Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Almost Time!

I have less than an hour now before I leave work. Then it's a week long vacation for me! Wahoo!!
So yes, I know it is just so very sad, but you will have to live without me for a little over a week because I will NOT have computer access where I'm going!  :)  But no worries, I will definitely share pictures and stories with you when I get back home.

I realized today that I forgot to keep my promise to Brooke from two weeks ago. Oops.

If you remember, I was in training two weeks ago. While I was in training, Roman wanted me to write him a story. I was complaining about how sleepy I was and how I was running out of doodle ideas so he says, "Write me a story. It has to be like a fable. With a moral to the story. And characters that have names. And oh yea, over one page long." I know, bossy huh? But me, being the loving (and sleepy) wife that I was, granted his request. And then I promised Brooke that I would post the story to my blog so she could read it.....which I never did. So here it is, Brooke Massey, in all of its glory. haha.

ChenHong and the Golden Eggs

ChenHong was a little boy responsible for his father's chickens. Every morning he would wake up and feed the chickens and gather the eggs. Every evening, he would feed them again and lay new straw in their pens. One day, as ChenHong was gathering the eggs, he saw something shiny. ChenHong snatched up the shiny, egg-shaped object and stuffed it in his pocket. After giving the eggs to his mother, he ran back to the room to look at the object in private. It looked like real gold!! ChenHong wanted to be sure though, so he decided to take it to the jewelry store.

"Mr. Hully!!" exclaimed ChenHong as he burst into the store. "Calm down son, why are you running? What's going on?" ChenHong put his hands on his knees, gasped for air, and then stuttered, "I......I.....I need you to look at something. I need to know if it's real!" Mr. Hully looked confused, but held out his hand. ChenHong slowly reached into his pocket and put the egg into his hand. Mr. Hully put on some goofy looking glasses and walked back to his work station. ChenHong impatiently paced the store while Mr. Hully examined the egg. After what seemed like ages, he finally stood up and slowly walked back to ChenHong. "Where did you get this, son?" he quietly asked. ChenHong replied, "I found it, sir." Mr. Hully handed the egg back to him, "It's pure gold. You need to try and figure out who it belongs to and return it. It has incredible value." ChenHong tried to hide his excitement as he thanked Mr. Hully hurried out the door.

"I've got to find out which chicken laid this egg so I can get more!!!" he thought to himself. He was in such a hurry to get home, that he barely heard his best friend, Brian, calling his name. "ChenHong!! ChenHong??? Hey!!! Chen!!!!!!" Brian yelled as he ran after his friend. He finally got ChenHong to slow down and stop. "Where are you going so fast?" asked Brian. "I have a mystery to solve." answered ChenHong as he pulled the egg out of his pocket. "Whoa!!!" gasped Brian. "Where did you get that??" "One of my chickens laid it this morning. I took it to Mr. Hully--he said it was real!" ChenHong answered. "I'm trying to get home so I can hide it, and then tonight I'm going to camp out and see which chicken laid the egg" he continued. "Oooooh, I want to help! But are you sure we should camp out? It's supposed to storm tonight...." replied Brian. "I don't care if it rains, I want another egg. You can either help me or stay at home!" ChenHong bit back. And with that, he took off again. Brian paused to look at the darkening clouds, shrugged his shoulders, and took off after his friend.

"Mom! Me and Brian are camping out tonight!" ChenHong exclaimed as he burst through the front door and headed to his room. "Honey, it's about to storm!" his mother replied. "We'll be fine, Mom" he shouted back as he ran back outside. ChenHong stopped short when he saw Brian standing there with his mouth wide open. The nests were full of golden eggs! The boys stood there, stunned. "I want one!" shouted Brian as he ran towards the gate. "No! They're mine!" ChenHong screamed back. "I only want one! You know my Dad lost his job last week!" Brian shouted back as he shoved ChenHong. ChenHong shoved him right back, "I don't care!!"

The boys continued shoving each other and shouting as the first few drops of rain began to fall. ChenHong's mother ran outside after hearing the commotion, just in time to see ChenHong fall into the gate, busting the pen open. Suddenly, the sky lit up with lightening as there was a loud clap of thunder. The chickens frantically ran out of the pen, straight across the road, and into the woods. ChenHong shrieked and jumped to his feet, his face riddled with anger and frustration. ChenHong's mother was just as shocked, as this was the first time she laid eyes on the golden eggs.

"I'll go get my dog. Maybe he can sniff 'em out." shouted Brian as he ran back home. "My God, He has saved us!" weeped ChenHong's mother. "Your father and I will never have to work again." But ChenHong's chin hung low. He wanted an endless supply of the eggs, not a one-time deal. He stood there listlessly as his mother gathered up the eggs and scurried into the house. Brian soon showed up, but they were unable to find the chickens. The downpour of rain confused the dog and he was unable to pick up a scent.

Brian was given an egg by ChenHong's mother, and ChenHong's parents had an abundance of wealth all the rest of their days. But ChenHong remained totally consumed in the hunt for the missing chickens. Rumor has it that he still wanders the woods every morning in search of the chickens and their golden eggs.

Moral of the story: Never count your golden eggs before your chickens cross the road on a rainy day.

I know, it should be a children's book, huh?  ;)  I'm totally kidding!!

Anyways, y'all remember that you won't hear from me over the next week or so, but when I come back I'll be sure to have lots of pictures to show you!!!!  :)  :)

"He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken down city without a wall."   ~Proverbs 25:28

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Importance of Marriage

Before I get started on what I really want to talk about, I thought I would share a quick picture with you guys. Look who finally got over his fear of dog bones??

Awww, we're so proud of our little puppy for finally deciding that the bone was not out to get him. Now if we can just get him to be okay with the DVD player opening and closing, we'll be doing really good! haha.

Anyways, I wanted to share with you guys something that I came across earlier this morning. I follow a really great website called Unveiled Wife (link is here). I love reading the posts on the website and even had my own article published a couple of weeks ago (if you missed it, the link for that is here). Today's post was great. She ran across a YouTube video on the importance of marriage. I highly encourage all of you to read her post and watch the video, you can do that by following this link here.

I absolutely loved the video for two reasons:
1) It was a great reminder for me that my marriage is truly important to God. It is so important that I keep my vows and work hard in my marriage so it can be a reflection of Christ's love for His church.
2) This video really puts some weight on marriage for a world that is becoming so flippant with marriage. I wish I could carry this video in my pocket and whip it out throughout the day to show people just how important their marriage really is.

I must admit, there are some days where I am truly disappointed at how lightly even Christians take their marriages. Divorce rates are climbing at an alarming rate, even in the church! We are so wrapped up in the idea that "God wants me to be happy so if I'm not happy it's okay to have an affair or just leave my spouse altogether." We are so selfish! It was never God's intention for marriage to be taken so lightly.

Now, I do recognize that there are some situations where we need to leave, such as a cheating spouse or a spouse who is physically abusive; but, leaving someone because he/she no longer gives you that "heart-racing, butterfly feeling" is simply not an option. Leaving your spouse because he/she does not communicate well or refuses to help you with your housework is NOT Biblical. If there is something 'wrong' with your spouse, then you need to ask GOD for help, not Oprah and not Dr. Phil. You need to begin praying two things:
1) Lord, what can I do and what can I change about myself that will make me a better spouse? So many times we are trying to remove the splinter out of our spouse's eye when we have a log in our own eyes. Many times we need to have a change of heart in order for our spouse to have a change in their actions.
2) Bring your complaints before the Lord. Ask Him how to resolve conflicts. Ask Him to speak into your spouse's heart. For goodness sakes, He created the universe so why do we think He can't fix our marriages?

You see, we would much rather complain to our friends and hear how justified we are for leaving, rather than actually work to make our marriage a success. We are such a "right-now" generation that we do not want to wait for the Holy Spirit to breath life into our marriages. Remember, the grass isn't greener on the other side, it's greener where we fertilize it. So begin fertilizing your marriage with prayer. God is not going to ignore you or be mad at you for bringing your problems to Him. In fact, He will be overjoyed that you did and be more than willing to help. It may not come in your timing, or how you want it to, but just trust Him that He is going to take care of you and your spouse and help you through whatever problems you are having.

I can't stress the need for prayer in our marriages enough. We need to be praying for our spouse and our marriages daily. Wives: specifically ask God to guard your husbands minds and hearts. Their lives are filled with temptations between television and billboards. Ask Him to keep their thoughts pure and for strength to resist these daily temptations. Husbands: specifically ask God to give your wife strength. Most women are now juggling jobs and families, something that was practically unheard of fifty years ago. We have so much pressure on us to be this model-shaped woman who can work eight hours a day and then come home to prepare a two-hour dinner and have perfectly behaved children. Ask God to give us patience and strength to be the wives He has called us to be and to help us understand that we are not made to fulfill the image Hollywood fills our minds with.

I cannot get a phrase out of my mind that our Pastor spoke a few weeks ago: "It is time for someone to get angry at the enemy and to fight back."

It is time for someone to take a stand against the enemy. The enemy desires to destroy your marriage. He wants to see you have a terrible marriage. He wants to see your marriage crumble. It is time for someone to decide that Satan will not rip their marriage apart. It is time for someone to begin praying over their marriage. It is time for someone to press through the difficult times instead of giving into the lies the enemy has sang to us for so long. It is time for someone to decide that it's not about how they feel in the moment, it's about keeping the covenant they made with their spouse before the God of the universe.

It's time. Take that first step. Fight for your marriage. I promise, God will not leave you in times of trouble. But we have to be willing to press on through the fire.

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe."     ~Ephesians 1:17-19

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mosquitoes, Gnats, and Bullfrogs

The title of this post was at the request of my darling husband. I was lamenting to him over the phone about how I couldn't think of anything to write about. He replied with one of his always-encouraging responses: write about mosquitoes, gnats and bullfrogs. That man makes me laugh every day, at least once. Which is a good thing, because in his wedding vows he promised to make me laugh at least once a day (doing good so far, honey!). Generally he makes me laugh a lot more than once though. It is one of his character traits that I love-except when I'm mad at him. When I'm mad at him, he will bat those charming eyes and make what I call his "turtle face" and then it suddenly becomes much harder for me to stay mad. Which is very frustrating when you're determined to stay mad.


If any of you have read my Facebook status over the past two days (or if you've looked at my actual face), then you know I am currently at war with a sinus infection. No really, I am at war. I am leaving to go on a cruise this Sunday and I refuse, I repeat, REFUSE to be sick on what I have dubbed "my second honeymoon" vacation. I refuse, I tell you! So, with a Z-pack prescribed by my doctor and armed with nose-spray, Motrin, water, and every vegetable, fruit (and maybe an ice cream bar too) I can find, I have officially waged war against this sinus infection. Oh, and let me also include my constant begging to God to please please please purty please (with a Z-pack on top) remove this sinus infection from my body before I leave on vacation because life isn't FAAAIIIRRR and I can't be sick when I'm on a cruise because that's just not fair. I can see God rolling his eyes and chuckling at me right now.
So yes, I am at war with this sinus infection. Back to the story. Because of said sinus infection, I had a headache last night. As Roman and I were slobbering looking over pictures of our home-away-from-home for next week, we started to act just plain silly. He reached over the couch and picked up the bone that my dog is afraid of (yea, you read that right) and lightly bopped me on the head with it. Of course, me being the girl I am, I screeched out a loud OOWWW MY HEAD HURTS WHY DID YOU THAT and proceeded to begin the pouting phase. (I will not disclose just how bad it actually hurt because my husband normally reads my blog. If you're reading this baby, my head still hurts and it's all your fault.) Okay fine, it didn't really hurt....but I did have a headache so it wasn't a complete lie, right? Anyways, my husband (who sees right through my 'that-didn't-really-hurt-but-I'm-going-to-pretend-it-did' act) immediately switched into his even goofier personality. He made the turtle face. Then he made the face where he pokes out his lip and looks at me out of the corner of his eye. Then he resorted to his kissy-face. All the while I'm trying to hide a grin and hold onto my pouty phase. I decided it was payback time. I picked up the bone and bopped him on the head. Of course, he gives an even more dramatic response than mine which only makes me giggle. And that's when I think to myself "gosh, I love this man."

This man that has loved me when I've looked and felt my worst. This man that insists I could let my hair air dry rather than straighten it and I'd still look just as beautiful. This man that pursues God and strives to have a home dedicated to him. This man that takes my breath away so many times a week. This man that makes me laugh when I'm having some of the worst days of my life. This man that stayed beside me through the struggles of juggling work and school and life in general. This man that loves me even when I'm complaining non-stop while waging wars with sinus infections.

God gave me a really good man y'all. Some days he will aggravate the snot out of me with his completely silly self. But every day he will make me laugh. Every day he makes my day brighter. And every day he makes me feel loved. And every day I thank God that He gave me someone so special to call my husband.

We are just two weeks away from our two year anniversary. I can't tell you how thankful I am to be married to a man who loves God and loves me with all of his heart. I can't wait to see what God has in store for our lives. And I can't wait to get on that boat and spend a week with my soul mate. No cell phones. No computers. No distractions. No sinus infections. Just us and the beauty of God's creation all around us.

So happy (early) two-year anniversary, Mr. Casterline. I am honored to be called your wife and your best friend. We made it through some very tough and busy times, but that has only made us stronger. I promise today, just like I did on our wedding day, to stand proudly by your side no matter what the enemy throws at us.

............that got a lot mushy-er than I planned for it too. And to think, I got all of that out of mosquitoes, gnats and bullfrogs.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails......."    ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mrs. Late

The title of this post is what my real last name should be. If anyone knows me even only a little bit, then they know that I am fashionably late just about everywhere I go. But no worries, one place this girl won't be late to is my cruise-vacation next week (insert muffled scream of excitement here)----okay, I'm alright now. Anyways, back to the present, er...the past. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that I am totally late on my blog posts. Let me attempt to explain....

You see, I made a post late Thursday night explaining that I was in training all week and so that means my schedule was thrown way off and then my Internet wouldn't cooperate when I did finally try to make a post. So I promised I would write a post on Friday. Only except....yea....Roman and I had date night Friday night and the last thing you should do on a date night is whip out your laptop: "Hang on honey, I know we said this night would be about you and me, but I have GOT to write a blog post right now before my millions of followers attack me in the front yard." Right. So then it was the weekend and my complete laziness/I'm-in-the-process-of-getting-sick-self took over and I didn't do much of anything. No really, I did next to nothing over the weekend. But more on that later. So that brings us to today. And as you can see, I finally got my stuffy-nosed-self  logged in to Google so I could (finally) write the next post. Whew!

So I hope you're ready to read, because I have a lot to catch you guys up on. Let's begin, shall we?

Monday night was our first official unofficial okay-maybe-official band practice. It was more like a "hey, let's (get together and play random chords and call ourselves a band) practice" sort of thing. Okay, that was harsh...the guys actually do sound really good together. We just need to get more of a strategic plan together. So here are a couple of pics I snapped from the practice.

Here is Brooke Massey looking all lovely. She will be one of the singers (along with myself) but for this practice we just sat around and looked like our lovely selves.  ;)

This is Pastor Stephen threatening to sing. (He actually sings really well.)

And here are "the guys". Johnny is playing the bass. My handsome husband, Roman, is on the drums. And then Michael and Kyle are playing the guitar. Currently the band's name is "Divine Interruption", but we are definitely open to other suggestions!!

So, there we are. Woo hoo for band practice!

As I mentioned earlier, I was in training all week. There were times when I struggled to keep myself awake, so I had to resort to writing random flow charts. I know, I'm a nerd. But I decided to snap a picture so I could share my beautiful flow chart with the world.

Hopefully you guys can read my messy hand-writing.

If anyone has worked with the government before, then you know us government-folks really really REALLY love acronyms. And so I decided (after hours of hearing a million different acronyms that I did not know) to make up my own acronym. Take that, federal government!

In other news, I made a very dumb-blonde-ish move earlier this week. It all started with a desire to cook something in my oven. For whatever reason, I decided to pre-heat my oven. (I rarely pre-heat my oven because my oven runs much hotter than usual so pre-heating just makes it easier for me to burn things.) Anyways, I totally forgot that, for the first time since we've been married, I had put something in the oven to keep it away from the cats. Several minutes later, I'm standing in my kitchen wondering what in the world that awful smell was. about melting plastic???

This was a "cake" that we bought at the cake auction (it's called a Mississippi Mud Cake--very very good!!). Ralph likes to eat food that we leave sitting out on the counter, and it was too big to put in the fridge, so I had stashed it in our oven. It used to be covered in saran wrap. Most of that melted....leaving a very awful smell throughout the house. Thank God for candles! Nobody can be perfect, right??

And this was a really great picture I snapped on my way into training. The class started at 7:30 but I don't usually get to work until 8:00 (okay fine....8:05....always late, remember?), so this was a different view of the sunrise that I normally don't get to see.

God's creation is beautiful, that's all I have to say!

And how can I have a long post without mentioning our beautiful puppy child dog, Duke?? He is almost too tall to fit under the bed so most of the time he lays side-ways. He still stinks at hide-and-seek....

And here is again....isn't he just so sweet???

But yes, I did a great big pile of nothing over the weekend. I started coming down with a cold on Saturday night, so I blame that for my complete lazy state of being over the weekend.  0:)
Here are a few pictures I snapped from Children's church on Sunday night. Our wonderful childrens' pastors hosted service that night. One of the games was to wrap up our Pastor and our youth leader in saran wrap and spray them with silly string. Then the congregation had to vote on whose "coat" was the purtiest.

Here we are getting all wrapped up. Luke was having some trouble getting started with Pastor....    I think the shower caps make a nice touch, don't you?


It appears as though Luke is doing some sort of tribal/happy dance around Pastor. Not sure what's up with that. Anyways, Johnny was dubbed the winner by the congregation. You can see how joyful he appears at his victory.

So that's all folks! Wow, that was a lot of writing. I need to not be so late next time. So yes, pray that this stupid cold goes away by the time Pastor, Christy, Roman and I embark on our cruise (6.more.days!!) and still be praying for Roman's job situation. No update at the moment but I'll be sure to keep you guys posted!!

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation-since they will pass away like a wild flower." ~James 1:9-10

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Little Late.....

Well.....I know I'm super duper late on my posts. I've been in training all week so I haven't been able to write during my lunch break because I'm not with my computer. I was going to try and post one huge long blog tonight complete with several pictures, but my internet is not cooperating at the moment. So....I will have to ask for a rain check for one more day. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get my internet to cooperate with me so I can tell you all about how our week has gone. I promise I'll be back on track soon!    :)  :)

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  ~Romans 12:12

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hide and Seek, Organization and Sunsets

Wow, it has been one crazy weekend!! FYI, because of how busy we normally stay during the weekends, I probably won't blog on Saturdays or Sundays. Anywho, let's dive into the weekend, shall we?

Friday night we went on a triple date with our friends to see The Avengers. It was amazing! While we were getting ready, Duke decided to play hide-and-go-seek.....he's not very good.

On Saturday, I went through a major re-organization of me and Roman's closet. Roman had already gone through his clothes and weeded out the ones he didn't want, so Saturday it was my turn. So here is a few pics of everything I got rid of:

 A little bit fuzzy, but you get the point. 
 But look at how nice it looks!!  :) 

After I finished up with that, I moved on to our "music room", which looks more like a random junk room:

After about forty-five minutes, it was looking much better!

Just don't look in the closet......

Okay, I didn't really just stuff everything in the closet, there's just some really big items in there that makes it look really cramped. Anyways, after finishing that room, I tackled our last big disaster area: my office. (Dun, dun DUN!!!) After much filing and moving, I finally got my desk cleaned up. Here is a picture of my bachelor's degree in a stack of paper. Oh my!

So that was my Saturday. Saturday evening I went to Brooke Massey's house with my sister-in-law to eat dinner and watch The Vow (another great movie!) while the guys went to an arena football game.

Sunday was a great Mother's Day. After church, I cooked a large dinner for my mother-in-law and we spent some time at their house. That evening we spent some time with my mother at her house. So that about wraps up our weekend! I wanted to leave you all with a picture I snapped as I was leaving my house this evening:

It was much more beautiful in person, but I still love the picture.   :)

You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life...                                     ~Nehemiah 9:6

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hey Batter Batter!!

Yay me for remembering to take pictures of last night's softball game!! Most of these were taken by me, but some of them were taken by my father-in-law. We lost. Miserably so. But we had a TON of fun and that's all that truly matters. Allow me to narrate:

This is a case you didn't know 

Before the slaughter that took place on this field last night. It looks so calm.

Brooke getting ready for her first bat. It is necessary to make this face before batting.

Watching the game.

There's our awesome coach! Okay, I'm biased, he's my father-in-law. But he is awesome anyhow.

Here's Roman walking back to the dugout. He got out.

Here's Roman expressing his sad face because he got out.

She made it to third base!!

Brian Shiver--batter up!!

The great 'Lee Monroe'. He was wearing his "fireproof" pants last night.

We spent most of the night in the field.

Our pitcher doing his thing: Pastor Stephen!!

Roman and Brooke preparing for battle.

And Deborah makes the catch!!

Boy talk.

Not sure what this is.

Even more unsure what this is. I told them to pose for a picture...Roman decides to look like a turtle....

So there you have it folks! We will be playing next week at the field in Camilla, so come out and watch us if you want to laugh. Er...not laugh because we're bad, we're just a really funny group of folks. We sing eye of the tiger, wear fireproof pants, do the silly walk and make turtle faces (okay, Roman is the only one who does the turtle face). But come on out and support us!

Tonight we are going on a triple date with Johnny and Brooke and Michael and Skylar. We are going to see the Avengers! Wahoo!!!! Totally looking forward to a fun night with friends, and totally not looking forward to cleaning my disaster-area house tomorrow. Seriously guys, my house has never been so messy. But I'll be sure to share all of that with you in tomorrow's post!

So how about you? Got any fun weekend plans? Or do you have a hazard area in your house that needs some serious love and attention? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."  ~Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Ralph loves looking out the window. I would like to think that he was watching for me to come home, but he actually was probably looking at another cat. Or a bug.

I think the past two years have caught up to me, because I have been so sleepy these past few days. So I decided to take a nap before going to church. Apparently Duke was sleepy too. He loves using my legs as his pillow. I guess they are the perfect height for him.

Isn't he just the cutest? I have the best puppy in the world. Seriously.

Church last night was great. I have to brag, Johnny and Brooke are doing such a great job with our youth. Here they are getting everybody ready for a game.

I apologize about the blurriness, I was busy too when suddenly I thought "hey, I should snap a picture real quick." But like I was saying, our youth is heading in such a great direction. I could see some of our youth last night really getting into the worship service and truly worshipping. Of course, many of them still have a little ways to go, but they are definitely heading in the right direction. I can't wait to see how God uses this group of teenagers!!

Update: If Roman gets off work early enough today he is going to go talk to someone. I can't remember all of the details, but basically, there is a guy that his Dad knows that wants to look at Roman's resume and talk with him about his career goals. He has several contacts throughout South Georgia and also said that many crime labs are starting to hire people from the public rather than making them be cops first. This was really encouraging news for us! So continue to pray with us that God opens doors and places Roman in the career he's meant to be in. Thanks!!
Also, a big thanks to my father-in-law. I can't imagine going through this process without having him. He knows so many people that have been able to help steer us in the right direction. Just in the past week, Roman has probably spent a few hours on the phone with his Dad talking about different options, different agencies, who he should go talk to and all sorts of things job-related. It's such a blessing for us to have parents who truly care about us and want the best for us. So thank you Mr. Robert!!!  :)

Tonight we have another softball game. I'm not going to promise that I will take pictures, but I'll do my best!  :)

This was the verse from my devotion this morning. Isn't it just so encouraging?

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one."  ~Ezekiel 36:26

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pray for Us?

I was bad last night and forgot to take pictures of the softball game. But not to worry, there will be another one on Thursday. And in case you're wondering, no, we did not win last night. But we had tons of fun and that's all that really matters.

But today, instead of talking about anything funny or goofy, I'd like to take a moment to ask you to pray for Roman and I.

In case anyone does not already know, Roman and I graduated college last weekend. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science. I already have a full-time job with the government, but Roman is now on the hunt for his full-time career.

Before I go into the prayer request, let me back up and let you know how we prayed life after college would go....

Roman wanted to work in a crime lab, specifically the GBI lab in Moultrie. He recently decided that he would also be happy working on a crime scene unit or even as an investigator. But besides that, it was our hope that he would be able to get a job where he worked 9-5 Monday through Friday. The poor guy has spent the past three years of his life working almost every weekend. The one day where I have nothing to do (Saturday) is the one day that he cannot be with me because he has to work. So naturally, we were hoping that after the hurricane of college was over, we would finally be able to be a 'normal' married couple and spend some time together. Roman also wants to stay just as active in the church, which would mean he needs to be off on Sundays as well and would need to get off of work early enough on Wednesdays to make it to Wednesday night Bible study.

Now enter complication number one: no one told Roman that a forensic science degree is not the best degree to get if you want to work in a crime lab. Many crime labs would actually prefer for you to have a Biology or Chemistry degree. Roman did not find this out until (drum roll please): 2 months ago. Our prayer is that he will be able to squeeze into a crime lab somewhere with the degree he already has, but if he has to he will go back to school for another two semesters so he can get a Biology degree as well.

Time for complication number two: we are finding out that most agencies want their crime lab folks to start out as cops. We do not really understand why someone who went to school to work in a lab would be forced to go to police academy to be a cop, and then after a few years maybe get transferred to the lab. Makes absolutely no sense to us, but what do we know??

Complication number two is much more complicated for us than complication number one. Even though our bank accounts are dying a slow death, we can handle Roman attending college for two more semesters if it means he can get a job easier. But Roman being a police officer is something that we definitely did not have in mind. To be honest, it scares me to death. I've already gone through "what if you get shot in the ghetto and I'm left here all by myself" (picture me sobbing intensely and you'll get the picture).

Thankfully I'm over that part of the whole thing......if he has to be a cop then God will protect him.......but now we are just frustrated more than anything. We've already spent the past two years of our marriage at arm's length because of school. Do we really have to go through this? 11 weeks of police academy where he will be gone Monday through Friday. Then he will be a police officer doing shift work. Which means every other weekend he will be working. Every other two days I probably won't see him. So you can see how this definitely was not something we had in mind.

Of course, Roman is going to do what he has to do in order to get a job. If it means he has to be a police officer, he'll do it. If it means we have to spend another two years barely seeing each other, we'll make it through. Hopefully, Roman will be talking to someone in the Albany Police Department today, and here is where you guys come in.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." ~James 4:1-3

I am asking God today to move in a way that only He can. Roman needs a job as soon as possible. But I am asking God to give him a job on a crime scene unit without him having to be a cop first. It is possible for the APD to hire people straight onto their crime units without them ever being a cop, it's just rare. I'm asking for a miracle, and I want you to ask with me. If we "do not have because we do not ask God", then I want to be sure that I ask and that I ask specifically.

My motives (I believe) are pure. I want my husband to be able to stay involved with his ministry at our church. I want him to be able to attend regularly on Wednesdays so he can stay surrounded by the men of the church and continue to grow. I want to be able to 'make up for lost time' in our marriage. It has taken a toll on us to be so busy; we need the time to strengthen our marriage. But most importantly, I want my husband to be happy in his career. I want him to be happy to wake up and go to work and I want him to be safe while he is at work.

So here is my prayer:

"Lord, You hold the future in Your hands. I do not know what the future holds, but You do. I thank You for the opportunity to come before You with my requests. It is amazing that we are able to ask You for the desires of our hearts and that You listen with love. This morning, I come before You on behalf of my husband and our marriage. I ask that You do a mighty work with my husband and his career. You know what we have been through over the past two years, and you know what we have been striving for. I ask, if it be Your will, that You spare Roman from being a police officer. Lord, he has worked so hard to achieve his goals, and now it seems that his goal is just getting pushed farther away. Work a miracle Lord so that we can glorify Your name. Do not forget how hard my husband has worked for You and for me as well. Open doors that only You can open, and give him a clear understanding of the path that You want him to walk down. I ask that You give him a job in a crime lab somewhere that he is able to work for without having prior experience as a police officer and without having to go back to school. However, if it is Your will for him to be a cop, give us the strength as he goes off to training and works those long hours. I understand that You want only the best for us, and sometimes we have to do things that are hard without understanding the reasons. We trust You. You have been faithful to us in every area, and You have never let us down. You are beautiful and righteous, and we love You. I ask all of this in Jesus' name, Amen."

Please take time out of your day today and pray for Roman and I. We really appreciate and love you guys, even if we don't know you very well. And of course, I'll be sure to update everybody on the work that God does in our lives!

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:34

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cameras, Puppies and Best Friends

Yesterday was a fun day. Both for us and for Duke.

After I got off work I rushed home to get ready because me, Roman and Duke were going to get some pictures made by the talented Therese Atkinson. She is the same person who took my best friend's (Brooke) wedding photos back in February. After realizing that the last time Roman and I had any good pictures taken was at our wedding two years ago, we decided we needed to get some done soon. So, in order to avoid paying $40 a piece for graduation photo shoots at our respective colleges, we decided to get some graduation pics and some regular pics taken yesterday afternoon. It tried to sprinkle on us a few times, but we made it through without getting rained on. The pictures should be done by this weekend, but here is the sneak preview she sent us last night:


Like I said, she is SO talented. We will definitely be using her for all of our future photo shoots!

After we finished taking photos, we went over to the Massey's house. So now it's time to introduce you to Duke's best friend.

This is Midas, one of Brooke and Johnny's dogs, otherwise known as Smiley. Duke and Midas love each other. Mater, their other dog, loves Duke a whole lot too (actually a little bit too much) but we won't show you a picture of that. Not in public. Every time we go visit our best friends at their house, we bring Duke. And every time Duke sees Midas through the window, he has a whining, barking fit. As soon as the car door is opened, Duke is out in the yard running and rolling around with Midas...........and getting humped by Mater. Even though all three of the dogs are boys. We just don't understand......Mater just really loves Duke.

Anyways, here are some pictures of Midas and Duke and their version of "having fun".

Run and Play

Not sure what they were doing here

I. Will. Eat. You.

Aaaaand he's down!

Um, get back here!

You can see Mater hanging around waiting for his chance to *ahem* "attack" Duke.

So yea, that was our afternoon/evening yesterday. Tonight we have a church softball game. Hopefully I can snap some pictures and tell you all about it tomorrow!  :)

"Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate."  ~Proverbs 15:17