Thursday, December 22, 2011

Matthew 2

We three kings of orient are.....
That's right!  Matthew 2 involves the wise men visiting Jesus!  So many prophecies are fulfilled in this chapter.  The wise men traveled to Bethlehem and upon seeing Jesus, fell down and worshiped Him, and offered gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Prophecy #1 "And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel."

Herod was King during the time of Jesus' birth, and when the wise men asked where they could find 'He who has been born king of the Jews?', Herod and his chief priests and scribes began to plot how to ensure His death.  He asked the wise men to bring back word of where this King was, that he too could go and worship Him.  In a dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child and destroy Him."  This fulfills Prophecy #2 "Out of Egypt I called my Son." 

When Herod realized he had been tricked by the wise men, by them returning to their home by way of a different route, he because furious and sent for all of the male children in Bethlehem age 2 and under to be killed.  Looking at my baby boy, sleeping so peacefully next to me, I realize he falls in that age range.  I cannot imagine...nor do I want to...what the mothers went through.  Did Mary ever hear what had happened?  Did she know that God provided protection for her baby?  What was her reaction, if she did hear the horrible news of what had taken place?  Prophecy #3 "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more."

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary and the Child, and go to the land of Israel.  They went and lived in a city called Nazareth, fulfilling Prophecy #4 "He shall be called a Nazarene."

I love rereading these chapters and writing about them.  It helps me to be reminded of all the prophecies that were fulfilled.  That could only be fulfilled by the Messiah.  Praise God for keeping His promises!  Great is His faithfulness!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Matthew 1

Again, I took a break from writing.  Not because I didn't want to!  Many days I thought about it, yet allowed my blog writing to slip through the cracks while Parenthood took over.  I just love my son so much and have to watch him every moment he is awake....and some moments while he is asleep.  He is just so, peaceful.  I wonder if God's peace that He has given us is supposed to look like a peaceful sleeping babe to the outside world?

Yesterday I finished my year long (+ a few months) read through the Bible chronologically.  How great it was!  I learned things I hadn't known before, and reaffirmed my faith in so many ways.  My view of God's sovereignty has grown exponentially!  While reading through the New Testament, I decided I couldn't wait to get to the end and begin the New Testament.  Of course I will read through the Old again, but I really want to share with you, and me, each chapter of the New.  (I probably won't tackle Revelation though in this blog....we will see how God leads.)

So, Matthew 1:  The genealogy of Jesus Christ, fulfilling prophecies of Him being born of a virgin, in the line of David, from the seed of Abraham.  And then the birth of Jesus Christ!  Our Saviour.  He came to this world for the reason of redeeming His children.  His story does not end in Matthew 1.  Nor does it begin there.  His story began at the beginning of time.  All of creation waited for this moment, looking forward to the Messiah.  A song was being written since God created the heavens and the earth, and the birth of Christ was adding a new melody to His sonata. 

After Mary was found to be with child, Joseph resolved to divorce her quietly, since she had conceived before they wed.  Yet an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him to fear not, but that Mary had conceived this child by the Holy Spirit, and that He would save the people from their sins.  When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did as the angel commanded.  And Mary gave birth to a son.  They called Him Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankfully Saved

This past week was Thanksgiving, which my family spread out over 4 days.  2 days were spent with my husband's family and 2 days were spent with mine.  I love Thanksgiving food and I love going around the table telling what we are thankful for.  I wish that we could keep going around the table for hours sharing what all God has been doing in our lives but alas, not everyone likes that tradition.

During my reading this morning of Colossians and Philemon, Thanksgiving kept being brought up.  Not the holiday, but the reaction to what all God has done for us.  How thankful we should be.  How boldly we should share.  Paul was encouraging the church (and therefore us as well) to conduct themselves in such a way that they would be thankfully sharing how Christ had redeemed us.  Through our joy and thanksgiving, through sharing our faith, Paul was praying that it would become 'effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ." (Philemon 1:6)

If we are saved, then we of course are thankful.  We have to be.  There isn't any other option.  If we have been saved we should be overflowing with such joy that His light pours out of us.  And if being redeemed brings us such joy, we should be sharing.  So go.  Be bold.  (I'm speaking to myself as well.)  Let's share our faith and what God has done in our lives to those who desperately need to hear the gospel.  Be thankfully saved! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Months

It has been two months since I experienced just what the Bible means when it repeatedly says "pangs of a woman in labor."  I don't regret a moment of my labor.  My birth story is beautiful, overflowing with God's grace.  I don't know what I was thinking believing that the pain couldn't be THAT bad.  I was wrong.  Still, feeling every contraction and pushing out my beautiful blessing from my Father was and is indescribable. 

But, this isn't to talk about my labor.  This post is to talk about the beautiful gift that God allowed my husband and I to create.  The beautiful gift created by the beautiful gift of love.  All because God, in His grace and mercy, looked down from above, fearfully and wonderfully knitted me together in my mother's womb, planned my life, and predestined this girl from Knoxville to fall in love with an incredible man from Chattanooga, vow before God, family, and friends to love each other through thick and thin, and then He generously allowed our love to make a beautiful baby boy. 

Breathtaking.  I am in awe of God.  I am humbled.  I did nothing to deserve the life He has given me.  But He wanted to give me this life anyways.  All I can do in return is seek Him first, let Him pour into me so fully that I overflow Him into the lives around me, and live every day as a Song to my King.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Song in my Heart

My baby boy is swinging next to me and I'm crocheting a frog beanie, enjoying a cup of Mint Chocolate coffee, and listening to a CD that has nothing written on it.  It didn't have a case.  I wasn't sure if it was a CD I burned while in college, if it belongs to my husband, or if it even had anything on it.  So I popped it in to find out the answer to those questions, as well as have music on so that little Roman stays asleep in his swing.  Turns out, it is a CD that a friend of mine in college gave to me several years ago.  The very first song captivated me.  I know I've listened to this CD before, so I am baffled as to how I didn't recognize the first song in the least. 

Needless to say, God wanted me to find this CD and put it in.  It is stirring my heart in so many ways.  I am experiencing a beautiful, blessed hour in my home.  Just me, my Father, and the blessings He has surrounded me with.  Most of these songs are perfectly focused on all Christ has done for us.  Drawing me into Him.  Calling me closer.  Reminding me of the Faithful One.  My soul needed this.  I needed this.  Sometimes, despite us being surrounded by Him and held by Him, we are still too busy to breathe in His presence.  Ahh, what sweet presence I am experiencing right now.  I couldn't help but put down my yarn and needle and blog this moment.  I hope that someone reads this and either knows this feeling, or takes the moment now to bask in His Glory. 

As I usually do, I'm going to share the lyrics with you of the first song that God used to draw me in today.  The song is called Beautiful, Scandalous Night.

Go on up to the mountain of Mercy to the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the Holy Mountain
Sinner, sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul in the fountain that flows for you and for me and for all
On the hillside you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross, justified.
And your spirit restored by the river that pours
From our blessed Saviour's side
You carry the sin of mankind on your back and the sky went black.
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night.
On that beautiful, scandalous night.
On that beautiful, scandalous, miraculous night.

Have a blessed day, friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desired Death

"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." James 1: 13-15

I have been reading through the Bible chronologically since last September.  I should be done by now, but have let things get in the way and am currently in my last few weeks.  It has been such a journey.  I read through the Bible when I was younger.  It was a rule in our house.  To get your driving permit, you had to read the Old Testament.  For your license, the New Testament.  Truthfully though, I probably skimmed more than read.  I didn't want to postpone my permit or license any longer than necessary.  I read just enough to give my parents a summary of the chapters each day.  Now that I'm reading through it on my own, desiring to learn more and soak Scripture in, I am enjoying completely.  When I'm finished, I will start again.  How important it is to eat our Daily Bread!

When I read the book of James yesterday, I was struck by these verses.  I knew them to be true, yet how often have I in my own life accused God of tempting me.  I might call it a 'test' instead to try and justify my accusations, but nonetheless I was wrong in doing so.  God always gives a door out to resist temptation, but He does not lead us into the room.  Satan does, to try and ruin our reputation, as well as taking down a few onlookers in the process.  As believers, we need to be clothed in armor. We need to recognize that our desires are at war within us, raging and trying to cripple us.  The Holy Spirit is at work changing us, but we give our flesh power when we submit to our desires.  And how often does it birth sin!  Before long that desire grows and grows until it brings forth death.  We need to guard our hearts.  Clothe ourselves in Jesus.  Submit to the Holy Spirit.  And pray for our brothers and sisters.  "Every good and perfect gift is from above," and in letting Christ pour through our lives, being visible to the world, we can allow Him to magnify His perfect gifts rather than us magnifying our broken lives that our wrapped in tempting desires and death. 

God has made His children beautiful.  And blessed.  "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Learning Grace

"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I'm currently learning grace.  I know God's grace and have felt it rain down on me.  Now I am in the process of being a which God can pour His grace through me and onto my son.  We are, hopefully, in the final days of his 6 week growth spurt.  To anyone who has had a child, you understand how trying this time is.  I do not know how single moms with zero help do this.  I have my husband in the evenings to help me, to take a shift of screaming, so wouldn't you know that the evenings are when baby boy is at his worst?!

I am enjoying being a mother.  I adore my son and am blessed beyond words.  I do not deserve him.  He is a sign of grace in my life.  Now every day I just have to pray that God will allow me the grace to show my son His grace and His love every day of his life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Problem Not Your Own

I'm sure we have all come across problems that are not our own, yet have adopted them confidently, knowing that some how, some way, we are going to find a solution and make everything better.  I have been in the middle of an internal battle for nearly two months now because of this.

I'm not going to go into the details simply because that is not what this post is about.  It is about letting go and letting God.  Every problem I hear about does not equal me taking care of it.  I know that prayer is powerful.  I know that God answers all prayers.  Absolutely all of them.  And that not all answers are what I wanted or expected, but all answers that God gives are the best answers there are.  So why do I constantly act as though prayer isn't enough?  Why must I try to fix things that are entirely too big for me to take on?  

I am constantly in need of God's grace as I continually stumble through life.  He must chuckle at me every time I try to do His job.  My job is to love.  Deeply and fully.  Even when it is hard.  

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails...There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord... There is surely a hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."  (Selection of God's promises.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I have everything in common with Christians

Is that true?  Do all Brothers and Sisters in Christ have everything in common?  We should.  Or at least that is the example that the Jerusalem church left for us.  Yet here in America we are too caught up with denominations, moral issues, who is voting for which candidate, and even which church sings contemporary vs. traditional that we have neglected to love each other and stand united on the front lines of the battlefield. 

I am not saying that issues where we, as individuals, take a stance are not important.  To each of us, our beliefs make up who we are.  We sometimes let them define us to our core.  But I believe that too long as Christians in this nation, we have let outside things that we believe define us rather than our belief in Jesus being the core of who we are. 

Acts 4:32 reads "Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common."  I have heard this passage preached on several times, and each time I am convicted by my lack of love for fellow believers, our lack of unity in the American church, and my unwillingness to let what is mine be yours as well. 

We, myself included, have to stop caring about ourselves selfishly, and start caring about each other.  We need to start loving each other.  We need to enjoy the company of our fellow brothers and sisters.  We need to encourage one another, build each other up.  We need to strive to be like our Brother, Jesus Christ, following His example, and following the example of the brothers He left to spread the gospel; we need to strive to be a church that has one heart and one soul. 

The church in America has become political.  We have conservatives and liberals.  There are issues that no matter how hard we try, we won't reconcile.  It is my belief that those things aren't reconcilable because we allow our ideas and desires to be more important than God's.  We let the world shape what we think 'should be,' and turn our backs on what God's Word says.  I've seen it, and it absolutely breaks my heart.  I can't express in words how sad my soul becomes when I think about the church being split on issues that are so clearly, in my eyes, pointed out in the Bible with no gray area.  How do we fix it?  We don't.  We can't.  But God can.  And we, as Brothers and Sisters in Christ, need (and this is not to be taken lightly or be convicted of and then forget) to become a nation that prays.  It isn't an option.  We must become prayer warriors not only for each other, but for the church as a whole.  We must ask that the Holy Spirit move in the life of the church, and move in our lives, to unite us.  For God to have His way with us.  To get us out of the way so that Christ can live through us.  And truly shine in our lives.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome Back

This is more of a welcome back to myself.  Over the last several months, I have taken a break from blogging...from writing really.  I've picked up a new hobby: crocheting.  Not crocheting just anything.  I've only been crocheting Baby Beanies due to being pregnant and wanting to purchase every beanie I saw. 

Two posts ago I wrote about how my patience was wearing thin while waiting on God to open up the door for Zane and I: where he was going to work, where we were going to move, our lives changing drastically with needing a new church, a new OB at 30 weeks pregnant, etc.  Wouldn't you know that God had everything work out?  All for His glory, and I wish I could have been more patient during that time.  More joyful.  That my trust in Him would have shined through more than my weariness of waiting.

So we now live outside Nashville, TN.  Which is PERFECT!  It might not have been what we had our sights on, but God brought us somewhere that feels like 'home.'  At least, as much as a place on earth can feel like home.  Zane has a job, we have found a church, I adore my OB, and we had a....the wait is over, baby BOY!

 Little Roman was welcomed into our family a couple of days after his due date, stubborn boy.  (He gets that from my side of the family.) 
I look forward to writing again as I'm inspired more and more by God, his gifts, and my family.  Have a beautiful day, and whatever God is doing in your life right now, be patient.  He will see His plan come through!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lullaby #3

I do not think it is any surprise at all that this will be a song I sing to my baby as a lullaby.  Of course this is how I feel!  I want my baby to never hold itself back from the beauty God created in this world.  May my child always be able to see this world through His eyes though, and not through dim, blurry vision. 

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
Get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance.  I hope you dance, I hope you dance.
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance (after all, the way that leads to Life is narrow and hard)
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making
Don't let some hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance.  I hope you dance, I hope you dance.

Dance, Baby Seals, Dance. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Waiting Still

Friends, it has been a very difficult morning.  As you know, my husband has been looking for a job after Congress' lack of action on a budget lost him two offers.  In this economy, we all know it is hard to find anything.  When looking in government.....well, let's not even talk about that!

I know God is in control.  I know that He has something wonderful planned for us.  I know that as long as He is with us we are extremely blessed.  But my goodness, has waiting been hard!  I keep reminding myself to wait upon the Lord, wait on His Will, and not to wait on the event (Zane getting a job).  Somehow, no matter how much I tell myself to wait on God, waiting is still so difficult.  I've found myself unbelievably stressed today as Zane is interviewing for an agency located in Raleigh, with offices in other states as well.  I can't eat--not sure if the nausea is from awaiting word from Zane on how the interview went, or if it is the baby letting me enjoy more morning sickness.  My stomach is in knots.  If I think too much about it I feel light headed.  And why?  Why all of this?  I KNOW that God is in control, and if this is not where He wants Zane, then it is not where we want to be. 

We want to be wherever God can and will use us.  We want to be used by Him, for His Kingdom, no matter what work environment we are placed in.  Oh but friends....wanting those things are so twisted with wanting the wait to be over that I am a mess.  Zane has been in his interview for over 3 hours now and has another 1/2 hour to go....  Please pray for both of us in this time.  That God, in His grace, will help us to wait upon Him.  To lean on Him.  To rest in Him.  And while we wait, to see His blessings surrounding us, knowing that where we are right now in this journey is exactly where God wants us to be. 

Have a beautiful day.  May you find joy and rest in our Father!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Caprica's First Dog-Park Visit

Well friends, we took our new puppy to her first dog park outing!  We would have taken her weeks ago, but until she had her first trip, we wanted her to get up to date on her shots.  And before she could get her second round of shots, she had to get over her pneumonia....I know, who knew dogs got pneumonia?!

We were so excited to be taking her to the dog park.  Moxie loved the dog park.  She was the life of the party, running up to every dog and introducing herself, running up to every human and sniffing pockets for treats, and ran around like a kid at the candy store.  Moxie LOVED the dog park.  She thought everyone brought their dogs there for her to play with.  She never met a stranger.  Tongue out, drooling, bouncing around, nub wagging, Moxie was the friendliest dog you had ever met.

So with Caprica showing all the same personality traits as Moxie (with the exception of Moxie's extreme fear of cats, paper, clothes---yes, she was scared of white t-shirts) we expected her to like the dog park too. This was Caprica's first visit:

Laying down, only interested in the dirt and not the other dogs.  Granted, the other dogs weren't really playful and one dog was aggressive with her...Capri is definitely not an alpha.

She would randomly get up from her spot in the dirt to drink water out of the buckets around the dog park.

So, that was our precious Caprica.  We took her somewhere, heaven on earth for dogs, expecting her to run and have a great time, make new friends, and free.  Isn't that what God does for His Redeemed?  He has these plans for us--places for us to go, people to see, lives to live that we never would have imagined on our own.  All He asks is for us to follow Him.  Trust Him.  Instead, we follow Him to a point and then decide we would rather lie down and not go any further, or drink from the same empty barrels we have always attained, unwilling to trust Him entirely. 

I have no doubt that Caprica will come to love the doggy park and she will one day jump around, tongue lapping out the side of her mouth, and think she is just the most special dog in the world with all these new friends to play with.  But while we increase her 'comfort level' with the dog park, I hope God disturbs us in our comfort zone, beckoning us to come and follow Him, whether we are ready, tired, or thirsty.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011


This is not one of my favorite things.....probably because I'm so horrible at it!  I enjoy being good at things.  Something like patience, a lesson being taught continually that I just never master, is not my idea of a 'good time.'  However, in my hubby and I have been learning a lot about it lately.

I've blogged before about strength rising when we wait upon the Lord.  How we are to wait upon the Lord, but far too often we wait upon the event and wonder why we aren't feeling strong.  Oh we are so weak when we are waiting on the event.  In my case, the event is the job my husband has yet to nail down.  And I know it isn't because he isn't qualified, or a great candidate, or not interviewing well.  The truth is he is the top candidate coming out of one of the top schools for his program.  So why is he not receiving offers yet....well, because that is in God's hands and He is at work in our lives. 

I was reminded last week by some girlfriends that when we first started asking for prayer, it was that opportunities would come.  They most certainly have!  Then I started asking that people would pray God would make it quite clear where we are supposed to end up....there were certain jobs that if received would be too difficult to turn down, so if God didn't want us there, the offer wouldn't come through.  Well, God has most certainly be shutting doors!  And then I, in my lack of patience attitude, get all upset that God isn't moving fast enough.  haha....if I would only slow down and see that God's timing is perfect and that He is right here with us, answering our prayers and guiding us this whole time. 

So, here is what we know:  our baby is on the way in Sept., our lease in Athens is up July 15, and we have absolutely no idea where we will be moving to, where Zane will be working, what church we will be at, how much longer my car is going to run (it has 250K miles on it, and I add another 100+daily traveling to and from work), a ballpark figure of a budget that we will work with, and that God is working something in our lives that we cannot even imagine.  What He has in store for us is better, far better, than anything we could have planned for ourselves.  So while He teaches us patience, our trust and faith in Him--the God who loves His children, always provides, never forgets--will continue to increase as we look forward to what lies ahead.  We may stumble and fall in our attempt to master patience.  But we know that God is good, that He is able, and that He will see us through.
"Be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, constant in prayer."  Romans 12:12

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mourn or Rejoice

The last two days I have felt a whirlwind of emotions.  I started this blog in order to tell you what God is teaching me, what I'm studying in His an invitation for you to join me on my journey, and hope that somehow, someway, God would use this blog as a light for His Kingdom.  But I know that if that is to happen I need to be transparent... honest...and willing to share my struggles.

Well, friends the last two days have been a struggle. has been a lot longer than that, but the last two days brought a lot of things crashing down inside me.  I've been discussing with myself predestination.  God is all knowing.  He is all powerful.  He is sovereign.  For whatever reason, God in His great mercy, let His Son, Jesus, bear my sins on the cross.  In His grace, He has called me His own daughter, redeeming me from an eternity apart from Him.  There are many reasons why we, as humans, fight the sovereignty of God....or should I say, fight the idea of His sovereignty.  We want to be in control.  We want all of our choices and ideas to be our own.  We want to take credit.  We want to be individuals.  We want to be self-sufficient.  And the list can go on, and on, and on.  But that doesn't take away from the Truth that we all know. 

As a believer in Christ, I also have to believe in the Sovereignty of God.  The Holy Spirit draws me into that Truth.  There is no denying it.  The same God that gave me cysts on my ovaries is the same God that healed me from those cysts and is enabling me to carry mine and Zane's first child.  The same God that chose my wonderful parents here in the United States of America is the same God that chose for the child in Romania in the baby orphanage to have parents that would abandon her.  The same God that breaks us is the same God that heals us.

For me, no matter how much I believe this, it is still so much to take in.  Then again, if I weren't overwhelmed by my God and the thought of all He is....well....that is a heart issue that we won't get into tonight.

So, in light of Sunday night's announcement, and the death of Osama Bin Laden, all of these thoughts that were already bouncing around in my head came to the forefront of my mind.  My initial reaction:  Praise God!  The next morning,  praise God!  And every moment since, praise God!  But me praising God hasn't completely been in rejoicing. 

When we were attacked on 9/11, my Pastor began asking us to pray that God would change OBL heart for His Kingdom, or that God would take him away.  Do I wholeheartedly believe that God allowed OBL death to happen?  Oh yes! And that he should be rotting in hell for his actions against Americans....the world...and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?  Most definitely, he should be. 

But as I've had time to chew on what is really going on in my heart, I stood ashamed.  Shouldn't I also be sharing in that same fate?  Sure, he outwardly killed thousands.  Tens of thousands with his many attacks.  But how many times have I killed in my heart?  I am usually one that is broken for the lost....but what I said to my friend yesterday morning at work shocked me...and was a revealing of what was in my heart.  I said, and at the risk of you seeing the ugliness within I will quote what I said:  "I'm pretty sure God predestined Osama to go to hell.  And that is where he belongs." 

Please understand that this is not me just trying to say what I 'should' be feeling.  I truly am wrestling with how I feel in my heart and how I know I should feel.  How I should rejoice in all circumstances for this is God's will, and how I should mourn also for the eternal separation from God. 

I know that Christians everywhere are struggling with their reactions...and judging the reactions of fellow believers.  I've done the same.  But we are not all going to agree on how we should respond to this.  Everyone experienced the attacks differently.  We all longed for justice in different ways.  But ultimately, this is a time to rejoice in God's will and the timing of His will, and mourn as well, for those who do not know Him, who do not worship Him, who are headed for a life of eternal separation from Him.  While I rejoice that Osama Bin Laden can no longer hurt anyone and that justice has been served, I mourn for the lost and for those who do not know God....for those that live unapologetically opposed to Him. 

I pray that God can use this time for His glory.  That somehow, someway, God will raise His church up to pray for the lost and to show the lost who He is....and for our reactions, however human they may be, to not get in the way of what our Father is doing.  And I pray that God will continue to break me and kill the sin within me.  I know that I still need to be refined in the fire, and I pray that God will do so continually.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I love dancing.  I love watching dancing.  It is so beautiful the emotions that can be expressed without ever uttering a sound.  I view life as a dance, one that we salsa to, swing to, and sometimes just get down in the dirt with the messy and grind to.  My one and only tattoo is in Hebrew and it is of the verb 'to dance.'  This serves as a reminder to me to let my life be a beautiful dance to the Lord.  And only to Him.
Lately my dance for Jesus has do I say it....pure elated next to exhausted.  Being pregnant brings out a whole new range of emotions for me, and surprises.  And the desire to 'train my child in the way he/she should go' is entwined with the fear of failing miserably.  How do we discipline and show God's grace at the same time?  How do we teach while unconditionally loving?  My parents did such a beautiful job....but when it is your own child, Lord give me strength to honor You in ALL things!  As I dance before my little ones eyes, may it be a reflection of You!
Today we had an ultrasound, and our little miracle is doing great (refer back to previous posts to see where cysts were going to make this possibility slim, but God healed!).  Our baby loves music and dances--well kicks and pokes from what I can feel--when we listen to Frank Sinatra or good 'ole hymns.  Today they had music playing and our baby was going nuts!  Pumping its hands above it's little head, clapping, twisting.  Baby has rhythm:)  And I long for the day when I get to see my little one, this precious gift of God, dance around in the living room (or on daddy's feet if it is a girl).  And I pray that this little one will one day know my Saviour as its Saviour, and be able to dance before our Father as he/she goes through life. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lullaby #2

This song is by Sidewalk Prophets.  I'm not going to list all of the lyrics on here, because baby hasn't lived enough life yet for us to talk when the baby hurts.  Still, when I first heard this song, I knew I wanted my baby to hear these words.  Then a few months later, baby was conceived:
Three in the morning and I'm still awake
So I picked up a pen and a page
I started writing just what I'd say if we were face to face
I'd tell you just what you mean to me; tell you these simple truths:
Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope
You're going to do great things.  I already know!
God's got His hand on you so don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray.  These are the words I would say.
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
Love will find you where you are
I know because I've already been there, so please hear these simple truths:
From one simple life to another, I will say, Come find peace in the Father
Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope
You're going to do great things.  I already know!
God's got His hand on you so don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray. 

These are the words I will tell you one day, Baby Seals.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baby Seals Lullaby

Friends, I just love songs.  I love music!  The emotions that are conjured up, whether with words or wordless, are indescribable in a well written lyric!
Well, Baby Seals needs a collection, so I'm going to start posting songs that I will also be writing in the Baby journal.  Maybe they will serve as encouragement one day to my little:)  If nothing else, it will always be a reminder to baby that mommy and daddy have been praying for its life before baby was even conceived!
So, I am going to start this with a song that Zane actually put on a playlist when we were engaged:  songs that he felt for me.  I'm sharing the dedication with the creation God is letting us make.
Rascal Flatts:  My Wish
I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads you where you want to go.  And if you're faced with a choice and you have to choose I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed I hope you keep on walking til you find the window.  If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.  But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, you never need to carry more than you can hold. 
And while you're out there gettin where you're gettin to I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same things too.  Yeah this is my wish.
I hope you never look back but you never forget all the ones who love you and the ones you left (not until college, baby seals!!!!).  I hope you always forgive and you never regret and you help somebody every chance you get.
Oh you'd find God's grace in every mistake and always give more than you take.  But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, you never need to carry more than you can hold.
And while you're out there gettin where you're gettin to I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same things too.  yeah this is my wish.

Baby Seals Craziness

I never knew pregnancy was going to be so difficult. Goodness....where is my glow?

Haha....I've wanted a baby for so long. I always wondered if it would happen biologically first or if we would adopt. From here on, I'm even a stronger advocate of adoption than before. I've been so stinkin sick. Nevertheless, I'm praising God for giving us this miracle after healing my body from cysts.

I started feeling the baby move about 2 wks ago....oh its little popcorn kicks! I was sitting in a meeting and felt something and knew it wasn't gas or my stomach growling....WHAT WAS THAT!!! All I could think of was Sigourney Weaver in the series aliens. I feel like my baby is trying to rip out of my stomach. Am I the only woman who wants to puke when her baby moves? Goodness....there is something moving inside of me!

Pregnancy has been rough. Between vomiting, I have constant nausea. The growing pains are...hmm, practice for labor I suppose, though I know these growing pains don't compare at all to how I'm going to fill as this baby rips me apart. Ok, let's not dwell on that. I told my sister-in-law several weeks ago that I'd rather my baby be tearing me apart then making all food and liquid come up. I definitely prefere pain over...regurgitation. (Maybe my mind will change come September.)

Oh, Baby Seals. How mommy is going to get you back once you are here:) Okay, no I won't...unless you don't get a full ride to college! I just love you, love you, love you (and will love you more if you can sing on key, and love music, and are athletic, and aren't embarrassed by mommy yelling at the ref's when they make calls in favor of the other team).

Oh may God give me the grace to not plan my child's life. He already has. And He has numbered the days. Praise God that His plan is perfect, and that this baby is fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. May my baby grow to sing His praises all the days of its life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Then Sings My Soul--Mercy

Good morning, friends! I'm so glad to be back blogging. I don't know what I was doing not writing! It is such a great outlet.
I have been hearing a new song lately on the radio that is so moving. It is one of those that you have to relate to if you have ever been through any sort of trial, and a song that reminds you that you are not alone during the hard times...that the hard times are quite possibly a disguise. This song I plan on carrying in my heart for the rest of my life, being constantly reminded of God's ceaseless grace in the presence of turmoil. He really does shadow us with His wings!
This song is very straight forward, so I'm going to hop to it. Cherish these lyrics. Let them penetrate. And please use this time to reflect in your own life on how God has been your strong shoulder, and will be there to catch every tear that falls from your face. If you are walking down a difficult road right now, be reminded of His love. I hope this song helps you to look up and let His face shine down upon you.
Laura Story--Blessings
We pray for blessings. We pray for peace. Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity. We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
All the while, You hear each spoken need Yet Love is way to much to give us lesser things
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
And what if trials of this life...are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom. Your voice to hear. And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love. As if every promise from Your Word is not enough.
And all the while You hear each desperate plea And long that we'd have faith to believe
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
And what if trials of this life...are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us; when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our Home!
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Friends, I have been away for quite a while! It isn't that I haven't had tons to write about....I just find it so exhausting being pregnant that all I want to do is lay on the couch when I get home from work.
But that isn't the only reason why I have been avoiding writing. The month of March was simply....exhausting, difficult, and one that my husband and I want to skip from now on. You know, just have 11 months during the year instead of 12. Maybe extend February and April to cover up the horrible month we just went through.
It started with me getting pneumonia, which was a terribly stressful time since I'm pregnant. Fortunately, the baby survived just fine in my womb, sucking up all the nutrients I was putting in, making it longer for me to recover. As soon as I was well, my husband received news that a job he was in the running for waited too long under federal guidelines to hire him under that particular program....waited 1 week too long. Yay for the government. A day later, our beautiful german shepherd/rottweiler 4 year old Moxie passed away due to a stroke. No sign. Completely healthy. I was working and received the terrible news. Zane was home and witnessed the whole minute of pain that took Moxie's life. Torn between grieving and trying to be strong for my husband, Frisbee (our little dog and best friends with Moxie), and our unborn child, I rarely let myself cry....which probably explains why every few days tears stream down my face as I remember my beautiful baby girl:( But, light was around the corner as a puppy, that just so happened to Divinely (thank you God!) be a german shepherd/rottweiler mix, born right before Moxie's birthday, arrive at the shelter the week of Moxie's death. We went to look at her....and it was clear. She was going home with us. But within a week, she came down with pneumonia! (Bet you didn't know dogs could get pneumonia!) Fortunately the shelter we adopted our new pup, Caprica, from, also gave us 60 days of pet insurance. So pouring out hundreds of dollars, we are now waiting to be reimbursed by the insurance.
Then, my dear Aunt Doris died.  I had only been around my Aunt Doris a handful of times in my lifetime, yet I knew she was a woman of God.  She is definitely in heaven with Him.  Still, there was no way we could travel to the funeral.  And her funeral was one that I would have liked to have gone to...witnessing people, while mourning, rejoicing in the life God allowed her to lead, and rejoicing in the anticipation she had of going Home. 
Then, to wrap it up, a title that my husband was sure to receive, that he most definitely earned, which would propel him through the Federal Government, passed over his name in their selections. Simply to say, I have been so held down by life and it always changing, that this blog was the last thing on my mind. But now, as I have time to reflect, be sure to stay here as I update you on a new goal of mine, the gift God gave me through Moxie, the growth of our developing baby, and some songs that are touching my life and sure to touch yours. In the meantime, grace and peace to you in our Father through the Lord, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rupturing Faith

It began in September 2005. I was sitting on the couch with my dear friend, Alison, when I suddenly had a severe pain in my right lower abdomen. I couldn't move. I felt like a knife was rolling around against my muscles, and it was all I could do to keep from shrieking in pain. Whatever this was new.
I was diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovarian Disorder in November 2005. While I didn't suffer the characteristics of PCOS as other girls might (facial hair, weight-gain), the cysts and the fact that I had stopped ovulating (when regular for 7 years) was alarming to my gynecologist...and the cysts became a regular occurrence in my life, rupturing 2-3 times a month. When they would rupture, I would curl up in the fetal position and wait for them to pass....the pain usually lasting 30 min-1 hour. I learned that spicy food affected the cysts, which was not really a problem since I hate spicy food to begin with. Also, for whatever reason, Honey Oat wheat bread from subway set them off. I know, odd.
One would think that when cysts are continually rupturing in your body, you would seek all of the details. I didn't. In fact, I just decided that I would never take pain relievers for them. I would see it as learning how to cope with pain better.
When Zane and I got engaged, it seemed a good time to learn all that I could about these cysts. That is when I heard, for the first time, that the likelihood of pregnancy was minimal. If I were to get pregnant, I should expect multiple miscarriages, with no promise of carrying a child full-term.
For someone who loves kids as much as me, perhaps I should have been more devastated. Instead, I went to the Lord. I told Him that He knew my heart, and either my faith would increase miscarriage upon miscarriage, or my faith would increase with the miracle of conceiving easily. And I praised Him all the more! I praised God that I was the one with cysts. You see, I have a passion for adoption. I cannot wait until the Lord opens the doors for Zane and I to adopt. I praised Him that this happened to me, someone who will have a beautiful child one way or the other, versus someone who may be against adopting. To me, this diagnosis just confirmed that God was growing adoption in my heart to lessen the pain of...infertility.
Well, the cysts became more frequent. And larger. This past July, 2010, I woke up to an extreme amount of pain on a Sunday morning, 7:30 am, and curled up in my fetal position waiting for it to pass. And waited. And waited. At 11:30, I texted my husband at church and told him I had to get to the hospital. This cyst was different. And for all I knew, it could have been my appendix.
Once at the hospital, they began testing me for all sorts of things. I explained to them that the severity of the pain and the length of time I felt it was uncommon to me. They had to confirm that my appendix had not been affected, that it indeed was a cyst, and that it had not 'killed' my ovary. Apparently, my cysts had grown so large that upon rupture, it could twist my ovary, which would 'kill' it. And the chances of me ever conceiving would lessen even more.
Up until then, when a cyst would rupture I would text a few people and say something like this: a cyst just ruptured. Please pray that the pain will pass quickly. When I left the hospital, I realized that God is so much bigger than that. I had not been trusting Him. I started asking my dear friends and family to pray that God, instead of taking away my pain, would heal me. He could. I knew it. And I asked them to pray that I would have faith.
In October, I was anxiously awaiting a visit with my gyno. It was then, October 13, that I learned my cysts were gone. Gone. My doctor wasn't sure how....but, it was clear. I had been healed. She must have thought I was crazy when I told her how God had healed me. But friends, He had. He has!
My doctor let me know how my life had changed. I was healthy. I could get pregnant. In fact, she said that it should come fairly quickly when my husband and I start trying, and even gave me some lollipops to help with morning sickness.
Zane and I didn't even get to try! We were pregnant before we could even map out a plan to try. haha. And here I am, 9 wks, 3 days, tired of morning sickness that lasts all day, but never the less...healed. God took away my cysts, and gave me a baby. Baby Seals may just have eyes, lips, ears, a heart, a brain, webbed fingers and toes, a spine, and a bunch of water to hang around in for the months to come, but this baby is a miracle. A miracle.
Zane and I still plan to adopt. Of course. But my oh my how our home is going to have a biological child.... God is good. Always. And in every way. And friends, He always will be. And one day, I get to share with my baby how he/she came to be, after 5 years of near impossibility.

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Where does love come from?

It really is impossible to answer that question without giving the Sunday school answer, 'Jesus!' Nevertheless, a friend asked, and after responding with 'Jesus,' she still wanted an email so that she could give her singles group a few ideas. You may find it corny, but I'm okay with that. Here is what I said:
Love comes from our deep need for attention; to be needed; to be cared for; longed for; appreciated; desired. It also comes from puppies. The way they look at you when they are hungry. Or want to play. Or cuddle. They need you. They can't survive without you. True, perhaps it is more of a dependence on you. But aren't we in fact dependent upon love? We need it. We look for it. We walk the world to find it. And when we believe we have found it, we say, "I'm in love." My new love is gentle, honest, kind, affectionate. My love has been looking for me. I hope this is the one. I want to grow old with this person. I love loving this person. My love makes me want to be a better person.
After the freshness of our new love-what we have been searching for-wears off, we realize that our love was not all we thought it was. And we begin our search again. Perhaps this time, or maybe after several repeats of finding new love, we find ourselves on the floor in tears, asking why no one loves us. No one needs us. No one cares for us. Then out of the darkness and tear-stained eyes, in the midst of sobs, we hear "I love you. I have always loved you. I have turned my attention to you since the beginning of time. I care for you. Long for you. Desire to be intimate with you. When will you realize that I am who you have been looking for all along? I am who you need. Come to me. Run into my arms. And I promise, I will never leave you. My grasp will never loose. Let me show you the love you have never known."
And through His love, we find everything to be more colorful. We see blessings we had never noticed before. And when He says it is time, He brings us someone on earth to share His love with, that will reciprocate His love, and our love becomes one that reflects His great love for us.
Love starts with Him. Ends with Him. And thrives when we abide in Him. Apart from Him, we cannot love. We love once we have been loved well. When we meet Love, He overflows into every part of our lives. And only then can true love happen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Psalm 139

What a special Psalm. They all are special, and beautiful, and true....but Psalm 139, there is something different about it to me. The idea that God loves us enough to fearfully and wonderfully form us, and has thoughts of us that far outnumber the sand. The Most High, Creator, Redeemer, Author, Finisher, Alpha & Omega...loves me! Loves you! Does that not at times baffle you? So, I just wanted to smother today's blog in this chapter. Enjoy how much God takes care of you!
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with You.
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written,
every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O GOd!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with You.
Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against You with malicious intent;
Your enemies take Your name in vain!
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Sometimes on my way to the office my soul is so moved by a song that it is all I can do to not speed (more than I usually do) to a place where I can blog. Then I arrive at work, and all I can think about is sharing in hopes that you will be drawn into worship and praise the way I was. And still am. How great is our God! When I heard the lyric, 'with all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings,' I began pondering if that were true. Indeed, yes. Most trees branches bend upward as they grow. Outstretched and lifted up towards the skies, in praise of their Creator. The mountains try to reach the heavens. The rivers and oceans declare the depth of God's love for us. The skies demonstrate how far He stretches His arms for us to run into His bosom. Have you ever, when singing songs of creation worshiping our Lord, actually pondered what that means? Right now, I desperately want to climb a mountain and just bask in His glorious light!
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy, holy is He.
Sing a new song to Him who sits on Heaven's mercy seat.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings.
You are my everything. And I will adore You.
Clothed in rainbows of living color.
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder.
Blessings and honor, strength and glory and power be,
To You the only Wise King!
Jesus, Your Name is power! Breath of Living Water!
Such a marvelous mystery!
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!
Who was and is and is to come!
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything, and I will adore You.

Have a wonderful day! Join creation in praising the King of Kings!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Then Sings My Soul--Childlike

Tonight I was helping at my church's Wednesday night Kids program, Kidzlife. Myself and another young lady help lead the music. These are not just kid songs that sing about animals going two by two, and putting your right foot in or out-shaking it all about, and about Jesus loving you this I know. These songs are deep (not saying those aren't...) and are so full of truths, and praise, and worship. One song in particular really struck me tonight. It is all about giving your all to God. As I was leading the song, I was looking at the kids faces and longed so much for them to mean the words they were live those words. Then, within a moment, I realized how beautiful it is when those precious kids actually DO mean the words they are singing, the faith they have in their Redeemer, oh, their childlike faith. And do we not have to have faith like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Mark 10:15; Matthew 18:3)
So, this is the song, written by Hillsong for their Hillsong Kidz album, 'Tell the World.' I hope you enjoy it, and please don't read the lyrics just to read them. Absorb them, and give them back to your Father.
If I say I'll live for You for the glory of my King
If I say I'll count the cost and offer You my everything
If I pray with all my heart my way to be Your way
Then I just want to live the very words I say
My God I pray
Not my will but Yours alone
Let my life be not my own
Until everything I am is just for You
So far beyond the words I sing
I'm going to honor You as King
If You live in me, I can live for You.
Not my will but Yours alone
Let my life be not my own
Until everything I am is just for You

And I want so badly for everything I am to be just for my Redeemer.

Happiness vs. Joy

A couple of weeks ago I was reading about how much God loves us...and how much happiness is not a part of Him showing how much He loves us. By human standards, if you love someone, you try and make them happy. By God's perfect standards, He loves us by doing what is best for us, which sometimes grieves us, sometimes excites us, sometimes confuses us, and sometimes just outright gives us 'aggalio', or ecstatic joy.
It is not God's goal in life to make us happy. He desires that our lives bring Him glory. Glory through the way we live, the words we say, the thoughts we dwell on, the desires we have....our lives belong to Him. He is the incredible potter. We are the clay that He is melting, breaking, molding, and perfecting. What a blessing it is when His goal brings us overwhelming joy. But, as a Christian, are we not filled with overwhelming joy anyways? We have this treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor. 4:7) that God Himself has put within us. Oh, the Holy Spirit! The knowledge of God! The faith in Christ and His return! How could we, as daughters of the Most High, not be overflowing with joy? No--we may not always be happy. But I will take joy any day over happiness. Praise God for the way He plans our days. Our moments. Our steps. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10) And I praise Him when those plans lead me to happiness. But when they lead me to sorrow, may His peace resonate so deeply that joy vibrates out of my life.

Monday, January 3, 2011


"I'll stop this pretending that I can somehow deserve what I already have." -Barlow Girl

Good evening. That lyric up above is from a song that I hear often, yet yesterday on our way home from Tennessee, I really paid attention to it. I pretend all the time that I can deserve God's love. Not out in public, of course. But in my devotional my prayer one-on-one time with my All Sufficient Father and Redeemer, I pretend that I can deserve His love. Like I can do enough, or say enough...or spend enough time with Him.
But I can't. The truth is, we don't deserve His love. Not in the slightest bit. We are evil to our core. Born into sin. Master manipulators and justifiers of wrongs. We don't even deserve to ponder His greatness! Yet, here we are. His creation. Made for His glory. And He loves us. Oh how He loves us! So dearly, and so entirely. He will never leave nor forsake us. He loves us more than we can ever understand. What we do understand of His love is overwhelming. Crushing. And I hunger for more of Him...and I hunger to learn how to love Him more.
Friends, we don't deserve His love. But He pours it out on us anyways. I need to learn to accept it, cherish it, and love Him more rather than 'doing' to 'gain His love.' Oh how perfect He is. How perfect I'm not! And He loves me anyways. Praise God!