Monday, November 21, 2016

Today I am thankful for FAITH


Not just wishful thinking or a hoping for

Not putting it in this world

But a pure confidence in claiming the promises of Jesus.

It's not about having MORE faith, but about putting my faith confidently in the right ONE.

Putting it in The One who never disappoints.

It's clinging to Jesus.

When all around me gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

It's confidently hoping for the things unseen.  For eternity.  For the things that truly matter.

I am so thankful for faith.  For without it, my relationship would be so rule bound. So legalistic.  So robotic.  But Jesus has given us the opportunity to "make it our own."  To give us a free will to seek after Him.  To allow us to rebel, and question.  To trust in Him when nothing else makes sense.  To have confidence in Him when the circumstances around me seem to not make sense.

I am so thankful for the opportunities that stretch my faith.  For the questions, for the doubts, for the insecurities.  For it's in these fires that my faith is refined.  It's tested.  Hopefully it doesn't just come out stronger, but it comes out more confident in the one I put my faith in.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today I am thankful for life that has been set apart before it was even formed!

I will just warn you right now that I'm sure this will offend someone who reads this, so don't say I didn't warn you.  This is heavy on my heart today, and I feel led to share.

Today I give thanks for life.  Life begins at conception.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."  Jeremiah 1:5.

This is a promise that God knew us before he even FORMED us.  So EVERY life is important and begins immediately.  How anyone thinks they should have the "choice" to be able to say if that life lives or dies is beyond my comprehension.  Before you start arguing, I'm not passing judgement on anyone who has made that "choice" to end their babies life.  I am truly saddened and feel for the hurt and pain you have and still probably experience.  And no sin is greater than any other.  My God can forgive ALL our sins and give us a fresh start.  Praise Him!

Maybe I feel strongly about this because I have lost two babies in the womb.  Our first miscarriage was 7 years ago on April 6, 2009.  It was the deepest pain I have ever experienced.  I have a blog post about it.  Our second loss was just 7 months ago, also on April 6, 2016.  Today was my due date.  How "ironic" they happened on the day, just 7 years apart?  I think not.  For God had their days numbered before they were even formed.

I know they were real.  I know they were in the womb.  I know life had begun.  I haven't really shared about this most recent loss.  Maybe because I've been busy keeping up with my husband, 6 year old and 3 1/2 year old.  Maybe because the pregnancy was a surprise, and it was a weird thing to process.  Maybe because it's a process, and I'm not sure where I'm at.

For those of you that have experienced this, you understand this pain.  A silent pain.  A loss.  A death.  A mourning.  But one that doesn't have much closure.

I feel like I was blessed with a little bit of closure this time.  For we had been to the doctor at 9 weeks and I was able to see this picture on the screen.  They asked if I wanted a printed picture.  I was in a daze but said "yes."  How thankful I am for this.  At just 9 weeks you can see the baby.  It was real.  There is no "choice."  It had been given life for those few short weeks.  And now, it has eternal life.

I knew immediately something was wrong because the first thing they show you on an ultrasound is the heartbeat.  They show you how fast it is going.  At 9 weeks, it should be going strong.  I just saw this picture.  And then nothing.  Silence.  It was strange, because I just had a bad feeling about it before I even walked into the doctors office that morning.  The next few days were a blur, and then life "went on."  But it's a hard grief to explain.  Maybe Levi says it best:

A quote from "Through the Eyes of a Lion" by Levi Lusko who lost his daughter at 5 years old:

"With grief, the horrors gradually subside but never go away entirely.  When something is stripped out, there is always a hole.  God is good enough to coat the raw and jagged edges in grace, if you will let him.  The pain in your life will remain, but like an oyster that covers an unwelcome irritant, layer by layer, to protect itself, we can turn it into a pearl."

Because of Jesus, we all have hope.  Because of the hope he gives us, even in the worst storms, we have an anchor for the soul.  Hope is a confident expectation that all is not lost because Jesus is our living hope.

Another quote from him:  "God has taught my heart to sing again, and tucked away in the minor key, I hear his promise of all that is yet to come."

From the great hymn The Solid Rock:
When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

God will put to use what he puts us through.  Life is all about perspective.

On a day when there is so much division and hatred in our country, take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  God has not promised us an easy life, or for our country to be prosperous, or for us to have great Godly leaders.  We turned our back on him as a nation years ago.  We are a country full of imperfect people, electing imperfect people.  But He has promised us that He is in control, that He is good, and that He never changes.  He is not finished with us yet, or His second coming would have already happened.

We must pray.  We must love.  We must respect.

So today my perspective is to give thanks for this beautiful little life I was privileged to carry for 9 weeks.  I am thankful that God honors and ordains life from the very beginning.  EVERY life matters.  EVERY baby matters.  Praise God for this indescribable gift.

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7

Today I am thankful to be an Aunt.  My second nephew Matt was born on this day 10 years ago.  I love him.  I love his personality and the way he tackles life.  Kayla takes a lot after her cousin Matt.  I am realizing I don't have too many pictures of him and I.  :(

I love you, Matt.  Thank you for being you.  Wild, fun, adventuresome, and never afraid to tackle what lies before you.

I am blessed with 8 nieces and nephews, and I could do an entire post about each one of them.  But to keep it short, I will say I am so grateful for the relationships and opportunities I have to build with each one of these precious people.  I know it is a huge blessing that we are all close, and that we have these relationships, and for that, I am THANKFUL!

ANNIE!!!  I need some pictures of you!!!  :)

Yesterday I was thankful for...

This young lady...

My beautiful sister!

Thankful for a spontaneous trip to Spokane yesterday evening to celebrate our birthdays!  Yes, hers was in July, but sometimes life gets in the way.  Mine was just last week, and she was gracious enough to treat this older sister to a yummy dinner with even better converstaion and over 2 hours of carefree, no-list, no-kids, no-agenda, Target shopping.  Why yes we roamed target...and made this "meme" come to life...

with my sister and a Starbucks in hand...

Does it get much better than that?!

There are so many things I could say about this fabulous sister of mine, but tonight, "thank you" for being my friend, my companion, and someone I can just be myself around.  Thank you for always keeping me young with fun adventures.

 Surviving the Olympic Park tube rides!

 Luke Bryan @ Salt Lake City!

 Why yes, we had LB PIT seats!  

 Why yes, it was a team effort to "catch" Little Big Town's guitar pick! 

 Why yes, the trip included In-And-Out Burger!

 Enough Said :)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lots to be thankful for on this Sunny Saturday

Today I give thanks for a warm sunny Saturday of 65 degrees on November 5th!

It was a day for sleeping in and no agenda.

It was a day to be home with my girls.

It was a day for doing a few last things in my yard before winter sets in.

It was a day for sidewalk chalk and kicking balls around in the yard.

It was a day for finding worms and making homes for them in glass jars.

It was a day for stopping to take in the beautiful creation all around us.

It was a day for sisters to make memories together.

It was a day for rest time, to revive the soul.

It was a day to practice some swimming skills at the aquatic center.

It was a day to celebrate Matt's birthday with the family.

It was a day to rest, to recharge, to take in the everyday beauty around me.  To enjoy the girls, to enjoy where we live.  To be so in the moment that I forgot to take a picture to remind us of the day.  The memories are etched in my mind.  Thank you, Lord, for all the things we tasted and saw today!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Today I give Thanks...

For all of the wonderful people who have helped us with the First Friday ministry.  We felt lead to serve families in the same stage of life as us by provided an opportunity to give parents a night off--free of charge.  We prayed about it for several months, and continued to feel the Lord tugging at our heartstrings to join Him in serving those around us.

It has been 2.5 years and we couldn't do it without the many helpers who give of their time and energy.  We continue to meet on the First Friday of each month and continue to see new kids come each month.  We have seen 96 kids come since we started.  We average about 25-30 each month.  We are so blessed to be a part of this ministry!

I know I will forget someone, but I'm going to attempt to list their names here.

We are THANKFUL for you.  Sydne Weerts, Nelda Strevy and Armeda Hayer serve month after month.  Tirelessly.  Without complain.  They WANT to be with these kids.  We are so blessed.

Others who have helped:  Pastor May, Pastor Steve, Pastor Dean, Dean Gibler, Freda, Dean and Wayne Miller, Jamie Kinley, Justin and Bridgett Morgan, Becky Elfers, Loretta Paulson, Alan and Cathy Morgan, Andy Carriker, Melissa Carriker, Jeni Tussey, Adam and Erin Kroll, Aaron Lawhead, Brenton and Heather Cammack, David and Shelby Ledbetter, Jamie Kellog, Darlene Kroll, Doug and Lori King, Megan Dorman, Carlena Schlunegar, Greg and Denise Huber, Morgan Willson, Holly Rimbey, Kylie Kackman, Riley Kincheloe, Emma Neu, Jaydon Soncarty, Chase Barelocker, Hailey Lomax, Airelle Grimoud, Dana Kincheloe, Cigne Reynolds, Norah Burrill, Lilly Swan, Averi Mackleit, Shyah Antoine, Greta Geier, Mark Morgan, Kimber Kelton.

WOW.  I'm sure I've forgotton someone, so please forgive me.  What an incredible outpouring of love to support young parents!

Not to mention those who have donated paper, money and other supplies to keep the ministry going!

THANK YOU!!!  What a blessing to join God where he is already working!  Come join us!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 3

Today I am thankful for my freedom and my right to vote. I filled out my ballot tonight. While so much uncertainty and unrest is amongst us in this election, I am thankful I know the one who is ultimately in control and who ultimately has the last say and who has already won the battle.

No, there are no perfect candidates. But we have a right, and we should use it.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2

Today I give thanks for life, for these girls.  They are a gift.  They have been entrusted to our care.  Not all babies make it into this crazy world we call home, but these two have, and we are so thankful for this time with them.  

They are beautiful-inside and out.

They live with passion.  They are unique.  They have a purpose.

I pray they find Jesus and seek Him with all their hearts.  

Psalms 139:14
"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Every life is precious.  From the moment of conception and that first heart beat.  For He formed us in our mother's wombs.  He knows each hair on head.  He has a plan for each of us, and He set that in motion before even time began.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sitting in my Thankful Chair

I find when I am grateful, I complain less. So in a month where we are supposed to be thankful, why not put it "on paper."

Today I am thankful for my incredible husband. Life is busy, he works hard, we don't have much quality time together, and yet, he still knows the way to my heart. He loves me--all of me. My good, bad, ugly and beautiful.

This is how my birthday started yesterday.... :)

The note said to go buy myself a donut or coffee or whatever I wanted. The card was filled with words of affirmation. Ways I feel loved. The day was filled with these texts:

Love you!!!  Happy birthday!!!!!!

You are a great wife and mom!  Love you. Have a wonderful birthday!!

You are so great at Serving your family! Thanks for keeping us organized

I am honored to have you as my wife because you Love and pursue the Lord.

Thanks for making my lunch everyday!

You are a great wife and mom!  Love you. Have a wonderful birthday!!

I am blessed. Sitting in my thankful chair for the man God gave to me!