Saturday, June 30, 2007


I haven't really slept well since Chad's accident, but the past two nights have been rough. This afternoon, I took a nap. A real life 2 hour nap! It was great. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Until Chad says, "Let's take this bandage off." I don't usually get sick at things like this, but these "3 little holes" as his Dr. called them, are DISGUSTING! They aren't little and I don't really understand why they didn't get a stitch! But, I didn't go to med school so who am I to say. Needless to say, I got a little light-headed by the whole thing. :) I know that Chad felt better getting that bandage off and that's all that matters. It's still really quiet around here. The girls are still gone and I feel a little lost without them.

I was having a bit of a pity party when I decided to check my e-mail. Much to my surprise my "real-life" friend, as well as a sister blogger, Kate at Small Scribbles gave this award to me today. I'm very humbled and quite frankly, speechless. Here are the directions for this award.

Give to those who have who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick, carefully. This award should not be given to just anyone. If you’re going to do the award don’t just write a few words and slap it on your Blog. Write real thoughts about these Bloggers and what they’ve meant to you. If the Bloggers you pick have already been given the award, don’t be afraid to give it to them again. They deserve it as many times as it’s given.

With that in mind, I bestow this award on the following:

Angela at Refresh My Soul. We had the honor of co-directing the women's ministry at our church in Chattanooga. We share the desire and passion for women to experience God in every aspect of life. She is an excellent writer and never ceases to encourage me. She is a prayer warrior and willing to take a stand, even when it's not popular. I love you Angela and can't wait to see what God is going to do in your life.

Meg at No Shadow of Turning. Meg if I remember correctly, was the first person outside of my real-life friends to comment on this blog. While we have never met face to face, we share the bond of Jesus. The best bond there is! She has the gift of writing and weaves, or should I say "knits" the Lord into every situation. I love that about her.

Kate at Small Scribbles. Kate is so precious to me. Like she says on her blog, we served together in our previous church. When I think of Kate, I think quiet strength. She has a servant's heart and I'm so glad God allowed us serve together. She is such an example of a godly wife and mother. Because our lives are running parallel right now, I feel a deep bond with her. Her writing reflects real life. I always come away from her blog thinking and pondering the ways of our God. I love you lady and thank God for you!

Amy at Adore, Amplify, Admire. This dear friend has been keeping her blog a secret. She has just recently "granted access" to her site. Let me tell you, this girl can write. She is a true lover of God. I fell in love with her precious daughter right after they moved to Chattanooga and God placed her in my VBS class. When Amy came to pick her up at the end of the evening, I knew that she was the real deal. Jesus was on her face! She has the gift of hospitality in real life and her blog is just as warm and welcoming as her home is. Amy is a prayer warrior. (I fully expect Jesus to part the sky while Amy is praying!) When she says "I'll be praying", she means it. When I read Proverbs 31, her face comes into my mind. I've already been encouraged by her blog. I love you Amy and thank God for you. You inspire me and encourage me to be a better daughter of the King.

Thinking and writing about each one of you has brought tears to my eyes. (Big surprise I know!) You are so special to me and this blog friendship has been a gift from the Lord. (Hmmmm, maybe a sappy little song will emerge from this. A real tear jerker like "Friends" or "Wind Beneath My Wings". Just kidding!)

If I had tiara's and scepters, and this wasn't blogland, I would crown each one of you! I'm honored to know you and thank God for you. YOU encourage me, each one in your own way, make me want to follow harder after God. THANK YOU!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surgery Day

We are home!!!! This morning, we weren't sure that we would be coming home tonight. Thank you so much for your prayers. I could feel them and was very aware of God's presence all day. Our church media director, Brian, came and sat with me for quite a while and he was with me when Chad's Dr. came out to talk to me. This little hospital is very friendly and they once again invited me behind the scenes to see Chad. They even let Brian step in with me.

Surgery went great. It took quite a while, but the Dr. was very pleased with how everything turned out. Chad really did a number on his shoulder and we still have a long road ahead of us, but the surgery was a success. Praise the Lord!

Brian had been gone about 10 minutes when our friend Ron got there. He brought homemade Banana Muffins. They were very yummy. In fact, I'm eating one now! Pam was speaking my love language with those.

I have to say that this is the first time that Chad has had surgery that we have had NO family around. When they took him back to the OR, I had this brief thought that I was alone in a strange hospital. What if something happens, and I'm here alone. It was almost immediate that I felt peace. No words, just God's peace. The waiting room was small and I was the only person in there. I was so thankful today for Brian and Ron. They will never know how much it meant to me to have my Christian family there. Ron followed us home and helped me get the patient in and settled. He even moved one of our den chairs into our bedroom for Chad to sleep in.

We had a good afternoon and even took a very short walk this evening. I'm just praying that tonight goes as well as this afternoon!! Well, it's medicine time. Thank you for your prayers today, they were felt!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gram & Mack's Camp

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My parent's need your prayers this week! They have all the grandkids for Gram's Camp. Campers are:

My nieces Mia & Morgan: 11 months are only there Tuesday and Thursday.

My nephew Colin: 3

Chloe 8 (almost 9)

Emma 6

Today they were to finish up their t-shirts, and go to the children's musuem. After that, they will spend the afternoon on the slip & slide. Hopefully that will wear them out and maybe go to bed early tonight. My grandmother, their great-grandmother will be coming to lend mom a hand on Thursday. Apparently, the twins got a little jealous with all the other kids around!! I will say, while I was there they showed off a little for me. They are singing and trying so hard to talk. Both told me Bye-Bye. And I promise you one of them said apple, when I was standing next to the fruit bowl.

Chad found out we have to be at the hospital at 6:30 in the morning. Sooooooo, I guess we'll be turning in early as well. We are just glad that surgery day is finally here. He's sick of this and ready for it to be over! :)

I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness during this time. I'm believing Him for something and seeking His will in a matter. I have been for quite some time. Last night as we talked over dinner, we both agreed that all of these "dramatic events" of the past few weeks and months have been darts thrown by our enemy. But hear me: God has allowed each one to be thrown and I'm believing Him that each one of those darts has a purpose. I do not believe almighty God would allow anything like this to happen without a divine purpose.

He knows the plans He has thought toward us. He knew the day of our birth, the day we will see Him in glory and every second in between. How in the world can I not believe He doesn't have a goal for this short time period, these trials, in our life? So we are willing to take the hit so to say, knowing that this is all part of the Father's plan. His ways are so much higher. I can't begin to understand why, and honestly I don't need to. He's in control. I believe Him, and I trust Him. Period.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Weekend

Well, this has been a pretty uneventful weekend. THANK THE LORD!!! We've had enough excitement around here lately. :)

We've had some pretty funny moments this weekend that I want to document, so humor me with a very "un"serious post.

Chloe gets gum stuck in her hair. Instead of asking for help, she takes matters into her own hands and CUTS THE GUM, along with quite a bit of hair, out. She has a very ....unique hairstyle right now. If you don't know where to look, you really don't' notice it. But we learned a good lesson. There is a reason you go to a licensed hair professional for a new do! More importantly, always ask for help. Even when you think you might get in trouble.

We spend 6 hours at the pool on Saturday. For the most part it was Chloe, Emma, myself and a friend from up the street in the water. Chad reads and gets a kick out of our water wars. Chloe and her friend were in a fierce battle with Emma and I. 4 water guns, noodles and boogie boards made up our armor. I learned that I can hold my breath under water long enough for Emma to distract the opponents and force them to empty their guns. That's when I force myself back to the surface and unload my supermomma water gun on them. This evokes screams and forces the enemy back into the bathroom to reload with icy cold tap water. This went on for 2 HOURS!!!! I'm not kidding. I hurt in places I didn't know existed. (Note to self, stretch out before water wars with 9 year olds.)

Paddington (our toy poodle) is licking his lips. A telltale sign he's been in the garbage. Chad says, "Paddington why are you licking your lips?" Chloe says "I bet he's been in the garbage." Emma says "Maybe his lips are just chapped."

Chad, the one armed bandit, walks in our bedroom and almost immediately walks back out without saying a word. In a couple of minutes he comes back through the living room with a book in one hand and 5 rolls of toilet paper in the other. He looks at me as serious as a heart attack and says "Holler if you need me." No I am not making this up. This man cracks me up.

Our friend from down the street, he's 11 and autistic, is visiting in our backyard. (We live next door to our community pool and his family is over there. He just came over to have a Popsicle with us.) His mom starts calling him to come get in the car and go home. He says "Oh No!! Don't take me!!" and starts to run laps around our house. He's about 5' tall and about 150 pounds. He is a big boy. Bless his momma and daddy's heart. We all had a good laugh. I love this kid. We have a standing Monday night date to hoola-hoop. It's quite a show.

Laughter, and a cheery heart are very good medicine. I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family. On this Sunday evening, I'm not quite ready for it to be over.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Path

God keeps taking me to and bringing to me scripture that mentions the right path. The path that He designed just for me. Yesterday was the 20th and He had me read Proverbs 20:24 "How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps." Psalm 37:23 says that "The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives." (New Living Translation)

Oh how I love Him. He never ceases to amaze me at the way He provides just the word I need, when I need it! He has a specific plan for me and for you. Today verse 1-3 of Proverbs 21 really spoke to me. Verse 2 reminded me that there are times when I think what I'm doing is right, but that God examines my heart. I really had to think about what I'm doing in different areas of my life. What are my motives? Do I really want to be on this path God has designed for me, or do I try to manipulate it to look like what I think I should be doing? He tells us that He is more pleased when we do what is right than when we give him sacrifices.

I know the one thing He wants is my heart. Complete access to my heart. Right now that's what we're working on. My heart has to learn to be full or satisfied with HIM. Not a job, or a position. Not a house or financial security. Not a human relationship. Him. Just Him.

Please hear me. I am crazy about Him and love Him with every ounce of my being. But I have allowed this waiting thing to turn into an idol. That idol is occupying a portion of my heart. I'm wearing it proudly like a piece of customized jewelry and it consumes much of my thought life. I'm beginning to become "proud" of it. That is where the trouble is.

I think it's good to talk about where God has you and what you're learning in that place, but I'm putting to much emphasis on the waiting(the idol) and not enough on the Lord. For that I am sorry. I do feel it's okay to share the pain and the frustration of waiting this thing out. After all God wants us to encourage one another and we can't do that if we all walk around with a mask on, I want to be real with you. I want to be transparent, but I'm walking on the edge of giving glory to this idol instead of God.

Back to the path! My walk lately hasn't been totally on the path. I think I've sort of been running half on the path and half in the ditch next to it! Right now, God is pulling me up out of the ditch and retraining me to stay safely in the middle of His path. I get distracted so easily and we are working on keeping my mind and my eyes fixed on Him. He's reminding and retraining me to take every thought captive. To take those thoughts and give them to Him right then! It isn't an easy thing to do and I feel as if the enemy is pulling out all stops to try and distract me. As powerful as that enemy feels, God is stronger and mightier. He is my deliverer, my strong tower and He is more than enough to handle this enemy.

Psalm 64:8 is a favorite verse of mine. "I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely." The message says " I hold onto you for dear life!"
That's what I'm doing right now. I'm holding on for dear life, but there is such sweet rest in knowing that His strong right hand has me! Isn't He good!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

He's in the details I tell you!!

I told you yesterday I had a neat prayer thing to share and I do, but first I've just got to comment on the scripture God gave me this morning. I read one Proverb every day and usually ask God to give me a verse for the day. Today it was 19:2 "Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves to quickly may go the wrong way." (New Living Translation) If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know that I'm in a waiting/transition phase of life. Over the past year I've been praying and asking God to show me what it is I'm to do for Him. The passion for worship and women's ministry continues to grow and at times I feel so consumed with the longing to be serving that I don't think I can breath. God continues to have me wait. He is allowing me to play for rehearsal this week and I'll be filling in for our pianist on July 8. I'm so thankful for that, but it makes me so "homesick" to do it more!!

This morning when I read verse 2, I felt God say stop. It was if He wanted me to ponder that point a little longer. What my soul wants more than playing for worship, or speaking to a group of women is to be where God wants me. I want so much more of Him, to know more about Him. I want my desires to be His desires. The things I long to do and feel called to do are good things. He knows those desires, He put them in me!! But until He is ready for me to step into that role whatever it may be, I can not and will not try to make it happen! I can't.

When we try to rush on with life and ministry before God says GO, we take a huge risk of taking a wrong turn. I know, I've done it. All my good intentions are nothing without God's hand on it. So I will wait on my precious Lord to show me the path He has designed for me.

Okay now for the prayer thing! Last fall, I had the privilege of leading worship for a women's conference called "Keeping it Real". My friend Angela at Refresh My Soul, has felt called to write and speak and God gave her the vision for this conference. This particular weekend was the first one. It's a group of women speakers at various points in life and the overall theme is just being real with yourself, others and most importantly God. One of those speakers is K. She is the mom to 6 children and her testimony is powerful.

Angela had told me at our slumber party that K. had written a Bible study and was beginning to speak more often. Her study was finding it's way, or better said, God was placing the study in prisons! That was just a powerful thought to me. (So often we forget about those ladies.) I could not get her or those women doing the study out of my mind.

Every day last week God brought K. to my mind to pray for. Nothing specific just to pray, so I did. To this day, I don't know why and that is okay. So Sunday I'm reading Beth Moore's blog and some of the comments. There was an anonymous comment and I promise you that it was K. sharing a little of her story and what God was doing! I sat up a little more and thought about how God had K. comment for me. I'd been praying for her and this little comment was God's gift to me. I tell you again, God is in the smallest of all details of our lives!! Are you looking for Him?

I say that to say, when God puts someone on your mind. Pray for them! Goodness gracious each one of us needs all the prayer support we can get! It's one of the "perks" of being in the body of Christ. So, today when someone comes to your mind say a prayer for them. Then think about how awesome it would be to have someone do the same for you. I love you sweet sisters!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day

We had a nice Father's Day weekend. I was pretty disappointed that it didn't look like I would see my Dad on Father's day,so it was a nice treat to have them here for a couple of days right before the "official" day. My parent's have always been flexible on holidays and special days. It's not about the "day", it's about spending time together and we do that whenever we can. Chad says often that we need to remember that when the girls are married.

Yesterday was very low key. After church, we had lunch at home and Chad took a much needed nap. The girls each worked hard on a project for him. I had nothing to do with either one so it was neat to see their handiwork. Emma illustrated a book "Dad and His Girls". It was great. Chloe and I were glad to see that in this book, we have arms AND legs. Chloe created a coupon book especially designed for a one armed dad! Our favorite was "This coupon is good for lawn work for one year". She also had a "This coupon is good for popping popcorn", that one was my personal favorite.
I loved that they took the initiative and did this on their own. For so long, I've reminded them to make cards, write a note.... it was nice to see them do this without being prompted. I just hope it happens again!!

Chad was on-line last night ( I was forcing him to watch the Next Food Network Star) looking at children in Georgia available for adoption. It broke our hearts. There were so many who just need to be loved, who just need Jesus. To think that those children don't have Daddies who tuck them in at night, say prayers with them, or play with them in the yard was just overwhelming to us. Maybe because it was Father's Day, or maybe because God has placed the desire to adopt in our hearts I don't know. I just know that you could have scrolled through those bios all night and not be done. The hardest to read were the older children and teenagers. I'm sure they feel like no one wants them. Everyone wants a baby, few will welcome a older child into their home. It was a somber end to our day.

This week, so far, looks like a quiet week at home. The last one like it for quite sometime! We plan to park ourselves by the pool and picnic, catch up on some summer reading, and just enjoy being together. Our Florida get-away has been postponed because of Chad's surgery. Hopefully we'll be going down sometime in late August or September.

I have a really cool prayer thing to share, but I'll do that later today or Tuesday. It was one of those God things that deserves it's own post!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

This week has been so busy. VBS for the girls, driving Chad all around town, MRI's, Doctor appointments.... you get the picture. This stay at home mom wasn't home much!!

Chad had his MRI on Wednesday afternoon. By the time I got him back to the office, his Doctor was calling moving his next appointment up to Friday. (Instead of Monday) We were concerned. Why would he have us coming in on Friday morning instead of the scheduled Monday appointment? Needless to stay, it was stressful.

Since Mom and Dad came down, I was able to go with him Friday morning. The test results weren't great. Chad broke off 1 inch of bone and that is "free-floating" right now. We have surgery scheduled for the 28th. He is still in quite a bit of pain. But thanks to a nice little pill, he's FINALLY sleeping!!! You have no idea how wonderful 4 straight hours of sleep feels! (Well, if you're a mommy you do. I feel like we've gone back to the days of having a newborn in the house!)

This has been one of those weeks where finding a quiet moment to study and pray has been hard. Monday morning was awesome. I had about 30 minutes outside with the Word, a cup of coffee and some concentrated prayer time. It was heaven. The rest of the week, I was finding myself in the car asking God to tell my why I couldn't find 10 minutes to spend with Him. Why was this a struggle for me!! So for the rest of the week, I've had my quiet time in the car before I picked up Chloe and Emma at VBS. That is what I did when we lived in Chattanooga. I would sit in the pick up line and have Bible study. God and I had some great times and He reminded me this week that Bible study doesn't have to be at the kitchen table, or on the back patio. He's "wireless" or "mobile"!! Goodness gracious I'll take every chance I can to soak in the Word, if it means in the car, then okay!!!

The lady I refer to as my mentor always told us that when your children are young, you grab quiet time whenever you can. There was a time she would take her "Open Windows" devotional guide into the BATHROOM every morning and read the days devotion while she, well.....while she took care of things in the bathroom. :) I have to admit that when Chloe was little and Emma was a newborn I tried that a few times on days when I couldn't escape diapers and tea parties!

All of this makes me think of my friend Haley. She just started blogging this week and she approached this topic in her first blog. (Check out the Mommy's Heart link under my Good Stuff) She is a young wife and mommy and is falling in love with Jesus more and more every day. Stop by her blog and check it out. I think you'll be blessed. (She had the most beautiful flower girl in her wedding! Of course, I could be a tad biased.)

I guess the round about point of this blog is this: Sometimes you have to make a concentrated effort to get alone with the Lord. While on some days you find extra amounts of time to spend with Him, most days we are distracted by life and those moments appear to be few and far between. We have to make the choice to get up and do it. He is just waiting for us to! I'm finding that in my life when I ask God to show me when and where, He multiplies my time and blesses me beyond words. And you know what else, my home is a rest on those days. That can only happen through the power of Almighty God!! Isn't He awesome! I pray that you know Him, really KNOW Him and the power of His love for you.

Lord, thank you for the blog sisters you have brought into my life. I ask that you give each one of us a strong desire to know you and love you more. I believe you want us to spend time with you each day and I'm asking you to show us each day when that is. May we apply what we learn and not simply be hearers of the Word. Help us to show you to others in every conversation, every chore around the house, every swim in the pool, and every trip to Target! Thank you for loving us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Am I Back In Junior High?

Does anyone else ever feel like this?!!! This week has been so exhausting. Chad is still in quite a bit of pain and not resting. So that means I'm not resting. :) That's okay, I keep telling myself it could be worse. He could be in a body cast.

On top of the bike accident, I have been asked to be on our neighborhood association pool committee. I hate the word committee. It brings back horrible memories of church business meetings and people who get a little too excited about their position. Anyway.......

We have had a couple of violations around the pool, all from one family. Really the issues are just common sense issues, but because of their bad choices we now have some pretty strict rules. I was at the pool one day this week when one of the "issues" came up.(letting friends have the code and allowing them to use the pool w/out a homeowner present) I also overheard the person who called and reported the problem. Now, I do agree with the reporting of the problem and I too contacted the management company rep. to ask what needed to be done if this occurred in the future. I guess I was nice, so she asked me to be on this committee. Oh joy for me. You know how I struggle to say no. Therefore, I'm on the committee.

Today the family returned from vacation and were at the pool. The wife and another homeowner were talking very loud about their violation letter(s). I know that they don't know who reported them, but I think they know that I was at the pool the day the problem occurred. This sent all sorts of strange feelings through my mind and body. My first thought was, do they think this was me? That turned into, what do they think about me? I bet they think I'm a goody two shoes who has nothing better to do than report pool violators. Just let me tell you that it picked me up and tossed me back into 7th grade!!! I haven't felt that insecure and unsure of my place in a long time. What in the world was going on!!!

I had told Chad that I felt like God had placed me on this committee to be a peacemaker. We live in the middle of our neighborhood and the people up the street to the left, don't really know the people down the street on the right. We are in the middle and have made contact with most people. So why in the world do I feel like the shy, insecure 7th grader I once was? And why do I care what people think about me? I know exactly what happened and will be glad to tell them the concern if they ask. As I prepared dinner, "old one arm" and I discussed this. He thinks I think too much. He's probably right. After dinner, I just needed to get alone with God and talk about this, so I grabbed my Bible, my current study and headed outside.

That little patio is becoming quite the place for divine intervention. Back to the meat of this. I'm going through "Living Free" by Beth Moore. I did this several years ago in Chattanooga and since I haven't found a summer Bible study group, I decided to go through this one again. I'm in week 5 day 1 titled "Experiencing God's Peace". So the title for the week has already captured my attention. The first paragraph says the following:

"So far I hope you are growing as a person whose first instinct in any situation is to believe God, a person who thinks first of His glory rather than worrying about what people think of you, and a person who finds such satisfaction in Him that false gods have as much attraction as cleaning the garbage disposal."

I wept. (Big surprise I know) Then God reminded me that He was with me in 7th grade and that He was with me today too. I sat reading different verses on peace and thanking Him for being peace. I asked Him to shower that attribute of Himself on me because I didn't feel like any part of my life was peaceful. There just seems to be so much discouragement right now.

As I sat there just listening for Him, I was reminded of a conversation my mom and I had in junior high. I had been hurt by a couple of friends. They had written a note about me that got passed around my entire class. (All 20 of us, I went to a small private school) I remember that we were sitting on my bed and I was crying. She asked me what happened. I told her knowing that she already knew. I didn't want to tell her, that would be admitting that I'd been hurt. ( Later in life, I would learn that's called PRIDE)

She stroked my hair and said "Stephanie, I don't know why this sort of thing happens to you. I know it must feel like you are always picked on. I've talked to your teachers and they don't get it either. I believe that God must have something pretty incredible for you to do. He must be preparing you for something. He must trust you an awful lot. As hard as this is, don't stop believing Him."

Those words brought peace to me again today. I hope that they remind you that no matter what you're going through God is there. Even the hard, yucky stuff. Fix your thoughts on Him, as Isaiah 26:3 says "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you." Don't think for a minute that God, who is peace, can't or won't comfort you in tough times. He can and He will.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thess. 3:16

Thursday, June 7, 2007

No More Bike Riding

Well, this time last night we were all in the E.R. waiting on Chad's shoulder to be taken care of. Most of you know that he bikes to work a couple of days a week. Yesterday afternoon he was headed home, about 4 miles from home when a series of events resulted in an unfortunate trip over the handlebars. The outcome was a dislocated shoulder and several cuts and bruises.

The Lord sent two young teenage boys along. They stopped and helped him up then gave him a ride home. They were so sweet and were gone before we could get their names. I wanted so bad to call their mom's and tell them what great young men they have on their hands.

The girls had to sit in the waiting room for 5 and 1/2 hours. Yes, you read that right. It was a hectic, crazy and LONG night. We got home around 12:00 a.m. and I finally got them tucked in around 12:30 it didn't take long for them to drift off to sleepy land. Chad on the other hand.....

While the hospital staff was wonderful and took excellent care of Chad and the girls and I, they didn't clean up all the little scrapes and cuts and bruises. So we spent quite a bit of time just trying to clean him up. Once he got into bed, it took another 30 minutes to try to make him comfortable. He was "chatty" so I gave him an advil pm. That finally mellowed him out and he went to sleep. Neither one of us really rested and that has made for a very long day. Plus the phone has rung non-stop and then there was an issue with my cell-phone. (Apparently our last payment was posted to the wrong account and they can't find it. All I can say is it's a good thing my husband keeps all the "proof". So after printing cancelled checks faxing them......hopefully they will get all this straightened out Friday.)

I have to say, the girls were very well behaved last night. They were patient and respectful. I was overwhelmed at their willingness to just sit and wait. The staff commented several times on their behavior. We left long enough to get them dinner. (Chad got home as I was putting dinner on the table, they had snacked on veggies and dip while I cooked, but hadn't eaten yet.) While we were on the way back to the hospital we were praying and we asked God to help them be patient and to not get to antsy. Well, He gave them patience and endurance!! The front desk staff brought them crayons and paper around 10:00 and made them a desk in one of the admittance cubicles. One clerk volunteered to stay with them so I could go back to check on Chad. While I was back, Chloe wrote a thank you note to the doctors and nurses who worked on Chad.

That just iced the cake for this group of health care providers. Apparently this hospital caters to a very rural, poor area. We saw things last night that broke our hearts. We saw dirty, sick babies whose mommas didn't look old enough to drive. We watched as a teenage girl and her boyfriend found out that the reason she had been throwing up all day was because she was pregnant, not food poisoning. Then we watched as her younger sister and mother came in and heard the news for the first time. These people were quick to share their stories. We saw people who need Jesus. Chloe and Emma would look at me and say "mom, we need to help them." I teared up at their compassion. My admiration for that staff just grew leaps and bounds. The clerk who sat with the girls while I got to go back to Chad took the note Chloe wrote back to Doctor and Nurses who worked on Chad. They said it was the first time anyone had said thank you all night, much less drawn a picture and written a note. I was so proud that this wasn't prompted. We of course laughed a lot, Chad was pretty loopy and asked the Doctor if he could ride his bike this afternoon. That Doctor looked at me and said, "buddy, I don't think you'll be riding that bike for quite some time." He was great. The nurses were great and God was with us ever little minute of the evening.

So, on the agenda for Friday is a trip to an orthopedic doctor and naps for everyone.
I hope this post makes sense, I'm so tired and I've read it once and don't have the energy to read it again!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"As iron sharpens iron"

Thanks for the comments on my previous blog. And thanks to those of you who e-mailed me with words of encouragement. Proverbs 27:17 says it best, "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." (works for women too!)

After I posted that entry, I grabbed the Word and headed to my patio to read. I had felt the nudge to go to 2 Samuel 7. Verse 2 David says to Nathan "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar and the ark of God remains in a tent!" Nathan tells him to go ahead and do what he had in mind that the Lord was with him. That night God speaks to Nathan and tells him to tell David that he would not be building the dwelling place, but that the next generation would. David wanted to build this for God, his heart was in the right place, but it wasn't God's plan for David to do this.

The verses that really made me have a holy fit were 8-10. I'll give you the play by play.

God said to David: "I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel."
To me God said, "I took you from one ministry. The place you loved and poured your life into, to prepare you for something different, something new. Trust me, my plans are bigger than anything you can imagine."

God said to David: "I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off your enemies from before you."
God said to me: "I have been with you every step of this journey. I have provided for every need and protected you even when you didn't realize it was me."

God said to David: "I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth."
God said to me: "You are mine. I dwell in you, you are my temple. I know you "get" that to be mine and to be known as mine is more important than anything else. Let it sink in how much I love you, how much in awe of you I am. I will use you again, remember I placed the calling and desire in your heart! I will allow you to serve in ministry. Wait on me."

God said to David: "And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed."
God said to me: "I will provide. I AM more than enough. I will protect you because I AM more than enough. You do not have to fear, you are mine and my plans and ways are greater than anything you've dreamed. Let me be."

Okay, so at this point, the tears are running and I'm flat before the Lord. (I'm sure my neighbors have let everyone know how crazy I looked, but I don't care!) His word is alive and active and it was stirring my weary heart. It was spiritual CPR. I was so thankful for the time we had on the patio, but God wasn't done.

By the pool later that day, I told Chad what I was feeling and that I had asked these two women to hold me accountable in this area. He thought it was the right thing to do. His affirmation of this helped. But those two ladies took the "challenge" seriously. J. posted and is just precious to me. (We'll be hitting Starbucks after choir tonight.) and the other J. forwarded me a link to a devotional that spoke truth to my soul and backed up what I was reading and hearing from God on my own. God's working it out in the fine details of my life, showing me things that I need to change.

As the girls swam Tuesday, I was reading from "Lessons from the Heart" by Jack Graham. Of course the chapter I started was entitled "Restoring Your Spiritual Passion". (Okay you should know that I intended to take this book to New Mexico, but forgot it. This was the first time I'd picked it up in 3 weeks or so.)
So I get to this paragraph that references Hebrews 10:24-25 where we are encouraged to spur each other on, and not to forsake our assembling together. Okay God I get it! God does not intend for us to live the Christian life independent from other believers. We need each other even when we don't feel like we do. In this fallen world we are going to struggle. We need those godly friends to come along side us and hold our arms up. And you know what, they'll need me at some point to do the same for them. That's what we do. We love each other through the good, happy, mountain top times, and we love each other through the hard, dark, exhausting times in the valley. That's the body of Christ. So thank you for taking this walk with me. I love you.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Girls


We look pretty alert for staying up until 2:30!! From left Angela, Haley, Kate and me. Our friend Pam was here on Friday night for a little while. (dummy me forgot to take a picture!)

It was a great weekend for me. We just ate and talked and drank a ton of coffee. Heaven!! The only thing missing was: Amy, Leigh and Tiffani!!!

It was so interesting to me. We are all on the journey to be more like Christ. We love him with our whole hearts, and desire to serve Him in the areas He has placed us. I had some alone time before Chad and the girls got home, and I was amazed at the differences and similarities in each of our situations.

Each one of us can testify to the powerful grace of our Savior. We each one have been delivered from various "pits" and have a burning desire for others to experience the same power in their lives. We were all at the same church in Chattanooga and served together there in the Worship Arts and/or Women's ministry. We each have children, Kate has 5, Angela and I have 2 and Haley has 1 for right now. :) So each one of us are in the middle of Mommyhood. 2 of us homeschool, 1 will be when school starts and Haley is trying to adjust to life with a 17 month old. Bless her soul.

Each one of us have a husband who loves the Lord and each one is supportive of our dreams. Thank the Lord for this. God moved Kate and I last year. We each are in the "getting to know you" stage. Kate is in a rural area and finding friends has been hard to say the least. I'm in this huge church and finding friends is still hard. (I think I'll start praying that God will choose friends for us!) Angela and Haley are still in Chattanooga and serving the Lord in our former church.

We talked until the wee hours of Saturday morning. After a few hours of sleep we woke up to breakfast and sat around the table until around 11:30 talking some more. It was over much to quick and we hadn't really done any "activity", I think we just needed to "be". Thanks girls for being real. There were no masks here. God answered my prayer that we would have conversation that would please Him. I had also prayed that you would leave encouraged and uplifted, I pray that you were, I know I was. I love you!!

That leads me to this morning. It's Sunday morning 11:00 and I, sorry to say, skipped church this morning. I just didn't want to go. I haven't been very honest about this up to this point, but when I woke up this morning, I was very discouraged and didn't want to go. That really scares me. I love my church, love singing in the worship choir, love everything about it. But week by week, I don't want to go and this morning I gave in. So I kept Emma home with me. I don't get this, I've never been in this situation before. All morning, I've questioned why I'm feeling this way.

I think that all the "filling" in at various churches has reminded me just how much I miss playing each week. It's very hard to go and "sit" in the choir for me. I feel like I'm not doing anything. I know that I am, and please don't take this as someone who thinks she's "to good" for the choir, that isn't me at all. I just feel incomplete. The "calling" to serve is stronger than ever so why am I struggling with this? I know that God wants us to serve each week in the churches He has placed us in and I feel very strongly about faithfulness in this area. So why am I struggling with this? What is He trying to show me!!

Until He is satisfied that I get this lesson He's trying to teach, I know what I have to do. I have to GO. Get up and make myself GO. I can't stay in the house and hide anymore. In fact, as I ponder what I've just written God is impressing on my heart to ask two ladies (new friends) in the choir to hold me accountable to this. This is so hard for me. Okay God, I hear you and I will obey. (I'm typing that so I will actually do it, if I write something down I have to do it. It's part of my obbessive list making issue.)

Maybe all of this is part of God's curriculum for this time of waiting. Whatever this is, I love Him and want to honor Him through it. Today, I didn't do that and it breaks my heart.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Slumber Party Day

I can hardly wait. Some of my dearest friends will be arriving this afternoon for a big girl slumber party. I had tried to take a picture this morning of my dining room table, but my camera batteries are dead, dead,dead. So, I've added that to the grocery list. I've got to have that camera ready this weekend.

I have to say, we've had an answer to prayer. Chad's truck sold!! This is a major burden lifted. Before the job change having 2 cars wasn't an issue, but now as he starts building this business, we realized this was an area that would help us eliminate some debt. Since he already bikes to the office 2 days a week, it really won't affect us to much. Anyway, I'm sure I'll have some funny stories about it.

As soon as I get some pictures, I'll post them. Dear Amy, Tiffani and Leigh, I sure wish you girls could have been here with us!! It will just give us a reason to do this again in the fall. :)

By the way, go to the Living Proof blog and read Beth's latest enry. It will leave you rolling in the floor laughing. (I had to stop midway and go to the bathroom!) This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time.