Tuesday, June 23, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 1: An Open Door

So glad you have dropped by for the summer study of

Hope that you all had a blessed weekend celebrating Father's Day.
On Sunday morning I was at the kitchen table writing my Father's Day post keeping a watchful eye on Alivia. She was insistent that she make and serve Gene breakfast in bed. All by herself.

So she sprayed the skillet, cracked all 6 eggs, scrambled them with a whisk, poured them into the pan, heavily salted them, peppered and stirred them.
She toasted a piece of bread, buttered it, dropped it on the dirty floor, picked it up and without losing her rhythm spread jelly on it.
I gagged.
She made 4 pieces of bacon and a cup of cappuccino in the microwave and even made a package of instant grits.
All by herself.

She got out a cookie sheet, put a placement on it along with an index card with the message HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Love, Alivia she then went and woke him up.

I knew a little dirt wouldn't hurt him so I just smiled as Gene took a bite of the toast.
He told her how good it was and she beamed.
Knowing the dirty toast was being served to the man that ate this last year, I just let them enjoy their moment.
All by themselves.

He was blessed, loved and full.
Conveniently too full to eat all of the overly salted eggs.
I just pray if I get breakfast in bed anytime soon from Miss Alivia that she serves me cereal. Suddenly I'm allergic to toast and eggs that make you thirsty.


Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

I loved the beginning of this chapter. I imagined Liz standing in the front door of her home just welcoming us in. To say that I'm glad to see you is a major understatement. Thrilled is more like it. Curb my enthusiasm? No way. Not when it's you.

Can't you just see Jesus saying that to us when we arrive in Heaven?

After inviting us into her home, Liz tells us That's what this visit is all about: slipping off the old and putting on the new. Letting go of the past and embracing freedom with our whole hearts.

Ms. Higgs has God's Word splashed throughout this chapter as if to back up the words from her heart.

1 Timothy 6:19b
Take hold of the life that is truly life.

The forgiven life. The grace-filled life.

That is one thing that really captured my attention with this book. Over the last year I have been told numerous times through e-mails and comments left of how much grace I have shown my teenage daughter who if you don't know, have given birth twice in one year. I do feel that I have shown her some grace, but I have also made the choice to watch her walk out my door covered in a coat of shame that I put on her.

So, how do I change? How do I clothe my girl in grace instead of shame?

It begins with an embrace, which is more than an elegant word for hug.

Hugs are short-lived and friendly...

An embrace is more intentional. Longer. Warmer. Far more personal.

Before reading this, I have never thought of the differences between a quick hug versus a embrace with intention.

We simply let the strength of our embrace express the depth of our thoughts and feelings.

I believe in you.

I support you.

I treasure you.

I love you.

Liz goes on to tell us that it doesn't matter where we have been, what we have done in our lives, that we are already wrapped in the Lord's embrace. Held close by nail-scarred hands.

She goes on to tell us that He is waiting for a return embrace from us. To accept the gift he's offering you. To listen for the whispered words you've longed a lifetime to hear:

You are loved. All is forgiven.

We are told the purpose of this book we are discussing:
Embrace Grace is for those hard-to-imagine days when the gospel seems too good to be true.

She wraps the chapter up with the sweet reminder that God has plans for us according to

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

She encourages her readers to follow Him, saying it is the key.

God will be there for you, however dark the hour, however tenuous your faith.

How reassuring to know that no matter how dark the storm gets, God is there.
He is the One that will lead if we will just follow.

At the end of this brief, but power-packed chapter Liz had 3 questions under a section called Before You Turn the Page...
I really urge you to take the time to answer the questions she gives us.

In the comments below if you want to answer this question please do so:
What words do you wish God would whisper in your ear?

If you have more to share on your own blog, then please sign up under Mr. Linky below so we can come visit you. If you don't have a blog and are reading along you can leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you haven't picked up your book yet and you want to join in, you can join in anytime...we'd love to have you!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and don't forget to answer the question. Even if you're not reading the book, join in.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday read and be ready to discuss chapter 2:
Embrace Doubt

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, God.

Today many men are being honored for their role in life as a father. Some may receive a homemade gift while others open a store bought one. Some may be taken out to a restaurant while others will get cooked for like Alivia is doing right now for her Daddy. Then there are those like Kelley and Julie who are celebrating their 1st Father's Day without their guest of honor as both of their Dad's have passed away this last year. And there are also those who were perhaps abused at the hands of their Dad and really struggle with this day.

There are also many men or young boys that are bringing babies into this world and then ignore their existence. Two of them being my own grandchildren. Although not being acknowledged my an abusive drug dealer is a blessing to this Grandma, it does carry it's own cross when the child is old enough to understand.

As much as I love my husband Gene, my Dad Acey, my father in law Willie and even my Grandpa I want to honor my Heavenly Father. I look back at things in my life and realize that without Him, there is no way I could have made it through. I'm probably one of His neediest daughters as I call on Him for the littlest things to the big things in my life.

The neat thing is that He wants to call each one of us His Daughter.
I'm nothing special, so I think, until I read how He knows exactly how many hairs are coming out of my head or how He formed me while in my Mom's womb. Or no matter how hard I try, there isn't anywhere I can go to escape Him.

He loves me as is. Mess and all. He is never intimidated by how much luggage we choose to carry around. He does not think we are too much for Him to handle. He just loves us. Loves us enough to send His Son down from heaven with one purpose. To save the unsaved. To capture our hearts. Even though He knew ahead of time how we would misbehave, how we would rebel, how we would choose to fill our flesh with meaningless pleasures over staying faithful to Him...we are still His chosen.

I love my Father.
I credit Him with not only saving my soul from eternal death, but saving my marriage. He is the One that I call on in times of trouble and in times of not being able to comprehend the why of the things that happen on earth such as losing the Charity's in the world.

Every day we are filled with choices to make. Some easy like what outfit to wear to work to the most difficult like what outfit to bury your daughter in. We choose what to eat, what car to drive, what zip code to have, even what color to put on our walls. The most important choice I have ever made in my life has been to open that door when Jesus was knocking. To say yes to having the King of all Kings come into my life. I made my choice in 2nd grade to invite Jesus into my life on a playground. Little did I know then of just Who was walking over the threshold of my heart's doorway.

I look at my Alivia who just completed 2nd grade and I know that she really has no idea of the One she sings about. The One she prays to. When I made my choice to invite Him into my life at her age that I too had limited understanding of Him. And at 38 years old, my understanding still has its limits about Him. No way at Alivia's age could I even begin to understand that when you go through troubles in your marriage...He's the One that will guide you. When your child goes to the grave too early, He is the One you will lean on. When you feel like giving up on life, that your heavenly Father is the One you will cry out to in the early morning hours.
All she knows right now is that she loves Him and He loves her.

Alivia knows her God, but only as her almost 8 year old self will allow. In time, her relationship with Him will grow and she'll learn more and more about the One who died hanging on a tree, rose from the grave and is just waiting for the thumbs up to come get her. Of course, I hope she makes better choices than her Mom did and that she remains on the narrow path, but whether she stays or goes I find comfort in knowing He has His eye on her 24/7.

Amazing to me that I will lie in my bed and cry out to Him over something devastating and Alivia will lie in her bed and talk to the same Father about her skinned knee and we both get the same attentiveness from Him. He listens to both of us. He captures both of our tears in a bottle. She draws near to Him, He draws near to her. I draw near, He draws near. So different, but the same God. The same Father.

I have two little grandchildren in my life that are from the same guy. Both denied. Both not taken care of by him. In the worlds' view they are labeled as fatherless and even called bastards. And looking at these two little girlies, I know they are both far from being close to that. Even though neither one has yet verbalized an invitation for Him to come into their lives, they are His.

He is the One who created them from head to toe.
He is the One who has a daily record of every hair on their little heads.
He is the One who makes that heart connection when Jesus Loves Me is sung to Amiyah and she responds by raising her chubby arms and singing along in her jibberish that only He can understand.

Fatherless? No, they have the King of Kings as their Father.
And so do I. Mess and all, He chose me.
And He slowly over time reveals Himself to His child.

Don't think for one second that He doesn't know everything about you, everything you've done, everything you're going to do and looks upon you and as the world does, labels you.
He loves you as is. He wants you as is. He is crazy about you and wants to call you His Daughter.
So come. Come to the Father and watch your life change.

Whether you are singing jibberish or kneeling on a basement floor asking Him to restore your marriage, He will be there for you.
Rejoicing over you and revealing more and more of Himself to you in due time.

Happy Father's Day, God.

~Many Blessings~
See you Tuesday, June 23rd for the next YES to GOD summer study:
Chapter 1 of Liz Curtis Higgs' book, Embrace Grace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer YES to GOD study with Liz Curtis Higgs!



Hello Ladies!

So glad you have come by for a visit.

Last week we wrapped up our time with Ms. Micca Campbell and her book, An Untroubled Heart. When I first started the book, my thought was that I was fearless. Tough as nails. I learned much about myself in the weeks of reading together. The only time I lacked fear was when it came to God. I feel I really didn't have the depth of reverance and still don't that I need to have for Him. He deserves my respect. All of it and that is what we learned in Micca's book is called healthy fear.

So, I am learning to apply what I learn which really makes a difference when I do it. Lord knows though that I have a really long ways to go until He has me where He wants me. Rumor has it that it's going to take as long as I'm alive. Bummer.

The last few weeks I flip-flopped of whether I was going to take the summer off from doing a YES to GOD blog study and start back up in the fall. When I decided that I was going to take it off I felt I had made the wrong decision and then started getting e-mails asking about the summer study. So here we are.

Over time I have received many comments about how much grace I show my teenage daughter. The daughter that has made me a Grandma twice over in 14 months time before she turns 20 and I turn 40.

Very sweet comments, but honestly my daughter has not walked around in a gown of grace woven by her grace giving Mother. Instead I would wrap her with grace in my quiet times with God, but face to face has sometimes been a different story.

Somedays, I chose to drape her shoulders with disgust or disappointment. Her same burdened shoulders that were already hoisting Shame into the air. I did anything but consistently embrace my daughter with the grace I gave her glimpses of having for her.

But then it hit me the other can I expect to show my daughter grace and embrace her with grace if I don't embrace it and clothe myself in it?

That's where our 6th YES to GOD study steps in as we dive into a book by
Liz Curtis Higgs, best known for being the author of the best-selling book series,
Bad Girls of the Bible.

When in Kansas City visiting Kelley recently, Liz's little book Embrace Grace caught my eye.
Perhaps it was the apples on the cover that made me hungry for this book.

Or maybe it was the title itself and the subtitle that made me toss it in my cart.

I mean what woman with a past as ugly as mine wouldn't want a book on her shelf that says

Embrace Grace

Welcome to the Forgiven Life.

I read through chapter one and let me share just a little something with you from the
heart of Liz...
Wherever you are spiritually, whatever you have been
through emotionally, you are already wrapped in the Lord's
embrace. Held close by nail-scarred hands. Enfolded in the
arms of One who believes in you, supports you, treasures you,
and loves you.

He is waiting for you to embrace Him in return. To accept

the gift He's offering you. To listen for the whispered words

you've longed a lifetime to hear:

You are loved. All is forgiven.

This is just what I need this summer.

8 chapters.

3 questions at the end of each chapter.

145 short pages.

Join me this summer as I learn to embrace the grace that God has for me. For you.

I know I interfere a lot with the work God is doing in my life and yet my desire really is for God to be completely unleashed to have His perfect way in and through me.

So Lord, this invitation is extended first and foremost to You, my King.

Please join me next Tuesday, June 23rd as I dive into Liz's penned walk of her heart with You. Teach me so that I can pass what I learn on to my daughter. So I can teach her how to embrace the grace You have for her also. And that when You say I have plans for you , that means her too. Plans I hope she'll give You permission to live out within in her when her head isn't hanging from shame.

If you are planning on joining me next week for the summer YES to GOD study then grab the book, order the book or borrow the book, but don't steal the book because that just wouldn't be godly.


Have chapter 1 read by next Tuesday, June 23rd so we can discuss it right here.

I'm excited about what I think won't be a "deep" summer study.

Somehow, I think God has something else up His holy sleeve.

Sign up below if you plan to join me in discussing Liz Curtis Higgs' book, Embrace Grace.

Here is an e-mail from Ms. Higgs' that I wanted to share with you. I was blessed she took the time to get back with me when I let her know her book is the one for the next YES to GOD study.


Dear Lelia--

I am THRILLED, DELIGHTED, and OVERJOYED that you are going to be discussing Embrace Grace beginning Tuesday, June 23rd! It is truly a book of my heart, and one I hope will speak to the hearts of those in your online group.

I would be happy to stop by on the 23rd if you'll just tell me how to do that. :>)

Please give everyone a HUGE cyber-hug for me!

Your sister in Christ,



Be ready Ladies.
God is invading blogland through these different authors.
Let's let Him have His way within our hearts and become the women He has created us to be.
Let's learn to return His embrace.
See you next Tuesday...and invite a friend or 2!

~Many Blessings~

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Such a delight

18 years ago when I started working in the medical field my first job was in a nursing home. I took care of this lady named Blanche. One thing she loved reading was a little book with what was once blank pages. It was the size of a small picture album. Like a small purse size brag book. And on those pages she had years of quotes written down.
Not words spoken by anyone famous, but instead she had funny things her grandchildren had said over the years. She had the date and the child's name and age written below the quote.
I loved that idea and wish I would have started to do that when she showed it to me because at the time Alyssa was just a baby.

But, of course I didn't so I have to remember stuff my kids have said.
Alivia may have won the other day for the most memorable line.

I had just gotten up from the kitchen table when she ran into the house through the back door.
Eyes open as big as she could get them, she yelled "MOM!"

"What??" I asked thinking she had gotten hurt or something.

As if on cue, the dinging sound of the ice cream truck slowly rollin' down our street was the perfect background music as she gave this quick speech:

Okay, the ice cream truck is outside and I'm going to go out there and prostitution and try to get 3 ice cream bars for me, Joe and Hannah."

"You're going to do what?"

"Prostitution." she confidently answered.

Then she got down on her knees, folded her hands and instead of praying like she looked like she was about to do, she pretended to beg the driver of the ice cream truck.

"Please, please ice cream truck person, give us 3 ice creams."

I'm such a good Mom.

I didn't even take the time to correct her and say, "You mean proposition?"
No, I just laughed.

I didn't even tell her that prostitution is something that she will never do.
Nope, too busy laughing.

I didn't even bother to try to find where she heard the word prostitution.
I just wiped my tears from laughing.

Oh my goodness.
Well, if I start a Blanche book now, then at least she can read about how if I hadn't been shocked and in laughter, that I would've told her that nice girls don't prostitute.
Not for ice cream.
Not for anything.

Then, before my tears were dried out, she brought me this stem of beautiful purple flowers that she picked for me.
"Oh, pretty! Where did you get these?" I asked her.
"Where Kane lives", she said.

Kane would be our dog and he lives in our backyard.
I had the camera so I snapped this of her.

The tears from laughter started rolling again when 5 minutes later she arrived with this delivery.
And when I said, "Wow!"
She had this smile on her face as she said, "I knew you'd love it!"

This is the child that when I found out I was pregnant I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. At that time, I didn't want anymore children and was actually depressed about the pregnancy for the first trimester.
God knows what He is doing though. He knew how I would need this Joy in my life.
I can't imagine my life without her. Not a single minute. And looking at that smile makes me ashamed that I didn't rejoice over her that day in the bathroom holding that positive pregnancy stick.
For this little girl is much to rejoice over.


And so are these two...
I had the Grandgirls on Alyssa's couch and I was just snapping pictures.

Here is Big Sister Amiyah proudly holding her new love.

I was looking through Alyssa's camera and just snapping pictures and so the delay was probably about 10 seconds before I actually saw what the girls were doing.
Or what one girl was up to.

So imagine my surprise when this picture popped up...

I quickly intervened and stopped Amiyah from further pulling Juliana's hair.

Oh this baby has no idea, nor do we, as to what Amiyah has planned for her in the future.
Love and affection with an aggressive twist, no doubt.

Have a blessed weekend.

~Many Blessings~
This past week we wrapped up the awesome book study of An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell. If you want to join me for the summer YES to GOD study, see the book we're doing in the upper right corner of my blog. Sign up is next Tuesday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

YES to GOD study: CH. 12~Living with Courage (Final Chapter)


or for today, YES to GOD Thursday.

We have come to the final chapter of Micca Campbell's book,
This just so happens to be Micca's first book, but I pray it's not her last.
It was a great tool to learn how to live a life of faith instead of fear.
I know it will be a reference I will pull out often to refresh my memory of how to have fearless living.

And for me, the timing of this book was so God. He knew what I'd be facing in my life with our daughter Alyssa and just put something in my lap that would help me through it. Do I have it down and am living out a fearless life? Not yet, but I'm working on it. And I'm excited that I have a book written by a woman that had to face unimaginable pain to get where God has her today. When her first husband Porter died in the accident, Micca chose to eventually fall on her knees before her King instead of letting Him see her back while He waited for her.
She chose to learn how to walk this path of faith versus fear and God rewarded her obedience by giving her
An Untroubled Heart.

So we head into the final chapter of her book and Bible study and it's not a book I close with ease because I like reading her words. I think she has given us plenty to soak in though. If you haven't read this book and you have fears to overcome, this would be great for you to read.

Before we get to Micca's book though, I want to tell you about the summer study I'll be hosting here on YES to GOD Tuesday's. I wasn't going to do one until August, but feel that I'm supposed to after last night.

This will be a very lighthearted summer read so check it out before you say you're too busy. There will be no linking to your blog with Mr. Linky, discussions will be light and I believe growth with God will be evident during this short read.

Liz Curtis Higgs is well known for her book series of Bad Girls of the Bible.
Those books are a little deeper than I want to do for a summer study,
so I've chosen this small book to do...

"Liz tells the story of grace, forgiveness, and restoration that every one of us----
the wounded, the hurting, the seeking---needs to hear."
~PRISCILLA SHIRER author of He Speaks to Me

"Embrace Grace gives answers, truth, and a map that will take you from shame and guilt to a hope-filled future."
~CAROL KENT, author of When I Lay My Isaac Down

Both of those reviews on the back cover captured my attention and is exactly what my heart needs.
I hope you can join me on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 to discuss the 1st chapter of this book.

Now, if you are looking for a deeper study, then you need to visit Wendy Blight from
Proverbs 31 Ministries who will be starting a blog study of her book,Click here if you want to check that out on her blog.
Wendy has an amazing life story and like Micca, has walked out beforehand what God has entrusted her to write.

So far, there are 100 women signed up to join her on her blog starting
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 discussing chapter 1 of Hidden Joy!
What an AWESOME God we serve!

So, if you are looking for a summer study, start
Embrace Grace here with me on Tuesday, June 23rd
Hidden Joy with Wendy on June 17th!

And please don't think if you join Wendy's study that you'll step on my toes because this is not about me, but all about drawing your heart closer to Jesus.
So dear friend, go where He leads you to go!
And if you need a break then take one and join me in August for the fall study.

Okay...let's sadly wrap this book up.

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Do we see ourselves as we really are--equipped and able to face life with wisdom, love, and courage? Our God is the supplier of these qualities.
In this section Micca shared the story of King Solomon and how he asked God for wisdom. Honestly, I don't think I've ever specifically asked God for wisdom. What would my life looked like if I emulated not only Jesus, but people that are in the Bible such as Solomon and I asked God to give me His wisdom. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about the endless possibilities that come with really living in God's will. Something I don't know if I have ever done 100%.

God cares about every detail of our lives.
The Lord wants to guide us in every decision we make.
The way God guides us into all wisdom is through His Word.
Our true life is revealed through the pages of the Bible.
I love books. Love them.
I don't know who is more of a book addict, me or Kelley.
Seems like every time I call her she is at the Christian bookstore. She even buys me books.
Just today she told me of 4 bargains she has waiting for me in Kansas.
One thing I've learned in blog land and I thought I was alone, is that women read 2-4 books at a time. Just ask a woman what is in her tote bag or no her nightstand and she'll rattle off a few titles. The thing is though, is that I can fill every shelf I have with books about God, but unless I let God lead me and guide me in His Word its all just a bunch of occupied space. I love that Micca said our true life is revealed through the pages of the Bible. She didn't even say her own book, she said the Bible. So by reading and memorizing His Word we will find wisdom laced in the pages.

To become brave Micca tells us we must:
~meditate on the knowledge of God.
But she is quick to point out that wisdom is only a part of the equation.
To build faith that is stronger than fear, we must have a "heart".

What does it mean to have a heart?
It means to be passionately involved.

Jesus tells us we have to love our neighbor.
That takes courage, because Christ's definition of a neighbor goes beyond those who lives next door.

A neighbor is anyone we meet who has a need.

According to Jesus, everyone we meet is our neighbor.
And we're supposed to love them? Really?
Obviously no one warned Jesus about Stranger Danger.

Here are a few excuses to not loving our neighbor.

Don't want to get involved
Don't want to be bothered
I was seeing eye to eye with Micca on this one and then she said this
...fear, lack of heart, and feelings of inadequacy only rob our witness and our service.

So loving a stranger who has needs takes courage. It's not that Jesus expects us to pick up a hitchhiker on the highway rather, He's talking about the everyday people that we meet.
People that come into our lives in the "weird" ways.
The Divine set-ups.

Micca says this about courage:
not absent of fear
is being brave in spite of fear or hard circumstances
being brave enough to move through our fears
transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary

I've heard this before and so glad Micca reminded us of this:
God never calls us to do something He has not equipped us to do.

This was a very eye opening part of the chapter for me.
When you feel fearful, what's at the source?
Honestly, me, myself and I.
Are you focused on yourself?
Who me? Never! Excuse me, you're blocking the mirror.
Taking our eyes off self an placing them on others helps us to see past our fears to the needs of others.
In all honesty, I have a hard time doing this part of it at times. A lot of the time. Like everyday.

Where has God placed you right now?
To trust Him with my teenage daughter and her babies.

Courage is being brave in spite of our fear.
We can use our fear to find our faith.
We find our faith by doing it afraid.

I love how Micca ended this chapter.

God is big enough for us to place our faith in Him.

Bigger than
~the Enemy
~the unknown
~your hurt
~moral collapse

God is big enough!
If you and I dare to believe that He is, then there is nothing we can't do.

Can you imagine a fearless life? Here is some last chapter encouragement from the author...
Trust God
He will equip you
Dare to be courageous
Live out your God-given dreams
Pursue passions and abilities
Take risks
Expand your horizons.

This is the way faith lives-----stronger than all we fear.

Let's take one day at a time and trust God with all of our fears. Let's let Him teach us through His Word.
God wants us to approach Him with all of our needs.
Not just the heart attacks, the cancer, the loss of employment,
but also the cranky moods, the desire to exercise and the bad habit of nail biting.
To God, when we allow Him into every area of our life then it shows Him how we believe in Him completely.
And as He watches us and guides us through our fears He sees the beat of our heart change as it turns from a heart filled with fear to an untroubled heart.
Fearless living is how I want to live.

I have enjoyed every page of this study and also the Bible study at the end of each chapter. I have grown in leaps and bounds in these last 13 weeks and yet I want more of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for riding on this journey with me. You all are such a blessing to me.
Next week no book study, but Embrace Grace will start up on Tuesday, June 23rd!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write out what you know about our God. The timing of this book was incredible for me. Facing a lot of unknowns right now I am handling them so different than what I did 13 weeks ago and I have you to thank for that. You and God.
Keep writing and sharing your life with us.
We truly love you.
And when God gives you your next book to write, send it over here.
We'd love to read and discuss it, whatever the topic may be.
Please also tell your family thank you. I know there were probably many nights and days that they had to leave you alone so you could work on your book. Please let them know that there is at least one heart in Nebraska that has moved from living in fear, fears I didn't even know I had, to learning how to trust God in my circumstances.
Soon An Untroubled Heart will be the description of my heart.

If you have something on your own blog to share about this chapter, please sign up under Mr. Linky below so we can stop by and read your thoughts. Thank you to all of you who kept posting. Life does get in the way of these studies and often times people have to drop off. If you did, I just want to encourage you to finish the book. It's worth your time.

Next week there will be no YES to GOD study for us to to discuss, BUT I have something awesome for you to participate in, so y'all come back now!
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Sisters Meet for the 1st time...

I know it's YES to GOD Tuesday, but that will have to wait until Thursday. I'm not quite done with the chapter and a book this good cannot be rushed.
So Thursday come back for the conclusion of Micca Campbell's book, An Untroubled Heart. Also...keep her in your prayers as she has been sick this past week! WE LOVE YOU MICCA!

Last Wednesday our teenage daughter Alyssa, gave birth to her 2nd baby girl, Juliana Pearl.
The next day Juliana's older sister Amiyah was brought to the hospital to meet her sister.

Allow this proud Grandma to share this precious moment with you.

My sister Michelle introducing the girls...

She looks so proud....even though she probably thinks she's a doll.

Not so sure.

What are you doing?

What is she doing?

If you don't know what to do...lay on her.

Poor Juliana....
I think it's safe to say Amiyah is in love...

Juliana, on the other hand looks as if she is wondering
Who put this 2 tooth wonder in charge of me?

Please continue to pray over this family of three.
This teen Mom is overwhelmed and scared.
And I won't tell her, but this 38 year old Grandma is brought to tears easily feeling the same.
God is in control...this I believe.

I didn't talk much about this 2nd pregnancy, like I did the 1st. I think part of me was in shock since Amiyah was only 6 months old. This past winter we found out Alyssa was being beaten up by Amiyah and Juliana's uninvolved "dad". He is locked up in jail right now, but please pray she gets the counsel she needs to stay away from him for good.
This is all new to me, but let me tell you when your pregnant teenage daughter shows up with black eyes and tells you how he tried pulling her out of her moving car by her hair or how he pushed her down to the ground and kicked her in her pregnant stomach...there is something inside of you that comes out that you didn't even know was there. I called the coward and spoke anything but Scripture over him. He hasn't touched her since. He comes from a family that this is what they know. Recently him and his mom were in jail at the same time.
Anyway, please keep my 3 girls in your prayers.
She is so much more worth than she least One man thinks she is worth dying on a cross for. I think that is pretty valuable.

If you have a favorite verse, thought, poem, anything to encourage this young Mom, please leave it in the comments and I will share it with her.
Know you are a blessing.

~Many Blessings~
See you Thursday for the finale of An Untroubled Heart!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I love anything in pink

Oh, Lord Jesus, thank you so much for this tiny dark haired blessing.
And thank you for her soft, chubby cheeks...I think You added extra chubbiness just for me.
Help me to have self control and not to bruise her when I squeeze and kiss on them.
But above all, may she grow to love her Creator with all of her mind, strength and soul.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and sweet comments on the last post and in e-mails. You all have blessed us more than you can know.

I have to tell you a little pre-Juliana birth story.

It was approximately 10 in the morning on Wednesday, June 3rd...

We were allowed into Alyssa's room after she received her epidural.
There was my girl, lying in her bed.
Was that a halo I saw above her?
No, it was just the glow of anticipation of the birth of her little girl
I glided over to her bed and stood next to her beautiful glowing face. Lovingly and so motherly, I caressed her forehead and gave her a kiss.

It was a beautiful Kodak moment that nobody in the room captured.
A moment that will have to remain in my memory.

That is when she looked at me with disgust both embedded on her face and in her voice when she asked me,

"Do you have "Dog" on?"

Me: "What?"

She not so nicely continued, "You smell like Kane."

Okay, Kane is our son Aaron's dog.

Clearly offended, I started to explain that I had just showered and instead of rolling around in Kane's dog house like she must think I did, I had put Bath and Body Works, Sensual Amber lotion on for this special day.
But my Mother quickly interrupted my defense with, a whispered but authoritave "Just go" and waved me into the corner of the room.
Gene just laughed as I obeyed my Mom while smelling my arms.

I suppose I should be relieved that I smelled like this dog instead of

this one.

Duane Chapman or better knows as Dog the Bounty Hunter who has a show on the A&E channel hunting criminals, just doesn't look like someone who smells like Sensual Amber.

From my view in the corner I think the halo-ish looking glow that had framed my daughter left the room. She suddenly looked irritated and a little grumpy. And perhaps nauseous since her mother smelled like a black lab/boxer mix.

Oh well...somehow she let me back into her personal space just in time for the birth, but if you look closely at my Mother's face here during delivery...maybe I did smell like I was drenched in Dog.

Have a great weekend.

I will try to post the pictures of the Sisters meeting for the first time last night.

It was too precious.

Amiyah stared and poked at her

rubbed her head

pretended to cry too

played peek a boo

and after not getting any response from Juliana Pearl

attempted to lay on her.

All as if to say...

She's a Keeper!

~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Grand Baby is Here!

Please welcome
Juliana Pearl Chealey
8lbs 8oz
20 3/4"
1:45 pm

My Mom and I helping Alyssa push.
Well, Mom helping while I watched the birth in the mirror at the end of the bed.

Baby girl meeting her Mommy...

Grandpa already in love and knowing how honored his Mother would be if she were still alive.
Pearl is her middle name.
1st time being held and kissed on by her Great Grandma
Juliana sucking her thumb trying to get warmed up by Mommy
Within one hour Alyssa went from being dialated 4 centimeters to 9 and by 1:45 we had our girl.
It was so neat...Juliana's uncle Aaron cut the chord.

She's beautiful and she has chubby cheeks.
She looks so much like her big sister.
Her head is completely covered with beautiful black hair. Jet black. So soft.
And she smells so baby.

Tomorrow the sisters will meet.
1 year old Amiyah will come face to face with 1 day old Juliana.
And Amiyah will probably get excited with her new toy.

I thank God so much for her and I can see why she is precious in His sight.
All three of my girls.

Thank you for your prayers.

Okay...I really got to get back to those cheeks.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

YES to GOD study~CH. 11: Practicing His Presence

So glad you have come by for
Hard to believe we only have one chapter left in this awesome book by Micca Campbell.

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Living carefree in God's love is not only doable--it's real.
Right now we live in a world full of fear.
Suicide bombers overseas, the recent disappearance of a plane over the Atlantic, people losing jobs...the list could go on and on. Fear resides in the minds of many people.
So when Micca says we can live carefree, what does she mean and how do I sign up?
And as a Christian, doesn't that automatically sign me up for a carefree life?
Isn't Jesus Christ supposed to make my life perfect?

Many Christians are powerless and full of anxieties because they do not faithfully practice fellowship with God. They stand in God's shadow but don't draw near.
Okay, so in order to live carefree, I must have fellowship with God.
Why can't it just come with accepting Jesus into my life?

You and I were created by God for God.
That's why we exist.
We were created to have an ongoing personal relationship with God.

I love the truth that God wants us to talk with Him daily.
To develop a personal relationship with Him.
I love listening to my 7 year old daughter, Alivia pray. One thing I've taught her over the years is to not be formal...just talk to God like you would your BFF. And she does and it's beautiful when she prays prayers like:
Please help my daddy's back to feel better.
And Jesus, please help me to beat Marianna in tether ball tomorrow.

Anywhere and anytime she has access to her King.
And that's what He wants from us.
He wants us to tap into Him about the big things...a dying family member, or the little things like a game of tether ball.
He wants to be involved in our lives.
Every day and every area.

To really know God, we have to spend time with Him.
Knowing about God and knowing Him personally are two different things.
After Gene and I were first married, I read a book by Linda Dillow called Creative Counterpart. One thing that has stuck with me for all of these years is the words she wrote under the sub-title Talking With God. She used her husband Jody as an example:
If I talked with Jody only between eleven and twelve on Sunday morning, how well would I know him?

Gene and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary on June 26th. I can't imagine if I only payed him attention for one hour a week that we would be celebrating anything this month.

Micca tells us how we must abide in God. Hang out with Him. Every single day.
When you and I hang out with God, we have nothing to fear.

Abiding in Christ means to remain in His presence during every season and turn of life.
The question is, "How do we do it?"


Jesus had a hoppin' ministry. He drew crowds of needy people wherever He went. He was in high demand. And yet, He stopped.
Micca took the time to point out what Jesus did and we need to follow His holy example.

Expect interruptions in our day.
Not all interruptions in Christ's day, or ours, are bad. As Jesus went about teaching, He was often interrupted by the sick, the blind, and those bound in sin. What was His reaction?
He stopped teaching to heal, give sight, and set the sinner free.
And He is still doing those things today.
He has the longest, most successful ministry of anyone.
When you are in demand, whether it's at work or from a family member...stop.
Stop and pay attention to what is right in front of you.

How did Christ handle all that responsibility without losing it?
I'm so not like Jesus in this area. So often, I lose it with my loved ones from feeling pulled in many directions. How did Jesus keep His cool? Oh, He was perfect one might say.
Yes, but like Micca pointed out, while Jesus was God, He was also a man.

Mark 1:35
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

Jesus spent time with God and it was His top item on His "to-do list".
It's where He learned about the Father's ways and will.
It's where He cast His cares and got renewed and ready for whatever the day brought along. And He stayed as long as it took to connect with God.

When we spend time with God, Ms. Campbell tells us that we can expect things to happen, such as:

The Holy Spirit becomes our personal guide.

More awareness of God's presence.

Peace that only Christ can give us.

I must admit that when I put God first in my morning, it is pretty hard to go off on my kids or husband for something petty. Makes life so much better when I let God know...YOU are my #1.

One thing Micca's daughter has used to overcome fear in her life is to write down and memorize verses from God's Word.
Writing down and memorizing truths that counteract the Enemy's lies are good practices when we're weighed down with fear.

Peace is God's will. Peace, not fear, should rule our lives.

God wants our lives to be filled with His presence and His peace, not fear.
Wherever we go, whatever we do, we will encounter circumstances that are beyond our control.
As long as we try to remain in control, peace is absent.
When we simply remain connected to our source, God's peace is available at every turn.

So, to sum it up to have a live a carefree life, which is possible when we put Christ first, we must:
Prioritize, abide, pray, talk, focus, memorize, trust and the peace will come from our Father.

Thank you Jesus for loving us so much that You want a relationship with us everyday. You want to be the first thing in our planner each day. You want to be in high demand from us. You want to be the one that we seek for the peace we so desperately desire.

Tap into Jesus this week my friends. He is so worth the time we invest in Him.

I don't like what Mr. Linky is doing, so if you have something to share on your own blog regarding this chapter, just leave your blog address in the comment section.

Have a blessed day and join me next Tuesday, June 9th as we wrap up this book with
Chapter 12: Living with Courage.

~Many Blessings~

My teenage daughter Alyssa checks in the hospital tomorrow morning.
A baby is on it's way...a BOY or a GIRL...stay tuned.