Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making me new

This past Thursday was our last session in the Beth Moore study on Revelation.

It was a wild, confusing, mind-blowing, colorful, awe-inspiring, creative, and scary ride....11 weeks worth!

For anyone to invade the Word of God is hard in and of itself but to try to dig deep into the book of Revelation is almost crazy.

But we did it. And I think the 20 or so of us are better for having done it.

In the last video session she talked about so many things that come to a wonderful summation in this final book of the Bible but the thing that I loved most was the fact that God makes all things new.

He doesn't set out to make new things. He wants to take the old, weak, weary, torn, broken, insecure and useless things and make them into marvelous, new, vibrant, strong, tenacious, beautiful, and useful things.

Has He done this for you?

Well, let me testify.....

I have always struggled with Caroline's disablity. But I struggle even more when she is spot-lighted in some way.

This would usually present itself at church or school functions when she would be on stage with all of the other "normal" kids. Usually it would be an awards type ceremony or with a kid's choir singing.

I would simply break down. I would cry. I would dread it. I would be angry. I would get depressed. I would be jealous of the other parents who didn't even appreciate the fact that their kids could sing or stand there without drool running down their faces or not being able to hold their head up.

Suffice it to say...I was a mess. I simply couldn't handle it.

Well, God had made this girl new.

Last Sunday Caroline joined the other children on stage to sing a song with our adult choir. I knelt beside her through both services and sang along. I watched her try to do the hand motions and had to help her hold her head up and wipe her mouth.

But, glory to God, it didn't bother me at all.

In fact, I loved every moment of it!

She was perfect to me....and instead of wanting to make it all go away...I relished in it. I watched her and took it in.

I didn't realize how new this was for me until later when God literally whispered to me..."Wasn't that fun?"

You was!

I have spent 8 years dealing with my pain over all of this....
8 years of dreading those stage-type moments....
8 years of not wanting to deal with this reality...

and in these 8 years God has made me new.

Glory to Him!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

My silly hissy fit:)

This little guy is totally responsible for my hissy fit. There I was innocently cleaning up the bathroom. I emptied the trash and saw what I thought to be a clump of black hair. Obviously not looking closely enough, I reached down and carelessly grabbed at the black object.

That is when it starting wiggling in my fingers (thank God it didn't sting me). I immediately flung the object out of sight. Then I had the sickening feeling that I may have flung it in my hair.

This is when the hissy fit ensued. I jumped, kicked, screamed and yes, squealed like a little girl.

Then I found the culprit out in the hall. I regained my composure....thanked God again that Shep nor the kids had witnessed by ridiculous little fit, took a picture for good measure and then let the little thing smother to death between mounds of toilet paper.

Because I needed to calm my shaken up nerves, I headed to the kitchen to have not 1 but 2 of my favorite funfetti cupcakes.

It did the trick. The scorpion was soon forgotten as I completely enjoyed the gooey goodness. I made 24 cupcakes and I seriously think I ate 10 of them myself. (not all at one time:)

Embarrassing but true!

Ava wanted to take this picture of me with our pumpkin....she is only 5 but loves taking pictures!

These pictures are from week before last. It was favorite team night at Awanas for church. The kids decked out in their Georgia best and I snapped a few shots of them

My handsome boy!

Shep got out last Saturday morning and helped the kids build a fort.

As you can see, it was a big hit!
They sat in their fort for well over an hour and listened to their daddy do what he does so well------tell stories!
They weren't really happy about me invading their space to take pictures but oh well, being a mom has its privileges.
We get an all-access pass for pictures, right?!?

This is how Caroline's face looked at the beginning of this past week. It is already so much better now.

We're ready for the weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Painful Reminders

This week has been pretty intense at times.

As you saw in my previous post, we had an eventful afternoon on Monday with Caroline's accident.

In addition to dealing with all of that....

My extended family has also had a hard hit this past week. I don't want to disclose all details of the situation but needless to say, it has been heartbreaking. People hurting, lives changed, confused minds and emotions that are raw and consuming at times.

I have pondered the events of the week and talked to my God about all of it.

How I feel...
The what if's...
How to respond...

He gave me an interesting reply.

(The Lord) "I allow pain to bring attention to areas that need exposing. Maybe I allowed Caroline to be mildly injured so that MORE people would be reminded to pray for her. Maybe it takes seeing pain (blood, bruises, and scrapes) to wake people out of their slumber to cry out to Me for help on some one's behalf. "

(Me) "What about this other situation. There is so much damage. There is so much at stake. What if the right choices aren't made? There will be so much hurt and confusion."

(The Lord) " Maybe I am also allowing this other terrible situation to expose truths that no one else will bring to the surface.
Aren't you praying for these specific people harder than you ever have?"

(Me) "Yes"

(The Lord) "Then know that all of this pain can be used for good. All of this heartache can potentially bring joy. All of this hurt and havoc can be restored. Keep praying. Keep pressing. I will use pain to remind others that I want them to ask Me for help."

(ME) I don't like it...any of it. It seems so unnecessary.

(The Lord) Me neither. But I would rather allow pain and hurt for a while to accomplish a better purpose. It is for your good and My Glory.

(Me) I get it. I just still don't like it....but I will praise You in spite of how I feel.

As far as Caroline is concerned, we still believe God is going to heal her. Maybe the enemy wanted Caroline dead and gone (which could have happened if she had rolled all the way down our hill in the front yard) but God stopped it and allowed her to be hurt...only mildly. Maybe He just wanted others to be painfully reminded to keep believing Him for her miraculous healing. And in the process, get some people talking to Him.

Seem a bit extreme?

That is my God. He goes to any extreme to get His kids and those who are without Him to learn of Him and seek Him out. He usually does the unexpected. He likes the element of surprise.

I am glad His ways are not my own. I am glad He knows all things. I am glad He seeks to help us even when we are stubborn and refuse to be helped. He constantly seeks and pursues us. He looks for ways to get us to stop, turn, and look up.

PAIN usually works.

Can I get a witness??

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A major boo-boo

We had BIG plans last night to carve our pumpkin.

Funny how 10 seconds can change your plans. I had rolled Caroline out onto our front porch with Ava and Zeke tagging along. I went back inside to grab our carving tools and heard the front door open and screams coming from outside.

Somehow Caroline's wheelchair was moved and she went down 3 rock steps and landed face down (still strapped in her chair) on the cement walkway.

Let me just stop here to say Praise God she is fine!!! Thank you to all who prayed and asked God for a good report. So many of our friends and family went to their knees on our behalf and prayed that Caroline's head would be okay.

Despite an enormous bump, lots of scrapes and now a black eye...she is doing good.

Our next door neighbor is a pediatrician and she was on the scene within minutes to examine Caroline. She felt like Caroline would be okay but encouraged us to take her to the ER to get checked out.

We waited for a loooooooooooong time but after a CT scan and a couple of x-rays we were released to come home.

She was such a trooper. We thank God Almighty for watching over our girl and placing all the appropriate people around us to help out.

I did want to include this picture of my goofball husband doing his best to make lemonade out of lemons at the hospital.

We were fresh out of smiles until Shep did this little trick for us.

In case you are wondering how this glove got on his head and blown up.

He blew it up with his nose. Yes, you heard me correctly.

His nose.

Oh, the things we will do to see our children smile.

Anyway we are gonna try to carve the pumpkin again tonight.

By the Lord's grace...we won't be making another trip to the hospital.:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Those That Wait...

on the Lord.....

Will renew their strength....

They will soar on wings like eagles...

They will run and not grow weary...they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

What a wonderful promise from God. Waiting is really hard and God knows it. He knows that we want results and we usually want yesterday.

But He works in our waiting.
He grows us...
He matures us...
He develops perseverance, compassion, endurance, faith, and hope.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Crew

Have you ever seen sweeter faces?
This is my crew!
I get to kiss these cheeks everyday.
I am grateful and blessed to be a wife and mother to this bunch.
We had a fun filled weekend.
There were parties to attend....bouncy houses to jump in....pancakes to make(with chocolate chips)...forts to build...stories to tell....friends to visit....and swings to fly high.
"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9
Help us to be fully committed to You, Lord! Thank you for the blessings of family and friends!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Ava

My middle girl...
I wanted to devote this entire blog post to the miniature version of myself.
She is tender, smart, spunky, giving, inquisitive, kind, playful, and down right addictive.
She is such a pleaser.
As her mom, I love it. But, I pray against her always feeling like she has to please everyone else. That kind of thinking could turn her into a follower of the latest fad or the wrong kind of people.
Right now, I pray that God takes her little heart and molds it into a young lady who is passionate about Him! I want for her to be an amazing mixture of kindness and strength.
I am so proud of her. She was the first one in her class to be nominated as star student. It was such a BIG DEAL to her. She got to sit on stage at lunch and her daddy showed up with a rose, a balloon and a lollipop for his sweet girl.
She has us a wrapped up. She is younger than Caroline but in so many ways she pulls up the slack for her and almost acts as her big sister. She looks after her, sings to her, plays with her, and prays daily for the day to come when they can play dress up together.
Shep and I stare in wonder at her maturity. She gets things....she is extremely perceptive.
Yesterday was a huge first step at our house because she read us a herself. She needed a little help at first sounding out the words but then she just got it and took off. She was so proud of herself. The look of satisfaction settling in was so cool for me to see.
She had done it. She got to revel in a job well done. She got to appreciate how that feels.
God grant us the wisdom and grace to parent in Your way...not our own. Help us show our children that faith in You is far greater than favor with others. Let them see us resting in Your care and turning to You first for help. Be the center of our lives so that You are the subject of our days and not just reserved for church. Be blessed in our lives that You may receive all glory! Amen!