to the discovery of the Patriot ride. I was SO WRONG. *grin* Not only was it still cool, but we rode it IN THE DARK!!! I loved it! The Mamba was a PERFECT way to end the night.

While I am EXHAUSTED now, it was one of the best days I've had this Summer.

Mamba.
Patriot.
*grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

Friends

Today was a really cool day. I sit here tonight and feel enormously blessed to have the friends that I do. It was one year ago this week that I moved here and began a new chapter in my life. (July 1 if you want to be technical about it.) I left some of the kindest, and most special people in Joplin, and prayed that God would bring friends that were that special here in L.S. And, God has done just that.

I met RockStarPara and her Son, C.J. at the movie theatre, and we saw Ironman 2. While the movie choice wasn't something I would have chosen, I am glad I went. C.J. LOVED the movie, and I think I got a bigger kick out of watching C.J. than the movie. Don't get me wrong, the movie was a good. It had the basic good versus evil theme. While somewhat predictable, there were some good special effects in it. I'll be honest, I won't own it one day. But, it was fun laughing with RockStarPara as we saw it through C.J.'s eyes.

After the movie, they invited me out to "lunch". C.J. hadn't had lunch yet, and while it was clearly closer to dinner than lunch, we had to call it lunch because C.J. doesn't believe in skipping meals. *grin* We went to Applebee's and had a GREAT time getting caught up and laughing together. RockStarPara is one of my favorite people here, and I am enormously blessed to have her as a friend. We plan on doing a couple other things this Summer before the craziness of school starts back up.

After that, I came home and had SingingGal over for a movie night. We watched a couple sappy movies that I recorded last fall for SingingGal. I REALLY enjoyed my time with her. Not only did we laugh together, but we shared our hearts and prayer requests with one another. It's so much fun for me to have a Godly friend to share things with! That is something I specifically prayed for when I moved here one year ago. I am one blessed gal.

Tomorrow is Worlds of Fun with Drummerboy! We're coaster buddies, so it should be FUN!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Monday Night Fun!!!

Tonight I went to the Prayer Room. Monday nights are my favorite night to be there, as a lot of my favorite leaders lead worship on Mondays. I also love it because we pray for an end to Human Trafficking during the 8-10 set. My heart is continually enlarged for those trapped in Human Trafficking, so that set is a special one for me each week.

Tonight was a kick! Matt led first, and it was intense! I loved that! Cory came out, and we had the opposite, as it was slow and intimate. I typically make it a rule to leave before the next set comes out because I know I will want to stay. Tonight, I didn't manage to do that. Jaye came out to lead, and I LOVED it! I left at about 12:30 to rescue to the furry kid, but it was one amazing night!!!

I am loving this Summer! I am being changed nightly through the Spirit in the Prayer Room and Services.

I love it!

Life.
Is.
Good.

FCF

Tonight I was driving shuttles and it turned out that we had enough drivers, so I asked Papa Bear if I could go in to service. He said yes, and I was really happy. I had the best intentions to go to service this morning, but overslept. Anyway, I went in and Misty was leading, which made me smile. I love it when she leads, and I haven't been in many services lately where she has led, so that was cool.

We went into a ministry time, and I stayed back at first just praying. Then I felt led to go pray for a few people. I still love the fact that I am free to pray for people here! I wound up praying for two people that I don't know, and the Lord gave me words for them. I was told later that the words were right on. That made me smile, because the Lord was using me in the lives of people that I had never met before. I LOVE THAT!!! It's not me, it's God, which makes me so excited!

After ministry time, Mike Bickle came out to preach. And, it was a really good word. I ABSOLUTELY love the fact that in every sermon I hear, God has something in it for me to grab onto. I walked out of service glad I went tonight. REALLY glad!!!

I absolutely love it here. This week will my one year anniversary of when I moved here. I am SO GLAD I'm here!!!

Life.
Is.
Good. *grin*

No One Else....

After driving shuttles tonight, I went in to service. I wasn't really sure what to expect, because IHOP-KC is hosting a conference for high schoolers, but I got in free because I was driving shuttles tonight. Woop!

Normally on Saturdays after I drive, Matt leads worship. Tonight, Matt led the first half of service while I was driving shuttles, so Cory came out just as I was entering the building. In my head, I was doing a little happy dance. Cory's team has become a favorite of mine, but I haven't really been in a lot of services lately where he has led. So, I was pumped!!!

First there was a prayer time, and I just sat and interceded from where I was at. Then Cory started leading. I LOVED every second of it! While I had already heard most of the stuff he sang, I was touched by a phrase in one of the songs. The phrase is, "No one else can love you like I love you Lord, 'cause I was made unique in Your heart, I was made to bring you JOY!"

The part that got me was "No one else can love You like I love you..." I got to thinking about it, and that is one deep statement. I think we often put each other in a box thinking, "If they would just do it the way I do it..." But, that isn't the case when it comes to God. No one else can love Him as I do. I am created to love him in my own, unique way.

I think that's true of all relationships we are in this side of Heaven. So often I see people get insecure thinking, "I want her to like me more." But, in reality, we're all called to love each other specifically the way God made us to do that. The more I think about that, the more I like that.

I also like the thought of loving God in my own way. Only I can give Him what I am created to give Him. Only my prayers can be said by me. Only God can know my every thought and move, even before I do!

Deep stuff...

By the way, we went into a time of joy, and I danced again in a way I haven't in YEARS. I was sweating like crazy by the end of it!

I love this Summer!!!

No one else can love Him like I do...very, very cool!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Adventures with SuperMom!

Having TeacherFam and her kids here has been so much fun! I am re-naming them though. TeacherFam definitely has a SuperMom! She juggles all THREE boys incredibly well! I am in awe of how well she manages a nine-year-old, three-year-old, and 6 month old! She has to juggle feeding the baby on his schedule, as well as the other two boys. I will say that the other two boys are used to having to stop and wait a lot while Chris gets fed. In fact, they seem used to having to wait while SuperMom juggles strollers, carseats, and a baby bag. Johnathon (9), is GREAT at helping his Mom with everything. I was really impressed. These kids are GREAT. I have really enjoyed their stay.

Today we got up and went to the Kansas City Zoo. It was incredible! We rode the tram and train around the zoo. We also walked around and looked at the animals. One cool thing was that we decided to get a stroller (We left the one they had in the car because it said you couldn't take strollers on the tram and train.) from the stroller rental that could hold two kids. (Three-year old and Chris could ride in it.) We walked up, SuperMom went to pay, and the guy gave it to us for FREE! So, the stroller was SUCH a good thing, as we were able to store things in the back of it, as well as push the little people. I got to do most of the pushing, which is LOVED!

Honestly, the animals were cool but the best part was seeing it through the little people's eyes. Johnathon (9), wants to be a paleontologist and LOVES animals, so it was fun to see it through his eyes. The three-year-old was afraid of some of the animals at times, but loved it anyway.

After the zoo and dinner, Johnathon and I headed to the neighborhood pool to swim. (We wanted SuperMom to have a break!) We did the slide ten times in a row. I stopped after ten, but Johnathon kept going. We swam for a little over an hour, and had a TERRIFIC time.

I'm now wiped out, but the whole day was fun!

SuperMom and crew leave in the morning, and I will be sad to see them go. The cool part is that I don't see it as the end though...this is only the continuation of a precious friendship. Afterall, I consider Johnathon my semi-adopted child. I am one blessed gal.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Union Station!!!

Today we went to Union Station to see the Dinosaur Exhibit and the Train Exhibit. I had never been to Union Station, so the whole trip was an adventure.

The boys were extremely excited to see the Dinosaurs. The three-year-old got inside the exhibit and they did such a good job of making it sound like real dinosaurs, he got scared!!! With life-like dinosaurs we could move with the push of a button, the nine-year-old LOVED IT. I enjoyed pushing the 6 month old around in a stroller while their Mom took care of the three-year-old. I was amazed by the whole exhibit. It was very educational and I learned quite a bit. I thought it was fun!

After that, we discovered that the Train Exhibit was FREE with the purchase of another attraction ticket. (Free is good!) I enjoyed that even more because the three-year-old LOVED it! While SuperMom took care of feeding the baby, I walked around with the three-year-old as he followed each train. It was PRICELESS! It also reminded me of Grandpa Springer. I can't explain exactly why, but looking at the old pictures, I thought of my Grandpa, and it made me smile. I thought that was cool.

Tomorrow we're doing the KC Zoo. I have been there before, but it's been so long since then that I don't remember it.

I am thoroughly enjoying my visit with TeacherFam and her kids. Jay is even doing well. He's wiped out by all the playing with the little people, but is liking it!

Ah...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Every Once in a While...

...I am reminded of what wonderful friends I have in my life. Today was one of those days. I welcomed a family from Joplin here for a few days. Teacherfam arrived with a 9 year old, 3 year old, and 6 month old, and I loved EVERY second of it! While we didn't do a whole lot today, that was just fine by me! It was good to just sit and get caught up with one another. The next couple days we're planning to hit Union Station for the Dino Exhibit and The KC Zoo is also on our list!

I can't really pinpoint a HIGH point of the day with them, as they were all GREAT. Jay enjoyed running around with the boys, which was also a really cool thing. I am sure everyone will sleep well tonight. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Great!!!

Toy Story 3!!!

Today I went and saw Toy Story 3. For two years I have looked forward to this movie, and it did not disappoint me! While I don't want to give away too much of the story, I will say that it was full of laughter and fun! I knew going into the theater that it was made in 3D, but what I didn't know was that I was going to feel like I was a part of the movie! From start to finish, I felt like I was right there with Woody, Buzz, and all the usual Toy Story favorites! I also enjoyed a few new characters to the film, which added plenty of entertainment!

I HIGHLY recommend this film for EVERYONE. It is good for kids of ALL ages! I also recommend that it be seen in the big theater, complete with the 3D glasses! I will admit, that I don't go to movies as much anymore due to ticket prices (I mean, who can beat the Redbox price for $1?) but this one is worth every penny!

I know this entry is very short, but I don't want to give away too much! So, grab a friend and go! You will not be disappointed!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Uneventful

Today was completely uneventful compared to yesterday! I am thoroughly enjoying Summer Break, relaxing like crazy!

It was after noon when I thought, "It's past noon, I should be productive. Oh wait, it's Summer Break, I don't have to be productive. That's why it's called a BREAK!"

Tomorrow I'm seeing Toy Story 3!!!

I can't wait!

Life.
Is.
Uneventful. *grin*

Road Rage???

I stopped at the pharmacy on the way to IHOP to drive shuttles tonight. I went a different way than usual just because of where the pharmacy is located in relation to my house and IHOP. I should state that I'm a good driver, I really am.

So, when I was merging from 470 to Red Bridge, I had to cross several lanes to get into the turning lane to get to IHOP. I wound up having to really slow down in order to merge appropriately. From what I can honestly recall, I thought I had done okay. Apparently I didn't because I heard someone honk. I couldn't tell who honked and considered it over. I don't have that happen very often, and figured that we were all safe, so life goes on.

However, a car came up right on my bumper and honked. I prayed. I live in the big city and hear horror stories from time to time about road rage. I honestly couldn't tell you what I had done. Nor did I see any point in re-living the whole deal. It was over, and life goes on.

The car turned the way I did. Now, I'll be the first to admit, I watch a lot of NCIS and Criminal Minds, and told myself they weren't following me, that they were just headed my way. However, they continued to follow. It was a lady and looked like her son perhaps? So, I kept driving, and she kept following. Now, the longer she followed the more I wondered what to do. I mean, what was I going to do? Call 911 and say, "I think someone is following me, but I could be wrong. And well, I watch a lot of TV, so perhaps my mind is running and it's all for nothing." So, I kept going and turned into IHOP. The car also turned into IHOP. My thought was that I'm allowed to park by the shuttles, so I pulled back behind IHOP, thinking they would turn and it would all be over. Only deal is, she pulled in behind me and parked right beside me, and I was scared! Looking back, I was running on pure adrenaline and nothing else. (Perhaps that is why I'm so tired!) I looked over and she rolled her window down. I just stopped and started packing my backpack. Sitting here, I can still feel the fear, which is strange. Anyway, I thought about driving off, but well, I was late for my shift, etc, so I got out of the car. (Shaking, like I did in my last chapter of my life when I was yelled at.)

I just looked at her. The young man that was with her never looked at me, he just looked straight ahead. She didn't yell, I give her that. She just stated that I was one of three cars that cut her off. Honestly, I didn't know who she was until she was on my bumper, and had zero recollection of cutting her off. I just looked at her. My head was spinning, but I was still scared. Was she gonna pull a gun? (IHOP isn't in the ideal neighborhood!) Was she gonna hurt me?

She went on and said that I could have caused an accident and begged me to drive safer. (Her exact words were "Please, please please please drive safer!") I just looked at her. I didn't even think I had been that close to an accident to begin with. THEN she caught me off-guard and said that she was hoping that I wasn't someone who went to IHOP because she used to go to IHOP under Bickle, and I should do better than that because I go there.

I just stared at her. Then I said, "Ok". I mean, I was scared, and well, what was I going to say that would help the situation? Of course, now I can think of TONS to say, much like I did in my last chapter of my life. Honestly, I just wanted her to go. She paused, and I'm sure she was waiting for an apology, but she had just scared me to death! Then she left.

All night I've re-played it over and over again. On one hand, she didn't hurt me, and didn't even yell at me. She just talked.

On the other hand, I would love to see her again, now that I have pondered things. First off, I had NO recollection of cutting her off. Secondly, if three cars cut her off, why did she follow me? Third, just because I go to IHOP doesn't mean it prevents me from car accidents...it's not as if I had purposely cut her off. It seemed like she took it personally, when in reality it had nothing personal within it.

I also wonder what I should have done. It scares me to think I had parked where I did instead of calling 911. What if it had been someone with a gun? I could have been hurt. And, that scares me. She has no idea how much it shook me. I can't let fear take over, I recognize that, but it is something I need to learn from. I clearly didn't cut this lady off on purpose, I was just trying to get to IHOP.

I'm so glad tomorrow is a new day. I plan on learning from this, but certainly don't plan on dwelling on it. Life is too short to do that!

Life.
Is.
Good.

31 Days!

So, for a LONG time I was counting down the days to Summer Break. I think I started counting at about 98 days left. Yes, I was READY for the school year to end! So, today while goofing around on FB, it hit me that camp is almost here! So, I opened my icalendar and found out that I have ONLY 31 DAYS left until Camp! I am so excited!!! Camp is my second-favorite week of the year. (My first favorite is the Onething Conference here in KC!) This year I get to go serve for TWO WEEKS! I am so excited I can barely sit still. Of course, the other thought that hit me was that I need to brush up on my sign language skills, as I am serving during Term #8!!! Yippee!!!!!!!

31 Days! I. Can't. Wait.

Life.
Is.
Good!!!

A Tribute To Boots!!!

The other day while I was driving the shuttle for Signs and Wonders Camp, this furry kid named Boots came to my mind. Several years ago, I was asked to house-sit for some friends of mine who owned Boots. Of course, I jumped at the chance to spend some time with the furry kid! Boots was my first lesson in taking care of an indoor dog. When I was a kid, we had OUTDOOR dogs. So, when I went to take care of Boots, I wasn't really sure what to expect.

I kept Boots a couple times, and Boots was a very faithful companion while I was there. As you can tell, he wasn't necessarily a small dog, so I couldn't hold him in my lap. I think Boots would have sat in my lap though if he had been small enough to fit, as he seemed to like being petted a lot.

He was an incredibly SWEET dog. I remember at one point during my house-sitting experience, I lost electricity and Boots guided me through the dark hallway to the phone. I will never forget that.

He was also my first lesson in having a dog around that was ALWAYS in the same room I was in at all times. I remember when I first went over, I was nervous because I thought I would have to find him throughout the house. As it turned out, I was SO WRONG! Boots actually followed me throughout the house all the time, and even as I watched TV, he laid on the couch beside me so I could pet him while I watched! He was an INCREDIBLE companion during those days.

My friends who owned him would probably write a whole lot more than I have here, as they obviously knew him better than I did. However, I think it's okay to only share a little bit. After all, it is about remembering him that matters.

As it turns out, Boots died at the end of last Summer. I found out about it via FB. At that time, I felt bad for my friends, as they loved the dog very much. Today, I feel for them even more, as I can't imagine how well I would handle it if Jay wasn't by my side daily.

Today, I sit here and I ponder Boots. Boots was a really cool dog who knew how to love people very well. I learned a great deal from Boots. And while I haven't seen him in YEARS, I miss him. I find that amazing, how we can love dogs, and even miss them even when they weren't a part of our daily lives. I think that even works with people. (Of course, in my mind, dogs are people!) People come and go out of our lives and still leave an impression on hearts, just as Boots left one on mine. I will never, ever forget that sweet dog...

By the way, Boots' family has adopted another dog named Boomer. Which is great, and I KNOW that Boots wouldn't mind. Just because Boomer is there, Boots isn't forgotten. He will live in our hearts forever.

We miss you Boots!

Life.
Is.
Good!!!

Oceans of Fun

Today I went with SingingGal and her girls to Oceans of Fun. It has been YEARS (no need to count how many years) since I had been there, and I was SO GLAD we went! They have added quite a few things since I was there, and it was a blast doing all the activities. While I didn't get to do one slide because of time restraints, it was a GREAT time!

My favorite ride was a four-person raft ride. The girls and I rode it first, and had a GREAT time. Due to the way the raft went down the slide, I was the person who faced the opposite way we were going! I always thought I wouldn't like that, but it was actually fun. I laughed a lot of the way down. The second time, SingingGal joined us, and she wound up being the one facing backwards! At one point she yelled, "I hate this!" I started laughing like crazy! I know, I know, it wasn't nice. For some reason though, it seemed REALLY funny! As we ended the ride, the lifeguard at the end asked us how we liked the ride. SingingGal stated that she didn't like it. I kept laughing. It wasn't that I was laughing at her, it was just her facial expressions and words made me laugh. Needless to say, it was our last time on the ride. It was FUN though!

I'm wiped, but today was FUN!!!

LIFE.
IS.
FUN!!!

Signs and Wonders Camp!

This week I have been assisting with shuttling the little people who are attending IHOP's Signs and Wonders Camp. Since this is my first FULL Summer here, I'm still learning what happens during the Summer around here. At this time, we have Awakening Teen Camp (A.T.C.) as well as Signs and Wonders Camp going on. Needless to say, things are HOPPIN'!

I help get the little people from one of the base to the other, and the kids have been FUN! More than once I've had girls on the shuttle singing typical camp songs, and I just LOVE IT! The kids are all so polite and I find myself smiling as I hear what they're saying and doing. My favorite shuttles are the ones that are full of singers. The girls sing VERY well!

Tonight we were supposed to pick them up at 6 and take them to Awakening. The schedule was changed at the last minute and I wound up going to Awakening for a little while. I LOVED IT! The place was full of ATC kids, and we had fun as Cory Asbury led us in worship! As usual, I grinned ear-to-ear as people danced and laughed. I still can't believe I live here!

After that I went out and grabbed my shuttle and picked up some kids. As one group of girls was getting off, one little girl said, "Thanks Ms. Shuttle-lady!" I just grinned.

Two more days left of the camp! I love it!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Jay's First Haircut!!!


Today was Jay's first haircut. According to his other family, he had never had a haircut before. I wasn't sure how he would do, as he doesn't like noises. (He barks at most of them!) I dropped him off at 9, and picked him up at noon. He came out with his tail wagging, thrilled to see me! Everyone said he did a "great job" and was "very sweet". I was so excited to hear that! He looks SO CUTE! He has taken over the recliner, so I wanted to post him in his chair. I also wanted to post him with his little blue bandana!

Life.
Is.
Good!

Karen

Last night I made another drive to the big town of Joplin to have dinner with Karen. Karen is a wonderful gal, and I ALWAYS enjoy our time together. First we went to the mall and she introduced me to the people she works with, and I really enjoyed that. For years Karen didn't work outside the home, and I can tell she really enjoys getting out of her home and meeting new people. (She's never met a stranger either!) I really thought it was cool that I got to meet the people in her life and see where she works. That was FUN!

Then we went to Olive Garden. We had the BEST time sitting and chatting. We may not have solved all the world's problems, but we sure tried! *grin* It's so much fun pondering life with Karen. We have similar hearts toward the Lord, so we have quite a bit in common. We didn't close down the place like we thought we would, but we were there for quite a while!

Karen has a special place in my heart, and always will. I remember in the last chapter of my life how much she was there for me, and I am so very thankful for her. Last night was fun because I'm past that chapter and into good things now. When we were saying good-bye to each other, there was talk about her coming this way before the Summer is over and spending some time together here. I hope that pans out, but if it doesn't, that's okay. I can drive down again and see her anytime!

If you ask me, the evening was PRICELESS. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Good...especially with good friends in it! *grin*

Not Feelin' 100%

Today hasn't exactly been the day I had planned. Okay, well, I didn't really have a plan (love summer!) but I didn't plan on being on the couch the majority of the day with a cold/flu. I went out long enough to take Jay on a mini-walk. It occurred to me that I haven't truly been sick since I've had Jay. I've had headaches, but not on the couch with sniffles and a fever. And I have been amazed at Jay. I was told once that dogs just "know" stuff, and that has certainly been the case today.

When we returned home from our walk, I laid back down on the couch. I decided to take a nap, which is something I NEVER do! I turned off the TV and rolled over, fully expecting Jay to jump on top of me. Instead, he slept on the recliner while I slept on the couch. He let me sleep the whole 45 minutes I was out! What a good pup!

Tonight I have felt a tad better, thanks to over-the-counter meds. I plan on sleeping plenty tonight, and pray that I feel better tomorrow. At least I feel like this during the Summer. Well, I mean, at least I don't have to call in "sick."

Tomorrow will be better. I'm sure of it!

Life.
Is.
Good...even when you're not feelin' 100%!!!

Summit Waves!!!

Today I took three of my favorite little people, and we went to Summit Waves. Summit Waves is the local water park here in L.S. It has a Lazy River, a pool with diving boards, and two BIG water slides! The kid's favorite part appeared to be the Lazy River. I think they would have done it all evening if I had let them! As for me, I LOVED the water slides! There was a body slide, and a slide that you went down on a raft. My favorite was the body slide! It was REALLY long and PITCH DARK! That's right, twists and turns IN THE DARK! I LOVED IT!

Of course, on my initial ride down, I was scared spitless, and the smallest little person was next! I was nervous she would come out screaming! Instead, she came out grinning. It was INCREDIBLE. Due to the fact you couldn't see anything, the twists, turns, and drops were incredible! It was SO FAST that at the end when I came out of the tunnel, I was sucked down into the water before coming back up! IT WAS AWESOME!

The other slide was FAST too, and it was dark too. However, on that one, there were occasional areas with light, whereas on the other one it was PITCH BLACK! The cool part was at the end of the raft slide, I slid all the way to the other side of the area of water that I landed in due to how fast I was going! (Everyone slid that far!) It was SO MUCH FUN!

I hope to go back again soon! The little people made it amazing. Their perspectives kept me laughing and laughing.

Did I mention that I love Summer?!!

Life.
Is.
Fun!!!

Lunch and a Haircut!!!

I believe that it's the little things in life that matter the most to me. I find myself in moments daily where I think, "Wow, that is the highlight of my day!" Today I had two of those moments.

I got up and went to Joplin this morning. I was going there for a haircut. Yes, for a haircut. (Stop laughing! It's not THAT funny!) I made an appointment with my hairdresser that I had the past several years, who knows what I like done to my hair. I have been frustrated here in the big city as the gals here keep trying to change my hairdo, when I like it the way Cindy did it! I plan on having someone take my picture tomorrow so I can show my new gal here what I want.

Cindy welcomed me with a HUGE hug and we had a GREAT time. She gave me highlights as well as a GOOD haircut. I keep running my fingers through my hair and think, "OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it's short again! I love it!" While I'm not a girly girl, I do feel SO MUCH BETTER with my short haircut. See, it's the little things in life! *grin*

My other highlight was when I met a friend for lunch before my haircut. I will be honest and say that I REALLY miss my friends in Joplin, so it was nice to sit and chat with Tooldude. While we didn't solve all the world's problems, we sure tried! And my favorite part was how deep we went into our conversation about God. I don't have a lot of friends that I can go that deep with, and it's ALWAYS a JOY to sit and talk with Tooldude. I always walk away pondering something new and feel closer to God.

Yes, I drove two hours each way for a haircut and a lunch chat. It was worth that drive. Lunch and a haircut, small things, but BIG to me! *grin*

I LOVE SUMMER!!!

Life.
Is.
Good.

From Jay Again!

Greetings everyone!

Jay here. Shortone said I could write tonight! Today was really fun! I woke Shortone up at 10:30. She laughed at me when I woke her up because I was standing on her back! She said something about how going back to sleep wasn't going to happen so she got up, whatever that means!

We went for a walk this afternoon, and it was really fun. It wasn't as hot today, which was nice. Oh, and the sprinklers were going all along our street, so I got to get wet! The new neighbor boy, Michael, got to walk me a little too! I enjoyed that because he can run faster than Shortone. Of course, once Shortone sat down on the sidewalk, I ran to her. She's my favorite person!

Shortone said something about her guests not coming tomorrow, so she invited my old family over for dinner and to go for a walk. They came and got her and left for a while, but then they came back! We went for a walk around the lake, and it was really fun because Adawee walked me and I was running with her! I like walking with Shortone, but sometimes it's fun to run too!

Once we got back here, the little people left, and SingingGal stayed. They watched a movie on the TV. Shortone got really involved in it, talking to the TV. SingingGal was laughing at her! I loved that they watched a movie because I fell asleep in Shortone's lap!

Shortone left and went to the Prayer Room after that. I don't know what the Prayer Room is, but Shortone has been spending quite a bit of time there. She seems happy when she comes back, so that is cool. I miss her when she's gone, but she always comes back! Oh, and she's been leaving me out of the box lately when she's gone for short trips. I haven't gotten into anything, but then again she shuts the bedroom and bathroom doors, so I don't have much to get into either!

Ah, I love living with Shortone. She is really nice.

Well, she says I need to go. Something about tomorrow being a busy day.

She said to put this at the bottom:

Life.
Is.
Good.
*woof*

Painful Steps

Yesterday I took Jay for a walk down by the lake. It was one of our longer walks, but very enjoyable. They have put a new bench down by the lake, so we sat and watched boats go by and people attempt to water ski. We even laughed at some who tried and failed. I know that's mean, but the attempts were funny!

When we came back here I was a little sore, but that's normal for the long walk that we took. I figured that after some water and cleaning up I would feel better. (That's usually the way it works.) However, instead of feeling better, I started feeling worse. Each step I took I was more and more painful. Not excruciatingly painful, just sore pain. (If that makes sense.)

I went to service and didn't let it stop me last night. With each step, I was in pain. However, I still went ahead and participated, and I enjoyed service, I REALLY did.

I went to bed last night expecting to wake up and have the pain be gone. Instead, I barely walked to the bathroom this morning. I said a few prayers, laid in bed, and got up. Jay wasn't going to let me sleep anyway! *grin*

Walking at first was hard. In fact, if Jay could laugh, he probably would have! I came downstairs, wincing with each step. I plopped on the couch and watched "Flashpoint" as well as a few other shows. I looked at Jay repeatedly, and he was expecting his usual walk. (We've gotten into our Summer Schedule very well!) So, we went on a shorter walk than usual. Of course, he didn't care about the length, he was just glad to get to go for a walk.

I know from having pulled muscles in the past that in time I will be fine. This pain is temporary.

I tell ya what though, it has (again) taught me more about how much I take for granted. While I walk with a limp daily, I don't have pain associated with it. There are people who live in a world of pain daily. I am blessed enough to not deal with pain daily and this pain is temporary. It makes me wonder what else I take for granted. Hum....

With each step, I am reminded how blessed I truly am. In time, this pain will be gone. Walking will be easy again.

I am blessed.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Standing in the Middle...

Tonight I went to Awakening again, and LOVED every minute of it. After last night, I knew I was going to go up front from the beginning of service to the end. And, I did just that!

SingingGal and her family were there, and I was welcomed with HUGS before service! It made me glad I got there before service. It's always a joy to see kids running up and hugging me! Love the little people!!!

Julie Meyer started out leading, and we went into JOY!!! I danced again! It was SO MUCH FUN! The kids danced too, which made me grin ear-to-ear! It was GREAT.

After worship, we went into a time of praying for people! It was GREAT! I prayed over many people, and felt the Lord leading me in each prayer! It was GREAT to see people changed by what God said through me.

Cory Asbury came out to lead at 9, and I went up and just stood in the middle of the area right in front of the stage. Joy broke out again, which was fun but I didn't dance. I just stood there and grinned. I am still in awe at IHOP when joy breaks out because I can't remember seeing a lot of joy, true joy, in many services prior to my move here. Which is sad to think about, but very true. So, I just stood in the middle. *grin*

While standing there, I had two people walk up to me and ask me if they could pray for me. I don't turn down prayer. One of them said I am a faithful servant, and prayed that over me. Another man prayed over me and a prophetic word came out. It was NICE to be ministered to! Another gal wanted to pray for me, and then said, "You know, you just need to get into worship!" No kidding! *grin*

I find it amazing how different each night is, and I don't want to lose this feeling. What I mean is, it would be so easy for this to become normal, and for me to take it for granted. (Worship and Prayer, IHOP-Style) I am determined not to do that. I wanted to be here for SO LONG that I still find myself in services like tonight and grin the whole time and think, "I can't believe I live here!" 7 years of prayer, and I'm here.

I'm home.

*grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

Awakening!!! *grin*

Tonight was a BLAST!!! I went to the Awakening Service at IHOP-KC. I know, all my readers are SHOCKED to hear I was there! *grin*

I think I was in such a dry place at the end of school, and haven't spent much time in services or the Prayer Room until this week, that I am LOVING my time in His presence. Misty was leading at first, and that is always fun for me. I ALWAYS encounter the Lord when she leads.

We went into a time of praying for one another, and I LOVED that! While I have prayed for people occasionally, I hadn't really prayed for people during Awakening. I LOVED THAT! There was a time in my life that I wasn't allowed to pray for others during services, and it really bugged me. So, tonight I had FUN praying for others and watching God move on their hearts. There was one gal that I felt led to stay with for over an hour! She was clearly being touched by the Lord and I just felt Him tell me not to leave her side. At one point, Allen Hood came over and prayed for her at the same time I was praying for her!!! I LOVED it! It was neat to pray with Allen over someone. It made me feel like a part of the church family. *grin*

After being with the gal over an hour, I was drained. So, it was COOL when Laura Hackett, Cory Asbury, and Jaye Thomas came out to lead! We went into a time of celebration, and I danced for the first time in a LONG time. I was up front with the crowd and I danced so much, I was sweating! It was GREAT! It was also cool because the band stopped playing at one point, and the crowd kept it going. It is rare for that to happen, so that was REALLY cool! Needless to say, the band came back in and we went back into the song. *grin* I was sweating so much my hair was a mess, but I didn't care. IT WAS FUN!!!

We went back into praying for people after that, and I jumped right back into it. It was an evening I will never forget.

I sat down when they went into a time of testimonies and I was reminded that even as a kid, I didn't just sit. I was always in the middle of stuff with the other kids. Therefore, it stands to reason that I wouldn't just watch others pray for people....I was created to be an encourager and to pray for people. *grin*

I LOVE SUMMER!!!

I get to do it all again tomorrow night! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Fun!!!

The Dog Park!!!

Today I took the plunge with some of my favorite little people, and we took Jay to the dog park by my school. In a way, it's hard to believe that it's taken me this long to get him there since it's right by my school and Jay is spoiled. My hesitancy to take him there was because of his fear of other dogs. Being the protective dog owner that I am, I thought I was doing him a favor by NOT taking him. That being said, on our most recent visit to the vet, the vet encouraged me to get him there so that he can interact with other dogs and learn how to play with them. So, I today was the day!!!

Now, I had driven by the park many times, but had never actually stopped there to see what all was available for Jay to do. So, when we got there, I had to read all the signs and make sure we were following the rules. The kids were ready to go! We entered in the park, and there were dogs loose to run and play. I wondered who this adventure was going to be more challenging for, me or Jay! The cool part was that I felt at peace about it though. Like, I wasn't sure how it was all going to play out, but I wasn't afraid Jay would get hurt. I figured that was a God-Thing because Jay can be cool one moment, and snap the next. Anything was possible.

Jay did REALLY well compared to what I expected the experience to be for both of us. The park is really nice and fairly large so you can either walk the path, sit on a bench and watch dogs play, or take the dogs through the obstacle course. Or course, I thought it was funny that Jay was scared of all the obstacle course stuff. Well, all except the miniature tunnel that he walked through after being encouraged by one of the little people. *grin*

There was a moment during the trip that taught me something though. Jay was playing with a group of dogs (Which I was thrilled about!) and they wound up playing follow the leader, with Jay in front. Jay got scared so I said, "Come here, Jay," and he ran to me. While this isn't unusual, as we're best friends and he comes to me all the time, it made me think about God. It made me feel good that Jay sought shelter with me, and knew I would protect him. (Which is somewhat humorous because some of those dogs were big and could have knocked me over!) He didn't want the little people (Which would have been fine by me, as long as he was safe.), he wanted me. And it made me wonder if I run to God when I'm struggling as quickly as Jay did when he recognized he was in trouble. I don't know that I do, honestly. I let pride get in my way a lot. But it was a good lesson for me. I imagine that God LOVES it when I seek Him (Good or bad stuff.) just as I felt good having Jay find safety in me.
Kinda cool.

By the way, on the way out of the park, there is a water fountain for humans as well as one for dogs. Jay was scared of the water fountain. *grin* Silly dog!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Dig Your Own Well, Have Your Own History in God

One of my former pastors often used the phrase, "Dig your own well, and have your own history in God." I have ALWAYS loved that phrase! I think so often in life we are encouraged to walk the walk like others around us and follow in their footsteps, when in reality we should be embracing the different paths God takes us all on this side of Heaven.

This was brought back to me again tonight as I sat in the Prayer Room. (It's 1am and I just got in! I love Summer!) Clay Edwards came out to do the 12am set, and went into a song montage that took me on my own journey through my own history in God. We did songs from when I was a part of Open Hand (Draw me Close) to standing on the hill at OneDay 2000 (This is the Air I Breathe) to my history at IHOP (Yearn as well as several others.).

I was taught in a Science Class in High School that the sense that brings back the most memories is the sense of smell. Well, I disagree with that. For me, my memories are mostly tied to songs. (This makes sense, as I LOVE music.) Music can bring up emotion, and take you back to the moment that that song clicked for me.

I can still recall standing on that hill in Tennessee at OneDay, wondering what God had in store for me. I can honestly say that at that point in my life I hadn't really experienced pain, disappointment, or loneliness. I was at the tail-end of my college days, ready to take on the world. Christy Nockels came out and sang "Breathe" and I was undone with a heart of passion for the Lord. I wasn't distracted by anything. And honestly, I wish I could rewind to that hill. I know I can't, which is why I'm so glad I can still be taken back to it, even if it's through singing songs that remind me of my heart's cry at that time. Tonight it helped me unlock some of those emotions again.

I also know that I couldn't have my own unique history in God without my experiences the past ten years with loneliness, disappointment, and (sometimes) pain. I also know that in the past ten years of my history in God, I discovered IHOP-KC. Through each experience, good or bad, IHOP kept me rooted and grounded in His love, and the deep things of Him. Even when my own knowledge of God was assaulted throughout those ten years, I knew that I knew that I knew that God was with me, guiding me...building my own history with Him.

Right before I left the Prayer Room tonight, Clay went into a song that I had never heard before. It was clear that it's popular in the Prayer Room, as many others in the room were singing right along. I liked the song just as much as I recall liking Breathe on that hill in Tennessee. As we sang it out, I was reminded that there are still memories to be made, and a well to be dug even further. And honestly, I am excited that I have a Summer to dig away!

By the way, Pastor Mike, thanks for the phrase you gave us as a church family. It's a phrase that I plan to use often to encourage others to dig their own wells, and have their own histories in God.

*grin*