Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm just not so Grand

Okay, as you know my sweet daughter Alyssa

has added a branch to our family tree by giving birth to my little angel Amiyah Elizabeth on April 9th. I am no longer just a Mom. I now have a little branch coming off of my name with the lovely title of Grandma. This is a role in my life that I have taken on with much passion. I am so in love with this little angel.

The hardest part of this whole Grandma thing for me is when I'm holding my little princess in my arms and I'm rubbing her chubby cheeks and I say, "Hello Amiyah, your Grand....loves you." As hard as I try, I cannot bring myself to complete the word Grandma so I stop at Grand. I have tried and I about choke. It just sounds so...well, old to me.

Yes, Amiyah thinks I'm Grand, I can see it in her pretty eyes, but that is just not a cute nickname for me. I've tried "Mama" and Alyssa said that's for her. I've called myself "Nana" and Alyssa just shook her head no. So, I'm calling on you to help me. I need a name other than Grandma. It has to be cute and hip for heaven's sake because I won't even turn 40 until October of 2010! I mean really, does this face look like the face of a Grandma?

Now this lady, yes, now she can be called a Grandma. I mean look how naturally Grandmother-ish my Mom looks with her oldest grandchild.She is often mistaken for my sister which she tries to revel in until I gently pull on her Loreal colored long gray hair and snap her back into the reality that she is now a Great Grandma and not my sibling. Dye your roots all you want Lindy Sue, but the only sister you are to me is in Christ!

Okay, back to a nickname for me. I feel young and full of energy and just like Brooke Shields, I do this every morning.

I also do this...

I highly doubt my Mom has the same morning routine that I do, so that is why, my dear friends that I cannot be in the same category as her. I love my Mom dearly, but it's bad enough that she thinks we're sisters.

Can you feel my pain?

So, please help me. Come up with a name for this too young to be called "Grandma", because this is not how I want you to think I look like when I'm reading your blogs...

I will have my kids vote on the name they think best fits me and the winner will get a copy of the book that our very own fellow blogger
Linda, at 2nd Cup of Coffee, is featured in... If you have never visited her are really missing out. She is so funny and has such a heart for God.

I'll give you all until Friday and then I will announce the winner--be creative, but remember cute and hip!

Thanks for having fun with me, but I have a feeling no matter what this little angel calls me, I'll go a runnin'!

~Many Blessings~


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Week 6: YES to GOD Tuesday study

CHAPTER 6: If it were easy, it wouldn't be worth doing

Continuing our on line study together of Lysa TerKeurst's book,"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God?" If you missed the Q&A with here as she really blessed us.

February 3rd on Super Bowl Sunday my husband's back went out when he helped me move a sectional couch to the basement. He had back problems for 2 years, but he felt he was okay to help me. Wrong.

Finally, after dealing with a local doctor and getting no progress, we headed to Omaha at the suggestion of the company nurse where he works. I have to admit when I'm inconvenienced, I tend to display probably the ugliest side of me that I have. I'm sure God just wants to sit me in time out when I behave the way I do.

Well, on March 4th He did just that. I took off work to take my in pain 24/7 man up to Omaha to meet with his new doctor. Now, keep in mind leading up to this appointment, I did not even attempt to make Gene's life easy. The man could not bend, lift, really do anything and yet I had him scared to ask me for a glass of water. Poor thing was probably dehydrated.

See, while my husband was injured and couldn't even breathe without being in pain, couldn't drive let alone barely walk, I was busy attending the pity party I was throwing for myself. With no success, I tried inviting others to join me by doing everything except scream, "Forget Gene, look at poor me doing all that I am!" I was so pathetic just because I was having to do more than my usual list of doing everything for everybody, and honestly, I didn't like it. As I was looking like Superwoman to others in public, in my heart I knew the private hell I was putting my husband through. Looking back on how I acted like a spoiled toddler, I am very ashamed of me.

So, here we are sitting in the waiting room of the Nebraska Spine Center and I open my book to read chapter 6. Before starting the on line study, I had read the book so I had an idea of what I'd be leading and am now re-reading it and doing the study. So anyway, I'm reading and suddenly my eyes are so filled with tears I can barely see the pages.

My husband is a big guy, not fat by any means...muscular. I've always felt so safe next to him and not that I've ever been in harms way, but if I was I know I'd be okay. He just gives me that sense of protection a woman longs for. My Gene was a football player out of Orlando recruited on a full scholarship back in '83 by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. So the athlete within him was very frustrated that his body was not cooperating with him and not to mention dealing with a wife focused on herself. This is what I read sitting next to my injured athletic husband...

Lysa shared with us how her husband Art's knee had gone out and how God didn't answer their prayers that it would be minor. Instead, he needed major surgery...

A real sign of spiritual maturity is looking to God not for comfort and convenience but for purpose and perspective.

Our changed perspective helps us see God in everything. I am convinced that Satan wants to keep my perspective in a place where my heart is discouraged and my mind is questioning God. Yet God's Word calls me to a different action:

Romans 5:3

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

This is the part that filled my eyes with tears because I couldn't see past my own selfishness to ask any of these questions Lysa asked herself...

What do we do with the fact that my very athletic husband is out of commission for several months? What does he do about missing many weeks of work and having his life totally interrupted? What do I do with my feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated because I need his help? What do I do with the fact that he can't drive, is in extreme pain, and needs my unconditional love and support---even on the day when I'm too tired to give it?

Okay, God, where are You?

I tell you I about lost myself in the waiting room that morning.

God knew what I would be reading that morning and strategically had me reading it while in the midst of my inconvenience, sitting right next to his injured child that I failed to treat with dignity and love.
While in time out, God got my attention that morning.

Lysa goes on to tell us about Provision, Protection and Process.

Provision: How can He be our Ultimate Provider if we aren't ever lacking and in need?

Protection: As I look back and reflect on our difficult times, I can see how He protected us.

Process: We want to live the totally sold-out life for Christ, yet there are things pulling at us, enticing us, calling out to us----causing our indecision.
In times where the road diverges in front of us, we can either fall away from God or fall toward Him.

There was so much more in this chapter I just had to re-read, underline, star and highlight, but I'll let you share too. Let me close with this line from Lysa...

Obedience stops being a dutiful obligation and starts becoming a delight you crave.

When a woman says yes to God,
she discovers a thrilling way to live.

If only I had said Yes to God instead of attending my pity party, how I would've had tears of joy that day in the waiting room instead of shame. God had something for me through Gene's injury and it wasn't inconvenience. WHAT did I miss? WHAT did my selfishness cause my family to miss out on? WHAT was my husband's heart response to my behavior---did he draw near to Jesus or shut down?
Gene drew near and was forgiving and sweet to me in the waiting room that day.
Something I honestly didn't deserve.

Please post a comment on what God is doing in your life as you say Yes to Him and sign up if you have more to share on your own blog then sign up below.

~Blessed to be walking this YES path with you~

Monday, April 28, 2008

Untouchable Joy

YES to GOD chapter 6 will be posted by noon today...I promise with all my heart! xoxo
Have you ever made plans for your life and God just sweeps in and changes them for you? Hmmm....must be why in Isaiah the Word tells us that His ways are not our ways.

When my Dad turned 50 like forever ago, Mom surprised him with his dream on wheels...a Harley. My parents are like Siamese twins...they are truly best friends and do everything together. So, it was little hard for Mom to see her BFF riding off into the sunset without her. Oh sure, she tried to do the ride-on-the-back-hugging-his-waist thing, but that just didn't work out because she likes to be in control. My suggestion of a sidecar hooked on the motorcycle was turned down too, as my Dad's legs would get cramps sitting in one of those. So a month later for her birthday, guess what she got? Yep, a HOG. I never thought I'd say this, but my mom looks dang good in leather.

They dreamed of doing a lot of riding in the years to come. Lots of weekend road trips together on their Harley's, but it was one trip in particular that changed their lives. One summer they spent a week at summer camp for abused children. Suddenly God put a call on their lives to not only love the fatherless, but also to bring them into their home. So the Harley's got parked as they began to say YES to God and in trickled the kids.

You'd think that Mom and Dad live in an ark because much like Noah, God brought the animals, I mean children into their home not in 2's, but in 3's. First came what we nicknamed the 3T's. Three little sisters with names that all started with the letter T. Mom lovingly called them Tara, Tami and Terry and since those weren't their names, we erased the confusion off the faces of the girls by being consistent with calling them "The 3T's". Here is Alivia playing dress up with the girlies...
After 18 months of being blessed with these 3 , they left the state to live with their maternal Grandma Jane. This was a happy ending and just recently Mom and Dad celebrated the adoption of the girls with Grandma Jane for the weekend along with Aaron and Alivia.
After the girls left, along came Alicia, Joe and Josh. Siblings with different dad's, but the same mom who loves them, but is clueless on how to care for them. When they arrived, Joe who was 2 at the time had a broken arm by a boyfriend.

Joe is now just a happy 4 year old busy as a bee...
Alicia and Alivia(r) are the best of friends...and Alicia has blossomed into a beautiful social butterfly.

What was supposed to be 30 days emergency care is now an adoption by my parents that is in the works for Alicia and Joe. Josh moved out of state as his dad was given custody. Here's a picture of Josh saying goodbye to Mom, unsure of what was really happening...

Then came the twins and their baby sister. From the time the baby, Carmie was 2 months old my Mom was the woman in her life that loved her. Horribly rejected by her birth mom she was adored by not only Mom and Dad, but all of us. She would instantly capture your heart with her dimples alone as she did with my 82 year old Grandpa.

The twins spent many weekends in our home for over a year. The one on the left, Jenisa is favored heavily by her bio mom so she does not lack in self confidence. The one on the right, Luisa, became my heart project as I tried teaching her that she has much worth, something her bio mom tried to squash with her words and lack of affection...

The girls were returned to their bio mom last October and we haven't seen them since. A 23 year old who just this last February gave birth to daughter #6, but only has 4 of her girls. The hardest part of the return was knowing that Carmie was being returned to a woman who has voiced that she "hates" her and I have witnessed many times the favoritism that she has for Jenisa. So who knows what Carmie and Luisa go through at the hands and mouth of this woman. Hopefully she likes her newest girl. The connection between Carmie and my Mom was intense and yet despite the pain, my Mom keeps saying Yes to a God who gives and takes away.

Painful obedience.

When the girls' were in our lives they loved going to church with us and they heard the name of Jesus so much. Many nights when Carmie would awaken Mom would rock her and whisper Jesus' name in her ear...for hours. The twins would join in with Alivia and sing loud in the van about Jesus.

Last October was the last time we got to see, kiss, hold, hug and love on the twins and Carmie and a reunion is no where in the future. So the memories in our hearts is what we hold on to.

Last night Alivia and I were in the car praising Jesus to the sounds of Mandisa, when out of the blue, Alivia asked me, "Hey Mom, didn't you pray with the twins for Jesus to come into their hearts the day they left?"
I put my rear view mirror down so I could see her, "Yes" I answered. She pulled her fist down as she said, "YES! So I'll see them again in heaven with Jesus." Back to singing she went.

I just smiled as I put the mirror back in place as the tears started coming down my face. I have been so hurt by having to say goodbye to Josh, Carmie, Jenisa and Luisa. The hurt is so deep that I have distanced myself from really loving the new baby that is now in my parents home.

Last November Alicia and Joe's mom had yet another baby. And since God keeps Mom and Dad supplied in 3's, Maddie girl fit right in with her siblings. I think I just realized this weekend how I've kept myself from loving on this child. I can't stand the thought of experiencing that loss again especially since the state is all about chances and wants to see if her mom can get it right with this one. ??? Anyway, even if Maddie is in Mom and Dad's home for just for a moment, how can I not love this little girl...

When Alivia asked me that about the girls last night we were listening to Mandisa sing Never Gonna Steal my Joy which is playing for you now. Instantly the words to this song gave me such peace about the twins and Carmie. Although the chances of having a reunion with the girls like Mom and Dad had with the 3T's here on earth is very unlikely, the reality of spending eternity with them causes the joy in my heart to swell...

a reality that no one can take away...

Life may push my heart to the limit

But I won't ever let go of the joy in my soul

'Cause everything can change in a minute

And the world may try

But they're never gonna steal my joy

My point to sharing all of this with you, is that when God asks something of us He doesn't say there won't be any pain. Your heart just may be pushed to the limit, but there is nothing in the world that can take the joy of Jesus away. If Mom and Dad had not been obedient to God just scroll back up this page and look at what my families' hearts would've missed out on. Also, because the twins said YES to asking Jesus in their lives that day in October it means that we will see these girls again.

Mom, if you're reading this, the "foster system of many chances" may cause your heart much pain, especially when you have to return a child to an atmosphere of abuse, but don't let the world steal your joy. Because of Jesus, You WILL see Carmie again and if she can get herself to crawl off the lap of her Savior, then you'll be able to hold that precious little thing again...forever!

PSALM 126:3

The LORD has done great things for us,

and we are filled with


~Keep Seeking Him~

Friday, April 25, 2008

These boots were made for...Hiding?

The beginning of the year I started reading Beth Moore's blog that she writes on along with her two daughters. No teaching, just fun thoughts from them. Sometimes I just assume everyone knows who Beth is, but if you're not familiar with her, she's an incredible Bible teacher with a huge world wide ministry based out of Houston, Texas. I've done some of her studies and always close my workbook feeling so much closer to God than when I started.

WELL, last January Beth posted on her blog these pictures she took of shoes she found at Payless and loved...

I too loved these shoes, so I took myself to the local mall and lo and behold there they were. I tried them on in the store and though they are higher than what I normally wear since my husband Gene towers over me by only a few inches, I decided that I just wouldn't stand next to him when I wore them. So, I made my purchase and home I went.

In Nebraska, Spring has finally sprung and the opened toe shoes are getting worn by everyone who has any sense of fashion, except for Lelia. These shoes are the most awkward shoes ever on me. We have wood floors throughout our home and every time I've had them on I feel like a 12 year old that gets to wear high heels to church for the first time. I wobble and pray the whole time I don't fall or twist an ankle in them. My husband doesn't even dare comment as I prance my way past him.

Now Beth Moore is maybe 5 feet 5 inches and is petite as she is maybe a size 2, perhaps a zero. Also, just looking at the pictures of the shoes above, I would guess Beth's feet are probably a size 6. Me on the other hand, I am 5 feet 8 inches and I too could wear a size 2 if you sewed about eight of them together. And my feet fit comfortably in a size 9.5 or 10. I also suffer from what I call Cankleitis. If you have no idea what that is, please let me share with you. Cankleitis is the inflammation of the calf which causes the leg to cover the ankle area therefore hiding any cute definition. Here is a meaning that I found on the inter net along with a picture...

The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, non-tapering terminus; medical cause: adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, worsened by weight gain and improved in appearance only by boots. From the English "calf" meaning wide portion of the lower leg, and "ankle" meaning slender joint of leg with foot.

So here are the pictures I took of me in my Beth Moore shoes this morning that I'll never wear except to do housework in front of my wise and silent husband. One would think I was the model for the above drawing as the similarities are haunting.

This is what I have learned from this experience...

So often when we like some one's teaching, writing or speaking we perch them up on a pedestal. A pedestal that they themselves do not want to be put on if they are a true humble servant of our Lord. Beth was simply showing the blog community what she found while shopping. Yet, in my warped sense of wanting to be a God-fearing woman like Beth, I ran out and bought the same shoes she had bought. I took home the shoes despite knowing while still within the walls of Payless that it would take a miracle for my feet to look good in them.

How often do we do that?

When there is someone we admire for their relationship with Jesus we want the same walk they have. Lord knows buying some cheap shoes was not going to make my relationship with Jesus the same as Beth has. God proved His point to me that I can't walk in Beth's shoes as I stumbled around in them. The calling on Beth's life is different than the calling God has for my life.

I just want to encourage you to keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ.

He is using women like Beth Moore and Lysa TerKeurst to get us closer to Him no doubt, but worship Him not them. I know both of these godly women would agree with me on this point. Just like you, they are women who just want to say Yes to Him and want to be an instrument for Him. Remember that when He's using them to perform heart surgery on you whether it's through their books, teachings or blogs, HE IS THE SURGEON and they are just the instruments He's using to work on you.

Recently my husband had back surgery and prior to surgery he talked to a guy that had the same procedure done a few years ago. This guy praised the surgeon many times during their conversation, but not once praised the instruments the surgeon used to repair his back. I'm not saying we can't share what an impact they've had on our lives, just be wise and keep in mind that they are being used by God.

Let's keep focused on the King ladies!

As for me...I guess I'll be wearing boots this summer because according to the inter net definition that is the only way to improve the appearance of my Cankles.


*I am entering this post in a monthly contest at Scribbit.*

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just for you

I loved all the comments you left on the Tuesday YES to GOD study. I'm also enjoying visiting every one's blogs & reading your thoughts. God is really doing amazing stuff in every one's lives. I love that no matter whether we are a farmer's wife in Australia like His Princess is or a counselor in Illinois like Amy Brooke is or wives and moms in Canada like Joyful and Sita are or a nurse in Missouri like Pamela from In His Graces is, God is moving! He's asking woman all over the world to say YES to Him and you're one of them...Isn't that so exciting?? Keep sharing your stories ladies for when we share what God is doing in our lives it may just be the encouragement the one who is reading it needs to say YES too.

Okay, the winner of the drawing for Lysa TerKeurst's cd
"No More Shame"


You'll really enjoy hearing Lysa's testimony of God's greatness working in her life. It will encourage you to keep saying YES! I bawled & praised God all the way to Wal-Mart when I listened to it. Liz, e-mail me your address please.

Now here is a special little something just for you today...

a Q&A about chapter 5 with the author of

"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God", Lysa TerKeurst.

Lelia: On page 80 we learn that Grace has two foes: Acceptance & Rejection. You seem to have such a great support not only at home and at P31, but also the blog community. When God lays something on your heart that you are certain is from Him and you are ready to say YES do you ever back away and say "no" instead because you've allowed Rejection or Acceptance to slither their way into your mind?

Lysa: Of course I would not be human if I said I was never tempted to slink back from an issue... especially one where people are attacking me. That's why it is essential for me to constantly be in God's word and prayer. Then He can give me a Holy confidence based on His wisdom and not my own.

Also, I always consider the source which the attack comes from. Is this a grounded person who is seeking the Lord from a pure heart? Is this a person wanting to better the Kingdom or build themselves up by tearing me down? If their concerns are valid, then I have to be humble enough to back down and see things from their vantage point.

If however, it is just vicious attack, I see if there is anything that I could learn from what they are saying and brush the rest aside. People have issues you know... and what is really going on with someone who is vicious usually has very little to do with you anyhow.

Yolanda: I'm not really sure that I felt a definite answer on how we truly get to the point of not allowing others compliments to get to me. (page 78) I realize this is pride, and I know to pray for this to be broken off, but any other suggestions?

Lysa: Just realize that compliments from man are very fleeting. A person who compliments you today could be your toughest critic tomorrow. My pastor often says, to many people he is only as good as his last sermon. If we live our lives looking for the compliments of others, we'll get in a bad pattern of living life to please others rather than God.

My husband has prayed for me throughout my ministry adventure that the Lord would keep me humble. God has answered my husband's prayer because I get regular doses of humble pie often. I've finally gotten to the place where I simply ask the Lord if He is pleased. Living my life for an audience of One has helped get me off the emotional roller coaster of the good and the bad things said to me and about me. But I won't lie... it still totally stinks when people are ugly acting. I'm just more able to see it for what it is now.

Lelia: When you start to worry instead of worship, how do you rope yourself back in to a state of worship? (pg. 83)

Lysa: It is a choice that I verbalize based on truth not feeling.

"I choose to not get so focused on my fear that it becomes bigger and more magnified. Only God should be magnified and big in my life. God will be there with me even if this fear comes true. And God will bring good from it. I've lived it. And I believe it still."

Lelia: Here's one of your own questions from the study: "What does taking refuge in the Lord mean?" according to Psalm 141:8 My eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge---do not give me over to death.

Lysa: This is a choice... moment by moment, day by day. The more we take refuge by filling ourselves us with reassurances from God's Word, the more crowded out fear becomes. Also, be honest with God about your fears... tell Him exactly what you fear and why. Ask Him for personal reassurances for you.

I hope this helps!

Sweet Blessings,


Thanks so much for blessing us Lysa with your book, your answers, your blog and your example of a life of obedience. We just want to be women that say Yes to our God with a heart that is willing instead of cautious. May we please You Lord with our desires lived out to just serve You.

In Him,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Week 5: YES to GOD Tuesday study


Every Tuesday for the last 4 weeks we've been reading and discussing the awesome book, "What Happens When a Women say Yes to God." by Lysa TerKeurst. I've had the pure pleasure of reading the blog posts and comments of what God has asked of women from Canada to everywhere in the States. Things that have touched them in this book and what God is teaching them. Please join me in sharing in the comments a time of obedience and trust in God when you have said YES GOD. Even if you aren't reading the book, I'd love to hear a testimony of God's greatness in your life. ALSO...if you post a comment then your name goes in a drawing to win Lysa's cd "No More Shame" where she shares what God has done in her life. Drawing will be Thursday!


If you have never been to Lysa's blog, click here. For the last two days she's been writing about Oprah & the New Age book study she's involved in...very insightful as Lysa speaks nothing but the truth. I linked it on my sidebar under the video of Oprah. Okay...let's get started with our YES study.

There were many "wow" moments for me splashed throughout this chapter. Here are a few of Lysa's statements that I can relate to:

*Naysayers make themselves feel better by tearing others down.
Been a naysayer as well as well as believed naysayers.

*Becoming a woman who unashamedly says yes to God is going to cause you to be different from many of your family members and friends.
The times of being the Lone Ranger have been the most incredible moments of my walk with my Savior.

*The thought that I am really something denies the reality that, but for the grace of Christ, I am nothing. The ease of settling for less is the pull of Rejection.

I have sat amongst a group of woman with the fear "If they only knew me". God has helped me rise above that fear by placing my confidence only in Him. I am unworthy, but He is what makes me worthy of His calling on my life.

*Our flesh seeks the approval of others, is swayed by Satan's voice of condemnation, and looks for the comfortable way out.

I am daily learning to recognize the difference between the voice of Truth and Love versus the enemy's tongue of lies.

*When we find ourselves in these hard places, we make the choice to worry or worship. But we can make the choice to worship. When we worship in these hard places, we are reminded that none of this is about us----it's all about God.

Oh how I long for a life that shouts the name of Jesus with my unspoken word.

John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.

*Our attention is like a magnifying glass---whatever we place it on becomes larger and more consuming of our time and energy.

I have this at the bottom of my basement stairs so I see it everyday..."Thoughts become words, Words become actions, Actions become character, Character becomes everything." Many thoughts have turned into regretful choices for me all because I allowed my focus to get off Jesus and onto what was before me.

* "I want to be a woman who says yes to God."

I want to be a woman who says yes to God.

Lysa ended the chapter with a very moving story about her daughter Brooke. Back in January she posted the story on her blog. Very heart touching and how we should be with our Heavenly Father. Click here if you'd like to read it.

Please leave a comment of your thoughts on this chapter and if you have more to say on your own blog sign up below.

~Many Blessings~

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Joy of the Lord

Psalm 126:2
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

"When babies smile, it's because the angels are talking to them."
~Edith Mae Michaelson~
This quote was recently shared with Alyssa by my Grandmother also named Lelia. She is Amiyah's Great-Great Grandmother on my mom's side of our family.
Edith was my Grandma's Mom who has been deceased since I was little.
To Amiyah, Edith is her Great-Great-Great Grandmother.
Amiyah started smiling when Great-Great Grandma was holding her and when she told Alyssa what her Mom used to say about smiling babies, there were tears in the eyes of my almost 80 year old Grandma.
Very precious moment.

Dear Lord,
I have no idea what runs through a baby's mind, if anything, or if its just muscle spasms tugging at the corners of their mouth. Perhaps Grandma Edith was right and the angels are talking to them.
Whatever it is that makes a baby smile, may you see the same expression on my face when I think of You.
Pure, innocent joy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just look inside

If you missed out on the Yes to God Tuesday study, click here to read it. Read the comments too and visit the other blogs...these women are so awesome!

When I first started writing on this blog I wrote a post about my daughter Alivia. She has lost a total of 5 teeth and 2 of them have been pulled out by her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson. Alivia is now in 1st grade at a different school, but still keeps in contact with her especially when she has a wiggly tooth.

Well last night, after returning from a visit to Mrs. Johnson's home, my son asked if she was a dentist or something because I was telling my husband how quick she pulled out Alivia's tooth. Nope, not a dentist just a talented teacher. She has kids that are in older grades coming back to her to pull their teeth. Alivia might be the first one though that attends a different school and makes a house call.

Well, on the way home the tooth that was safely in the baggie when we left Mrs. Johnson's home got lost. I'm talking a 5 minute drive and even a zip lock baggie. Gone, no where to be found in the car. No tooth and a devastated 1st grader.
"Now the tooth fairy won't come and leave me any money under my pillow!"
Her brother Aaron was loving this as he had sat her down right before Easter and told her that Santa and the Tooth Fairy is really Mom. Funny how at Easter when she was the only one who got a basket, he didn't find his antics so funny. Now don't get me wrong here, we have fun with Santa and the Easter bunny , but we also teach the real deal...Jesus Christ.

Alivia was just on her way to bed feeling not only toothless, but hopeless when my sister called. In the saddest voice she could speak, she told my sister of the gap in her gums and no proof for the tooth fairy. Michelle then encouraged her to write the tooth fairy a note explaining the lost tooth...

In case this is too small to read, this is what she wrote:

Dear tooth fairy I got my tooth pulled but I could not find it please leaves some money under my pillow.

(She also drew a picture of a pillow with money under it accompanied by the words pillow and money with arrows pointing to her drawing.)

This last sentence is what got me though...
look inside my mouth if you don't believe me.

My sister is brilliant, for the note worked. After a quick potty break at 3:30 this morning the beautiful, oh so slender tooth fairy with much skill flew into Alivia's room, read the note, checked inside the mouth for an empty space, slipped some quarters under her pillow and even kissed sleeping beauty on her cheek before going back to bed.

Needless to say we woke up to a very happy 6 year old this morning!

After taking this picture, Alivia went back upstairs to get ready for school when I heard her tell Aaron, "Fine, I'll give you a quarter." How low is this boy going to go? First he tells her the tooth fairy is fake, then tries to enjoy in her reward. I'll have to make sure he never gets one on one time with Amiyah! Luckily, the tooth fairy came to the rescue and Aaron left for school with empty pockets.

Wouldn't it be great if when we get unfocused on our calling that we could just write God a note saying:

Dear God

I have lost my focus and can't find it, but please still bless me and use me for I still love you.



Look inside my heart if you don't believe me.

Thank God He isn't a fantasy.

Go visit my bloggy friend Cindy at Still His Girl who is having a contest! Plus, you'll just love her blog if you've never been there before.

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week 4: YES to GOD Tuesday study

Okay, one would think I just gave birth a week ago instead of my daughter. I tell you, this whole experience of helping Mommy out in the middle of the night is really taking its toll on me. For some reason 37 doesn't take well to getting her sleep interrupted. She wakes up in such a state of confusion. No telling what lullaby comes out of my mouth at 2am.
Oh well, my little Amiyah is so worth any loss of sleep.

Here is a button if you'd like to add it to your blog, compliments of the wonderful Karla!
Isn't it just so pretty? Please go visit Karla. She has an awesome blog and she was the winner of the She Speaks scholarship P31 held a few months ago. Her blog will be worth your time. Thanks for blessing me Karla! xoxo

Okay, YES to GOD, let's we dive into Lysa TerKeurst's awesome book
"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God".

CHAPTER 4: You never know how God will use you until you let Him.
First of all, don't you just love the title of this chapter?? How true it is.

"In following the path of radical obedience, I have tasted the mystery of the sacred fellowship that comes when two or more are gathered in His name, and it has added a richness to my life that I would never again want to live without. "
Sacred fellowship. I love the times I have with God that is only between me and Him. I love those moments with God that you just bawl for no reason except for the fact that He invaded a new area of your heart.

Further down on page 59, Lysa says this, "Radical obedience is not just following a list of right things to do. Nonbelievers can do that and call it "good." Radical obedience is choosing to exchange what is "right" for God's righteousness. Only the pursuit of God's righteousness lead to His best. "
Choice. Everyday we're faced with the choice of following God. Exchanging what is right for God's righteousness. Isn't that just strong? Exchanging what we think is good or right and saying here God, now give me your best. Pursuing God leads to His best. That last sentence just gets me. How many times do we throw our hands up in frustration because we didn't get the "best" when we thought we were due to have it? I don't even want to think about all the "best of God's" I've missed out on due to selfishness and impatience.

On page 60 Lysa boldly tells us that Jesus Christ is our source and should be the ONLY object of our pursuit.
"When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our life, we exchange our worthless sin for the immeasurable worth of His righteousness."
OH I loved how God had Lysa word that truth for us!!! As my husband would say, "Go on girl!" Think about that sentence of honesty. When we give up the meaningless, worthless things in our lives that we think we can't live without, we are exchanging it for God's righteousness that cannot even begin to be measured!

I love jewelry. Let's say I wore a cubic zirconia ring on my ring finger and when Gene proposed to me and tried exchanging my fake diamond for the real stuff I said, "no thanks, I'd rather wear this". There is no way I would've done that. So why do we do that with God?
We are so quick to settle for stuff that we'll look back on and say "OH my goodness that was so meaningless, what was I thinking?" instead of exchanging it for a testimony of God's presence in our lives.

So how do we get started in becoming a woman who pursues obedience? Lysa tells us that "becoming women who say yes to God starts with Jesus, and it is His amazing love that compels us."

Okay, so Christ's love drives us to obey. Lysa teaches us that an obedient heart isn't our way of earning God's favor; nor it is the path to prosperity. God's favor is with those who love His Son, and our promise of prosperity lies in what we have waiting for us in our eternal home. At the end of this section on page 61 Lysa asks us a few questions:
Do we really want to be interrupted in the middle of our busy lives to see God, hear God, and pursue God? Do we really want to be compelled by the love of Christ? Do we really want a Lord of all of our life?
She answers exactly what my heart desires but so often the flesh part of me defies:

I don't know about you, but sometimes this pursuit of God is just down right tiring. I want things now instead of kids are doing things that they shouldn't be...some days I just want to be single and kid less...finances are choking us. I mean really, don't you sometimes feel like you have had enough??
I KNOW I'm not alone here. I just need to stay focused on Him because He is so worth any discomfort during the journey.

I get just tired and there are many times that I've experienced the unfortunate consequences of acting like a spoiled brat and doing things my way instead of just keeping my mouth shut and keeping my face buried in His Word. I know He has plans for me, but so often I choose to do it my way.

1.) Christ is the source of our radical obedience
2.) His love is what motivates us
3.) His power enables us to do what we're called to do.

I love Beth Moore's statement: "He's developing the character the calling requires."
Sometimes God asks us to do some things that we just know we can't do. Things that we can only do through His power. I believe those are the moments His glory shines the brightest is when the impossible is made possible through Him. There's nothing more beautiful then when He takes a woman that is so uncapable and does what He knows she can't until she cooperates.

Listen to this warning Lysa gives us about Satan:
"Know this: Satan will do everything he can to convince you to say no to God...He wants you to deny Christ's power in you. He wants to distract you from God's radical purpose for you."

This past week when my daughter gave birth she asked her nurse for an epidural when her pain passed her line of tolerance. Before the pain reached it's height, she was distracted from her contractions because of what was running through her IV. She was so comfortable that she even slept between some contractions. We even had to tell her when to push by watching the contraction monitor. How often does that happen in real life? The minute we start to feel discomfort we opt to have the enemy's epidural. Now in my daughter's case, she still got a beautiful baby girl at the end, but in real life, we miss out on the beauty of what God has for us when we allow the enemy to come in and distract our hearts. Sometimes we need to experience those pains in order to grow. We just have to bear down through life's hard contractions because when we get through it we'll be met with a Father who values our obedience.

Lysa asked us if we want to chase after the world's emptiness instead of God's fullness over on page 64. I once heard a pastor from Atlanta, Rick Snow, put it this way:
"When we don't listen to God, it's as if we're running on an indoor track and God is on the sideline telling us to 'take another lap'".
I hated track growing up, but somehow I have become a marathon runner as God is motioning for me to keep going until I get it.
Oh Lelia...

I leave you with this statement of Lysa's found on page 70.
"I remind myself often that people don't care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life."

Let's learn to be real women of God who aren't just talking, saying or writing what sounds good. Let's allow God to do what He wants when the word YES rolls off of our lips.
Let's let people meet the reality of Jesus in our lives. Everyday. Every hour. Every second. He needs to be evident for others to see and hear.
For when they see Him in us they too will want to say YES to GOD!

There is so much more in this chapter that I could share, but the floor is yours. Please leave a comment and share what God is doing in your life. I love reading what you share and I learn so much from all of you. If you have something on your blog you want others to come read...please sign up below so we can come visit.

God Bless you all and I promise next Tuesday this will be posted before noon central time.
Thank you all for your sweet comments to Alyssa and about Amiyah.
Life is just so much better with her in it and it's only been 6 days!

Love ya,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just Amazing

The song playing called "Heaven" is what Alyssa has as her ring tone on her cell phone. She put it on her phone days before giving birth because she said it reminds her of Amiyah.
Yesterday when it started playing she started crying and said, "I just can't believe she's mine."
I think she's going to be a really really good Mommy to Amiyah.
On the Blog Baby Shower I had for Alyssa a few weeks ago in Rachel's comment she told Alyssa the meaning of Baby Girl's name. Thank you for that, for we didn't know it.
Amiyah means Beloved.
According to Webster's dictionary Beloved means "dearly loved."
How very true...

Dear Jesus,
When You formed this little beauty in my daughter's womb did You step back in awe of your own work? Are You just as amazed as I am at what You created

from her beautiful head

to the bottom of her cute little feet?
I love the details of her Lord.

Like the way she sucks her thumb...
The way she pushes her little tongue in between her pretty lips when she sleeps...
The way she always has her little tiny hands around her little tiny beautiful face...
She is just perfect Lord.

I thankYou for her.

What I didn't want in my life 9 months ago I now can't imagine life without.

Through all the years of accomplishments in my daughter's life Jesus,
I have never seen her more proud than the moment You presented her with

Amiyah Elizabeth...

"I knew I'd love her, but I didn't know I'd love her this much!"
~Mommy after holding her~

And of course Uncle Aaron and Aunt Alivia couldn't be more proud of their little niece.

What Aaron is really thinking...

Great, another girl in the house!

What Alivia is really thinking...

Forgot those plastic dolls, I can't wait to dress this!

OH Lord, You are incredible and awesome!

I stand in awe of the works of your hands and

I thank You again and again for our precious GIRL!