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The ME Disease

Our society trains young people to be focused on me, me, me. You can be anything you want to be. Reach for the stars! Want to be a doctor? You can do it! Think you can shake and jive like Shakira? You can be the next pop sensation!

American society has tainted its youth to think that life is all about them. I teach at a public high school, and I see it every day. Even most of the kids from low-income families desire fame and fortune — not to help their families get out of debt or achieve a high standard of living; but just so they can be famous, drive fancy cars, and have nice stuff.

This way of thinking does not prepare young people for the real world. In real life, most of them will not be celebrities or own their own company. And that’s OK. It’s OK to be part of something that is bigger than yourself — to be an engineer who designs safe bridges for people to travel on, to be a kindergarden teacher who helps children how to read and write. Young people need to be taught that real life starts when you give yourself to the higher purpose of serving others.

When our society becomes less egocentric, we will really start to move mountains. It’s the people throughout history who have not been concerned just about their own well-being, but about the interests of others, who make the biggest difference. Think Andrew Carnegie, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln.

Let’s practice living for the bigger purpose. If you haven’t read The Purpose-Driven Life, I highly recommend it. When you are living for something (Someone!) bigger than yourself, then you really start living!


Risky Business

Since college, my life has been full of risks. I’m sure some of my friends and family look at the way I live and think I’m extremely random and disorderly. But most of the risks I take are carefully prayed over, and I’ve seen God’s hand move as I’ve been willing to step out on a limb for Him.

The risks I’m talking about aren’t like bungyjumping or climbing Mt. Everest; they are the risks of day-to-day, year-to-year living. Immediately following college, I made a risk by moving to the Philippines to be a missionary. Most people go through missions organizations when they move a few thousand miles, but I just decided to meet up with the missionaries I had met there when I was on a church missions trip at age 16. I ended up staying there for six months, the only American in a sea of precious Filipinos. It was exactly what God had asked me to do, and I am so glad I was willing and obedient.

I moved back to Oklahoma after my Philippines adventure, and a couple years after my return, God opened up a door for me to move to Houston to work for an oil and gas magazine. In the natural, none of it made sense. Why would I leave the comfort of my home state to move to a place where I knew very few people, to take a job for a subject matter that did less than thrill me (oil and gas!?). But I decided to take that leap of faith in December 2007, and over the last two years, the will of God has gradually unfolded in my life. No, oil and gas was not for me. But at the magazine, I made lifelong connections with people who influenced me to draw closer to God, and whom I influenced to come to know Christ.

And about a year ago, God started showing me the next turn of events He had for my life. I started thinking about what it would be like to teach. I had never had a desire to teach during college or at any other point in my life, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. Eventually, I found out what it would take to become a certified teacher in Texas, and told God that if I were to teach, I would want to teach high school English and Journalism. In the spring of 2008, I attended three teacher job fairs, and at the third fair, I was offered a job to teach at Elsik High School. And guess what the subjects are? English and Journalism.

With a teaching job lined up for the fall, I started thinking how everything in my life was falling into place. Career? Check! Spiritual life? Check! Volunteer work? Check! I love my Saturday work, volunteering with the youth drama team at Lakewood. But God saw one area that was not complete…my relationships! He decided it was the perfect time to bring my future husband into my life!

In April of last year, a young man from my past reappeared. Devon Morris and I had been on three missions trips together (including the original Philippines trip) when we were teenagers, and he messaged me on Facebook to inquire if I would be returning to the Philippines anytime soon. (Yes, Facebook can work wonders!)

Not so incidentally, I had already planned a trip back to the Philippines for that summer. Through a series of open doors, Devon was able to clear two and a half weeks in June and July to go back to the Philippines with me.

Even before the trip, the two of us started engaging in some heart-to-heart conversations, catching up on the seven years since we had last talked. After about two months of talking to him regularly, I realized I was really attracted to him. “Wow, this guy has really grown into an amazing man of God!” I thought. Still, I asked God to guard my heart throughout the mission trip, so we could be focused on serving Him and not each other.

When we finally reconnected on June 19, we ended up talking nearly the entire 20-hour trip to the Philippines! Since both of our greatest desire is to serve the Lord on the mission field, we were able to focus on the trip. But to us, the connection we felt with each other was nothing short of God-ordained. Before Devon and I had reconnected, I had written a list of 10 very specific things I wanted in my future husband. And guess who met all 10?

After prayer and lots of talking, Devon and I decided to take a risk by starting a long-distance relationship – he in Tulsa, and I in Houston. For the time being, we have been somewhat stuck, since I’m finishing my one-year intern year as a teacher to earn my certificate, and he is enrolled in school in Tulsa. Every day has been a challenge, but we’re joyfully headed toward the altar now, engaged and exuberant about a God who will call us to take countless risks throughout our lives.

One of my mottos in life is to never be stuck in a comfort zone. When God sees hearts in us that will do absolutely anything for Him absolutely anywhere He calls us, He will use us incredibly! When was the last time you took a risk for God? What risks is He calling you to? He has a life of adventure for you, if you’ll only be willing to come out of your comfortable hideaway.

High Schoolers Say The Darndest Things

Well, it’s finals week, and one of my English students, Felipe, made my day today without even realizing. And it all started with the “f” word, oddly enough.

After my 2nd period finished their finals today, I heard Felipe say, “What the f&*@?” to another student. Now, at least at my school, we are not supposed to give them an official punishment for cursing unless it’s directed toward us. However, my students know that I do not allow that kind of language in my classroom. I always try to verbally reprimand them if I hear “big” curse words, because I don’t believe that kind of language should be accepted in the business world, where I hope they’re headed.

“Felipe, come up here,” I told him. “Do you know why I don’t allow that kind of language in my classroom?”

“Because you’re a Christian?” was his reply.

I paused and a smile filled my soul. Even though I don’t blatantly tell the students I’m a Christian, they know it. And apparently they equate my high standards with my faith in God.

“Well, yes, but I also don’t allow that kind of language because when you get into the workplace, that language is not acceptable.”

That was the end of our conversation, but his comment left my soul happy. Even if my students don’t always appreciate my standards, they know that in Miss Goodier’s class, there are high expectations — not because I’m anything special, but because of the God I serve.

The Treacherous Christmas Eve Adventures of Devon and Lindsay

After an enjoyable time at Church on the Move’s “Celebrate With Family” service, Devon and I started heading toward Claremore at about 5:30 Thursday afternoon. Little did we know the journey would take us two and a half hours!

Our drive was greeted by our first experience with an Oklahoma blizzard! Yes, apparently blizzards do exist in Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. Driving conditions were so terrible that Devon could barely see a few feet in front of him — “white out” as the meteorologists like to say.

We stopped at the Reasor’s in Catoosa to grab an ice scraper and a few other items, and as we were pulling out, the car got stuck in the middle of the highway! Fortunately, a kind lady wearing a Christmas sweater (but no coat) stopped to help us (…Mrs. Claus?);-) We wound up breaking her bunjee cord, rope, and jumper cables trying to pull the car out. And silly me! Without thinking, I wore leather slides out in the snow, so my heels felt like they were frostbitten from trying to push the car out of the snow. After I finally got back in the car, I started “crying uncontrollably” (according to Devon) because I was so cold.

The crying ended as I regained warmth and feeling in my heels, and we continued the treacherous journey over the Port of Catoosa bridge, past the House of Nuts and the QT. Even though Devon can scarcely see the road, he was doing a fantastic job maneuvering the small car. That is, until his bladder took over. He pulled over on a road that was not very hidden and sought deliverance. Even two days later, I am still praying that he is able to give me babies after the chilling experience. Brrrr! 🙂

When he got back in the car after creating yellow snow, the car was stuck yet again! (Thank you, Devon’s bladder!) Lucky for us, a Good Samaritan stopped to help push the car out onto the main road.

The rest of the way to the Morris home, Devon and I were praying non-stop. We felt a bit like our missionary friends Vincent and Delia Padupad in the Philippines, who daily face life-challenging circumstances, but who won’t ever let the devil pull them down. We sang plenty of worship songs and prayed in the Spirit until we safely arrived in the neighborhood.

Sadly, the Volvo got stuck in the neighbor’s yard as we were trying to pull in the driveway. But we were just thankful to be safe and sound. The Team Devon and Lindsay love has grown even more through this Christmas Eve adventure!

Devon and Lindsay’s Fairy Tale Proposal Story

Up until about 5:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, I was having a normal week – a strenuous week of teaching, especially since my school was on lockdown on Friday. I came home expecting to have dinner with my friend Kelly. When she arrived at about 5:40, I was ready for a girls’ night out.

Just as we were preparing to leave, I heard someone knocking on the front door. When I looked out the window and saw Devon’s face, I could only conclude that I was hallucinating. He was supposed to be working in Tulsa until 7:30!

I was so shocked when I saw Devon at the door!

I opened the door, hugged him and kept asking, “How did you do that?” Over his shoulder, I could see a white limo waiting for us on Ol’ Oak Tree Dr. I felt like Cinderella being whisked away to the ball! And Devon looked so handsome, standing there in his grey suit, green striped tie, holding a batch of pink Gerbera daisies (my favorite!).

Once we were inside the limo, Devon popped a CD in – “Friday the 13th Part 1” hosted by Pepe LePeu (Devon doing a fantastic Pepe impersonation – I love French accents!). Pepe told us that the first leg of our journey would be a look back on our past. The CD included songs like “Deeper,” “History Maker,” and “Just Three Words” – songs we had listened to while growing up at Oneighty youth group in Tulsa. I had no clue where we were heading, but I was so amazed the whole time, feeling like a princess.

Before we arrived at the restaurant, Devon explained that it was an old 1920’s restored church, just like where we originally met (at church!). On our table, he had pre-arranged a collage for me – a painting on an easel with a faux newspaper story he wrote about our first time in the Philippines, and also a photo of us from our Cameroon trip.

Dinner was exquisite – seafood bisque for the appetizer, shrimp for my main course, and duck for Prince Devon. As he ordered dessert, Devon requested, “We’ll have the warm chocolate cake with the Morris special.”

“Hmmm…the Morris special?” I was a little suspicious. Was a ring going to be part of the dessert?

Dessert was presented, and all appeared to be normal. But as I tasted the ice cream on top, a familiar taste greeted my tongue. “Hmm…I wonder what kind of ice cream that is,” Devon said mischeviously.

I still didn’t get it.

“It’s ube!” He finally told me. He had driven all over Houston just to find this unique ice cream from the Philippines. Then he drove back to the restaurant to request that the pastry chef include it in our dessert! That’s my man – a man who would go to such great lengths just to put a smile on my face!

After dinner, we stepped back into the limo and Pepe told us we were now entering the ‘present zone.’ The limo pulled up to Path of Tea, a tea room I had been to about a year ago. There, he had pre-arranged for a cute outdoor table with a red tablecloth, an Asian candle set, and a frame with a photo of us in Houston and one of us in Tulsa. He also included a love note encouraging me to seek first God’s kingdom and to not be discouraged even though we are still presently in separate cities.

The final limo ride arrived, and Pepe told us we were entering the Future Zone! How exhilarating! What would happen next – where would the limo take us? I wondered. Just as I was musing as to the wheareabouts of our final destination, the limo driver gave it away – Hermann Park, one of my favorite spots in Houston!

We arrived and started strolling around the park. I noticed a firetruck parked in the park, but didn’t think much of it. As we were walking over a bridge, enjoying the cool, quiet evening, we suddenly heard a crowd cheering. Someone was celebrating their 50th anniversary on the other side of the pond. And serendipitously, directly over our heads, the skies erupted in a brilliant display of fireworks. It was so unexpected and so perfect!

Only God could have selected such an amazing addition to our engagement story! To me, fireworks have always symbolized the future. I could not have asked for a more perfect addition to that moment than the bright rainbow of lights cascading right before our eyes.

After the surprise fireworks show, Devon escorted me to a spot beside the pond and presented me with a leather journal. In it, he had written me a beautiful poem called “Diamond in the Rough.” At this point, I was expecting him to drop to one knee. But he didn’t! He was piquing my curiosity even more! That stinker! Instead, he pulled out his guitar and played me one song he wrote for me, as well as Ryan Adams’ “Desire,” and Jars of Clay “Worlds Apart.”

After he finished serenading me, he grabbed my hand and said, “I want to show you something.” At this point, I was starting to think that perhaps I wasn’t going to get a ring after all! But I was just delighted to be with Devon. He led me to the hill overlooking the Miller Outdoor Theater and much of the Houston Medical Center. On the way to the top, he told me how much he had liked me starting on our missions trip to the Philippines way back in 2000. I never could have guessed that God placed my future husband in my life by the time I was 15!

Once on the hilltop, we lay down and stared up at the vastness of the sky. Devon talked about how Houston was just a pinpoint in the huge world, and how God has destined us to go into all the world and preach His Gospel. Just seven months ago, Devon thought he might end up practicing in one of the medical buildings we were looking at. But because he was obedient to God’s will, God changed the course of his life and brought me back into his world.

Finally, we stood back up, and Devon dropped to one knee and sweetly asked (in French), “Veux-tu me puse?” I had never had anyone ask me that before, so to confirm, I asked, “What are you asking me?”

“Lindsay Goodier, will you marry me?”

“Yes! I don’t even need to see the ring! The answer is yes!”

We threw our arms around each other and we shared the sweetest embrace as he slipped onto my finger the gorgeous princess cut diamond with two trillian diamonds set in 14 carat white gold. We were so overjoyed that we spun around in circles like zealous little children until dizziness made us topple over.

This is only the beginning
Of this race running for His glory
Only one destination in mind
One cause that provokes us
Together, we are stronger.

Everlasting Melody

Flood my heart with the poetry of your love
Violins stringing eternal chords
Drumbeats flooding my soul with your passion
As I become lost in your melody

Tender raindrops landing on thirsty skin
Gentle breeze sweeps me closer
Deeper into the rhythm
As the harmony intertwines with my own heartbeat

I’m lost in the sound of love everlasting.

The Road Back To YOU

For the love of my life, Devon

philippinesMorning run through the hilly streets of Baguio
Sweet caresses, gentle love songs on bumpy roads in Aurora and Isabela
Sweet promises made on an air-con bus headed to Manila
Passion-filled kiss before boarding in Tokyo
Bittersweet embrace in Detroit

OKScavenger hunts, birthday surprise, mammoth breakfast in Tulsa
Journey through the past on Claremore streets
Guitar serenades beside Oklahoma City lakes

galvestonMelted chocolate truffles, ebb and flow of Galveston waves
Sun-filled Sunday afternoon picnics, kisses after running through the Houston rain
Surrounded by 60,000 people at U2 but still solitary

Other roads were pointless, hollow, dead-end
My heart knew no other path
Then the one that led me back to YOU.