Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review!

Christmas was wonderful! We had a lot of traveling to do, but it was all worth it. We were able to see so many family members that live far off and can't see very often. Selah had a blast playing with cousins.


Micah and Selah playing
Whack-A-Mole!

But, here we are back at home, getting ready to ring in a new year. I can't believe 2008 is already gone. So much has happened this year. There have been many ups and downs, but I give all Glory to God for bringing us over every hump, through His strength.

Here is a short review:
- Yearning for a place to serve in the body, we bagan working with The Deep.
- Lost Papa James suddenly to an aortic aneurism.
- Granny was diagnosed with lung cancer only 2 months later.
- God provided quickly for our mission trip to Mexico.
- Sleah turned 2.
- I was baptized on my birthday, representing my decision to allow God to lead my life.
- God moved mightily in our lives, teaching us to step out and trust Him.
- Found out Baby #2 is on the way.
- Received news that Granny's cancer had spread.
- Learned what standing in faith was all about.
- Car wreck.
- Joy of God's will being done and resting in His hands throughout this whole year!

One of the biggest lessons I've learned this year is that God knows best for me, and if I am just patient He will work things out better than I could've ever planned!

I pray you find peace and joy in the new year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas (aka Let the mad rush begin!)


It is that time of year, when we should all be recalling the wonderful gift that was born for us before we even existed. However, too soon into the season of giving, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting, buying, traveling, and even complaining. It makes me wonder what has gotten into us all! I am not innocent of these things either. However, I am painfully aware of this sin and pray for some wisdom from God as to how to change things.
Unfortunately, this is our society right now. Even filled with those who love the Lord, this world cannot turn away from this idea of business, selfishness, and me-me-me-ness (I realize that's the same as selfishness, just making a point).
God should be our focus, now and always, not how many lights we can decorate our house with, or how many gits we have under our tree. I do not want my child to grow up only thinking of things she will receive at Christmas-time, but what she can bless someone else with. Selah should be learning to reflect on the blessings she has been given, and praising God for them.
These are the things I want to instill into my children, but how, when the whole world is teaching them otherwise?
All I can do is show her how thankful I am, and give when it is not "normal" to do so. And pray that she will be affected by my actions, and not the world's.
I am so thankful for our health and safety this past year. The Lord has protected us in so many ways and I give him all the Glory!
I am thankful for having this year to spend with Granny, learn from her, and let her know what she means to me.
I am thankful for the provision God blesses us with everyday, that has allowed me to stay home with Selah. It is only through God's strength we have made this an option.
I am thankful that I live in a place where I am free to sit in my home and write this, praising God, and posting it in a way that it can be read by others. I pray it opens your heart to what this season is truly about, and encourages you to praise Him today!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Potty Training, Miracle Cure, and Baby










Selah is getting serious about potty training, finally! The other day she told me she had to go tee tee in the potty. Her diaper was dry and as soon as she sat on the potty, she went! She said," see Mommy, I tee tee." I was so excited, I was almost in tears. I was so proud of her!
She has gone a few more times like this since then.










I was so sick the week of Thanksgiving, my Granny gave me these wrist bands to try. She used them on a cruise because she gets sea sick. They are for traveling and motion sickness, but would you believe they work for morning sickness, too! I didn't think they would work, but I have been perfectly fine since I started wearing them. One evening I took them off because they were getting tight, and about five minutes later I was running to the bathroom!
I recommend them for any woman suffering from morning sickness.










Here is the latest sonogram we have of little Bob Joe. Look really closely... there is a dot right between the legs. Who knows, the name Bob Joe could have worked and made this one a boy!
Hahaha.

Well, I hope everyone had a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving. Ours surely was. We spent the week with my Granny. All she wanted this year was to have all her family with her on the holidays. This is her first without Pawpaw, and we are cherishing the time we have with her.
Please take every opportunity you have to tell those you love just how much you do, and tell them what they mean to you!
We are thankful we have the time to do that with Granny, since we missed it with Pawpaw.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just a small bump.

We had our first appointment with the doctor yesterday. Yes, we decided to go with a doctor, be in a hospital, not knowing what kind of birth we are in for. But he is a great doctor and is with us all the way for a natural vag. delivery. He is also a very strong Christian man, and goes to our church. I thought there might be some awkwardness, but it wasn't at all.
We had a sonogram and got to see the baby for the first time. "He" is perfect and looking like pretty funny right now. Selah was with us and we told her to look at the baby on the screen. She looked at us like we were crazy...she didn't see a baby on there! Soon, she'll be able to see it better and I'm sure it will begin to get her excited. But we did see my parents today and I took the printouts and Selah handed them the pictures and told them it was the baby... who really knows what they understand.
I am getting a little bump...I call it my fat-pack. It's not really baby, but I have been eating so much to deter the queasiness that I've gained a little more than I would've liked at this point. I will just have to start working on shaping it all up!
Well, here is one of the pics. The baby is upside-down and the head is on the left end, you can see the arms and legs hanging down.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A wreck and Bed rest!

Well, so much has happened in the past few weeks. Almost two weeks ago Selah and I were in a car accident. It was pretty bad, a double impact thing. A lady, I guess, just wasn't paying attention and pulled out right into us, hitting the back driver-side door. Selah sits on the other side, so Praise the Lord for that! When she hit us, the car spun around and we hit a suburban with the front of the car. Not only did we spin around from the first impact, but the door that was hit flew off of the car. The first thing I saw when we stopped was a huge metal taco folded up in the middle of the road.
Selah didn't freak out until she saw the inside part of the door laying across her lap! She was so good and calmed down when I got her out and held her.
The whole situation was very frustrating. I was driving my mom's car while our van was getting a new engine. The lady's insurance company has taken care of everything so far. I have been going to the chiropractor for some back and neck pain, but have been feeling good from that lately.
Here are some pics of the car!









So, we had just began to get past all the stuff with the wreck when I had some bleeding problems yesterday evening. I did not have any problems with that when I was pregnant with Selah. This was all very unsettling and I was not sure what was happening at the time...
So I talked to my mid-wife and she has me on bed rest for a few days, and that seems to have helped! I woke up this morning with no more bleeding! Praise God! Prayer really does do some much, not to mention giving so much peace in the situation.
I am feeling fine, no cramping or pains. Just really hating having to be off my feet for so long, hence the blog update. I just want to do whatever I can to keep the Bob Joe healthy!
Your prayers are coveted and needed. God Bless.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Addition to the Family!

Well, though most the world has already heard the news, I thought I would post some information about it.
We are expecting Baby #2! There is a lot of excitement in the house right now and also much anxious anticipation for what God's going to do until Bob Joe's arrival (that's just what we have been calling baby, until we know for sure and have an actual name picked out).
I have an appointment next Wednesday with a mid-wife for an exam and to get information. Until then my unofficial due date is June 19th-ish (that's right, Selah's 3rd birthday). It's nice for us to have babies in the summer since Bubba is home all summer. It was wonderful when I had the c-section with Selah for him to be home to help while I healed.
I am praing for things to go differently this time around, but am at a place where I am okay if I end up having another c-section, if it's God's will. This has been a 3 year process though, it did not come easily!
We would love to have a boy, but if it's a girl we have all the stuff and the clothes are the perfect size-season match. Bubba is really hoping it's a boy, though.
Selah is getting bits of the whole thing. She knows she is going to be a big sister, although I'm not sure she actually knows that means a baby will be living here with us. When we told her there was a baby in mommy's tummy, she asked if she could see it! I know, it's too cute! I think in time and as my belly grows she will understand more.
I already know how I want to paint and decorate the nursery, it's pretty uni-sex so it won't matter, but I saw it in a magazine and thought it was too cute!
Well, I added a due-date countdown to the blog page, so you can keep track of things, but rest assured that I will post often on baby updates, and how Selah is doing with the whole thing...Oh, be praying for our potty training. I would like her out of diapers by the time baby comes, yeah, I know!
Love you all...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blessed with a visit from the Burtons

This past Wednesday, My wonderful sister-in-law came in town with her hubby and three beautiful girls. They stayed with us for two nights, and it was so much fun!
Wednesday night we had dinner here at the house and then let the girls dance around the house to Newworldson for awhile. They were all so cute.. Trinity, 7, Micah 2 1/2, Selah, 3 months behind Micah, and little Emery, 7 months. They all loved the music and were dancing like crazy, even Emery.
video

Once all the girls were "asleep", the adults "relaxed" and watched a movie (non-animated).

The next day was Thursday, so once Selah and I got home from MDO, PJ and I took all the girls except Emery to the pool in our neighborhood. They swam longer than I thought they would considering it wasn't all that warm outside, but they had a great time.
I had to leave before they were done, so Pj and Matt took their kids and Selah to dinner at Grandy's and then to the Harbor. They got ice cream at Cold Stone, then walked down and got to enjoy some music by the lake. I think Selah really enjoyed having so much time with Trinity and Micah.
And Bubba and I loved having them all here for a few days, we love you guys and miss you when we are apart. We pray God's Blessings over your family and your ministry!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Abba...

So our small group, Deeper, started the Nooma series. I have posted a link to the video we watched Tuesday.
It was amazing. I was in tears and then I realized after a few minutes that the ony two people in the room crying were me and another mom. The vieo talks about God being our father and holding us throguh our storms. If we just trust Him and listen to His voice instead of the wind and rain, then He will carry us out of it. He know the way out.
Sometimes we are so busy worrying about the bad stuff going on in our lives that we can't hear God saying "I love you", " It's okay, I know that way."
so if you are going through a storm and all you can hear is the blowing a crashing storm, STOP. Listen for God's voice, He will tell you the way He wants you to go!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The best Birthday Ever...

Yesterday was my 26th birthday... not too big of a deal, but I was hoping something great would happen. Well, it did!
We were at the first service of church. After worship, our pastor got up and said God had something big planned for today, something out of the ordinary. We had a little more worship and then Pastor Brad gave a very short message. At the end he started talking about baptisms in bible times. "They didn't bring their bathing suits to a planned baptism. They just decided spur of the moment that they were going to be baptized, and they did it right then." So that's what he wanted to do today! He went on to say that if you have ever made a new commitment to God, if you felt the Holy Spirit leading you to a new start, then this is your opportunity to make the public statement.
Right when he bagan talking about it all, I felt a jump in my spirit and knew that He was talking to me. This was for me today! I turned to my loving husband and told him I was going to be baptized today. He said, "You are?" "Yes, I need to show the change that happened in my life years ago, and this is the first time that I feel like God is leading me to do it."
The Holy Spirit was leading it this time, it wasn't planned, it wasn't a show, it was full of heart... It was my time!
With a few minutes left in service, the sanctuary was empty. Everyone was outside in front of the church at the fountain. I walked up, took off my shoes, necklace and earings and said " I'm first!" Pastor Brad got in, and I followed close behind. The water was warm and it felt so perfect to be there, right then.
Then he said a few things I don't even remember and... I came back up with tears in my eyes. This was my outward expression of what happened in my heart back in college. I thanked him and got out. I was in my church clothes, soaked all the way through, and I didn't care!
It was the best birthday gift I could have ever recieved!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Caught up.

So, I'm sure if you're new to my blog you are wondering why I have 10 new posts today...
Well, it's because my previous blog had a malfunction, so I had to get a new one, and I really wanted to have my previous posts on it, so I just copy and pasted them over. That's also why there are no comments yet, so add some and tell me what you think. This blog is new and improved!

Mindful

This is something that I have been needing to write about for a long time now. It's one of those things that if I had written about it any earlier it just wouldn't be the same, though.
At the end of February, my Pawpaw James died of an aortic aneurism. It was very quick with no warning signs. The thing about all this was that we had no idea he was about to be gone, and didn't take advantage of the time he was here to tell him how we felt and how awesome we thought he was. And believe me, he was so awesome. We're talking about a guy who went 67 years and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was always happy and wanted to make everyone else laugh. He was there for anyone who needed help, and my family was on the needing end at times. There was never a second thought, and we usually didn't even have to ask... if he saw a need, he wanted to meet it.
Is this not how we should all live... looking for opportunities that God puts in front of us to be a blessing to others, since God has blessed us so much.
My prayer is that Pawpaw would be my reminder of that!
In April, we planted a tree in his memory, and if you knew Pawpaw you would know that he was looking on saying " Why are you going to so much trouble, I am nothing special." That's just the man he was, and that's why he was so special!
So for this ceremony we all wore his traditional attire... white undershirt, sweat band, shorts and tennis shoes. Some of us chose to write memories on our shirts as you can see below...
The whole weekend was really just all about his favorite things... we even poured some of his favorite beer in the hole with the tree.
We were all getting to a point where we had accepted that he was gone, we weren't happy about it or used to it yet, but we had almost accepted it. That's when Granny decided she better go to the doctor. She thought that the grief had just affected her too much. She was having a very hard time breathing and couldn't sleep anymore. After a few visits and a few more tests the results came back.. She had lung cancer.

What! How in the world does a women, almost 67, never touched a single tobacco product, get lung cancer. I went straight to my books, I thought I remembered this from college, and sure enough... Adenocarcinoma. The most common cancer in non-smoking women.
We were all in shock and I just worried how Granny was going to cope with it all. I mean, she hadn't even finished all the paper work that had to be done from Pawpaw's death, and now she was going to be dealing with chemo treatments on top of it all.
But, I was the one with the little faith.. in God and in Granny.
She is one of the strongest women I know. She has now gone through 4 chemo treatments and lost her hair and her husband and having pain unpon pain and is still smiling and laughing every day.
What problems do I have? Why do I not trust God enough to have joy through my sorrow?
These are questions that have gotten me to the point I'm at today. I am so thankful for so many things, but most of all I am thankful that I am not going through any of this alone. God has been by my side the whole way, telling me it is good, and He is caring for granny. I have an amazing husband who gives me every opportuniy to see Granny and helps me through the pain and hurt and questions. God has spoken through a friend many times to say that this is not what will send Granny home... she will survive this horrible disease and be a testimony to God's faithfulness. I am thankful that God held all of my family together through this ordeal and that we have become closer because of it.
Granny still struggles, but she is even thankful. She says she is thankful Pawpaw didn't have to see her like this. He would not have been able to handle seeing her in the pain that has afflicted her.
My heart overflows right now with emothion and understanding, but it is so hard to put in words. I am sad, but at the same time I rejoice for He art with me!
A quilt that was made out of shirts that reminded us of Pawpaw. They also added some special pictures.

The scripture reads " So I commend the enjoyment of Life, because nothin gis better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the Life God has given him under the sun." Ecclesiastes 8:15

FMMT 2008

That stands for Family Mexico Mission Trip...We had an amazing time this past week in Saltillo, Cuahuilla, Mexico. It's close to Monterrey, and in the mountains. The weather was absolutely wonderful. There was always a cool breeze.
I would have to say that the thing that grabbed me on this trip was seeing the power of God. I have never in my life seen God move the way He did while we were there. I have never felt His power in me so much as I did there. It was incredible. I want to have that feeling everyday, for the rest of my life. I don't want to know God any other way than that, anymore.
Here's a little of what we did there...
In the mornings we were split up into three teams, going to three different colonias for VBS. Our site was at La Fragua, and it had the most children. On the last day, we gave over 200 goodie bags away. That's a lot of kids in one small area, for four days. But it was a blast, and we actually had kids accept Jesus as their savior. Awesome!

In the evenings we had services in a few places for adults. James (Bubba) and I were with the Deep group, and we had some great opportunities for outreach at those evening services. The first night we were in probably the poorest place I've ever seen. We had a worship service for this neighborhood with music, testimonies ( I shared mine), and a message ( from my wonderful hubby). There were 150 people standing around us by the time James got up to give his message. And it was one of the best salvation messages I've heard in a long time. We saw people saved that night, as well as some people set free from bondages and oppression. One elderly woman came up to James and me after the service and couldn't stop hugging us and telling us thank you. She said that as soon as we began to pray, she felt free, from something she said has held her for a long time and made her sad and lonely and just trapped. She touched my heart so much.


The next night we had the amazing opportunity to go to a halfway house. But this is not any normal halfway house. When you drove up, it gave the impression of a huge compound, and then you got inside the walls and it was like a utopia. Everything was clean and manicured, which is very uncharacteristic for this part of Mexico. They have very strict rules here, and are always working, cleaning, or going to the church on the grounds. The men couldn't even look at the women, and visa versa, or there was punishment. This place was home to hundreds of men, women, and children, all of which had been involved in the worst crimes you could think of. So needless to say, we were anxious what we would be met with... But after walking into their sanctuary, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and knew God had big plans for us there. We were used in amazing ways that night. This was the place I was speaking of at the beginning when I said God showed His power, and humbly I say, through us.

I have never prayed so hard in my life. I have never danced before God the way I did that night. I have never felt the Spirit of God so strong inside me, and all it could do was pour out on those around. I have never seen hurt, brokenness, and fear melt away from the eyes of some of these women who have been forced into prostitution for so long. And all this with what we perceived as a language barrier. Now I realize that the only language God knows is that of love and compassion for His people.

I tell you all these things for encouragement and that the desire to experience something like this for yourself would grow.
Dios te Bendiga (God Bless You)

Leaving soon...

Well, Bubba and I will be leaving early tomorrow morning for a mission trip to Mexico. We are going with about 80 or so other people for a week in Saltillo working with a church there to carry-out a VBS program in three colonias. That is during the day. At night there are services for the parents to attend.
This year, however, the Deep will be going to a hang out to minister to the young adults in the city. I am so excited about this ministry opportunity and can't wait to see what God has planned for us there.
I am also a little nervous...I am leaving Selah for a week! I did this last year, but for some reason it is still hard for me. It's hard for others to understand. They tell me to just stay home and not go. But then I would be disobeying what God has told me to do. How easy it would be to stay home and be the one taking care of my child, and know for sure she is being cared for like I would want her to be. But, then, I would also have to answer to the guilt that I am not doing what I know God told me He wanted me to do, and showing little faith in Him to care for Selah while I am gone doing His work.

So, no, I will not disobey...and, no, I will not spend the week dwelling on how Selah is doing... Instead, I will go, joyfully, into the call God has laid out before our family. I pray this gives you faith to do something God has called you to do, no matter how uncomfortable!

Randomness.

When I think about my life, I usually see it in sections. Childhood, High School, College, Adulthood, Parenthood...Why don't we see our lives in spiritual stages. Without God, Getting to know God, Where should I go God?, How do I serve you God?...
It seems to me that this is how we, as Christians, should look at our life. It is a growing mountain. The more it grows, the closer to God we get, and the closer to God we are, the more closely our thoughts mirror His.
When we look back and see how far we have come, how much our mountain has grown, it encourages us to keep going. And usually at a greater rate and with more joy, praise to God, and excitement as we do so.
This is just something I was thinking about, so I hope it has sparked your interest and you think about it for awhile too.

A great weekend...

We spent last weekend at Granny's house with the whole family. It was such a great time. Ashley, Faith, and Emily came with us on Thursday night. Everyone else showed up Friday evening. There was a lot to do around the outside of the house, so the guys worked on that, and Johnny had finished the rails for the front porch which were put up Saturday afternoon. They look beautiful and make it so much safer for the little ones to play out there. That was one thing Pawpaw wanted to get done, but wasn't able to, so Johnny volunteered his expertise...Thanks brother. Just before Pawpaw died, he and Granny were sitting on the front porch and he told her that it was "Heaven on Earth". Since then she has wanted a sign with those words to put outside. We all had one made for her birthday and presented it to her Friday night...It was perfect!

The best part of the weekend, though, was the shaving of the heads... All the guys decided to shave mohawks to break the ice for Granny's shave. They are such great sports and I know Granny thought it was very supportive of them. Jake, Johnny, Bubba, and even Jake's best friend Casey got their 'hawks' and wore them proudly. We had already left by the time this picture was taken...

Selah's 2nd Birthday!

We had a great time at the house with family and good friends to celebrate Selah turning 2.
We put a few small bounce houses up in the back yard and the kids played for a little while.
Selah thought it was great that everyone was singing to her since, for the past week, she has been singing "Happy Birthday" to herself... Then we ate sweets!

video

Recent Visit to Lockhart and San Antonio

Last week we spent some time in Lockhart and San Antonio visiting family. Not only that, but we met some of the new additions...Emory Morning Burton and Clara and Jacy Portis.









Selah had a wonderful time at swim lessons with her Aunt PJ while her Daddy was learning all the secrets to the family BBQ sauce....a slight exaggeration on the whole wonderful time thing.


I was actually very thankful for those swim lessons Friday afternoon when Selah fell into the "mosquito pond" ( Trinity's name for the slightly neglected goldfish pond) at Mawmaw's house. Daddy was there to rescue her and pull her out of the slimy water by her shirt tail. He said when he got to her she was blowing bubbles and kicking her legs. As I carried her upstairs to clean the gunk out of her nose, eyes, and hair she sobbed, " I fell wawer...I bwow bubbuws, Mommy...I bwow bubbuws!" I was very proud of her! It was so nice to see everyone and get caught up on the lives we lose track of, but I must say that when we pulled into our driveway on Saturday afternoon, I was relieved!

A New Addition...


We have a new addition to our home... A gorgeous patio!

I have the most amazing husband in the world. He has worked on his days off and free time for the past month to make this thing happen, just to make me happy. He did have some help (Thanks guys for all you did)....

Yesterday, Selah and I had breakfast out there and it was really fun for her. This morning I took my coffee and bible out there for a little reading time.

It is awesome...

Mexico, Here we come!


Last summer Bubba and I went with a group from our church to Saltillo, Tamaulipas, Mexico for an awesome experience. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to go again. We will be leaving July 19 and returning on July 26. I can't wait to see what God has for us when we get there, and even on the way.

These pictures are from last year.

For Starters...


Well, I just randomly decided to do this. It is probably because we have so much going on in our lives that it is hard to keep in touch with the people we know and love. This way we can post recent activities or news, or just talk about what God is doing in our lives.

Really, I just think it is cool and want to be in on the new thing. I guess I will just learn as I go!

Our family now lives in Rockwall County, in a small town called Fate, so small in fact we are considered Rockwall. It is just the three of us: me, James (Bubba), and Selah. Selah is close to turning two and has reached her tantrum stage. But she remains to be a blessing from God.

The Lord has given us a wonderful and fitting way to serve at our church. We are members of LakeShore Church www.lakeshorechurch.net/ and are serving in the 20's group called The Deep. It is an amazing group of believers that are seeking closer relationships with other Christian and with God. I have learned so much from them and are so thankful God put us here.