“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
~Rich Mullins

Aug 29, 2012

That Kind of Woman

The kind of woman who wakes up and instantly puts on the whole armor of God....

The kind of woman who is constantly meditating on God's truths throughout the day and applying them to her day-to-day circumstances...

The kind of woman who is "more than a conqueror" - which means that she can not only take what the devil throws at her and persevere through it, but that she can take what he throws at her, and turn around and use it to glorify God.....

The kind of woman who spends more time in her Bible than in front of her mirror....

The kind of woman who is striving to bless the men in her life through her femininity and her encouragement (father, brother, husband)....

The kind of woman who brings smiles and joy into a room when she comes in....

The kind of woman who little children trust and bring their troubles to....

The kind of woman who is strong - up early, down  late, working hard all day to help her husband (or father) with the family....

The kind of woman who is prepared for whatever circumstances may come....

The kind of woman who is a good listener, and will then cry with you or rejoice with you....

The kind of woman who knows that her walk with the Lord is more important than anything else in her day....

The kind of woman who is a prayer warrior....

The kind of woman who isn't afraid of dirt - who will hug her little boy when he comes in crying with a scraped knee, but will then brush him off and send him back out....

The kind of woman who tries, in everything she does to glorify God....

Lord, help me become that kind of woman.

Aug 26, 2012

Senior Recital!

Well, it's over!! It's done, finished, I can relax, get new music....life is good!

What an amazing experience last night was. I was absolutely overwhelmed by my wonderful family and friends who all came to support me, pray with me, and congratulate me. Many people came from out of town...some expected, others as a surprise! My sister, Anna, baked tons of amazing cookies and a stunning fruit bouquet that I WISH we had taken a picture of. Jessie worked the camera, Mom ran the dessert table, Dad was helping move the piano...it was humbling.

As  you could most likely tell from my last post, the two days prior to the concert were absolutely nerve racking for me. I hardly ate, hardly slept, said stupid things that made my family laugh, and felt like I was in a daze. I woke up this morning and said, "Wow! I feel like Lisa again!!"

Yesterday afternoon was the worse. The clock was dragging, my headache was getting worse, and I was falling apart.

My dad, sisters, an awesome friend and I all went out to the church an hour before the concert was supposed to start. I kept thinking about that moment when I had to walk out on stage, and getting nauseous. But, my dad asked us all to pray, and so we did, and then said awesome friend pulled out his Bible and started reading Psalms. It really helped calm me down, focus, and get my thoughts in the right place.

By the time we got to the church, by God's grace, I was able to say, "Okay God. Even if I completely forget everything and have to just walk off of the stage, it's okay. In the grand scheme of things, this really isn't a big deal at all, and everyone (including You) will still love me even if I totally fail."

The church was beautiful. We moved the piano to the middle of the stage, got the lights right, and I started warming up. 

After playing for a while, I figured, "Well, there's really nothing more I can do now, is there?!?" and went to see what the rest of my family was up to.

When I got to the back of the church, a wonderful brother-in-Christ walked in, and asked if he could pray with us before everything started going. We gathered in a circle, and, I have to say, Matt's prayer was such a blessing to me. He prayed the verse, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6-7). This verse stuck with me the rest of the night, and kept me on track.

More people started coming, and so my teacher and I went backstage. I think the worst part of the whole evening was when she left, and I was alone back there....waiting. Crazy thoughts kept bombarding me, 
"What if I don't hear my teacher start the concert and I miss when I'm supposed to walk out?" 
"What if I trip on these stupid heels and fall on my face?" 
"What if there's no one out there in the audience when I walk out?" 
"What if  I forget the order I'm supposed to play my pieces in?"
"What if I forget the first note of this first piece?"
"What if....what if....what if....." 

And then I just kept saying, "Be anxious for nothing..." "the peace of God with passeth all understanding...." and I'd calm down again. 

Finally, I heard my teacher's voice starting the concert, and everything started rolling. From the moment I first walked on stage until the very end, it seemed like I was in a dream. Everything seemed to be happening for me, but in another way, all my senses were heightened to the utmost degree. It was strange!

It all went so smoothly, without any hitches, and was really an amazing, amazing evening. When all was said and done, I was bowing, and I looked at my mom in the front row, and she was crying. I wanted so badly to start crying, and I didn't even know why. 

Afterwards, I felt like I was on a high. I was talking a million miles an hour, smiling until my face muscles hurt, and feeling very crazy. 

I came home and promptly got an awful migraine, went to bed, slept for almost 11 hours straight, and woke up normal again!!!! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who was praying for me!! I am so grateful for you all, and for my wonderful friends and family who prayed with me at the recital. 

It was very, very fun, but I am very, very glad it's over!

My teacher and I. I owe so much to her!!

Aug 25, 2012


Aaahhhh......today's the day!! I head out for my recital in a few hours. Please pray for me! I'm so nervous...had a headache yesterday, and have barely slept the past 2 nights. It's so crazy because I keep telling myself that nervousness = pride, and that if I'm really playing for the Lord, I shouldn't be scared. Makes sense, hard to live :)

Got to go riding at a friend's house this morning for one of the first times since I sold my horse 2 years ago. Had a blast!!!!!!! Calmed me down a little!

Hopefully the next post will be pictures/video of a successful recital!!! Later.....

Aug 22, 2012

What a WET weekend!!

As has been previously determined, the only way to enjoy being outside in August in Phoenix is to be WET. Thus, a very, very wet weekend. It started on Saturday, with our church doing a, you guessed it, water day!!

Our church rented this humungous water slide that was just a blast. Everyone enjoyed it....

Yes, that is certainly my mom going down it! She did it multiple times, despite the fact that she had blow dried and curled her hair before coming.....don't ask me why.....

Our pastor!!

Jessie...."this is not supposed to be happening"....

It appears my dad was worried about keeping his head on!

Mom, Jessie, and I looking like "drowned rats" (according to Mom)

Dave (on far right) takin' on the water spray!

As usual, from a photographer's standpoint, the best part about these church gatherings is the little kids to take pictures of!! "Cowgirl-in-training"

This is my favorite picture from the entire weekend. Love this little girl and her hat!!

After a very wet Saturday, we got flood irrigation on Sunday, and had all the friends over, hooked up the minis, and surfed the evening away!!

Never knew we were a bunch of surfers, did ya?

I, sadly, didn't get wet because I was working the camera. But I definitely had fun anyways :)

He looks really good while he's in the air, doesn't he?!?!

Mmm...landing not so good.

Lovin' these little girls in their colorful swimsuits!!

I will hopefully be getting some more pictures up on my photography blog (www.atruefocus.blogspot.com) at some point in the near future!

Is everyone else stayin' cool this summer?

Aug 15, 2012

Things That Make Me Smile :D

Honestly, I do have some good, thick, though-provoking posts in the works. I promise!! But I can't seem to find the time to perfect them and finish them and post them.... Someday....

So in the meantime, here are a few things that make me smile....that make my life more than just okay....that I am grateful for....

First and foremost....my amazingly BIG God and the way He is always, always working for good in my life; His amazing plan of salvation that included choosing me before the world was made. As you start to scratch the surface of realizing how big God is, it is unfathomably humbling. But also unfathomably joy-bringing and comforting!

Ariat Boots

MY Ariat boots...

Need I say more?

Books!! I'm a bit of a book-worm...and especially classics. 
"Our Boys"

This awesome (and rather deadly looking!) gang are our adopted brothers. Sadly, our family consists only of 3 girls, so we have made up for our lack of biological brothers with brothers-in-Christ. These amazing guys do our hard work for us. 

Need a stack of 94 bales of hay moved? Call the boys.

Need a tree cut down and loaded up in the dump trailer? Call the boys. 

Need some fun and laughter? DEFINITELY call the boys :D

My camera

Although...I'm looking to upgrade....*sigh*


Fun and silly times in the car with Jessie on road trips!

(don't ask) 

Beautiful clouds and country roads on hot days!

 Arizona Green Tea

Amazing stuff.....going down to our General Store and drinking one of these on the front porch....aaahhh....


Big or small, I love horses. Right now, God has us in a place where we only have minis, but I would pay money to ride again. But I'm super grateful for these little ones, and they bring lots and lots of smiles!!


If  you know me at all, you will know that I am the "flip-flop queen!" Next to boots or barefoot, flip-flops are it. A bit of a passion, you might say.

Baby horses...'nough said.

My piano!!! 

No, this is not my piano...I wish!

Fun times with friends at the lake!! (and the knowledge that there's a rumor we may be going to said lake for my 19th bday in a few weeks) *smothered scream of delight*


I so look forward to being a mom someday...if only for the joy of getting to witness hilarious little kids all day long!  But for so many other reasons, too.

When we're at church, all the little girls think us "big girls" are pretty cool, so after the sermon, we get swamped with little girls. I love when they just sit on your lap and hold your hand...ahhh...those little fingers just amaze me. And little toes?!?! Such a miracle.

And the things they say.....

And the way they think....

And.... :D

Yep. Definitely can't wait to be a mommy if it's God's will! (PLEASE, God?!?!?)

My awesome friend, Savannah! Our two families were friends years ago (like 12 years ago!) and we just met each other again face-to-face last year. She is such a blessing to me!!! 


I could read Patrick Henry all day long....

Getting an i-pad and discovering the hilariousness of distorted pictures. (yes, that is me and Jessie)

My sisters!!! We have such awesome times together....some pretty rough and bumpy times, too...but I wouldn't trade 'em for the world. 

What are some extra special things in your life??

Aug 14, 2012

Fun In The Sun

When it's summer in Arizona, the thermometer reads 112.5 in the shade, and 124.9 in the sun. It did, yesterday.

When you get in your car, the steering wheel is so hot, you hope you can touch it long enough to control the car.

The only reasonable hours to work outside are before the sun comes up or after it goes down...and even then, it doesn't drop below 90.

You come in from working outside, expecting a nice cold shower...and all that exists is a nice lukewarm shower.

But....you have every excuse in the world to play in the WATER!!!!!

I'm working on different shutter speeds in my photography class right now, so these ones of Annie playing with the hose water were just perfect.

She found the smart way to survive outside right now!

 But, winter will come someday with it's own set of problems, too!! 

 Hope you're enjoying your summer!!