Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Sunset For Me...



I love Easter time.

I saw a beautiful sunset today.
I couldn't help but get a little emotional.
The rays of sunlight gently disappearing little by little.

And my mind went there...
That little town... So long ago.
Those saints of old.

You know they felt lost.
It had been two days.
Dark days.

All the miracles.
All the wonderous teaching.
They'd been with Jesus.
They'd sat with the Master.
They'd laughed.
They'd cried.
They'd talked.
He was their friend.

And they watched him.
Suffer.
Beaten.
Whipped.

They saw the nails.
They saw the cross.
The sweat
The tears.

Think of it.
They witnessed Him take on the sin of the world.
Every single sin he carried.
Our sin.
Our shame.

What incredible love.
It literally brings tears to my eyes.

And you know they knew...
He could have called thousands of angels to his side.

But He didn't. 

He stayed.
He endured it all.

NOTHING kept him there.
But great ...GREAT love.
For us.

And sometimes, 
We think our simple little lives are meaningless.
But, We matter to him.

He saw the faces of His children that day.
Each face.
And He cared.
That much.

I couldn't help but think as the sun set today 
as I'm sure it did years ago...
Many watched it go down with heavy hearts.
It would be a long hard night.

But...
Oh my goodness. 
The morning was COMING! 

In a matter of hours...
A stone would roll.

That cold tomb would be occupied no more.
It simply could not hold Him.
Blessed be his precious name.
He would RISE.

Many of us are facing sunsets...
But hold strong.
Jesus is on his way.
That same love that held him to a cross.

Holds us.
Every single day.

 

Took a picture of my view.
Happy Easter Friends! 




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Day to Smile...



It's 11:45 PM...
Our boys have finally made their way to bed..
It's been anything but a normal day.

It started around 5:30 AM...

And before I begin this post..
I just need to say.
Kids are amazing.
I'm serious.

Not long ago... We found out our new baby boy Ashton...
Had some dental issues...
And Dr. Crawford, our pediatric dentist... Told us that the majority of his
teeth would have to be capped or removed – due to poor enamel and other situations.

I have been dreading this day.
Being an adoptive Mom – Everything about baby boy is precious to me.
His eyes..
His laugh...
His voice...
And his smile.
Especially his smile.

But, today –was amazing.
I wouldn't feel complete without writing this down...
Children are a gift.
Adoption is beautiful.

 

 





 

When you biologically carry a baby you dream of that face.
When you adopt – you see a photo.
You hold that face in your heart.
In your prayers.
It becomes the reason you keep going.

SO let's move forward...
We arrive at the hospital.
The knot in my stomach was overwhelming.
Everything was going to be “new” “scary” “another change”


I couldn't have been more wrong.
I sat back in awe as he openly talked to nurses and doctors...
Showing his admission bracelet.
 
He was so proud.
Today – he was going to be brave.
He walked shoulders back down the big hall to the day surgery area...
Such a big little boy.

I took notes with my eyes...
He's smiling.
He's comfortable.
Wow, amazing.

 
 
 
It was a two hour long procedure.
Our awesome doctor spoke to us outside and let us know he
did amazing.
We breathed huge sighs of relief. They were able to cap every tooth needed and
he would have a full set... Thank you, Lord.

Then, we were called to recovery.
He hadn't arrived yet.

Suddenly, In walked a male nurse holding our baby boy.
He'd gotten overheated coming out of anesthesia.
He was sweating, gown half off, flailing and crying.

Eyes rolled back... and “not awake”...
He handed him to me.

And almost instantly, He calmed.

A nurse in passing looked at me and said,
You know –there is no medicine like Mama.
Our abilities here only go so far.”

It was a moment of reckoning for me. 

When God created him.
He had us on his mind.
 He knew all about today.
 He knew how beautifully he would mold us to fit.
He knew a Daddy & Mama would love and adore him.

Adoption is an AMAZING gift.
Every single day it shows me a little bit more of Jesus.
I'm so overwhelmed and thankful that I too – am adopted.
I too - am loved beyond measure.
________________

We got to come home! 
He's been a little sick at his tummy with lots of cleaning up. BUT... 
He is so proud of his “new smile”.. 
He can't wait to show everyone.

 

Even with bruised gums... 
Children see all things as good.

A brand new smile. 
He is SO PROUD.

 
 
He's an amazing little boy.
How blessed we are.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us today.
We love you.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Bread of Life For Me... My Healing.


Seven long months ago, I made a huge discovery about my health. I had a severe intolerance to wheat gluten.  

What has wheat gluten in it?

Almost everything.

Years prior to that I literally stayed sick. My family would shake their heads as I dealt with terrible symptoms that I couldn't put my finger on! Couldn't keep food in me...  Severe body aches.. Joint paint....  Swelling in my face... Swelling in my hands...   It was unbelievable.

After a trip to Branson, Missouri last year with friends... Who deal with similar issues... I realized what was going on! 

My life, diet and outlook on life changed. No more bread for me. No more birthday cake, pizza, pasta, chinese food, tons of seasonings, fried food and so much more  it would likely take up the entire blog post. 

:)

Did I ever mess up? Yes... 

Was I sick? YES... Unbelievably and almost instantly.

Here is a picture of me from right before going gluten free in November to Mother's Day this May... 


While on my strict diet - my quality of life improved tremendously.  I gave thanks to the Lord for meeting me halfway... Giving me knowledge and strength. For helping me to grow. I grew content in my new way of life. 

But, Our God is so good...

I just came home from a Family Camp put on by an awesome neighboring church! I couldn't stay the entire time - because our lives are so incredibly busy...   Lots of life changes at present.
:) 

But, I did get to go on a Friday night..   The service was tremendous. I was blessed beyond measure. My husband made his way to a group of gathered ministers and asked if they would pray for several situations we are currently dealing with. I believe in the power of prayer!

Bro. Ron Spencer asked if I was in the building and called me over...   He is such a precious minister and friend...  Together he and Bro. Wayne Lawson laid hands on Jeremy and I and prayed along with many others...

It was a moment in my life that I will never forget. 

That's when I felt a powerful warmth... It began in my mid-waist... Traveled up through my inner chest...  And exited my shoulders. I instantly knew that something had left my body... 

Bro. Wayne with tears flowing.. Shook my hand when he finished praying and said, "From now on things will be different."...

It was a beautiful - God came on the scene moment. 

I left camp feeling immensely better.. My anxiety levels had calmed...  Just all together a wonderful experience. I had been blessed.

On the next Wednesday, I was out of town taking my Aunt to the airport...  We stopped at a Chinese restaurant to have lunch.  Just as I picked up the menu... Something spoke to my heart... "Have faith and be made well."

For the first time in seven months I ordered a completely normal meal. My family stared at me in complete disbelief. Knowing that I may not even make it home without extreme sickness. 

We prayed over our food and I believed.

I ate with ABSOLUTELY no sickness.

I knew that the same Great God that had created my body.. Had healed it. Glory be to the Mighty Physician! 


I have continued to eat completely normally since that Wednesday with absolutely no effect on my body at all. 

For those who believe miracles only happen in days past - I am here to say that we are living in a day where God can be called on the scene and mountains will move! 

Thank you Jesus.



Monday, January 4, 2016

A Season for Giving...



Anxiety.

A mother's worst nightmare. A wife's hardest battle. A deep dark valley that as a Christian, presents itself daily.

I find myself thinking twenty steps ahead most days... 
 The age we live in has drilled it in our mind - cause and effect.
And as we, the tear dryers, the educators of our children and the very cornerstones of our homes -  Try so hard to stay on top of it all.
 We work endlessly to keep it together.
And the pressure is overwhelming.
We go to bed exhausted and we wake up exhausted.

Can anyone relate?

I keep a planner for my daily schedule.
I keep a planner for my monthly schedule.
I keep a planner for Jonah's lesson plans.
I keep a planner for everything.

But...

The beautiful reality is - The Lord Jesus holds the very essential master plan.
Each step we put before the other is organized and thought through.

And HE ...is so good.

He sits back ever so quietly...  So gently... 
 Waiting for us to breathe that prayer... You know the one...

"Lord, I'm giving this situation back to you. It wasn't ever mine to begin with. Forgive me for trying to control my own life. And give me strength, to hand you the reins...    To trust you. Completely."

Let this sink in...
The very ruler of the universe... Who formed the mountains and put stars in the sky... Has enough time to wait patiently on US to remember that He alone is in charge.

Jesus, Thank you.

Thank you for taking the world off my shoulders and carrying it on yours.

In this wonderful season of giving...

Sweet Mamas, Give yourself a much needed gift...   Rest.

Give Him that financial stress.
Give Him that child that isn't behaving.
Give Him those unsolved situations.
Give Him the sleepless nights.
Give Him that family member who is constantly on your heart.
Give Him the Load.

He sees our weary bodies... And WANTS us to come to Him.

Isn't that beautiful?

No ribbons or bows... No wrapping required.
Only precious unconditional love.
What a present.

 

 
--------------
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Will Be Here...


Rehearsal Night 2007


As a single girl...

I absolutely loved Steven Curtis Chapman's "I will be here"....    I was completely sure that had to be the most beautiful wedding song ever written...    I listened to it over and over again...

I had it all planned out. The white flowing dress. The smiles. The way he would look at me. The ring.
The excitement of the proposal. Then, a perfect.. happy..  breath-taking life. He would pick me up and waltz across the threshold...  

I knew..  And I was ready.

....

On Tuesday, November 24th...    Jeremy and I celebrated eight years together.

We had a wonderful dinner together.

I have been truly blessed.

But, I'd like to share a tiny bit of my "happily ever after..."

The wedding was beautiful...   But, each and every one of the little moments we've shared has been worth a million weddings.

It isn't about the fairy tale...   but, life... real life. Is a beautiful gift. What Cinderella didn't tell us was that when you burned the supper and cried... But, had a great time together over takeout...  Was more precious than any glass slipper.

And even though my beautiful ring sparkles and shines...    Nothing compares to cheering on our little boy's baseball games or singing in the car on roadtrips.

Even though the proposal was breath-taking and romantic...   "Marry me" has taken on an entire new meaning. We're a team. Each other's biggest fan. Cheering each other on. Best of friends. I love laughing together.

Now the flowing white dress is stored neatly in my Mother's attic...    But, our happy days aren't put away. Warm meals together aren't out of sight and family hugs haven't faded.

And as for the way he looks at me...   Fluttering butterflies have turned into faithfulness and respect... a love greater than words.

November 24th 2015...  Celebrating 8 years!

Moral of this story? ...    I heard the song a couple days ago.

And to my awesome single friends, It took on a whole new meaning.

"I will be here"... because God in his precious grace allowed me the opportunity.. for a few fleeting moments in the span of time... to share my heart.

To each and every one of you - Choose wisely. God has a perfect one for you. Past the wedding. Past the dazzling threshold.

A lifetime awaits.

I included the lyrics...    Held more truth & honesty than I could have ever imagined all those years ago.
-----

I WILL BE HERE
Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wake
up and the sun does not appear..
I will be here.


If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear...
'Cause I will be here.


I will be here ...
When you feel like being quiet..
When you need to speak your mind..
I will listen.
And I will be here..
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together..
I will be here.


Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear...
I will be here.


Just as sure as seasons were made for change..
Our lifetimes were made for these years...
So I will be here.


I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder..
When the mirror tells us we're older..
I will hold you.
And I will be here..
To watch you grow in beauty.
And tell you all the things you are to me...
I will be here.


I will be true to the promise I have made..
To you and to the One who gave you to me...

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up..
And the sun does not appear.
I will be here.. 


Oh, I will be here.


-----





Friday, October 9, 2015

Prayers for our Precious...


“I knew you before I formed you in your Mother’s womb,
before you were born… I set you apart.”

-------

Seven years ago…    I peered into a preemie's hospital bed behind glass where my precious 2 lb 9 oz. baby boy slept..   I watched the monitor beep through the night with his vitals and kept my eyes on his tiny chest ...rise and fall… rise and fall…

How could someone so tiny.   Be such a beautiful BIG miracle.

I have loved every single day of being his Mama.


 
As all of you probably know…
I’m a believer in seeing the beauty of the hard things.
I believe in giving God supreme glory in situations.
 

Faith is trusting.

When we pray for rain…  We should prepare for rain.
 
 
 

So, I’d like to catch you up on our journey…

It’s been laid heavily on our heart,
That somewhere out there...
There is a child.
That we’ve probably never met.
A little person that’s completely meant for our family.

The burden is heavy…

But, the peace given by Jesus is light.

As children of the great Almighty.
We were adopted.
We were chosen.
We are loved.
 
A few doors have been opened to us already…
I ask you, my sweet friends, that you will remember us when you pray.

We are opening up our hearts… 
 
Praying, believing & hoping
.. for a second miracle.
 
Our God is so incredibly good.
 
 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Learning to Rest...

The summer seems to have flown by. 

Literally, It feels like we've just
slammed that last textbook of the year shut - and yet here we are.

Brand new day.
Brand new season.

And life doesn't slow down.  I find myself rubbing tired eyes and being reminded of the reason on which I base my life.

Thought I'd share a little bit of my heart today -

The anxiety around us.. all of us...   is overwhelming.
From every direction.

I am so incredibly thankful for a loving God -
that hears each little insignificant need I bring before him..

I feel beyond blessed to know that as his vast arms cradle the universe -
that he has time for each prayer.

Lord, my heart is heavy because...
Lord, you see this situation...
Lord, you know this is out of my control...
Lord, help me..
Lord, strengthen me because...

I seem to fill in those blanks - what seems daily.

The nation around us is shaken...    It's a Godless age.

But, deep in the darkness...    Little candles shine.
Their flames quiver..    But, they burn.  
They burn on.

They project little specks of hope through the storms.

"A peace that passeth all understanding" ...  has taken on new meaning to me.

I am truly humbled that such a big God is waiting with loving arms..  Waiting for us to turn to him.
It literally brings tears to my eyes - just the very realization of how gracious He is.

Thank you Lord - for not leaving us. Thank you Lord - for walking with us.

Sweet Moms, As we start this upcoming school year - Keep your littles wrapped in prayer. HE is the author. HE holds our lives.

Breath His great name - He is our rest. He is our strength.

As you are buying school supplies...
or preparing lesson plans...     Keep His word close. 
Keep it as frontlets before their eyes... 

Be blessed today.   And rest.