Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!! A Somewhat Random Post

Our day started at 4:30 a.m. Chad was up and ready to run in the Atlanta marathon..He did the 1/2 again and I'm so proud of him...he finished under 2 hours!!!

This is what he looks like before his Crystal Light energy drink...

And this is after a few sips...

Oh I kid...he was just goofing off in his cute little leggings...I didn't post the shot of him clicking his heels...KIDDING...

Can you believe that number???? When we went to pick up his pack, he changed from the full marathon to the 1/2 and that meant a new number. I just can't believe that was the next number. Amazing.

He didn't let that number slow him down..he finished under 2 hours and feels great.

I've spent the morning listening to week 5 of Living Beyond Yourself, packing suitcases and gathering up all the stuff we need to take to TN.

As a family we are so thankful that we are going to have a couple of days to relax and love on our nieces and nephew. It's not often we are ALL together for more than a few hours.

I'm thankful for a date with Chad on Wednesday. Oh it was exciting too..first stop..Doctor's office. Then, we finished up some Christmas stuff and then we saw the new movie "Four Christmases". I have not laughed that hard at a movie in a LONG time. There were a few situations that, but there were some pretty hilarious parts. Change the name of this movie to "Three Christmases" and it's our life. That's all I'm going to say.

I felt bad for Chad...we laughed SO hard and he had just had four shots in his stomach. I knew he was having a hard time getting comfortable. It never failed that just about the time he would settle in the laughing would start....I think he laughed out the soreness!!!

Seriously, we are so blessed. We don't take for granted one second the way God provides for us. Especially right now. He is faithful and we continue to be amazed at the work of His hand.

I'm so thankful for my blogging siesta's. You are just precious to me...each one of you. Thank you for sharing this year with me! I can't wait to see some of you again and maybe meet some of you for the first time SOON!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Just Thinking....

What an incredible few days our family has had. We have experienced deep loss, and extreme happiness. We've been emotional about not being able to be in one place, and at the same time we are thrilled to have been here. I know this is as clear as mud...

Our children's musical was last Sunday evening. I worked with part of the kids, Chad was working in the media booth, Chloe had a solo and this was Emma's first musical. She worked so hard, listening to my CD daily for 3 months learning her part. We are just so proud of her. Our baby girl singing her heart out for Jesus despite the fact she was terrified.

There is power in prayer, and the Word. I have been reciting "Emma can do ALL THINGS (sing on the stage) because Jesus lives in her and gives her strength." for several weeks. She may not have been so sure of it before, but today she knows that God heard her and answered her prayer to be brave.

As much as we have rejoiced over what God did through our children on Sunday night,(and I mean all 200 of them) we have been just as heavy hearted over the loss of Chad's cousin.

So many emotions. So many passages of the Word have come to my mind. This morning Psalm 30 was my focus. As I personalized this Psalm to our family, I was overcome with this promise, God is not done with us. There is still hope.

It may seem dark right now and there may be lots of tears and unanswered questions...but as verse 8 says "rejoicing comes in the morning". The King James says JOY cometh in the morning.

And then on down in verse 11-12

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

How I love Him. How I love that in the times of our deepest hurt and confusion He offers love, joy, and peace. It's something that takes my breath away.

What the enemy has meant for evil, I believe my God is going to use for good. As hard as it is to see right now, God is working. Even in this horrible, tragic time. I want to make the sly one sorry he messed with this family. I'm going to be really bold here and say this knowing that some will not get this and I'll probably get a phone call..that's's just what is on my heart. Here goes...

Perhaps, God will use this as a time of restoration. I can't help but think of a passage in Hosea 2. I have referenced it before but I believe it is timely.

I'm quoting the NLT verses 14-15

"But I will win her back again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from captivity in Egypt."

Being bold again...In my life, there have been times where God has used tragic, extreme circumstances to get my attention. Reminding me that before anything or anyone else, HE is what I need.

Only He can restore what has been destroyed. Only He can break the slave chains that keep me stuck in my personal Egypt.

Only Jesus.

That takes me to Joel 2:12-13

"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and he relents from sending calamity."

God doesn't change. God doesn't move or leave...we do. The amazing thing to me is that we are never more than glance away from Him. We just have to turn around to see Him.

This is the verse I am anticipating in this time.

Joel 2:25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.."

I can hardly wait for that. The day we see our valley of trouble turn into a flourishing gateway of hope..locusts free. (with plenty of space for some praise dancing!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Old Post, That Just Fits Today

This is a post from earlier this year. Today..I have no words and as I skimmed through old posts looking for something to share..this one, well. This one was written for this time.

Please pray for our extended family as we mourn the loss of a family member. Thanks...

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; John 10:10a

He is at it again. This thief makes me so mad. I was reminded of this verse yesterday. When I went to look it up all I was concentrating on was the first part, the part above.

There is a second part to this verse and this powerful. It gives hope,

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b

There is something about that second part. Our Jesus doesn't settle for just living, He offers us a full life. Wow. I'm blown away at what He does for me. He takes an interest in our life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I love that we have a Savior that is interceding on our behalf. CONSTANTLY talking to God for and about us. How I love Him.

Even knowing this and knowing that God desires for us to live an abundant life..there are times we struggle. Times we hurt in deep places we had no idea existed. We feel desperate and hopeless, blinded by an enemy who specializes in a lie. We feel like the next step is just too hard. We've all been there at some point.

But Psalm 3 tells me that even when my enemy surrounds me and whispers those lies in my heart that my God is there. He is a shield around me, and when I cry out to Him He hears AND He answers.

His word says that I can rest because He will sustain and protect me.

But here is my favorite part of Psalm 3. It's found in verse 3 and it says that my God will bestow glory on me and will lift up my head.

I sure could use a little glory bestowed on my head this morning!

Psalm 18:16-19 has me standing up to type this morning as I pray this over my family and friends this morning.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me!Verse 35 says You give me your shield of victory and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.

I rejoice this morning as I read Psalm 23 and think of Beth Moore telling the story of her daughter calling her to share that our God is going to anoint our head with oil and make the enemy watch while He does it! Verse 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Oh friends, no matter how huge this trial seems, you have a warrior Savior who is interceding on your behalf. He has fought for you. It may be a hard and difficult battle but our God wins. He is enough.

Lift up your head this morning and let Him bestow some Glory on you today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Piano Lessons

We have piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons. Today, Chloe went first. She had a good lesson. We kind of hit a wall with some tough stuff but this child will practice until she gets it and come next week, you'll never know she struggled with the concept.

Today was Emma's 4th lesson. She is brand new to this and her enthusiasm is just precious. It melts my heart.

Today at the end of her lesson I was just about in tears, GOOD tears. She had played so well. She far exceeded my expectations and played each piece flawlessly. I'm serious when I say she didn't miss a note.

I held her face in my hands and told her how proud I was of her for working so hard...she started to tear up too. We hugged and then she said this...

"Maybe next week I'll practice."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hang On For Just a Minute Longer

It's starting.

The busy season.

Part of me loves it. The shopping, decorations, the music, the food...I love the busy time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The other part of my loathes this time of year. As much as I LOVE the season, far too often I feel suffocated by all the commitments we try to cram into the last 6 weeks of the year. We become tired, irritable and before we know it the season is over.

Lately, I've been talking to God about how to NOT be overwhelmed, tired and irritable during this season. (I really want to enjoy this season without the drama that comes from you hear me here!) He's been pretty good about sending me to passages that tell me how to do that.

Here was the first and the most important to me:

Ecclesiastes 8:3 "Do not be in a hurry to leave the King's presence....."

In other words...don't rush Him. Oh boy I'm guilty of this especially during the holidays. I will be sitting reading my Bible and find my mind drifting toward my to do list. All the stuff I need to accomplish. (Does your to do list go on steroids around November 1 too?) The list is not bad, the things ON the list are not bad. BUT when hearing what God Almighty has to say to me takes backseat to "the list", THAT my friend is bad.

One of favorite verses is Psalm 90:14

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."

If I'm going to have a godly attitude and love for those around me, if I want to ooze Jesus while I'm doing life during this very busy time...I have to start my day with Jesus. It just isn't an option.

Being in the Word doesn't mean that every day is going to be picture perfect and look like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Being in the Word doesn't mean that we will skip through this season and into the New Year without have you met my family??? JUST KIDDING, sort of....

Being in the Word means that God is going to give me what I need for today, for this time. His Word is life. It is our daily energy drink and if there is ever a time when we need an extra dose, it's this time of year!!

Jeremiah 15:16 says

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name o Lord God Almighty!"

God help me to hang on just a little longer. To listen a little harder and NOT RUSH my time with you during this season. Help me to savor each minute I have with you. You really are my joy and my heart's delight! It's only you that satisfies me...remind me of that when I become distracted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I mean this with all due respect...

Lord have mercy. He is blowing my mind right now! This Bible study, in combination with real life...I am telling you. He is so AWESOME! And I mean that literally!!! (we know how I feel about that word!) I'll share more later in the week.

Today I have to share my Emma with you. This child is our...well...she is just funny. For a child that is so shy and struggles with stage fright, she is quite the comedian at home. I am not kidding you. She is the funniest thing. (She reminds me of my younger sister who could make me laugh by just looking at me.)

Emma comes up with stuff that makes me laugh until my sides hurt. From the character she made up named "Aunt Mellie", to making up silly songs. This child will probably wind up on Saturday Night Live.

I say all that before I share the following pictures with you. (And if complete silliness offends not read past this point.)

Each morning I give the girls a 15 minute warning before school starts. In that 15 minutes they are to finish up their morning chores and make sure they have everything they need to start school.

About 10 minutes after I gave "the warning", I hear Chloe saying "mom come here..."

Chloe was standing at the foot of the stairs ready to "announce" her younger sister's descent. This is what I saw as Chloe said...


"Panty Girl"

I'm sorry if this offends you, but I have cracked up at this all day long.

Apparently Tinker Bell sprinkled her with some fairy dust because...she flies too...

Jenny will be so proud....all I can think of is that blasted song from High School Musical...."Soaring, Flying, there's not a star in heaven that we can't reach...if we're flying, we're breaking free....."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Present Control

Here is a short snippet of what God and I are working out right now.

I have been fixated on this thought recently...

If I am in control, then I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to fill me and operate through me.

I know that as a Christian the Holy spirit is alive in me. God sealed him there and there he stays. BUT...something in my "Living Beyond Yourself" study about two weeks ago, just hit me between the eyes.

If you have this study is found on page 38 and this is the quote that knocked be backwards....

" The Holy Spirit is ready and able to to fill the believer, but He will not agree to perform this ministry unless He is in present control of the one He inhabits."

Oh boy did that make me uncomfortable.

"in present control"

My heart's desire is to operate fully filled each minute of the day but obviously, the Holy Spirit is not in present control of me each minute because I TRY TO BE IN CONTROL.

When I loose my temper over something silly, He's not in present control.

When I think of 100 different things to say to that one person that works my one good nerve, He's not in present control.

You get the idea...

Ephesians 5:18 says that we should be "filled with the Spirit".

He seems to be giving me opportunity after opportunity to CHOOSE to allow Him to be in complete control. I would love to tell you that I was passing these tests with flying colors....but I can't.

However..little by little I'm finding that as I surrender to His control in some very specific areas, I'm seeing some MASSIVE changes. I can't help but think.."what would have happened if I had done this years ago?" It's so exciting to see Him at work.

Oh God - be in present control of my being. Each cell, each word and each action I take..I want them all to be a neon arrow pointing straight to you. Fill me up to overflowing with your Holy Spirit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Battlefield Marathon and 1/2 Marathon Re-cap

What a weekend we have had! I am so proud of Chad.

This race was through the Chickamauga Battlefield in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. (This is right on the Tenn. state line.)

The Battlefield is beautiful anytime of year, but especially in the fall. We drove up Friday afternoon hoping that we could drive the course before Saturday morning. Even in the rain/drizzle and slight fog, the fall colors were so vivid. All of us kept saying "Wow" and "Look over there!"

We came around a corner and saw a group of deer. Once we saw this group, we started looking back into the woods, and we saw so many! They were everywhere.

Part of the course..

After we finished we were able to enjoy a pre-race party at my mom's. Well not JUST a pre-race party, we had dinner with my grandparents and my brother and his sweet wife and girls. It was great to just visit with them.

I wasn't kidding in the post before this when I said we would be getting up at 4:30 Saturday morning. Emma decided to stay with my parents and Paddington on Saturday morning. (She knows a good thing!) This is how we left her:

Yes...that is breakfast in bed (I think this was around 5:30) with a portable DVD player. She and Paddington snuggled in to watch a movie. Chad, Chloe and I headed out the door a little before 6:00, made a Starbucks stop and got set up at the race.

There were around 1300 people running and it was so neat to see them all lined up just waiting for that gun to go off. It went off and we watched each of them run past us, saw them make the first loop and head into the battlefield...and then Chloe and I went to the car to warm up.

Chad's Aunt Debbie and his cousin Emily called about the time we saw him make his first they were able to jump on the spectator bus and ride it into the course to cheer him on around the halfway point.

While we waited in the car, Chloe and I prayed all the verses we could find on running and endurance over Chad. It was pretty cool. Then she decided to read for her November book report and I did my Bible study. Then we saw them...

The first runners were coming back in. We grabbed the phone and the camera then RAN for the finish line. It was so neat to see them come across that line. They were incredible and did not even look winded! I was exhausted for them. :)

Debbie and Emily joined us at the finish line and we were thinking we had about 10-15more minutes before we would see Chad. We looked up the hill and saw him and then I looked at the time. I was so surprised! He was coming in several minutes earlier than we thought he would... His official time was 2 hours and 41 seconds. (And he looked great!)

Here are some pictures of his cheerleaders.

Thanks Debbie and Emily for getting up so early and making an effort to support Chad in this! I'm not sure you realize how much that meant to him.

After a hot shower and some chill out time, we headed to eat some Mexican food. (Just what a crohn's patient needs to eat after running 13.1 miles!)

I shared in my previous post why I was so emotional about this. I'll have you know, I didn't cry when he crossed the finish line, I cried in the car when he told me this story. I'm paraphrasing the Chadwick so bear with me.

On the Battlefield there is a tower called "Wilder Tower", it was used during the Civil War. It really is a beautiful tower.

Somewhere around the 8-9 mile mark, he started to come up on Wilder Tower. It was a bit foggy and and the sun was just starting to peek through the trees. The closer he got to the tower he noticed there were sun rays were shining through the fog, the trees and on either side of the tower. He said that of the four hours of songs in his "run" program on his MP3 player, "Strong Tower" by Kultless came on. Of all times for that song to play, God arranged it to be played as He ran past that tower. He said it was a great moment as his Father reminded him that he could do it, and that he was not in this alone. It was so neat to hear him tell this in the car just minutes after completing this run.

I'm not for sure, and I won't steal his blog post, but I would venture to say that was what this race was about...God showing him one more time, that regardless of circumstances, our Heavenly Father is there.

Thanks Mom for setting the coffee pot for me Friday night and for handfeeding Paddington Saturday morning while we were gone!

Thanks Dad for getting up to see us off, I know you were tired. Emma is still talking about having you to herself at the park and getting the oil changed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God Stop Friday

It's God Stop Friday and I'm jumping in this week. Patty at God is ABLE! (LOVE the new name) is our gracious hostess. Thanks Patty for encouraging us to document what God is doing.

I have a couple of things to share and they may or not come together and that is okay. :)

Last Sunday morning when we left Jacksonville to head home, we drove in a little rain. Once we got out of the city, on that LONG stretch of nothing..the rain stopped and I noticed a rainbow. I grabbed the camera and took a picture. A rainbow never ceases to amaze me, and for me they always come at just the right time. (Thank you Lord for your promises.)

I'm doing the "Living Beyond Yourself" study right now. HELLO what a word. God is already speaking some major things to me. He has used several of you to reinforce some of the scripture and themes that are really standing out to me. THAT is Him speaking to me and it always gives me holy chills. (I can hardly wait to get my hands on Esther! I wish I had put that on my Christmas list!)

Here is my biggie for the week.

You may, or may not, know that my husband has Crohn's disease. (It's a tummy thing.) Chad was diagnosed in January only 8 months after we were married.

In that first 8 months he went from a healthy 155 pounds to about 117 pounds. Yes, you read that last number correctly. He weighed just 7 pounds more than I did. He was very sick during the early years of our marriage and at one point 117 pounds looked his sickest he was around 110. Not only was he very thin, he was pale. He was constantly loosing blood. It was not good.

As bad as it was and as sick he looked, I don't remember dwelling on that during that time. God gave us what we needed each day. I can say that with confidence. He was the air we breathed.

I did go through days where I fought fear big time. There are two nights that to this day, stand out in my mind. They are so VIVD. I can give you specific details of our apartment at that time, down to which sheets were on the bed. I'm so weird!

Like I said, I was fighting fear. Chad was very sick and had spent the better part of 3 days in bed. He had had nothing solid to eat in days. I tried Ensure, soup, milkshakes, jello..nothing stayed in. At this point, none of his clothes fit and I was scared. He had been to the doctor, meds had been adjusted and he was to come home and just rest.

We went to bed each of those nights and I read, trying my best to keep everything the same. I did NOT want him to see that I was afraid. I would pray "God please" and then I would just say the name of Jesus over and over. I was exhausted. Chad would sleep and I would force myself to stay awake to watch him breath. I honestly thought that if I went to sleep, I would wake up a widow.

Through several divine, and I mean that literally, divine interventions, Chad's employer changed insurance carriers. NONE of the Doctors he had been seeing were now part of the "the plan". We were a little aggravated, but honestly at that point Chad was 110 pounds and was passing out frequently.

I will never blame his health on the Doctor that diagnosed him, but Chad did not receive the care he should have received during that first year. We were not "old enough to know better" and just took this man's word that he did not need to come in and that calling in another prescription would do the trick. Obviously it didn't and God stepped in. (Probably why Chad tells people that your Doctor works for you. If you are not getting your questions answered or you feel like a number..find a new Doctor.)

Like I said, he had to find ALL new Doctors. God sent him to just the right combo and let me tell you...he went in for a physical and his new family Dr. put him in a wheelchair and had her nurse push him across the street to Erlanger hospital.

I will never forget that phone call. I was in the office when the nurse called to tell me that he was very sick and they were admitting him. I went numb and remember her saying something about staying put until she could call me with a room number.

Here we were. ONE YEAR TO THE DAY from his diagnosis and his first 10 stay in the hospital. The new group of doctors kept him in for another 10 days. (Once again in January.) They ran all the fun scopes, gave him an unbelievable amount of blood pumped him full of fluids and within the first two days, my husband began to get some color back and he actually started to look like Chad.

It was 2 years before he would have the surgery and IV treatment that would be the turning point on his journey with this disease. That came when Chloe was about 5 months old yes, in January. (We start holding our breath after Christmas!!! January has a history with us!)

At times, Chad's Crohn's has felt like a marathon. A marathon that will not end. Today, he is healthy and has spent the last year trying to eat healthier and actually DROP a few pounds! He has been working so hard and this weekend, it's going to pay off.

On Saturday morning, he will run his first 1/2 marathon. 13.1 miles this man will willingly run. (my body hurts just thinking about it)

I have been emotional about it all week. Thinking about how much he has seen and been through in his life. To see him finish this race will be incredible. If you had told me 14 years ago that I would get up at 4:30 in the morning to go and watch Chadwick run....I would not have believed you because honestly, 14 years ago I wasn't sure my husband would still be here.

Today, I'm thankful.

Chad is healthier than he's been his whole life. God continues to give him opportunities to minister to and encourage others going through Crohn's or other tummy problems. Yes he has bad days, but the good days far out number the bad ones.

I'm thankful for the way God has provided a year's worth of medicine. (The most expensive of his meds at that!)

I'm thankful that Chad has the desire to run and more importantly the physical ability to do so.

Chad I am so proud of you. This race is nothing but a picture of God's mercy, His grace His faithfulness and His power to heal. I love you...

That rainbow we saw last week was a visual reminder of the faithfullness of our God...Saturday morning I'll watch another reminder of God's promises as he crosses a finish line. I can hardly wait to share some photos with you.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some thoughts on Blesses

This is part of my study on the attribute of God: Blesses, for Freedom's Call. Give me your thoughts? I really struggled putting this particular one together! Don't know why, it should have been an easy one!


Key Verse Genesis 32:26
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go until you BLESS ME.” (emphasis mine)

“Bless” is a word that is used often. I say “bless your heart” or “what a blessing!” almost daily to someone. It’s a common word in our church or Christian vocabulary. As many verses that include this word, this should be an easy attribute for me to talk about right? Wrong. For me, this has been a hard word to put words to.

Bless (Blessed or Blest, Blessing, Blesses)

• to make holy by religious rite; sanctify
• to make the sign of the cross over so as to sanctify
• to invoke divine favor upon
• to honor as holy; glorify: “Bless the Lord”
• to confer well-being or prosperity on.
• To endow, as with talent

As I look at those definitions, my mind goes in no fewer than 100 directions! I could take anyone of them talk for days! That could part of the reason I struggled!

I found myself drawn to the verse above. I love that Jacob says I will NOT let you go until you bless me! He was desperate for a blessing, but we know that Jacob had once before desperately sought a blessing.

Jacob and his twin brother Esau were born to Isaac and Rebekah. I was reminded that Isaac was the promised blessing to Abraham and Sara. He was a miracle baby!

Isaac and Rebekah also had trouble having a baby and Isaac took that heartfelt request before God. God heard him. I have to wonder if Isaac reminded God of the promise He had made to his father Abraham. Remember?

Genesis 22:15-18 “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

God heard Isaac and gave him twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Since Esau was older, by mere minutes, he would receive the birthright. We know that Jacob convinced his brother to sell him his birthright. (For a pot of stew!) If that wasn’t enough, Rebekah and Jacob went on to lie, and trick Isaac into speaking the blessing over Jacob!

Jacob got his father’s blessing, but as a result he gained an enemy, his brother. I felt sorry for Esau as he pleaded with Isaac in Gen. 27: 38.

“Do you have only one blessing? Bless me too, my father!”

I have to wonder how Jacob felt about his actions. Sure, he had the birthright, but he had taken the BLESSING too. He had cheated Esau out of the precious words meant only for him. I wonder how that made Jacob feel, knowing that the words Isaac spoke over him were meant for Esau.

When Jacob is left alone and the “man” as Gen. 32:24 calls God, wrestles with him and eventually injures Jacob hip, Jacob was desperate. He refused to let go and fought for his life. He was desperate for a blessing. A blessing MEANT FOR HIM and no one else.

He got it too. God changed his name to Israel. In essence gave him a new identity.

I wonder how often we miss our blessing (read that as the divine favor) God has for us because we are too busy trying to mooch off of other believers? God wants to bless YOU. He has blessings just waiting for YOU. Things you can’t even begin to imagine!

For too long, I was satisfied hearing about other people’s blessings. How God provided a need. How he healed, restored, you name it. YES! It excited me, but 8 years ago it wasn’t enough to hear their stories anymore.

I was sick and tired of feeling left out. I guess you could say that I was kind of like Jacob and I began to have an insatiable desire for His Word to speak blessing over me. Not my parent’s blessing. Not my pastor’s blessing. Not my Bible study teacher’s blessing. My blessing. The desire to hear Him, feel Him, experience Him was almost overwhelming.

I wanted Him to bless me. I mentally wrapped my arms around His waist and refused to let go until He had blessed me. His blessing of joy, peace, contentment, love…those are things that He began to speak over me and I have never been the same. Yes, we have seen tangible blessings from our heavenly Father, but His unseen blessings have been far greater. The times when He speaks are so precious. He not only gives blessings, He IS blessing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This is Where We Wound Up This Weekend

In Jacksonville to surprise ZuZu for her Birthday!!! (It was Saturday.) Notice the orange vest??? Guess who she loves...

After a great lunch at Jax Seafood Shack, which was incredible, we came home to assemble the rest of the girls costumes. They went as hobos. Personally, I thought they looked more like Huckleberry Finn..but they are hobos.

Like I said, we were there to celebrate Zuzu's day. Guess how we did that? We saw High School Musical 3 and we LOVED IT!!! (I think Granddaddy was tapping his foot at one point.) Anyway...Chloe was next to me and she and I both had tears in our eyes during one particular scene.

The girls spent most of their time at the house going between the pool (a VERY cool 71 degrees) and the "HOT POOL" as Emma calls it. It was much warmer.

We tried to enjoy the TN football game, but there just isn't much to enjoy about TN football this year.

We hit the road early Sunday morning. Our first stop was Dunkin' Donuts. Praise the Lord for Turbo coffee and munchkins. I had to take a picture of our dog Paddington. He is so attached to Chad and whimpers and whines when Chad gets out of the car OR orders something in a drive-thru.

Chad and Chloe had run into pick up our breakfast and this is how Paddington waited.

For 10 minutes this dog waited for Chad to come back out. He "sang" to us the entire time. I tried to video it, but I had too many pictures on my camera.

Oh and Jenny..Chad came out and said.." You know that bon qui qui at King Burger video you made me watch last week? Bon qui qui is alive and working in there!" Apparently her favorite line was "Anything else." Chad would say "Why yes..." this went on for five minutes as she asked this after each item...finally she through up her hand and said..."you're done. $17.22 please."

I was cracking up at him telling me this and then I tasted my turbo coffee...I hated to ask him to do this..but it NEEDED sugar and cream. He was thrilled to go back to ask for cream and sugar. When he walked in Bon qui qui said.."you again. what now."

We laughed at her all the way home.

Okay. So we are home and ready to start school this morning. I'm looking at that laundry pile and feeling a bit overwhelmed so I'm off to conquer that mountain!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We are alive and well after a very busy weekend.

I've been trying (read fighting) with blogger for about 30 minutes...for some reason posting photos is beyond what it wants to do tonight! (just ask jennyhope!) Anyway....

I'm very distracted and have something a little heavier on my I'm calling it quits for tonight and I'll try again in the morning....

Oh, and if you want to send up a prayer that I will have an extra dose of wisdom and discernment, I would greatly appreciate it. ;)