Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A side of guilt please...

I didn't order that...but that is what I got. I didn't realize that this would be a part of my healing process from my recent ankle surgery...but it surely is. Guilt. That I didn't get enough done beforehand. That I am not doing enough now. That I am not helping. That I am accepting help. That I am wishing I didn't have dogs. That I am happy when someone takes my kids for a few hours...because atleast then I can sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. Ugh!

So, I decided that instead of continuing to let it rack up. I would just write about it. I would let God teach me something through this. Because right now...it is hard. And I am just sad.

So what am I learning. Boy...people are really stepping up. My family and friends are surrounding me with things that I need. And even some things that I want. (Um...like dessert.) People are doing my laundry. People are doing my dishes. People are taking my kids. People are dropping off meals. People are doing chores in our barn. People are helping me wrap my very huge, probably stinky ankle with fresh bandages. People are praying for my recovery. And I am learning....

I am surrounded by wonderful, Godly people.
I am surrounded by Christ-like servants.
I am surrounded by prayer warriors.
I am surrounded by generosity.
I am surrounded by people that love me.
I am surrounded by people that genuinely care.
I have awesome friends.
I have an awesome church family.
I have a beautiful, wonderful mother!
I have a husband willing to help me in just about any way possible.

I do not believe that these feelings of guilt are from God. So, I dismiss them tonight. Right now. I am on my way to recovery. I on my way to a healthier me. I am on my way to being even more in love with Christ. And I have no room for guilt. It has no place in my heart!!

If you feel like this pray with me. And know that I am praying for you. I may not ever know it...but I am praying for hearts that are so full of guilt...that they don't see the blessings God has given to them. Say it with me...."There is no room for guilt in my heart. I am a daughter of the King. He will fill my heart to overflowing with HIM if I will just get out of His way!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

His mercy is new every morning!

I have been kind of dreading tomorrow...for a few weeks now. I was nervous. I was scared. I was unsure. Today...God spoke right to me. I was reading a daily devotional...and it was exactly what I needed. (L-O-V-E that!!)

You see, tomorrow morning I will be having surgery on an ankle that I injured 7 years ago. Before I had any children. I have never been put under anesthesia...and I have never had an incision that goes half way up my calf. I haven't had to do much 'recovering'....with a large family to take care of. But, I am about to.

Today, the devotional was talking about the 'backdrop' off life. And how the backdrops may change...but that we are forever people. Each 'backdrop' can showcase something positive if you are looking for it. If you hold Christ dear to your heart...this world is not your own. You are just passing through. Your home is in Heaven. That puts things into perspective. The next 6-8 weeks...are so minor and temporary compared to my eternity. I want to celebrate God...every day!

So, please pray with me. Pray that God will be my Protector. Pray that God will guide the hands of my surgeon. Pray that God will be with my home. Pray that God will make the work of my husband...light. Pray that God will be the strength of my husband. Pray that God will give us a peaceful home of rest. Pray that God will give me a speedy, and painless recovery. And pray that I will see Him...through every morsel of His goodness to me.

Praise God that He doesn't give up on us. That he gives us opportunity...after opportunity to listen to His voice. I love when I finally 'get it!' =) Have a blessed day all!! Hey...I guess I will have a lot of time over the next few weeks to write to you. Lol...that is positive thinkin' right there!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jesus loves the little children

I was up late last night reading a really good book. This is not a statement I often make. And I haven't made it in a long time. Well, let's see...my oldest just celebrated his 6th birthday. So...yep that sounds about right...6 years ago! Haha!

Anyway, my aunt let me borrow this book. I highly recommend it. It made my heart so happy to read one specific chapter about this little boy meeting a special little girl in Heaven. Having three babies of my own that are already there...it was another step in my road to complete acceptance in God's plan for my family.

The chapters that I was reading last night were about the love that Jesus has for little children. The boy in this book, recalls the night that he went to Heaven and met Jesus. What was his most resounding claim to his parents?...'Remember, Jesus really loves the children!'

We have all heard that we are to have faith like a child. (Mark 10:15 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.") We've heard that Jesus loves the little children and that we are not to turn away children that want to come to Jesus. (Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.) But...what does that mean in our daily life?

One thing it means to me. Children's ministries...are worth the effort. I am on the outreach team at my church...and that is what we talk about the most. I am now realizing why it is on my heart. They are not an inconvenience. They are not a chore. To be like Christ...you must see children through his eyes. They are a treasure. They are innocent. They believe without proof. They are untainted by life. They aren't ruled by past disappointments. When they pray...it is simple. God will take care of it. Oh how I long to be more like my children and their unwavering faith!

Another thing it means to me...Jesus hears the prayers of a pure heart. A heart that believes what the mouth speaks. A heart that doesn't have doubt. A heart that doesn't worry after the prayer is spoken. A heart that expects. When my children pray, I see results. I ask them to be my warriors in prayer...ALL THE TIME! I asked my son yesterday to have his Kindergarten class pray for Levi to drink so that he would not have to be hospitalized for his dehydration. I know that God loves to hear from his children. I know he loves to hear the prayers of a believing heart. And, as I expected, God heard. God listened. God answered. I praise God that I understand His lessons through my childrens prayers.

One more thing. Children love. They are born loving the people that they are surrounded by. They don't know the 'rules' that we have set up for ourselves. They don't care about stature. They don't care about position. They don't care about monitary status. They love. I think that is another reason that Jesus loves them so much. They are the most like him. They love as unconditionally as they know how. And as each year goes by...the conditions stack up. Watch your children...learn to love like they do. Teach them to love like Christ...by example.

Parenting...the hardest thing I have ever done! I understand the huge responsibility I have taken on. I see how they watch me. I pray that I am doing all that I can to teach them to be like Christ. And I pray that I continue to take the lessons that they teach me...and apply them to my walk. =)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feeling grateful?

Today...I am feeling grateful for the people that God has put in my path. I am sure that you have similar feelings if you sit and think about it. Who do you count on? Who do you call when you need prayer? Who always brightens your day? Who extends a hand when you are in need?

What do you do about it? My suggestion....tell them. Tell those that mean so much to you...that they mean so much to you. Tell your doctor that you appreciate him/her, and how carefully they listen to you. Tell your husband how much you appreciate all that he does for your family. Tell your children how much you enjoy spending time with them...and how grateful you are that God entrusted them to you. Tell your pastor that he is speaking right to your heart. Tell your neighbor that you appreciate their patience with your dogs chasing theirs through their yard, and barking, and...oh wait...maybe that is just me. Haha!

I am about to do this very thing. You see, our doctor is sweet. She is gentle. She is calming. She is reassuring. She is patient. She is compassionate. She is knowledgeable. She is kind. She is always smiling. She is strong. She is confident. She is understanding.

And she said words that meant so much to me...when I really needed to hear them. "You are a good mom." Words that I did not take lightly...in all that I was going through at that time. Words that lifted my Spirit, when I felt like I was at rock bottom. Words that spoke to my mountain...and to my deceiver who was whispering the opposite to me.

I appreciate her! I know that God knew that I would need her. I am so blessed to know her...and to entrust my family to her care. Today...I am going to tell her! How about you? Who are you grateful for? What keeps you from telling them? Writing...that is how I am going to express my gratitude. Because then she can read it as often as she needs. To reassure herself that..."She is a good doctor." =)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Funny how God knows!

Isn't it amazing how sometimes when you pray...God answers so differently than you expected? Not in a bad way...just not what you were thinking. =) I realize that sometimes I don't even realize it was an answer.

I prayed that God would get me some help. Soon my van broke down. Doesn't seem like it..but it was an answer to my prayers.

I prayed that God would help me find a new internet provider that wouldn't cost so much. I now have no provider...and yet here I am. Blogging for free. Answer to prayer.

I prayed that God would give me words to speak. That they would come faster than I could write them down. He flooded my mind with His thoughts of power over the enemy. And this Saturday I will share them at the women's conference. Answer to prayer.

I prayed for one child. That I could carry to full-term. That I could hold, and love. I have four answers to that one!! =)

When you pray to God...do you always see His hand move? Do you see how He always knows best? Do you see how He knows what is to come...and He does what is best for His child? Do you thank Him...even if it doesn't seem like the most favorable answer?

What are some prayers that you had answered...that you didn't see as good at first? How did God change the way you think? How were you blessed by your obedience? Do tell!! =)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Journey through 7 Pregnancies-Part 2

I have been slightly hesitating to write this post...because this is probably the hardest in my journey. I am unsure of how this will be received, but please know that I am not looking for attention. I am not looking for sympathy. I am looking to do the will and the works of my Father. I am looking to help in any way...in the healing and restoration of a wounded heart.

I told you about my first miscarriage in 2001. Now we are onto pregnancy number two. We were not told to wait to conceive again, so we decided to try again quickly after our loss. It took no time at all until that pregnancy test read positive again. Again...we called the doctor right away. Tests were done to confirm. Appointments were made. Sonograms scheduled. We were slightly hesitant to fall head over heals again. As I said before, our innocence that all would be well with pregnancies, was tainted. We had been hurt. We had looked upon with sorrow. We had been shattered. Now this was our chance to gain some hope.

The first sonogram went well. The blessed heartbeat. It was there, visable to our eyes. The little gray blob that was our baby...we had proof. Some relief swept over us. We started to tell some family. As more time passed, we began to spread the news more and more. We began to have more hope, more excitement...and to fall more in love with this baby God had blessed us with.

One day, at 16weeks of pregnacy...our fear came true. Complications. We rushed to the doctor, who sent us right to the hospital to have a sonogram. They were very busy that day. But they fit us in. The sonogram technician was sweet. She did the test, and quietly left the room. Soon, we were taken to a room and my doctor came to see what the sonogram technician had seen. Again, not much was spoken. I returned to my clothes, and waited alone...but with my husband. Our wonderful, born-again doctor entered to tell us her news. They could find no heartbeat. Innocence stolen! When measuring the baby, it measured only 11 weeks. For almost 5 weeks, the baby had ceased to live and grow. I was supposed to be 'past' that time of worry. The first trimester was over...or so I thought. As you can imagine...I burst into tears. My husband stayed strong. Not letting much emotion take over him. Just purely concerned about his broken wife.

At this time I worked in the hospital I was now sitting in. I was told that I would have to have a D & C procedure done. Inside, I was dreading this! It made it all final. I was going to be exposed to the people that I worked with daily. I was going to have to go through many more sorrowful looks...and awkward silences. "God, if this was the fate of my baby...why did it have to last this long? Now, I have a whole other awkwardness that I must face. Isn't there another way?" Those are the words that ran through my head.

So, we tried our best to resume our life as normal until the procedure was to happen. We had planned to have company over for a Christmas dinner that night. We ate. We exchanged gifts. We tried to put on the face that we weren't completely shattered. While the guys went outside for a few minutes...I started to realize that something was going very wrong. I was having major cramping in my stomach. (Having never felt these before...I had no idea what was going on.) I felt some major pressure...and knew that if I stood up...some sort of fluid was going to rush out. (Sorry about the details. But it is all part of the process.)

It didn't feel like I was about to pee myself...but I was scared about what was happening. This was not part of the plan. As I ran to the bathroom...there it all was. Clear fluid. I changed my clothes and went back out to the living room. In walked more company...and soon the feeling came back. I sat very uncomfortably...not wanting to get up while they were there. Not wanting to ask them to leave. They must have sensed my discomfort...and left shortly after they had arrived. I told Eric what was happening...and I ran to the bathroom again. This time...it was not clear. Deep red surrounded me. I had no control over it. Just as suddenly as it had begun...it stopped. In my heart I knew what had made it stop. I knew that it must be removed...and I could not bring myself to do it.

Now, on the phone with my doctor, we explained what had happened. Then she said what I knew she would. I had to know what caused it to stop. The next moments in my life...I thought would haunt me forever. I was now holding a tiny baby in my hand. Tears errupted as I told my doctor what I had found. A lifeless body. A body that fit in the palm of my hand. Who's arms and legs were like spaghetti. She expressed her sorrow. She prayed. And she told me to bring myself and my baby to the ER right away. What now? What should I put baby in? I couldn't hold it. I didn't want anyone else to see it.

I arrived at the hostpital and went through more traumatic events. Finally, after a modified surgercial procedure, a very painful IV, and much cleaning up...I found myself shaking beyond normal. I was freezing, and couldn't stop involuntarily shaking. The doctor said that my body was going through shock from all that had just happened, and the amount of blood that I had lost. I soon found myself in a new hospital room, with my husband by my side. Waiting to do or get whatever I needed. Everytime I woke up, he was there asking if I needed anything. He was my rock. He was my comfort. Still strong.

The next few months were awful. So many people had to be told. So many uncomfortable moments that I wanted to be over. My husband who was strong for me when I needed it...eventually broke down. It was God's timing that I was in a place that I could be his strength. I could help him through his anger for another baby lost.

The events of that night haunted me until...someone shed God's light on it. I told her about seeing my baby...and how much I wanted to forget it. Her response..."That is awesome! God allowed you to hold your baby boy!" Isaiah Ethan was his name, born December 20th, 2001. And I no longer have to see him through tears of regret.

Our next pregnancy would come YEARS later. We had to wait one year to try to conceive again because of the type of miscarriage I had experienced. There was a chance that a cancerous tumor would form in either my lungs or brain. And for a year I had to get blood tests done to make sure I was not cancerous. The test, was the same test they do to check for pregnancy. More awkward conversations. As each time, a different person thought that I was checking for pregnancy. They were hopeful...and I was still hurting.

So many thoughts went through my head. Was this my fault? Did I do something wrong? Why did God allow a baby to be taken away from the only two people that had already learned to love him? But what I will never forget was God's promise to me! It came from the voice of a friend. And it was the number one thing that brought me through the next few years of my life. "God told me that you will have a baby. That you will carry it through to full-term."

Relief. Now, I know it will happen. I just have to wait for the right time. God was with me. God took care of me. God was watching over my two babies, in my place. What more could I ask for them?

God is good. I don't want anyone to doubt that! I have proof that God fulfilled His promise to me. I have stories to tell. And I have prayers that I long to write for women that are in a place of sorrow right now. Don't blame the only One that longs to heal your shattered heart. He is ready and waiting for you to call on Him. He never meant for you to try to handle it on your own. He loves you...and He will make you whole again. He will take what the enemy meant for evil...and He will restore it to work into His purpose for your life. Promise!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm workin' on it

So...I have been working on a new post in my Journey thru Prego series. And it is taking me a long time. I only have tidbits of time here and there with 4 small kids ya know. =) Not complainin...just sayin. Haha! So, I decided that I would type out a quick post and show you some pictures that I took of my kids recently. It has been awhile since I posted any pictures.
 Ariel...my little dirt princess. She is always a mess...and I wouldn't change it most days. Haha!

 Aiden...stopped for a quick minute to pose...then was off and crawling away. Yep...he is 6 and enjoys crawling. Lol! He was a bear on this particular day...and his cousin was the hunter.

 His shirt is dirty, his hat is girly...and yet I love that handsome little face. Plus...I love grass shots!

This is a picture of some daffodils that my kids picked for me last week. Speaking of flowers. I had a FedEx guy come to the door today with a box from 1-800-FLOWERS. He was looking for the neighbor. =(
Titus, driving the Kubota. Yes I knew his face was filthy..but the smile makes up for it. =)

Titus, age 2 1/2, wearing Big Papa's hat while Daddy was helping put on a new roof.
My son Levi...at the age of 8 months. Love those cheeks! =)