Tag Archive God

ByAngie

Um, God? This Isn’t What I Had Planned…

My 10th birthday, clockwise from top: Me, thinking I'm soooo cool with my dumb arm up; Crystal; Kristeena; Kristianna WAY into her mexican lime salt; Kyndra, taken off guard; & Kara, always happy and giggly.

As a child, my friends (that are all more like family) and I would often play house. Crystal would have either 1 or 2 kids. Kristeena would be the babysitter. Kristianna would be the family pet… usually a dog. (I’m happy to report now that she is NOT a dog, but a happy wife and mother of a beautiful baby girl…) Me? I was the crazy one who wanted to pretend I had 6-10 kids. Most often, Crystal would say “That’s crazy. No more than 6. We can’t keep up with all the pretend names.” And boy, would I come up with those names. Every time there was a “Rebecca-Ann Marie” (And if you know me well enough, you know my first daughter had a very similar name.) and I LOVED playing the part.

My "Beccarie", at the "Sweet" age of 2. My angel. She's now 9 and sweeter than ever.

Nick, Kyndra, & Kara always played along. Nick would be “Uncle Michael” and his wife would always be “Aunt Michele”. Kyndra would usually be one of Crystal’s kids, but sometimes mine… and Kara was mine every time. Being that Kara was half my age at the time and quite a bit smaller than I, I loved that I could carry her around on my hip or to cradle her in my arms. She was always 5 months old and had a different name every game session. Don’t ask me why 5 months and not 6 or 4. It’s just how it was.

This was my plan. From a young girl. I was to be a Mommy of a VERY large group of children. And I am… but not as many as I thought I would have…

I’m facing a difficult decision due to physical problems; It involves my fertility.

I always said that when God said it was time to stop having children, he would tell me loud and clear. That he has. I believe soon I may be undergoing a hysterectomy or treatment that will prevent me from having more children.

One of those rare moments they all sat still... enough...

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I have a large family and I’ve been blessed. It’s just not what I had planned.

Saturday night, dealing with a hot flash, I stepped outside. Looking at the stars, I flat out asked God, “What is your plan? I’m open to what you have, it’s just this is what I thought you called me to do? I’m only 30. I didn’t expect this so soon.”  In my heart I felt him say, instantly, “It is what I called you to do, but there is something else waiting in the wings. Just wait and see. It will take time. Hold on.”

So here I am: At peace, finally. At the end of my life I may not have 6-10 children, and that’s okay. This wasn’t an easy thing to let go of, as I’m a “planner”. But, the 5 I have are the best things that EVER happened to me. God knows what He’s doing, all the time.  I’ll trust in Him.

Are you facing a situation in which you are not sure what God is up to? Has the decision been taken out of your hands? Let me tell you, friend, give it all to Him. He really does know what He’s doing. If you need prayer, let us know either here or on our Prayer Wall. We’ll pray with you.

 

 

 

 

To fully understand the reason why Angie picked this song, please visit Random Epiphanies of An Imperfectionist and click on Sunday, April 22nd’s post. Thank you.

By

My Daughter, And Her Love For Amy Grant… Though She Doesn’t Know It Yet…

Beccarie

Beccarie

In 2002, 2 days before Mother’s Day, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Becca. Talk about the best Mother’s Day gift a mother could receive! I was in shock, excited, and calm. It was right. I just knew it. I had a 14 month old son, and had suffered a few miscarriages. I knew this time was going to work out just right.

On Sep. 10th, 2002, we found out she was “likely a girl”. Gotta love small towns. 😉 Her Dad and I ran out to “The Bookie” and bought her a Washington State University Cougar’s Cheerleading Uniform in an infant size. We were thrilled. A boy, Jeffrey, and now a girl! How could things be more perfect?!

A few months before I had bought Amy Grant’s “The Collection” CD. (From Columbia House! Anyone remember THAT?! And, yes, CD. MP3s were only on PCs at that time, and in my bedroom while reading, that was not available. You had to be rich to have more than one laptop that lasted more than 2 hours on battery… and wireless network? Hahaha… You’re funny…) From the time I found out I was pregnant with her I was DRAWN to this cd. I can’t even begin to explain it. The same way that while in labor with my oldest son I listened to Keith Green when I could stand noise, with her it was Amy Grant’s “The Collection”.

Becca, Jeffrey, and myself in 2006… right before Bobby came into our lives

I remember the exact moment like it was 10 seconds ago. I was in chapter 5 of “Bringing Up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson. I was listening to “The Collection” by Amy Grant when I heard a “Pop” and I felt it. The song playing was “El Shaddai”.  At that moment I was lying on my left side, looking at the book, when I felt a trickle of fluid run down my left leg and a tear drop down my left cheek. I was crying and devastated. “Dear Lord, this can’t be happening. Please, let this be nothing…” I was just barely past 24 weeks and being just barely past the “Age of viability”, I knew the hospital would do little to help. I jumped up and told my then husband, who was writing a school paper, and called the Doctor. It was just after 2 am.

I was sent immediately to the hospital. I was met there by an amazing Emergency staff waiting for me with a wheel chair. They even let me park my car in the place reserved for ambulances. I was taken by wheelchair to the Maternity Ward, holding back my tears. I had been through a late miscarriage before, but nothing like this. I didn’t know what to expect. All the while I sang in my heart and head “El Shaddai”.

Becca with her step daddy, Jeffrey, and first baby brother, Tommy.

Soon after, an awesome midwife was sent in to see me. (I wish for the love of all things holy that I could remember her name. She was amazing and awesome through my entire pregnancy. Hormones, sheesh. 😉 I do know she had a love for all things electronic and was jealous for my then husband’s giant box of a laptop. (It didn’t seem like a box way back then.) If you by chance know her name or a way for me to send her an email or card, PLEASE let me know.) She sat with me for most of the many long hours that I sat there until my fear was confirmed. My amazing family Doctor, Dr Emtman, walked in with sad news. My water, had indeed, broken. I felt so guilty, somehow I was at fault for this. As much as he assured me it wasn’t my fault, I just knew I did this. I still blame myself a little for it… but it happened and nothing will change that.

2 short hours later I was on a helicopter to Spokane, WA. I couldn’t grasp what was happening. I was short on sleep, well, actually without. I was without my husband or baby, and on a HELICOPTER! The way it was set up, the helicopter had me looking towards the ground as I laid in the gurney. Freaky? LIGHTWEIGHT!

In what seemed like hours but was only minutes, I was at Deaconess Hospital. Honestly, it was all a whirlwind. I was asked so many questions. Poked, prodded, questioned, and consoled. Within minutes they caught I was contracting by my saying I had a “Horrible burning and tightening”  and stopped it with MANY medications, hormones, steroids, and supplements. (To God be the Glory! The mere thought of not having my Beccarie now kills me. We almost lost her!)

Dr. Johnson (whom I cannot track down via the internet, but has been an inspiration to me ever since that Hospital stay…) met me soon after. She wiped my tears. She reminded me that GOD is in control. She saw my Bible and book (the same Bringing Up Boys book) on the vanity stand and let me know she was a Christian. She confirmed that I was in her prayers. She would tell me confidently “God told me everything is going to be okay. Don’t cry any more. Every thing is fine.”

Becca, 3 weeks old

I sat for what felt like days in that hospital room. Laid many nights alone. Ambien was prescribed, but didn’t help much. Visitors came and went, though I still appreciate them all. Gifts were brought. Food was made. My 21st birthday was celebrated… In which I received the greatest gift a mother could ever receive. A sonogram confirming that fluid levels had returned to normal, the sack had miraculously resealed itself, and my baby, my sweet Beccarie, was healthy and thriving! Praise Be to God! El Shaddai! (The lyrics of the song: El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age You’re still the same, By the power of the name. El Shaddai, El Shaddai, Erkamka na Adonai, I will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai.)

After many months (felt like years) of bedrest, on January 16th, 2003 I delivered a healthy 8lb 3oz baby girly 2 weeks past her due date. Figures, right? She scored HIGH on the apgar scale and after a hearing test scare, she scored fine 2 days later and had little jaundice. Perfectly healthy. She’s the most creative, loving, courageous, steadfast little girl you’ve ever met. She’s a bit of Mommy, a bit of Daddy, influenced by her step parents evenly, and everything in between… yet a distinction of her own. I’d love her no other way. She is the daughter God gave me, and I am blessed.

Months after her birth, the only music that calmed her was “Lullaby” being hummed (yes, hummed, not played) to her or Amy Grant’s “The Collection” on CD. Naturally, when El Shaddai came on, I cried. He was telling me all along it would be fine, and I didn’t listen. I should have known. So human, right? LOL

The entire time I laid in bedrest though, this was the song I wanted my little girl to sing. She may or may not choose to do so, that is up to her… But it’s her song from her Mama’s heart regardless:



Look up the entire album on iTunes or Amazon. I highly recommend it. (I’m a bit old school… 😉 )

ByAngie

If We Can Just Make It In Before The Storm

Well, here I am again… with another old family tale from my childhood for you. Another event in my life that God reminded me of again recently and taught me a lesson with. Hope it’s not too boring. Enjoy!

My Sweet Grandma, Taken around the time of this story...

When I was 5 years old (about to turn 6) my Grandpa, Mom, and little brother all packed up into the car to go visit family in Kentucky. Because of my being enrolled in first grade, my Grandma and I stayed behind. Most would be upset that their trip would require them to be gone over my 6th birthday. But not I! Grandma and I had BIG plans.

One of these big plans, was a trip to Pic N Save, which is now “Big Lots”. I know, I know, bear with me here. I was a kid, and that place was full of cheap stuff to buy with birthday & first lost tooth money!

So we got ourselves dolled up and jumped in the car. I still remember picking out a perfect hot pink back pack and a bunch of rinky dink toys. But before we knew it the weather was changing from a perfect Southern California Autumn day into a cold, dark, windy, and rainy mess. Being that Grandma refused to drive in either the dark or rain, we had a problem. Before we started on our way we prayed. “Jesus, please let us just make it home before the storm. Amen.”

My 6th birthday at McDonalds! Loading up on the spending money!

About half way home, the thunder and lightning started. The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see. We were both scared and nervous. Storms like this are rare in our neck of the woods, you see, and she hadn’t driven in these conditions in quite some time. “Oh Jesus, please, protect us and let us make it home safe. Just let us get home before the storm. If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.”

To not show her upset, she started talking about how wonderful the night in at home would be. There would be hot chocolate and marshmallows. We could watch the lightning show from the window and wear our cozy jammies and slippers. It was to be a grand ol’ time! But once again she prayed, “Lord Jesus, If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.” I kept thinking, “She does know the storm has already hit, right?” but never said anything. Just went with it.

This went on for a few miles, and finally we were home safe and sound. Sure enough though, as soon as we got in the storm got worse. We did as planned and enjoyed our time together, laughing at how scared we were on the way home from the discount store.

Someday soon, Jesus is going to come back for the church. Life from now until then may get unpleasant. In fact, it’s going to get really unpleasant. The storm is going to hit and things are going to get really nasty. Just watch the news one night and you’ll see it’s already begun, just as we are told in the book of Revelation.

But if we can just make it in before the storm…

What the world is going through now is NOTHING like what it will be. The awesome news is that the body of believers will be taken away right before the storm really gets going. Just like Grandma and I sat all comfy cozy with our hot chocolate, the church will be in Heaven shouting and rejoicing without a worry or a care when the storm hits hard. Until then we must pray. “God, protect us from what is going on, and Jesus come quickly!”

But what if you’re not ready?

All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. Simple as that. Believe in Him. Change your ways. “Go and Sin No More.” (John 8:11)

Before we know it the storm will be over. Just hang tight. Until then, lift up your head, for your redemption draws near… (Luke 21:27) Because we WILL make it in before the storm, and it really is all going to be okay!

ByAngie

Can It Wait?

13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.15 Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.

James 4:13-15

Within the last few weeks I’ve known quite a few people who have had loved ones pass away. Time slipped away so quickly. Some were old aged, but some were not. At the same time, I’ve had a few close friends that have been diagnosed with serious conditions.

All of this is brought many things to light for me. For one: Death knows no age. I’ve known this for years, but it seems every few years something happens to remind me that no one is exempt. As James said, life is but a vapor and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Second: What are my priorities and what am I putting first?

Lately I’ve been TOO busy. My pastor noticed this before I did. She asked me one evening, “Do you ever say no?” “No” I replied, and we giggled. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things for others and helping them. I am in no way complaining nor will I stop doing this. But sometimes, I need to just stop and focus on my family. I realized this a few weeks ago after my two year old son came running up to me with his arms out for me to hold him. “Just a second chubby cherub. Mommy is really busy.” Suddenly, like a slap in the face, a still small voice inside of me said “Busy doing what?” Hmm… Nothing is as important to me as my children. What could I possibly be doing that is keeping me too busy? Then the second slap to the other side of my metaphorical face “I’m doing this to God, too.” Ouch.

When life is over, will I be remembered for the fact that I made aprons? No. If I actually got my house to look perfect and kept it that way, will I feel achieved in Heaven? Not at all. When it’s all said and done, all that matters is that I served an almighty God and raised children with integrity who knew without a doubt their mother loved them and would drop anything for them in their time of need.

I’m not saying that any of us should let our homes go, stop doing things for others, sit back and let life fall apart just to snuggle with the kids a little longer. But by all means, stop and smell the roses! Enjoy those babies while they’re young! Play a board game with the older kids. Make your husband’s favorite meal just because. Plan a date night beyond his expectations and show him you love him. And if today’s to do list doesn’t get done, don’t sweat it. Trust me, it’ll be there tomorrow.

A special thank you to my dear friend, Rena, for her inspiration in writing this post.

BySherry

Trust In The Lord

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

This verse has not always been an easy one for me.  Some days it’s still not.  As a child I was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused for two years by a teenager in the church we were attending.  During the time of the abuse, I was told by a Sunday School teacher that if we are truly children of God and love him no harm will ever come to us.

The abuse took place almost 30 years ago, and yet I still have a problem with trust.  I have a hard time trusting God, my husband, friends, etc.  I spent quite a bit of time in counseling this summer to deal with the abuse and my trust issues.

I can’t quite say I’m totally ready to trust everything everyone says to me, which may not be a real bad thing.  However, I am learning to trust in the Lord my God, who has used my abuse for good.

So, how did this change come about?  First of all, in Proverbs 3:5 Solomon tells us to Trust in the LORD with all your heart.  It sounds easy doesn’t it, until some trial or circumstance comes against us.  I know when situations arise I start to doubt and freak out that God is not really there for me.

Yet, verse 5 goes on to say, “and lean not on your own understanding.”  WOW!!!!  What a concept!  At 10 years old when the abuse started, I had no idea how this could be good.  All I could think about was how to stop this from happening.  I felt helpless and that no one was there for me, even God.

Growing up I still went to church and 2 years after the abuse started, God moved my family to a different church.  Things got better, because I was no longer in the same church or home of the teen.  Yet, with not telling anyone about the abuse until I was 22, I found myself serving God, but not trusting Him to really care for me.

I didn’t realize how it could be used for good until this past summer when I asked my pastor’s wife, my mom, if I could give my testimony during a Ladies Night Out. As I told about 20 women what had happened as a child and how God has completely renewed my relationship with my husband, and the forgiveness I offered towards the people I saw a lady, I didn’t know, who was just bawling.  She came up to me afterwards and expressed how brave she thought I was to give such a testimony.  She then proceeded to tell me that she was abused as a child the way I was by her own father.  The lasting effects of abuse took a toll on her marriage and family.  Yet now she feels that she could put her trust in God and He could help with the turmoil.  I saw her recently and she told me that she has gotten help and God is really using her.

I had no idea that almost 30 years later that God cold turn something horrible into something good.  Recently, I’ve felt that I need to tell people more of my testimony.  I also feel that God is leading me to help those who have been abused.  I do not know how yet, but Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Sometimes trust is like faith in the way that sometimes it is hard for me to say, “Ok, God, I place my trust in You in this situation.  I know that You know what is best for me.  I may not understand, but I will trust You. You said in Your word that You direct my path, and no matter where that leads I will place my trust in You and learn from it.”

I want to challenge you this week to place the trial, circumstance that may arise, or even a past pain in the hand of Jesus and trust Him to take care of it.  It may not be overnight, but praise Him and thank Him for the difficult time and when the end finally comes around, let Him use you to minister to someone else.

ByAngie

Waiting (& Holding Out) For The Best

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

~Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

Have you ever been REALLY hungry? Starving? Could eat a horse if you had it in front of you, but you had to wait? Like when your husband is taking you out for a nice dinner and even though you’re hungry at 6:00pm you have to wait for the sitter to arrive at 7:30pm?

You’re tempted to eat. You think, “Just a snack” and so you eat a little something here, a little something there. Then when you sit down to eat, you regret every bite of that snack. Your meal doesn’t taste as good and you’re just not as hungry, leaving half of it to waste. (And it’s one of those meals where it does NOT taste good as left overs.)

Lately, my spirit has been hungry. I need something, anything, from God. He keeps telling me, “Just wait. It’s going to be so wonderful and so worth it.” Yet, I find myself saying, “Please? Can’t I just have a taste of something? Anything?” What my flesh doesn’t understand is when God is “cooking” up something, He doesn’t serve just one course. It’s a full meal. A feast! I have to tell myself to be patient and wait. God has given me all the little tastes that He’s going to give, it’s time to set the table and wait.

And wait…

And wait…

And wait some more…

Can you tell I’m not good at this? 😉 So, what am I doing while I wait? Keeping busy with prayer and reading my Bible. Doing some fasting here and there. Listening for the dinner bell. Checking in once in awhile, only to hear Him say, “Not yet, Angie. Just wait. I promise I’m not going to starve you.”

Needless to say, I’m excited.

Have you ever gone through a time that you had to wait for the best instead of settling for just the okay? Weren’t you glad you waited? I know I’ll be.

Be blessed!

ByAngie

What Must God Think?

Yesterday, I turned my back on my 3 year old son for a minute while I cared for my infant. When I turned around, I wanted to both laugh and cry. He had gotten into a RED ink pad and smeared it all over him, the wall, and the carpet.

I took him right in, cleaned him up, and told him why we do not do things like this. Frustrated? Yes, but I kept my cool. At that point I think I was just relieved it wasn’t blood!

Minutes later, as I was still cleaning up the mess, I heard the kitchen sink turn on. I stood up from where I was cleaning ink out of the carpet. Lo and behold, there was the same child standing on a chair at the sink playing in the water. Right back to the bathroom for clean up.

The rest of the day was full of constant lectures on why we don’t do certain things. (Why kids always decide to learn so much of these lessons in one day is beyond me…)

Imagine how it is for God. We are CONSTANTLY getting in to things we shouldn’t. Making one mess after another, while He is constantly cleaning up our messes. How frustrated our good Lord must be.

However, just as we still love our children, our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants nothing but the best for us, and will give us as many chances as we need to get it right.

Remember, He is a loving God. A forgiving God. Not a judgmental, begrudging, and hateful God. He wants what is best for you. Won’t you let him help you clean up the mess of your past?

Today, I am thankful for grace and patience. What about you?

ByAngie

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I’ve been listening trying my best to listen to God lately.

Sometimes it seems His voice is so still and small, I can barely hear it. Other times, it is so loud and clear, it knocks me to the floor.

Recently: still and small. I began asking him to speak to me more. I felt lost without hearing from Him. All I could hear Him say was “Read my word…” So I did what he said and read more than I have typically. “Um, Lord, I still need more” was my reply.

He came back with silence.

God has been cutting out a LOT of things in my life the last few months. Today, I realized even more that needs to go. Immediately. No debating, waiting, negotiating. Just needs to leave. Now. Not bad stuff, but he needs my focus to be ALL on Him and no where else. He said, “It’s time.” So here I am.

Are you listening? Are you hearing what he says? If not, I challenge you to ask Him the who, what, when, where, and how of what it will take to spark the conversation back up!

ByAngie

Good Ol’ Writer’s Block

So here I sit: Waiting. Thinking. Typing a few words, hitting the back space button, and staring at the screen. Rinse and repeat.

I’ve been like this for a few weeks now. I have ideas, but don’t know how to put them into words. I’m praying, but not feeling lead into anything. Nothing is the norm lately… Everything is in limbo as we wait to move to a new home. Homeschool, business, crafting, cooking, life. Everything…

I haven’t even decorated for Christmas yet. If you know me personally, you know that’s a big deal.

For now, I’m going to keep my focus on God. I’ll let him continue to tell me what to write and when to write. What to say and when to say it. Everything. In fact, I’m beginning to realize, through all of this he is teaching me a HUGE lesson.

Does this ever happen to you? You feel dry? Your mind is going a million different directions instead of keeping in focus?

God bless you all. May we all enter our weekend with our focus on Him, and complete our weekend refreshed, focused, and at peace. Amen!

 

ByAngie

The Legend Of The Mug Rug

A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.

One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.

My Mug Rug & My Favorite Mickey Mug

Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.

Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.

After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.

My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?

With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.

Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…

What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?

God bless!