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Young Life Ministry and Wrestling with Life Change

Lately my life has been consumed with work and pregnancy and moving, with little time for breathing or anything else. I wanted to show you a glimpse of the job that I love but that really runs my life. I work for Young Life, and am the area director (in charge person) for a small area in the middle of Dallas. Jed volunteers with the high school ministry and we have a lot of fun doing ministry together. Pictured above are our high school friends at Young Life club, which happens every Monday night. We have a great group of kids that come, and we are always meeting new kids. The ministry is fun, heartbreaking, amazing, exhausting, and an incredible thing to be a part of. I love seeing the volunteers I work with build relationships with kids and share the Gospel with them through those friendships. I didn’t realize how difficult the job I’ve loved for 10 years would be become while pregnant. My first trimester was really hard, not as hard as others I’m sure, but difficult all the same. I am so thankful for the child growing in my body and the ministry that the Lord has called me to, but the combination of the 2 has been life changing.
WyldLife is the middle school portion of the ministry, and that club meets every 3 weeks on Friday nights. It is wild and high energy and perfect for middle schoolers. The photo above is from the WyldLife Bus Tour this year. Bus Tour was a rude awakening for me. It is an all night middle school adventure that takes bus loads of us all over Dallas to a Mavs game, and many other events. It goes from 6 pm to 6 am, and ours happened to take place on the night of the time change. Yikes. I really thought I could make it through the event even though I was about 11 weeks pregnant and sick 24/7. I had Jed on call in case I needed to be rescued. I thought I might make it to 2 am. Nope. I made it to 11 pm, barely. I spent the whole 4th quarter in the bathroom vomiting. Good times. I thought I could tough it out, but the baby said, “No way, Mama.” The trickiest part of the whole night is getting our group (50 kids) from one of the American Airlines Center to the other through the massive crowd, down to the court to shoot free throws, and then out to the bus. I forced myself to make it through that part, and then had Jed pick me up at our next stop. Thankfully I had awesome volunteer leaders with me to take over. It was really hard for me to realize that I couldn’t do everything I used to do. I know my life will change a million times more once the baby arrives, but it has already changed more than I ever imagined.
YoungLives is for pregnant and parenting teen girls. These are some of our lovely girls and their babies. We pair them with mentors who hang out with them and walk through life with them. It is a new and growing part of Young Life worldwide, as we figure out how to reach out to parenting teens. Over the last year this special ministry has grown really close to my heart. I don’t know if the Lord is working me because of the way my life is changing. I know He is changing my heart as He changes my body and makes me ready for motherhood. I am wrestling with how to balance my job and my family. I’ll be thinking and praying about this a lot over the next few months. I hope that the Lord will give me a clear picture of what He wants me to do. If that means working full time and figuring out day care, or working part time, or staying home full time, I hope that He gives me clarity and peace about it.

How did you decide to keep working or stay at home? If you don’t have kids, what do you think you will do when the time comes and why?

frugal friday – date night

*photo from shockya

how do you budget for romance?

we are on a budget. we use cash only, and try to stick to that budget like glue. at the same time, we have to carve out quality time in our busy week to spend together, building this marriage and keeping romance alive. to keep the budget in sync with the dates, we have to get creative. our latest discovery is a dollar movie theater about 4 miles from our house. we will never be the first ones to see a movie, but that is ok. we went out to a movie, shared popcorn and a diet coke, and paid less than $10 total. the regular movie theater costs $10.50 per person here in dallas, $13.50 for 3D. that is crazy talk. that means we would be spending $21 for 2 hours entertainment without any snacks. no thanks. i’ll take the dollar theater any day.

here are a few more of our budget date ideas:
share a bucket of balls at the driving rangeoutdoor concerts (bring a picnic)the zoomini golfhikingrent a movie at homebike ridesfield trip to ikea 🙂walking through christmas lights (in dec., obviously)

what are your cheap date night ideas?

bret michaels and my top 5 bad boy crushes of my misspent youth

i had my fair share of bad boy crushes during my misspent youth. oh how i loved the bad boys. one of my top five bad boys has made it back into the spotlight. unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you have seen bret michaels somewhere. he has been on celebrity apprentice, and searched for love on his own reality show (twice). he had some serious health problems and was rumored to have died, but is back on top and touring again. in honor of bret’s recovery i decided to create a little list of my top five bad boy crushes, along with then and now pictures and little update on each of them. if only i had those old big bopper magazines…

#5 – bret michaels

once a member of poison, he now tours solo and stars in the aforementioned reality shows. he was a really bad boy back in the day, but this latest health scare has forced to really clean up his act. he has even back together with his former love of 16 years (his baby mama). good for bret. i wish him the best. stay clean, darlin’. “every rose has it’s thorn” will remain one of the best power ballads of all time.
#4 – axl rose

oh axl, what happened to you? he used to rock a kilt like no one else and lead of one the greatest rock bands ever – guns-n-roses. he had a fallling out with all the other band members, and carries on with fake g-n-r replacements. let’s face it, it all went down hill after “use your illusion II”. lately he has been sporting these terrible cornrows (they just don’t look good on white people) and making bad decisions in public. get well, axl. get over yourself. i’ll go rock out to “sweet child ‘o mine” and remember the good times.
#3 – christian slater
heathers, anyone?

somehow i fell for his sociopathic bad boy character (j.d.) in heathers. he continues to act successfully in movies and on tv, and seems to be doing well. there have been rumors of drug abuse, hair transplants, and botox. by the looks of that forehead, i’m going to say the botox is not just a rumor. he still looks like trouble, but those eyebrows will serve him well as he ages. i might have to buy that heathers dvd…
#2 – kurt cobain
may he rest in peace.

kurt was the ill-fated lead singer of nirvana, the band that changed my life with “smells like teen spirit” back in middle school. he made cardigan sweaters look good, and turned the world on to grunge. i wore flannel for years. i remember where i was when i found out he had died. sitting in front of the tv in my parents’ living room, watching mtv. i cried and cried, feeling like i’d really lost a friend. he was wearing the same converse one stars that i owned when he died. it felt like a bond. theories still abound about whether it was suicide or if courtney got away with murder. we will never know. i see photos of frances bean (their child), and hope she knows how loved her father was. i hope she turns out ok. i need to listen to “come as you are” right now.
#1 – jared leto

better known as jordan catalano from “my so-called life” (the best tv show, ever). his tortured relationship with angela chase made me feel like i wasn’t alone in my teenage suffering. today he still acts and is in a popular band, 30 seconds to mars. i feel like he has gone a little off the fame weirdo deep end, but i hope he turns out ok. he still so pretty, even with that guyliner. i’m putting the my so-called life dvd set on my christmas list.

there they are, the top five bad boy crushes of my misspent youth. i hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane.

who was your favorite bad boy back in junior high or high school?

the biggest loser

this past weekend we went to little rock to celebrate several birthdays (marci, dad, and joyce) with folks we love. my brother chris and his wife emily were in town as well, with our precious niece in tow. caroline is the prettiest baby ever, though i will admit i’m biased. the best part of the weekend was the quality time with some of my favorite people. the second best thing was seeing the change in my dad. right after christmas he joined a gym and started working out almost every day. he and my mom changed their eating habits to concentrate on making healthy choices. my daddy has lost 36 pounds since the beginning of january! he has struggled with his weight my entire life, as well as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a host of other weight caused issues. he went to the doctor and all of his levels were already back into the healthy range! amazing! we had to buy him new clothes for his birthday because the old ones were falling off. i am so incredibly proud of him and my mom for changing their lifestyle. they are such an inspiration to me. now if i can just get moving myself…

the proud grandparents – dede and papa john

aunt becca and baby caroline