Saturday, August 28, 2010

Time well spent

I have not posted in a week because I have been on vacation.
Let me first say an enormous THANK YOU to my parents and Ms. Linda for caring for my little ones while Shep and I got away.
I missed them terribly. I cried over them when we left and my arms ached every time I saw other kids their age. Coming home to them was so much fun. It was like Christmas in August...except WE WERE the presents. We were ALL they wanted!
Now back to the trip.
We got to go to Okaloosa Island (near Destin) and enjoy the first part of the trip with some great and amazing friends and then finish off the trip with some alone time with my man.

Donna and Craig are a laugh a minute. We so enjoyed our time with them. It does not begin to make up for the countless hours and work that Craig poured into the campaign but the laughs and talks we had were worth it. We have known Donna and Craig for quite some time but only in the past few months has God opened some really cool doors for deeper friendship.

The other couple might as well be our family. Derrick and D (what I call her) are cherished friends and help us walk and live by faith.
I gain strength just by their presence....we are so blessed to know them! Plus...she holds my feet the fire like no one else I know! (We missed you JP and Lulu :)

I am pretty sure I gained 5 pounds (who cares)?? The food was delicious! I tried trigger fish and absolutely loved it! I read 4 books, learned to do the stand-up paddle boarding, and rode waves til I was sick.
Shep and I watched movies, talked, laughed, slept, and loved every moment we got together!
Every good thing I get to enjoy comes from Your hands Lord. I acknowledge that You are the biggest blessing in my life. My husband, my children, these friends...they are all a picture of Your grace and goodness toward me. I love You. I am filled to overflowing with thankfulness. Help my children to remember and cherish the times and memories made without us this week. I thank You for my parents and Ms. Linda and the love that so easily flows from them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Isn't she lovely??

Just look at my girl!!!
You can't imagine how difficult this is for her to do.
Maintaining head, neck, and shoulder control is a huge feat for our sweet Caroline.
This couldn't be any more beautiful to my eyes!
And just think....there is more to come!
I can't wait til we see her walk, talk, run, jump, dance, eat, and sing!!
After my last post about Zeke being sick (his fever finally went away today:) I thought I would post a great thing God has done this week.
Our Bible study started today and it just fueled my faith again. There is just something about getting into God's Word and letting its truth strengthen our feeble bones. I am hungry and desperate for truth. His truth.
Revelation 1: 8 awakens my senses to who my God really is because sometimes this world tries to drown out His Greatness. It says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty".
Just glance back up at those two pictures and know that nothing is impossible for the Almighty One!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just picture it...

My little man (Zeke) ran a fever all day long yesterday. I did the typical "mom" thing and started the Tylenol/Ibuprofen regimen.

He was pretty pitiful and sad most of the day. He didn't want to eat or play...he just wanted to be held.

I don't mind telling you that holding him was the highlight of the day. His snuggling to me didn't bother me one bit. But, I hated him not feeling well.

As the evening crept on his fever continued to spike despite the medicine. Finally at 10:30 Shep and I decided that I should take him on to the ER.

Of course I called my parents and my daddy insisted that he should meet me there. I didn't know at the time but I was so grateful for that later.

I entered the ER with Zeke on my hip and was immediately asked to fill out a mound of paperwork, get a read on Zeke's oxygen level and temperature. Then I was promptly told to have a seat with the rest of the folks waiting.

(Jaw drop here!!)

The room was slammed.

I really couldn't believe my eyes. Evidently when people take someone to the ER they feel the need to bring the entire family in most cases. I took my seat and tried my best to fit in and not stare at everyone else although I wanted to so badly!

My dad got there within the half hour and I was so glad to have his company. We talked and laughed and tried to make the best of our circumstances.

About that time...Zeke looked up into my face and opened his mouth. Buckets of puke begin to just pour out. I am sure it only lasted for a few seconds but it felt like an hour had passed. The best part was that Zeke just buried his little head into my chest for comfort.....thus using me as a bowl for his puke.

There were no words.

Dad tried to jump to action. But no amount of towels would have begun to touch this mess. The smell was unreal and the entire packed room was focused on us.

I gathered my dignity...kissed my son's head and handed him to my dad. Fortunately daddy had an extra t-shirt in his truck so he went and took on the task of cleaning Zeke up.

I began to get tickled. It was one of those moments when I wanted my closest friends to be flies on the wall. They would have loved to laugh with me....and at the moment I wanted them to.

Anyway, I ran home and changed clothes and still made it back before they called us back to be seen!?!

Oh the joys of motherhood and the memories made with my daddy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to our lives..

Since the campaign has come to a screeching halt....the Helton home has gotten back to our normal.

I have actually cooked several times this week. We have gotten to hold hands around the dinner table and pray. We have just soaked up sweet time together.

So many people have come up to me and encouraged us to run again. I have just smiled.

Don't get me wrong.

It was a worthwhile experience.

It was rewarding and character building in so many ways.

But, we would never just assume that God has this for us to do again.

He guided our paths to do it this time. Maybe He will open doors in the future. But I can't possibly know that now. We are taking each day as it comes. We're doing our best to be good stewards of the time that God has given us right now to be good friends and neighbors to those around us.

Above any political position, we are people of faith.

I believe with everything in me that God has a purpose for our family. We are no different from any other family who walks with the Lord. He places us here on this earth to bring glory to Him.

I also believe that God has gifted Shep as an amazing speaker. He moves people because he is so passionate and transparent. That gift will not go unused or unnoticed by others. God is in the business of using ordinary folks to bring Him fame. I can't wait to see how He uses us in the future.

Til then please pray for us.

We still strongly believe God wants us to believe Him for Caroline's healing.

We need to see Him come through in some supernatural ways in other areas of our life.

We would love to know why He wanted us to run for this State Representative race.

So feels like we step but for Him but don't get the expected result from Him.

That is ok.

We will wait.
We will keep trusting.
We will keep believing.

He is our portion. He is enough!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pleasantly Surprised...

We finished off our journey last night with a loss.

We entered this race for State Representative back in April (I think). We are now in early August and I can tell you that we are exhausted!

This campaign process was fun in a lot of ways. We got to meet so many wonderful people. We saw our friends, family, and other supporters step up and give over and above to help us call people, knock on doors, and attend (sometimes very boring) meetings and forums.

It was also very eye opening. I have heard about politics and the dirtiness that can surround it. We faced a very strong opponent. He had run for another office before and had pretty good name recognition. As we campaigned for the primary election the candidates basically talked issues. It wasn't until the run-off that our opponent got a little dirty. We hated this. We really wanted to believe that politics could stay clean.

Now, don't misunderstand me. Our opponent has rationalized his view and has talked himself into thinking that his tactics were okay. They sent out a mailer that mislead voters, left out information and used half-truths and out right lies against Shep.

I can promise you that I was angry. Why?

Why would someone who claims to be so honest and upstanding intentionally be deceptive??

To win? Really???

How does one sleep at night knowing that he or she chose the less honorable way?

Well---enough of all of that.

What I want to say is how we are doing......

Shep and I left last night feeling pleasantly surprised. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of us. We knew that we had been obedient to God and done what He had asked of us. He didn't tell us we would win....He just told us to do it.

So, I am pleased to tell you that Shep and I slept great. We are back to our simple little dinners, playing with our kids, enjoying our friends, and ministering to others when God provides the chance.

I can appreciate sweet anonymity now more than ever before!!!

Losing doesn't feel good. Knowing we were obedient and operated with integrity feels great!

At this home we live with questions all the time. We wonder why God does certain things and seemingly appears distant in other areas.....but one thing is certain.

He is good.
He is holy.
He is worthy.
He is the reason we live and move and have breath.

He will be praised in this home regardless of any outcome!

Glory to Your Name Oh Lord!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sour Skittles and Sweet Faces

Just wanted to post some sweet and silly smiles from the Helton clan this week.
Zeke picks up any toy and uses it as a weapon or sword. In this photo...that would be the toy bow for a toy violin.

Here is Caroline sampling a sour skittle...she cracked up. We kept making her taste them because we loved how they made her laugh.

The two sisters who will be starting school in just 3 short days. Aren't they gorgeous??

Even our cat "Belle" is exhausted from all of this campaigning. She crawled inside a bag full of envelopes to escape. It was too cute not to capture with the camera!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ready to end....and start again

These days I have one date in my head...August 10th.

Once this date has passed on the calendar then my family can get back to more of a normal schedule.

I have always heard about the busyness of the "campaign trail" but living to testify about it is another story altogether.

I truly think I could fall asleep sitting straight up...and I can testify to Shep doing just that and in a restaurant no less :). So much for a glamorous politician, huh??

Anyway, we are days away from the ending of this primary campaign and the beginning of school starting again for Caroline....and Ava.

She is too excited to be going to "big school" with her sister. Caroline will begin 2nd grade and Ava will proudly walk in as a Kindergartner. We are already having heavy discussions like "take our lunch vs. cafeteria food". She is just excited about the choice and acts very grown up about all of it.

Such is life....we end and begin everyday.

As tired as I am....I am grateful for this experience. God has used it so much in my life to show me how weak I really am and how much I must rely on Him.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I was reading the Word last night and my passage was out of Ruth chapter 2. It was a simple text...basically about Ruth walking behind the workers and gleaning the leftovers of what they had left behind.

(Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been harvested. Some ancient cultures have used the method of gleaning as an early welfare system.)
-Websters Dictionary

My devotion was challenging me to be a godly gleaner.

I am sure Ruth was not thrilled with her current circumstances. She was a widow and she chose to look after her mother-in-law. In order to do that she basically had to take on the role of a beggar to live and survive. She humbled herself to the lowest station to do the right and honorable thing.

I don't like my current circumstances.

BUT...there is much to be gleaned from them.

I don't want to let one morsel of God's grace for me slip through my fingers because of pride, busyness, or disappointment.

Lord God help me glean ALL that you have for me during these trying days. Help me not to shy away because of difficulty but to fully engage and soak up Your goodness in the midst of these difficulties. I love You Lord and I know You desire good for me. My heart trusts You while my flesh screams otherwise. Help me walk through each encounter of my day watching for You to teach me through it.