Monday, December 27, 2010

Old School Shout Out

This one goes out to S4J's BFF HisGirl.

Please ignore the video. Just listen to the song.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's A Giveaway!

It's that time of year again for the Department of the Army Digital Photo Contest. I submitted several entries through Fort Polk And some of them won! These are the selections that have been forwarded on to the Department of the Army level.

Beautiful Reflections

Frozen Gate

Snow On A Fence

Sitting Alone

Now for the giveaway....
Leave a comment voting for which one you think might win. Then, if that photo wins 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at the Department of the Army level, I will send you a free 8x10 of that photo!! The results are usually released around February.

Ps ~ Even if you don't want a print, you can still vote. :)

Blessings on your day,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Day Off

It's been a beautiful day in Texas. Sunny, in the 70's and windy. Reminded me of growing up in Southern California and the Santa Ana winds coming up in the afternoons. Today was my first day off in a long time. I started the day connecting with some of my loved ones. It was a sweet time of chatting about nothing and that feeling of belonging. The rest of the day has been spent with the husband. We popped in on his Dad just to say, "Hello". Funny how we live next to each other and I barely see these people more than when we lived 7 hours away. They actually had to come through my line at Hobby Lobby just to get some face time! We almost finished up our Christmas shopping, had lunch together at the Olive Garden and walked the back 40 together. As we were walking along the back fence, we came upon our neighbor. Funny that we had to go all the way back there to meet her. She was friendly and telling us tales of how she was checking the fence because one of her cows, who is actually her friend's cow, freed itself from the pasture and was roaming the neighborhood when she came upon him on her way home from work. My husband's barn is coming along so nicely, although not as fast as the framing. It's a much slower job working on your own. It's a beautiful place to me (and I hope to my husband as well). He is now officially retired from the Air Force and stays home full-time handling the main portion of the household duties and the child-rearing. He's a good, good man. We are preparing to receive our first pension payment; that in addition to my part time pay at Hobby Lobby is somehow going to sustain us and build the big house. I see through my bookkeeper glasses that we may not have our home built any time in the near future and I am truly okay with that. We have all that we need, and the rest will come in its due time. We have managed to set aside enough money to go up and celebrate our Grandson's second birthday with him the first week of January and we are just ecstatic about that! As I write, dinner that my husband lovingly prepared is cooking in the crazy 1950s oven that never has the right temperature. The little artificial Christmas tree is shining and we are blessed to have gifts underneath it. The laundry is going and I even have time to put some thoughts down on cyber-paper. I still have lots and lots to do on my 'day-off-to-do-list' and I have this assurance: If I do not get to it today, it will still be there on my next day off.

I will leave you with the view out my front door this very minute...

Blessings on your day my friends,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Generation Evangelism

I have been published!! PWOCI has been working long and hard on a cutting edge way to reach women with the message of PWOC, which is the message of hope - the Gospel - Jesus Christ. I had the most humbling privilege of participating in this new tool. Some of my pictures have been used to help portray the thoughts and feelings in the magazine!

You can read a little more about the process HERE

and you can flip through a digital copy HERE


Sunday, November 21, 2010

It Is Well...Continued

Fall has come to our little neck of the woods. I say that lightly because it's not cold yet. But the leaves are changing color and falling off of the trees anyway and this very week Thanksgiving will arrive.

There have been a LOT of major changes in the Sing4Joy household these past months and there are more to come in the near future. I don't deal well with change generally speaking. I am most assuredly a creature of habit. However, these words have been the theme of my heart for these last months.....It is well.

Come December 1st, my husband will be unemployed. We have picked up stakes and moved to Texas after 8 years at Fort Polk, LA. There are a lot of things about military retirement that we didn't fully understand such as; we still get medical coverage, but we now have to pay the premium. That comes out of retirement pay. Then there is SBP. We opted in for it, but we have to pay for it. That comes out of retirement. We are still carrying a little bit of debt that we want to pay off before we begin building the big house. And until the big house is built, we pay rent at the shanty next door. I have a new job at 38 years old at Hobby Lobby that I love but it is quickly becoming apparent that at my current rate (seasonal, part-time) it will not pay the bills. It is also really hard not to see everything in terms of how long I have to work to be able to pay for that. On my feet. For hours.

On November 11th-14th I attended the MOST AMAZING CONFERENCE EVER in Dallas, TX. I have been planning all year for this conference. Transcribed hours of sermons to pay for it. And waited and prayed and waited and prayed for it to finally come. There are a trillion things to talk about this weekend but the main themes for me are this....

Kari Jobe led worship for us. Also, I met her and she signed my sheet music. She is truly a gifted worship leader. I could be friends with her.
Priscilla Shirer was the keynote speaker. Wow. Just wow. She is intelligent, funny, well studied in scripture and totally relate-able. I met her too. I could be friends with her too.
Engage your strengths. Do what God has designed you to do and watch and listen for what God has for you to do. Just be ready. He will provide the opportunities.

The most striking thing that happened to me happened as I was leaving the conference on Sunday morning. It hit me like a freight train out of nowhere that this was it for me. This would be my last official PWOC function. I was saying goodbye for the final time to a way of life that I have known for about six years now. I was saying goodbye to so many friends who I will not likely cross paths with again and I will no longer (as far as I know) have the identifier of being a PWOC'er. Hello tears. Where did you come from?? I was waving my hands in front of my eyes and trying to exhale the overwhelming emotion out like all those other ladies who I usually do not identify with. I'm pretty sure some people ran away from me.

We still haven't found a home church here. It can be a discouraging process. I don't have a group of women to connect with on a spiritual level, to dive into the Word of God with, to join in ministry with here.

With all these major changes going on in my life, my identity, my place in the world, with all the unsurity that there can be in the world (yes I know that's not a word). I am truly content.

I honestly do not know what the future holds for us. I do not know how the bills are all going to get paid or the big house is going to get built or how my feet are going to survive or if I will have any room to continue my photography career, how the housework is all going to get done ~ and yet ~ I am content. I know that God is sovereign. I know that He loves me. I know that He has a plan for me because He has told me so. I am truly excited to see how my future unfolds and where He takes me.

It is well with my soul.


Friday, November 19, 2010

It Is Well

I had a post to go along with this, however, I am compelled to let this video stand alone. The post will be for another day.

P.S. If I weren't happily married and madly in love with my amazing husband, I might be in love with Guy Penrod and David Phelps. Just sayin'


Monday, August 23, 2010

A Poll And A Pic *updated for clarification*

Well, we've sold our house. We've moved all our contents to storage. We've begun the process of building our new "estate". We've permanently moved part of our family to Texas while the rest continue to travel back and forth between Texas and Louisiana (Except for our darling oldest daughter who has settled ~at least for now~ in another state). So, the first order of business....*(Here comes the poll)*
Does North Central Texas still count as the South? Cause if not, I have to rename my blog.*(Here ends the poll)*

Okay and here is a picture of the beautiful pages of one of the beautiful new books I bought. (Hopefully more on that later)

Blessings on your day,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Facebook Killed My Blog

I used to have so many words to say. Words to describe my day. Words to describe my feelings. Words to describe the color of the sky. Words to describe behaviors, emotions, sentiments, activities. Now I think in blurbs. "How quickly can I update people on what I am doing and can I do the whole thing in the third person?" I blame it all on facebook.

I suppose there could be some room in there to blame the unbelievable level of busy my life has been these last months, but then you would want me to tell you all about it. And this is the best I can come up with....

Sing4Joy's BFF came to visit and they went to a wonderful wedding together
Sing4Joy's husband returned from the final deployment of his Air Force career and is preparing for retirement
Sing4Joy attended her last PWOC gathering ever
Sing4Joy's second daughter graduated from High School and enlisted in the Air Force
Sing4Joy is trying to get her house in order to sell and move to another state
etc, etc, etc.

Things don't really promise to slow down any time soon, and facebook continues to be a 3 minute option for updating my people so I don't know how much life is left in Southern Living and other peeks into my psyche, but we shall see.


Friday, April 30, 2010


This laundry doesn't seem so bad anymore.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Day

Blessings on your day,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Letters From War

Mar 1, 10

Dear Honey,

We're almost done with this separation. This will be my last letter because I'm short on time here, and have only one more envelope.
...I'm really looking forward to getting home to you. When we started our marriage I really did not foresee so much separation. I always knew that the possibility existed, just didn't think much about it back then.
The good news is that I haven't turned crazy on this I should be just about the same person I was when I left.
My mind is wandering now though, so I am going to close this for now.

I love you and will come home to you soon!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vloggin It Up

I think I am going to do one big post about all of our adventures cause I can't seem to organize my thoughts just yet. For now, I direct you to HisGirl's posting of our vlogs.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Well. Okay. Yeah. Hm.

Let's face it. I am a cold fish. Truth be told, I prefer it that way. Emotions are messy. So, what on earth made me think it would be fun to drive for 6 hours to see my dear friend celebrate wedding nuptials? The same friend who I have walked with since the moment her young husband died and left her with 2 young children 4 years ago. The same friend who I have watched praise the Lord that she did not grieve as those who have no hope. The same friend who I watched as she slowly, with fear and trembling yet beautiful hope, open her heart to the possibility of new love. I couldn't even make it through the rehearsal this afternoon without turning into a mess. I don't like it people. Tomorrow I will watch a man, a good man who's eyes sparkle when he looks at her take her hand and accept the gift of her beautiful heart. I will watch him accept the hands of her children and promise to love them as he loves her. I am feeling absolutely overwhelmed at the intensity of my joy and hope for her and her future. I don't cope well with this level of emotion. It feels like an assault and apparently, I did not behave well as a result. I wonder if I could watch the video of the wedding from my closet with a box of tissues and some chocolate chip cookie dough truffles where no one could see me. And then I could just stay there for like a week while I recover my composure. I think that's reasonable.

Come high noon tomorrow, if you do not see me at the Chapel ~ I will be here. Hiding. My new house for the next 2 nights...

They graciously offer this water bottle right in your room. They claim it will relax and refresh you for only $1.50 but I checked the ingredients list and nowhere did it say "valium" or "medicinal marijuana" so I do not believe the claims.

Ps - Tomorrow I get to post a couple of the Bridal Portraits I took of her. :)

Blessings on your day,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Time!

Lordy! Busy day! I have only time to put up some pics from today. I will try to do more as we go, but geesh. I just don't know. Maybe Whimzie or Hisgirl will have a better story about today with more details...

These are what fun look like. What a wonderful day and I have made a stack of memories that will touch my heart and make me smile in the future.

I am blessed to know these women. And look how sweet they are to me....


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No Good Title.

I have this friend. She loves me. Exactly me. In the world of understanding me, she is only second to God. ALL of me. And loving me. ALL of me. She doesn't ask me to put down who I am, or to stop being who I am or to change who I am (or any parts thereof) because she loves who I am and she loves to be with the me who is who I am. In her love, she joins me in my muck, but never lets me stay there. She points me to the Cross when I look to the flesh. She is that person who would drop her life upon one simple request to come to my side (and has), and she is THAT person that you would WANT to drop their life to come to your side because you know she will make things better for having been there rather than be another person you have to care for and she will never make you feel burdened or guilty for the great sacrifice it takes.

She is on her way here. I will have her full-time for a week. A week of merriment, MIRL's, festivities and a whole lot of being ME.

I heard an interesting theory about Paul the Apostle in Bible study yesterday...the basic point that I took away from it was that Paul was looking for just the right way to describe what he wanted to describe and had to keep trying different words because they didn't quite give the full depth of understanding that he was trying to convey. Hence - his writings are rather wordy.

That is what I will have to say here. There are no good words that can describe to you who HisGirl is to me. There is no good title.


Worship In The Waiting - Music To Wait To; The Playlist

Well, the list seems to keep growing but I wanted to publish it here for your pleasure anyway. I have already experienced a new sense of peace and even fun when waiting to this music. I pray that you will as well!

1. Enough ~ Chris Tomlin
2. Wait ~ Big Daddy Weave
3. In the Waiting ~ FFH
4. So I Will Trust You ~ Sovereign Grace Music
5. Everlasting God ~ Chris Tomlin
6. Psalm 40 ~ Steve Bell
7. Wait ~ Anthony Evans
8. While I Am Waiting ~ John Waller
9. I Waited (Psalm 40) ~ The Maranatha! Singers
10. Waiting Room ~ Shane & Shane
11. The Remedy ~ Ayiesha Woods
12. Waiting Room ~ Jonny Diaz
13. Unwritten (from "The Sing-off") ~ Voices of Lee
14. Wait (Psalm 40) ~ The Message: Psalms
15. Be Still ~ Kari Jobe
16. Fight ~ Ayiesha Woods
17. Dear Friend ~ Charlie Peacock
18. Psalm 40 ~ NewSong
19. So Good To Me ~ Cory Asbury
20. Glory ~ Selah & Nichole Nordeman

*A prize is being delivered to me tomorrow* More on that later...

Blessings on your day,


Friday, March 5, 2010

Evicted With Extreme Prejudice

The kids have been sick. It's been like slow-motion dominoes around here. One gets sick, I disinfect like crazy, a few days later the next one gets sick - rinse and repeat. With sick child number three the nurse told me to be sure to throw her toothbrush away once she has been on the antibiotics for 3 days. WHAT? HUH?
#1 - I can't BELIEVE I did not think of their toothbrushes sitting all together bumping each other and all rubbing on one tube of toothpaste.
#2 - I REALLY can't believe that none of the health officials dealing with us until now thought to mention this little tidbit about avoiding a recurrence of extremely contagious and raunchy strep throat!

Behold the streptobrothel...

A hotbed of communicable disease. This tenant has now been evicted from our property with extreme prejudice!

Meet the new tenants...

blessings on your day,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Worship In The Waiting


or not.

We've all been there. Waiting for answers from the doctor, waiting for our insurance to approve a referral, waiting for that special someone to propose, waiting for our spouse to come home from far away lands, waiting to know if we got the job, waiting for our kids to move out. eh hem. You get the point.

I've been doing a lot of waiting in recent days, and in all honesty - I am ALWAYS waiting for something. Whenever the circumstance of having to wait arises my first response is an audible sigh of impatience and my toe starts tapping.

I had an "AHA" moment today. Another one of those times where a commonly used scripture moves (in my mind) from the 'placation' category to the 'THAT'S God's plan and it is good' category.

Today that scripture is Isaiah 40:31:

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. (NASB)

The Message Paraphrase begins its emphasis on this verse
in verse 27

Isaiah 40:27-31
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
"God has lost track of me.
He doesn't care what happens to me"?
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind.

Hm. Why would you ever complain? Can I tell you that I am not now, suddenly happy to be waiting for the things which I am waiting for (With the exception of GGG's wedding cause the anticipation of that absolutely wonderful event is like electricty! - but it sure wasn't fun waiting for the proposal. just sayin.) However I am purposing today, this moment that I will worship IN the waiting because I know that God is good and His timeline, His plans, His will are perfect. He can and does do far better than I can ask or imagine, and more to the point - He can and does do far better than I can do myself. "Knowing this, S4J - why would you ever complain?" I will work to rejoice when God says, "Wait."

And to that end, I am posting this video of a song that makes the idea of waiting feel good and right - and I am making a 'waiting' playlist on my ipod. Another thing I know about God is that He doesn't leave us without tools to do the things He asks us to do. I challenge you today to find as many uplifting and/or godly songs about waiting and bind them together in a way that will see you through and encourage you in the waiting.

In fact, leave the titles in the comments so I can add them to My playlist too!

Blessings on your day,


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Letters From War - IM Edition

Mr. S4J: hey, i meant to tell you this before

Mr. S4J: but i was also thinking of keeping it a secret surprise

S4J: oh?

Mr. S4J: but anyways, i thought that since it is our 15th year of marital bliss, we could have a vow renewal ceremony

Mr. S4J: do you want to do that?

S4J: oh crud! you just made me cry!

Mr. S4J: haha, sorry

S4J: I would love that

Mr. S4J: ok, we'll work it out

S4J: okay honey

Mr. S4J: i was thinking that if our anniversary was on a sunday, i would surprise you with it after services

Mr. S4J: but it would all be too hard, so i am just telling you

S4J: butthead

Mr. S4J: plus my old vows need to be renewed

S4J: oh?

Mr. S4J: they were good and all, but my dumb job got in the way of them sometimes

S4J: to make new ones or to reaffirm?

Mr. S4J: i'll make new ones, or reaffirm the old ones so you can know that my new dumb job won't get in their way

Mr. S4J: how is that?

S4J: I'm not sure

S4J: what do you mean by that?

Mr. S4J: i mean that sometimes i can't be there for you in sickness and in health because i am doing war

Mr. S4J: since i'll be retiring i will be able to be there more, and want to officially remind you of that

S4J: oh good Lord. Go to dinner before I turn into a pile of mess.

Mr. S4J: hahaha, sorry

Mr. S4J: have a good rest today

Mr. S4J: i love you

S4J: I love you too.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letters To War - Deja Vu

I posted this nearly 2 years ago to the day ~ Another time that my husband was deployed.

I love you even more than I did then Honey!
"Just remember 'til you're home again, you belong to me."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh No! Frozen Pipes! *Epic*

Been rather cold here in the South this winter. Freakishly cold in fact. So cold that one of the outdoor faucets froze solid the other day causing half of the house to be without cold water.

"A HARD FREEZE in Southwest LOUISIANA?? You are making that up S4J!"

I kid you not. Here is proof:

See that it was already insulated with foam? And see the pile of pinestraw? I guess it had fallen away from the pipe and that was all she wrote. I piled it back up and added more to it. (Cause it's free and plentiful at our house.) Mercifully, last night we discovered that the pipe had finally thawed and we could run the dishwasher.

While loading up for church this morning, we first heard; then saw THIS:

Yes. That is a really expensive ice creation broken pipe spewing its contents for about 10 feet. Not knowing what to do about this, (I grew up in Southern California and have lived in Southern LA for almost 8 years now people! Give me some slack!) but knowing that someone at church would know what to do, we loaded back up into the car and off to church we went.

During Sunday School and then second service, we got advice about how to handle the situation and several offers of help.

When we finished church, we came home and the efforts began in earnest. People said, there is probably a separate shutoff for that water source since it is back at the barn. So I set out to find said shutoff and, well, shut it off. I checked all of the pipes/faucets on the back of the house. Nope. Then I tried here:

And I successfully BROKE.THE.HANDLE turning it to the opposite of what it was set on.


Then I went to the stinking gushing lame excuse for a faucet leaking faucet to see if I could spy a valve there. However, if you check the second picture, you will see that these pipes are cleverly disguised inside a wooden box. (which, you would think, would have protected those bad boys from freezing. Not so my friends. Not so.) The box ~ well-built by my awesome, handy, and very thorough husband ~ had no intention of going quietly into the night or peacefully giving up its contents other than the water it freely allowed to pass out of it in extreme fashion. So, I pounded the top off. Then found that I had to pound the front to convince it to open. While I was doing that, the strangest thing happened. One of the 2 faucets attached to the pipe was no longer attached to the pipe, but instead, flying through the air at a high rate of speed until the garden hose which it was still attached to wrestled it to the ground. I am sorry dear faucet.

Oddly enough, this did not stop the water from spewing. Not only did it not STOP the water from spewing, it seemed to encourage a much heavier flow of spewing.

And P.S. - there was no valve hidden in the box. Sorry honey.

So, okay - only thing left to do, shut it off at the main. *slightly defeated exhale of breath*
I went in the barn and grabbed some tools that I thought could possibly help me to man-handle the water valve to the entire house into the off position.

Have I mentioned that I was still in my Sunday best? Except for Hubby's boots which I changed into from my church shoes. So now you can use your mind's eye to picture me in my Sunday finery crouched in the middle of the front yard for the entire world to see (except you because no one took a picture) trying to convince the main water valve to shut off. While talking nicely to it, eh hem, I heard a car stereo. Then I heard a car door. Well, truck to be exact. In my driveway; and out climbs a big guy, and his little guy. This is the husband of one of the people at church I told about the fun we had this morning.

"I heard you were having a little trouble."
Thank you nice man for not saying, "I saw you crouching like a lunatic into a hole in your front yard and decided to stop and laugh up-close."

So, I walked him back to the spewing barn. Showed him all the places I tried to stop the water and he agreed that the thing to do now was to shut off the main. So we trekked back up there and he man-handled the water valve to the off position.

Then we returned to the scene of the crime. He grabbed the remaining faucet, and it came off in his hand. *HEY - it wasn't me this time Honey!*

He said many man things; "This is an easy fix. Need some pvc pipe. Cut it. Cap it off. Grunt grunt." etc. From a search of the barn, we determined that we did not have the needed supplies on hand. I asked him if this was something I could do myself and he said I certainly could. He graciously cut the pipe down for me with the hacksaw and instructed me on exactly what supplies I needed and what to do with them once I brought them home.

"Call if you need any further help. Goodbye." Thankyouverymuch!!. You have now joined the distinguished, "Heroes among us" alumni. God bless you and have a nice day.

I went to the local DIY/Hardware store and picked up a 1/2" pvc cap and some pvc cement.

I dried the pipe. Slathered it and the cap with the cement and placed it, followed by heavy tapping, onto the severed pipe. Not the most attractive work, but done is beautiful. Then I made my way back up to the water valve to man-handle it back into the on position. While putting the cover back on, a fierce red ant crawled up my sleeve and bit my wrist. OUCH! During the long walk back to the barn, I prayed that should the work not have been successful on the first try that I would not lose heart, or any now frozen appendages.

It worked!!! All spewing is gone!! Thank You Jesus!!

I re-wrapped the remaining pipe with foam insulation

and later, piled it high with pinestraw.

Here is the graveyard:

Unfortunately for my husband, when he returns home from war he will have to rebuild the faucets for use. I am resigned to not having a hose at the barn until then and also not having a live ice sculpture exhibit at the barn either.

The irony is that the ice that was formed during this fiasco was really quite beautiful. Sadly I was only able to snap pictures of it after I had finished my work and it had long since started melting.

After all that drama, I rewarded my hard work with an oven-baked sandwich from Domino's. Well done S4J and great friend from church! Well done.