December 11, 2010

Amazing People

Well, here we are in one of the busiest seasons for pastors. Our Christmas dinner theater started last night, and runs twice today. It was so much fun!!! We're doing "God With Us", the theme is seeing God in the stories and lives of others....and that has got me to thinking....(uh oh!)

Life is hard. Most of us have experienced this in one way or another. And sometimes it stinks! BUT - we survive, we enjoy and we love through it all!! Hearing the testimonies of the amazing things God has done in the lives of others is inspiring, and thinking about all we've been through as a family is amazing! Through all of it God is good, and His love endures forever. His mercies are new every morning, and His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I stand by a statement I have made many times in my own trials....I don't know how people get through life without the grace and mercy of God!

I am constantly confronted with how brutal life can be for people. I see good people being hurt, abused, abandoned, and forgotten all the time. I see some of them come through it stronger and with more faith than ever before. I see some people walk away from God and head down a path of sure destruction. My heart breaks for every one of them.

What my MusicMan and I went through over this past year alone could have destroyed us, if we had let it. The things our extended family has endured could have done the same. BUT for the grace of God! It was in those times that we chose to draw near to the one who in turn, draws near to us. Nothing looked perfect in the process, and it was HARD....but we made it! Things still aren't easy, and memories will invade at the most inopportune times, but God has and will continue to sustain us. I know this with all certainty because I TRUST Him - and He hasn't let me down yet!

He hasn't always worked things out the way I would have done it, but it looks so much better with His stamp of approval. There have been times in my past that God has allowed me to have exactly what I prayed for, and it was a total disaster! Then, He gently showed me what He had for me all along.....and it was exactly what I needed.

I tried life on my own, completely shutting God out of every thought and decision I made. From that, I made a horrible mess of my circumstances, friendships, and my heart. There is still work to be done to undo what I created in me....but I know God is working all things out for my good, because I love Him, and I trust Him and I have completely and wholly turned my life over to Him.

There are people out there who think God miraculously makes your life into a sunny bed of roses when you decide to follow Him. How untrue and absurd that is! God stands by His Word, and whatever a man sows, so shall he reap. Ouch! Good or bad, you're gonna get a be careful what you're planting! Yes, bad things happen for no reason at all, and to good people, but that doesn't mean God's not there. There is an enemy of our soul who wants to kill us, any way he can, and he will try everything! BUT, there is a lover of our soul, who wants good and perfect gifts for us, and He is our protector, our banner, our strong tower, our provider, our healer, our deliverer!! We just need to take one simple step, and believe Him to be true!

I know in my life, I wouldn't have it any other way! I pray that someone will read this and be encouraged, and hope will spring alive inside you, and you will believe that God is in control, and He won't let you down! He may not deliver you from what you're facing, but He will surely carry you through it!

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. 
~ Psalm 23:4

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. 
~ Psalm 25:4-5

November 29, 2010

Monday, Monday

Hello blog world! It's so nice to be back....

I guess I kinda disappeared for a while there. Things got a little crazy in my life, and since everything is so new, I got overwhelmed. I really missed sharing my life, and reading about yours, and I am making a stand on this rainy Monday in Mobile. I will blog again!!

I will just post the highlights for now....I don't want to overwhelm everyone with everything all at once.

First, we had to give our dog back. My adorable Smooter is gone to a new home.  We had an altercation with her, and she bit me and drew blood (and left a scar!) and then the kids were afraid of her. After she drew blood, she seemed to change in personality we are a pet free home once again. *sigh*

We took our first road trip since we've moved. We got to go to SC to visit our family for Thanksgiving....and we enjoyed every second of it! My only complaint about the trip is that it was way too short!

Things have been going well for us all the way down here in Alabama. We are getting more and more settled, and still building all of those deep, meaningful relationships that we so desire. But the longer we are here, the more we are certain that God is doing something awesome in our lives, and through our church. We couldn't be more grateful to have gone through what we did, to get to where we are, so we have the ability to be what God has called us to be!

I guess a lot of this has been very general, and big picture....but I'll get to details later. I am just happy to be writing again.

Well, I hope everyone enjoys their Monday! I know that seems quite paradoxical to say, but I pray it will happen for you!!

October 16, 2010

Staff Retreat

Well, tomorrow is the big day....the start of our staff retreat! I have to admit, I am a little nervous. This is our first time away with our new staff (we have only been here for a little over 4 months!), and we don't know what to expect. It will be fun, and challenging, and nerve-racking, I'm sure!

So, for the next few days, I will be off-line. This is my short post to say, there will be no post for a good week or two, because we are going away.

If you happen to think of me this week, pray for me. I want to be myself, and have fun, and not be nervous and worried about what I'm saying and what everyone else is thinking the whole time. Thanks!

October 13, 2010

Wordless Witness

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:14-16

God has really been dealing with me about this subject lately -- Am I an example of His love and power in this world? Can people see Jesus in me when they walk by me in Wal-Mart? Do I need to actually open my mouth for others to know that I love Jesus, and Jesus loves them?

I have to say, I honestly don't know. And that disappoints me. I want to be so full of the love of Christ, that when someone walks by me, they can tell there's something different about me. I want to be able to smile at someone and change their life. I want to be able to look at someone and make them feel like they are worth a million bucks! I want a continuous flow of the love of Christ to be coming out of me!

There are so many hurting, hopeless people in this world, and we come into contact with them EVERYDAY! How are we, as Christians, making a difference in this world? These are the questions that have been bothering me lately, and I don't have any easy answers for them. I do know, that for the first time in my life, I really care about them! God has been changing my heart from being selfish, and self-centered, to begin looking toward others. I know how good I can be at hiding when I'm having a bad day, so how many people do I run into that are even better at it than I am!?! And how many of those people have it so much worse than I do? Dear Jesus!

The world we live in is so desperately wicked, and produces many who are living in survival mode - not the blessed life! I said in my last post, I really don't know how people can make it in life without Christ as their focus and stability...especially when the going gets rough! I wanna be an agent of change! I want to be able to be effective in seeing the brokenhearted restored, and full of love, and then sharing their love with others! I want to see a drastic change in the world we live in!

So, I am going to challenge you, who have taken your time to read this post, and I include myself in this challenge, and say - be the light in this world! Be the example of Christ that can't be mistaken! Be the only love that someone may see today, and make a difference in your community! Let your light shine before men!!

October 8, 2010

Crazy Week

(this is Smooter the day we brought her home....she is now over 25 pounds!)

Hello friends! Sorry I have been a bit absent...I am amazed at times that I made it through this week alive! It has been eventful, to say the least. Let's do a quick recap....

Monday - I went to the doctor, diagnosed with kidney infection, made it through the day, had a great small group meeting at my house at night, went to bed

Tuesday - went to work, left 10 minutes early in extreme pain, did nothing the rest of the night, I was done

Wednesday - horrible pain + fever = emergency room visit....the infection was gone, and they could give no explanation for my pain except that my kidneys were irritated and hadn't caught up to the antibiotic yet....not fun

Thursday - our day off, actually had a pretty good day!, finally watched The Blindside (great movie!), got bit by dog (my Smooter!) that night....and she drew blood

Friday - back and forth all day about whether or not to keep Smooter, decided we can't trust she won't bite again....have to take her back to the Humane Society tomorrow.....have very mixed feelings about this

So, that's my week in a nutshell! Aren't you jealous!?!? :o)  Thank God I have a sense of humor, and his grace is sufficient for me - otherwise, I'd be a cooked goose right now!

This whole week has just been an all out attack of the enemy on our church staff and leadership! I went to the ER, another staff person's son was hospitalized, there have been several different-household cases of a stomach bug, a sinus infection, an unidentified rash, power outages, and financial strain to the breaking point! And that's just the stuff we know about!! It's war time!!

I am thankful that I have a God who is strong when I am weak, who is my joy when I am sad, who gives me grace to make it through the day when I don't think I can, who meets my every need! I have said it before, and I'll say it again....I don't know how people survive in this world without a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord! It seems impossible to me!

So, myself and the rest of my church staff would appreciate any prayers you would like to send our way! My personal, immediate concern at the moment is the children's reactions to giving up the dog. Gabe has totally bonded with her, but does get sick of her pretty quickly, and they all lock her out of the room that they are in more often than they play with her. Libby did admit to me today, that after seeing Smooter bite me, she is a little afraid of her. So.....please pray for us! Thank you!!

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." ~ Psalm 91:1-2

September 29, 2010

I'm back!

So, I have decided that I miss blogging, and I am back baby! I don't know exactly how often I will update, maybe once or twice a week, but I need to write!!

Friday is October 1st. Already. Amazing. I can't believe it! We will have been in Alabama for 4 months next week. I can't believe it's only been four months, but at the same time, it feels like we've been here all along. It is also just beginning to feel like fall here, a little. It's still in the 80's during the day, hot enough to swim! Love my pool!!

The kids are settled into their school routine pretty well. We are getting a handle on our schedule as well. Having a bigger house means more responsibility, but I am happy to take it on! We are both working at a thriving, busy, useful church, which means more hours spent in and out of the office, but we are humbled just to be a part of it all! Libby has begun gymnastics, and she is loving that. We have a small group meeting in our house on Monday nights, and I love having people in my home again! Gabe is in Junior Bible Quiz, and doing very well. In his first match he came in the top ten (number 9), and he has never quizzed before!!! (he is also doing 30 point questions) Gideon is just growing like a weed, and picking up the cutest southern accent around! Oh, and he loves to sing all the time now!

God has been doing so much in our lives, I don't even know where to begin. So, I will start with the amazing healing work that God has done in my body! There has been a revival happening in Mobile since July-ish. A couple of weeks ago, I was having a very tough time, both physically and emotionally, and Jon urged me to attend the service on my own. I was kinda uncomfortable with that, but we don't have our support system in place yet, so one of us could go, and the other would stay with the kids. My husband was very gracious to me that night!

Anyway, I was there, and we were in praise and worship time. The evangelist, Nathan, got up and started praying corporately for some specific needs/illnesses, and proclaimed that there was a healing anointing in the room. I didn't skip a beat, and just put my hand on the top of my head and received my healing. Nothing major or dramatic happened.....I just continued to worship. I sat for the Word and then at the end of the service I went toward the altar for more worship and prayer. Well, at the end of the evening, I realized I was dancing and moving with NO PAIN AT ALL!!! That was the first time I was ever completely pain-free in over 2 years! I can wear heels again now too!!!! :o)

Now, for the history to all of this. I had surgery on my right foot in August 2008. I had a bunion removed from my foot, and have a small screw in the joint. My foot never healed properly, and I had constant pain in my foot, and limited range of motion in my toes. I had to become very selective with the shoes I wore, and was unable to wear my beloved heels! Also, at the same time, I was dealing with pain in my back. I had been diagnosed with an inflamed sacroiliac joint, and had a steroid injection in the joint to help the pain go away. I had also been seeing a chiropractor when we were still living in PA. I had to squat down to pick anything up off the floor, instead of just bending at the waist. When we moved to AL, both of these issues began to flare up pretty badly. I was starting to have days where my foot just plain hurt, and my back almost took me out for the day. Also, I started dealing with migraines again, and hadn't had many of those in recent years.

After that night at the revival service, God completely healed me! I have not had one headache, I can bend over and touch my toes, and I can wear heels again!! I simply chose to believe and leave it in God's hands, and didn't even realize I had been healed right away!

Now, I know all of these things seem trivial to some people. I think I had disqualified myself from healing in the past by dismissing the pains I had as "not as important as a disease", but the truth is, they totally affected my life and mobility. I had days where I had to call out of work because I couldn't move or my foot hurt too bad to be on it. There were days I couldn't play with my kids because I was unable to made a difference to me!

So, with all the craziness that is our life here.....I am healed and at peace, and I know that I am able to handle whatever life throws at me because my trust and my hope are in the One who is my source. My God is able!

August 20, 2010

Blog Break

Ok....I am sad to say, that as much as I enjoy my blog time, I need to hang it up for a bit. My life has quickly overtaken me, and I can't seem to keep up as well as I would like. The kids have started school, I have started work, the kids are doing Junior Bible Quiz, and kids praise team, I am hosting a small group and I am singing in the choir. I don't think I forgot anything except for PTA and trying to take care of 3 kids, a husband and a dog. So, for now, I must take a break, and try to order things so I can fit the time in. I hate to do it, but my sanity is on the line.....goodbye, for now!

God bless all of you who have taken the time out of your schedules to read my posts....

August 12, 2010

Invasion - Finally!

So, I have been not blogging a whole lot here lately. I think I need to cut back to once or twice a week. I am now working part time, the kids have all started school, and I am still on a roller coaster ride with my emotions. In all reality, we have done A LOT in the 2 months we've lived here. TWO months....that's it!! It's crazy to me that it's only been that short a time. We have dived into life here full steam ahead in that short time period.

Anyway, so Invasion week. This was a totally transforming week for me. First of all, I got recruited to help coach the softball team for Mega Sports Camp. That was so much fun! A huge stretch for me, but TONS of fun! I also enjoyed getting to know my partner in crime better....I made a new, good friend!

So, Invasion.....our church, and the teens who came from across the bay, totally touched our city, and it won't ever be the same again! Praise God! The entire week is outreach driven, focused and fueled! Topped off with amazing services in the evenings, and it made for an exhausting, transforming time in my life! I had the privilege of singing on the worship team for the services, and being able to be there for every one of them....including the one at the beach! I have never, in my entire life, seen teens go so hard after God, and serve Him with so much passion! After hearing some of their stories, I can see why they do....God has pulled them out of the pit, and they are grateful, and want the same thing for everyone they know, and don't know!

There were multiple outreaches going on around the city of Mobile for 4 days straight, and every teen was involved in every outreach, every day. It was such an awesome opportunity for them to learn to reach out to the city while they are young, so they're not as afraid to do it when they get older. Fear stops us from doing way too many things!

I need to give a shout out to my Music Man here for a second....he led youth worship, hard-core worship, for the first time ever, and he was amazing! (the only picture I have of him from that week was the beach worship, which he did not lead and I did not sing) He totally led those kids into the presence of God, and created an atmosphere that they could relate to and get lost in the presence of God in. He was awesome! (Today is also his birthday.....happy birthday honey!)

I feel like I am rambling brain is short circuiting...I need to try to get some down time and then try to revisit this.....

So, I'll leave you with a snap shot of my kids on the first day of school. I feel as though I am consumed by this stark routine change....and need to come up for air! The lazy days of summer are surely over....

August 6, 2010

Meet Smooter

We adopted a new member of the family this past Wednesday. Her name is Smooter....(as in, Melanie Smooter from Sweet Home Alabama). She is such a precious puppy! We got her from the Mobile Humane Society, and it was a much harder job to pick out a puppy than I ever thought it would be....
Smooter was one of a litter of 3 that was found on the side of the road. Her brother and sister were just as adorable as she is, and equally as sweet. We chose Smooter because she has some awesome markings. I don't know how well you can see from these pictures, but she has some pink on either side of her nose, her ears are trimmed in white, she has a teardrop on the top of her head, and her spots on her back are different shades of brown.
She is only 11 weeks old, which means we are responsible for her last round of shots (yay), but we couldn't leave her and risk her being adopted by someone else! She is just too precious! As for breed, they are not 100% sure, but there is for sure some type of hound in her, and some lab. This will be the biggest dog I've ever owned one day!
So, my grandmother called me a glutton for punishment....I don't know why....we got a new puppy, my brother in law is in for a visit, the kids start school Monday, I start work (part time) Monday, and I am painting the bathroom. Why do I do these things to myself??

August 4, 2010

Birthday Month

August in our house brings lots of celebration! We have 3 August babies in our family of 5! My MusicMan is first, followed by my Gidder, and then Libby-bibby! We also entered into a church family that is full of August birthdays too!
We used to do separate parties for each August birthday, but that's just not practical anymore. So, we have changed to one blowout bash for all 3 birthday babies! (sorry MusicMan, but you're still your Mama's baby!)

This year will prove to be interesting, as far as the birthdays go. We are in a new state, with no family, and all new friends. Also, the kids start school this Monday....this will be the first year they will be in school for their birthdays. I have no idea HOW we're gonna celebrate this year! But one thing I do know, I am thankful for my August babies! I am so blessed!

August 2, 2010

Beach Day

Well....we made it to the beach! It was such an awesome day with my little family. I don't think we've ever gone to the beach before, just the 5 of us, and we had a great day! It was super-hot, another record-breaking day of heat in Alabama, but we enjoyed it so much. I was being silly in this picture, and I kinda like the way it turned out!

The kids spent a lot of time hunting for hermit crabs, and then laboring over the one they would bring home with them. I don't think I'll ever learn my lesson on that one! Then they freed all of the ones they decided not to keep. Libby made a new friend, and Jon and I got some down time. 

The water was awesome, and the fishies were swimming like crazy! We had no shark sightings, so it was a great day! 

So, hopefully tomorrow I can get some real thoughts on paper, and blog about my amazing week....and also start painting my bathroom! Hope everyone had as good a Monday as we did!

August 1, 2010

Busy, busy

Well, it looks like there's a lot of busy happening around me....but I'm getting a break here this week. I have so much to share, but I am too fried to try to do it right now. Let me get some rest at the beach tomorrow (YAY), and then I will be ready to write away!! Our church had Invasion week this past week, and I can't wait to share all about's the reason I'm so tired right now, but it's such a good tired, and a city has been transformed!

Be blessed, and share with you soon!

July 27, 2010

Why I Blog

(Disclaimer: the picture above has nothing to do with the content of my post, I just really like it and miss my Smitty, so I wanted to share it. Sorry for any confusion this may cause you....I'm not always rational!)

So, I wanted to explain why I decided to blog. Many people who hear I have a blog look at me like I have 10, I wanted to let you in on why I decided to do this in the first place.

Let me first say, I have always loved to write! I had always thought I would write a book someday.....don't know about that now, but I've had many starts throughout my lifetime. Some good, and some, well, ugh. So, I enjoy expressing myself through writing.

Now, the idea to blog had come to me several times, and I usually dismissed it. But, when we entered "The Big Transition", I needed a voice! The way things happened, I was left without one. No one asked my opinion, or how I felt, or what was going on with me (except for my Music Man, he was very tender towards me and my feelings). So, I needed an outlet....the great cyber-space where I could scream, rant, rave and vent all I needed to! Well, when I sat down to type, I couldn't vent like I wanted, but it came out different, and better. And so, my blog was born.

I started seeing a bigger purpose for my blog. All my life, I have felt like I was alone in the way I thought, felt and expressed myself. I thought that I was weird, and no one could or should  feel or think the way I do. Then, I started forming grown up relationships, and deep friendships, and found out that I was much more normal than I thought, and not so alone. So, out of that realization came my title....

People want connection. That is without a doubt, 100% true, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. People want to feel like they can relate to someone, in any area of their life. This is the great thing about blogging. You feel connected. You feel like you are a part of something that makes sense. You can relate to life, when it's shared, and when it's real. I like that about blogging.

Now, on a personal conviction/calling level, I want to be encouraging. I want people to be able to read my posts and think she went through it, I can too. Or, I've been there, and I can get victory from that. Or, I'm not alone in thinking this way, there's someone out there that thinks the same thing. You know, things like that.

I have also always had big dreams for my life. I feel now that I am in a place where God is going to bring them to pass. I have always felt like I was supposed to do something big, lasting and meaningful with my life. (I thought that meant doctor, until I took my first college level biology course and almost failed it because of the labs - yuck!) I have had visions of myself speaking to thousands of people, and bringing hope, and comfort, and vision, and life. I had always thought that everyone had those visions of themselves, and then found out that most people don't. Then I struggled with, is this a pride issue, but realized it's not. I do not feel like I deserve to do what I feel driven to do, nor do I feel like I would be the best one. I just know there's something in me screaming to get out, and it won't go away. So, for now, I wait, and I write. I enjoy sharing my life, and my hopes and dreams, and even my disappointments with my readers. If one person is's worth it. That is what I pray when I write.

So, this is my starting point. This is where I pray that someone will read and feel a little bit better about themselves. This is where I hope to connect with people that will also encourage me, as many of you who read my posts have already. This is why I blog! Why did you choose to blog?

July 24, 2010

Proper Post

I promised to try to blog today, and here I go....

I had mentioned a few days ago that I have a problem with structure. Well, Gidders is doing his personal best to get me out of bed and get breakfast on the table for the kids. This is what I found when I woke up the other day....

He told me he wanted to eat all the marshmallows...apparently out of the whole box! The end result of this was an empty box of Lucky Charms (that I bought the day before) and a HUGE bowl of Lucky Charms without marshmallows for mommy for breakfast. Oh well....mostly my fault for wanting to sleep a little longer.

I also received a new toy on Thursday, which took up most of my day Thursday moving all of my information.

Isn't it pretty?? It's my new phone! I now have internet and facebook on my phone!! Yay! For those of you who know me, this is a dream come true for me! (ok, not quite as good as sliced bread, but pretty awesome!) I also have a good texting keyboard, since that is my most used form of communication these days. It's so much easier to text than to get into a conversation and have to say, "I'm sorry, can you hold on a second?" about 5,000 times due to children interruptions. Anyway, I digress....

So, that's fun for me! I have also been feeling pretty good here this past week, as far as transitioning goes. I feel like I am beginning to find my place, and conversations aren't quite as awkward as they were two weeks ago. I am enjoying everyone around me immensely! I am enjoying the fact that I feel like I belong now.

We are getting ready for Invasion this coming week. If you pray, please pray for our city! We are going out to the community to make an impact for the Kingdom, and from what I hear....this week each year is amazing! I am so looking forward to being a part of the worship team again (I get to sing!) and also help out with the Free Sports Camp for the kids. I love that the pulse of my church is for souls! I am enjoying stepping out of myself to make conversation and look for areas where I can be a blessing to people around me that I don't know! 

Last Sunday was amazing for learn more about how easy it really is to step out and relate to people. I really need to not care what people think of me. I think God began that training in me in the beginning of "The Big Transition" 8 months ago. I know that I need to constantly check my heart and motivation, and stay accountable to the Word and those in authority over me....but I need not fear man. It's so freeing to feel that finally! 

So, to keep this from getting to cumbersome...things are moving forward here, and I couldn't be happier. The kids school supplies and uniforms are purchased, sorted and waiting for the first day of school, I am working on getting a part time job, and there is life at the church. Life is good.

July 23, 2010

Getting Back to Life

Sorry to anyone who has been following me! I have been living my life, and unable to get to my computer....I apologize, but I am happy!

I am just doing a quick update to ensure everyone that I have not given up on blogging, I have just been super-busy, and enjoying my life for the past couple days. I will get more in depth at another time. My Music Man just arrived home and killed my thoughts of sitting down and writing a suitable blog post. He has not been home since 7am. So, hopefully tomorrow!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! My first tropical storm since becoming a southern resident is headed my way, maybe then??

July 21, 2010


I am learning as I am getting older that I NEED structure in my life! I know for 100% certainty that I would not make a good homeschooling mom. I know that I need to work, only part time, outside the home, to get anything accomplished around my house. I know that I need to be somewhere in the morning for me to get out of bed before I feel like it. I know these things, because I've seen structure and no structure both in my life. I was much more productive when there was structure present.

Now, let's understand, I don't necessarily like structure....I like doing things when I want, how I want....but I need structure to feel like I've accomplished anything, and I get so much more done! I can go to bed with the best of intentions to get up at 6:30, and the alarm will go off, and I'll feel like I could get out of bed, but it's so comfortable, and I don't really have to be anywhere, so why get out of bed now? Let's just sleep for another hour, which turns into 2....I think you get the point!

So, with that being said, I can't wait for school to start! The kids are at each other all the time, over nothing, and they need to have a break from one another. I need a break from them fighting all the time and from asking me 1,000 questions at a time! I want to work part time, and be productive and active and needed outside the home as well as in. I want to get more accomplished in a day, I just don't see the urgency right now. I can do it later.....

Now, in my defense, I do not do nothing all day long. I am doing things around the just takes a little longer to complete a task than it probably should. I guess that's why they're called "the lazy days of summer"!

July 19, 2010


So, yesterday was a crazy, busy day for me....but such an amazingly good day, and I could not have predicted how good it would really be! Warning: I am a changed woman, changed by the grace of my heavenly father, and a new awareness of what life should really look, read at your own risk! (that's my disclaimer)


I went to church yesterday, not really expecting anything really out of the ordinary. That was my problem. I am in an amazing church, with an incredibly gifted and anointed Pastor and MusicMan (aka, my husband, the worship pastor), and didn't expect anything different, or too out of the ordinary when I went there. I repent of that! How many of us get stuck in that line of thinking?? Ouch. God moves. All the time. We miss it. A lot. There, I said it.

So, I digress. I was in church, and we had an evangelist come yesterday, for the morning and evening services. His name is Sean Smith, and he is anointed and has a heart for people to not only enter the kingdom, but to walk in the fullness of what God has called them to be! The word he gave in the morning has totally changed my life. I mean that with 100% sincerity. My heart and mind are different today, after receiving what he gave out yesterday....and I can't wait to share it with you, so hopefully, you will be changed too!

His text was in Numbers 13:27-14:1. He was teaching on the spirit of Anak. Basically, this is the spirit that comes to stop you in the anointing so you never step in and take the territory God has for you. It neutralizes warfare, causes you to feel inadequate, causes insecurity and overwhelms you with that feeling, it exaggerates obstacles and circumstances against you, it causes you to honor your fears more than you honor your God, it exchanges Biblical correctness for political correctness, causes you to compare what you lack to what others posses, and allows demoralization to take control of your situation. Whew. Heavy, but how many of you can relate to any of that, or even see where it takes over in your everyday life? I hate to admit, but that is how I was living....and I can't even really call that living....let's say, that's how I was existing.

After hearing that....and seeing how much of a hold all of that had in my life....I started wondering....what would happen if I didn't cower to these things? What would happen if I allow God to lead me to talk to strangers, to pray for people on the street, to tell people I don't know about my Abba Daddy?? What would happen to my city if I cast off all of my insecurities and boldly went and shared my God with a lost and dying world?? What does it really matter if a random stranger thinks I'm weird? What happens if that person's life is dramatically transformed because I don't care what they think about me, and do care what happens to them? What would this world look like if we all did this?

My heart cried out during that entire service....screaming YES, this is what you were made to be!!! Free to be a daughter of the King of Kings, and help to lead people into their destiny in Christ. Free to share my faith, that has given me so much hope and life, with people who have no hope or life left inside them. Free to be who God created me to be, and unashamed to let the whole world see it!!

There was an incident that happened in Wal Mart just a couple weeks ago, that I will share with you. I am ashamed that I did not step out here, but hopefully you can do better than I did if you find yourself in the same situation....I had been shopping with my mom and kids, and we were walking out of the store, past the bathrooms in the front. There was a woman sitting on the bench outside the bathrooms, an empty cart in front of her, and she was hunched over, her head in her hand. She just looked so dejected, and broken, and sad. My heart broke for her, and was turned toward her. I wanted to stop and sit next to her and ask her if she was ok, and if it would be ok to pray with her. I, unfortunately, did not do this. I was frustrated by the whole shopping trip, I wanted to get home and feed the kids lunch, and get in the pool. I was afraid she would think I was crazy. I was afraid she would reject me. I kept walking, but I have not forgotten that woman. Not one day goes by that I do not think about her, pray for her, and wonder what would have happened if I had been obedient and sat down next to her, and poured out God's love for her. I can only wonder now....but I could know what would have happened had I stopped.

See, I am learning, very slowly, that loving people can be inconvenient. It's not like we can plan an hour in our day where we say....ok, I am going to allow God to lead me to minister to random people, in random situations right now. It's not pretty, and scheduled, and coordinated....truly loving people gets messy, and interferes with life. Being a bit of a type A, this gets some getting used to.....but I want to share the love God has shown me! So, I'm gonna have to let go!

There are a couple more things God showed me that I want to share real quick, and then I'm done for today. I just can't keep this to myself, and I pray it affects you the way it did me. We need God in this world, everywhere....not just in our churches.

Here are some things Evangelist Sean shared that I wrote down that impacted me....the following are his words, not mine....

God gives us promises because he wants THAT to be our reality.

Intimidation will replace intent.

Opposition attaches to what you refuse to remove.

Perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!!

Give me an abandoned spirit! (be careful if you pray that one....He will!!)

Then he shared something else that really hit me hard, and I pray I don't mess up on this one, for the sake of my kids. God gives us all battles that we have to fight in our lives. My kids will have to fight the battles that they have to fight, but they will also have to fight the battles that I choose NOT to fight! So, I pray God helps me fight the battles that come my way, so my kids won't have to do what I was supposed to!!

OK...I'm done, for now. This word is just so exploding out of me, that I wanted to share it! I pray that whoever reads this will be changed, and become light and love to a world that is crying out for something with meaning!

Be blessed today as you change your corner of the world!

July 18, 2010

Busy Sunday

So, this will be my view for most of amazing, anointed Music Man leading us into the throne room of the Almighty! We have 2 services today, morning and night, so we'll be out to lunch after the first, and then there's a meet and greet for us with one of the groups from the church before the evening service. Busy day, but glad to be in the house of the Lord, and around my new church family. It may all still be new, but the love is real, and I'm going to bask in it today! Be blessed as you worship with your families today!

July 17, 2010

Sunny Saturday

First of all, let me apologize for yesterday. Getting it out there really did help....but I don't like to be negative anymore. I wasted too many years of my life being a "negative Nelly", sorry, and done!

Last night the public library had a special night for the summer reading program at the Mobile BayBears game. It was lots of fun, although hot, and the kids got to go on the field and say their name in front of the crowd. It was a "parade" of readers. The kids really enjoyed it, got free t-shirts and an Applebees coupon for a free kids meal. I'd say it was a successful night for all! We left the game early (Jon will not stay at a whole game) and came home for a night swim.

Today is a birthday party, band practice for the Music Man, and then a new friend over for dinner. See, life is good, and I'm going to enjoy it! (the head cold that has been plaguing me for almost an entire week now is finally breaking up and going away too....I think that helps)

Happy Saturday everyone!!

July 16, 2010

Everything Changes

Most of my previous posts have been fairly light in content. This is to mask the turmoil that has been brewing under the surface, and I need to expose it to deal with it. So, sorry about getting deep on a Friday, but I'm about to explode!

My family has gone through one of the biggest changes we have ever been faced with, and for the most part, we are doing really well with it. The kids are young enough that they can rebound and make new friends quickly, and they will be starting school soon, so that will just add to the ease of the transition - routine is a God-send! My husband is in a great work environment, he is valued and doing what he loves, and building relationships daily. He has his moments where the weight and reality of what we have walked through hits him, but he is doing well. It also helps that he talks to his brother and best friend pretty much everyday.

Now to me. I have many ups and downs with this process. It seems that I have been stuck in a down pattern for a bit here, and I need to jolt myself out of it....I just don't know how to! I can see that we are blessed, that God's hand was directing our every step for almost a year before we began the transition process, that we are right where God wants us to be. I think that just makes the way I am feeling even harder to deal with.

I am sad. I am angry. I am lost. I think lost is the one that hits home the hardest, and it's hard to admit. I have always been "the girl with a plan", as my dad used to call me. I have always known what I want, and how to get from point A to point B to get it. I have always been driven, and stubborn, and a mover. I no longer know where I am going! I have dreams, ideas, visions for things I would like to see happen in my life....and no knowledge of how/where to start here. I have no network, no relationships to pull on, no life-lines. I feel isolated and alone.

Let me make something very clear here....before I go any further. I have been very warmly welcomed and received at my church. Everyone has been incredibly loving and helpful, and friendly. I don't want anyone to think I have been left to fend for myself....that is NOT the case here. There is just a stark difference from long-standing, intimate relationships that I have left behind, and developing new ones. I don't want to come across as ungrateful, because I am's just this period of time between new and familiar that I am struggling in.

So, having said that, maybe you can see why I feel so down? I don't want to seem ungrateful or negative or annoying. I don't know how to insert myself into the lives of others....I am used to making room for new people in my circle, not being on the outside trying to fit in. I am truly blessed in this place that God has placed us, yet I am sad. How can this be? I want to enjoy my life, every second of it, because I'm not guaranteed a thing on this earth....and I and my family are healthy, and strong, and smart and successful....I don't want to squander that!

God is so faithful, and has provided us with so much more than I could have ever imagined. I don't want to say or do anything that will let Him down, I don't want to waste my life away while I try to figure out what His plan for me is.

I know that all of this takes time, and time is what I've got, but I want to enjoy every second of this life God has given me....and that's what I'm finding difficult.

So, thank you for taking the time to read the ramblings of a woman who is trying to keep it all together....and maybe not being so successful at that! As for me, I will continue to seek the Lord and meditate on His word, and draw my strength from Him....but I thank you for any prayers you want to send up on my behalf!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14

July 15, 2010

Settling In

Ok....we're a little over a month into our new home, and I am feeling very settled. I've done some rearranging, and some dreaming, but I feel good about where we are. This is my kitchen....I LOVE my kitchen! I'll share a secret about my kitchen with you....there are some empty cabinets in there! This area is HUGE compared to my old house (which had a galley kitchen in it). We did some updating to our stuff in here....the chairs around the table are all new....and beautiful, and stable! They lend a much more finished look to our table than our old chairs did. As you can see, we have some pictures on the wall, and the shiny thing hanging on the left is the kids responsibility chart and our prayer list. In both shots you can see my new treat, a cookie jar that is being used as a candy jar for my kids. I picked it up at Old Time Pottery, and love how it looks on my island! There are some wallpaper/border modifications I would like to make in here....but that all comes in time. I enjoy cooking and eating in this new space!

Here is where my new sofa landed, and the desks the owners left for us at the house. I am liking more and more the way this room is shaping up! You can see my hubby working away at his desk on the left, and my domain is on the right. I love having a place for my computer, the bills I am responsible for, and my devotional stuff. Also on the right side of this picture is the rocking chair we got when I found out I was pregnant with our first. That chair has been through three babies and holds a special place in my heart. I don't know that I'd move anywhere without it.
Pictured above is the biggest change we've made so far. We have bunked the boys together! They really enjoy it, and it does make life easier for me....except for when Gideon gets up too early, but that will change when school starts and we're all on the same sleep schedule again. The thing you can't tell from this picture is how enormous this room actually is!! The boys have more than enough room for all of their stuff and extra room to tumble around and not get hurt. This is a great space for them, and they are growing closer since they are spending more time together. I love it!

So, that is just some of the updating we've done on my house. It's not perfect, it's not perfectly clean, but it's mine and I love it!!

July 13, 2010

Back to School

Well, here I am...working on back to school stuff. I kinda miss the knowing of my former school district. I knew what to expect, where to go to get answers, and what my routine would be like. I am now in a whole new world!

Yesterday was registration day at the school for my kids. I thought this would be an hour process, at the most. Boy, was I ever wrong!! So, in the great state of Alabama, you need a "blue card" for your children's immunizations. Not just a record from the doctor's office of what shots they've received, but a blue card. I did not know this. I had their immunization records, so I thought I was good. WRONG!

I had all of the other forms, papers, SS cards, birth certificates, ID's....everything, but not the blue card. I get in line, they check my stuff, and then drop the bomb on me. We need to go to the Department of Health and get these cards. Ouch. OK. So, they very kindly printed me map quest directions to the health department, in downtown Mobile, and sent me on my merry way. With all three kids. Let me just remind all of you, I have only lived here for one month.

So, we get to the health department, and as I am walking into this very crowded building with my three beautiful children, I notice a sign that says "No weapons allowed inside building". Not a good confidence builder there. Anyway, I proceed to the clinic....the very crowded clinic with not one open chair in the waiting area....and approach the woman at the desk. I am instructed to fill out two forms, get my driver's license out and give her the records to copy. Easy enough. She takes all of my information, makes my copies and hands me my originals. I ask her how long of a wait it will be, and she tells me I can pick them up on Wednesday! Registration is Monday and Tuesday! Yikes!

So, as I'm waiting to speak to a supervisor, a very nice man behind me speaks up and says, I think I'm in the same boat as you. Let me call my doctor. As he's on the phone, finding out his doctor's office will give you the blue card the same day you bring the records in, the supervisor is informing me that I have to come back on Wednesday. So, Mr. Stranger kindly offers to allow me to follow him to his doctor's office and I take him up on that. His family recently moved to Alabama from Virginia, and he was enrolling his kids at the same school I was when he ended up in the same predicament I was in.

Anyway, we get to his doctor's office, they kindly transfer the records for me, and tell me they'll call me when they're ready. In the mean time, I take my hungry, tired children back to the elementary school to finish what we started, without the blue cards. This time they allow me to finish registration, and I walk out of the building at 1:45. We started out at 10am. I get the phone call from the doctor 15 minutes before they close for the day. It takes me 15 minutes to get there.

So today, I go back to the doctor's office, pick up the precious blue cards and then go to the school, again, and drop them off. My kids are now enrolled in the Mobile County public school system. Phew.

Now, in Mobile, all schools wear uniforms. All. So, I got the list for the uniforms yesterday and need to get my children a whole new wardrobe....socks and shoes included, for the school year. I also found the school supply list on the website for the supplies they'll need. Lots of school supplies. And, the school year begins on August 9th. we go!! The whirlwind of back to school, in a new state, with everything different. We can do this!!

July 12, 2010

Super Blonde!

Here is a pic of me when I had super blonde hair!! Oh, how I miss it!! (it was also super-short, which I don't so much miss) I had maintained my blonde for a few months until I decided it was too much upkeep and too bad for my hair and tried to go back to my natural color....didn't work. I am close, but not quite there yet. I really miss my bright blonde though....and not shown in this picture, there was a bit of purple in the front bang area....a little hidden, but noticeable. I miss that too!

I used to work at a beauty school, and oh the things I let them talk me into!! But, this was my favorite, and I would love to do it again....but now I would have to pay to have it done! Yikes!! Maybe I should just let it grow, and let all the color grow out of it, and see what happens?? (now I sound like my husband)

So, for now, it's all natural for me! We'll see what happens next week!

July 10, 2010

My Newest Treasure

Well, here is my exciting new gift! A precious couple from our church blessed us with this adorable sleeper sofa! I absolutely LOVE it! It's practically brand-new and the most adorable sofa I've ever seen! I most likely would have passed right by it in the store, but I am so very happy it has a new home in my house!

There is a funny story to go with my new, here goes....

I've known about receiving this sofa for about 2 weeks or so, and in the process of deciding where it would go in our new home, I created a super-cute guest room in my mind, but to do this would mean moving Gideon into the same room as Gabriel. Gabe's room is super-huge, so that was no problem, just the typical brother spats and 5 year age difference were my only hesitations. Nonetheless, we moved everything around to prepare for our new sofa. Gid and Gabe are happy in "our" room, as Gideon constantly calls it, and are doing very well together. We even had the kids excited to have a guest/reading room in the house.

So, today comes around, and my husband has a group of men helping him move the sofa here from it's previous home. (there was a men's breakfast at the church this morning, and a group of men graciously offered their time, muscle and vehicle to help us transport our treasure) This became a very interesting say the least. But, to cut to the chase, after removing 3 doors from their hinges and much sweat and maneuvering on my husband's part, the sofa did not land in the intended room. It resides in our "formal" living/dining room....which will now be our new guest room/living room/office/piano room!

Now, I had all sorts of plans for this sofa in the room Gideon used to walls, whitewash beach theme, super cute! Alas, I have to re-think my strategy to fit the main area of the house. Fortunately, the color in the living room is perfect for the sofa, but I don't think the beach theme would be too warmly received by my husband in that room (although that is purely speculation, since I have discussed none of this thought process with him), I'm back to the drawing board....and looking for new ideas! The wheels are already turning in my mind, but I wonder where inspiration will strike??

July 9, 2010

One Month Ago Today...

Our new life adventure began in Alabama! The moving truck (pictured here in PA) arrived bright and early at our new house, and the unpacking began! I got some pictures, very sporadically as the truck was being unloaded, since my assistance was needed to direct traffic. (please remember that all of these pictures are taken on moving house does NOT look like this anymore!)

This is our formal living/dining room, which is being purposed as a music room/office/prayer room at the moment.

This is the computer/book area. It's right off the den, so I can keep an eye on what the kids are doing on their computer!

This is Gabe's room, which has a whole new look already. We've put both boys in here, with bunk beds, since it is such a large space! In less than one month, we already shuffled rooms!

This was Gideon's room (pink and all!), but is going to be our guest/reading room. More on that tomorrow!!

Libby's room....she has lots of space to dance and sing while she's doing whatever it is that almost 7 year old girls do in their bedrooms!

My master suite! Another of my favorite rooms in the house! Extremely large bedroom, walk-in closet that could be another room, and bathroom with separate tub, shower, toilet room and his and hers vanities.

God has truly blessed us with this house! The house is 2x as big as the one we left in PA, with too many upgrades to mention! We had a prayer list for what we hoped for God to do for us during our time of transition, and I detailed the amenities I wanted in a house on that list. EVERYTHING I prayed for, I got in this house....and for way less than we anticipated ever paying for it! God is so good! I love my new southern ranch!

As I sit here and blog, hubby is outside mowing the lawn, the kids are riding their bikes up and down the street, and I am still in wonder and amazement at the place God has brought us to! Some days are hard, some days are perfect, but I wouldn't trade this ride God has us on for anything you would care to offer me! 

We are starting to get settled into our new southern way of life, and are looking forward to all that God will unfold for us here. There was a lot of pain in our transition, a lot of worry and frustration, but my God is faithful! He brought us through and out of what could have totally devastated us, and has blessed us beyond measure!

So, one month later, I am still humbled, and amazed at what God has done....and wondering....what is the next step of His plan??