Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Couple Cups of Coffee

I'm not much for forwards and I've heard a version of this before, but when my mom passed it my way today, not only did it have a different spin than I've heard before, but it also speaks right to the season of life I'm currently in... maybe it will speak to you also. Enjoy.

The Mayonnaise Jar & 2 Cups of Coffee
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand  and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter likes your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else - The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. 

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

So thankful that the Lord blesses me with women to have cups of coffee with along the way. It's so easy within the busy nature of life that we forget to focus on the most important things - our relationship with the Lord, our family, our health, our friends - getting distracted often by the little "fires" in front of us yelling for our attention. I know I surely fall victim to that at times.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Your Thoughts?

Mr. McGoo and I have recently had some conversations regarding social networking sites and how they have become a stream of consciousness for us all. Sometimes without thinking we put our random thoughts, first impressions, and opinions in view for all to see - - - often times not stopping long enough to think about who all will see it, how it will be taken by others, who it might affect, etc. We've talked about how connected or even false connected we are with others because of such sites, even blogs such as my own. We both see a good side of social networking (i.e. we keep in much better touch and connection with Mr. McGoo's extended family members that live all over Canada, Bermuda, England, and Australia because of the help of Facebook interactions, pictures, and group chats), but we're also not unaware of the negatives too.

Relevant Magazine's most recent issue published a great article on the topic. Take a read below and let me know what you think. Anything stick out to you? Agree with something? Disagree? I'm interested.

Check it out:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weddings and More

Well, the weekend is coming to a close, as I sit here trying to wrap up a few loose ends before a new week begins. I had a wonderful end of the week (Thurs/Friday) and weekend but it was filled full, busy, and has left me ready for an early bedtime tonight.

The best part of the latter part of the week was that I actually was able to get some great quality time with my main squeeze. In addition, lots was going on...

Wedding Festivities

Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner Thursday.
Wedding photos, prep, ceremony, and reception Friday.

I had the pleasure and honor of being part of my dear friend, Lindsey's big day! We could not have asked for a more gorgeous day to unfold and the ceremony was beautiful and reception was a blast. I especially enjoyed dancing up a storm at the reception with the Jr. Bridesmaid (an adorable 13 year old).

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the big day...

Mrs. & Mr. Smith (oh, and Alan's chin)
Self Portrait - Lindsey & Me
Mr. McGoo and Me - AND Jeff's hand
I loved the bridesmaid dresses - they were gorgeous

Visiting Friend

Our buddy Jeff, who now lives in Michigan came in town and stayed with us Thursday and Friday nights. It was great to see him and have him around for a few days... I know my hubby enjoyed it too, as they kept each other company during the reception while I got my dancing on. It's always nice to catch up with Jeff.

Missions Fair at Church

Our church put on a missions fair today in which they pinpointed the places and ministries available for short term mission trips this coming summer and the different ministries our church partners with locally. I worked with another past Ethiopia teammate, Liz, to put together an Ethiopia table for all to see. We had a team video playing, as well as a digital picture frame flipping through about 70 or so pictures from the trip... and we even offered folks Ethiopian coffee that we got while in Addis Ababa. We worked the table before, after, and in between services today. 

Lunch & Dinner Dates with Friends

Due to our schedule being so crazy as of late, we haven't had the normal availability to catch up with friends... so it was nice to have lunch and dinner on Saturday night with a couple of my favs.

So those are the major happenings of the week/weekend. Another week begins...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

San Diego

I went to San Diego for work last week, and although I was plagued with food poisoning along with another coworker one evening, I couldn't deny the beauty that I saw looking out my hotel room balcony each morning. Thought I'd share a few photos from there...

It was all work and no play in San Diego... and the last time (only other time) I've been there was 10 years prior... I was 18, so lots has changed since then... so I definitely want to put San Diego on the list of "to do's" and "places to visit" for Mr. McGoo and I. I think we'd have a blast enjoying the amazing weather and local fare together!

We'll work to fit that in our very boring and mundane lifestyle. ;)


Monday, October 11, 2010

My life is currently...

C.  haotic
R.  eally packed full
A.  mazingly blessed
Z.  onked out
Y.  ielding to the Father

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I don't know what it is in this currently season - the last month or so - whether it's the Wed, Thurs, and Friday (Fridays are the toughest mentally) night classes plus one online class this trimester - or the traveling I've done that has kept me away from the house (3 wknds in a row - so happy I played a bit of catch up this wknd) - or the lack of seeing my husband regularly due to both our travels and school - or the lack of time to do really anything - or the non clean nature of my house (thank goodness I stopped to vacuum last night, dog hair was taking over!) - or the inability to really feel connected to others because I'm on the run... I'm not sure... but I currently feel like life is CRAZY.

Thursday night, before my hubby headed out Friday morning for Florida with the U of Memphis team (I had just gotten back in from being out of town for work Wednesday late night), we had a long conversation that turned into Mr. McGoo holding a crying mess of a wife (me) for hours! I broke. I couldn't handle it anymore, I was broken, overwhelmed, and plum tired! I was/am so thankful that he was there that evening to just let me cry and reassure me along the way, giving me comfort as well as a shoulder and warm embrace to cry on. I'm sure it was "exactly" what he wanted to do, ha, but he's an awesome hubby, so he was more than willing to be there for his crazy wife.

As I replayed my thoughts, words, and feelings the next day... I was reminded of something...

Some days it's good for me to have a breakdown like that... maybe not all the tears and snot and what not, but more so a breakdown of pretending that I am capable. A breakdown of pretending and trying to do it all myself, make it happen on my own, or overextending myself, because the reality is - I CANNOT! I cannot do it. I cannot do it alone. I'm not a super hero, nor am I made to walk this world alone, nor do I care to do it all on my own - so why so often do I try?! Thankfully I have an awesome God who provides and reminds me to not worry, and He has also blessed me with a man to walk by my side (Mr. McGoo) and good friends and family in addition to Himself being always near!

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This Is Our God

Today was the first time in three weeks that I had the joy and pleasure of being at my church home. It's amazing how much I miss our church family and Sunday School classmates when we are away. And for me, missing three weeks worth is my max. For three weeks in a row I've been out of town... first Lexington, KY for the wedding, then Kansas City, KS for the surprise 30th, and last week in San Diego, CA for work. And by this morning, I was in dire need of worship with my church family.

One song in service spoke to me in particular today... bringing tears to my eyes and whispered God's truth to my heart. Maybe it'll do the same for one of you (listen to the song embedded if you've never heard it!). I bolded some of the lyrics that really hit me.

This Is Our God
Artist: Chris Tomlin

A refuge for the poor, a shelter from the storm
This is our God
He will wipe away your tears and return your
wasted years
This is our God
So call upon His Name
He is mighty to save
This is our God

A father to the orphan, a healer to the broken
This is our God
And he brings peace to our madness and comfort
in our sadness
This is our God
So call upon His Name
He is mighty to save
This is our God

This is the one we have waited for
Jesus Lord and Savior
This is our God

A fountain for the thirsty, a lover for the lonely
This is our God
He brings glory to the humble and crowns for the
This is our God

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fully Funded & Ethiopia Updates!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Dear Ministry Partners -

We are so excited and in awe to express that we are now FULLY FUNDED for our December journey to Ethiopia!!!!! The Lord has SURELY provided and met our needs!!! We give ALL the praise to Him!

THANK YOU for being a part of this journey both in prayer and financial support, and we so look forward to sharing with you more along the way. We could not do this without you! Please continue to keep us, the current staff on the ground, and the street children of Ethiopia in your prayers. Pray for our preparations for the journey and the development of the sports ministry and networking we will do (especially Mr. McGoo) while in Addis Ababa. Pray that God will get all the glory and we will not get in the way!

In addition to testifying to God's awesome provision, we want to also encourage those of you who have been spurred to give to continue to give to The Forsaken Children - the ministry we are going to partner with! The Lord has NOT been shocked by our funding thus far... if He has spurred you to donate this go around, it was not by chance, we pray that you will continue to give to the ministry even if the funds are no longer going directly to our journey. It's all His anyway!

Thank you again for being a part of this journey & we look forward to getting an updated McGugan Mailer to you soon as the trip draws even more near. We depart for Ethiopia December 10th. Mrs. McGoo will head home December 26th (16 days) and Mr. McGoo will follow January 5th (26 days).

Check out another GREAT updated coming from Ethiopia (below) that depicts beautifully what this ministry is all about and all that God is accomplishing along the way!

Family – Ethiopia’s Promise of Hope

October 6, 2010

For years I have been making the statement, “Children are the promise of hope for every generation.” Just today I have been reconsidering that.
As I thought about my own childhood memories and the importance of my family in those, I began to realize that at the core it is the family that is the promise of hope for a generation. It should be the family that rallies around a child, defending, teaching, and loving her so she will be able to do the same for her future family. In this way the healthy family is cyclical, producing children that grow into their own healthy families and so on.
As I thought about my childhood what truly struck me was that I was only as much of a promise of hope as my family was a positive, supportive, and loving influence in my life.
Now I am stuck wondering what this means for the street children of Ethiopia. I suppose I know what it means if nothing changes for these children and the family unit is not restored in Ethiopia. It means a future similar if not worse than the present condition of the country. In the same way as healthy families, broken families are also cyclical for generation after generation.
I believe for Ethiopia’s sake and regardless of reasons to do otherwise, we must start to believe in the Ethiopian family again. We have to consider alternatives to the traditional family unit many of us have known in the West, but nonetheless the family, God’s original intent as the foundation of a society, must be the focus. Rather than pontificate about how the family unit can revive and become the promise of hope for Ethiopia, I will share a few stories of how this is happening one child at a time at The Forsaken Children’s partner project, the Onesimus Children’s Development Association.

Yohannes and Nebiyu
Yohannes (left) with friend, Nebiyu
After Yohannes lived a lie for over a year, telling everyone at Onesimus that his family was basically no more, the truth came out. Yohannes’s family was alive and well, living hundreds of miles from Yohannes’s chosen home on the streets of Addis Ababa. As time passed and countless hours of counsel, encouragement, and love were given to this 13-year-old boy, Yohannes’s heart began to change and he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Today, Yohannes is reunited with his mother and father and lives in their home where he was missing for over 4 years.


Halfway Home girls with Desse

Metu (center) with her Halfway Home
sisters and friend, Desse
After her mother died, Metu’s grandmother left her to fend for herself on the streets of Addis Ababa at the age of 6. She lived there for close to 6 years with no one to protect or care for her. Metu learned that she could not trust anyone, much less the adults in her life. This all started to change when she entered the gates of Onesimus’s Drop-In Center. Day after day she challenged the staff who constantly responded with incredible grace and unbroken commitment. The day came when she entered Onesimus’s Halfway Home. Now, at 13, Metu loves and trusts her House Mother, who cares for her and three other girls in a family modeled Halfway Home. She has also grown to know God and to embrace him as her Father.

Ephrem at home
Ephrem at home
After being taken from his family in rural Ethiopia, Ephrem was forced to work in a sweatshop to make another man rich. Eventually Ephrem ran away from his grueling life only to be stuck on the streets of Addis Ababa. Making the most of his newfound freedom, Ephrem adjusted to a life of sleeping on the streets, scavenging for food, and begging to make a buck. His gang of fellow street children led him to Onesimus’s Drop-In Center one day and his life began to change. Today Ephrem lives with his foster family who loves him as their own.

Yohannes, Metu, and Ephrem’s families are a promise of hope for Ethiopia!

Posted by Joe

So thankful for God's faithfulness and provision through people like YOU!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surprise 30th!

A few weekends ago, I had the AWESOME opportunity to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday in a special way. My cuz is two years older than me, and one of my favorite people. She lives in Kansas City and I grew up visiting her and her family (and the rest of my family living up there) on a yearly basis, usually spending 2 weeks on my own up there. In addition, we always spent either Christmas or Thanksgiving - rotating each year - with the family. I have great memories of my time with my cuz and family up there and Kansas City in general... and this surprise weekend will surely stick in my memory forever.

The journey started by my cousin's husband calling my Aunt & Uncle... he was planning a surprise birthday party for my cuz (Lyndy). Her hubby inquired if I and Mr. McGoo would also be willing and able to attend, which set the wheels in motion. I received a phone call from my Aunt one evening asking about the party and wondering if we could come. Unfortunately, Mr. McGoo was going to be out of town that weekend, and I had class and work on Friday, therefore driving was out of the question. So what could we do?

With the sure genius and generosity of my Aunt and Uncle, we devised a plan... I would drive to Nashville Friday evening after work and school and stay with my sister living there (I actually stayed in my sister and brother in laws home, but my youngest sis was the one there - however that's a totally different story). Saturday morning, my sis would take me to the airport and I'd FLY from Nashville to Kansas City - MUCH less expensive than going directly from Memphis. My fabulous Aunt & Uncle covered that cost - whoa!

They picked me up at the airport at 1030am. My cuz, Lyndy, was under the assumption and belief that my Aunt would pick her up around 11am and take her shopping for her birthday present. We arrived at Lyndy's house... she opened the door and greeted her parents, as I stood hidden to the side. "I'm sorry Lyndy, but Mom is not going to be able to go shopping with you today"... "Oh, why not?".... "Because Heather is going with you instead!!!!" (as I stepped out of hidden view)! Great fun seeing Lyndy's reaction and a WONDERFUL day ensued.

So Lyndy's birthday present from her mom and pop was a shopping day with ME. We had a great time, I think it was the first time in 5 years (since her 2nd of three children came along) that we had some one on one adult time. It was wonderful and just what I needed. The trip was as much a blessing and present to me as it was to my beautiful, mother of three, great wife, great daughter, great sister, wonderful cousin, Lyndy!

27 hours later I was back on a plane to Nashville.

But the whirlwind trip was DEFINITELY worth it! The cool history of it was is that my Uncle did this same surprise for his wife, my aunt when she turned 30th. He surprised her by flying up my mother to visit and celebrate with her on her 30th. Neat how it all worked out in a similar fashion for us!

Here are some great photos of the trip. We also had a surprise dinner party for the Lyndy that evening! Happy 30th Lyndy! I love you much!

Clayton - #2 in the child pecking order, but #1 boy.

The first grand baby for my Aunt & Uncle - Madison.

The three girls - Madison, cuz Lyndy, and Mrs. McGoo

My two cousins, Allison & Lyndy (they're sisters, can't ya tell), and Mrs. McGoo

Madison is a bundle of personality. My Uncle coined her the "the commanding princess"

Lyndy with baby #3, Colton - her and her hubby make some GREAT LOOKING children!

Clayton giving me his silly pose

The birthday girl and her daddy, UFrank. I'm a big fan of these two!

My turn to get silly with Clay

My mom's sister, Aunt Terri, and her oldest daughter, Lyndy, and youngest grand babe, Cole

Love this shot - GREAT smile on Clay!

Silly goose!

Friday, October 1, 2010


How is the question on my mind lately...

  • How can I get it all done?
  • How do I, after a full days work, find the motivation and energy to study?
  • How do I, after a full days work, and following a 2 hours class after that, find the energy and motivation to complete another assignment?
  • How is the house going to get cleaned?
  • How does everything get completed?
  • How?
  • How?
  • How?
 and then I'm reminded... one thing at a time, that's how.

I'm thankful for this promise from the Lord:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34