Lavishly Loved

I'm a simple girl with a huge heart for God, family and friends.

Location: Michigan, United States

Thursday, June 29, 2006

God Bless America

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen for his own.
Psalm 33:12 NLT

For Americans, July 4 has special meaning as we celebrate Independence Day.

There will be parades and picnics and fireworks. It is a day to celebrate freedom—and to recognize God as the true source of freedom and blessing for any nation. So much of our freedom today seems bound up in a world driven by material possessions, yet those who died for the liberty we enjoy, did so to obtain & preserve freedoms of conscience—speech, religion, assembly, among others.

As the years go by, I am more overwhelmed with what a price our soldiers paid for our freedom.
If you can go to an event that honors those who have served in the armed forces, you won't regret it...! It's awesome to watch those who have served in their branch of the service standing up to their song ...I always tear up and sit a little taller when the Marine Theme song is played and my husband Steve stands up (HooRa) proud of you baby.

As much as I loved Australia...I will never forget our landing into the plane touched down, my friend Kristi began to sing, "God Bless America..."it was perfect... :)


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sleepless in Plymouth

What is it? What is it caused by ? I guess I could look it up on the internet…but I’m TOO TIRED!!!!
I can’t explain it, but since the funeral, I can not sleep. I lay down exhausted, I mean exhausted…and then my body begins to ache & throb all over. I take some Tylenol (not a sleep aid…I don’t how they make me feel)But it doesn’t change the aches and pains. I get up…watch TV, exercise, go on-line, read books, read my Bible and pray…then I try to climb back into bed around 3:00a.m or so…and nothing…and then “BLAM” the alarm goes off at 5a.m., and my day starts all over again…exhausted again.

But it's affecting my work.

Just today, as I was ending a phone call with an agent (I work at an Insurance Company) and I proceeded to say, “Okay, I love you, too”…to a COMPLETE STRANGER…needless to say, I hung up quickly, my co-workers and I had a BIG LAUGH….

So if I don’t seem like myself, I am sorry...either I could walk right past you, or tell you I love you :)...hee

Matthew 11:28 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Somewhere, Somehow...

Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize, the scultping of the Father's great design
Through time you've been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn't have to say good bye!
But I KNOW, the road He chose for me is not the road He chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we're after
Pray for me, and I'll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won't you pray for me & I'll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around, again
'Cause I know that love will bring us back around, Again. -Michael W. Smith

My Aaron....

Wow, here it comes again, that dreaded word I hate and I inevitably have to always say...GOOD BYE.

Today I have to say good bye to one of my dearest friends.

Have you ever met someone and you immediately "clicked"? that it feels as though you've known them your whole life but haven't? You have so much in laugh at the same things, even when no one else does...or that you could be in a crowded room and look over and pretty much know what they were thinking, and bust out laughing, you like the same music, the same artist...That is how it is with my friend Aaron.

Who knew that in March 1999, when I walked into Family Christian, that God would bless me with a friend that was like family...that IS family. We call each other brother and sister. Together, we were those friends that is didn't matter what we were doing, as long as we were hanging out, had good music, it was all good :) Who knew that there was someone else in the world that LOVES Leslie Phillips, Margaret Becker and Amy Grant as much as me ?? hee

There is so much to say, but not enough room to share my heart about Aaron.

I am SO proud of you! You're faith walk has been an amazing journey to watch! Thank you for living out your faith and not just talking about it.

I am so glad you picked up that guitar...God is giving you a NEW SONG in your heart!

I will not forget what God has shown me & taught me over these past 7 years...the memories are etched in my are only a few...

  • September 11th...just crying together...
  • Cosmic bowling to hip hop music
  • late night Voice mails, crying out to God...
  • You were house sitting for a friend. It had been one of my worst days ever (after giving horrible news to a friend and having a miserable cold) we played silly 80's Video games on PS2 and then you played that song from IHOP, and you let me just be alone. Perfect timing...God timing. (did I ever say Thank you for that? )
  • Driving out to Joyce Meyer jamming to Fred Hammond and Israel-"We are a generation, that will give you Praise and Adoration!"...getting lost coming back home..hahaha
  • Hanging out all day-after seeing Michael W. the night before...just reading our Bibles, listening to teaching CDs and praying
  • One in Worship at Ford Field..."Do it AGain"....
  • Driving home from the Sam Phillips Concert, (Steve & Stef asleep) listening to "When the World is New" by Leslie Phillips
  • You came and stayed with me after my outpatient procedure. I was asleep on the couch most of the time...but you didn't care, you were still there...I got disappointing news...and you pointed me to the Father and we just worshipped. That was exactly what I needed. (thank you )
  • Buying me the hat :)
  • Jamming to Mary, Mary...thank you for the CD!
  • the many phone calls on the day of grandma's funeral
  • Lets not forget the numerous late night talks, the evenings we just sang and sang and could have gone on forever :) Soaking in His Presence.
  • the wonderful meals at Lashish and Little Bangkok (thanks for introducing Steve and I to that place!)

Man, I haven't cried since before grandma's funeral a couple of weeks ago...because I had to be so strong for everyone...but now I can't stop the tears are streaming down my face....I hate goodbyes...

As friends we've had silly times, serious times, misunderstandings, forgiveness, God times, worship times...and I praise God for all of them.

Be Blessed my friend...enjoy every experience that He gives you out there in KC...I can't wait to see what God is going to do in you.

I will miss you Aaron. I love you my brother, my friend.

" The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. "- Psalm 121:7-8

Philemon 1:4-5 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Proverbs 17:9 (New Living Translation)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

"Do you ever wonder why you can go to bed in the greatest of moods and wake up mad, upset, or discouraged ? Our feelings and our emotions change constantly. That's why we need to continually be in the word of God and asking God for the Fruit of the, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control.,
If you always live by how you FEEL, or live by your emotions, you may as well write across your life " defeated"! satan loves to work through your feelings-Joyce Meyer

"When just being together is more important than what you do, you are with a friend"

Sunday, June 18, 2006


My Father in Law Frank...
This man is an absolute treasure. He married Steve's mom, when Steve was a toddler. I KNOW, THAT I KNOW, THAT I KNOW...that Steve is the man he is today, because of Frank!

He is someone that "gets me", when I talk about God. I can tell him how I felt goosebumps during my quiet time with God and that I felt the presence of God there with me, and he wells up with tears and says.."I know..isn't that great! He does that with me too!"...

He is constantly a testimony to me, in all that he does,..."whether is word or in deed, do all to the Glory of God" Colossians 3:17...that is what he lives out!!

I leave you with a country song, that came out a few years ago by Brad Paisley. I never heard a more perfect song to descirbe Steve's relationship with Frank. I love you Frank. Happy Father's Day!

He Didn't Have To Be(Brad Paisley/Kelley Lovelace)

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
It always winds up feeling more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she'd ever meet someone
Who wouldn't find out about me and then turn around and run
I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old
He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed, I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she'd say yes

And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something's missing, To a family
Lookin' back all I can say, About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the dad, That he didn't have to be
he didn't have to be..You know he didn't have to be

Happy Father's Day Dad!

My Dad (or Turk as my brother and I call him...LONG SILLY STORY)...
He is so funny, sweet, supportive, generous, talented...just to name a few...

He is one of the most passive guys I know...that is until you mess with his daughter, and then this Knight and Shining Armor comes out. (It's so cute)-He is ALWAYS there for me...even now, he makes sure my car is running right-oil change, tires, brakes, etc (& will offer to join me to make sure the 'guys' at the car dealership don't hassle me :)

He is always concerned & has ideas to help me save money. Recently, after the death of my grandma, he called and said, "I know you had to pay for a hotel room, food, etc for grandma's let's not do anything for father's say you money"...Yeah right dad...if I've learned anything from Grandma, it was to LIVE life, and love on the family you have right now!!! (So I made him dinner :)

Now don't get me dad and I had our normal "tention" as parents with their children do. I challenged him with curfew stuff, I didn't keep my room clean- he even video taped my messy bedroom & wanted to send it in to some Talk Show...hahaha but we always had LOVE & RESPECT.

He even drove through an ice storm to pick up a boy I liked, because he had no way to get to church...just because he noticed how sad I was.

A couple of years ago, myself, Steve and my friend Kristi got a horrible stomach/intestinal flu for a week. My dad drove all the way over to my house, to bring me popsicles and Canada Dry Ginger Ale (the only 2 things I could even look at the time), to make sure I was hydrated. (am I babied ? no I don't think so...I am LOVED)

The one thing that my dad does, that blesses me over and over that he is my biggest fan, and there is no changing his mind. Since I was little and my brother and I began to sing...he never misses one time that I sing.

He watches some of these American Idol type of shows, and he always telling people that I should be up there..he's too funny. He 's so cute...he's even stretched his fondness onto 2 of my friends Kristi and Todd. He absolutely LOVES them and sings their everyone!! Actually, I think if he could have afforded it, he would have gotten on a plane, flown to Vegas & punched those judges from American Idol, when Kristi didn't get picked! hahaha and he's not even the slightest bit violent... That's just the way he is...when he loves, he loves with his whole heart...and he is true blue.

I thank God for you! I wished I would have let you teach me how to play the guitar...who knows where I would be right now.

I love you with all of my heart. I am honored to be your daughter.

" I am Tina's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
and when the day is done my mamma's still my biggest fan (and my dads)
I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me and they know just where I stand...
It's all a part of me, and that's who I am .."

p.s. I never realized how much I looked like him, until my wedding pictures...hahaha

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hillsong-Mighty to Save


I can't wait to hear it all over again...! I can't believe I (we) were there to experience it....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Worship- it will change your perspective

It's been a hard week, actually the last 2 weeks...

So much can change in a matter of a week, sometimes as quickly as a day.

But when you are down, it seems as though communication levels with people change. Misunderstandings happen, and hurt feelings are always a result. (*which is why I like to retreat-so that my overly sensitive heart won't get hurt as much)

It's been hard to deal with the loss of my grandma.

Still blows me away how kind some people can be and then how CLUELESS others can be at the same time. UGH!! A special thank you to those who have sent cards & emails to my dad!! He has really appreciated it. (he actually reads my I have to say, Hi Dad...Love you-hee)

But have you ever noticed that satan comes in and kicks you when you are down ? Something happens or something is said...and you are just down for the count ?? sometimes he even uses those close to you (close to your heart) to finish you off. THAT SUCKS!

Over my 30 + years...I have always wrestled with being overlooked, 2nd choice or last choice...if there were a time line of my would see that as true. This week satan tried to use 2 separate friends to confirm what he has whispered my entire life. Did they do it on purpose...I don't know...I hope not...but it's how I react to it (and them) that matters.

And at that point of really enjoying my pity party and desperately longing to dive into some Baskin Robbins Ice cream for comfort ..I hear God whispering the verse from Isaiah..." I have imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; Isaiah 49:16" I began to just worship God...getting the focus off of my pain, off of my friends...and onto to HIM. God and m King.

As much as we love our friends, & family...God is ultimately the one to fill us up, to gives us comfort and to be the best friend we long to have.

"Father come to me, hold me up, cause I can barely stand
My strength is gone, my breath is short and I can't reach out my hands
But my heart is set on a pilgrimage toward heavens own bright King
So in faltering or victory I will always sing...
You're my portion in this life, You're my strength now in my fight
To YOU I pledge my heart, that in the pain and in the dark, I'll love you
God I'll LOVE YOU!"

-Charlie Hall

Worship will change your perspective!

Psalms 42 & 43, where he says, "Why are you so downcast oh my soul?Why so disturbed within me ? Put your Hope in the Lord, For I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, MY SAVIOUR MY KING!"

Whose You Are

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill.
In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?"Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty."Now, who still wants it?"Still the hands went into the air.

My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make,what friends say or do to us and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but WHOSE WE ARE.

I Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rejoice with those who rejoice

The Bible says, in Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

What is hard about life, is sometimes at the EXACT moment of one's triumph and joy...another is hurting and mourning.

We as humans find it hard when we are having a great time, to slow down and think about those who are hurting, sick, or going through a hard's even harder when you are hurting and other friends are doing great! (or if when you are hurting and someone else is hurting reach out past your own hurt and comfort them) So to those friends who are hurting... I am praying for you...I am on my knees for you. It is a priviledge to pray for you.

But that is part of friendship, part of being in the vast body of Christ..we are all going to have different seasons....the highs and the lows... thank God for the Holy Spirit, to act and do things outside of the scope we think we can handle.

So now, I rejoice with one of my friends...who asked the Lord to "show off and show her His Glory in His creation"...

I want to leave a Legacy

One of the final things my grandmother said to my aunt and a pastor friend 2 weeks before she passed away was…
“There is nothing between me and my Savior, I have perfect peace”…

My brother asked everyone at the funeral home to give one word/phrase to describe my grandma…here are a few…

Loving, joyful, bounces back, forgiving, life of the party, survivor, stinker, practical joker, encouraging, God-fearing, God-loving (just to name a few)

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to YOU enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy & grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy…

*words by Nicole Nordeman

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Good bye Grandma Tina

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind.

Last Friday my grandma passed away, in Kentucky. For any of you, who have lost someone close to seems like your body and mind are still trying catch up. At times you want the world to stop just for you, because of the pain you are feeling....but life isn't like's keep moving on. It's even harder when you are away from your support group of friends...

It's been hard when you want to break down in tears, when you've had to be strong for everyone else around you. I feel like I've been hit by a mack truck. I have had moments of tears...but I haven't had the the "big cry", which might surprise some of you...I guess I just need time alone. I've talked with some other relatives today...and everyone feels like they are in a fog...FOG yep, that describes it. Everything happened so quickly...that it's still hard to believe she's gone.

The family members came in from Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Michigan. We all arrived on different days. It was quite a reunion. We are all so close yet so different. (especially since I am the only girl)

Every day was hard in it's own way, too. Driving down Main Street on Saturday, thinking-this could be the last time I ever drive down this street, that used to give my stomach butterflies because I knew we were close to grandma's house. Then the viewing was Sunday-( & the first time seeing her) now THAT was a long day, and then the funeral Monday morning...Tuesday was rough-driving away from the house...for the last 30 years I would always look back and Grandma would be standing there crying, waving good bye to us...and she wasn't.

I was blessed to have a grandma who was so full of life, and was the life of the party. She had the most contagious laugh...sometimes she could laugh at herself for minutes...and you'd begin to laugh without even knowing what was so funny.

Since the late 70's the cousins have been meeting up at Grandma's house every Christmas and Easter...sitting on the front porch swing(sometimes July 4th and Thanksgiving) She would be right in the middle of us. Through the years, she would play match maker with each of us..bound and determined to have us marry someone from Louisa, Kentucky and move down there with her-hahahha :) Grandma was the matriarch of the family.

I wish I had the time and the room to tell you how special she life changing she was to so many people.

But I will share one of the most important ones...grandma's relationship with my mom.

You see, my parents began seeing each other by 10th grade. My mom came from an abusive home, and had NEVER heard a kind word spoken, much less the words "I love you"...My grandma (and my dads family) was the first time, my mom witnessed unconditional love, warmth, hugs, and laughter. (Grandma would even help sneak my mom out go see my dad-hahahaha) Thanks Grandma...because of your example...I had a great mom! Thanks for loving her unconditionally inspite of all of her family upbringing.

Grandma and I had an unbreakable bond. Since I was her only granddaughter (though she would become everyone's grandma, once they met her) God blessed us with a great relationship.

My brother did the service and only with God's help...I sang 2 songs. My brother, & cousin Gary played their guitars as I sang, "Amazing Grace"...that was a sweet moment, to have both of them behind me...I know Grandma would have been so proud of us :)

My brother did a mixture of scripture and stories. I then sang "I could only Imagine"-by Mercy Me. This was another testament to the strength and faithfulness of our God. Something I knew I coudn't do in my own strength...He did in me...all glory belongs to HIM!

Thank you to those who called and texted me, during the last several days. You don't know what it means, to just hear the simple words, "praying for you" or "thinking about ya" from those you hold dear... Friends and Family, blessed my heart with your phone calls, throughout the morning of the funeral! ...some called to pray with me ( love you so much) I know your prayers and the power of the Holy Spirit is the reason I was able to sing at all.

I'll see you grandma, I love you...your laugh is at the heart of my soul.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hold ON

Ever have those days, when you are holdin' onto God like this? too...:)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

His reflection

II Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is in the Spirit.

This is kind of continuation from a previous Blog, regarding America being tired of being young and perfect.

One of our teaching pastors spoke last night about the value of each generation! He said something that I just absolutely LOVED. He said...and I am paraphrasing (don't want to get into any trouble) that Every Generation is the "Church"-(the body of Christ) of Today. Each generation matters to God.

Normally, you hear people say... the High schoolers or the college age kids are the Church of Today....but he stressed the importance of all generations...mattering to God, & making a difference for the kingdom of heaven.

We need to get over our musical preferences and just worship,- some like hymns,while others like Hillsong, some like Vineyard Worship, others like the Passion guys, while others like IHOP worship, some even like silence-you know what? it's all giving glory to Jesus Christ! It's all worship to His ears, if it's done with the right motive! It's not the style of music, it's what is going on in the heart.

If we could embrace our generational differences and learn from each other, we can make an impact on this world.

Then we would be true reflections of His Glory. They will know we are Christians by our Love.