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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

INDOOR FISHING

Each day I read a devotional story to my little Stinky Face and then there is an activity to do on the next page. Today's story was about being prepared for when Jesus comes again. I have to admit that I was kind of shocked by this lesson. I've never told my 5 year old that Jesus is coming back some day. The more I thought this over, the more thankful I became of this devotional lesson. It is something that we should be teaching our children, because it is a part of God's Word. 

It used a story of a little boy who wanted to play and eat until the very last minute, when his dad had told him to be out in the van, ready to go to preschool. This lesson taught my son that the little boy wanted to do other things first and put off getting ready. In the same way, many people put off getting ready for when Jesus comes. We need to be living our lives the way Jesus wants us to so that we'll be ready when He comes again no matter when that is.

Then it was time for our activity. The directions said that this is an activity that we need to be ready for before we could start. We had to gather all of our materials and then construct a fishing pole and some fish. My son had a blast! I drew a couple of fish for him and then he did the rest of the drawings and cutting them out all on his own. Then we put paper clips on them.



Then it was time to make the "fishing pole". All I did was tie some string around the end of a yard stick and tie it in a knot. Then we took two magnetic rocks that we had and clipped them onto the end of the string. 




 

















Now we were ready to go fishing. When the hook (magnet) of the fishing pole touched the mouth (paper clip) of the fish, he caught fish! He thought it was so awesome and really enjoyed it when he caught more than one at a time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A LESSON FROM HANNAH

I'm now in the book of 1 Samuel and I just read about how Hannah was mistreated by her husband's other wife, Peninnah. You see, Hannah was barren and in the Old Testament times, that was a disgrace. Peninnah who had sons and daughters, made Hannah miserable, provoking her to the point of grief and pain. Yet in the midst of Hannah's suffering, she became a woman of prayer and praise. When the situation was unbearable, Hannah turned in prayer to God, not to someone or something else. In spite of her bitterness, Hannah in fervent prayer focused on the Person of God as Lord of the hosts of heaven and earth.

Wow! Isn't it funny how God puts a word right out in front of your face when  you need it the most? You see, lately I've been dealing (once again) with looking to other people and other things to make me happy. Oh how I struggle in that area. I know it's wrong and I also know that the Lord wants me to rely on Him for all things. I'm a very sensitive person who desires strong friendships. While being sensitive can be a good quality, lately it's been getting me into trouble. I'm easily hurt when other people seem to have forgotten about me. I'm easily hurt when someone says they will call and then they don't. I get angry when I see my friends posting pictures on Facebook of them hanging out with other friends. Why? Because I'm jealous. Don't tell me you've never been there before. We all struggle with something and it seems like as soon as I conquer one mountain, another one pops up right in front of me.

 But God has a reason for the mountains. He wants us to never forget that we are to depend on Him. Just like Hannah, we need to turn to Him in fervent prayer and focus on Him, not the mountains. As we do this, the mountains shrink. As I do this (along with changing my settings on Facebook so that I don't see as much as I used to), my mountain has become a hill. I am drawing closer to God, just the way He intended. And I know that He will bless my efforts, just like He did for Hannah.He blessed her with children! She dedicated her first son, Samuel, to God. She then went on to have three sons and two daughters.

So what are you struggling with today? Poverty? Loneliness? Depression? Jealousy? Guilt? Anger? No matter what it is, God wants you to take your focus off of the problem. Don't go to someone else looking for the answers. Go to His Word! Go to Him in prayer! Maybe you need to take a break from Facebook or other social media. Maybe you need to spend some time away from others to get alone with God. He's calling you back to Him. He has all the answers you'll ever need. You just have to go to him and ask. Then trust Him. Be patient. He will work it all out. Keep your eyes on Him. Your breakthrough (and mine) are just around the corner!!!

Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Crafts

My oldest son felt like he was too old to make a turkey out of his handprints, so instead he made a dog. He did use his hand though to outline the dog's head. Here is what he said he is thankful for: 

My family, my friends, food on the table, a good house, the good people in te world pets the world's beauty, music, power, that Jesus died for us, games, fun that dogs don't die on Thanksgiving.


This is the turkey that I helped Stinky Face make. We first traced two circles. I used a cd case for the bigger circle and an actual cd for the smaller circle. Then we traced his hands to use as the feathers. My oldest son came up with the idea of adding the hat and I really liked it, so we cut that out and glued it on. It was a very simple, yet fun thing to do with the kids. Our neighbors came over and made their own turkeys too.


Be blessed my friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013


I love this picture that my oldest son took of me, him, and the baby. This was taken on Thanksgiving Day. We were all dressed up to go have dinner at Cracker Barrel. This has become our family tradition for Thanksgiving because our relatives don't live nearby and my husband has to get up very early to go to work the next day for Black Friday. I really miss our big family gatherings that we used to have, but I love making new traditions for the 5 of us, and not having to cook for hours or have any dishes to clean up is a huge bonus! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RUTH AND NAOMI

I've been studying the book of Ruth and want to share with you what I've discovered. Did you know that there are similarities between Ruth and The Virtuous Woman from Proverbs 31?
                                   
                                                                          Reference in Ruth             Reference in Proverbs
  • Her family commitment is noted by others.        2:11, 12                        31:11, 12
  • She provided sustenance for her household.      2:14, 18                       31:15
  • She gave attention to her appearance.               3:3, 5                           31:22
  • Her selfless lifestyle drew praise from others.     2:11; 3:10; 4:15            31:28
  • She committed herself to Yahweh as God.         1:16                             31:30

Here are some other key points that really stood out to me today:

Commitment is the foundation for every relationship, whether earthly or heavenly.

Ruth willingly accepted an unsettled future and bound herself by solemn oath not only to Naomi but also to the God of Israel. I think of all that Ruth left behind; her family, her home, friendships, her entire life as she knew it. It makes me think of my own life, how God called us to another state and we obeyed His voice. We didn't understand His plans at the time, but through our obedience, we have been so blessed by God. He gave us many new friends and we found out which of the people in our old state were in our lives for the long haul. It also brought me and my family closer together. Instead of stopping by for just a few minutes on their way home, now my parents come to visit and we fully cherish every single second we have together. We talk more and take lots of pictures. When we lived only a mile from them, it's like we just took our lives together for granted. 

Don't take your precious time together for granted!

Who are your true friends? They are the ones who are committed! They don't turn their backs on you and forget about you when you move away. They check in on your when they know you are feeling down or are sick. They make time for you! Sure, everyone is busy, but if someone tells you that they won't have time for you for a few months, you should probably re-evaluate that friendship. I've had to do this recently and it's a very painful experience, but what's even more painful is trying to hold on to a one-sided relationship. I'm not saying that you don't continue to reach out to that person and love on them, but make sure you are spending the bulk of your time on the ones who make the time for you.

Naomi

A couple of things stood out to me about Naomi, Ruth's Mother-in-Law.

  1. Naomi models the way God works through a woman who moves forward, even in the midst of tragedy and trial, actively seizing every opportunity God provides rather than waiting passively for events to happen.
  2. By focusing on the negative, Naomi became so bitter (Ruth 1:20) that she could not see the good and positive plans God was working on. 
Of course these two things happened at two different parts of Naomi's journey. The first one just made me think about what I would do if I lost my husband. I know I would be devastated and I just can't imagine trying to continue on with life as normal. She made the best of her situation and returned to God. She was such a role model for Ruth.

In the second example, Naomi just didn't feel worthy to be called Naomi, which means Pleasant. She felt like her suffering was God's punishment for her own sins. Do you ever feel like that? I know I sure have! So many times when I begged God for something and didn't see it manifest, or when I've had to deal with any other kind of suffering or tragedy, I would think God was mad at me and I deserved whatever happened. But that's not who God is! He's a God of mercy and grace. He loved us before we even knew Him. He doesn't sit around waiting to punish us. No, He's our daddy! He wants to give us His best. But first, we have to believe that! Yes, you may reap what you sow, but if you realize that you have done wrong, ask Him for forgiveness. He will cast your sins as far as the east is to the west.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I hope to share more with you about whatever I am reading each morning so that you may be blessed by it too!

Be blessed my friends!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I LOVE WATCHING HIM GROW


Baby Boy at Six Months

X

I can't believe that you are already a half a year old.  You have brought such joy into our lives. You are mostly a happy baby. You usually only fuss if you are very tired or hungry.  You started crawling at just 5 1/2 months. You still do the army crawl though,  not yet crawling on all fours. You will get wherever you want to go by either crawling or rolling.  You love being down on the floor to explore. You usually take a nice, long nap in the afternoon. This has been such a blessing to me because it allows me to spend that time homeschooling your brothers. You currently weigh about 15.4 pounds.  You are showing more interest in eating more food. I was just feeding you a small jar or two of food each day, but I think I need to start giving you food with each bottle.  As always, I love you with all my heart and I'm thoroughly enjoying watching you grow up!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stinky Face's New Style

As afraid as I was, I cut my little Stinky Face's hair. He had such beautiful hair, but combined with his long, pretty eyelashes, he could've easily been mistaken for a girl. I was also getting a little tired of his older brother harassing him. Stinky Face said he was ready for a short cut. I have cut my boy's hair off and on over the years, but this was a major change so I was extremely nervous. Honestly I lacked the confidence on the inside, but just faked it on the outside. Little by little, the hair fell to the floor (and on him and the chair). What a mess we made! It took some serious getting used to and at first I really didn't like it, but now I love it. He looks like a totally different kid. I'm trying to take on a completely new attitude about things too. It's just hair! It will grow back if I really don't like it. So what do you think about it? Should I keep on cutting my boy's hair and saving that money, or should I take them to a professional next time? 


BEFORE
AFTER
Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Favorite Part of the Day

Today was freezing cold. I think it only got up to around 35 degrees outside. I was really dreading having to leave the house, but I just HAD to get groceries. The kids did a little bit of schoolwork, I got myself ready, then got Stinky Face ready, and finally gave the baby a bath and got him ready. It was going on noon and we hadn't had anything to eat yet, so I decided that we would have lunch together. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Raising Canes. They have really yummy chicken, fries, and Texas toast, and the best sauce to dip it in.

Sitting there in the restaurant with my 3 boys was absolutely my favorite part of the day. It was worth the effort to get them all ready and go out into the freezing cold. I still spent way too much money at the store, but now hopefully I won't have to go out again for quite some time.

Be blessed my friends!

My Little Basketball Star

 

My little stinky face started basketball. He absolutely loves it and has the best attitude. The basketball rim is set at 8 feet high. That's SO high for these little guys. Stinky Face is getting closer and closer to it though. He made it about a foot short at his last game. I know that by the end of the season, he's going to be one of the best players on the team because he practices all the time and he's so determined to get better. He runs down the court with a smile on his face. He's made this momma super proud! He got to pick the number he wanted for his jersey and he picked #1. He's definitely number one in my book!

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Right-brained or Left-brained

I found a neat website where you can take a really short test to determine if you are more right-brained or left-brained. I scored 72% right brain. If you take the quiz, let me know your score.
 Gehirn
Click HERE to take the test!


Be blessed my friends!

Mesothelioma Awareness

I was contacted by a woman named Heather who asked me to share her story on my blog to raise awareness about Mesothelioma, a disease that happens because of exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos is not banned in the US, yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma. Once diagnosed, most patients die within 2 years. Heather is one of the few survivors who openly share their story to spread awareness of the dangers caused by asbestos exposure. She was diagnosed at age 36, just 3 months after giving birth to her daughter. She has overcome the odds and has been a mesothelioma survivor for almost 8 years now. Please take just a few minutes out of your day to read her story.

 

You can read more about Heather and mesothelioma awareness by going to her blog. Just click HERE!

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, November 4, 2013

THE WEIGHT HAS BEEN LIFTED, THE FOG HAS CLEARED

I feel like God has heard my cries and He's reaching down and wiping away my tears and setting me back up on my feet. I haven't taken any medicine for about 4 days and I'm doing fine. Whew! I will keep doing fine. 

So what has changed?

The biggest thing that I believe is making the greatest impact is that I'm trying so hard to stay off of social media. Even though I still go there once or twice a day, I'm not wasting hours of my life, obsessed with what everyone else is doing and then feeling inadequate about myself because I'm not doing all the things they are. 

I've realized that I am ME! There is no other me. God has called me to be a mom and to homeschool my kids. I am extremely blessed with 3 beautiful, healthy boys. I may not parent the way other people do, but I know that I am making a kingdom impact in my kids. I need to be healthy in order to be able to be here for them.

I've stopped watching as much television as I was. This too can have such a negative effect on our lives; even shows we watch with good intentions. I was watching at least 3 episodes a day of 19 and counting. This is a family with over 19 children and they all homeschool and seem like such sweet, wonderful people. Not only was this show taking time away from my own children, but once again I found began to compare myself to them. I am NOT Michelle Duggar! lol  I'm just not and I never will be. If I talk in such a sweet tone, I'm just being a fake person. Not that I talk rudely, but I'm just not soft spoken.

I've also began to read more. I'm reading wonderful books on topics like postpartum depression, being successful at being me, and finding God's purpose for my life. These books have been so helpful.

Lastly, I've reached out to more people. If the first set of people I reached out to didn't seem to be helpful, well, maybe they just didn't know how to respond. We invited some friends over yesterday and we had such a wonderful time. We all need to make more time to build the relationships that are important to us.

I hope opening up about depression has been helpful to someone. If so, please let me know in the comments.

Be blessed my friends!



Thursday, October 31, 2013

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

I'm struggling. I'm completely broken. My heart is so heavy. I feel like a monster. I ask for prayers and then take it personally when no one calls to check on me. Tears flood my face. Loneliness settles back into my soul. I try to get out to be around people, but I find myself in a crowded place, feeling so alone and unloved. Anger rises up from somewhere deep within. I had done so well at keeping it buried for so long. I WANT MY LIFE BACK! I feel like no one understands, but I know that so many others are going through the same thing. I swore I'd never take pills for depression again. But here I am. It's either that or watching the horror on my kid's faces as I scream at them. It's not me! Mommy is so sorry! Inadequacy...doubt...fear...so many emotions that I know are the work of the enemy, so why can't I just praise my way through this? 

I turn on worship music. There's a million things screaming for my attention. I try to focus on God. I try to sing. I screw up the words and Satan screams in my face that I'm such a failure. Those words come out of my own mouth and for a few moments I believe it's the truth. I fall so easily for his lies. GOD, GET ME OUT OF THIS MESS! I don't want medication God, I want You to help me.

Teaching the kids, taking care of the baby, squeezing in some time to try to take care of myself...laundry, dirty floors, table full of stuff that shouldn't be there (but always is)...making meals, basketball practice, homeschool group....dirty diapers, spit up, crying, sleepless nights...bills, grading papers, 3 kids who always seem to need my attention at the same time (at the worst possible time)...pure exhaustion! Add this depression to the mix and here is what my life has felt like lately...FOG. Really thick fog! I can't see where I'm at, let alone where I'm going. I just keep putting my hands out, feeling around for my Bible. Screaming out to God. "Can You even hear me?"  I feel so alone!

"Bible Momma"  Oh the guilt that I feel every time I log in to my blog site. I've purposely skipped church, just to avoid all the happy people. Writing is a form of therapy for me and I'm usually a very transparent person. I don't care if you get to know the real me. I'm a REAL person. I have issues. So do you! You will either love me for who I am, flaws and all, or you won't like me. That's really your choice, because I love just about everyone. I want to be everyone's friend and when I'm not dealing with stupid issues like this, I think I'm pretty easy to get along with. This postpartum depression just hit me like a ton of bricks, just like it did with my last child. I don't understand why I'm going through this again, but I do know that God has a plan. I do know that I'll get through it, just like I did before. I know He loves me! And I know He loves you! 

I ask for forgiveness from all my friends and family who I've pushed away. I never meant to hurt you or our relationship. I ask that you do some research on postpartum depression to better understand what I'm going through if you aren't familiar with it. I'm trying SO hard to do everything I can to just be me again. This is a real sickness. But, I know God is doing a work in me. I know He's healing me. "By His stripes I was healed". I will stand on that. And when I fail, I will always go back to that. Because I know God and I know who my enemy is. I will NOT let the enemy win! I have fought this battle before and I know that I am victorious.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GROSS HALLOWEEN TREAT


This is the dessert we made to take to our neighbor's Halloween party. It's called Tasty Turds! ha ha It looks really gross, but it was a very tasty snack. The kids and I had a blast making it. You just make Rice Krispy Treats and then pour in melted chocolate and mix it all together. Then, shape each piece into a "turd". To top off the grossness factor, cut off then yellow ends of candy corn and place them wherever you want. I couldn't stop laughing while we were making these and just looking at the picture makes me laugh all over again.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween 2013 ~ The Voice Judges (and little baby Carson Daily)

Blake Shelton


Every year my family likes to get creative with our Halloween costumes. This year, my 13 year old came up with the idea of being the judges from The Voice. It was perfect! There just happens to be 4 males and 1 female in the family, just like the judges (and the host). Stay tuned for some pictures from some of our previous Halloweens. I can't wait to share.
Carson Daily
Ceelo Green


Adam Levine
Christina

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reaching Out to the Community

One of the reasons I love homeschool is that it gives us more time for God, family, fun, and reaching out to our community. This past Friday my children participated in a clean up day at the St. Elizabeth's Hospitality House. It's a place where abused women and single mothers can find safety and support. I'm so proud of my kids for being a part of this day. They actually seemed to enjoy it.




Monday, September 30, 2013

WHERE IS GOD IN YOUR LIFE?

Wake up, shower, get ready for the day. Breakfast, dishes, laundry...so much to do. Run out the door, school, business, rush, rush, rush. Facebook, twitter, e-mails, phone calls, texts. Grab a quick bite to eat, socialize with friends. Soccer, football, music lessons, homework. Go out for dinner, no time to cook a meal. Showers, put kids to bed, watch tv, fall into bed exhausted. Sunday morning, gotta go to church. Can't miss out on seeing your friends. Have to make an effort to fit God in somewhere. Sunday is much more convenient than during the week.

God is never too busy to listen;
Don't be too busy to talk to Him! 

Wake up people! God's heart is broken. Where is He in your daily routine? When's the last time you took out your Bible and really tried to study His Word? When is the last time you took 5 minutes out of your day and prayed for someone other than yourself? When is the last time you sat quietly and just asked what His will was for your life? Does He really want you to be so busy? So busy that there's not much time for Him? Sure, your kids are excelling in their sports and lessons, but when is the last time you've sat your children down and talked about God? Do they see you worshiping at home? Do they know that you read the Bible every day? Slow down! Breathe in the life that he offers. Give your worries to Him. Give your life to Him! Unbreak His heart!

Be blessed my friends!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU GOD

Well, I was going to write a post about what God is doing in my life, but I cannot focus. One child to my right, wrecking the castle that he just built...talking non-stop. Other two children directly in front of me, one humming and one fussing. I don't know what it is that God is up to. I can't hear myself think. I know God is whispering to me, but I feel like He's getting drowned out from all the noise around me. Just being real! I love the Lord and I know He's about to take me somewhere new, but He's going to have to abduct me long enough for me to be able to listen to what He's trying to tell me. Talk a little louder God. 

Or maybe He's just trying to tell me to go play with my kids!

Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Letters To My Baby ~ 4 Months Old



Wow, you are 4 months old already! Time is going by so fast and you're changing each and every day. Yesterday you rolled over for the very first time. Of course I missed it though. You were on your back and your daddy and I turned around and there you were, completely on your belly. You are my tiny little peanut. You still weigh under 12 pounds. Your smiles are now followed by bursts of laughter. It's the sweetest laughter in the world. No one could be sad when they hear your laugh. You love when I blow raspberries on the bottom of your feet and make high pitch sounds. One of your newest discoveries is your feet. You grab on to your toes and try to pull your feet towards you. It won't be long and you'll be trying to stick them into your mouth. I love you so much my little sugar booger. I'm so grateful to the Lord for you and your bubbas.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One More Thing About Facebook

So, yesterday I said some negative things about facebook. Let me clear up a couple of things. I do still look on facebook about twice a day or more, I just don't have the time for it that I used to. But, I'm okay with that because there are far more important things going on here in the flesh. I do enjoy looking at photos that people post, reading a few funny things and keeping in touch with my family and friends via facebook, but much prefer doing all that in person or over the phone when possible.

One comment that I made is bothering me. I said that I sometimes think, "I know she's not that happy, so why is she always putting up a front?". Well, that comment has been stuck in my brain since yesterday and I guess God is trying to tell me that when people put up a front like everything is okay in their lives, it's their way of coping with the pain. So, I repent of those bad thoughts and pray for the people who come to mind when that specific thought comes to mind when reading their posts.

That's another reason I dislike facebook. I used to be okay, just putting it all out there. I'm the kind of person who wears my emotions on my sleeve (and for a long period of time, just wore them on facebook). That is until people deleted me because they don't want to see negative stuff all the time. So, okay...facebook isn't a place where we can be real with one another? It has to be this fairy tale place where everything is always great. We can only be real with each other when we see each other in person? Okay, got it. So I stopped posting anything bad in my life, except when I really felt like I needed others to be praying for me. But, then I felt like a fake person. Hmm...I wonder if people question whether I'm really that happy or not, because I'm afraid to post negative stuff.

So, that's why you'll see more of me posting on here instead of on facebook. Because YOU my friend, have the option of coming to my blog or not to see what's been going on in my world. Here, you'll get the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. Because I'm a truthful person. I don't set out to hurt or offend anyone, so if I do, I'm sorry. Please accept me for who I am.

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recovering Facebook Addict

Anyone else feel like a recovering Facebook addict? Having a new baby in the house has not only taken me away from the computer more often, but it has also changed my perspective. I just don't feel like posting many updates anymore. Maybe it's because of what comes to mind when I read other posts.

Here are some examples:

Is she really that happy?

I know she's not that happy, so why does she put up a front all the time?

Another vacation...seriously?

Who cares what you had for dinner. (I used to post that kind of stuff too, but I guess now I'm just jealous that I haven't had many homemade dinners since the baby was born.)

Blah, blah, blah (sometimes I actually say this out loud when posts are really boring)

Must be nice to have so much free time!

Wish I had time to read this long post.

That's great that you worked out again today. My workout included running up and down my steps a million times, doing laundry, cleaning up after everyone, nursing a baby, teaching children their schoolwork, keeping a baby entertained, and going for a morning walk on the days I'm not so sleep deprived from the baby. But, darn...I just don't have time to post all of that every day. 

And, just like with facebook, I have to get off of the computer because the baby calls. I'm not really complaining. Just saying life has changed and I've had some major adjusting to do. On one hand I'm glad I'm not on facebook so much anymore, but on the other hand, I wish I had more time to stalk people and comment on their exciting lives!

Be blessed my friends!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Wrestling Spirit

     
       Much like my physical body, my spirit just can't seem to get rest lately. I know the cause of my physical lack of sleep; He's about 2 feet long, has beautiful blue eyes and a smile that can light up the room. My spirit and my mind however, just keep turning, wrestling, wondering. Almost like my spirit is wrestling with my mind. Things just suddenly don't make sense to me anymore. I can't even pinpoint what is going on. I feel like there's a huge question mark just spinning around in my head. All of a sudden I'm viewing my life as not enough. I feel like I'm missing something, but what is it? My brain says that I need to do something to help bring more income into our home, but the Holy Spirit whispers to me, "Rest. I've carried you this far, do you think I'll fail you now? It's not by your works that you have what you have today. It's because I love you. You are my daughter." My brain says that my house is a wreck and I need to do more. I just can't function with the clutter. I think about selling stuff, but God says, "Give it away!"  We have always been givers and I feel like that's a huge reason that we are so blessed today. The Bible says that you reap what you sow. We've reaped such a tremendous harvest.

      It's time to replace the question marks and just put my trust back in Him. He exchanges our question marks, our doubts, and confusion with peace that only He can offer. When things don't make sense, He can still give you and your mind REST. 


Be blessed my friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

100+ THINGS I THANK GOD FOR

I read today in my daily devotional that it's not enough to keep the bad stuff out of our lives, but we've got to let the good stuff in. It's not enough to keep no list of wrongs. We have to cultivate a list of blessings. A day or so before reading this, A quote came to my mind that I had heard in the past. It said, "What if you wake up tomorrow and the only thing you have is what you thanked God for yesterday". I wondered how hard it would be to come up with 100 things to thank God for and I challenged my followers on facebook to try to do the same things. I learned that unless you are being very specific, it's actually a difficult task. It's also very humbling to reflect on the many things that God has done just for me. I also learned that once you come up with the initial 100, blessings just keep coming to mind. So, now I have more than 100! Here's my list:

1. God woke me up again this morning.
2. I have a great, hard working, selfless husband.
3. A healthy, funny, 13 year old son who is now old enough to babysit our 5 year old.
4. A healthy, loving 5 year old son who makes sure to tell me that he loves me to the moon and back every night.
5. A healthy, sweet 2 month old. He's such a blessing to everyone we meet.
6. He has delivered me from depression!
7. He has healed me from a tumor that I had in my chest at age 13.
8. He has healed me from endometriosis.
9. He healed me from a mysterious brain issue.
10. I have lived in the home of my dreams for a year now.
11. I have great neighbors.
12. I have great friends.
13. Ability to homeschool
14. Money when we needed it.
15. Money when we didn't realize we needed it.
16. Great church: Bethel Harvest
17. Ability to bless others.
18. Wonderful singing voice to use for His glory.
19. Love of reading.
20. Protection from harm. There's been so many times in my life where I can look back and just think, "Wow. If it weren't for God, where would I be?".
21. Deliverance from the fear of tornadoes.
22. We were able to buy a van to fit the needs of our growing family.
23. Even though my brother has no relationship with me, I'm still thankful that he's alive and there's still time for his salvation.
24. Homeschool groups.
25. Long hair.
26. car that has lasted over half of my life time
27. His Word
28. Fresh air
29. Hot water
30. Electricity
31. Laughter
32. I've won many contests which were a real blessing to our family.
33. Fresh drinking water.
34. Food
35. 2nd, 3rd (well, more like 5th or 6th) chances to breastfeed my baby. It was a huge struggle for 2 months and I even started to ween him. But God gave me the desire of my heart, which was to press forward and start enjoying it.
36. Quiet time
37. The ability to stay home
38. I've led other children to Christ
39. My husband has a job.
40. We sold our last home in just 35 days.
41. We sold our first home a day after we sent in the cancellation to the realtor. He never got the cancellation. This was a true miracle for us.
42. I was able to buy my first home when I was 20 years old.
43. Freedom to raise my boys how I choose
44. My blog & writing skills
45. Gift of prophecy
46. My parents are still married after almost 43 years.
47. Still have all of my immediate family.
48. Fans to sleep with.
49. He allowed me to live after developing a severe allergy to bees and getting stung on my 13th birthday.
50. Debt free except for our home.
51. Crazy childhood memories like sliding down our barn roof in the snow and riding our cows.
52. The job I had for 10 years.
53. The 401k that I got because of that job.
54. Scentsy business that I owned.
55. Babysitting jobs that have helped us through some hard times.
56. Ability and desire to help others.
57. Vacation we had in 2009 to Tennessee.
58. Many trips to Lake Erie with my family when I was a kid.
59. His grace
60. His mercy
61. His love
62. Forgiveness
63. Chipotle
64. Naps
65. Chocolate
66. A house overflowing with stuff. My barns are overflowing! Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
67. Computer
68. Internet
69. Trampoline for my kids (and for me occasionally).
70. Chance to volunteer at a nursing home when I was a child. This forever gave me a heart for the elderly. 
71. My salvation.
72. My husband's salvation. We never would've found each other if he weren't saved.
73. Unlimited text messaging. It used to be limited and so easy to go over.
74. Happy hour at Sonic.
75. Nesquik (my morning drink)
76. Cousins ~ I have tons of cousins and a few of them are extra special to me.
77. Great eyesight. 
78. My son gave his life to Christ when he was nine years old.
79. Had the wedding that I always dreamed of.
80. Carbonite (a program that backs everything up on the computer). Before Carbonite, we had lost all of our pictures on the computer. I was pretty devastated, but thankfully (another thing to be thankful for), my genius husband was able to recover most of them. 
81. Craigslist ~ Not just for selling things! This is where I met one of my best friends, when she found a babysitting ad that I had posted.
82. A doctor who listens to me.
83. A comfy bed to sleep in every night.
84. Nice neighborhood.
85. Air1
86. KLove  
87. Prophet Traut
88. Having family that is close in distance, but not too close. It really makes me appreciate our time together better.
89. Party Right (a fun, inexpensive place where my son loves to play) 
90. Skyline
91. Massages 
92. Cameras (and the one I'm believing God for)
93. My husband's help finishing this list.
94. Gifts from others
95. Baby monitors
96. Redbox
97. Restaurants that don't serve shellfish
98. Soft blankets
99. disposable diapers
100. I am an American!

And here are the few that I've thought of since this list. 
  • He healed me from an ear blockage that I had off and on for about 2 years.
  • Reconciliation with family and friends.
  • A net for the trampoline.
  • Skyline chili is available in a can
My mind is more aware of the blessings that I receive each day because of this list that I have made. I challenge you to give it a try too! Share your thoughts.


Be blessed my friends!

Friday, August 2, 2013

DEPRESSION ~ My Story (The Short Version)


 

 I have battled depression off and on for most of my life. It began as a teenager because of growing up with an alcoholic father and brothers who mistreated me. My mom and my brothers took the brunt of my father's abuse, and I hid and listened to the arguments and fighting. I overcame depression in my late teens when my dad quit drinking and my parents reconciled their marriage, only to battle it again in my early twenties. At just twenty years old, I became a single mom. Working full-time, going to school full-time, and taking care of a baby on my own really took a toll on me. 

I found the love of my life when my son was six years old. He took so much pressure off of me. He loved me and my son unconditionally. It was hard for me to return love in the same way that he gave it because of the way other men had treated me. I thought my husband was just being so great to me so he could get what he wanted; but he's never been that kind of man. After a couple of years of marriage, we had a son together and for the first time in my life, I experienced postpartum depression. I feel like this was the worst kind of depression that I've ever dealt with. It just came out of nowhere and I battled with wondering how I could be so depressed when God had given me such a beautiful gift. I felt so much guilt. I looked at the baby with resentment. I had feelings that I couldn't understand. I tried going on medication, but they put me on something that I was allergic to and I got violently ill. I decided then that I wouldn't go on medication again. 

Fast forward a couple of years down the road and depression came back. I was lonely and felt isolated, but instead of seeking out friendships, I isolated myself from the few friends I did have. The depression got so bad that I started picturing myself telling my boys goodbye, kissing them goodnight, and then getting in the car late at night while everyone was sleeping, and driving off the road on purpose. I believe that God intervened by giving me an ailment that I thought was brain cancer or a stroke or something else that would be terrible. I suddenly started seeing each day as a gift and realized that I really didn't want to die. It took me two years before God healed me of this thing. Doctors never figured out what it was, but I knew in my heart that it was placed there to bring me back to reality.

Depression does occasionally try to creep back into my life, but I recognize it much more quickly than I use to. I realize right away that Satan is attacking me. I seek God quickly to restore me back to a completely healthy mind. 

Stay tuned for more posts on depression. I want to discuss ways of overcoming depression and what to do (and what not to do) when your friend or family member is dealing with depression.  

Be blessed my friends! 

2 OF MY BOYS, 5 YEARS APART

The picture on the left is our newest baby. When I saw this picture, I remembered one of our 5 year old that I thought looked similar. I couldn't believe my eyes when I put them side by side. Even their own grandma couldn't tell which one was which. 

Be blessed my friends!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I can barely find time to go to the restroom, let alone find time to blog. As I type my little one is fussing in his seat. It's been a really long day and it's not even half over. I'm not wishing the days away, just wish this day were going a little better. Stinky Face woke us up around 2am with a cough that we know all too well. He has croup for about the 10th time. I think that's pretty much unheard of, but once you've heard this distinctive cough, you know for sure it's croup. He's seen specialists, but they have never been very helpful. So, between him and the baby, it was a really rough night and the day hasn't proven much better.

I am much more relaxed though, this third time around. Life is what it is and God gave me each circumstance for a reason. I know that my major lack of sleep and fussing and sick children is nothing compared to what Christ went through for me and there are also many people in this world who would just love to have a child and can't. So I try to look at it all as a blessing. That's what the Lord would want us to do. I know they are blessings. I'd do anything for my children.

Monday, June 17, 2013

PROPHECIES

We have been blessed to receive four prophesies from a man who visits our church about twice a year. His name is Ed Traut and he is with Prophetic Life. To learn more about his ministry, you can just click HERE. He has spoken some amazing things over our future and has said things about our past that are very specific to us. One of the things he has spoken over our lives is that there would be a third child in the home. When he first said this, my mind was so shut off to even the idea of having another child, even though I had originally always wanted four children. Our second son was an emergency c-section and I was so afraid of having to go through a similar experience, that we had decided we were done having children.

It was Prophet Traut's word spoken over us that re-opened the door of thoughts about having another child. For the first time since our 2nd child's birth, I began to see that I had been living in fear for almost 4 years. I had allowed Satan to use the c-section to scare me out of God's will (and the desire of my own heart). I started praying to God, asking for forgiveness for allowing fear to control my life. I believe in the power of our words. The Bible says they can bring life or death. I believe that my words had brought death to the possibility of me having more children, so I prayed for a crop failure over those words. I also asked God that if it was His will for us to have more children, that He would not allow me to get pregnant if I would have to re-live a similar situation as my 2nd son's birth. 

It took many, many months of trying to conceive and believing God that He had healed me of endometriosis. I found out on September 15th, 2012 that we were expecting our third child who had been prophesied over us. I trusted God during the entire pregnancy and even though I ended up having another c-section, I think Satan just had it out for our special child. But God got the complete victory and I know this baby has a high calling on his life, as do my other two!

I say all of this because last night I began to think, "Hmm, we put 100% of our faith in the word we received from this man, and we fought for it". My pastor says that you have to fight for your prophecies and I believe that. Satan doesn't want to see us victorious. It took a lot of prayer and time, but we have seen the fruit of that word. So, I thought, "There's so much more that has been spoken over us, but we haven't been fighting for it like we fought for our baby". 

So today, I went back over our first prophecy. It is from July 18th, 2010 (almost 3 years ago). I re-read it to see what it is I'm actually supposed to be fighting for. Prophet Traut has never said too much about my future, but what he has said is so significant and it lines up completely with my giftings. So here's my new focus: I am to:

SPEAK THE WORD

PROPHESY

BE A WOMAN OF GOD BY USING MY PAST HURT TO MINISTER LIFE TO PEOPLE

So it's time for me to get back on track! These 3 things are the whole reason I first began this blog, long before I even met Prophet Traut. So please pray for me to keep my focus and let me know if there is any way I can be praying for you! 

Be blessed my friends!

LETTERS TO MY BABY ~ ONE MONTH OLD

 
I can't believe that you will be a month old tomorrow. You're already over 8 pounds because you are such a good eater. You're usually hungry every 3 hours on the dot; even if you've been sleeping, you'll wake up to eat. Most of your feedings last anywhere between a half an hour to almost a full hour. You have blessed me most nights though, by sleeping through the night. I feed you around midnight or one in the morning and you sleep until about 6:30. I can tell that you love me so much. You seem most relaxed and comfortable when you're in my arms. You're so sweet! I think that you are starting to make eye contact. You're also starting to be a little bit verbal. I love your little coos and grunts.

You keep our lives very interesting and busy. This morning we were just hanging out on the couch. I looked down and much to my surprise, I saw a glob of yellow poop on your daddy's pillow that you were propped up on. Then I found it on your clothes, my small pillow, and the couch. You sure know how to keep me on my toes. I try my best to not complain even when I'm feeling completely overwhelmed (which has happened a lot lately). You are just too much of a blessing to me for me to waste time complaining. I feel so bad when I do let those complaints slip out. I ask God to put a guard over my mouth and only let pleasant words come out. It's something I've worked on for a long time, but now more than ever, I'm striving to keep quiet when negative thoughts invade my mind. 

I love you G3 and I'm so glad you are here with us, safe and sound. You truly are a God send and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't realize how blessed I am with the awesome family that God has given me! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

OUR LITTLE MONSTER'S FIRST BATH


Someone didn't like his first bath. It took 25 days for his umbilical cord stump to fall off. Up until this point we've been giving him what we call "redneck baths".

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MY BIRTH STORY

At 6:30pm on the 16th of May, I had a Big Mac and fries from McDonald's. Little did I know that would be the last thing I would eat until I was allowed a liquid diet around 8am on Saturday the 18th. I tried to go to sleep around midnight but the baby was extremely active for some reason. All night long he just kept tossing and turning. It was painful and I couldn't get comfortable. Around 3am, I noticed that my contractions were picking up some in intensity and they seemed pretty close together. When I started timing them, they were consistently 3-4 minutes apart. This didn't concern me too much because I had been having contractions for months. Just one day prior to this, they were 4 minutes apart for over an hour and then they fizzled out.

Last picture of me before baby was born.
 Here it was, after 3am, and I hadn't had a lick of sleep. I was becoming so angry. I decided to take a Benadryl and a Tylenol in hopes of getting some sleep. I slept off and on and ended up with maybe one hour of sleep before I decided that we should head to the hospital. I showered and got ready with the contractions consistently 3 minutes apart. We took the kids to the neighbor's house and headed to the hospital just before 7am.

When we arrived around 7:30, they hooked me up to the monitors and everything was going great. I was so excited that this would be the day (or so I thought). When the doctor checked me, he said I was about 3-4cm dilated. I wasn't happy about that since I walked around for 2 weeks at 3-4cm dilated with my last child. But, my doctor told us that we wouldn't be leaving without having a baby since the contractions were so steady. I tested positive for group B strep during my last pregnancy, so I was automatically treated for it during this one. They began the IV and ran a bag or so of fluid through me before they started the antibiotic. The Penicillin really burned as it was going in. I was really upset to learn that they would have to administer it every 4 hours up until I the time the baby was born.I had an IV in my left arm, pumping in fluids and Penicillin and then a nurse did a blood draw on my right arm and left a horrible bruise about the size of a baseball. It became swollen and burned terribly. Having two burning arms made it harder to focus on breathing through my contractions.

My parents came to be with me and they had stopped and picked up our boys on their way down. I wanted my boys to be the first ones to see the baby after he was born. Then we had more visitors, all anxious for his arrival. There was my mother in law, one of my best friends, Trish and her fiance and another one of my best friends, Sharon, and her children. When Sharon stopped in to visit, I asked her if she would stay with me. She was very honored and gladly stepped in and helped my exhausted husband coach me through the contractions. She did so much for me. I will be forever grateful.

Hours passed and I was barely making any progress. I had no concept of time. I only know that I had been in labor for a long time! I was completely exhausted and starving. The contractions continued to get stronger, but when the doctors checked me again, I was only at a 5. They wanted to break my water to help speed things up. After thinking about it for a long time, I finally decided to go ahead and let them. The hospital doctor came in to do it. After his first attempt, he thought he might have had a defective hook. He got another hook and had the nurse pushing down on my stomach, but he was still unable to break my water. This experience was terrifying for me and I didn't understand why it wouldn't break.

Later, my doctor came back to check on me, and he was able to get my water to break. It was actually more like a slow leak, but apparently that's what the doctor wanted. After more waiting, the contractions actually seemed to be dying down. This was so disappointing to me. I wanted to cry. Maybe I did cry. I don't remember. The next time the doctor came to check on me, he started mentioning Pitocin. This was another scary thought because there is a higher risk for uterine rupture with the use of Pitocin after a previous c-section. My last child was an emergency c-section and I really hoped that this baby would be delivered as a V-bac (vaginal birth after cesarean). In fact, I thought sure that God would answer that prayer. Having another c-section was such a fearful thought; especially in another emergency situation.

I reluctantly agreed to Pitocin. They started me out at the lowest possible dosage and it didn't take long at all for the contractions to pick back up again. The increase in contractions was very short lived; in fact, labor seemed to have fizzled out altogether. I couldn't believe this was happening. The doctors suggested that we go ahead and increase the Pitocin dosage and once again, I agreed, even though I was hoping that wouldn't be necessary. When they began to increase the dosage, labor kicked in fast and hard. I couldn't handle the contractions on my own any longer. I felt completely depleted, so I asked for an epidural (something else that I really hoped to avoid).

Once the epidural was in, the anesthesiologist allowed me to have a grape Popsicle. It was the first thing I had to eat in about 32 hours. I was so happy when the epidural kicked in. It seemed to take longer than it did with my other two boys. I was finally able to rest for a few minutes, but not long enough. My baby's heart rate started to drop. My last son's heart rate also started dropping soon after getting the epidural, but his heart rate wasn't bouncing back up. This baby's heart rate was at least recovering after each dip. At this point, I still had the peace of God on me, but it was as if Satan was whispering fear in my ears and I had to fight it with everything in me. My doctor came back in because he noticed the baby's heart rate dropping. He said to me, "Lets go have a baby". And I simply said, "okay". Although I had prayed for my whole pregnancy against having another c-section, I had been through so much and was so depleted that it was almost a relief to me just to know that it would be over soon.

They shaved me and started getting me ready for the OR and they handed my husband the scrubs that he would have to put on. Next thing I know, they are wheeling me away. I felt scared for the baby so I prayed in my head all the way to the OR. There was a huge team of doctors and nurses in the room, but it seemed like it took forever for my doctor and my husband to get in there with me. Once they got me on the operating table and put the curtain up, I started feeling like my chest was caving in, making it harder for me to breathe. I told the anesthesiologist about it and he told me it was just an illusion and to focus on trying to breathe from my stomach. Yeah, how do you do that when you are completely numb from your shoulders down?

Finally, my doctor and my husband came in. I was so happy to have my husband by my side. I was scared from the feeling in my chest and also from some strange pressure I was feeling in the temples of my head. The doctors told me that it would only take about 5 minutes to get the baby out. They were right! At 2:41 on Saturday morning, they held my little, bloody, screaming, blue monster up over the screen for me to get a quick look before they took him over to get him cleaned up and assessed. Although I loved to hear his awesome, powerful cry, the way he looked really freaked me out.









As the doctors were sewing me up, someone brought my baby over for me to look at again. I was very relieved to see his skin turning red and to see him looking like a normal human.











They took him to the nursery and then I was sent off to recovery. I was shaking from the medication. I was relieved that it was all over and I knew that we were both healthy. They brought the baby to my recovery room and he immediately started breast feeding. Focusing on him really helped me to stop shaking. My husband went to get my other two sons to meet the baby. After resting in the hospital waiting room all night, they were so happy to see that their mom and their baby brother were okay.


I only had to spend two more days in the hospital. I thank God for bringing me through that terrible situation and giving me the victory in the end. I got my perfect little man and I recovered extremely fast. All of the glory goes to Him!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

ANOTHER PRINCE WILL SOON ENTER THE WORLD


This is a picture that my son took for me. We are trying to win a baby belly photo contest and raise money for the March of Dimes. Every time a person votes, Baby Belly Spa will donate $1 to the March of Dimes. If you would like to help us out, you can vote for us on facebook. Just follow this link: http://bit.ly/103CShH.  You will need to accept Offerpop so they know you are a real person, like their page, and then just click "vote" next to my picture (the one seen here). Also, feel free to share it with your friends to help me spread the word. I would greatly appreciate it!

Monday, April 8, 2013

ART TIME


I think we might have an architect on our hands. This is what my 4 year old built, all by himself. I'm so proud of the young man he is becoming and the many talents he displays. Soon, I will share with you the math and reading that he has been doing. I'm so proud of both of my boys. They are both making tremendous products and discovering who God has made them to be. I'm so very blessed to be able to be with them so often!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stinky Face & His Cars


This boy LOVE his cars! Here he is with over 215 of his cars. These don't include any off brand cars or Disney cars. To motivate him to eat new foods, behave well, and do great on his school work, I find cars on sale and add them to the treasure box and he earns one each day that he behaves great. I know I can't keep this up forever, but for now it's something that we all enjoy. He can't wait for Daddy to get home so he can tell him how good he was all day and then he runs upstairs to pick out a new car.