Monday, April 20, 2009


Revelation 21:4 (NLT): He will remove all of the sorrows and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever....

It's been a really rough week. This is a tough post to write as my heart is once again liquefied and broken. This seems to be a familiar state for us and I wonder just exactly what God is trying to do as far as molding us and shaping us into what He needs us to be. It hurts. It's agonizing. It's gut wrenching awful. Yet, I know that as we go through these experiences that He is producing so much in us, helping it to take root and to grow. Changing who we are.

Over Easter weekend, I had some issues with our baby which led to a doctor visit and an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that there was no heartbeat and that our baby had died around 8.5 weeks. A D&C was scheduled and I am now on the recuperating end of things. I am experiencing all the pleasantries of postpartum only with no baby and that makes this super hard.

Some may dismiss early miscarriages as easy to 'get over' but it isn't. Somehow God integrated a mother with her child at conception. Her emotions, her physical and her mental all are connected to the baby even before she ever lays her eyes on the child. I have lost two before this one between Grace and Ryan. It still makes my heart ache remembering. It is comforting to know that they are in heaven and I will get to meet them one day. But for today, I need all the courage and comfort I can receive from our Lord. The one who knows the pain and agony of losing a loved one. God promises to be close to the brokenhearted. He has shown me that comfort through many friends and family who have also lost.

Our Aaron has been an amazing source of encouragement to me. At five, he amazes me with his astute understanding and compassion. I know that God has placed that in him and is developing it. We all are given gifts and it astounds me how God uses them to minister to others. What is even more astounding is watching a child use those gifts. One day as I was laying on the couch, I realized that he had cuddled up to me, folded his hands, closed his eyes and was praying for his mother and our baby. The tears ran down my face as I listened to his prayer and the compassionate understanding he was sharing with God. It was a short prayer but it was powerful. He also had asked me where it hurt. I gently told him that my heart was where it hurt the most. He's been cuddling up to me, off and on throughout the day, blowing kisses to my heart because kisses make boo-boo's better.

One of the questions we struggle with is...Why? Why did this baby have to die? One of our children came to me questioning why God would take a baby from us when we prayed for it. I struggled to answer that. How do you answer your child when you struggle with the answer yourself?

Sometimes there just aren't any answers. You have to continue believing and trusting that God knew best. Isn't that what faith is? Believing without being able to see. I believe this is just another experience in our lives right now that is strengthening our faith, taking that faith to a new level and making us believe and trust even when we just don't understand and nothing makes any sense.

The battle is on. We are in a fight for our faith. Satan doesn't care about us but he does care about the faith we have in God. If you have that faith, he is determined to smack it down until you give up and turn your back on God. Then he has succeeded. God didn't take our baby away to be hurtful or as his judgment on us but He did allow it to happen because He cares about my faith and the strength that it has. He cares about whether my faith is real and whether I can trust Him no matter what is happening to me and around me. Is my faith authentic?

My husband asked me, the other night, whether I was trusting God because we have no other choice or if I was trusting God because I wanted to. The answer was heart breaking to me. I think, sometimes, that I am trusting God because we have no other choice, because we are not able to help ourselves, because I have no control over what is happening. It's hard looking at your heart in the mirror and finding out how wretched and sinful it is.

My heart's desire is to fully trust and believe in God's promises no matter what my circumstances are. That, when I look in the mirror, that my heart will reveal the character and Christ-like behavior that is pleasing and acceptable to my Abba Father. I've got a long ways to go. A lot of work still needs to be done in my life and in my heart but I am so thankful that my eyes have been opened so that those changes can be made and that I am willing.

God gives me the faith and the courage to meet each day no matter how difficult it is to face. He gives me the hope to share with other's as we walk this journey. He is our strength, our courage, our provider and the lifter of our heads.

Romans 8:18-19 (NLT): Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter 2009

The kids love Easter time. They love coloring eggs. They love the anticipation of the loot (candy). Along with the candy, we make sure they know why Easter is a very special time to celebrate. Not only did Christ offer us the most precious Easter present, Salvation, but He also showed us through that how much He loves us. What could possibly be more of an example of that love than to die for my sinfulness.

One of the most exciting things that we are celebrating this year is that through Christ's blood God has offered each of us the gift of salvation which my five year old has accepted this very Easter. It is amazing to me to watch each of my children give their hearts to God in acceptance of His precious gift. It is the most precious aspect of me being parent who has been entrusted with these children to raise to love the Lord. When they finally come to the point of understanding and they give their hearts fully to God, I am so proud of them and the choice they've made. I continue to pray that each will make this relationship between them and God their very own throughout their lives.

It is amazing to me to watch how God has taken this relationship with our oldest and has lead him through a series of events just this past year to make it real to him. I pray that new understanding continues to grow and flourish as he lives his life and develops that relationship with Christ.

This year I found this cool Easter egg glitter pack for the kids to dye their eggs. I think Grace and I ended up doing all the glitter part. It took a little longer than some the kids were willing to wait for. So they put their order in for what color of glitter paper they wanted on their egg. Grace and I sat there and finished all the eggs up. Brad didn't want to participate this year which was sad for me. I do acknowledge that perhaps at some point, a teen may consider egg dying lame. Ah, time. It flies before your very eyes. At least, I have one last picture of him from last year which he reminds me that I 'forced' him into. Poor kid!

In Aaron and Ryan's little Easter bag, I got these really cool looking eggs that are suppose to hatch and grow a duck or a chick. Unfortunately, I didn't read the directions on the back which said that it takes about 72 hours. Aaron's hatched into this slimy duck in about 48 hours but only because I dropped it before placing it in the water, therefore, pre-cracking it. Ryan's, on the otherhand, is still in the water trying it's very best to hatch. I think we are going to have to help it along. I must admit that they were more patient with it than I anticipated.

I am so very excited that Spring is here and with it, the reminder that Jesus is ALIVE!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

In Faith and Obedience

I believe it is so important in sharing testimonies to God's faithfulness. It builds our faith up and inspires, encourages us to continue moving forward with the calling God has placed on our lives.

We had noticed that our next door neighbor had been home all week. This was unusual since he goes to work early in the morning during the week. So they had been on my heart as I wasn't sure if he got laid off or lost his job.

One morning, as I was taking a shower, I felt a real pressing to share some of the food we had with them. Of course, I debated back and forth for a bit thinking of how much we needed that food and how they probably were just fine justifying my decision to not go through with it. However, God just laid it out on my heart about obedience. When He calls us to do something, we better do it and not wait even if it doesn't make any sense to us. The decision was made to do what God had laid on my heart, to give the food in faith and in obedience.

It happened that he was out in his driveway working on his car. My husband went out there to ask him if he had been laid off and he said he hadn't. He was just home taking care of his wife who had had surgery on her foot. My husband asked him if he could use some extra food and he replied without hesitation that they could.

I loaded up several bags of canned goods and a few things from my freezer. Then, we took them over to them. Our neighbor was just amazed at the amount of food we were giving them. He asked us how we had all this 'extra'. I, then, was able to explain to him how God had provided in abundance to us and how he continues to provide. He kept commenting about how he couldn't believe that we have friends that would just give us food. I also told him that we were praying for quick healing for his wife which took him by surprise also.

To us, it was simple gesture. Nothing evangelical. Nothing super spiritual. Just purely trying to live life as God commands us to.

The next day, we walked into church and a lady there said that she just couldn't get us off her mind. She wanted to know if we needed food. Of course, I replied with a yes as I was thinking about my rather empty cupboards. She loaded up our car with groceries from the church pantry. That evening, I had another neighbor come over to tell me she put us on her prayer list at her church and that their church wanted to bring over some groceries that week. They showed up with eight bags of groceries. A couple days later, a friend showed up with fresh vegetables, salad, and potatoes from the market. And then finally, another woman gave me meat and ice cream from her freezer. At then end of the week, my oldest son commented that we had been given more than we gave.

That was an important lesson on obedience and I couldn't have taught that to my kids any better. God is our provider and we need to trust that He knows best. He has already set the path before us.

Another thing that happened just this past week was that we were out of milk. We go through about a gallon a day so this is always a need. It had been a particularly tight week financially so my husband took my hand and as we stood in the kitchen, he prayed that God would provide milk. Within four days, we had ten gallons of milk.

I totally believe that God will provide when we pray but when it truly happens and over what I expect, it is overwhelming. God promises to provide and we are living examples that He does what He promises. As His children, we are not dependent on this economy. His ways are higher, wider, and deeper than anything we can imagine. Trust Him, obey Him and live your life for Him. You will be amazed at what He does.