Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where do You want to be 5 Years from now?

I have been to a couple of interviews here lately in my search for the perfect job...lol...and this is a question that every one seems to ask.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

and it really got to me. It was during an interview that I had today. I didn't post anything about this interview, or the previous 2 I have had. Because I just don't "feel" like I am where I am supposed to be..

.I have never been closer to God than during the days I spent in Haiti this past January....and during that time I know what He said to me...He called me "out of nursing". So for me to continuously work as a nurse, kills me. I have bills, and nursing is what pays them. But I am SO unhappy there... I want more than anything to be doing what my heart knows I should be doing....but this thing called fear. uncertainty. lack of faith. Seem to keep my feet planted right where I am. So frustrating. I sometimes wonder how I spent so many years, just doing what I do. Working, sleeping, taking kids to all of the places they had to be, and never think about God's plan for me. Never consider that I maybe should be doing something Bigger. Not so self centered. Putting others first. Sharing His Love with those who haven't met Him yet. <3

I honestly don't think it is a coincidence that I have applied for 5 or so nursing jobs...and haven't gotten one of them. He knows where He wants me. I wish he would just make this path a little easier. I think my health situation this summer was a wake up call to a lot of things....He IS in control. But I just want the answers now. I am not a patient person. I usually try to be positive on my blog, and my facebook page...but today...it's just not really there...Just really wanting answers. Now. So today is a blah day for me.

So, Where do I want to be in 5 years? Honestly? I have no idea.Five years from now...Ian will be 19, Macey 17, and Cade 13...Wow....I want to be in His Will.  I am open to just about anything. I just want to be doing life for my Lord. Serving in the mission field....whether it is Africa, or my community that I live in now. Five years from now, I don't want to look back and say....I wish I had just had the Faith to go. Faith to do what I know in my heart I was supposed to.

That interview I mentioned...I actually was offered the opportunity to work there. But the entire day today...had this feeling that it's not where I am supposed to be. So. I am just a girl. Praying for direction. Wanting more than anything to be where I am supposed to be. <3

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

God is putting things together

Have had a lot on my mind the past few days...and now that I am finally off work for a few days, thought I would make an attempt to get it down.

My sister was in this weekend. Was so glad to see her even though the time seemed to pass so quickly. She shared her testimony with our Sunday School class, and also spoke during the service. I am so proud of her<3 We have been through so very much together, over the years. But I think the year 2011 goes down in the books. It has been so difficult for her and her precious children. My problems don't even seem to compare. I have had my fair share of rough "stuff" this year, but even during my hard times, my sister was my rock. She had been through so much herself, but always seemed to find a way to make me feel better. Lift me up. Make me smile. And for that, I am thankful. I so wish I could take away all of the hurt that she has had to experience. It just doesn't seem fair. Happiness is hard to come by in this world. I pray for her and her children daily. God is in control. I know that. Tonight is just one of those nights where it is just so difficult to understand.  I Love you Kristie...More than you know<3

Work has gotten to me lately. I know I should be thankful for a job. I am. I promise. But...When you feel that God is calling you to do something else. It is so difficult to keep on "keeping on" for lack of a better way to say it. I feel like I am doing the same thing over and over and getting nowhere. Crazy? Probably to some. But I really don't know a better way to explain it. Worrying and anxiety are still things I deal with because of the aneurysm "event"....Just a lot on my mind and in my heart...Sometimes its overwhelming. Today was one of those days. Emotionally...spent.

Amazing to me that I was feeling this way today, pulled out my phone and checked my facebook...and there were two posts there from two different friends...about this VERY thing. God is up to something, I know it. One was a devotion titled, Are you tired of Waiting on God?...Really? With the verse....Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”<3 The other was the quote...."When everything seems to be falling apart, that is when God is putting things together, just the way He wants them"<3

Struggling with some things, praying, and hoping to "get it right". Thankful He is opening my eyes. Praying to see life through His Eyes. Daily.  Knowing He wants to use me to help share His love. Blessed with so much. <3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Is God in it?

Haven't blogged in a while...This work thing seems to be taking up a lot of my free time...I am not a big fan of it. Ha ha...but I do know that God has given me this opportunity to help us financially at a time when we need it. So I simply do my best not to complain. =)

Couple things on my mind. Nothing deep...Just needed to get it out. My children are involved in a number of sports. Football. Cheerleading. Wrestling. One thing that completely makes me crazy is to be sitting at one of these events, and listening to the people around me. I honestly wish I could turn my ears off. But I can't. All of the voices around me. Negativity. Seriously. I was at the ball game the other night, and heard a parent comparing our cheer team to the other cheer team. In a negative way. Even stated that this was the first game that they brought their family to, and they were "embarrassed". Hmmmm. I am not impressed. This almost triggered a letter to the editor from me. But then, I thought better of it. Just decided to vent on my blog...Not as many readers...lol...But When your children are involved in something~no matter what it is. Why would you do something to bring them down? I have one child with self esteem issues anyway. Why would I say something negative about them? Kids in our nation today have so much going on in their lives, so much negative from everyone else. Why would they need it from their parents? I just don't get it. We may not be the best cheer team in the city. But my daughter is on the team, and I am proud of her. For who she is. What she stands for. And her cheering skills are pretty good to me! All of the girls did an exceptional job as far as I am concerned. I don't tend to compare to others though. I sure am glad God doesn't do that. If we were compared to some of the great men and women of God out there. I am sure that a lot of us wouldn't measure up. That is one of my little issues of the week...

The other one is....why can't people just get along? When you work with someone~don't make it so difficult to get along. I like to avoid conflict, but the best way to do that is keep your mouth shut. =) Not always the best at that one personally...but if you remove yourself from a situation where there is conflict...You definitley will be better off for it. Don't get in the middle of it. Don't take sides. Just thing about how Jesus would handle the situation. Pray. and Stay out of it. Enough Said. =)

I am very opinionated. I feel strongly about certain things. I just want my kids to learn what matters in life. To be vessels for God. Learn to face problems alone..You don't have to "fit in". It is better to be yourself. Than be like everyone else. .Knowing that even though they feel alone-that God is on their side. Praying about this a lot this week.

God is working on my heart. In more ways than one. I have made a conscious effort to pull away from photography for the past couple of months. I don't want to DO something if it isn't what I think God has planned for me. Funny thing is...Photography keeps coming up. Over and OVER....So, I am going to try it again. It doesn't pay the bills. It doesn't get me into Mission work(yet anyway;) that is so where my heart is right now) I can't depend on it 100%. But my heart is filled when I have a camera in my hand. I love the feeling of running through a field with a child to capture that perfect laugh. I love the feeling of seeing family photos in the homes of my friends. That fills my heart. I was sharing this with a friend the other day...and she said, But How do you feel when you are doing photography? I honestly have thought about that. Alot. I get a high when I do a session. I get back into the car, smiling, flipping through my camera...to see what images I like the most. I drive home with my windows down. Praise music playing. Smiling. Happy. Is God in it? Yes. As long as I continue to give it ALL to Him. The name of my business says it all~His Eyes Photography. I want to see the world through His Eyes. If it takes me picking up my camera again to do that. I am ready. <3 Details to come soon.

He is Able to do All things<3

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to Fishing

I posted yesterday about how I had listened to a few different speakers, and they have ALL spoken on the same subject....Which was the topic I wrote about yesterday....Well, today, I got off work early, so I decided to take advantage of my quiet time...and pulled up my devotion for today...You know it before I say it...But it is also....the same topic...CRAZY! I truly think God is trying to tell me something...So, I am going to do my best this time....to listen<3 Pray for James and I as we try to determine what it is we are supposed to be doing. =) We both feel the same way~We just want God to use us. Praying daily. Here is a copy of the devotion....from Proverbs 31 Ministries<3

Back to Fishing
’I'm going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing." John 21:3 (NIV)
Have you ever found yourself in a place where all your hopes and dreams have fallen apart? What did you do?
Jesus’ disciple Peter had betrayed his Lord, and watched Him die. Now Jesus was gone. So what did he do? In John 21, we see Peter going back to what he was doing before he met Him. I sometimes wonder what he must’ve been thinking as he sat aboard the fishing boat and scanned the horizon.
Did he wonder if it was all just a dream? Did he worry about the future? He had been at a spiritual pinnacle—walking with Jesus, hearing from Jesus, planning for a future that included Jesus. But in the blink of an eye, he and his comrades were back to their old pursuits as though nothing had happened at all.
God was still at work, but during this time He let Peter and the other disciples go back to fishing. He let them have those days of wondering and worrying. He allowed them to scan the horizon looking for Him—and find nothing. For a time He allowed them to feel alone and even forsaken.
When we feel that way, we tend to go back to what we knew before. We might go back to old habits or old friends who weren’t necessarily the best for us. We might go back to old pursuits or old crutches that once propped us up. We might be like Peter and find ourselves sitting in a place we never thought we’d see again.
And yet, this time, something is different. This time there is that glimmer of hope that—while we might have gone back—we don’t have to stay back.
I love that this story ends with Jesus on the beach waiting for Peter and his friends to stop fishing and come to Him. And, when Peter saw Jesus, he jumped out of the boat to get to Him.
Perhaps you’ve walked away from your own dreams and returned to what is familiar. Maybe disappointment or failure has left you wondering where God is. I hope you will cling to this story today. I hope that as you scan your horizon, you will see God waiting for you to return to Him. And when you do, you will run towards Him as fast as you can.
He may have let you go through an alone time. He may have allowed you to wonder if He was still there. But in that time, I pray that the flicker of hope did not die out for you. You may have gone back to "fishing," but He doesn’t want you to stay there. He’s got so much more for you to do. He is still at work. His plans involve going forward, not going back.
Dear Lord, I have felt alone and forgotten. I have wondered if any of my spiritual experiences were real. I’ve gone back to what’s familiar because it was all I knew to do. But I know You don’t want to leave me there. I want to see You when I scan the horizon. And when I do, help me to have the courage to run toward You as fast as I can. I trust that You still have a plan for me. And that plan involves going forward, not going back. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Will Follow

Haven't blogged in a few weeks..Not because I haven't had a lot on my mind =) I have finally went back to work....and our schedules and pure exhaustion simply got the best of me.

One thing that I truly valued during my time that I was off work~due to my illness~was my quiet time with God. I had plenty of it. AND I definitely used my time wisely. Isn't it funny how in a crisis situation we realize our need for God in our lives. We pray. Alot. We read our Bibles. Alot. And then this crazy thing called "normal" starts creeping back into our lives, and we slowly grow away from what was such a difficult lesson to learn in the first place. I can feel this starting to happen in my life~and I don't want it anywhere near me<3 I want to continue the pathway that I feel like God has put me on. I don't want to allow this "normal" way of life to come back. Bad things happen. I have had my fair share of them lately. But I have grown so much because of them. I want to use what I have gained. To be more bold for Christ. I mean, in all seriousness, I really could not be here today. I had a subdural brain hemmorage. A condition that many people die of. Why didn't I? Because God has a purpose for me. He has a purpose for all of us. We just have to make an effort to figure out what it is.

I listen to a number of pastors on a weekly basis (Daniel Floyd~My sister's pastor, Steven Furtick~Pastor of Elevation Church)...plus our own church, and Sunday school class....I am learning to realize that all things truly happen for a reason...I have always known this, but when you see it happening in your life, over and over again....It just makes it more concrete. The two pastors that I watch online, plus the guest pastor that was at our church yesterday, plus our Sunday school lesson....ALL speaking about the same topic. Seriously? I mean...when I started watching my last one this morning....I got all teary. It's like, "Ok, God...I get it...I believe you are talking to me...." =)

Somewhere along the way...We start "living" life...and stop dreaming.

 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" Jeremiah 29:11

 We settle for the routine day to day life...and we don't run for the dream God has for us.

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

We are NOT here just to Be. We are here to make an impact with our lives. For Jesus. Not just to exist in this world. 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. Psalm 32:8

We are not to be afraid that we can't. Because He said....I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:13

We all face tough times. I have recently. I have dreams. Big ones. I want to reach people for Jesus. Was ready to face the world...or so I thought...

Then my brother in law passed....my van transmission went out, I had a subdural hemmorage, finances headed south, Unable to work for some time....my fire went out for what I personally could do. During all of this, my relationship with God grew so much. Spiritually I felt closer than ever...But physically, felt as if I was pretty much helpless... But my situation seemed pretty hopeless for me to get to "pursue" some of these dreams I have. So, here I am~back to nursing...because it pays the bills. Being a "taxi driver" for my kids. Laundry. Dishes. Housework. You know the list. We all have one.

But I heard this today...and it sure hit home. In the Bible, Peter denied Jesus three times. I am sure he was overwhelmed with regret after Jesus died on the cross. After Jesus' death on the cross, Peter went back to fishing. Not thinking about everything that Jesus taught him.  That was what he did before. That was his normal. His routine. His comfort zone. What came easy for him. Until that day  he saw Jesus on the shore. When he realized it was Him. He jumped out of the boat. <3 And ran to Him. (John 21-1-17) Love this part. Because even though he went back to what was easy...Once He realzied that the Lord was there. With Him. He jumped out of the boat (comfort zone) and ran to Christ (His calling)...To me...that is just amazing<3 Jesus is on my shore...waiting for me to run to Him. He doesn't want me to sit in my comfort zone...and just simply exist. He wants me to Live my Dream. Be all I can be for Him. Be committed. Don't sit and think about what I can do. LIVE it. I don't want to go back to what is comfortable. I want to do what God has called me to do. God wants us to be OUT of our comfort zone...Because ultimately that is where we serve Him the best.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
This is my prayer today. I am struggling with this one. James and I are praying and searching for His will in some things. Knowing God is in it. Looking forward to seeing where He is going to take us. Because....
Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow... =)


Thursday, September 1, 2011


Beautiful Song...Love.
Just wanted to share...

I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest swing.
I had a dream.

Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest tree.
I had a dream.

Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave.
I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.

I had a dream

Monday, August 29, 2011

Don't wait for a "Perspective Changer"

I usually don't title my blog posts until after they are written..But today is different...last night during church, while listening to our pastor, I came up with my title...Don't judge me, I was paying attention in church, even taking notes....because I am a note taking kind of girl...I take notes to keep my mind on track. You should see the books I read...I take notes in them too...sometimes with colored pencils...because it makes me smile =) and for no reason other than that =)

But the title came to me during church because of the content of the sermon. Our pastor was speaking about a subject that lots of people like to avoid...When your last minute on Earth comes, where will you spend the next minute? Your first minute of eternity? Heaven? or Hell? Yes. That is a deep question. A question that a lot of people would rather not think about...Not now. Now, I am busy with all of this stuff that I have going on in my life. Lots of things to do. You know, Stuff.

We can go about our daily lives. Doing the "stuff" that we consider important...and completely ignore the eternity question? But like I have told my children about lots of things....ignoring something doesn't make it go away...It doesn't mean that it won't happen. It will. Death isn't something that any of us can avoid. It happens to everyone at some time or another.

My PERSPECTIVE has been changed. Life altering events have a good way of doing that. Believe me, I have had my share of them in the past couple of months. Like I have said before, you can be living life one day, and fighting for it the next. Crazy how that works. But it is so. Don't wait until something happens. Perspective Changers aren't fun. Period. They hurt. They are difficult. And sometimes seem unfair. BUT ~ Has my perspective been changed? Definitely. God gives us so much that we don't thank him for. Family, friends, jobs, cars....the list could go on. But the key to that statement is that He gives it to us. When you lose a family member, or a friend, a job, or even something as simple as a car~you miss it. You realize the value it had in your life. The importance of it. Like the song, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone"...So true. Don't wait until it's gone. Make the desicion to follow Jesus today. Without Him in my life~these past few months~I honestly don't know where I would have been. I have been in His word, and prayed more than I have in my life. Why does it take a "perspective changer" to cause this change in my mind? I wish I knew. But I would love for you to realize it before hand. He is here. For you. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 I know that these are things you have heard all your life. I have. But now I know. Peace. Without Jesus we wouldn't have it. For that I am thankful. If you have Jesus in your heart and life~Will the storms stay away? No. They will still come. But when you have Jesus, he helps you through. When I breathe my last time here on Earth~I know where I will be the next minute in eternity...Do you? <3

"Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world's" 1 John 2:2

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Make my Vapor Count

I haven't blogged in a few days because my heart wasn't in it. I decided when I started this a long time ago, that I wasn't going to blog negativity. Well, that is where I have been lately. Pretty Negative. You know the saying "When it rains it pours"? That doesn't even touch where I have been lately...If that saying is true, I have been stuck in the middle of a hurricane....and can't get out...Today, for whatever reason, seems a little better. I thought about writing about all of the things that have went wrong in the past couple of days...but decided against it. What good does it do to complain? It gets us nowhere...And you know what? As hard as it seems to believe. There is a purpose. God has a purpose for everything that my family has had to endure. I read this quote last night~"Just because God takes you on a detour, it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about your destination. The final word on your life is not going to be the detours you experience. It’s going to be the destination God uses them to take you to." It is true. Trials open your eyes. Those experiences that happen to every one else...They can happen to you. And when they do~you realize a lot of things. "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanishes away (James 4:14). So true. "Soon this life as we know it shall pass … only what’s done for Jesus will last.” Yes, I am full of quotes today...but I know that I didn't see them all in the past 24 hours by coincidence. No way. God constantly amazes me with His faithfulness. I just want to be all I can be for Him.

Sometimes we sit back and think, How can God use me? I am just....or I can't....but....We are full of excuses....We give excuses for everything...Reasons we can't serve in our church. That hits home with a lot of people. There are enough people at church doing things...They don't realize that I have a job and three kids to take care of, the extracurricular activities we have....I mean, I am like a taxi driver...plus my family needs me to spend time with them ......yeah, Truth hurts. I'm speaking to myself too...So don't get offended.  For us to be all that God wants us to be~we need to spend time with Him and in His word. and with His people. and SERVE. Really? Yep. It's simple. That verse that says "Life is but a vapor...." I really want to make my vapor count. =)

I don't want to be a part of a church that sits back and let's things happen. I want to be a church that goes out, and tells others about our Father. If we knew someone who has cancer, and we have the cure for it...We wouldn't keep that cure to ourselves. We would share it with the world. So they could be healed. I don't see a difference. We have a Savior. Who died on the cross for our sins. He did it for us. All we have to do is trust in Him. Believe. And he has the "cure for our lost souls" Salvation. Eternity in Heaven with Him.

 I lost my brother in law 2 months ago today. Suddenly. To a brain aneurysm. I hate the situation, the sadness, the grief. My sister's family being incomplete. But Shaun became a Christian. and knowing that, having that peace in my heart~means I will see him again. I will get to put my arms around his neck, and tell him that he was a brother to me....drop the "in-law" part ;) And he will tell me I am "mean"...and I will say "Bull!"...(on going joke between Shaun and I) But HOW does someone face death without that peace? I don't know. That is where, we, as Christians, need to step up. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

I have heard this song...so many times in the past day or so...and it makes me cry every time I hear it...Remind me Who I am. Watch the video if you have time. But there are so many people out there hurting. Dealing with so much. Sometimes it is someone right beside you. and we just need Him to Remind us...Who we are...To Him. <3 I am the One He loves<3

When I lose my way
When I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
is who I don’t wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is
Tell me once again who I am to You
Who I am to You
Tell me
Lest I forget who I am to You
I belong to You
To You
When my heart is like a stone
and I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it
Tell me once again who I am to You
Who I am to You
Tell me
Lest I forget who I am to You
I belong to You
To You
I’m the one You love
I’m the one You love
That will be enough

Friday, August 19, 2011

Remember When

17 years.


I guess that shows how old I am. James and I were married 17 years ago tomorrow. I could write this big long romantic post...but most people that know us, know our "story"...We met in Spanish class at Central High School. I didn't like him. He was annoying...Things haven't changed in the annoying department. ;) But we grew to be good friends. Nothing more. He would call me, and tell me who he "liked" and do a practice run on asking her out....I would pretend to be "her"...and tell him how he sounded...ect. LOL...I was brutally honest too. But I dated other guys. He dated other girls. But our friendship was always there. He would give me advice. I would listen. I decided to look up the word friendship in Websters(this one is for you Kristie) and it said" the mutual feelings of trust and affection and the behavior that typify relationships between friends". We had that. But it didn't take long before it became more....We were best friends for about 2 years, and then our relationship went to another level. Our families went to the beach at the same time....and that is where James told me he loved me. I wasn't ready for that. But I was ready to try it. I mean, how can you go wrong by dating your best friend in the world? I was afraid. Afraid that if it didn't work out, I would lose that friendship. But even then, 17 years ago, I knew that God had brought James into my life. =) And for that I am SO thankful.

We have come so far. From our little one room apartment in Johnson City...to being the parents of 3 beautiful children....our blessings far outweigh our trials. And trials are definitely a part of our life right now. Losing a family member suddenly, who was too young to die. (in our worldly thought process) finances falling apart around us, transmission goes out in our van, having a brain aneurysm, 8 days in ICU, more bills coming, in search of full-time job with no luck, the list goes on and on....But, all of that makes my blessings all the more. I have a wonderful husband, who loves me NO matter the trials we have. Three amazing children, who understand that things are rough right now, but love us anyway. Ian even offered us all of his birthday money to help us out~said we needed it more than he did. God is Good. All the time. We say that all the time, but it's true. He is right here with us in the middle of this mess. He is going to get us through it. I am holding on to that. Believing it.

In the midst of all the stuff going on in our lives, I am coming up on August 20 tomorrow. The day that I married my best friend. The day that my life changed forever. The happiest day of my life. Everything may not be perfect. But when I look into James eyes, no matter what is going on. I know that we will be ok. He has been my rock during all of this. When I couldn't walk, he helped me. He took care of me while I was sick. He didn't leave my side. I write this, and can't help but wipe the tears as they flow down my cheeks. I feel guilty because my sister has lost the love of her life. I wish I could take that all away. I don't understand it. It just isn't fair. But knowing the love that she had, and talking with her every day about it. She would say Love your husband. Tell him every day. Don't take what you have for granted. We don't know what the next day holds let alone the next hour.

So, today, I want to say...

James, I love you more than you will ever know. When you walked into my life 17 years ago, I never knew how blessed I would be to have you. God had a plan for us. I am so glad that he chose you for me. That plan is still in progress. We are called to do God's work. You and I both know that. I am so excited to see this next phase of our lives roll out in front of us. We are closer to God than we ever have been. Knowing that, I am so exited about where He is leading us. You started as my best friend, and you still are my best friend. But now you are the absolute LOVE of my life. I love everything about you. (even if sometimes it doesn't seem that way) You are my rock. Thank you for making the last 17 years, the best ones of my life. Thank you for being the best daddy in the world. For loving our kids above any thing else. For loving me unconditionally. God has been good to us. and for that I am thankful. We don't realize the blessings that we have been given. Sometimes life is hard, but with each other, we can do anything. As long as we always put God first. You are a blessing to me. and today I want to tell you that. I love you James Allen. Now and Forever....

Happy Anniversary! Here's our favorite song....Remember When....<3

Remember when I was young and so were you
And time stood still and love was all we knew
You were the first, so was I
We made love and then you cried
Remember when

Remember when we vowed the vows and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start and it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt
Remember when

Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart
And broke each other's hearts
Remember when

Remember when the sound of little feet was the music
We danced to week to week
Brought back the love, we found trust
Vowed we'd never give it up
Remember when

Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookin' back, it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are, where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when

Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when

I love you James!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I am just a Girl...

*warning....lots of rambling....
I have been amazed at the number of emails, cards, facebook messages, gifts that I have received over the past few weeks. James and I truly had no idea how many people really care about us. Amazing.

When we just live normal, non-eventful lives, we just go through the motions. We get up, get ready, drink our coffee, get the kids ready for whatever they have to do that day...Go do our "stuff", come home, go to whatever extracurricular events we have....settle in for the night...go to bed...then do a Repeat. Do we ever think about God during the course of one of our "non-eventful" days? I can honestly say, I didn't. I mean, yes, we went to church on Sunday, and we prayed before we ate~but to SERIOUSLY think about God during the course of the day...Not so much.

But let an "event" happen. A life-altering event. Thursday morning...8 weeks ago...my brother-in-law died. I got that dreadful 4am phone call....the one that wakes you up from a deep sleep. The one that makes your heart start beating in your throat, because you know that no one calls at that time of the morning. Our lives immediately changed. One minute, asleep-the next minute~Your life turns down a completely different path. And we are forced to make a decision. To turn to God.When everything was going along just the way we thought it should...We didn't seem to see the importance of Him in our lives. But let something happen, and then WHERE is He? Why did He let this happen? Prayer? Of course we are going to pray...What else can we do? This is out of our control. We now know that we NEED Him. But my storm didn't stop there. I was so broken for my sister. She and I are  closer now than we EVER have been. We have deep discussions about Jesus, and His love for us. What our purpose is in this life we have been given? I have always loved her. Why did it take something traumatic for me to realize how much? I wish I knew the answers.

Then James and I were running...trying to "get in shape" wanting to be healthy, so I can be here for my children. Wanting to teach them that exercise is important....ect. and then I had the dreaded "worst headache of my life". Numbness. Tingling in my arms. Neck Pain. ER. Aneurysm. ICU. MRI. CT. IV's. Blood work. An onslaught of words that I have used all my life in my job~never expected to hear people using those words around me. While I lay in a hospital bed. One minute~running~next minute...life goes down completely different path. Again. Why? If I had the answer to that question...I would be one happy girl.

I pretty much had a break down yesterday. I have received a number of emails of people telling me what an inspiration I have been to them, amazed at how strong I am...ect. Let me tell you, if any of you had seen me yesterday~you wouldn't have been inspired. I promise. Crying. Depressed. I don't understand why all of these things have had to happen to our family. I know I can say that God is in control (and I know he is) But that doesn't make all the sadness go away. There is so much more than people outside our home know about. Things that can overwhelm you in a way that is unexplainable. I definitely don't want people to think I "have this thing together" Because BELIEVE ME...I don't. I am trying. Praying. But I don't have the answers...and I wish I did. I need a job. FULL time. But the doctor has me off work until after Labor day. Finances. Huge burden to us right now. Depression~another thing that I personally have to deal with. Have for years. But throw in losing your brother in law to an aneurysm, the transmission on the van going out on the way to the funeral(no, I am not kidding), coming home and having a possible aneurysm yourself. Spending 8 days in ICU. Medical bills. the list goes on...but I won't bore you with it. Needless to say, the depression has somewhat kicked in...plus the crazy medicine that they have me on every 4 hours around the clock....guess what? side effect? depression...Great. right? lol....On top of lack of sleep...too...I can talk about what a pitiful mess we are in...can wonder why it all had to happen to us...That won't help anything...and I know that.

James and I were having a talk yesterday afternoon...I was opening the mail while we were talking...and I opened a card someone had sent me. The card was from a friend that I haven't talked to in some time....and the card was like a message from God. He said, "I'm in control of all of this. I promise. Be Still. Trust Me." And there was some money in the card. The exact amount that we needed to pay a bill that was due. Crazy to some, but it was all it took for me to realize that God's got this. I know it. When I get down and out. And want to climb in my bed, and go to sleep, because it is easier than dealing with everything that we are facing. God is here. Sitting beside me. Holding my hand. Telling me that "Everything is going to be all right". I know that. I just need Him to remind me every once in a while....hmmmm...maybe every day would be better....=)

I don't want to just "go through the motions" I want to do what God wants me to do with my life. Now. Don't wait on a storm to come into your life. Do it now. He has a plan for us, and all I want to do is be in His will. I don't have it all together. I am just a girl~in the middle of a storm~holding onto my Savior to get through<3

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In all things....

I know that I need to get out of the house....and be "normal" again...But for some reason, the house seems to be where I want to be. I am going to go to church this morning. But for some reason, I am dreading it. Horribly. I love my church. My friends. and so need to Worship my Lord. I long to be in His house. But I dread having to face people. I wish I knew why. I guess I am strange that way. I talked to James about it, and he thinks it is somewhat normal to feel that way. I am going to go. Because I know I need to, but just need prayers.

God is working on my heart in so many ways. I wish I could actually get it all down. I am working on it. But it is so much, sometimes all I can do is read His word, and pray. He is leading James and I on a journey. <3 Believe me, it has been a rough one this year. But all I can keep thinking is I can't wait to see where He is taking us. I know that all of the storms that we have been facing in the past few months are for a purpose. Through them all, I want to give Him the glory. That's all I can do. Because without Him, I wouldn't be here today. Without all of the prayers going up on my behalf~I just can't imagine. One thing I know is that Prayer works. Look at us. If it didn't, who knows what kind of shape we would be in? We aren't in the "greatest shape", but the one thing that has been consistent throughout all of this~our love for Christ. I remember lying in the hospital bed, thinking that I know God is with us~and has a purpose for us. All we need to do is give Him the praise through out. That's my plan. I have a "bigger blog post" coming...Maybe this afternoon...lol...but I just really wanted to write this now.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The One

It just takes One. I have heard that statement more than once in the past two days. Funny how when something impacts you. You notice in everywhere. For those of you who don't know, I am a Scentsy Consultant. Like many other Direct Sales companies, Scentsy does a yearly convention, and it just happened this past week. One of the speakers at convention spoke on "The Power of One".
This was the video that they showed at convention. What if You are the One? I promise there is a point to all my "linkage" during this blog post...Bear with me.....

Then I came upon the song by Brandon Heath...The One....
If I see one more light that's fading
Hear about one more broken dream
Pray for just one more faith that's dying
It's one too many

And if I see one more child walking
Just one more mile for water
If I wait one more minute longer
It's one too many

When I think of what could be
If we let our hearts believe
That it takes just one
Just one could turn this all around

And if we're living history
How will they think of you and me
If it takes just one, just one
What if, what if, what if I'm the one?

It takes one, takes one, one
It takes one, takes one, one
It takes one, takes one

If I hear one more widow crying
'Cause there's no one by her side
And if I see one more family breaking
It's one too many

If there's one thing that I'm sure of
If there's one thing that I know
You could be one in a sea of faces
Or you could be one more chance for hope

When I think of what could be
If we let our hearts believe
That it takes just one
Just one could turn this all around

And if we're living history
How will they think of you and me
If it takes just one, just one
What if, what if, what if I'm the one?

I see a nation without any walls
A beautiful haven for one and for all
I see a day when people are free
When shackles are broken and fall to the street

A voice, a cry, call out from on high
The first one of many, go lay down your life

When I think of what could be
If we let our hearts believe
That it takes just one
Just one could turn this all around

And if we're living history
How will they think of you and me
If it takes just one, just one
What if, what if, what if I'm the one?

Coincidental? I don't think so...because this morning....my devotion was titled....Are you ready? It Just Takes One (http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2011/08/it-just-takes-one.html) link provided.....

Ok, I am not sure what God is trying to tell me. But I think I am beginning to get it. I spoke to our youth pastor from our church last night for some time about some things that James and I have been burdened about. Lots of things run through your mind, when you are on restrictions, and you have to sit at home. Trust me. I mean I have thought about Mission opportunities, ways to reach others for Christ, things I want to do, books I would love to write, songs that inspire me. What my purpose in life is? Why my sister and me have had to go through the things we have for the past few weeks? God's in it. All.

It just takes One. In a worldly view~One person can change the world. or a church. as far as that goes. Sometimes I look at our local church and my heart breaks. There are so many times we fail. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I know that we are blessed. God has shown us through our church so much love during my sickness. We haven't asked for anything. My church family has been there for us in ways that we could have never even imagined. But this isn't about me. Or my family. It's about the family that doesn't have a church. They don't have money to make their bills. They are working two or three jobs to make ends meet. They don't "fit into our group" so therefore, we don't "think" about them. I'm guilty. I want to be the ONE to change that. I want my church to reach out to those people that no one else will. The lowest of the low. I sometimes wonder why we continue to "play church", Sunday after Sunday....doing the same thing over and over...and never making a difference in the lives of others. We hang with people like us, who believe like us~therefore there is no controversy. It's easy. Not hard. and we "like it that way". I am not sure about you...But I want to be the One to change that thought process. I am ready to take a stand for those who have not had the opportunities that I have. I want to love those who haven't felt loved. Let's be the church that God wants us to be. Love the unlovable. Don't judge each other. Live like Jesus did. Let's Be the One <3

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Me? A Mighty Warrior?

Being at home, on physical restrictions, has definitely given me a lot of time to just "think". Something that I like to do anyway. I love to catch up on my blogs, read my bible studies, and journal. Silly things that seem to be a sort of therapy for me. Writing has always been something that I have enjoyed. As a teenager, in high school, I journaled. Daily. I have books and books full of my high school years, things I did, places I went, feelings, ect. and I just love to look back through them, and am amazed at how "real" it makes those memories. Just a good way to keep memories alive...in my mind. anyway <3

I have always said the perfect job to me would be to vacate to a beach cottage somewhere up north, rocky coast line, wind blowing, white curtains, and white furniture with my laptop. I would love to sit down and actually write a book. Not really sure if it's a possible thing. But really have always had that dream....I can imagine it now, the windows open, breeze blowing through the open screens, and the thousands of ideas that are always flying around in my mind~somehow getting put down on paper~in some sort of order~to make a book. Thoughts that I have had over the past 6 months or so, things that I wish I could use to help others who have dealt with similiar situations. Just something that has been on my mind. Who knows? Maybe I will attempt it. Especially if God wants me to. =) 

This journey that He has put me in, has ever so changed my perspective on life. I know I have said it before, but I can't begin to say it enough. When God opens your eyes. You know it. There is NO accidental occurences in our lives. I say there is divine appointments. All things that we face on a daily basis are for a purpose. It is what we choose to do with the cards we are given that will make the difference. We all have a weak place. A "crack in our armor" so to say. And that one crack in our armor will get us everytime. If we allow it to. Everytime that we seem to "hit that wall of resistance" we have to give it to Him. Turn it over. Lay it Down at His feet. The enemy wants to rob us from experiencing God's gifts-by causing us to want to quit, or to simply give up. Because Life is just "too hard". God told Gideon, in Judges 6:12 "God is with you, Mighty Warrior". Gideon was scared, felt incapable, but yet God called him MIGHTY WARRIOR. He is calling us all Mighty Warriors. God is sending us. We will face resistance. Guaranteed. Will we move through it? God is with us. I am HIS. I'm gonna start with what I have, and do what he said. Go and Share my gospel with others. We love to talk about alot of things with other people, church, sunday school, socials, gatherings. But it is so hard to talk about the important things. JESUS. Everytime we introduce someone to Jesus, the devil loses again. and Jesus has already won. We are the vehicle that He has chosen to connect others to Jesus Christ. Let's not fall short on this one. I know I am ready to be a Mighty Warrior. How about you?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

Perimesencepahlic nonanerusymal subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage.

Wow. That's a mouthful. On July 26, that word had never entered my vocabulary. Today, I'm blogging about it. Crazy how our lives can change in the blink of an eye.

The night of July 26, James and I and the kids had decided that we were going to start a "running" program. The name of it is The Couch to the 5K. I have done it before, and made pretty good progress, and felt like after losing this last 45 pounds, that it would be a good time to start it up again. I was motivated to get in shape, and get organized to be ready for back to school, ect. So we got our ipods together, and headed out into our cul-de-sac around 930 pm. (I like to run at night, because it isn't as hot, and there aren't onlookers ;) We did the warm up walking phase, and then one maybe two of the running "rounds"....During the second one, I began to have this intense headache in the front of my head. Right in the middle, and then it felt as if two rubber bands were pulling from the front of my head to the base of my neck. I had to stop jogging, and was walking. I told James and the kids that I was having a severe headache, and needed to lay down. I went straight to the couch, and attempted to lie down-with no success. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn't even lay there, I was balled up in fetal position, crying in pain, and at this point, both my arms were going numb. I could feel them tingling, and was having a hard time focusing....I knew that I needed to be seen in the ER. Shaun, my brother in law kept passing before my eyes. Aneurysm. He died of an anerysym. Is that what is wrong with me? Am I having a stroke? The next few minutes, hours, of time are sort of a blur. I remember some of the things that happened, but not all of them. The drive to the ER, was just prayer on my part. Please, Lord let me get there. Take care of me and my children. Help me.....That sort of thing...repeating the prayers over and over in my mind. We got checked into the ER, and there was a vast array of testing, antivomiting meds that didn't work, CT, CT with contrast, Vomiting, freezing, MRI, having to tell our family that I was in the ER with a brain bleed. Kids were terrified. James too. Me, I was out of it. Not aware enough to be scared, but in an incredible amount of pain. When they finally transferred me to ICU, and a familiar face checked me in. I felt some peace. They got me checked in, and situated, nausea under control. pain still there, but some better. Now to worry about what had caused this, what to do. How would I deal with this? What is God's plan in allowing this to happen?

Well, it's almost a week and a half later, and I still don't know the answers. Had much more testing done, arteriogram with good results, MRI negative, CT's look like blood has reabsorbed. All the things that they wanted to happen. But still don't know what caused it? The neuro doctor said we may never know. "One of those things" I still have lots of questions. Still having headache and neck pain. Still feel my body ache because of inactivity. I know it sounds like complaining, and maybe it is. I don't see why I had to go through this. But I do know that I want to get great things out of it. God works that way. We don't have to understand, for him to teach us. I think that's what He is doing. I want to learn. Nothing like being put on restrictions, to have time to think. and study His word. I plan on making the most of this.

We serve an amazing God. Who healed me. I know that. If He isn't first in your life, you need to consider where you stand today? I could not be here today. It could have been the end of my life last week, but if it was, I know where I would have been. With my Father in Heaven. <3 Life can change...in the blink of an eye. Be sure you are ready...when it does.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I don't want to Hide Behind a Keyboard

One thing I really don't want, is for people to think I am something I am not. I have read this on Facebook numerous times...

"WELCOME TO FACEBOOK, the place where RELATIONSHIPS are perfect, LIARS believe they are telling the truth, & the WORLD shows off they are living a great life; where your ENEMIES are the ones that visit your profile the most, your FRIENDS & FAMILY block you and IGNORE you; and even though you write what you are really thinking, someone takes it the wrong way."

When I first read this, I thought...that's true...Sad, but true...I know of numerous occasions where "posts" on Facebook, have caused arguments, or made someone angry, due to something that has been said. If that is the case, is Facebook something we should stay away from? It seems like people can be so brave behind a keyboard. But they are so afraid to say what they feel to someone face to face. I see this in my kids. It is so easy for them to text messages to each other...but if they actually had to call someone, and talk about a problem, or to ask someone to do something....They would rather not. Texting is easier. Facebook is easier. I know from experience. I have been there. I have been the one that sent a message, instead of picked up the phone. I have texted rather than calling...just because I didn't know what or how to get my message across. It is so much easier to sit behind a screen, and do it that way. People don't have to know that I am down and out...if I just send a message. I don't have to talk about anything else. I can keep a message to the point. No questions, no explanations. I kind of like it that way. But am wondering if that is a bad attitude on my part?

Really, there is no question. I know it is. During my Bible Study this morning, I was thinking about this, and comparing it to our love for Christ. We so often think, if we just "live right" and "be the only Jesus that some people ever see" we are doing our duty as a Christian. We can just sit behind our "screen" so to speak...and Be seen, but not heard... Not so. I used to think this was justifiable. I was a quiet and shy person. Therefore, God couldn't expect me to witness...He would be fine with me living for Him, and setting an example that way.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."Matthew 28:18-20

Not really hard to understand. I get it. We are to share His love with those who are lost. Not just from "behind a screen" or a keyboard. But in our every day life. Be vocal. He died for us. Why do we sit here, and let life pass us by, not doing all we can for him?

I am guilty. Just getting my thoughts down. I have had a lot on my mind lately. Praying and trying to decide the direction God wants me to go with my life. Family needs, financial concerns, and many other things come into play. But I know one thing. Regardless of all that is going on around me. He is Here. He is in Control. I often post scripture, or devotions on my Facebook. Not to try to be something I am not. Just trying to share something with others, that has helped me. I know that I have lost a few "friends" due to this type of posts...and if that's the case, so be it. I am who I am. I am slowly growing into this person. Am I trying to portray a "perfect" person? Absolutely not. I fail every day. Fight depression every day. Worry every day. Wonder Why? every day....But I am learning along the way. Searching His Word  for answers...Not sure where He is leading. But def know that I want to follow. My hope is not to hide behind the keyboard....But to share with others, what He has done for me.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I read something on the internet this morning that just bothered me. I read a few different things every morning, devotions, blogs, ect. I really enjoy what they have to say. Feel like they are making a difference for Christ...

Why do people feel the need to criticize someone who is trying to reach others for Christ? Why do people try to find the place where someone has messed up~and poke them right where it hurts? I guess the people who do this have never messed up...I mean, you would have to be perfect, right? To hit someone while they are down...or to criticize someone for something that You, yourself have never done? I guess I just don't really get it. And you see it everywhere, not just on t.v. It goes on right here in our own community as well...I am not going to go into the details of what started my thoughts about this subject~because it would be doing the same. I just hope that as I go about my daily life, that I can try to see things differently. I want to see things through "His Eyes"<3 He loves us all. No matter what.

I read this verse this morning....

But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do,
   what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
   be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously—
   take God seriously. Micah 6:8(The Message)

What does God require from us? Treat people right, Show Mercy to others, and put God first. I could make a list of what "we" try to do...but it has no purpose. Not really.
My thoughts...
I want to take God Seriously. Today. and Every day. <3

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Me? Unwilling?

You know what's funny to me? When you pick up your Bible, and something jumps out at you...You may have read it before, or you may not think that it could be applicable to your life today...But every time...it is. I read these verses this morning...and actually laughed. =) I have been worrying about the "job situation"...trying to find something full time...worrying about the "van situation"....wondering how we are going to get it fixed....many more "worries", that I won't even list here....and then when I do my Bible Study this morning, I read these verses....COMPLETE DEPENDENCE on ME...the VERY thing you've been unwilling to do....hmmmmm...I took that one personal =) I have said, that I was praying about these things...and have still worried about them....so gonna make this one short and sweet....but if you don't spend time in His word...you need to...If you are struggling with anything..grief, depression, financial problems, worry, anxiety....His Word is there for us...and believe me, when you get into His word~you will be amazed....I am...every day....Are my problems gone? No, but I believe that He is in control...and can't wait to see where this ride is going to end up<3

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Every Morning

"I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—  the feeling of hitting the bottom.But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left." Lamentations 3:21-26 (The Message)

This is what I read this morning....I listened to a sermon on the computer this past weekend, and these were the verses that he covered...I hadn't ever read it the way I read it this time...Ever done that? You know something, have read it or heard it before...and until something happens in your life~you hear it or read it completely different....I sometimes talk in circles, so if that doesn't make sense then just ignore it ;) But it makes sense to me....lol....

My sister wrote in her blog post yesterday about going to work...and it seeming so trivial after all the things that have went on in her life the past few weeks...She lost her precious husband, and then having to deal with phones, computers, and things that seem to not really matter in the big picture. I haven't faced the same storms that she has faced, but def have faced a few of my own in the past 6 months or so...and have had the exact same feeling...of Why? Why do I have to do this trivial "Stuff" when I KNOW that God is calling me to do something more....I know the answer...He isn't ready for me to do it yet. It's in His time, not ours. Faith. Prayer. I got it. But I am human also...and the daily grind of our lives, sometimes is so frustrating. Walking around with people who think the purpose of our lives is something so completely different that what it truly is...Deep stuff, I know. But it is where I am right now.

James and I have been praying for a few months now. We have felt "unsettled" for a lack of a better word. It's not the easiest thing to explain, but that is the best way I know how...Ever since I went to Haiti, in January...I feel that God is calling me into missions. James is feeling the same. We personally don't know what that means...I don't neccesarily think that it means we are going to sell everything we own, and up and move to Africa...But saying that, I am completely ok with that too....~if it is where he leads us. But I also know that there are things in my heart, and James too...that we are praying about. I think the troubles we have faced in the past months...are "training ground" for where He is leading us. When everything falls apart, HE is all you have to depend on....I have learned that. I have seen my sister do it. Faith. The basis of what we believe. We know that, but until we have some of our "comforts of life" taken away. We don't really have to have Faith. We say we do, but until it get's hard. I'm not sure that we really have it. Believe me, we haven't had much else lately.

Like the verses I posted above, and the pastor I watched this weekend....every day we get a new 24...to do what He has called us to do....Love this...

Every day, you get a brand new 24. A fresh 24 hours to come at life again. Whatever failures or mistakes, whatever mishaps or missteps that happened yesterday don’t have to determine the course of today. Today is a brand new opportunity for you. A fresh start. You might have missed some shots yesterday. But today you get the ball back, and you can choose to do whatever you want with it.
That’s really good news, because if you’re like me, you don’t get it perfect every day. Life doesn’t happen perfectly to you every day, either. And it can be really easy to beat up on yourself. To freeze-frame your failure or your circumstances.
But God doesn’t look at it that way. For God, his mercy is enough to cover over what you did yesterday, and empower you to live a brand new life today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life. For God, and for you, every day is another chance to live the life God has dreamed for you.
You’ve got a new 24 today. Give it your best shot. But even if you miss, know that a fresh 24 is waiting on you tomorrow...
Pastor Steven Furtick

Friday, July 15, 2011

I want to Dig Ditches

Jesus Calling~July 15
Do not worry about tomorrow! This is not a suggestion, but a command. I divided time into days and nights, so that you would have manageable portions of life to handle. My grace is sufficient for you, but its sufficiency is for only one day at a time. When you worry about the future, you heap day upon day of troubles onto your flimsy frame. You stagger under this heavy load, which I never intended you to carry. Throw off this oppressive burden with one quick thrust of trust. Anxious thoughts meander about and crisscross in your brain, but trusting Me bring you directly into My Presence. As you thus affirm your faith, shackles of worry fall off instantly. Enjoy My Presence continually by trusting Me at all times.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

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. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Trust in him at all times, you people;
   pour out your hearts to him,
   for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

I sometimes post these little devotions on Facebook...For those of you who don't know, this is from a book title Jesus Calling. It has been a beautiful way to start my mornings, since January. I sometimes, can't believe how "much they fit" my life. Unbelievable. Today is no exception.

Worry is one of those things that I have had problems with for years. James and I have had numerous "things" that we have been worried about lately. Considering all that has went on in the lives of our family...I guess, from a human perspective, it seems acceptable...James mom is in a nursing home for rehab from a fall/broken leg, my sister lost her precious husband, my van's transmission is gone, our finances are tight (for lack of a better word), looking for a full time job...the list goes on and on, but I don't want to sound like a pity party..... So, all of these things add to the normal things I worry about, like my kids, ect....Not a happy momma...lol....

So, opened my devotion this am (the one I posted) and guess what it's about? Worry. Seriously. God DOES work this way...I know it. I have seen it one two many times in the past few weeks. I know that He is in control. Sometimes the trials that we face, they are here to make us stronger. That makes sense, but definitely doesn't make it any easier. But if we can change our mindsets, to realize that He has his arms around us. He won't ever leave our side. I am going to make a conscious effort to remember this. I've applied for a job~I'm going to give it to him...knowing He will provide. We need a transmission for our van~Handing this one over to Him as well~His ways are not our ways...in His time...Worrying about my sister in her time of loss~Knowing He is the Peace that passes all understanding~and He will comfort her mourning heart. I also want to have a thankful heart. I know that He will do these things, and I also want to thank Him for it. Thankfulness in the valleys of life.

I heard Pastor Steven Furtick say yesterday about being in the valley....In this passage of Scripture, we see a couple of kings stranded in the wilderness and they are out of water. They realized that they desperately needed water, but only God had the means to supply it. They call for Elisha to come give them a message from God.

Elisha shows up and gives them simple and straight forward advice: Make the valley full of ditches. He told them to prepare their dwelling place to catch the water before the first drop ever fell from the sky.  2 Kings 3: 16-18 -
Thus says the LORD: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD…”

Love that...and the outcome is even better...

The people were facing a battle, but they didn’t have any water to drink. Elisha told them to go into the valley, and to make it full of ditches, in preparation for what God would do. The Bible says in verse 20 that “suddenly water came by the way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.”

I don't want to worry. I want to dig ditches...in preparation for what He is going to do. <3

Happy Friday...<3

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If Today was Your Last Day....

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;he will never let the righteous fall.
Pslams 55:22
I have so much on my mind. More than I probably can put into a blog entry, considering it is 1215 in the morning....But, thought I would take a stab at it...So much has went on the past week. My sister lost her husband, suddenly, a brain anerysm. He was only thirty years old. She has three children, and my heart is honestly broken for her. Shaun was an amazing man that when he entered my sister's life, was not saved. Through the course of their relationship, he became a Christian...and boy, did his life change :) He was on fire for God. He wanted anyone and everyone that he came into contact with to know what God had done for him. And he made sure to tell them about it. So, with death comes sadness, for those of us left behind. But for Shaun, he is rejoicing in Heaven with his Heavenly Father....

Sometimes, we wonder why? I know I sure have these past few weeks...My sister and I have been close for years. We may live miles apart, but the closeness we share has never changed. When we get together, we automatically go into "sister mode"...talking about all our crazy memories, sharing our childhood stories, talking in "the voice", we re-tell, and reinact one story after another....Homer, Homer, Homer Owl, Barbara Bed/Martha Mattress....lol...We remember the amazing neighborhood "dance" where we charged admission...or the time we sold fruit roll ups and capri suns...for money...We were the Indian Springs entrepreneurs :) So many good times...

There were bad times too...The fights, misunderstandings, times when we thought that things would never be the same....but we made it through...Our Lord has brought us through some serious battles in our lives...Not just talking personally here~he has brought us ALL through so much. We just take those moments for granted. We tend to think that we get through this "stuff" on our own, or if we realize that it is God who gets us through...We just forget to thank Him...We may thank him in the midst of the trouble...but slowly, with each passing day...We get back to our daily lives of busy-ness...and forget WHY we are still going....

These past few weeks...Why~has been my number one question....Why does my sister have to go through this? Although seems trivial under the circumstances~Why does the transmission in my van have to "blow" on my way to my brother-in-laws funeral? Does God not understand that in the midst of all of the chaos going on around us that James and I NEED to be at my brother's(I like to call him brother~He was like the brother I never had <3) funeral. My sister needs us there. Why did we have to get stranded in the middle of no where? I don't understand. And spend money that we didn't have to get our van towed back to Kingsport, and somehow get it fixed. Ugh...Seems so unfair. The world seemed to be falling down around us......

That night, while were sitting at a gas station somewhere in Virginia, attempting to make it to my sister's house....with smoke coming from the engine of our van..... I was desperate. I came to a point, where I knew that no matter what we tried to do. James and I couldn't "fix" this predicament. So, yes, after trying to do it ourselves...getting upset with each other, the situation, the kids....We started to pray. Seriously? Looks like we would learn. Prayer should happen first. Not after we are exhausted. But we are human. We tried it our way first. We prayed. "Lord, my sister needs us. Please, somehow, let us make it to Fredericksburg on time. Please." Short and sweet. Desperation. I had nothing else. Then I had this idea, maybe if I put our need on facebook, someone would have an idea...as to what to do....So, I did...I asked for a Farm Bureau agent's name, tow company, ect. Ok, for those of you who "hate" Facebook. God used Facebook for his glory ;) I mean no sooner than I put our needs out there~responses came pouring in...I had insurance agents calling us, tow truck company names and numbers coming in. Friends willing to come and get us, friends willing to bring us thier car...so we can drive to my brother's funeral. AMAZING. Normally, James is the kind of person who won't accept help...He can "do it" regardless....but this time, I was on my computer, after we had gotten our van towed home to Kingsport. We are in a hotel, hoping to get a rental car, so we don't lose any ground. (By the way, God chose to let our van's transmission go out at an exit right next to a gas station AND a hotel...in the middle of nowhere...hmmmmmm, coincidence?) When I get a message from someone from our church...She said that God had told her to get on the computer before going to bed...She had been in the ER with a family member and had gotten home late. When she did, she saw our need~and she and her brother, drove her car to us in the middle of the night....3 am to be exact....and let us drive her car to the funeral. Blessed. I'm not sure why our van had to break down, but I think God wanted us to see that HE is in Control. We are not. He can bless us beyond any thing that we think possible. If we only turn to Him. Daily. Not just in our time of need. Lesson learned.....

Life is hard. Losing someone you love at such a young age isn't right. I hate to see my sister going through so much heart break. I wish I could take it all away. And see her smile again. I wish I could tell Shaun that I love him. Tell him that he is the brother I never had. I can't do that though. But God is using this situation. God is with us. and I know that.

Be sure to tell those who matter to you...that you love them. Every day. Don't get mad over the little things. Our time here on Earth is short. We are here for one purpose, and one purpose only. To share Christ and his love with others. If you knew that someone that you love would not be with you tomorrow....what would you do differently? That's how we should live. What if today was your last day?

                                                                                    if today was your last day
& tomorrow was too late
could you say goodbye to yesterday?
would you live each moment like your last?
leave old pictures in the past?
donate every dime you had?
if today was your last day

against the grain should be a way of life
what's worth the price is always worth the fight
every second counts 'cause
there's no second try
so live like you're never livin twice
don't take the free ride in your own life

Make this life count for Jesus....<3 It's what we are supposed to do....Period.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Get Up and Walk

I got up early this morning, so I could spend time with the Lord before heading off to do photo sessions all day long =) Amazed at how He speaks to me. I truly feel that God is calling me to do something. Not going to post the details here. Not now. But I just want to say that when He speaks, He doesn't forget. He keeps reminding me every day about what He wants me to do. Even though we go about our daily lives. Running here, running there. Acting sometimes as if we didn't hear Him. He's still there. Ballgames, wrestling camps, pool days, yard work,vacations~the wonderful days of summer. My favorite time of the year. We get so busy sometimes, but He's still there~guiding each and every step we take. I know He's there. I stand in awe of the things that have been put in front of me the past few weeks. I read a number of devotions, and am doing a Bible Study....Do you think it is coincidence that they all are about the same thing? Hmmmmm....I think not. I heard someone say at a women's conference "There is no such thing as coincidences, only Divine appointments".... So TRUE!

The Bible Study I am reading focused on the story where the man was healed at the pool of Bethesda. I have read and heard this story so many times. But this time it was different. The man was sitting by the pool and waiting. What was supposed to happen, was when the water was stirred, the first person to get to the water, would be healed. Well, this man was unable to walk. So he sat by the pool, waiting...Everyone would get to the water before him. He said he needed someone to help him get to the water. But then Jesus came to Him. Jesus asked him "Do you want to be healed?" The man answered, "Of course I want to be healed"...Jesus told him to "Get up and Walk". The man got up and was healed. Another amazing story in the Bible.  The story has much more to it than that, but that is a summary. I read this and started thinking....Do I want to be healed? Do I want to be in His Will? Do I want to do EVERYTHING He wants me to do? Then, I need to get up off my mat, and walk. Stop sitting on the edge of life. Stop waiting. and Go. =) That's what's in my heart today. Say a prayer for me~wanting to "Get Up and Walk" today.....
God Bless.

Friday, May 13, 2011

While Everyone Else is Asleep.....

All 5 of us together again~under one roof...

I thought this moment would make me happy, and it does in a way. All my children are safe and sound back home together~as a family. Everyone is asleep. The house is quiet, and I just can't get the thought out of my mind that it's all changing. Three more days, and Ian is in high school. I don't know why it hasn't hit me until just now. He's been gone a week to DC, on his own, becoming more independant, and growing up~whether he realized it or not. He has changed forever this week. He has learned that he can do things without us, manage money, get himself up on time, watch the time, and be responsible. After realizing these things, we don't go "backwards" We only go forward, and grow more. I know this is a good thing for him. But it sure is a hard thing for a mommy. A mommy who doesn't get to be called "mommy" any more. It's mom. I kind of laugh as I type that, because I remember the first time he said it, and it bothered me a little. But I knew it was part of growing up. There are so many of those moments. The ones where you realize they are growing up before your eyes....and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, but take it all in. When they quit sucking their thumb :), don't want to hold your hand to go into school, don't need you to read them a bedtime story....It changes so fast.  Love them like nothing else in this world. Spend as much time with them as you can. Listen when they talk to you. There will come a time when they don't want to share their thoughts with you like they used to. It's so easy to get frustrated when they are small. They get into things, and they "need us" for so much. We sometimes get discouraged by all the things they do need us for~diaper changes, feedings, 2 am feedings, doctor appointments, bath time, tying their shoe, wiping their noses.....the list goes on and on. I just can't believe how fast time has went by.

I just want to be the best "mommy" ;) I can be...God blessed me with three precious children. Sometimes I think it is the hardest job in the world. My heart breaks for them, and the world that they have to grow up in. I want to be better at praying for them. I want to be a better encourager. Listener. Friend. I am so blessed to have married my best friend in all the world~and I am so thankful that he is on this journey with me. James doesn't like seeing them grow up either. He just doesn't have a 1 am breakdown by himself...lol...unlike me =) And like he always says, when they are grown then we will spend the rest of our lives loving each other...I love that man =)

I got up tonight to read my Bible, searching for comfort for my heavy heart. Sounds crazy, but I have learned in the past few months that the Lord speaks to me through His word. No matter the circumstance. Even to a mommy who is sad because her kids are growing up too fast. I opened His word,

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7. 

 He still amazes me. With each and every day. I know that I am here for a purpose~The love I have for these 3 guys that God has blessed me with~no where compares to the love He has for me. He gave His life up for me. No matter how many times I mess up, or come back to Him begging for forgiveness, comfort, peace. He loves me anyway.

Tonight, I want to thank you Lord, for guiding and protecting my precious family this past week as we were all in different locations. Thank you for bringing Macey and Ian both home safely. Thank you for the blessing of family. Help James and I as we raise the kids you have given us~to put you first in ALL things. When everyone else in the house is asleep, Thank you for being willing to listen, and most of all~speak to me...Amen =)
Good night....