Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Since getting back from a WONDERFUL TRIP to the states (which I’ll write about later) I have been busy here in Prague.
Today I met with my two students from the Economic University. Susie Edworthy and I want to combine our “girls” and have a Christmas party before the end of the semester…a time to share with them the REAL meaning of Christmas.
After talking with Lenka about a good date to gather we continued talking about Christmas. I didn’t want to get into the subject too much because I want to be able to share the TRUE meaning with all the girls when we have the party.
However, I asked her what their “Santa Claus” was called. She informed me (quite proudly) that Czechs do not have “Santa Claus,” they have “baby Jesus.”
Before I knew what came out of my mouth I said, “That is sad, no Santa!”
She said (in her cute way!) “No sad, we have baby Jesus.”
As she continued to talk about “baby Jesus” bringing their gifts and tree I realized that it would be wonderful not to have Santa messed up with the meaning of Christmas. However, the more Lenka told me the more I saw that though they have no Santa, and have “baby Jesus” they clearly do not have TRUTH.

I’m praying that our time together will enlighten Lenka, Misha, and Susie’s two girls to the fact that Jesus did come as a baby but that He grew up and died for them. The greatest gift of all did come in the form of baby Jesus when He (as a man without sin) died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Praying that I do not get too busy to remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas and have opportunities to make the TRUE meaning known to my world. Praying the same for you…may we watch for these opportunities as the Christmas season approaches (it is upon us…I was in the malls…it is here!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Start talking...

I’m helping a friend with a high school Bible study. Last night we had 10 beautiful girls in my living-room talking about CRAZY LOVE (I LOVE this book!)

The first chapter is called Stop Praying. One girl shared that one day she talked to God all day long as if she were just talking to him (didn’t think of it as PRAYING.)
We agreed that we should do this more often. Talk to the Lord about everything we see, feel, and do throughout the day.

We had a great night of sharing and enjoying each other. One of the girls had on a Christmas shirt. I thought that was a little strange until someone said something about it being Christmas Tuesday
I said, “Maybe we could make next Tuesday Talk to God all day long as if he were right beside you Tuesday (cause we know he is!!!)

Later I got a call with some news I really didn’t want to hear. I felt like I needed to talk to someone about it. My mom already knows much about this situation and I wanted to tell her the latest and get her advice and have her pray with me…BUT she and Dad are on a little vacation (how dare her go off and have a life and leave me to care for myself at such times!) without good cell phone coverage and so I couldn’t get in touch with her. I lay in bed last night (Mick is gone) and thought, “I’m going to have to deal with this until Mom gets home.” And I couldn’t even remember when she was getting home!
Then I thought…I can not always WAIT on my mom (sorry Mom.)

Then I remembered what Hannah said and I thought…I need to talk to the Lord about this as if I were talking to Mom. So I did. It helped and I went to sleep.
This morning I woke up and started talking to the Lord about it again…but I thought, “I really want for Him to talk BACK (Mom does…believe me, she does!)
I asked Him to allow me to HEAR from Him really hear from Him and to know that I'd heard.

Got up, started the coffee, and went to read my devotional book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
October 7th begins like this:
In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care. Entrust to Me everything that concerns you. This clears the way for you to seek My Face unhindered.

It goes on in the second paragraph to say:
Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it. In stead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances. Trust Me and don’t’ be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.

I heard His voice…I released my worries into His care and I’ve been communicating with Him all day long (as if He were right beside me!!!)…and it isn’t even TUESDAY!!!

God is Good…as Mick says, “ALL THE TIME!”

Listen for His voice today…you can hear it if you release all your worries into His care!!!

I Peter 5:7 “ ...casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.”

I Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 28th...Daniel is 21

My baby is twenty-one today…think I should stop calling him a baby?
I was at a shower (baby shower) a couple of weeks ago were another guest asked me about my children. When I mentioned Daniel I called him my baby and a young missionary kid asked, “How old is he?” I said that he soon would turn 21 and she said, “He isn’t a baby!”
So, Daniel…today I promise to not call you a BABY any longer…that is my gift to you.
I think it is BIG so just forget the money we were going to put in your banking account…OH, you want the money…okay, BABY BOY…it is on its way!!!

Daniel is in his third year of college (North Greenville University) and is on the cross country team!!! GO DANIEL, GO DANIEL!!!
This past Saturday he came in third (for the team)…he cut his 5 mile run down by two minutes. THAT’S MY BABY!!!

Daniel was made to run. When he lived with Kenny and Teri Pope during his 8th grade year he tried every sport known to man (at the school!) When track season came around Mick thought that maybe Daniel should give Kenny and Teri a break from having to pick him up after practice. But Daniel insisted that TRACK was his sport and so found himself a ride home from practice and RAN. (Sort of like Forest, Forest Gump…HE JUST RAN!!!)

Daniel was correct…TRACK was/is his sport. He broke the school record for the two mile which has not been beaten since 2004. I loved the sight of him (all his focus on the finish line) right before he crossed the tape to win.

I may not get to watch him run in college BUT I can imagine it in my mind’s eye…and it is a beautiful sight!!! I know for sure that Daniel is giving all he has.

Daniel does this in life as well…What a joy to watch him RUN Life’s Race.

BABY BOY…it has been a BLAST…looking forward to seeing you win many (life) races and one day (either standing by Jesus in heaven when you arrive or arriving with you at the trumpet sound) hearing HIM say…Welcome Home my good and faithful RUNNER…YOU WON the RACE…you kept the faith!
Then, I’ll no longer call you My Baby …I’ll call you WINNER!!!

Happy Birthday Man-Fred,
One proud mom (and if Dad had a blog he could say the same!)

I Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Daniel 2004

Waiting on a picture of him running in 2009...
want to move that along son?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Christopher!!!

Twenty six years ago today you came into our world and made two people very happy. Of course, your grandparents (and granny...whose birthday you barely missed) were happy too!

You changed our world.

I remember the first time I put you into your crib (which had been mine...Dad repainted it for our BOY,) as I stood up from placing you there an overwhelming feeling came upon me...this is a life with a soul...nine months ago there was no Christopher V. Stockwell, today here he is (fresh from Heaven) and he will always be.


I asked God to allow me to be the mom you needed, knowing that I could not do it on my own!

I'm not saying that I was a wonderful mom...BUT I AM SAYING that I believe you have turned out pretty darn well!!!

Dad and I love the man you have become and are so proud to be called the parents of Christopher Stockwell.

You have been a GIFT that keeps on Giving!

While praying for you on the way to church today (it takes about 45 min. on public transportation so I had plenty time to pray!) I thought about the GIFT you are to us. I thanked God for you (AGAIN) and then I asked Him to show you, today, the GIFTS He has given you.

Here are the ones I thought of...26 to be exact!!!

1. Life 26 years ago today...and your daily breath

2. Eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 20:31 "But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name."

3. A wonderful wife who loves God more than she loves you (you come in a close second...this is how it should be)

Exodus 20:2,3 "I am the LORD your God...Do not have other gods besides Me."

4. A dad who has always believed in you

5. A mom who thinks you hung the did, didn't you?

6. Two brothers who helped to form your leadership skills

7. Godly grandparents who pray for you daily

8. A mother-in-law who loves you (this is no little thing)

9. A great dog--Bailey

10. Friends from your past and new ones you and Katie have made together

11. The Hoggards, Popes, and others who put prayer, time, money, and LOVE into you through the years

12. An amazing church family

13. A good mind

14. Artistic abilities

15. The gift of words...the way you say things is ORAL ART

16. Sincere heart that is sensitive to God and others

17. Your faith and dependency on God

Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."

18. The ability to see the good in others and the desire to bring it forth

19. A cute sense of humor

20. The opportunity to see the world from more than one world view

21. Stories of how God has shown Himself mighty and caring on your behalf

22. Good health

23. A job you like!!!

24. Another year to enjoy the abundant life God has given you

John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance."

25. God's Plans (which He has for you)

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

26. AND if that were not enough...a MOM who wrote all these out for you...making things easier for you today son. Why? Because I'm your mom and that is what a mom lives to do!!!


Baby Christopher

September 1983

We shave like Daddy!

Train trip to Moscow, Russia

Black Sea 2000

Praise Band

Youth group in Kharkov, Ukraine

God answered a major prayer request that

took place right here on these steps!

The cutest men in the world...this is my blog

I can say that!

Plus, it is TRUTH


June 16, 2007

Christopher V. Stockwell

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monster Mom's birthday wish

MONSTERS…just the mention of the word can bring up some ugly pictures in the minds of kids. As a little girl I had to check under my bed and in my closet at night before I’d let my parents turn out the light and leave the room. Sometimes I’d do it before Mom or Dad came to “tuck me in”…so what did that mean? It meant that in my mind LIGHT made me invincible…I mean, really, what if I’d found a MONSTER under my bed or in my closet? For some reason I could face him/her (what gender is a monster?) in the LIGHT.

OH, sure…I can laugh about it now. I bet you are laughing with me as you remember some of your fears. But at the time the MONSTER (in the dark) was a BIG DEAL. I’m so glad I out-grew the MONSTER thing.

OR did I???

Maybe I just grew into a MONSTER myself!

I read a book once (well, I don’t really think I read the whole thing, but a chapter from a book) that talked about “THE MONSTER MOM” that comes out from time to time in every female who is blessed enough to hold the title “MOM!”

Sometimes MONSTER MOM can be a BAD thing. I really don’t think I have much of that in me. The boys might have another story to tell, but this is my BLOG and I’m not asking for their input on this one!

But then, other times…the MONSTER MOM is a blessing. She goes to bat for her kids, she makes sure that they are not mistreated, over-looked, or put into harms way.
She stands up for the treasures that have been entrusted to her keeping!!!
And when this MONSTER MOM stands up…she stands up BIG AND TALL and with MUCH FORCE.
Remember, this is a good thing!

Today, I’m doing the MONSTER MOM thing again. Not standing up because of a wrong done to one of my children…but STANDING UP BIG AND TALL to celebrate from AFAR Jonathan’s 24th birthday. He and Katherine are twelve hours behind us. So, I’ll be celebrating long before he is awake. I will bake cookies, fix a meal I know he would love (maybe something as simple as Chicken Salad) and Mick and I will take the day to remember the miracle of his birth.

We will remember how God kept him safe in the delivery (though the cord was wrapped around his neck twice.)
How Christopher loved his head from the first time he saw him. How he grabbed his head and said, “HAIR!”
Dad will remember the steak dinner he ate in the hospital before heading home (less than 24 hours after delivery) with our new bundle of joy.
I’ll remember the thrill of the blessing of another baby in the house.
We will also remember the family and friends who welcomed Jonathan Woodard Stockwell into the world.

We will eat too many cookies and I may cry a bit (it comes along with this MONSTER MOM thing) and that will be Jonathan’s birthday for us here in Prague.

Maybe Jonathan will celebrate a little differently…I know that Katherine will make sure his day is SPECIAL...BUT he has to know that his MONSTER MOM is wishing him a WONDERFUL DAY and that I thank the Lord, Jesus for him and his life.

PROUD as any MONSTER MOM can be…

Baby Jonathan 1985

First family picture

A little mess never killed anyone!

Shaving MEN

One of Dad's favorite pics

Check out the shoes...they don't match!


A little help from my DAD

Family picture with Daniel

Family picture minus Mick!

I love this one

Captain Jonathan

Mr. and Mrs. G...
also known as Kenny and Teri Pope


Jonathan and Katherine


Mom and Son in RED
(morning of his wedding)
January 17, 2009

One of my favorite moments
of all time!!!
OH MY GOODNESS...go back and look at the outfit that Christopher has on in the, go and look at the outfit Jonathan has on with the mix-matched shoes...
Look familiar???
Why yes,
This MONSTER MOM is economical!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to MOM

Mom is older today...Her 76th Birthday!

I'm celebrating my way in Prague KNOWING that Papa is doing the same in Wichita Falls for Grandma...right Dad?

Billie Inez Thornton Woodard was born and raised in Joplin, Texas. Pa and Granny (her parents) had three children. My mom was the oldest and best (in my humble opinion!)

She lef the small town of Joplin and went all the way to Decatur, Texas for college at the age of sixteen.

After college she begin teaching in Wichita Falls, Texas...she taught a young man named Dwain Woodard and that is how she met my dad and became Dwain's and Evan's mom and later, MY mom.

She is the BEST MOM in the world (even better than me!)

She never made me feel like I was in her way, never yelled at me, always pointed out the best in me, always loved and encouraged, never was self-seeking...always kind to others...and the wisdom she has, well, it is amazing!

I've learned a few things from her:
*If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing WELL.
*God will repay, so let HIM...don't try to do it myself!
*It is better to be the one being treated poorly than the one treating someone poorly.
*The Judge of all the earth will do right!!!
*A job should be FUN!!!
*And that if you do not have time to go over your Spelling words but you have been told to do so (by your father who is out of town working) you can WAVE your hands over the book once or twice and say, "OVER, OVER, OVER" and it counts!

I love the way you love JESUS, DAD, Dwain and family, Evan, Me and mine...your family and all.

I just love the way you LOVE and LIVE!!!

I'm so thankful you are my mom!!!


I don't know about the shutting you up...
BUT I know it will not slow you down!!!

She still gives a day a week to work for a Mission organization in her

At Papa's 8oth birthday party...2007
One of my favorite pictures of her!

Christopher and Grandma at his graduation

Grandma at Jonathan's graduation...2008

Grandma (and Papa and the rest of us)
in Poland

Friday, July 10, 2009

In Memory of the World's Famous Weenie Dog

KoKo came to us six years ago this month on July 5, 2003.
We waited for Jonathan to return to Ukraine to help pick her out. The job wasn’t that hard, though, as she was the only little black dachshund at the Pet Renok that day.

She was beautiful. I wanted to name her Toechka (means DOT in Russian) because she looked like a little black dot on the floor. But Daniel picked out KoKo (and the weird spelling.)
She was hard to house train, but when she did get the hang of it she was perfect. No dog was better. I could leave her (not that I often did, mind you) for up to 10 hours or more and not worry that she had taken the liberty of “going” indoors.


She was beautiful (inside and OUT)
Never was the least bit spoiled nor conniving…she would not treat humans in such a manner.
She loved BIG dogs but had little use for small ones. Don’t think she knew she was SMALL.
She kept me company when Mick was away.
She loved (or endured) “serberts” from her DAD.
She was a LADY!!!

We had to put her to sleep today. It wasn’t a hard decision, just a SAD one to make.
She woke up in the middle of the night a little over a week ago in pain. We took her to the vet and got medication for her and were carrying her everywhere so that she could heal (if she was going to do so on her own.)
Her pain got worse and she developed the limp that goes with the damaged back.

I’m glad she is out of pain. But I already miss her and the thought of a long winter’s nap without her makes me cry.

This morning, she was, and now she is no more. I do not believe that there is a DOGGY HEAVEN (but if there were KoKo would be its STAR resident!)
KoKo is just GONE.
This thought made me very sad. But then I thought about the fact that it would be better to be no more than to be HUMAN and have a soul and to “BE” one moment on earth and the next separated from God.

I remember when we came home from the hospital with Christopher. As I was putting him in his crib I thought, “This is a soul…at his conception he “became” forever more.
It was a very thought-provoking moment in my mind. What did his life hold? Would he choose to accept Christ into his heart and live in that wonderful relationship with HIM forever?
Praise the Lord Christopher did choose that path (with God’s Grace drawing him unto HIMSELF!)

No, KoKo hasn’t gone to a better place…but she hasn’t gone to a worse place either.
KoKo was just a DOG…the BEST IN THE WORLD for sure…but still, a DOG.
How many PEOPLE do I know who have souls and will live on after physical death without knowing the truth of John 3:16?

"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him
John 3:16-17 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

One of my dear friends posted this on her Facebook status today: 1.6 Billion people have never heard the name of Jesus - How many of them will I pass by today?

May we live our relationship with our Father so that souls can know the truth and will accept Christ so that they will go to a better place (the place prepared by HIM) when they die.

KoKo will never be replaced nor forgotten…she was The World’s Famous Weenie Dog

One of her favorite things to do.
Sit with DAD as he did his devotions.

She loved her toys!!!
Did I mention that she would fetch?

She loved her family.

She loved walks in her woods with her DAD