Friday, January 30, 2009

Bye Bye Bitterness

O.K. so I am doing this Bible study by Angela Thomas. It is called "When Wallflowers Dance". It is great and we are getting into the meat of the study is our third week. Anyway, the video yesterday was a monumental marker for me. She talked about how bitterness is a jail and we hold the key to getting out.
This is true. Although I would not generally categorize myself as "bitter", I certainly do have a root of bitterness in my life. The root of this bitterness is Caroline's condition. I am fine with it mostly and I am crazy about my little girl...but the bitterness begins when I start thinking of all the things that she cannot do. Then-----------------------before I know it I am comforting myself in complete bitterness and pity.

I can't stand to be around people like this and look I AM ONE!!

The truth is life is NOT fair!! Never has been and never will be!! I could spend countless hours and days and months and years being angry and bitter because I haven't gotten all the things that I thought I should have gotten or because things have happened to me that produce sorrow and pain. and now.......I am CHOOSING freedom!! I am choosing to believe God! I am sure that I am going to have times where I slip up and fall back into that prison but I pray heavily against it. I desperately want to hate bitterness! Hate what it has done to me and what it is doing to others I love.

Thank you Jesus for dying and giving me the keys to freedom. I can choose this day to not soak in my bitter thoughts. Help me to not encourage bitterness in others. Give me a grateful heart, a believing and steadfast mind, and a willing spirit to let You take me to places I have only dreamed of going.

I love you. Thank you for taking my hand and walking me out of my own prison of bitterness.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daddy and Sammy Kate's Birthdays

Just some random pictures from our birthday celebration for daddy and Samantha. It is always fun to be with my family. It is weird to think that we used to be a family of five...then we added 3 spouses to make a family of we have added 7 grandkids to the mix to make it a grand total of 15 people. We have tripled from our original size. That is crazy! Speaking of crazy, that is usually how it is with all of us together. But I would not trade any of it for the world. These are the people that God has given to me to love and cherish. I love how we laugh and tell stories. They are a true blessing to me.

Are these not some of the best-looking kids?!?

This is a double dose of trouble........

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I asked the Lord to encourage me yesterday. It was a good day, but I must tell you I did not get the mind blowing encouragement that I was hoping for. Still, I prayed again this morning and thanked Him for a good day yesterday. I want to be a thankful person...really a thankful person...not just thankful in a polite and pretentious way. So, again I asked Him for some encouragement regarding Caroline. Then, I whisked the girls off to school and proceeded on with my day. I returned home and checked my e-mail and there it was....encouragement in writing just waiting on me to receive it. My momma had sent me the sweetest and most encouraging e-mail. (I don't know the last time I received an e-mail like this one from her) She just basically said..."I am with you. I cry with you. I stand with you. I believe with you."
I thanked God immediately for sending me encouragement.

Then came the icing on the proverbial cake. My cell phone rang and my sweet friend Mande was on the other end. She said, "I dreamed about Caroline last night". I was so excited! She went on to tell me about her dream and the highlight was that Caroline was healed. She was running and talking....oh........................................................I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I just HAD to thank HIM!! His timing was and is perfect! He keeps my cups running over with His never-ending grace and lavish love for me....a girl who can't get it all together.
Oh, how I love Him!!

Does He do anything like this for you???? I'd love to hear stories...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

God Delights to show Mercy

Here it is not even 7:00 a.m. and the enemy is hot on my trail. God must have some good stuff for me today. Isn't it wild how the devil can set up the perfect arrangement for you to fail. I am happy to say that this God provided a way of escape. My Bible study has focused primarily on having a clear conscience before God this week. The enemy, however, wants to remind me of ALL the times I have failed already and tries desperately to get me to fail again.
The Word told me this morning that God delights to show us mercy and our sins are thrown to the depths of the sea.
I pray for protection today from my own wants things for me that Jesus doesn't want. I pray for my mind to be guarded and my paths to be made straight before God.

I am asking today for a power-filled walk boldly in the power of the Spirit. I would also love for my Lord to encourage me about Caroline today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Here I Come

Today is Friday!! I am looking forward to the weekend. No big plans really...just some "down" time with my family. I guess weekends are every one's favorite time. I don't think I have ever heard anyone say, "Yay!!! It's Monday!!".

Anyway, it has been a good week. Shep's business is picking up some....Praise you Lord for answered prayer. I got to take him lunch today at work and he had a good looking suit on. It reminded me of our dating days. When we met, he was doing quite a bit of litigation so he wore suits a lot. Now, he mainly does house closings so suits are not everyday attire anymore. I must say...he still does it to me. That suit looked mighty nice on my man.

Caroline has had a good week. If anyone is reading this and you have noticed that I haven't written about anything new that Caroline has done...that is on purpose. It would drive me crazy b/c she would say a word a couple of times but then...nothing. She wouldn't do it again. So, because that drove me crazy, I have decided not to post anything new that she does until it becomes something that she does repeatedly.
By the way, keep praying that her healing comes quickly...I am sooooooooo ready.

Ava has had a good week too. She is currently walking around entertaining Caroline. I love to hear her talk to her...well, mainly she bosses her. She keeps me in stitches. She is funny and curious, and sweet, and very very very sneaky!! She looks really cute right now b/c she had a sleepover theme party at her school today. They wore their pajamas to school, ate breakfast, painted fingernails, and spray-painted their hair. Ava's hair currently boasts 4 different colors. sweet boy. We are still in the honeymoon stage with him. He eats good. He smiles and sleeps all night. What else can I say? He is not crawling yet and doesn't really seem like he is interested. That doesn't bother me at all. I know once he starts...then this glorious over.

I am currently doing an Angela Thomas Bible study. It is called "When Wallflowers Dance". This week she talked about getting her body and home in order. So------in obedience to this study----I am off to finish going through my closet. Salvation Army, here I come!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Little joys

Big news at our house...

Ava can finally skate on her own. She has been working at mastering this art for at least a year. It usually ends with her on the floor and me wiping away tears. However, she can now skate around our kitchen on her own. It was a crowning moment for her. I did capture it on camera...the problem was she was only wearing panties and skates....go figure!!

Zeke made his pictorial debut this past Sunday. A group of photographers needed a baby between 6-8 months old that was NOT crawling yet. Zeke landed the job. He was photographed by 4 different photographers who were all learning from each other. He showed off....and let me say I had really prayed that he would be sweet. These pictures were going to be free for me so I really wanted to make the best of the time we had. If you want to check some of them out for yourself go to and click on "blog". Scroll down until you see 4 pictures of my handsome little man.

Da da da DAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (trying to be dramatic for effect....)

Caroline's front tooth finally broke through the skin. We have really been waiting on this tooth for quite some time. Anyway, she looks too cute and too much like a BIG girl. Hopefully I can post some pictures soon of the tooth making its grand entrance.

I had a big weekend. Friday night I stayed at a lodge with a group of women from my church. The theme was mentoring and becoming women of influence. It was a BIG time ( as my hubby would say). We did personality tests, ate yummy food and stayed up really late. I don't really think I have recovered yet. Can I just say that the teenage girl inside never really dies!?! I was so pumped to stay up and eat Funyons, p-nut m &m's (thanks Mandi D.) and hot tamales. I went on to enjoy other guilty pleasures like watching "What Not to Wear" and painting my nails and toenails in bed. Oh- what fun!!

Anyway, we are off to a new week. I am looking for ways to listen to my Lord and serve others for Him!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I stand corrected...

First of all, I need to say "thank you" to those voices of my friends who have really encouraged me to be "real". I try to be a very transparent person anyway, but lately I have been a little less than truthful on this blog.
I have NOT lied in any way, but I also have not disclosed details of the feelings of hopelessness and doubt that have loomed over me in the last few weeks. I try to use this blog as a vehicle to voice my thoughts and show snapshots of my life. However, life is ever-changing. Some days we are dancing wild and free on the mountaintops...other days, we are clinging to His Word for breath and life to get us through the day. This may seem un-stable to some people and it is the very reason that I have NOT wanted to write about my struggles. But, as I think more about it, I believe I am doing anyone who reads this blog a grand injustice if I seem like every day I am doing great. Don't get me wrong....the goal for the Christian is to live victoriously. How that may look is different and can depend on the day. We never know what we will face in a day. Some times we get amazing news, some days are mundane and monotonous, other days may hold un-believable sorrow. Does God expect us to "act happy" in the face of all circumstances???
NO! NO! NO! How is that authentic? How does that speak to a lost world? He created us with an entire range of emotions...I can promise you from experience that we need to feel those different emotions. If we don't then we lose our ability to relate to others who are hurting.

This past week I have fallen prey to the enemy's lies that my LORD does NOT want to hear my pleas anymore. Because I have listened to his lies, I found myself becoming isolated and sad. (which is exactly what he wanted me to do) I felt like I couldn't go to God and ask Him again about Caroline and her healing. I felt like He was tired of hearing about it. I finally fell at His feet and asked Him to speak either directly to me for encouragement or to Shep. This morning He answered that prayer by speaking to Shep. Shep shared a devotion with me this morning about talking to God about what He has promised us....even if it is the 1 millionth time. HE NEVER TIRES OF US TALKING TO HIM...EVEN ABOUT THE SAME THINGS! He shared that with me no less than 10 minutes after me praying to God about it.

So, I am going to try to be more honest. If you (anyone who happens to read this blog) don't want to read my whining about the same old things...then by all means....don't. I need to say that every day is difficult. Believing that my little girl who cannot eat, walk, talk, play, sing, or sit is going to be miraculously made whole is a tall order. But, I am bound to believe by the One who has told me that He is going to do it. So...I do believe and wait for the impossible to happen. But, in the mean time, I have bad days----lots of them. Faithful and victorious living isn't about excluding the emotions....but in spite of the emotions...continuing to move forward. Taking each step forward that you can't even see.

Some things that you can pray for me (and Shep):

-perseverence and patience

-consistency in the Word and in prayer

-protection against the enemy and his lies (ex. he always tells us that Caroline won't be healed and that we really haven't heard from God for the last 6 1/2 years)

-increased awareness of God's voice and activity in and around our lives

-opportunities to touch other people for Christ through this struggle

-quiet submission and trust for His timing and His plan to unfold

Thank you for all of you who read this blog that I don't know may just be your prayers that have gotten me through many days. I am so grateful for the family of Him be praised!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

He chooses to forget

I have approximately 10 minutes to write a few words about what God shared with me this morning in my brief and groggy prayer time...Ava will be at my side in no time and then my day will be off to the races.

I have begun a new Bible study and we are talking about discovering the gift of salvation and the treasures that go along with salvation...reconciliation and far. I was thanking the Lord for these things that I daily take for granted. He hit me with a few thoughts. He knows that as a parent I get frustrated with things that my kids do. I remember things that they have done to disobey me. I think about those things and try to think of ways that I can alter their behavior...sometimes I get aggravated all over again. (especially if I think of their disobedience somehow hurting me or something I Ava breaking my favorite lamp because she was doing something she knew not to do)
Isn't that crazy? Talk about water under the bridge. It is done. Why think about their failures and faults.
Then he did it!! He showed me in His quiet way that He doesn't do that! He allows Himself (the all-knowing One) to forget every way that I have wronged Him.
That prideful thought...
That gossip on the phone...
That gripping fear that leads to questioning Him and His ways...
Those skeletons in my closet...
The repeated disobedience in areas of my life....
The judgemental attitude of others...
The jealousy....
The discontentment...
The lack of trust...

ALL OF IT!!! He chooses not to remember it and doesn't hold it against me.
Thank you Lord for these kind words to my heart this morning. I am tasting that you are good...I praise Your holy name.
Help me "press in" to You...You alone know how badly I need you.

Ps. 103: 2-4, 11-13

"Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grace in Full-another poem

In the past couple of weeks I have heard tragic stories of families and their losses. Some of the stories have involved cancer, death of children, marital strife, and financial strain. We always wonder how people do it in those circumstances. We can't imagine dealing with all that they are dealing with...

God reminds me all the time that his grace fits the need. We may not have the grace right now but when the need arises the grace will be there too. The example in the Bible that fits so nicely is when the children of Israel have to go out and get 1 omer of manna every morning. For some of the Israelites the manna is a lot for some it is a little....funny, would still measure 1 omer. God is sweet like that........He gives to this one exactly what they need and to the other one exactly what they need.

He gave me another poem about this...(who knows why I am writing poems all of a sudden...)

It is called "Grace in Full"

We see others hurting
Our hearts are moved with pain
As lives are changed and torn apart
We begin to wonder again.
What if that was me?
What if my child had died?
Could I bear such pain?
Would I run, shut God away, and hide?
We see them lose their hair
As the chemo does its thing
Sapped of energy, color, and strength
Many questions they have to bring.
Divorce, death, disease, and depression
seem to come to those we love
We don't know what to say or how to feel
So we hit our knees and look above.
The TRUTH is grace is waiting-
the perfect amount for the need
no wonder we can't imagine
It isn't ours to heed
Grace is so amazing
It is what pulls us through
GRACE IN FULL is already appointed
ENOUGH for me and you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

BE STILL and "I spy"

Today started like most days at my house. Ava woke me up asking for her chocolate milk. Shep had left early b/c of his weekly men's Bible study so I was alone to face the morning. In no time, Zeke, Caroline, and Ava all needed something from me...and so the story goes.
We needed baths, Ava had ballet, and many things needed to be done in the house. I am proud to say that the kids did get their baths (I did not) and Ava did get to ballet. However, the house work got put off to another day.
I did catch a few moments to pile on top of my bed and meet with my Lord. Yesterday, He talked to me about how happy I can and need to be in my faith. Today was all about how we spend most of our time focusing on the one thing we don't have so we don't have the energy or JOY to appreciate what God HAS given us. Anyone else getting hit on this one?? His Word still speaks...I have been in such a fit with Him these past few weeks. He is gently reminding me that being joy-filled is not a choice but a command. (check out 2 Thess. 5:16 if you don't believe me) He is also pointing out that I focus entirely too much on the No's in my life instead of the "YES" that we have in Christ Jesus. (2 Corin. 1:18)

Because I am so hard-headed, God tends to speak to me in trends...repeating Himself over and over. The latest trend I have gotten from him is for me to quietly trust, spend time in solitude with only Him, be still and know that He is God. I don't really like this trend, but God didn't ask my permission for what to work on in my life right now.
Anyone that knows me will know that being NOT me. I always thought that the part I didn't like about that verse ( "Be still and know that I am God") was "be still". However, as I am learning more about myself that isn't true. What I really don't like is "know". This takes a strong, stubborn, volitional will to KNOW something is true even when and especially when we don't FEEL it.

Kim, Sonya, and I sang tonight at the hospice center at a birthday party of a 52 year old woman who has 2 weeks to live. How do you process that...."be still and KNOW that He is God"

There is a widow across town who is getting her four children down for the night. I know she asks God everyday why she had to lose her husband and her children had to lose their father..."be still and KNOW..."

A mother watches her special needs daughter lying in the hospital bed at Scottish Rite and wonders if her heart could break any more that it is right now...."be still and KNOW..."

A friend tries desperately to save her marriage that seems so broken. Giving up would be easier......"be still and KNOW...."

Infertility quietly wages war on young brides that desperately desire the title of "mommy". Why is it so hard for them to get pregnant?? "be still and KNOW...."

I choose to KNOW that YOU are God.
You are large and in charge.
Nothing escapes your attention.

You hurt when I hurt. You see every battle I fight.
I still choose to KNOW.
You will make all things work together for my good.
I know you are crazy about me. I know I am the apple of your eye.
I know that I can hide in the shadow of your wing. I know that you pray for me and intercede on my behalf.
I know that you are very acquainted with the craziness of my life.
I know I am loved.
I know I am redeemed.
I know I am set free.
I know you go before me and hem me in from behind.

I will be still and KNOW that you are my amazing God!

My sweet mentor, Marje, gave me a good word today. "Fast from discontentment and feast upon thankfulness". I think I will......................................................

On a different note entirely...Caroline played "I spy" with me today. I would tell her that I spied a certain color and she would amaze me as she used her head and eyes to find the color. She got 5 out of 5! It was a good time for us. It is rare that I get to really "play" with her when I know that she is reciprocating with me. I got that today....thank you Jesus for that delight today.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bragging Photos

Just some recent photos of the sweetest blessings in my babies: Caroline, Ava, and Zeke. My in-laws are also included along with my gorgeous man.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy 2009 to all! Looking back over this past year, I must say that it was a good year. My relationship to my Jesus was improved, Zeke was born into our family, Shep and I celebrated 10 years of marital bliss :>), Caroline made a trip to Mexico for her treatment, God brought Tess into my life, my love for my friends and family became deeper and stronger than it already was....I would say I am definitely blessed!!

Looking ahead, I am full of hope. I have new mercies this and every morning. I am promised the grace to get me through this day. I can talk to Jesus anytime I want.