Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Refresh My Soul Weekly Devotional

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The weekly Devotional can be found here.

Don't forget that Monday is Marriage Monday over at Chrysalis.
Topic: The Crazy Way We Met-Should be fun and yes I have a story that goes along with this devo.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yikes!!!

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Hey y'all! With the Live, Love, Laugh Conference coming up this weekend there is MUCH to be done. I feel like a contestant on the last challenge of the Apprentice. I love this stuff but so much to be done. Besides the fact that I am a wife and mom first with all the stuff we have been dealing with forces me to take a small bloggy break. I will blog if I get a chance but probably not until after the weekend. Expect pics and a wonderful update! I will be with these bloggers..........
Stephanie
Micca
Amy
Kara
What a blast that will be huh?
Miss you all. Much love!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

Please lift a prayer.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

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Join us here.
This song has always helped me through trials. Since we are in a season of trials I wanted to share it. It is by Ginny Owens and it is called "If You Want Me To." My favorite verse is "I will walk through the fire if you want me to." If is a beautiful song and the whole thing is good. Enjoy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We Made It!

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Well, today was our last "official" school day for the year! We made it past our first year of homeschooling and boy can I tell you I absolutely have loved it! Sure, we had some difficulties along the way but those would have occurred in school regardless to where we had it. It is just a relief to know we survived and can do this.

So, I preregistered for our next school year where I will have a Kindergartner and first grader, ordered their curriculum, and celebrated with them their hard work and what is yet to come!

It sure is a great feeling. Now, does that mean we halt learning? Absolutely not. I told them to still expect us doing work just not as long. We live a lifestyle of learning and there are times when they do not even know what I am doing is "school." I like it like that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Live Well Wednesday

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Just an update to let you know all is well. We are living a lifestyle of balance in all areas. God is showing us so much. It is a whole family thing so that is the best way and I believe it will continue to work for us. Hope you all are doing well.

To follow others go here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chiari Update

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Hey you all I have the best praise and I am doing a praise dance right now! :) God really showed up on our behalf today with Tony and the doctors. After the neurologist saw the neurosurgeon's report (never thought I would use those two words in a sentence), and the progression of my hubbie's symptoms he has decided it would be best to send him to a Chiari specialist. Since there are no specialists in our area he is going to call the two big hospitals not too far from us and find out who the specialist is there. Now this was done on his own free will. He just decided and called Tony which is unheard of! We know this happened because of the fervent prayers of the saints! God moved on our behalf. Thank you all for your prayers.

Now we are asking that the Lord will direct our steps. Send the angel of the Lord before us to prepare the way. Get us connected with a doctor who has wisdom on how to treat and move forward. We are so excited at what God does and can do. It is always best when you fight on your knees and see how God moves our our behalf. Know we are continuing too to ask for healing too. We only want God's will to be done and whatever will bring Him the most glory.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

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My goal is to just be real with you all. There are so many people hurting out there and many with chronic illnesses. I had one 10 years ago for 7 years and then God miraculously took it away. I am so thankful to Him for that. The road was hard but I would not trade it for the world because it made me radically fall in love with Jesus even more. Yet the danger in trials is that we can also fall away. I hung just on the edge at times through this journey but came to the point of complete surrender and was really okay with whatever God decided. I praise Him in His grace and mercy that He healed me because it was nothing I deserved.

Now we are going through this again but my husband and I have switched roles. I am now the one who is well. He is the one with a chronic condition now. The similarities were we both had conditions that are pretty rare at least for this area. I have seen more doctors and specialists than I can count and now we are headed down the same path with him. Some of these doctors are very lacking when they do not understand what is going on. They make you seem like it is all in your head. It makes me so dang mad. It is not how God would want others to be treated. Would they treat their own family that way?

Anyway, after a bad appointment this week and seeing all that this was doing to my husband I just needed a good all out cry fest with God. Ever been there? So, I went to my favorite God spot all alone and popped my friend Stephanie's CD from Notes from the Soul in. I just love her songs. God has really anointed and gifted her with worship. There are two songs of hers that really were a blessing to me during this hard cry fest time. I came out praising God. So, I wanted to share the lyrics with you.

Speak to Me
by Stephanie Parson
Speak to Me, Father in this moment speak to me, You alone hold everything I need. Speak Father, Speak to Me.

Speak to me, Father in this moment I am weak. But You alone are everything I need.
Speak, Father, Speak to Me.

I am waiting, anticipating You, Take what's breaking, restore it with Your truth.
Speak, Father, Speak to Me.

AND

The Battle
by Stephanie Parson
Here's another arrow. Shot by the enemy.
Handcrafted to deceive me, and bring captivity.
But this time, I'm smarter and stronger than before.
I won't be chained to this, victory's in store.
But,
Chorus
The battle is hard, the battle is long.
Pulls you through the desert.
You've gotta be wise, you gotta stand strong,
When you face the enemy.
Listen for the truth, don't believe the lie.
You are His and child you matter.
When you feel like giving in remember,
Our God fights for keeps.

You don't have to be afraid, or give up in defeat.
He's given all you need; you'll find it on your knees.
So, raise a shield of faith, stand upon His word.
Pray only in His name fight only for the Lord.
Chorus

Some Random Updates

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Some of you have been wondering about my husband's condition. Basically this is a more rare condition and not many docs in our area know how to deal with it. This pic is not of my hubbie's brain but one I just picked up from my favorite picture site. Basically Chiari Malformation is when your brain descends a bit into your spinal column. It disrupts the flow of spinal fluid and can press on the brain stem causing a number of symptoms due to the complexity of nerves and stuff back there. If you know someone out there with this or have any other info please let me know about it. We are really having to research this on our own.

If you want to read more about it you can go here.

So far this has been really discouraging because the doctors we have seen here really do not understand this condition and are just pushing my hubbie off. I really cannot stand when this happens. They make him feel like he is an inconvenience. HELLO-why get into the practice of medicine if you are not ready for the challenges and even more so if you do not even have a love for people. Lord, help them. He will deal with that for sure. I am guessing we will have to go to a real treatment center to get him the proper care. So we are praying about all of this.

Last night I got to see Stephanie from Notes from the Soul. Also, my prayer partner Tiffany is in that pic too-she has an amazing voice as well. I had to sneak out of my prayer walking meeting which was so good too. I cannot wait until I get to go on this trip to Malta. God is going to do some good stuff. So back to Stephanie, I just love her so much! She is leading our worship for our conference at our church in May. I am so excited because God made her for this. She put of picks of it on her blog. I hope to put mine up too but for now go over there and see hers. It was so neat to see her again. You Georgia gals are so blessed to have her now.

And about my modesty talk. It went really well. One of the other women teachers dressed up with really tight short shorts and a really tight low cut top that exposed her belly. It was so funny. I wanted them to see that this type of dress is not attractive. We discussed it and decided it was really not "what to wear!" It was so funny!-Thanks for being a good sport, N, because I do not think I could have done that but I sure laughed til my side hurt. Those girls are so darn funny. We discussed God's word about modesty, guys, and what is going on in their world regarding it. It was good stuff.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Wonderful Gift

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You know God is so good and when you think He cannot get any better He always shows off! I am so in love with Him. Not because of what He does for us but because of who He is. I cannot imagine a life without this most wonderful relationship.

If you are a regular reader here, you know life has been really difficult for us lately. Due to my husband's recent diagnosis of Chiari 1 Malformation of the brain, one day everything was fine and the next our lives were severely change. Many things have been affected for us. The best word to describe our life right now is "hard." But despite the hard times, God is good. He is constant and never lets us down. His grace has been sufficient and He is our strength.

Then someone asked me to consider asking the deacons to pray for Tony. I thought about this because of what it says in the book of James. "If anyone is sick he should call on the elders to pray." I just could not ask. I knew I could not stand any other disappointments in my life and the off chance that I was given a no or just brushed off would have devastated me. You see the body of Christ, his bride, is suppose to operate as Scripture states. Often times I observe this not happening. Like the Casting Crowns song states,
But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way
What I did instead is take this to God. I asked Him to work this out if that was His will. He knows my fragile state and I poured it all out to Him. I was okay with whatever happened. God stirred the hearts of some of these men. They came over tonight to minister to and pray over my husband.

I am so in awe of God. Men need other men to minister to them. There is something that is so beautiful in that. I am just praising God for working that out and proving to me again that there are more out there, then I observe, with hearts for Him. We are the body and we all need one another. This simple act of faith immediately brought some healing to me. I am believing God for the healing of my husband's condition they way He sees fit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wordless Tuesday and Wednesday

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I just love this family pic so I wanted to share it. I am preparing tonight to share a modesty message with some girls. We have some fun things in store and I am titling it "What Not To Wear"....Please lift a prayer. May God be glorified in word and deed. I may blog about it after it is done.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Living With Purpose

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I am over here today. Check out the devotions for teens. Spread the word!

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come" (Psalm 71:18).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

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It is Then Sings My Soul Saturday again! So, this is one of my favorite songs especially when dealing with the difficulties of life. It is called, "Trading My Sorrows" and the verses they sing from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 are the best. I am taking the words from the CEV and putting them here but the song uses a different version. It is a great praise and pick me up kind of song! Enjoy.

"We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again."



Full of Grace Award

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E-mom has awarded me with this nice looking award! Thanks e-mom. It was in honor of her gracious contributors this month to Marriage Monday. The topic was Is Marriage for Happiness or Holiness? Check out her site to read the many different responses. Thanks for hosting it e-mom! I am always blessed by it.

So, I decided that I would give this award out to all of you who were gracious enough to leave me a response to my survey questions for my upcoming book. It was a gracious thing for you to do. You all put so much thought into it and I really do appreciate that-especially when you could have been doing something else with your time. Thank you all so very much. This is for you!

If you have not given an answer yet to the questions and would like to please do so on the contact us button on my sidebar.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Feet like a Deer?

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We have been going through a rough time lately here. Oh man, I know life is hard but seriously this is HARD. Yet, we thrive. How is that even possible? It is only with God. I do not even know how anyone can survive the downpours of life without Him. It gives me great compassion for them-the kind that makes you want to shout it from the roof tops. Can you hear me?

Well, because we have been entrusted with some really hard paths, I have found great comfort in a little tiny book in the Old Testament. It is called Habakkuk. During his time, God's people were going through a really rough time. God was allowing discipline. Habakkuk could not understand it so he and God have a conversation about it. A very straight forward and honest conversation. I just love it.

The book ends with Habakkuk stating, "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights" Habakkuk 3:19. I just love this. If you are going through a rough time what do you make your strength? It is so important that it is found in the unchangeable and loving God we serve.

Then the best part is demonstrated how God gives strength. He makes our feet like deer feet. Think of how graceful deer are. Can you imagine them running and jumping in their swiftness. Even so as they climb higher and higher. Not one foot slips. They are naturals at it. God is training us through these rough times to continue the journey with swiftness and gracefulness even in the tough spots. He is our strength and will get us through. Not by escape alone, though sometimes that happens, but by training us to go through it. What a wonderful thing God does.

So if you are going through a rough time remember this verse. God is good and will always get us through.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Live Well Wednesday

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Hey all! I am still on the mend from my ankle sprain but we just got digital cable and on it there is an opportunity to see exercise instructional videos of many different types so since I have been unable to go to the gym this has been a great thing! We are incorporating it into our schooling for PE so it is fit fun for the whole family! :)

Also watching what I eat and eating well.

Quiet time is good too-God is showing me balance with all these things.

I can also happily report that I am finally able to keep the house the way I should as well.

Keep praying for my husband-He has good and bad days with his current medical condition.

To follow others progress click on the pear above.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Marriage for Happiness or Holiness

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Well, it is Marriage Monday again! To see what others are saying go here. The topic is is marriage for happiness or holiness?

When I first got into marriage I was very much into the "and they lived happily ever after" stage. Well that dream was squashed very quickly and then I was in complete and utter shock. What was a girl to do?

It took me many years to realize that marriage was not to just make me happy. It was a tool that God used to really make me holy. There are so many opportunities in marriage to die to yourself or submit when you do not want to. These things grow us in the Lord in our character and Christ-likeness. Holiness is a process so this person who you are to become one with will help you in this area and vice versa.

Many more years I lived thinking well marriage is only for holiness so I should not expect happiness of the fairy tales in and of it. It is just a childish dream and nothing else. So I pushed those feelings down. Then I realized that was a LIE!

God desires the biggest romance ever with us. Marriage is a shadow of that so it is suppose to be similar. It is suppose to be used for happiness as well. God would desire none less in the only earthly relationship that is given the high privilege of representing Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32).

With all that said happily ever after is not a fairy tale! It is real life for now and eternity. So marriage has both things going. It makes us more like Christ (holy) and happy. So live each day to the fullest and enjoy your life with your husband. There is a happily ever after so live like it!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Winner Is........

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Thank you all so much for emailing me and posting comments to the questions I posed for my book project. Your help means the world to me. I appreciate each one of you so very much. Please keep the prayers coming as I labor over this project. :)

So the winner is Tonya at Safe in His Arms. I emailed you already girl so just send back that info and your prize will be out. It is for a $10 gift card of her choice and devotional book
that I contributed to.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rescue-Then Sings My Soul Saturday

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This is a song that God uses in many different occasions to really minister to me in HUGE ways. It is a powerful song. It never ceases to calm me and lift my spirit sometimes through tears and other times through joy. Be blessed. To see others choices go over to Amy's blog here.

Just a Neat Blog Post

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Hey all! I wanted to let you know that my pastor's wife, Marilyn, has a beautiful and refreshing post over on my pastor's blog here. She is new to the blogging world and I was wondering if you would go over there and check it out and give her a shout?! She will be posting a bit this month while pastor is on sabbatical. I know it would be encouraging. As we all know there are many lurkers but it is really fun to get comments and as women being so relational just go over there and show her some bloggity love. We are family you know. She is a really sweet woman who is a godly example and loves the Lord. We are better off at our church because she is there. Please don't forget to honor your pastor's wives-show them love often.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Survey Question For You-and giveaway

 
******This post will remain at top until 4/4/08-Scroll down for new posts.*********
******Update-Just for fun I am throwing in a giveaway. If you answer the questions you are automatically in the drawing-please help me by spreading the word. It will include a gift card and a book. You will have a few choices so that you can customize the prize to fit you! :)

I am writing a book called, "A Girl's Guide to Life After High School." I am wondering if you would help me out by answering one of these two questions:

What is one thing you wished you knew after graduation from High School?
Or
What is something that would have made the transition easier for you from High School to "real life"?

Thank you so much for your help!

It is Finally Official

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I have a plane ticket booked for Malta for our mission trip! As I was viewing the various airports (which I love) the first thing I wondered about them was if they would have a Starbucks. Oh people I do need serious help. :)

Runner Up and 7 things

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Hey all! I just wanted to tell you that my article here got a "runner up" over at Vicki Courtney's blog. How fun! I am sure all the blogs mentioned are probably great ones to check out. I will be checking them as soon as I get a moment. And as a runner up I will get to have the article highlighted in a future issue of virtuousreality.com.

And for Jessie who tagged me and left a very nice comment about me on her blog. I am writing 7 things about me in no certain order. Check out her blog it rocks!

1-I love music! I would love to be a rock star but the fear of it drives me away. :) Of course it would all be God honoring. I am actually singing a song at a conference May 3rd so pray for me if you think of it. It is a rockin' song and yes I fell the fear arising. :)
2-I love dance! I would love to be a dancer too. :) I actually did a lot of dancing and singing in my younger years-Danced many national competitions and sang in them too. Much fun.
3-I love Disney. Despite many bad things that it portrays there are equally good things especially if you always find the spiritual elements of them.
4-C.S. Lewis is my absolute favorite author! He is brilliant I tell you. I wish I could write like that.
5-I absolutely adore my children and think they are the most fun girls ever! I cannot even imagine life without them and I am a better person because of them.
6-I absolutely love my husband. We took some really hard paths but because of God's lavish grace we are completely turned around. I love him more than I ever thought I could. He is God's perfect and pleasing gift to me.
7-Above all I am madly in love with Jesus. Everything in life is about Him. So if you do not like Him you will not like me. He is my all and all and all I want is to be a good reflection of Him until I am perfected in Heaven.
 
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