Friday, September 28, 2018

Nightmare

This morning I woke up to my name being yelled out by one of my girls. Now, let me start by saying that this is not the way to wake me up and my girls know it. If they are barfing, then they can holler. But if they have a bad dream or are scared about something, they are to come in and talk to me. That's the wake up in the middle of the night routine. So, all of that to say, I woke up pretty growly.

Ferociously, I enter Ella's room grumpily asking her why she is yelling across the house. She immediately responded with crying. (I know, mother of the year over here.) I took a deep breath and calmly asked her why she was yelling for me and why she was crying.

She then tells me that she had a terrible nightmare; a tornado came through our house and I died.

Now, the interesting thing about all of this, is that she doesn't know that my mom had a pet scan yesterday to check out a mass they found on a CT scan last week and I had spent the better part of yesterday praying that God would heal the mass and make it disappear or that it would be anything easily remedied and not more cancer. But ultimately, His will be done.

I looked her in the eyes and I said, "Ella, if that happened, two things would take place that I am certain of. One is that God would bring people to you to love on you and take care of you. People would come and hold you and tell you it will be ok. He will send them and they will be here in every way that you need them. And two I would be in Heaven with Jesus and since you believe in Jesus, I would see you again someday."

We talked a few more minutes through tears about the joy of eternity and then I went on to say the same things from my perspective.

"My mom is dying. When she does die, whether soon or ten years from now, I am certain that God will provide for me during my grief and that I will see her again some day. My mom has a personal relationship with God. She knows that Jesus died for her sins and that He rose again. She loves Him and serves Him with every fiber of her being and I am certain that when her time comes she will be in heaven with our Lord and Savior. She will no longer be in pain. She will no longer be suffering. And when that time comes, that will bring my heart joy in the midst of tragedy."

As I crawled back into my bed and contemplated this timely conversation with Ella, sleep eluded me. All the what if's started to plague my thoughts. I replayed my conversation with Ella and was at peace with what is to come. I prayed for a while and thought about the words to the song "It is Well" by Bethel music until sleep finally came.


Skillet

The other night I had the opportunity to go to a Skillet concert.

I love Skillet. One of the first songs that I ever listened to by them was Saturn.

That song came out in October of 1996. I was 13.

Pretty sure I am 17 here.

They played mostly new songs at the concert. I would have loved for them to pull out this song. (Totally forgot that they had a girl drummer one other time!) Or even better, come up with a mix that included a few oldies. That would have been amazing.

Their newest album is incredible. A great mix of old sounds and new. Charlotte asks for "Feel It" pretty much every time we are in the car. The name of that song is actually "Invincible", but that's what she calls it. I love sharing my love for Skillet with my girls.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day

We have an annual tradition on Labor Day weekend every year. Adam's extended family does a badminton tournament on the Sunday of Labor Day. There is usually a ton of food.


And that is not including the dessert table. There is lots of people and lots of fun.

















Adam was in his zone. He loves running events.








Adam and Ryan won for their 14th time.




After the tournament is over, we have the Shelton's come and stay the night for lots of gaming and fun. It is a super enjoyable time for everyone, including the kids. This tradition is one of my favorite parts of the fall season.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Heritage

From my heart to yours, thanks for reading. You are my devoted few that have hung in there over the years. Thanks for stopping by.

Today I want to talk about heritage. I have been richly blessed in this department. 

A couple of weeks ago I had the joy of visiting my Nanny, which is what we call my Momma's mom. During this visit she shared stories with me about her growing up and even how she and my Granddaddy met. It was such a pleasure to visit with her and find out things about her that I didn't know before going to her house.


Then, today, I was able to make dinner for my Papa, Grandma, and Uncle Dennis. My Papa and Grandma are my Dad's parents. Again I was struck at how valuable my time with them was. They shared with my their hearts and thoughts on all sorts of topics. Not only that, but they let my kids have their attention. My Grandma played a board game with them and my Papa and Uncle Dennis watched them ride bikes. They poured into me and my girls and I didn't want to see our evening come to an end.



This is a value I want to instill in my kids. That these relationships matter and are important. 

Our stories rest in theirs. 

We are here because of them. 

How much do you know about your grandparents?

I challenge you. Take time tomorrow, not today since it is almost midnight. Tomorrow. Call your grandparents and just ask them one question about their story. Listen and and truly be a captive audience. I mean focus all of your attention on them. And then tell them you love them. 

You won't regret it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Even When It Hurts

Faith has been on my mind again today.

My best friend sent me a text that said, "I will keep praying for healing."

And there it was.

"Do you believe that I can heal your Momma this side of Heaven?"

I was just this morning praising God for His being the Healer and the Great Physician.

I think it comes down to this. I do believe He can heal her. I am just not sure it will be on earth.

Maybe it is the prepared part of me. The part that likes to know what is coming. The part that cannot mentally or emotionally handle my Momma dying. It's the same reason I needed to know before giving birth that I was having girl after girl. I need time to process. Praise the Lord that in this case, I have time.

But does my preparedness mean that my faith is inadequate? It's just so complex.

I struggle with the balance. Believing and trusting. Processing. Still believing. Actively believing.

The Almighty God be glorified. No matter what.

         Psalm 69
Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
    looking for my God.
Those who hate me without reason
    outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
    those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
    what I did not steal.
You, God, know my folly;
    my guilt is not hidden from you.
Lord, the Lord Almighty,
    may those who hope in you
    not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
    may those who seek you
    not be put to shame because of me.
For I endure scorn for your sake,
    and shame covers my face.
I am a foreigner to my own family,
    a stranger to my own mother’s children;
for zeal for your house consumes me,
    and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 
When I weep and fast,
    I must endure scorn;
11 
when I put on sackcloth,
    people make sport of me.
12 
Those who sit at the gate mock me,
    and I am the song of the drunkards.
13 
But I pray to you, Lord,
    in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
    answer me with your sure salvation.
14 
Rescue me from the mire,
    do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
    from the deep waters.
15 
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
    or the depths swallow me up
    or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 
Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;
    in your great mercy turn to me.
17 
Do not hide your face from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 
Come near and rescue me;
    deliver me because of my foes.
19 
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
    all my enemies are before you.
20 
Scorn has broken my heart
    and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
    for comforters, but I found none.
21 
They put gall in my food
    and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
22 
May the table set before them become a snare;
    may it become retribution and[b] a trap.
23 
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
    and their backs be bent forever.
24 
Pour out your wrath on them;
    let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 
May their place be deserted;
    let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 
For they persecute those you wound
    and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 
Charge them with crime upon crime;
    do not let them share in your salvation.
28 
May they be blotted out of the book of life
    and not be listed with the righteous.
29 
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.
30 
I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 
This will please the Lord more than an ox,
    more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 
The poor will see and be glad
    you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 
The Lord hears the needy
    and does not despise his captive people.
34 
Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and all that move in them,
35 
for God will save Zion
    and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36 
    the children of his servants will inherit it,
    and those who love his name will dwell there.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Faith In Turbulent Times

These past 4 weeks we have been doing a Bible study on faith during turbulent times. I feel as though I learned so much. It felt good to be back in the word, digging into what is meant.

It feels good to see my faith where it is now. To be going through this stuff with my parents and to truly rely on God. Especially looking back to the last few years. Seeing where I was. Deeply wounded and hurt and out of desperation seeking God and questioning His very existence.  To now. Once again feeling loss and heartache with my Momma's diagnosis. Only now, I rely on His existence. The hope He offers me. It doesn't change the anguish that I feel over knowing that my time with my Momma is precious. But this life here is not my eternal home. It's temporary. Praise the Lord.

This study was such a great reminder to me that God is with me. He was with me back in October and November when we found out the cancer had returned. He is with me even now as I tear up and write this. He is with me in the future when our time together here does end.

It also reminded me that my eyes should be focused on Jesus. By fixing my eyes on Him I am able to endure and persevere no matter what my circumstances are.

And faith isn't just believing. It involves action. It's actively believing. It's the inward assurance of what we hope for and the outward action in response to what we do not see. Faith is confidently expecting our Heavenly Father to do what He promised.

John 16:33 is the promise I cling to.

It says,  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What great encouragement! He has overcome the world.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Healthy Living, Cancer, Scentsy, Grandma, Garages, Birthdays, Sports, Games and Diapers

I don't know how things are going for you, but life here seems busier than ever.

The other day I was thinking about how much I miss all of you. Thoughts of what to tell you run through my mind, but making time to sit down and share them has not been an option until today.

So, get your cup of coffee, find a comfy spot on the couch and let's catch up.

If you follow me on facebook at all, you may have seen that I recently started selling Scentsy. For those of you that have no clue what Scentsy is, it is a home fragrance line. We have everything from wax warmers to dish soap. In Septemberish of last year I had attended a party and learned of Scentsy. I had been using some plug-ins to make my house smell good for a while and was getting frustrated because the one scent that I liked, I could only find at Kroger occasionally. So, when I found several fragrances from Scentsy, I had to switch! In February, I decided to join the Scentsy team. It's been super fun so far. I have been extremely happy with the products as well as the customer support. Here is my website if you want to check it out.

Join me!
Through Scentsy, I found my healthy living motivation. Pretty much since August I have struggled once again with eating right and being active. Laziness is definitely a sin issue for me that I know the Lord is constantly chiseling away at. Molding and growing. In January, along with everyone else in the world, I made resolutions to get back at it and have failed miserably off and on since then. At the beginning of March, I received an email about Scentsy's Health Challenge and I knew I had to sign-up to participate. It started this week and I am dying. Haha. The hardest part is drinking 64 ounces of water every day. Before this week, I drank coffee and about 0 ounces of water. Yikes! So with 4 days in, I am feeling more motivated and that is such a great feeling. Onward! Oh and I signed up for my first race of the year which is in June. :)

Adam's game is officially in game stores. It's be so great to see him light up when sharing his game with others and hearing about people playing it. I still cannot beat him in a two-player game and when I do I will never play two-player again. Ha. You can check out more info here if you would like.


Other things going on here. Adam's sweet grandma has been in rehab so the girls and I have made efforts to see her every other week. It is such a delightful visit. The girls talk her ears off and it's even more so now that Charlotte has joined in.


Homeschooling has been going well for the most part. Kaylee is reading non-stop and loving it which makes me super excited! We have the occasional melt-down which can make some days hard. Overall though, I would say this year has gone well.

Kaylee just finished up her first season of basketball. It was awesome to see her make progress and to cheer her team on. I loved it and so did she. I am looking forward to her playing again.

Her ball goes in here. :)
Elanor just turned 5. She had a Barbie fashion party. My sister-in-law's, Grace and Kati, helped me give the girls makeovers and then they put dress-up clothes on and walked the runway. It was so cute! I think fun was had by all.


Charlotte has been spending a lot of her time running around naked lately. She may be ready to be potty trained, but I am not. Mainly because it requires being home for several days in a row and I just don't have that right now. Maybe once co-op is done. I am also not sure if I am ready for her to officially be out of the baby stage. It's hard to say that that phase in my life is done. I'll get there. Until then duct tape is the only way to keep her diaper on at bed time. There has been a time or two that even that didn't work.

Doesn't this look fun?
My momma has been having a rough go at things. The medications have all been messing with her leaving her weak and making it impossible for her to get around. I know a lot of you have been praying for her. Thank you for that. I get to go visit and help after her next chemo treatment which is this Thursday. Even though it is not a vacation visit of sorts, I am looking forward to being able to hug her and my dad. I hate living states away and not being able to help more often. Adam, friends, and family will have the girls while I am away. Please pray that my girls will be so good for everyone watching them. Thanks to all for helping.

Our garage. We were finally having one put on. It is so close to being done. It's been hard to park with all the construction going on, but I am excited to be able to park inside again. Especially on rainy days like today.

Beginning stages.
Softball for the girls and for Adam starts soon. In the meantime, I am enjoying the brief break from sports.

That catches you up on things here for the most part. How have you been? Anything new? I am so behind on everyone else's life. So, tell me. How are things? I hope you are doing well.
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