Thursday, February 28

Good fences make good what?

We live in a suburb. The town we live in was once ALL farm land. Every single tree was pretty much gone before most of the farmers sold out and the few trees that were still here, it seemed got cut down too by the developers. Now that being said, the developers planted these little stick tress when they built the houses. So, needless to say the wind howls around here as there are no tress to really block anything. Our fences suffer greatly from this. Actually, the same developers who built the houses and cut the last of the trees down, built the worse fences known to man. If you know anything about fences, you at least know that cement is required to put your posts in. They just dug some holes and put the posts in. So, we have added posts and rebuild practically all our fences, thanks to my Dad. He is wonderful. This week we have had high winds and of course our only "good" section of fence came down.

On Tuesday, I assisted my Dad in mending our fence. My husband had to work so I didn't mind helping. We put in new posts and re-nailed that section. (I'm one of those girls who doesn't mind getting in there and doing that work, in fact, I'm sure I got that from my Dad as I also do most of the lawn work. My Dad loves to do lawn work.) Anyway... our fences are now mended, until the next section begins to give away again. It is something we are continually watching. If we don't stay on top of the loose boards, then the entire section weakens and soon it is lying on the ground waiting for a complete overhaul.

As I think about it, I am reminded of my life in general. If I don't stay on top of those seemingly small boards that get loose, like not praying for my marriage or husband, or keeping up with the laundry or dirty dishes. Before too long there are problems. The whole "section" has fallen in to dis-repair. My marriage is suffering, my husband doesn't get encouraged and my household starts to fall apart. So... I am thankful for the reminder to keep up with everyday maintenance of my life.

Wednesday, February 27

Pretty Princess

My devotional this morning was called "Pretty, Pretty, Princess" The writer was talking about the royal priesthood... she said "...if you’re a child of the King, then you’re already a princess. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). You and I were not only called out of our sin into the saving light of Christ, but we were made daughters of the King. As royal princesses, who cares what the world says? God’s princesses come in all shapes and sizes—and He loves them all!

Pretty cool huh? Read the entire devotional,I think you're a princess too!

Devtional y: Micca Campbell of Proverbs 31 Ministries

Tuesday, February 26

Psalm 139

Fearfully and wonderfully made... my God made me just the way He wanted me to be. Thank you God... I am so glad you have ALWAYS known me, planned every part of me scars, freckles, blemishes and all. Lord, help me love myself just the way you designed me, inside and out.

Sunday, February 24

Amazing Grace...My Chains Are Gone

We watched Amazing Grace
This weekend. Have you seen it? Let me recommend it to you. Do you know the story? It is about the man who helped abolish slavery in England. What a testimony of perseverance to complete the work God had called him to do. How many times have I felt God leading me to do something and how many times have I NOT followed through with it? Too many times to count. I am sad to admit it. How many victories for the Kingdom have I subverted because I did not follow through. This man, William Wilberforce, followed the difficult and long journey to do the job God laid before him.

The song above, tells such a wonderful story of freedom. Not only the freedom from earthly slavery and bondage, but the freedom that Christ gives. He forgives me when I go to him and say... I screwed up... I gave up... I did not follow You. He says, "it's alright my child, I love you anyway and I'll never, ever, no never think of that sin again. You are washed clean, your chains are gone, you are free." It is amazing to me.

This song is so dear to me. I recently sang it at the funeral of a sweet little girl, the daughter of my good friends. Little Audrey was not even 3. We are all still devastated. It was a tragic death which added to the pain. Her parents are so broken hearted still and will be always I am sure... but, they have turned their grief over to God and they are stronger in their faith than I have ever seen them. It is amazing to see them.. they give us all strength. But when I hear this song... I think of Audrey. Her earthly chains are gone, she is has been set free. She sings with the angels and she sits in the lap of Jesus.

Saturday, February 23

To begin our weekend....let's do something fun, shall we?

I LOVE the Office
Don't you? If must not be watching it! I took the test and these are my results. I'd like to say they are dead wrong... but I am sure they are dead right! So... now you know a lot more about who I am!

Which Office Character Are You?

You are part Ryan. You are extremely smart and perceptive, and it irritates you to no end when inferior people try to tell you what to do. Sometimes, though, your critical eye makes you come off as aloof and bitter to others, and it may take awhile for people to get to know you.
You are part Dwight. You are intense and passionate, and will stand up for your beliefs to anyone; you adhere strictly to the letter of the law. People may not understand your eclectic passions, but your strange aesthetic makes you a fascinating character.
Find Your Character @

Don't forget to tell me your test results!

Friday, February 22


That is the word from the doctor this morning. My little girl has sick lungs... we are very familiar with coughing and asthma around here. I just hate it for her. You pray your child will get the good things from you but it is apparent that she got my lungs. Sorry, little girl, Mommy did not want this for you at all.

Oh, and did I mention... double ear infections. It looks like we'll have a quite weekend hanging aroung the house taking medicine and doing breathing treatments every four hours.
55 words


My friend Christine reminded me today of the fun of typing tests! So go take your typing test and see how you do!

Wednesday, February 20

green eyed monster...

Jealousy. Is that what you thought I would say? Well... it raises it's ugly head in all kinds of places doesn't it. Things to be jealous about, lets list them shall we?
  1. Sally's house
  2. Sally's husband (he's so attentive and loving)
  3. Sally's kids (they obey every word)
  4. Time....
  5. Sally sings so much better than me
  6. She doesn't sing better than me... why does she get all the solos?
  7. I'm the one that did ALL that work... why is she getting all the praise?
  8. I'm a better cook... don't ya know...
  9. Lord, who is your favorite?
  10. Where will my mansion be in Heaven... how big will it be.... I'm the best Christian I know...

Hmmm... does any of that sound familiar.... it does to me. I was reading last night and working on a Bible Study and low and behold... jealosy was the topic. Now, Lord, why do you think I need to hear that? I can tell you why... I've been watching it rear it's ugly head recently and I don't like it. That green monster hides and then BLAM jumps right out from behind the couch (I guess it was there hiding with all the dust and lost toys).

You see, I sing in a group of 5 ladies... do I really need to say more? Well... we love eachother dearly and have sang together for 3 years, doing some really cool stuff and praised by many for what we have done. Now... are you seeing where I'm going? I have said it over and over again... if we only sing in a room with the door closed and God gets to listen... I'm great with that, it is all about Worship and Praising Him. I think we all feel that way, most of the time. BUT recently we were told that there would be auditions for a musical our choir will be doing... I'm excited to sing these incredible songs originally sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It will be awesome, I'd love to sing a solo because there are a few songs about worship that hit at my core...but I truly believe that our guy in charge knows who will be best and if I stand in the back and only sing with the choir... cool. One less thing to worry about. Also... I completely love to sing in our Praise Team at church... I find it so rewarding and an opportunity to do what God has put me here to do. But as we began talking about auditioning, I could sense a competitivness that doesn't usually show up. Then one girl said, "Becky, what song are you going to sing because I don't want to waste my time learning a song if you are going to do it too... I know you'll get it over me. Oh and by the way... the song I want to sing is...". I could hardly believe what I heard. Now you must know, Becky sings a song like God had it written just for her. She has a talent that is incredible I could listen to her sing all day. What a burden to ask that of her. Now she is worried about hurting someones feelings... and then another person in choir did the same thing on Sunday to her. My heart hurts for her because jealousy by others has caused her to worry and be anxious.

I think about Peter when he asks Jesus, "what about John, what will happen to him?" and what did Jesus say? He said, "don't worry about my plans for him.

So I say... when all those mean, green jealosy feelings start to rise... don't forget that it always affects someone else, because we can not deal lovingly and be joyful for others when we secretly wish for what they have.

Tuesday, February 19

back to the grind

I can not remember being so happy about President's Day before. But this year we were all home all day. With my husband being in school and work being nuts, we have had little time together this month. BUT this weekend we had fun. We didn't do anything spectacular, we were just together. We didn't go to church Sunday morning, as my daughter has the monster cough and runny nose. So we had a long weekend to just rest, play and enjoy each other. It was great and much needed.

So now... back to the grind stone. I'll go to work later today. I start the cycle of dropping my daughter with my Mom so I can go downtown to work and my husband will get in front of the computer and be on conference calls all day. Back to real life.

Thank you God for a weekend of rest and renewal as a family.

Monday, February 18

passing on the tradition

I hope that my daughter will love to cook, like I do. Good east Texas southern cooking is what I know from my Mom. It is a tradition that has been passed down in our family. I can remember wanting to be in the kitchen helping her and wanting to learn. I guess it worked because today, I think I'm a pretty good cook. Mom gets excited when I tell her I've tried something new or an old family recipe. She smiles and my heart knows that she is sure the legacy is being passed on. Her mother was a great cook, but did not really want her in the kitchen growing up. BUT my father's mother was a fabulous country cook and she loved to show my mom how to do it. There is great story that my father tells about my mother's first attempt at making gravy. Apparently they had to cut it with a knife. We all laugh now because no one makes gravy like her, it is awesome.

Now, my daughter loves to be in the kitchen with me, she is the "egg breaker" and number one "stirrer" as she says. It is a wonderful time for us to prepare meals together and I feel like I am giving her a gift that she will pass along as well.

So in honor of my mom's great cooking, I will include an old family favorite that I made for the first time this week, for my family. It is a recipe I had not thought about in years, but Mom recently made it and we were there to enjoy it and I thought... WOW that is awesome... just like I remember it. I need to add this to our meal list. So, here it is, to share with your family.
Just to warn you... I cook by feel and by sight... so not all my measurements will be exact... but get over it. That is the secret to great country cooking.

Swiss Steak or Pepper Steak (it depends who you ask)

1 1/2 lbs round steak (tenderized)- cut in pieces (around the size of your palm)
1- 14oz can of stewed, diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper -cut in thin slices
1 medium onion- cut in slices
2 tbs minced garlic
enough flour to lightly coat the meat
salt/ pepper/ garlic powder to season flour

Combine salt/pepper/garlic powder and flour in a dish and dip the meat in the mixture just to coat. Not real heavy. Then pan fry the meat in a heavy skillet ( I used my iron dutch oven) in canola oil. You don't need a lot of oil. Brown the meat on both sides. Remove meat. Drain the oil, but keep all the cruchy pieces that fell off the meat in the pan. Next, put the meat back in, add the tomatoes, peppers and onions and the garlic. Also, take the tomato can and fill it with water and add it in. Now, stir the bottom of the pan and get all the good stuff that stuck to the bottom loose and let it come to a boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer for a while. I did for 30 -40 minutes. You want the meat really tender.

Serve with good ole' mashed potatoes. Now... doesn't that sound like good comfort food? Well it is!

Sunday, February 17


I find that most learning and blessings come in the waiting times. We are all waiting for different things, some a job, others a baby, others wait for happier times. In our home there has been waiting too. My husband spent the last year searching for a new job, frustrated and defeated. I kept praying and believing that God was having us wait to learn to trust Him. It is hard for men to fully trust when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders; trying to provide for their family.

Now the waiting is changing for our family. My husband was accepted into a prestigious Master's program and our world has changed for sure. He is still working full time and once a month he attends classes for two very intense days. I've never seen him work and study so hard. So now the waiting is mine. Waiting to spend time with him again. It is going to be a long two years for all of us. This first month has already shown us that. But I know the blessing if we all perservere to the end; better opportunities for his career, better opportunities for me to spend more time with our daughter and not feel pulled between working and being with her.

During this time, I will need put aside selfishness, wanting to spend lots of time together, I need to encourage him, support him, remind him God has given us all this gift, a great opportunity. I will be the cheerleader on the sideline. But that will be hard when I feel discouraged and lonely, when I am being selfish and demanding of his time while he studies... so, God, it is in this time of waiting for companionship that I ask You keep me going so that I can be all I need to be for him. I think God is wanting me to spend more time with Him anyway, reading and studying His word while my husband reads and studies. Hmm.. imagine that, not sitting in front of the TV mindlessly watching as I wait for him to come to bed because he must read 5 more chapters of what must be the most boreing text book ever written. If I choose to read my Bible and pray, you know I'll be blessed and so will my family. Humm... that does sound like a good way to wait. I am excited to see what God teaches me the next two years. I also pray for perseverance for my husband has he works so hard.

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are those who wait for him!" Isaish 30:18

A prayer I read this morning...."Wait. I sense my spirit stirring. A deeper understnding is forming in the core of myself. The waiting that seemed like punishment now shifts toward blessing. The truth of this time of stillness has not changed, but my heart has. You have moved within me to show me Your compassion.

Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I was not willing to give YOU my time. When I raced through the waiting, claiming I had the answer I needed or assuming You had not heard my cries... I was short changing the exchange You planned. Blessed is the woman who waits on Your voice. I am blessed." From "One Minute Prayers for Wives" by Hope Lyda

Saturday, February 16

I joined the Club

I have for so long now been reading some great blogs. Especially the blog of my old college roomate, Christine. Her writing and creativity inspired me in college, many a year ago. So why wouldn't she inspire me know? So... thanks Christine. I am always challenged by your openess and your social conscience. I think I've been standing in the shadows long enough.

I have always had a fear of opening up and exposing too much of myself to people. Now it is time to open up a little, I will try to not be guarded and share more than is comfortable. This is a stretching and growing excersise for me. But that is good. I need to work out a little... even if it is my brain and fingers doing all the work right now.

Friday, February 15

a girl and her lion

a girl and her lion
a girl and her lion,
originally uploaded by L Howell.

me and my girl

my girl
my girl,
originally uploaded by L Howell.

first computer game

first computer game
first computer game,
originally uploaded by L Howell.
I did not think she would be playing games on the computer this young....


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Blessings and Peace

Right here... right now... my husband is playing with my 3 year old daughter and I am getting a little time for me. I believe if I walk in her room right now, Daddy will have princess clothes draped all over him. He is a good sport and loves to be the center of her world. So... it is at these times I relish the fact that he adores her and she him. And then I am thankful, so thankful for the Blessing of family, of love and of a sweet life together and moments when Daddy is a princess and Mommy gets to spend a little time listening to the laughter.

I am grateful for many things today. My daughter had an accident earlier this week. It could have been devestating, but she was protected. Then the ER doctor suspected a more serious illness, but today we found out all is normal. God is good. We have seen illness and death these past 3 months and heartbreak to go along with it, but I am always amazed as we face one more trial, who is truly in control. My loving God and Father. I wonder if you know Him... He is so good. This was the verse in my devotional this morning...
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
How many times do I need to hear this? Over and over again. I worry and get stressed and then I am reminded... peace, He is in control of it all. Thank you Lord...for our health and our family and another day to enjoy each other.