We live in a broken world

 Today has had a rough start, one that reminds me of the fact that our world is broken and that we should long for eternity with our Lord. The message of the sermon at church on Sunday was that we should be praying specifically - not just vaguely, but really be intentional about asking God to respond in a very specific manner.

A tornado hit Branson last night. Thankfully, family and friends are all fine and reports of injuries seem to be minor. That said, there are a lot of families who have lost businesses and have severe damage to their homes. Pray that those affected would be gain speedy answers to their questions, that power would be restored soon and that the Branson community would rally together for the cleanup process. 
These are the condos that my parents moved out of a couple of months ago.
This is the shopping center that my husband's family owns.
 I also want to ask you to pray specifically for the Hill family as their precious 14 month old boy Tucker passed away in his sleep last night. I used to work with this little guy's aunt at Kanakuk, Sean roomed with Tucker's uncle in Columbia and they now all live in Fayetteville. Their family is incredible and they are clinging to Jesus during this unimaginable tragedy. Please pray for comfort, that they would feel God's loving arms very near, and that their community of family friends would be equipped to share in their grief and help the Hills where needed.


Time is Precious

Something that has been on my mind recently is that our lives (for Sean and I) will never be as flexible as they are right now. Soon enough we will both have full time jobs, add kids to our family and the schedules will get a little crazy. With that in mind, I was feeling convicted about how I was spending my time. It was pretty embarassing how many times I was checking Facebook and how many hours a week I was watching TV. 

I felt like some of my other responsibilities, such as spending quality time with Sean, studying God's word, communicating with friends, taking care of the house, etc. were being neglected due to things that added no value to my life. Actually, I might argue that some of the items I was wasting time on actually detracted value by stirring thoughts of jealousy and messing with some of my insecurities. 

I'm not off Facebook completely due to work, but I did delete it from my phone and haven't been on Facebook evenings/weekends for a few weeks now. I don't even miss it! Sean and I have limited our TV time to one hour an evening and now that we're used to it, sometimes we don't turn the TV on at all. Obviously not everyone struggles with the same time wasters, but we have seen these small changes make big impacts. The house is cleaner, we are spending more time in conversation and it frees up time to think about and do more important things.
Sean gave me this Bible study and I love it! There is a whole series that I plan to work through. Some topics covered in this book include: obedience, diligence, quiet and gentle spirit.
I read these books in a week. They were so captivating! I've got a couple of Hunger Games related crafts up my sleeve.

I've also had more time to play with this cutie. He played so hard outside the other day his little paws kind of got torn up. The weather has been beautiful lately, so we have had the windows open and are enjoying the fresh air.


Athletic Training: Explained

In honor of my dear husband passing his athletic training boards (way to go!), I thought I would do a post on what his job will entail. 

Student athletes, coaches and those in the sports medicine field tend to have a good understanding of how important an athletic trainer is to the safety and rehabilitation of athletes, but a lot of people get confused about what an athletic trainer does. Some can graduate with an athletic training degree in undergrad, while others go to graduate school (Sean will finish his masters in May).

Athletic trainers spend a lot of time with injury prevention and rehabilitation. Some examples are taping ankles before practice, stretching, using heat and cold therapy and other therapeutic modalities.

Another important aspect of an athletic trainer's job is emergency injury triage. When a player gets injured during a game, it's the athletic trainer's responsibility (along with the team physician, if applicable) to determine level of injury, what diagnostic tests might be required and whether the athlete is still eligible to play.
 Sean did consider physical therapy when in school, but after working with Mizzou football, he realized his passion is working with athletes that really have a drive to get better and perform. There are some PTs who specialize in sports medicine, but in general most large universities hire athletic trainers to be a part of their staff. 

Sean really likes working with collegiate level athletes, but other common places an athletic trainer might work include: high schools, physical therapy clinics and orthopedic surgeon offices. It is growing more popular for orthopedic surgeons to hire athletic trainers as physician extenders due to their specialized training and knowledge of musculo-skeletal conditions.

The bottom line for me is that Sean really loves what he does and he's good at it. It's so great to know that he is happy with his career choice and is excited to finally be working in the field on his own. His job will likely entail some nights and weekends (since that's when games are played!), but knowing that his job is fulfilling to him is worth any crazy schedule that might be thrown our way.


babies everywhere!

What a fun season of life this is! We have lots of friends having babies and getting married this year and I have been thinking about these friends a lot lately. I want to make sure I'm supporting the new parents-to-be and that I'm a good friend to them as they grow their families.

Here are some of my ideas:
1. Pray for them
2. Help host a shower
3. Take the expectant mommy to get a mani/pedi
4. Offer to craft something for the nursery

For those of you who have been through a pregnancy, what did you find particularly supportive from friends? 


In love with you

Happy Valentines Day! I prefer the cutesie side of Valentines to the whole fancy dinner thing, so I made Sean a few Valentines this weekend and made pink pancakes this morning. 

Our wedding anniversary is coming up, so I'll save most of my lovie-dovie talk for then, but on this Valentines Day I do want to document the fact that I'm more in love with Sean now than I ever have been. When we were younger, I used to think I couldn't love him more, but oh how I was wrong.

Sean loves me so well and is fluent in my love languages. He serves sacrificially and cares so deeply about meeting my needs. The Lord certainly made us for one another and I'm so thankful he has been mine for so long. 
This picture is from Valentines Day 2005, our first year at Mizzou. One of Mizzou's many traditions is the bridge at Peace Park. If you walk across it with your significant other, you are destined to marry. Guess we are an example of success!
We have been together for close to 10 years and made it through high school, college and grad school by each others' side. We are never promised tomorrow, so it is my prayer that God would continue to refine me as Sean's helpmate and that I would be open to that change in order to strengthen our love and marriage continually.

We say 'I love you' frequently and sometimes it's out of habit. Every now and then we throw in a 'I'm so in love with you' to remind each other how we really feel. 


My heart needs old friends

We really do like Fayetteville and the friends we are making here, but there's something so great about being with old friends sometimes. No explaining, just knowing and laughing. We just 'get' each other have a good time. Sean and I made a last minute trip to Kansas City to visit with our friends Kaitlyn and Brandon. We mostly just hung out, but did venture out to a Mizzou bar for the big MU vs. kU basketball game, which was so much fun.
I really like this man. Like really, really.

It was fun to be surrounded by black and gold again!
After Mizzou won -- we were all smiles!
Totally unrelated to this post, but I'm thinking about cutting my hair like this. Thoughts, comments, concerns or observations? My high school science teacher used to always say that phrase and it has stuck with me.