Monday, March 20, 2017

BUT GOD moments

If you are in a place where there seems to be no way out. If you are drowning in sorrow or pain. Trust in Him! You have a BUT GOD moment coming.

At a time when my marriage was unraveling. He was there whispering my name but I wasn't listening. I could fix my life. I knew what I was doing. I could make myself happy. Except my reality and my actions spoke otherwise. I made terrible decisions. I was crumbling. I was broken in so many ways.

My marriage was over. My life was a mess. Happiness was far from my grasp... BUT GOD. He said that it wasn't. He said He would mend it all. He had great joy waiting for me. In that moment I found Jesus. In that moment I knew He was with me and always had been. In that moment He healed my marriage. He restored what had been so neglected. I'm happy to say that my marriage now full of love and laughter. Yes we have our moments as everyone does but at the end of the day I have a reminder of how God can take a situation of despair and mold it into one of hope and overflowing joy.

There are so many encouraging BUT GOD moments in the bible.  These are a few that stick in my mind.

When Joseph seemed to be losing it all, betrayed by his own brothers, and sold into slavery God had a plan.

Acts 7:9 -10
9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were to be burned to death for refusing to worship the golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar had made. They weren't alone in the fire. God had a plan.

Daniel 3:25 – 30
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Then there was the biggest BUT GOD moment there ever has been and ever will be.
What should have been death, the end, was really the beginning. Without the crucifixion there could be no resurrection. Without Jesus we are lost. God had a plan.

Matthew 28:5-7
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God can take any situation no matter how terrible and turn it for good. I've seen it in my life and in my friends lives. We have to let him do it though. God is a gentleman. He does not barge into our lives and demand that we DO THIS OR ELSE. He wants us to come to him willingly and lovingly. He wants us to trust him. He has so many blessings for us. So many times we focus on the problem in front of us that we miss all the things He is doing around us. Don't miss them! You do have a BUT GOD moment coming. If yesterday was hard. If today is hard. Don't lose hope. You could be in the middle of your testimony. Lean on Him. Let Him work it out. You just might look back later and think, "God, you did a great work!" You might be able to use that testimony to encourage other people.

I know I do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Bedtime's coming.

Bedtime is for losers....
Some people have anxiety about things like flying, taking a test, or public speaking. My anxiety kicks in oh right around 6:50pm. I know that bedtime is coming. It's right around the corner! I'll honestly sometimes delay starting the whole bedtime show because I'm not prepared for the battle. 

Bedtime is not a new thing at our house. I'm not sure about your home, but here we go to sleep every night. Yes! Surprising I know, but every night we like to sleep. We say our prayers. We close our eyes. We lay in our cozy beds. We drift off to dreamland. 

Well that's not entirely true. There is a tiny one of us who seems surprised each night by this bedtime nonsense. Little Em is taken aback each evening when we gently let her know that it's almost bedtime. It is earth shattering news. 

From this point we will go through our bedtime routine. Then we spend a good two hours on average convincing her that sleep is fun. I'm not sure what her aversion to it is. I love sleep. I would sleep the day away if I could. Nap? Yes! Early bedtime? Yes! Sleep in late? Yes! For Em? Not so much. 

Emily certainly can not sleep before she has 2.3 million sips of water or milk. She will also need to fake pee or poop a few times. She will be scared of everything. She wants her blanket. Her blanket is smothering her. It's too dark. The night light hurts her eyes. Don't forget things like she is Ariel and Ariel doesn't sleep...
Her bear told her she can stay awake...
Her eyes don't like it when they are closed...

So bedtime is a struggle. We've tried everything we can think of. We've talked with her doctor and she assured us Em is healthy and a lot of kids her age have trouble going to bed. Some things work for a while and then we return to this land of WHAT IS GOING ON? I do find comfort in the fact that I'm almost 100% sure most college aged kids don't still need their mom to sit by the bed, but don't look at them because they don't want to be looked at... 

Do you have bedtime troubles? Do you have amazing advice? Please share! 

Friday, May 20, 2016


I want you to picture all of the things that you worry about. Clearly see the stuff that weighs heavily on your shoulders. The big things. The small things. The stuff no one knows about. Now I want you to imagine you have a sack. Begin to bundle up all of those things. Picture yourself approaching the thrown of Jesus. Remember that bundle of burdens you have? One by one begin to lay them at His feet. Now this is where so many of us get it wrong. I'm guilty of it too.

Once we've worshiped Him and thanked Him for everything He's done for us. After we've placed all our troubles at His feet and told Him we trust Him, sometimes we pack those burdens back up. We're saying, "Thanks Jesus for holding these for a little while. You know I felt so peaceful while you held onto them. I feel revived and renewed. I'll just gather this stuff up and get it out of your way. I think I can deal with it on my own now."

Maybe we don't leave with all of the burdens. Often we leave with our sack just almost empty. There's still that one little burden in there. It's that one thing that we've struggled with for so long it's hard to let go of. Maybe it's something that seems so small to you that God couldn't possibly care about it. 

Leave. It. All.

Once you let go of something leave it alone. Trust that He can deal with it in a way that you never could. He can do so much more with your mess than you ever dreamed. He will fight for you. I know it because He has fought for me. I have not always been the best person. I have chosen the wrong thing again and again. Yet He loves me. His love is not contingent upon how good we are. It knows no boundaries. He loves you right where you are, even in your deepest darkest place. There is none like Him. He's waiting to take the things you carry everyday. He wants to take your struggles from you. You've just got to hand them over. 

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22

The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still. - Exodus 14:14

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Life Lately

My poor little blog. I love to write. Sadly it's the one thing I have trouble finding time for. I'd love to be able to write everyday again. I need to make it more of a priority. Anyway.....

So much has gone on at home lately. We've just been so busy. It's a good busy though. We've fallen into a better rhythm with homeschooling. We still have some really rough days but for the most part it's fun. I'm looking forwards to next year because Noah is really excited about his curriculum. I can't believe he'll be 11 in December. He's a great big brother. You know...when he's not picking on Emily. I don't know how they even manage to fight. She's 2. He's 10. What could they possibly have to argue about? Noah is very smart. He's funny like his dad. He has a very kind heart. I love to watch his faith grow. I'm excited to see the ways that God will use him. Oh. He also hates when I share photos of him now... So if you follow me on social media that's why my pictures are mostly of Emily lol

Emily is so much fun. She gets into a lot of trouble. One night before bed Noah couldn't find his 2 favorite animals. We looked everywhere. He insisted they had to be in Emily's room. In the process of checking her room I woke her up. I asked her if she knew where they were. She told me they were in brothers room. I asked her to show me. She ran straight to his nightstand and opened the drawer. She had hidden them inside. I know she did this on purpose because she KNOWS they are his favorite.  Her antics are so naughty but hilarious. It's hard to tell her no when we're all laughing. She knows what she wants and she wants it all right now. She's also very sweet. She likes to give hugs and kisses, on her terms of course.

We're still dealing with our flooding backyard. Every time it rains we have a lake. We did finally landscape the front. When and if we move someday I feel like I don't want close neighbors. I love people but I'd like a little more privacy and quiet. We've been here for almost 2 years now. Joey wants to move to Florida but I'm not ready to move anywhere lol. Moving is my least favorite thing!

We have a trip to Disney planned for next month. I know. I know. We just went in December. Since Emily is 2 she's free. So that paired with a great discount made it possible for us to go again. We're also driving this time. Which saves us thousands of dollars. It is SO expensive to fly from here! I'm more excited about this trip because now Emily knows who all the princesses are. We booked a Disney Cruise a long time ago but we wont actually be going until next year. After that we'll be done for a while. We have never gone on a big family vacation before. We've never really been able to. I would much rather spend the money on experiences and time together than on things to fill up my home.

Other than that things are the same mostly. My house is a mess. There is laundry to do. The dogs play in the mud and I have to bathe them. The usual.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Agape Women

On Monday nights there is a group of women that meet all over town. They open the doors of their homes to each other expecting and anticipating the Holy Spirit to move. And He how He does.

If you pulled up outside you'd hear our loud laughter and noisy chatter. If you were just walking into the room you'd most likely assume we have all been friends for years. Some of us have but most of us have only known one another for a very short time. We just have this special bond. I can't describe how much these women mean to me. I can try though....

We love one another unconditionally. I wish women all over the world could get along in this way. The world would certainly be a different place. We support one another regardless of mistakes we've made, things we've been through, or where we come from. We have true honest agape love. We cry together and comfort one another. We share our stories and our mess. We lift each other up. Knowing that if I ever needed anything, big or small, all I have to do is text or call one of them and they will all jump together to help and serve is so comforting. Their kindness and love is overwhelming. They are a safety net knit together by God himself.

We are so different and that is a blessing. Because of our differences I can take something from each and every one of them and learn from it. I have grown so much with them. With them I've learned to pray, to not hold back the gifts God has given me, to be bold and brave. God has used them to mold and shape me in ways I never expected. I thank Him every day for placing them in my life.

I know there will still be trials and storms because this is life. I also know that having people to pray with you and for you makes it easier to overcome the hard times. I know God chose this specific time in my life for them to appear. I've walked through things with them that would have been devastating with out them. To be able to reach out immediately to them and say I'm hurting, I'm drowning, I don't know what to do, and to have them respond with encouragement, scripture, prayer, and understanding is beautiful. They are not just my connect group. They are not just my friends. They are my family.

There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.  - Proverbs 18:24

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Miss Emily is two

This is what two looks like. It is a girl in a party dress and sneakers covered in dirt. It's full of smiles and laughter. It's made up of tears and frustration. I can tell it's hard to be two. You think you're SO big but you're still so small. These two years have gone by so quickly. I knew that they would.

Emily is FUNNY. I can not tell you how much laughter fills our home because of her. Most often she isn't trying to be funny. The things she does and says are just so comical.

Emily is SMART. I almost put that she is mischievous but really it's her smarts that get her into trouble. She will get water from the fridge if you don't remember to lock the dispenser. She will pour it into other things around the house. She will hide things and remember exactly where she's hidden them. "Emily where are my keys?!?...Oh you've hidden them nicely inside your bin of blocks."

Emily KNOWS WHAT SHE WANTS. She'll let you know too. Whether it's demanding MILK or telling poor Minnie where she can and cannot sit, Emily thinks she is in charge.

Emily is BEAUTIFUL. I'm still amazed by her. I love all of her tiny features. I just stare at her!

Emily is SNUGGLY. Sometimes.... When she's sleepy or upset she just wants to be held. I soak up all of those cuddles.

Emily is VERBAL. She talks a lot! Sometimes we have no idea what she is saying an other times we know exactly what it is. This morning she told me her baby was happy because it's morning lol.

Dislikes all songs except The Morning Song (which I made up), 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and The Finger Family song. This means that at bed time instead of singing lullabies I sing these songs. If I try to sing anything else she shouts at me to stop.

Loves to eat. She eats a lot of different things. I'm so glad she's not too picky.

Can be really shy but also want a lot of attention.

STILL holds her breath when she gets upset. I really would like this to stop =(

Loves her baby dolls more than any other toy.

She is absolutely amazing in every way and I can not wait to see what the next year has in store for her. I just hope it doesn't sneak up so fast!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

She's not yet two...

And yet when I look at her this voice shouts she's two! She's two! And it just won't shut up. I don't want her to be two yet. I'm not ready for it. I wasn't ready for her to be one either, but that happened anyway. I think it's harder than when Noah was a baby because she is it. The same voice that shouts she's two also shouts there are no more! Don't get me wrong. I  am completely content with our family of four. We are certainly done. It's just hard letting go of the baby stage. When I rock her I think when will be the last time I rock her? How will I know? How will I seal it in my mind? I was so sad when we gave her the last bottle she would ever have and yet I don't remember that actual last time. 

She changes so much everyday. I swear sometimes she grows over night. She is less and less my baby and more and more a toddler. A toddler with distinct likes and dislikes. A toddler with attitude. A toddler with so much energy I don't know how I keep up. She has switched from favoring my husband to choosing me most of the time. I like to think she knows that I'm the one who is having a tough time accepting her impending two-ness. Maybe somehow she senses it and knows I need more snuggles. 

I just sit and watch her sometimes. She brings me so much joy. Her laugh is contagious. When it's bedtime and I'm rocking her sometimes she'll put her face close to mine. Her nose will touch mine. She'll laugh and laugh and then neither of us want it to be bedtime anymore. Children change so quickly! Blink and you'll miss something. Her birthday is getting closer and closer. Two just seems so big to me! I still have some time though. 

She's not yet two...
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