Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Jesus Does for Me...

...He takes the shattered pieces of my life and makes a beautiful mosaic with His grace.
...He turns my cries of pain into tears of joy.
...He turns the water of numbness in my heart to the wine of His love.
...He takes burdens that are crushing my soul and carries them for me.
...He parted the Red Sea in my life when I had no where else to turn.
...He promises me not only will my boys be okay--they will soar with the eagles.
...He gives me hope when the world says I have none.
...He makes a tomorrow for me when I thought I could not make it another day.
...He pulled me up when I was drowning.
...He allows me to walk on water with Him through my storms of life.
...He saved me from the grips of eternal death and gives me the promise of eternal life.
...He took my empty cup of loneliness and sadness and makes it overflow with joy and laughter.
...He took my feelings of worthlessness and called me His daughter.
...He tells me I can stop seeking, because He has already found me.
...He shuts the mouth to the Lion of Depression. I know it is there, but I also I know it will not devour me.
...He breathed laughter into my Noah....and I am so thankful.
...He shields my children from the flaming arrows of hurt and rejection.
...He carefully put us into a family that embraces us.
...He lets me stand in the wide open spaces of His grace when I am suffocating in my box of selfishness.
...He heals me...not in a way the the world would say is healed, but so much better.
...He takes my breath away with His kindness when I could not breath because of sadness.
...He forgives me when I should not be forgiven.
...He builds beauty from the ashes left from the fires of my sins.
...He is the Light in my darkness.
...He gives me purpose in everything.
...He gives me everything that I do not deserve.
...He does not give me what I do deserve.
...He said, "Take me instead."

THIS is what Jesus does for me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Beyond Thankful

So I am having a hard time even beginning to type this blog. I am truly without words...but overflowing with tears...

I am just overwhelmed at the profound love my children and I were shown today. Psalm 68:6 just keeps running in my head over and over as I try to wrap my brain around the events that have transpired. "God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy." I know it is kind of an odd verse to be thinking of in this moment of sheer gratitude, but really it is not, and here is why: This church...Keystone, without doubt family to me. I was just telling a sweet friend of mine, that every weekend when I am in the building, I feel that I am surrounded by people that I absolutely love, and who love me back. I just think back six and seven years ago to how incredibly lonely I was! Please believe me when I say that I am not trying to make a sob story here...I just want you to be able to see my heart journey and WHY I am totally touched beyond description. Now onto the blessing of blessings...

Yesterday was such an awesome day for the boys and me. We were still excited about being able to participate in a God-given opportunity to bless an amazing family. I was excited, as a mother, that my children were able to really experience the JOY of giving to others, and the lessons it entailed. A wonderful friend called me and asked if she could stop by our house--after fair warning of my lack of make-up and that my boys tend to run around in underwear--I was excited to see her! She arrived with a Christmas tree and ornaments! We were pumped! When we moved this year, we had to get rid of a lot of things...and our tree was one of the first to go. So, how excited were we to have a beautiful tree now decorating our home! I was touched, really.

To be honest, I have not done anything for Christmas... The boys and I are in such an amazing place this year, especially compared to last year. This time last year, we were ALL struggling with heavy burdens. Struggling, honestly, to feel joy. God has been amazing in His love, compassion and teachings to us through out this crazy year to each of us. And through some really tough times, oddly enough, the boys and I have found total joy. Total happiness. Total contentment. So much so, that honestly, I just did not feel anxious about Christmas. Every time I thought about it, I just had a feeling in my heart that God has the boys and I exactly where we need to be, and I am just simply thankful for that! Each of us is so happy to be able to be back at Keystone, and back with our familyfriends...that I just could not think of anything beyond that!

The boys and I did our family devotional by the Christmas tree this morning, and as I was finishing up, I had the most ridiculous thought to check the front door. Weird, I know. I was thinking that too as I peeped through the peep hole. AND SURE ENOUGH there were two large bags on the porch! I was SHOCKED to see a new outfit for me, and brand-new Nike shoes for each of the boys, complete with socks. (Let me just pause right here and let you know, that who ever did this must really know how much I value shoes for my kids. I am not kidding at all. And to send SOCKS are a true friend who knows me really well! If you have ever struggled financially, you know that shoes are a big source of worry!) The boys laughed and were so excited because "magically" they could all run super fast with the new shoes. (Don't you just love the way that works!) Sweet Caleb (my minister-in-training) comes back a few minutes later with a huge grin on his face and says,

"I feel so blessed...I know God does this so we will bless others."

Thus began my sob-filled day!

A few hours later, I remembered I had to put something in the car, and I walk out my front door to see a lovely white gift bag! Why hello! I was thrilled, and humored, to see the bag filled with Bath and Body Works "Stress Relief" lotions and potions! I LOVED it! I giggled and felt very loved and special. What a fun day this was turning out to be...

About an hour later, the door bell rings...of course, in my house that is code for "Elephant stampede to the front door." I hurdle over the boys (remember that I happen to be very competitive!) and open the door to see the faces of my VERY dear heart friends. I really do not have words for what I was thinking because I don't think I was thinking. The next few minutes are a blur in my mind. I guess I was trying to figure out if this was an intervention for my movie theater popcorn habit or something. I just know that all of a sudden my friends are putting gifts under our "blessing tree" (Editors note: the tears are flowing again as I think about these next few moments.). The boys are excited and one of my sweet friends says they want to show me something outside. I follow them out, and one of them is explaining they have a gift from my friends at Keystone. She opens her car to reveal a basketball goal for my boys. I lost it. I sobbed. I wish I could tell you how it makes me feel to know that my children are loved at this church. Not only are they loved but VALUED. What a thoughtful, caring gift for my children. They have had a tough, tough year...and honestly, I feel have experienced rejection more than they should at their little ages. It has always been a very sore, bruised spot in my heart. And to know that not only have they not been rejected...but embraced, and loved and and CARED for...I just can not explain how overcome with emotion I am. I am so excited to see them play with this over the years and know it was such a gift of love!

My sweet friends, then explained that they have arranged a Girl's Night for me! YIPPEEE! I am beyond thrilled!! Bless their hearts, I know they said other things to me before they left...but I was still crying about the gift for the boys, and still in shock! I do remember that they encouraged me to look through the basket that was made for me...

I went back inside and shared a sweet moment with the boys as we looked at the gifts under our tree. It was awesome. I know I thought, "It just does not get any better than this!" Now in reflection, I have to wonder if God sort of chuckled at that I began to look at the basket I was FLOORED by the number of gift cards and monetary gifts. FLOORED. I wept to see some of the names of those involved with this blessing to our family. And when I say 'wept,' please know I do not use that word lightly! I was crying SO hard that my little Shimmy (Jimmy, my 3 year old) kept coming over to console me! I think I scared him!

I am just so thankful. I am thankful for this family of believers...I am thankful that you love my children. I am so beyond blessed by each of you. Truly, truly from my heart and the center of who I am THANK YOU.

My eyes are beginning to swell shut because of the tears... Good night for now!

"God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Excuse me, please

Somehow I have messed with my blog, and cannot figure out how to make it presentable please excuse the mess. :o)

Monday, July 27, 2009

What to REALLY register for when you are having a baby boy

Okay, ladies. Time to get serious here! SO many of my friends are expecting, and I am getting baby shower invitations like crazy. Of course along with the invitation I also receive the glorified registry information. Being the nosey person that I am, I always love checking out what moms-to-be have registered for... And I scroll through page after page of cute blankets, the latest bottles, the strollers, I always find myself thinking, "Oh, if they only knew..."

So, TODAY is your lucky day! As a slightly insane mother of four boys, I am going to share with you what you SHOULD register for as soon as you find out you are having a boy.

1. An industrial-strength gas mask. Need I explain this? I think not...

2. Food. Lots of food--as if you were stocking up for the next Y2K. Give your sweet little bundle of joy a few years, and he will soon eat you out of house and home! Stock up now, otherwise you will NEVER have a chance of EVER having a full pantry. EVEEEEER!!!!

3. A Mega-Phone...

4. ... and one that attaches to a machine with the following recorded phrases: Stop it. No. Sit Down. No. I said No. and the most important phrase: AIM INTO THE BOWL!!!

5. Bleach. I know there are probably a few of my environmentally-friendly moms who would protest the use of this chemical, but, TRUST ME, what we are bleaching helps keep the phrase "Skid Marks" as a term only used when referring to actual roadways.

6. Toy swords. Now, I am sure you may want to skip this item as you might think it may encourage violence. But let me tell you from personal experience...either you buy your boys swords or they will get creative. Boys and creativity are not always a good if you forgo store bought swords, just be prepared to use #4's last phrase OFTEN, if you get what I am sayin'.

7. Forget "What to Expect When You are Expecting" the only book you need to register for is How to make Bomb/Crashing/and Gun-Noises for Dummies. This is a MUST, ladies. If you cannot conquer these techniques you will lose credibility FOREVER. (I do offer classes for a small fee if you are interested.)

8. Botox. I know... interesting, right? But, trust me--it is to hide any trace of fear. Once they see your brow furrow over some reptile or bug they have brought in to "show" you...just know it will find a way into your sheets, or other random "SURPRISE--I SCARED MOM!" places. NEVER SHOW FEAR, Ladies!

9. Ear Plugs. Now I know you must be thinking the ear plugs will be for you, right? NOPE. These are for your precious little dude, or dudes. Why you ask? Let me explain that you will have days like this one, which will result in yelling that will reach a pitch only dogs can hear. And of course, as mothers, we DO want to protect our angel's little ears right?!

10. Personalized stationary. No, not with your name or fancy monogramed initials...but with the simple phrase "I am so sorry..." Check out a few times when this would have saved me a few pen strokes: the church germ incident, when pain is unintentionally inflicted on innocent bystanders, when they strip to their skivvies in public, or began one of the most traumatizing moment in not only your personal life, but also cause your neighbor to gouge out his eyes.

(Editors note: There has been a several hour delay to complete this blog due to the flashbacks of the most traumatizing moment. Apparently, I was found curled up in the fetal position mumbling something about "why? Why? WHY?!")


My final words of advise? Be prepared, have a plan, arm yourself! And be ready for the best time ever...I would not trade those dirty-faced little kisses, or the hugs that leave white powdered donut residue on my freshly dry cleaned black pants for the world! I am a PROUD mother of 4 wonderful boys.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I am sitting here in total awe how God works!  I am humbled to know how God has shown such provision over my children and me these past few weeks...even to the smallest of details!

I am so blessed by precious friends that have poured out encouragement and love to us! I wish that I could begin to write how thankful I loved I feel...and how I praise God for all of my Keystone family.  Most people do not know the extent of how the boys and I are going through a life-change, but my friends did not seem to NEED to know the specifics, they just heard of a need of responded in a BIG way!  

I am overwhelmed with such a flood of positive emotion as I go over the events of this past weekend.  So many friends came to help me pack my house...over 20!  We had my entire house packed in less than 3 hours!!  One thing that struck me, is not one person acted like this was a chore, or something they felt obligated to do... everyone had such a spirit of celebration!  It was amazing!  So many details were taken care of... I cannot wait to tell you the whole story soon.  It is a miracle and just beyond words.  I am so, so blessed.  My heart is filled nothing but JOY.

God is SO good!

"As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God.  For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.  And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.  Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words."  2 Corinthians 9:13-15

"Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God." Philippians 1:3

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An interview with my Aidan. (age 4)

I got this list from my friend Amanda's blog...I thought I would make a few changes, and post Aidan's responses!

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
"Aidan clean up your room, and say yes ma'am" "oh, and don't pee in the outside, it's rude."

2. What makes Mommy happy?

Mommy is happy when I sing songs.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
When I don't help Shimmy (Jimmy!)

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
When hers tells jokes...especially when the Monkey Crosses the Road. Its so funny.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
She had a mommy.

6. How old is your Mommy?

She is really big, but no stripes. (I think he meant wrinkles!)

7. How tall is your Mommy?

Tall like a football player.

8. What is his favorite thing to do?
Go home.

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
Find some other people to be around. (he was quite proud of this answer and ended it with "...hmmm...not bad!")

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?

Because she be beautiful!

11. What is Mommy really good at?
Good at computers and flushing the toilet. (I laughed, and then he said, "I know that is funny, but I know it! Yep!")

12. What is Mommy not very good at?

Fixing the roof, thats it.

13. What does Mommy do for a job?
Praying at church.

14.What is Mommy favorite food?

15.What makes you proud of Mommy?

Make the nice food at McDonalds.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would he be?

A race car because hers race to win and take the other cars down. (insert race car noises here)

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
I am thinking, I am thinking...we go places fun.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?

We have the same color shirts....hmmm I am getting smarter.

19. How are you and Mommy different?

We wear other shoes.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?

Hugging me and says I love you so much.

21. What does Mommy friends like most about your mom?

They love hers because hers have a beautiful dress.

22. Where is Mommy favorite place to go?
A place that has salad...its called Walmart.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Have you ever seen someone's shoe lying in the middle of the road, and wonder, "how in the world?!?!"

Well, wonder no more.

It seemed like we toured all of North Texas today while running errands before church.  I happen to see a red shoe in the middle of the road on 1709.  Thought in the moment, "how does someone lose a shoe IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD?!"  About an hour later, I drive past the same red shoe...and drive past it again on the way to church.

Trying to unload the boys, only to notice Jimmy wearing just ONE red shoe.

This is my life.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A 'brief' movie review

We are a family of routine.  We all have our certain way of doing things.  For instance:  every morning, Noah and I discuss the weather...then proceed to argue why we do not wear shorts when it is 30 degrees outside or a sweat shirt in the TEXES summer!    Another example is as soon as Caleb takes off his shoes (outside), his socks are to IMMEDIATELY go to the washing machine (please see "My Nose is on Strike" post for details).  Need one more example?  If you ever drop in for a surprise visit to my home, just know you will see Aidan wearing the bare minimum of required clothing (most of the times not even that!).  It is just our way...and I have never had a problem with any of this until TODAY.

I thought that I would be a good mother and take my little angels to the movies.  This is quite a task, might I add.  Popcorn arguments, candy arguments, drinks spilling as we walk, blah blah blah...  To get into the actual theater, I feel like I should go ahead and book my room in the insane asylum for the following day.  No kidding.

I get everyone seated and settled, only to turn around to see that Aidan has made himself quite at home--wearing nothing but Scooby Doo underwear.  I begin the talent of speaking through gritted teeth  all while still smiling (a skill mothers earn!) and Aidan quickly remedies the situation ... we  begin to settle in to watch the previews, as I start to catch my breath from counting backwards from 10.  Feeling that everything would be okay now, I am beginning to redeem my "Good Mother" feelings once again...I look at my children sitting happily munching on their munchies...sweet little Jimmy eating a hotdog.  Sigh...  life is good, until I remember one horrifying detail:

I. did. not. buy. hotdogs.