Monday, January 28, 2013

A new queen in town!

This week I have been reminded of Queen Esther and how she embraced her role as the woman God designed her to be and subsequently saved His people from death at the hand of her husband, King Xerxes, and his right hand man, Hamaan. She had no idea of God's plan for her life when she was orphaned and raised by her cousin in a community of Jews who had been exiled, but she waited and allowed God to direct her. Esther was patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and practiced self control. (Many of the things I am terrible at.) By being a strong woman of God and living as He designed her she empowered her husband and helped him become successful. She was often still and waited upon the Lord's guidance. Where do you find your identity? This is the first question posed in the new bible study I am doing. ("Miss Perfect: Discovering God's purpose without the pressure") I think that by embracing God's identity for me as a woman I will live in His will and become the wife, mother, friend and disciple He desires me to be. There is a huge difference in what HE says and what this world says. We are always going through a new "season" of life but if we always find our identity in Christ then those seasons are used to His glory and His purposes. He slowly molds and shapes us through each season. Here are five key things that stood out to me this week: 1. "Allow God to show you His purpose for your life as you remove the pressures this world piles on." 2. "By finding our value and security as a child of God we actually give our loved ones a more beautiful woman to love and cherish." 3. "The enemy cannot take our salvation once we are saved. So the next best thing is to make us ineffective." 4. "As women we have a powerful role of influence and have the ability to cause our husbands to thrive or wither." 5. "Find your identity in Christ. It will never change or disappoint." So, where are you finding your identity? In your career? Your husband? Your kids? Society? Or are you seeking with all of your heart and discovering the beautiful daughter that God designed you to be? I know where I am placing my value and I am loving this crown I wear!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Life Lately.....

Isaiah had his first run in with PINK EYE! Wow, this was no fun! His sweet little eyes were constantly glued shut and cleaning all the gunk brought on lots of tears. Luckily his eye drops worked quickly.
He was supposed to have a hair cut the morning he woke up with pink eye. His hair was in his eyes so I decided I could do it. hahahahaha! I had a few mistakes but from this view it looks pretty good! Maybe I should consider a new career? :-)
Have no fear. Daddy kept him fully entertained while we locked ourselves in the house to spare anyone else from the funk.
Isaiah has become quite the character with quite the imagination. He makes me laugh all the time. Here he is working like his Daddy. I asked him what he was doing and he said "Mommy I work the puter like Daddy!" Notice how he is using the mouse as a phone. Such a multitasker. This is what Daddy looks like at work. hahahaha
Today I found him up in his room with his dresser drawer pulled out as a step. I asked him what he was doing and he said "Mommy, Buzz need cwean diaper." He had the wipes out scrubbing him down and was trying his best to wrap the diaper around him. So cute!
We are so ready for spring! Hurry up sunshine and warmer days. We are tired of being sick and stuck inside. This Florida baby is not used to all this cold weather and dreary days. Luckily we got our gym membership and now have a heated indoor pool to use. Isaiah and Mommy are looking forward to working on our little fish skills!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I choose JOY!

What a great two weeks this has been. I am so thankful for the time I have been able to spend with the Lord and all the things He has shown me. He is always faithful! I am finally feeling back to normal and I see lots of opportunities around me. This is an exciting time. Here are some truths He has spoken to me. 1. I trust you Jesus. In good times and trying times I praise you and recognize that you are always for me. I have spent a lot of time giving thanks and being thankful for all my blessing big and small. What a difference that makes! It's so easy to focus on the storms of life but what a shift when we focus on all the good. HE is good! 2. Nothing is impossible with God. I have always felt a calling to serve in a certain area. I know what my gifts are and I know what my strengths are. I can already see ways that God is working through me and I am super excited and very humbled. 3. Luke 6:31 (the message) "Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them." This has always been hard for me. I tend to wait for people to come to me. Time to start stretching myself and reaching out. I remember taking a step of faith in FL when we joined a small group and it was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was filled with love and surrounded by people who poured into me. Pay it forward! Thank you to everyone who has been patient with me, checked on me and prayed for me. You have all helped me to see more clearly!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Roll Tide!

What a fun night we had celebrating yet another Tide victory. It's great to be able to cheer for a national championship team two years in a row :-) We are already looking forward to the next football season! We have a tradition of blowing the conch horn for each TD. It was a very noisy night! hehehehe
Me and my future Bama player!
Everyone enjoyed wearing Mommy's new tobogan.
~The family that rolls toghether, stays together! We love our BAMA football nights. Hurry up September! <3

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Word of God speak.....

(disclaimer: I use this blog to journal my life and our family life so that one day our kids can look back and have stories with the pictures. Some may feel this is too much information but I want my kids to know my testimony and follow my journey. I want them to know that life is not always easy but when you trust in God He will carry you through. I love that other people read and I hope His words through me help even just one person.)This past week has been so profound for me. I have definitly been in a slump since the move in September. I am so thankful for God and His provisions and from the beginning I have KNOWN that this move was by His hand. However, that has not made it easy on my heart! Florida was such a life changer for us and having to leave that behind has been really hard on me. I have fears that sometimes can physically consume me. It may sound silly to some people and I definitly don't want it to offend anyone but being back in Memphis was never in "my plan". I hope that our friends and family can hear my heart on this because it's not that I am not thankful for the relationships we have here. I love everyone that God has placed in my life and I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for so many of these relationships. Florida became a very comfortable place for me (which could be a big part of the reason I was plucked from it, hahaha). For the first time in my life I felt like I could just be me. The me that God made! I didn't feel the need to put on a show, be someone I wasn't, have lots of things or anything else like that. The devil definitly knows my weak spots and has attacked me a lot since being back. I become so insecure in who I am that I shut down, get lost for words or say things that are not me at all. I also just miss my friends. I had so many amazing women around me and I really learned how to trust again. I learned the freedom that can come from being vulnerable and the peace that can come from relying on other christians to lift me up and support me. I know there are people like that all over but this was my family. This was where I was "born again" and now I am like a kid being pushed out into an unknown world. My week began at a very low place. Over and over the Lord has put on my heart "seek and you will find" (it was even in my fortune cookie). The most powerful way to arm yourself is with the Word. The Bible! Reading the Bible is like preparing yourself and arming yourself for battle. I noticed I had stopped reading. I was still praying and praising and doing devotionals but I wasn't reading God's letter to me. Picking back up with these readings has really calmed me and has taken me on an amazing journey. Everything I read seems to come in to play at another time during the week. God is speaking to my heart in very real ways and it brings me such peace. From the beginning of this journey back to TN God has used Jeremiah 29:11 at the most profound times. I should probably tattoo it to my forehead. Today was no different. Chris Conlee's sermon on the potter brought my week full circle. I am the clay and sometimes God has make me uncomfortable while He reshapes me and molds me into His final masterpiece. Being in the fire is a hard place to be but He knows His plans for me and promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans are NOT for harm or evil. I loved hearing that from Him AGAIN this morning. My mom sent me this quote about friendships this week: “In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves I know that is true for our time in Florida and now I see more than ever why we are being replanted. I look forward to fertilizing my old friendships and to beginning new friendships with believers and non-believers. I'm ready to share His glory through the story He has given me. "Word of God speak Would You pour down like rain Washing my eyes to see Your majesty To be still and know That You're in this place Please let me stay and rest In Your holiness Word of God speak ~Mercy Me"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

This Christmas season was very revealing for me. I had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and seeing it through Isaiah's eyes but it also surfaced a lot of emotions I have been pressing down. Spiritually and emotionally I have definitly been hanging out in the valley. I realize that all moments in life cannot be mountaintop moments but being down in the valley is not a fun place to be for too long. In sunday school one of the speakers said that sometimes God brings us pain to show us something. Then during the sermon it was like He made everything clear to me. The details of all my junk are unimportant at this time but I am ready for the new year and I am ready to change the way I am feeling. I know that I have to make some changes and meet God on this journey. Our church is doing 21 days of prayer and fasting and we have been encouraged to "pray like children". Be yourself, be persistent, believe that God will say yes and be relational. I am currently fasting one meal a day but my goal is to fast two meals a day by next week. More importantly I have decided to fast from facebook for the next 21 days. When I think of the importance of fasting in my life I see it as giving up something that builds a wall between God and me. I wouldn't say that I "live" on facebook , but by habit everytime my phone rings or texts or emails I then immediately check fb. Why do I care so much about people's fb realities? We only share the things we want people to know and we create the life we want people to see (and I'm not saying I wish people would use it to share all their junk I'm just pointing out that it is not reality). We live in a shattered world. We live in a world where people are more comfortable communicating via text, email, fb, etc than picking up the phone and calling or going to lunch to talk face to face. I look at teenagers when they are out in public (and sometimes even adults and families) and it terrifies me. I don't want my son glued to his electronic device some day. I want him building meaningful relationships with other christians who can hold him accountable, I want him building meaningful relationships with non-christians who challenge him and I want him building meaningful relationships with his mom and dad. But most importantly I want him to have a personal relationship with God. I want an even closer realtionship with God! I want to give up my fb time for time talking to my Father. To tell him all the things I am thankful for and cry about all the things that are hurting me. To ask with child like faith for protection over my family, a God loving wife for Isaiah one day, for another child to add to our family that will also find a God loving spouse, for health and happiness, so much love that our hearts are bursting, for a spiritual revival in this city, in the state, in this country and in this world! I want God to reveal to me His calling for me. To use me for the good of His Kingdom. Here is my prayer for today: "God I just thank you for all that you are. I can never thank you enough for the ultimate sacrifice you sent when you sent your son to die for me. But that's the beauty of your grace, right? Please help me with the sadness I am feeling and replace those dark holes with love, laughter, peace and happiness. Protect my family from harm and keep us all healthy this year. Help me find a christian woman or a group of christian women that can help keep me accountable and encouraged. Show me the work you have for me. Continue to bless Mike and his career. Protect our marriage. Thank you for blessing me with a husband that loves you first and me second. Thank you for the friends you have already put in my life that pray for me and with me, that encourage me with texts and phone calls and know how to make me smile (even if they are 800 miles away)! Most of all thank you for loving me and always seeking me even if it does require some pain. I guess I can be pretty hard headed sometimes! Amen"


Christmas morning we woke up to the most precious laughs of our two year old! He was really excited to see what Santa had brought. This year was so much fun to see the excitement in his eyes. It was truly a great moment. (please ignore the mismatched pj's. Ebbie got him some Toy Story pjs and he was insistent on wearing the shirt)
After all the Santa fun we headed over to Papa D and Nana's house for the yummiest breakfast feast of the year (another great tradition) and more presents! Isaiah was the star of the show. He sure is one loved little guy.
After an afternoon nap we headed to see Isaiah's great grandma Jean, Gigi and all his great aunts and cousins.
It was an amazing Christmas season and I loved seeing it all through the eyes of our sweet 2 year old. His favorite present has definitly been his Buzz Lightyear. It goes EVERYWHERE with us. He is a "Toy Story" loving boy.

Christmas Eve

This year we had to do a little scheduling to get all the Christmas rounds made but I think it turned out pretty well. We were definitly exhausted by the end but Isaiah had an amazing time and really that's what it is all about. My parents, aka Cappy and Ebbie, came over on Christmas Eve. We exchanged our presents, ate a yummy dinner, played with Bullseye and Woody, got horse back rides and the adults watched "Christmas Vacation" after little buddy crashed. We even made it into a slumber party! It was a super fun night and we are looking forward to this "new tradition".

Zoo Lights

We went to the Memphis Zoo to see all the Christmas lights and the farm animals. I think Isaiah's favorite part was petting the goats. He actually tried to climb in the pen with them. Hilarious! He also took his first ferris wheel ride. I have never really been nervous on a ferris wheel before but I sure was this night. He also had his first funnel cake. YUMMY!