Monday, December 15, 2008

Have you ever thought about the things in life that you miss. There are just a few things I can say that I really miss. One of them being the music that was always in the background at my house when I was growing up. (Some how I missed out on that talent.) My dad played the banjo and my younger brother Troy always played the guitar. Funny thing is I can never ever remember Troy not playing the guitar. He is younger than I am but it seems like I could always hear it. Our rooms were next to each other so I always heard him practicing. He still plays to this day, but I don't get to hear it as much. Thank God for the power of technology and my sister-in-laws blog. On occasion he will be playing for the kid in the background of a video that Beth Ann posted. I miss that guitar and my brother.

Another thing I miss is a hot fudge cake from Frishes. I know I can order a hot fudge cake from different restaurants but somehow they just don't taste the same.

I miss the restaurant in Kentucky called Tumbleweed. I think it is by far the best Mexican restaurant. Funny thing is I didn't realize how much I missed it until this passed summer.

I guess things change and you can never and truly go back. I guess that means we should be thankful for each minute of everyday.

More Holy Ghost Its

Character is easier kept than reclaimed

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holy Ghost It

OK! Here is another one.

God guides us through storms not from storms.

How true that is. I sometimes wish that I would never have to face any storms.

I can remember in my wedding service. Daddy D (my father in law married Joel and I)made a reference to the fact that our eyes always needed to be on God so that we could have a strong foundation when the storm clouds rolled in. I can remember thinking storm clouds...what is he talking about. I am marrying the guy of my dreams. Everything is perfect... we won't face storms... I guess God had the last laugh on that one. Now, after 18 years of marriage, I can say that Joel and I have faced some storms, maybe even a few F4s. As much as I hate going through tough times, I can feel and see God even more. So I am thankful when the storms end, because on the other side I am a changed person. Hopefully, for the better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Year Past

Yes once again, November 25Th rolled around on the calendar. During this birthday I really wanted to do some soul searching. What events have happened over the last year that may count for something. As I reflect over another year gone by now, I think about the things that have happened and how they have changed my life. Oh there were no big events, just small day to day happenings that pass by.

One year ago yesterday I was released from the hospital, that event in and of itself unleashed a string of events that have really changed my life. One of the changes was of course medical in nature, for now I will be taking a drug for the remainder of my life. Do I like that idea? No, but I guess it beats the alternative.

We had to put Oscar by beloved best friend to sleep last year. I can honestly say that there is not a day that goes by that he somehow does not cross my mind. I do miss him something terrible.

A new member of our family,Benson, arrived in our family in January. He is a wild and crazy min pin. But he holds my heart in his... mouth usually. He has taught me a lot about the way God is trying to mold me. I am trying to mold Benson. He has free will to do what I ask or else... wouldn't it be great if God could just pop us upside the head for biting others, or making messes. But he does come running when I call. Do I run when God calls me?

Elise turned 13. That is something to be proud of. However where does the time go? How much time has past that I have neglected my relationship with her? I often wonder what will she think of me as she gets older.

Our trip to LA, I am not sure if there are enough words or time or space to even begin with LA. All I can say is the God I serve is awesome and bigger than I have ever imagined. Does he let bad things happen? Yes. Somethings I will not understand this side of heaven.

Seventeen loving and tender hearts are entrusted to my care. What type of impression will I put on them?

This year has been a course of ups and downs. I have had many failures and some high points. I have taken my eyes off the Lord. He continues to be faithful and always draws me back.

Looking to the year ahead is scary yet hopeful. What new highs await? What lows are near? "For I know the plans He has for me will not harm me."

Here's to another year!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankfulness

The season of thanks is upon us, have you ever thought about what you are thankful for. Not appreciative of, but truly gut wrenching thankful. So thankful because you know without these things, you just wouldn't be you.

My top 10 would be
1. The all mighty Lord- I am thankful that he molds me into what He desires and not what I desire.
2.Family-for teaching me what I want to be like and for what I don't want to be like
3.Friends-who aren't afraid of telling me what they really think
4.Health
5.Peace-that passes all understanding
6.Pets-for unconditional love
7.A loving christian environment to work in
8.The imprints that 17 smiling second graders put on my heart.
9.Forgiveness
10.Encouragement

There are other things that I am thankful for but they are material in nature. With the world the way it is today, at any point material things can be ripped from my hands. During this holiday, I am going to search my heart and see what God wants me to be thankful for. I hope everyone will do the same.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holy Ghost It

Elise saw this one today and wanted me to add it to the collection.

If you are dog tired you may be growling too much.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our New Look and a Holy Ghost It

Hey I hope you enjoy our new look. Elise kept urging me to change my template because it was too dark and looked to "goth." The header is from Robbie Foreman, Elise's youth pastor and a great friend of the family. I hope you enjoy the new look. It is definitely much brighter.

The Holy Ghost It that I saw the other day was:

Forbidden fruit creates many jams

I will just let you ponder that for a while.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Pictures in my Mind

I am not really sure how many of the readers of this blog have ever gone on a mission trip. If you have gone on one please comment and let me know if this happens to you too.

When we set out to go on a mission trip this summer and even while we were in Los Angeles I never thought that some of the places and things that I witnessed would flash pictures in my head. Sometimes these images just appear with not really any thought of the trip, I could be talking to someone or driving down the road. I remember telling myself that I need to relish every part of the trip. Joel and I don't do a lot of traveling so to go across the country was a big deal to me. I did want to remember every aspect. But even today it has affected my life in a mighty way. I think it has definitely made me more mindful of being a servant to the Lord.

I guess what I am trying to say or ask is do these visions happen to everyone that goes on a mission trips or does God continue to return these sights in my head to lead or direct me in a way.



I wonder about the children that we played with after school for a week. I wonder about the 4 people we took out to breakfast, I wonder about all the people who are homeless as winter approaches, I wonder about the people that we made eye contact with on the Metro. I wonder if any of this every really makes since to anyone but me. It is like that trip has been engraved into my very soul. While we were there it didn't impact me as much as it has since I have been home. The thing of it is --- I really don't want these pictures to ever stop. I wonder why the pictures just pop into my head but I don't want them to quit either.




This year the youth is going to Barbados -- Elise is not old enough to make the trip this year, I originally didn't think I would mind sitting this one out but truth of the matter is I would love to be going --- but all of us going together not me, not Elise, and not Joel, all of us.

Holy Ghost It

OK here is another one:

A bible that is falling apart belongs to someone whose life isn't.

And that about says it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Do We Ever Really Belong?

Do you remember the song from the show CHEERS...where the words say...go, where everybody knows your name, where you're always glad you came...or at least that is the way I think they go.

I want a place like that to hang out in. Not the bar part, but the part where everyone knows my name,where I am known and loved for who I am. Does such a place exist? There are times that I walk into places and think that I am invisible. I don't want to be invisible but in reality I am. There is one place that I can walk into that I honestly don't think people would care if I walked out of. Well, OK maybe a few but just a few.

Oh, I know what you are thinking. God knows me by name, in fact he knows the number of hairs on my head. I know all those things but I still desire a place where everybody knows my name and if I don't show up that someone will ask about me.








I look at Elise and struggle with where we should send her to school next year. Should we stay at WCCS or should we move closer to home so she can have friends all around her. Then things like tonight happen. I took her to a party. This is an annual event this time of year. I think this is her 4th time. I pull up to the drive and my car is literally swarmed with people. All of them coming to help her get out of the car. They of course are polite and speak to me,which makes me feel cool. I wish Elise could see the way the events of just driving up a drive way play in my head, when she says do you think I am pretty, do you think I am fat. Some of times, I hope she sees just how loved she is.

Then that quiet whisper says,"leave her there, you are where you need to be." And I guess that is the answer to that question.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Holy Ghost-It

I told you I wanted to start writing these down and now I am.

This one today read:

We do "faith" lifts. Get it Faith not face lifts... I just had to smile :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Privileged

Sometimes do you ever just sit in wonder about life and even death. I just received a call from one of my second graders. Now, remember that my second graders are only 7 years old. But the maturity that they can show is just amazing.

Let me take you back to this morning... One of my student's father walked her in this morning, he didn't say much just handed me a note that read: My mom passed away this morning, the children don't know about it yet. But Madilee will need to be absent tomorrow.

I of course didn't say anything to Madilee about her grandmother. During one of my breaks she came up to me and said, "my mom was crying this morning. I don't know why she was crying but it sounded like she had lost her voice. I am sure that it was something the they felt like I didn't need to know." I reassured her to my best ability. I gave her extra hugs as we went through the day.

At 8pm Madilee called me at home. She explained that her grandmother had passed away. I asked if she had been sick. She said no that she died in her sleep. I ask her if her grandmother believed in God she said yes. I ask do you know the best thing about that and she answered she's in heaven. With tears in my eyes I said, "You are right." She is sitting at the banquet with Jesus. At the end of our conversation I so wanted to reach through the phone and pull her into a hug. But the best I could say was,"I am praying for you and Madilee, I love you." She said, "Thanks and Mrs. Denney I love you too."

I am amazed and so full of gratitude to the Lord. How can I, stumbling, bumbling, old me have a place of importance in someone else's life. For that I am just amazed. I don't thank God enough for allowing me to play a role in my students' life. Lord, use me to show your love. Help me pass on the peace that passes all understanding. (even mine)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy Ghost It

Okay here is one I would like to rearrange the words on.

God is the steering wheel on your spare tire.

Wouldn't it make more sense if it read:
God is the steering wheel not your spare tire.

I think of a steering wheel as something that guides you and a spare tire as something that bails you out of trouble. Which is true in both accounts when it comes to God. He does guide us but also bails us out. Isn't it more important to call on Him to guide us in everything then we won't need to be bailed out.

Boy with even saying that there are so many times that I fall short of His mark. I need to hold tight to the steering wheel.

Happy Driving!!!:)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friends and Prayers

After a very emotional week, my brother, Todd is hanging in there. For those who don't know, Todd, my older brother, had open heart surgery in May of this year. During his open heart they bypassed 5 veins. We thought that he would have a very long life due to the fact that he pretty much had a new heart. He was recovering well, or so we thought.

On Monday of this week he went to rehab. He had been feeling a little different, while at rehab he started having chest pains. At around noon on Monday my phone rang and I just happened to be sitting at my desk. My students were in an enrichment and I was trying to get caught up on my emails. When I looked at the caller id it was my mom. That is always my first sign that something is not quite right. Mom knows I will not pick up my phone during the day. The first thought is that something is wrong with my dad, his heart is not that great either. When I answered the phone my mom told me that Todd was back in the hospital and was undergoing a heart cath.

The doctors saw that two of the bypassed veins were 99% blocked. Which means he was in for either open heart or stents. Tuesday morning at 7:30 there place 4 stents into my brothers heart. He left the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday morning at around 9:30 Todd was at the ball park watching his two boys playing football. He felt as though he was going to pass out and was experiencing chest pains once again. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. When I got that call, I was not encouraged even a little. Yesterday he underwent yet another heart cath. where the doctors found a blood clot. So with the blood clot removed and another 4 stents later he is recovering in the hospital in Lexington,Ky.

So this is where the title comes in. Friends and Prayers. I can only say that the first person I called after my mom called me was not Joel or my best friend but it was to my schools secretary. For I knew one call to her and there would be a number of people interceding for Todd. The prayer chain would be started and people would be praying.

I then called Joel and my two closest friends to pray too. When one of them answered she said she had just gotten the call from the prayer chain. That quick news was out that Todd needed prayer. I emailed an update to my principal around 8:00 last night. When I checked my emails there were entries that just read prayer request. I opened one after another to find notes of prayer and encouragement for me and for Todd. I sat at my computer with tears pooling in my eyes thinking of all the people that will intercede for me. I knew that school would pray but I didn't expect the notes back.

The verse that kept coming to my mind over and over again yesterday was "Be still and know that I am God." Do you know how hard it is to sit and be still knowing that if something did happen I was 500 or so miles away (8 hours) from being there. It is hard to talk to a brother that is so worried that he is not going to come out alive on the phone. All the things I wanted to say of course did not get said. He was scared and worried about his own family. What does anybody say in that situation. I can remember when the doctors took my dad away for his open heart and my older brother saying to him,"We will see you on the other side." Those words being tears to my eyes even now. But how true they are. I will see Todd on the other side be it here or in heaven. I am just thanking God that this time around it will be here. I know God is God.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here's another Post-it

Maybe I should call these Holy Ghost its. Because the Holy Ghost sure does speak.. I guess he knows I am a visual person.

Attitude is the crayon that colors our world

Sunday, September 7, 2008

God's Post-it Notes

I travel 72 miles round trip to and from school each day . A lot of that time, especially in the mornings, I spend talking to God. During the drive I pass a lot of churches. God communicates to me by using their signs. The number of times He has spoken to me are way too numerous to count. Elise has gotten used to the quiet of the morning drives except for the occasional "isn't that the truth". She used to ask what? Now, she knows that we just passed a church. I always told myself I was going to carry a notebook in the car and jot down all the different signs that have spoken to me. I never have until now. I have been making the trip to and from Rock Hill for 12 years and I can only remember a few ... I think I better start writing them down.

Here's the few that I remember.

1. Instead of pointing a finger hold out a hand
2. worry looks around
sorry looks back
hope looks up
3. Gospel starts with GO

I always like to share these with others. Just the other day I was telling Joel about one that I had passed and I told him it was like God sending post-it notes down from heaven. The next time you pass a sign and the thought "isn't that the truth" crosses your mind, thank God for the many ways and means in which he speaks to us. Happy driving.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Its all in the Family

Our family with Joel's family. We traveled to Kentucky to celebrate their 60th wedding aniversary.
No you are not seeing double. If Elise was a few years older and just a few inches shorter I think she and Beth could double for one another.

My mom and her new babies.


After a trip to Kentucky, a very quick trip, I understand now why we look the way we do and why we love the things we do.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I think I am getting old!

Wow, I think this has been the longest week I can remember.

Monday started out pretty early. I had to go to school and prepare my room and what not for the year. I got to work around 8:30. That night I had Open House, so I was literately at school for 12 hours with no break unless you count the time I took to change from my work clothes to Open House clothes. Once arriving home I had to prepare lunch for Elise and I for Tuesday, do laundry, unload the dishwasher and oh yeah eat myself. Of course by the time that I got home I really wasn't even hungry.

Tuesday morning started out at our regular time 5:00am. It was only a half day of school. The students came in at 8:00 and left at 11:40. School was only a half day but Elise had a volleyball game. We needed to leave school at 2:00 but before that we had to arrange Elise's locker. Now that is a whole other subject. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you the game was an hour away from school, that means two hours away from home. That night we did not get home until 9:00. Elise had homework too. Again when I got home I had to prepare for Wednesday: pack lunch, make sure clothes are clean and ironed for wear. So I think that night we were in bed around 11:00. Another 18 hour day.

Wednesday was the first full day of school. The students arrived at the normal time 7:55. It was on from that point. We did math, reading, played games, ate lunch, went to Bible and PE. Then we had a back to school bash at church which I had volunteered to work concessions. So we left church at 9:30. The band was awesome. They were the Glorious Unseen. Check them out on myspace. They sounded really great.


Thursday was another full day of school. Elise had another away game. I also had a faculty meeting. I made the decision that I would not attend this game because Joel was able to be there. But with not going to the game, I still didn't leave school until after 5. So I had put in another 12 hour day.

TGIF-- Another regular day of school but today after school a friend of mine and I held a Thirty-One party. Thirty One is a christian based company based on Proverbs
31. It was suppose to be a drop in from 3-4. We didn't leave school until after
6:30. So it was another very long day.


My legs hurt, my hips hurt, my lung hurts. I think my whole body is one big ache. However, as tired as I am physically... God has sustained me spiritually. I love God with all my heart and soul. I know he is with me during every part of my life whether it is being tired, being in bad moods, or fixing my eyes on him.

I wish you could meet my class this year. I have 17 children that are made in the image of the great Creator. Some of them like to talk, some are quiet, some push my boundaries, and some struggle to make it through the day. I probably already know who is going to be my booger and who is going to hold my heart in their hands. The funny thing is, is that I think I love all of them. I am sure after lots of days together there will be days that they push my buttons and I push theirs. But I know that when I look out over my class I get a warm feeling in the very being of my soul. I know that God is the only one that can put that there. So I am looking forward to the weekend when I can spend time with my family and myself...but on Monday morning I will be ready to face the sweet sweet spirits in my class. I know through God all things are possible and I pray that I am the servant He wants me to be.:)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is it the beginning or the end?

Summer is over, the school year begins.... is it a happy time or a sad time?

In just a few more days I will have the opportunity to meet my new second graders. Is it an opportunity or a privilege?


At this time of year when summer is drawing to an end I am sad because my time is not my own anymore. I now have to operate on someone else's schedule. I have meetings to attend, practices that I have to have Elise to, games I get to watch, and committees to serve on. My time is not my own anymore. However, really in the scheme of things my time is never my own it is the Lord's time.


All summer long I have prayed for God to place in my class the students that need me. I often sit and wonder why is it that I always carry the most students, why is it me that gets the one or two students that are the boogers. Once again this year I have the class of 17. One class has 15 the other has 14. I am asking myself once more why do I get the most students. I could puff myself up and think that they were assigned to me because I can handle them. My reputation is one of being the challenger or the one who pushes. Or I can simply look at it for what it is and that is the privilege that the Lord has given me to show these students my Jesus, to let them know that the creator of the universe, the same person that created everything created them. If we think about God and all the glorious things that he has done from the largest stars to the smallest cell, He indeed is glorious. So if he did all those glorious things where does that put me or the students that I will be serving. They too are glorious.

I know that there are some students that I will not be able to reach. And those are the ones that truly break my heart. How can I reach the unreachable? As the beginning of a new year approaches I don't have a clue what this year will hold. The only thing I do know is that the Glorious God has place those 17 tender hearts in my care for 180 days and I hope and pray that I will not fail Him!!! That one day when I am no longer in this world that He will look upon me with loving eyes and say "Well done good and faithful servant."

If you actually take the time to read this blog, you don't have to tell me, just pray for me. I enter the battleground for hearts of children as a marked woman myself. Satan would love to see me mess up. So pray that he will be kept from God's work. Pray that through God I can be His mouth piece, that the students can see Jesus in me, and that Kingdom hearted children will leave me after 180 days stronger believers. But most of all my prayer is that God will transform lives even if it is my very own.

To God be the Glory, great things he has done.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mans Best Friend








How can an animal wrap itself so tight around my heart. I have always had a special place in my heart for animals especially dogs. Joel even tells me that I love Benson more than I love him.

Benson is now a whopping 15 lbs. and is probably 12 inches if not taller. This dog can make me feel all sorts of emotion. Sometimes I love him and sometimes I have to punish him. Sometimes he is the smartest dog around and others well lets just say that he loses his brains.

He is a wide open little man. If we don't keep a close eye on him he can get himself into mischief. The toys that he has have been punctured and the stuffing ripped out. The stuffing is usually spread all over the house. If I start to pick it up when he is around I usually get a fussing at. He seems very proud of his work.

One thing is for sure the love I have for Benson does not even come close to the love that my Heavenly Father has for me. And that is something to rest in.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trip to Kentucky







On July 21, Elise, Terra,(Elise's best buddy)and I left for Kentucky. Terra had never been to Kentucky and Elise had asked for years for her to join us on one of our trips. We made good time and arrived in Ky around 4:00. Little did I know that we were in for a trip of a lifetime. We had things and events planned for the whole week. I don't think that there was hardly any time to be bored. We went to movies, homearoma,a trip to Mammoth Cave, country clubs and spa treatments. I do believe that a good time was had by all.



As the days passed by quickly, I began to realize that our family has missed out on so much time with our extended family. It truly saddens my heart. Even as I crossed the board of KY to Tenn I was asking God why? I guess I will not ever know that answer. I think I even sent up a prayer for God to return us to KY. Like God always does he responded back to me that it is not in His will. He brought these things to my mind. We have made true friends that are like our family. People that encourage us, that invite us to their holiday celebrations, people that we call on in the time of need. As I reflected over our week at home, I realized that I have changed as a person. I no longer need some of the "things" that 13 or 14 years ago I thought were important. I am not sure sometimes if I have changed for the better or just the fact that I have change. The most important change of all is that I live life for the Lord.

However, for those of you who are readers of this blog,and have family close by please please value the time you have with your family. Really concentrating on your extended family. Those that come over when they are not invited, those that do things for us that we didn't ask them too. Count yourself lucky if you don't ever have to pay for a babysitter because you can call your mom or mother-in-law. Families are a resource for knowledge and wisdom. Count your blessings. I only wish I had family that was close. Oh, I know that mine would drop everything at a call to come but they are still 8 long hours away. I can't just call and expect them to be over here for a jog. I sometimes think that God orchestrated the whole institution for family so that we can only glimpse how He loves us. Show His love to your family each time you are together.

Thanks mom and dad for a great week. We enjoyed ourselves greatly. We appreciate everything you did and do for us. Love ya, See ya. Bye

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How sweet it is to get away with family


video


Living away from family is often the hardest choice that I have ever made. It is hard to miss the good times together and not to be able to be there to give support during the hard times too. However, I know that the Lord called us to move. He has sustained us through not having family close by. He has uplifted our family like no other. I may never understand the reason that He called us out of KY, but I know that it was because of Him that we left. So when your inlaws get on your nerves because they are at your house when you get back from a trip don't be so quick to send them away.

Our family took a long weekend to spend time with my parents and some of our cousins in Gatlinburg. It was fun to be together and have uninterrupted time with my nephews. God grants us time with those we hold close to us.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LA and back

Yes Dorothy we really are in the United States









It has been almost a month since we have returned from LA. I am still at a loss for words. I am not sure that words will ever communicate what we saw. Of course we had a few good laughs at the expense of some of the youth but the biggest one being Robbie meeting someone from another planet.

With all the memories rolling around in my mind it is still hard to imagine what we really experienced. It does make one realize how fortunate we are and yet how easily everything can be lost. I am not necessarily talking about material things but things such as security and the very basics like dignity. But with all that being said, the one thing I learned was the fact that our time, I mean our day to day time is soo valuable. Not only to the ones that are closest to us but also the Lord himself.

It is so hard to understand the layout of LA. It is amazing to be in the city that has so many financial connections but two blocks from the financial district there are people sleeping in the streets, people who do have anything to call their own. In parts of LA you can look around and see not one word in English. And the gang tags-- that is a whole different story.

Some gang tags that we saw would have peoples names xed out with a smile beside it. I do not claim to interrupt the tags but could it be that there was a "hit" on the person and it had been accomplished noted by the smile. The price of human life is not worth a lot in LA.

My first reaction to LA was that I wondered ..still wonder how the problem of homelessness can be erased. Did you know that there are security officers in LA that keep people in the area of skid row. However, the people that live on skid row leave every morning at 6:00 so that the businesses can open. The people wonder the streets just like you and me. Some of them nap in the parks,eat at McDonalds, and push their babies in strollers. Research states that if a women lives on Skid Row within two weeks she will be raped. The research said nothing about female children I can only imagine ... no I really don't want to imagine.

I guess the one thing that keeps come back to me almost haunts me at night is the fact that those females are people. Breathing, loving, God fearing people... could that be me one day. Lord I pray not but in reality they are people like us.

I know that this experience has changed the way I view our country, how I will spend my money, the way I pray and the way I live life. I pray that I will not take things for granted and I pray that all of us will join together to pray for those that don't have even the little we do have, and who have faced sufferings that we can not imagine. God is with the poor and He is with us if we are with them.
Matthew 25:31-46

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

3 days and counting

Sorry it has been so long since I blogged. To catch up school is out for the summer. Three cheers for that. However, I am saddened because of the fact that I could not reach everyone. There is one student that my heart is especially sad for, please pray that the Lord will soften her heart so that she will know that she needs the Lord as her personal savior.

Three days and counting... where the Lord closes a door he usually opens another. Instead of Haiti we are actually traveling to LA. There we will be working with the homeless in the inter city. Please pray that God's safety and provisions will shine around us. That His work will be done. That the youth that are going will have their eyes opened to the poor and needy in our very own country.

My heart still very much longs for Haiti, but trusting in the Lord I know that great things he has planned for us.

See you after we return.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why?

Have you sat down and wondered exactly how many times that we ask why? Why did it rain? Why did I do that? Why did that happen? Well... I am sitting here wondering why? Our Haiti trip has been cancelled. Why did God open all the doors to only close them again? Am I upset, yes. I simply can't wrap my mind around not going to Haiti. I don't know if any or you know anything about Haiti. It seemed that the more research we did the more I fell in the love with the Haitian people. They live in such a sad state, in my wildest dream I could never imagine what a day in the life of a Haitian would be like. I don't understand the reasons behind us not going other than the fact that if we went we may not have been able to get home. Have any of you felt such a longing for a place? I can almost sit and cry but I won't let it out. I know that the Lord will provide another place for us to go but it isn't Haiti.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Update on Haiti







As God often does, if he closes a door another one opens.

Our trip right now is uncertain due to the violence in Port-Au-Prince.The Haitian people are in riots over food in the capital city and New Missions has a team of missionaries locked down, they can't leave the compound to get to the airport to leave for the U.S.

Due to the violence we may be going to the Dominican Republic instead. So pray. I now have a heart for the Haitian people and the suffering they are under. Pray that God will intervene in the riots and provide food for the people. Each and every time you eat anything first thank the Lord for the food but pray too for Haiti and the people there that eat mud cookies just to make the hunger pains go away.

I feel drawn to Haiti but will go wherever God intends us to go. I do not know in my human mind the plans he has for me. I have to trust and obey.

13 Years Ago


It is hard to believe that Elise is 13. As I take a walk down memory lane to this point, I want to get a little teary eyed. But I won't.

Elise had a celebration for her birthday. She invited 4 other girls to have a camp out. Well, almost a camp out, it rained around 12:30am and the girls ended up sleeping on the back porch. But they did it all, played volleyball,ate pizza,played games,roasted marshmallows, and Joel even shot fireworks for them.

The girls she invited got along well and are really good girls. Joel and I didn't have to worry about any of them stepping over the line. For that I thank the Lord. He placed Elise in the lives of girls that live for Him. It was so neat to see the girls as they sat down to eat, they blessed the food without being told. It wasn't a God bless this food prayer either. It was a heart felt prayer asking a blessing on the food and safety for the rest of the night. But why do I sound so surprised, after all this was the little girl who gathered her bags together, I would ask her where she was going and she would reply to find Jesus. God has been a part of her life since the beginning really even before that.

Thank you Lord for being with us since the beginnng!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Paid in Full-- Twice

How sweet those words ring. First, that my life and my mistakes are paid in full by the precious blood of Jesus. I sit here today with the recent diagnosis of shingles. While my whole midsection from the middle of my stomach to the middle of my back, ache, sting, and itch. I cannot imagine the suffering Jesus went through for us, for me on the cross. As uncomfortable as I am, Jesus was so much more. He is so much more of a person than I.

On Friday our church had a big fund raiser for the Haiti Mission trip. It was a dinner theater. Our family and about 11 other of the Haiti travelers became servers. It is unbelievable that black pants, white shirts, and a red sash can turn you into a waitress or waiter. The fund raiser was a hit because our trip has now been Paid in Full.

So I thank each and everyone of you that contributed to our adventure. I know that God moved in your heart and enabled you to give. Giving to a Mission trip that you are not involved in is truly a sacrifice. It amazed me each week how our funds would come in. I played the doubting Tom for a while. I was telling some close friends Saturday that we were $500 away from our goal. Two of the guys laughed. I think they laughed at me. They were the two that would hear me each week saying,"I just don't think we can get the money." They would reply, that God is good. How right they were. I really stopped doubting about the time that our deposits were paid. I sat back and watched at that time, to see how great my God is.

As the time that the trip grows closer, know that each one of you will go along with us to the 5th poorest country and that God will take your contributions and put hands and feet to His mission. Please pray that God is preparing our hearts and the hearts of the Haitian people. Pray for a healthy stay, that no one will need to take a helicopter ride to Miami. Still the one comforting thing is that my same God that is here with me now will be with me Haiti. This is truly a God thing. Words cannot express the appreciation I have for each of you. May you be blessed by this trip too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Figuring It Out

I have taught school for almost 20 years and still don't have it figured out yet.

Being a teacher is at times the most rewarding and yet most frustrating of all jobs. I love being with the kids and getting to know them, I love imparting knowledge to them. I get excited when I see the light bulbs go off when they discover something new. However, I get so bogged down with the content of the curriculum, discipline, and our very busy schedule that I sometimes forget who I am teaching for.

I am teaching ultimately for God, that the kids will love Him with all of their hearts,soul, and strength. It is also frustrating when I can't seem to find the right thing that might motivate the students. My heart breaks for those I can't seem to reach but rejoices with those that I seem to touch.

As a teacher, I seem to hear more negative than good. Is that because of the way society sees us, as not as important as doctors or sports teams? That I can't answer. I can only answer to one master and that of course is God. I have been so blessed by some of the parents and some of the many that have traveled in and out of my room. It is a sad realization to know that I only have 180 days to impact some one's life for eternity. And what a hefty job that is. Have I made mistakes? Yes, everyday. Have I made a difference? I sure hope so. However, only time will tell that.

So why do I suffer through this plight? I guess the only answer I have for that is that I am trying to be obedient to the call the Lord has for my life.

Our school is in a transformation. We are about ready to turn a corner and really make an impact for God. Should I be surprised that there is a battle for the very students' souls that I teach. Should I be surprised that after almost 20 years I am sitting at the computer, typing,wondering what in the world the Lord has planned next for me? I so want to be in His will and do what He wants. God didn't say that our life would be easy. He did say that the plans he has for us will not harm us.

Maybe I will never have things figured out. The only true thing I know is that the God who created the universe,knows my name,knows the number of hairs on my head,and has chosen me to fight His fight. Am I strong enough? Not by myself but with God all things are possible.

One day, when my time here is up, will I hear the words...Well done,good and faithful servant. Boy I sure hope so.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

In My Own Words

Instead of SCDenneys I should of named this blog amazed. I have learned in my life that God uses many different forms of communication. I was talking to a friend who used to live next door to us. She knows all about our trip and I have given her this blog address. We were talking about health and how this year it seems like I have caught each and everything that has come down the pike. She said she felt like that is because of our commitment to go to Haiti and even said things like if you told God "no way"(which I did, the first time Robbie approached me), she even told me that God has my back. I thought that she was using those phrases to let me know she was keeping up with our blog. But as God works, Oscar came up and I told her we had put him to sleep, that she didn't know, so that means she was not reading our blog. God used some of my own words to encourage me that he is with me always. I know that there is such a thing as spiritual warfare.

Benson has started puppy classes, we are in our 3 week of the classes. He is a model student. He sits and listens to Melody the instructor. She uses Benson as the class volunteer a lot. He is a good little dog. He now tips the scale at a whopping 6.0lbs. I think that he has lost his ADD tendencies. He still has a lot to learn. Especially when relating to people outside the family.

Elise is starting volleyball this week for spring recreation league.I love watching her play a sport that she loves. I will keep you posted on her season. She is also very busy planning her birthday party in April.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Relying on God

Well, where do I begin. It has been a while since our last entry.

First,our trip to Haiti is only about 2 months away. We still owe quite a bit of money for our trip but I am not as worried about it as I was the first part. Our deposits have been made,our passports are in, our plane tickets bought. It all seems-- not real. Us going to Haiti. Today at church we had a guest speaker who was actually the pastor of New Mission in Haiti. It was an eye opener to hear him speak. They have come so far since the beginning. So many people have come to know Jesus through New Missions in Haiti. I know God uses ordinary people to do His work. Sometimes it seems that the only thing I can do is shake my head in disbelief, but only because I believe, can I know that God calls ordinary people. I have seen God do so much in this journey, I can only imagine what I will see him do in Haiti. Am I worried? Am I scared? Am I unsure? The answer to all of those questions is YES. The only thing I know and that I am sure of is that the same God I know and that is with me everyday is the same God that will be with me in Haiti. And that is comforting.

Benson-- We have now owned Benson for one month. He has started puppy classes where we are hoping he will be socialized and taught manners. The instructor Melody announced to the whole class that Minature Pinsher were nicknamed the devil dog. Maybe we should change his name to Lucifer. She also told the class that we were very brave dog owners. I guess that if we let him get away with the things he wants to he will be a devil dog. In my experience with dogs I think, no, I bet you can find a devil in all breds. I will say he is a very smart animal. He knows his name,he comes when he is called, he can sit, and lay down. He seems very much my dog and really likes Elise. Joel on the other hand, well sometimes he loves him and other times he ignores him. He has grown quite a bit since we have gotten him. If only we can get him potty trained consistantly. We love our devil dog, we think he is our little angel.

This Saturday,Elise was involved in "Mock Trial". It is a competition of high school students that act out the different parts of a trial. Because our upper school is 7th-12th grade,middle schoolers could compete. I was amazed and very proud of Elise for wanting to participate in something like that. I know she learned a lot and would maybe even desire to have a career in law one day. I will say that during this time of transition for our school, I get concerned that Elise will not be able to continue there, but then things like this weekend happen and there is not another place I would rather her to be. It seems that through my whole life I have always had the uncertianity of how are we going to continue to financially send Elise to school but again (as I am shaking my head)God shows me He will provide and that I need faith in Him to see it through. It would be a scary thing to pull her out of a school that she has known since she was 3.

Relying on God, I know He teaches me that everyday.


Coninue to pray for us as Haiti approaches.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Passports are In

Last Monday, we received our passports. It only took 3 1\2 weeks. Again, I stand amazed in all that the Lord can do. We only have 4 months and we will be in Haiti. Continue to pray for our support and for God to prepare our minds for his work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wow! I am standing amazed!

I know I keep saying this over and over again in this blog but... I stand amazed at what God can do or better yet what he does.

It touches my heart in so many ways with all the support we have received either in money or prayer. It is amazing just how God moves his people to give. I am happy to report that all of our first deposits have been met. Praise the Lord. We are half way there. Isn't it just so amazing? Why do I doubt so much.

I told my mom just this weekend, that I know God is teaching me patience. I told her I would not be surprised if our passports and our deposits showed up on the last day of February. Well, I guess God wanted to show me just who was in charge. He paid our deposit before March 1. Before even February 1st. How great He is.

Now let's just pray that our passports come before March 1. If you ask me tomorrow will be fine.

The next time you see a flashlight or change a light bulb, I want you to look at it as if it were you. Light bulbs and flashlights come in lots of different sizes and shapes just like us. Some of the bulbs are bright some are dull. Just like us. Why do we use flashlights or light bulbs? That is easy, we need light in dark places to see. Jesus referred to himself as light. But it is up to us to spread His light to others. So get a light, maybe use a mirror so it reflects even more into this world.

Praise the Lord, how great He is.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well Done! Good .....Puppy! :-)

Some of you know that we have a new family member he is a 7 1/2 week old miniature pinscher. We named him Benson (after the creek in Kentucky). We wanted a big dog name for a 3 lb puppy. This week has been an exciting one.

As I am working on Benson's behavior I wonder sometimes if God sees us as a disobedient people. At least I know He probably sees me that way. Trying to teach Benson to walk on a leash is rather comical. He stands up on his hind legs and flops around reminding me of a fish out of water. The research I have done on Min Pins says that they are willful but so want to please. Of course when Benson does something wonderful I praise him. One day when I meet Jesus face to face I just want him to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant.

I think my own will gets in the way of pleasing God. Sometimes he pulls me in directions that I don't want to go and then I flop all over the place trying to get right again.

My mom was a little disappointed in the choice of dog that we now own. She told me that they were one owner dogs. Which is my desire for my life in relation to God. I want to serve only one master. So is belonging to one master so bad. Maybe there is a lot to learn from dogs and puppies.

My cat isn't so sure as what to think about this "little bit of a mess." I think she has brought home "rent" that is bigger than Benson. But she too is learning to deal with him. Mainly by avoiding him.

I will keep you up to date on the things Benson is learning. I am sure our house will not be the same for a while or maybe ever. I still miss Oscar terribly and wish everyday that he was still around for me to love. He will always be in my heart.

We are singing praises today for our support checks. We have received two more. We are only $550 away from our March 1st goal of $1800. Isn't God good. Shouldn't we follow His lead, when He asks shouldn't we just go without any pulling back or flopping around. Still my biggest fear is that we will not raise the support we need. I know my doubting disappoints God.

God has taught me so many things during this part of the journey. I can't wait to see what He will show me while we are in Haiti.

I just ask for prayer that God will rain in the support that is needed and that our passport will arrive on time (before March 1).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Leaning Side

It was great to visit family and friends in Kentucky. The only thing I did not like was the temperature. Cold very Cold.

While we were there I was given the third support check. This check comes with lots of mixed feelings. I know this check was over and above just giving, it was a sacrifice.

Music has always ministered to me, I am not sure if it is because growing up I would hear my brother playing the guitar just outside my door or if the Lord has just used music to touch me. There is a song sung by Third Day the words go "your faithfulness reaches into the heavens," I think that God sees faithfulness and sacrifice as a form of worship. So words can't describe the faithfulness that I have seen during this journey.

It is also so amazing to see God ministering to me through different situations that come up. Of Course we went to church on Sunday, we went to my father-in-laws church and while I was there he preached on God is able. The key verse was Ephesians 3:20"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." He talked about a barn that was leaning and was propped up with lumber on the leaning side. I realized that that barn is me. I made a reference to a friend of mine just last week that I need God to keep his hand on my back. I was actually meaning that I was needing him to keep pushing me because if I really sit down and think about going to Haiti---I actually get scared to death. It is a dangerous place, I am just a person, a very insignaficant person. Why me? Wouldn't it be better for God to send someone worthy of telling others about Him. I know that althrough life God has used ordinary people. I told some of my family in Ky that I was excited about our trip-- which is true but really I am scared to death but also excited to see God. I know it will be life changing. So God's Hand does needs to be on my back because I would probably not go. However, I know that God has had his hand there all along and I will be obedient to Him. God has my leaning side.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

As most of you know I am a teacher. I have often said I was going to write a book about all the things that happen in my class. Well, this really isn't a book but a blog will do.

Yesterday, when I received a text from Joel telling me that we had received a second support check, I was sitting at my desk when I felt my phone vibrate. Usually I don't pick up or check my phone during school hours but for some strange reason I stopped working with the student that was standing next to me to read the text. After I read the text, with tears in my eyes, I hugged the little guy standing at my side. Well needless to say my class just thought what in the world had happened to me. Even the guy I hugged asked me why I had hugged him. I took the time to explain then to my class about going on a mission trip and trying to get the money to go that far away was hard. One of my other little boys told me that he would bring me $2.00 tomorrow. Guess what, this morning he did. I told him thank you very much but I wanted him to save his money. "No." He said. "I insist." I of course didn't take it from him. However, he ask me later why I didn't take it. I explained that although I appreciated his thinking of me in that way that it just wasn't right. At that he really didn't understand what wasn't right about it. He told me that I was doing what God was wanting and even though he wasn't old enough to go he wanted to help me. To help me go and do God's work. To help me, to help me, to help me, do God's work. I just sat there again with tears in my eyes,(that happens a lot lately),wondering how do these little children get it and as an adult I still struggle.

How precious are all of His little children.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Heavy Heart -- Lifted

As I sit here in the Lancaster County library my heart is very sad. Elise and I dread going home. You see Oscar who is our family Lhasa Apso is being put to sleep probably as I write this. We have had Oscar for 17 years. He was bought for me for my graduation present in 1991. He has been a good dog. He has given us a lot of good years and we will miss his Aroo, roos. As sad as I am about Oscar being put to sleep I know it is the right thing to do. I know that God will give up the strength to go on.

Last night as the darkness closed in I was very down because I knew this time was near. Robbie, our youth pastor called to report on their trip to Haiti and update us on our trip. It seems that at times I can actually be floating on cloud nine seeing God work. He was so excited because of our first support check had come in. I was doubting with every part of me that God could actually provide the support we need. It seems so unreachable. I told Robbie this and he again reassured me, that God would provide. After I hung up from him I just went to bed with a heart that felt as it weight 100lbs.

As always, God doesn't leave us down like that for long. You see we received our second support check today. And well, we have gotten enough support where one of us can almost go.
So as I felt the vibration from the text that Joel was sending, I checked my phone and read just how God lifts us when we most need it.

I ask that you will pray for us as we will probably have many ups and downs on this journey. I also ask that you will pray for the following requests:
1. support will pour in a mighty way
2. the passports will be in before March 1- passports are taking 6-8 weeks to be processed and we processed in week 7.
Again I stand amazed at what and when God does things. How great You are, Lord!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God's Hand

It is very interesting to see God's Hand in your everyday life. As some of our family and closest friends already know, God has tugged on my heart in the past about going into the mission field. Granted, I know I work in one everyday. However, I have always felt God's tug to do more, to go farther. However, he was always met with a resounding "No". We never will have the money to go into the field, travel far, or Elise is too small, I can't do that are you kidding me. Well, God always redirects and directs again.



The story starts like this. I can remember, it seems like 20 years ago now when we were still in Kentucky laying in bed ( we didn't have Elise yet, and Joel was always working nights) praying my heart out to the Lord to open doors for me to teach at a Christian School. I had applied and interviewed several times at a Catholic School but was always turned down because the main reason I am not Catholic nor was I planning on becoming one. Well, there was one night that the nun that I had been interviewing with called and again and told me she would love to hire me if I was only Catholic and needless to say I was again praying. Lord, I want to teach for you, tell me where to go what to do and I will go. As God always does he answered my prayer 10 months later when we found out that we would be moving to South Carolina. You see even though I couldn't at that exact time see that God's Hand was laying the path, I again made a resounding: "Are you kidding. My family is here. I have a job. What about Elise, she is just a baby.' A good friend of mine told me that if our move was truly from the Lord that by the time the moving van pulls into your driveway I would go without any complaints. And by the time the van did pull in my driveway I was ready. You may be asking yourself what does all of this have to do with the opening of this blog. God brought us 400 miles away from everything I have ever known to teach me lots of things. When we moved I felt a little like Abraham not the righteous part of him but the part about him leaving his father's land. As God was faithful to Abraham he has been faithful to us. You see God moved us here for me to teach for Him here in South Carolina at a great school. He also led us to a church that doesn't just sit, we send. It can be in our own community or as far away as you can imagine.



Fast forward about 12 years and here we are again watching God's Hand move, the mission field.... in June of 2007 our youth director was talking to Joel and I about a mission trip he was planning for the youth for the summer of 2008. He said to us that he would let Elise go if she had parents that went with her. It crossed my mind then that maybe we should go. But again, what about the time off, what am I going to do over there, do I really want to expose Elise at that age to cultures like Haiti, and how much does it cost? I probably thought about it for a few days and again, Sorry God.... that is not for me. Well, just like he put Jonah in the belly of the whale for three day he put me in the hospital for four days with a pretty serious illness. As I laid in the hospital bed I kept asking myself "Why didn't I die?" So many people have had blood clots in their lung and died. Why didn't I? Not that I wanted to... but the question would always return. I guess when you have an illness that could have been fatal you really stop to examine your life. I know without a doubt that the guy I married,the move we made,the job I hold, the church I attend,the people He has put in my life especially in the last year are only because God has paved the way to this point. Well, the youth director that I spoke to back in June started to talking to Joel and I again in the first week of December about going to Haiti. This time I didn't answer with a NO but a maybe, we had to let Robbie know by January 1 whether or not we would go. I was still so unsure now it was not only the other things that I mentioned first but also I am medically sound to go? What happens if....? I have a thousand ifs but God has a thousand I Knows. I just wanted to let those of you that know us be a part of this wonderful experience that gets more exciting everyday. These are the things that God will do for you, if we will look past our noses to the other parts of His world.



Dec. 11- there was an informational meeting at church about the Haiti trip Robbie hands me a packet of all the paperwork need saying to me "the Holy Spirit told me to give these to you." My response was "I am glad He is talking to you because I haven't really felt Him yet." When really I had I was just so scared I didn't want to listen.



Dec. 16th- my prayer was God if we are suppose to go to Haiti make it very clear one way or the other, knowing that the two of my biggest concerns were the money and my medical condition, within two hours of that prayer a friend from church called that had found out that we were thinking about going and told me that his father was donating money toward the trip not in our name but in the big pot.



Dec. 24th- I finally confessed to Robbie that I was so scared that we would not get the support we need for our whole family to go. His response was" Tracey, God owns cattle on a thousand hills why would he not provide." I also heard God at that time speaking to my heart "Why do you have so little faith, have I not provided what you have needed thus far." Well that really hit home and that is what I am cling too.

Jan. 4th Praise !!!!! we received our first support check

Jan.6th- Joel and I both have to be together when we get passports because Elise is under 16. We both have to sign the passport request, so it finally worked out that we can both go on Thurs. Jan 10. We begin filling out all the paperwork for the trip itself as well as our passport application, seeing we need our birth certificates we start looking for them. We find Elise's (that was easy), Joel's, but mine, not a chance to be found. Panicking I called my mom, she worked her magic(God used her hands) and for a process that was supposed to take 7 days., my birth certificate was here on Tuesday...so the plans for Thursday are back on.



Jan. 10th Passport Day

Our plans were for me to leave school at 3:30 pick up Elise and be back into Lancaster County at the Court House by 4:30, they don't close until 5:00 that should plenty of time to get our applications processed. Well, as things go Joel decided he would go to the court house early to do his and save time for us. I get a phone call at 2:30 as I was walking my students out to pick up, it was Joel saying that we had to be at the court house before 4:00. What? I will never make it..... I have to get Elise still which is a miracle in itself because the traffic at pick up time. My assistant grabbed her purse, said I've got the class, I called the other campus (someone actually picked up and it didn't go to voicemail which is another hand of God)and ask them to pull Elise out of class, meet me on the street so I don't have to go through the parking lot at pick up time. I left school thinking OK if this doesn't work, is this God's way of saying wrong path.....oh me of little faith. Do you know that not only did I pull through the parking lot at Elise's campus but there was an empty lane to get in and out of. And we made it to the court house in plenty of time.



That brings you up to date on our Journey to Haiti--- I am so excited about seeing God work and I stand in amazement in front of Him only now I am not resounding with a No but a Yes Lord Yes!!!

So tonight I am giving thanksgiving for His all knowing power, friends, a persistent youth director, family, Joel's thoughtfulness,God's timing, assistants,overnight delivery,the school in which I teach, the people who have traveled to Haiti before us to prepare our way, the many of you that will give financially,prayer warriors,pod casts,and the days to come that will only strengthen our faith in God. Let His Glory shine!!!



We will keep you posted on the wheres and the hows of God in our lives, but may He be in yours, that you see Him everyday.



SC Denney's are Haiti bound!!!