Saturday, February 23, 2019

Prayers Answered and Prayers Not Yet Seemingly Answered

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It's been six years since we lost Brynlee, and I'm doing good overall.

I have so much to be happy and thankful for each day.

First, I love my husband. We are doing great, and I'm so happy about how God has moved even more into his life this year. It's exciting to see what God is doing.

Second, Lilianna is doing great. We love her so much. I am thankful I have one beautiful daughter who lights up my world, brings me constant joy, and amazes me more and more. Jamie and I love that she thinks we are so cool right now. She even shows us off. I know this won't last long, so I'm enjoying it.

Third, we are healthy. I'm thankful for our health. I was having some trouble with my cholesterol, but I managed to lower it with my diet, so I'm thankful I was able to do that, and I hope to lower it even more.

Fourth, we love our jobs! Our work families are amazing, and they bless us both.

Last, I'm thankful for all the prayers God has answered. Some answers come quickly and some take years, but it's amazing to look back over my life and see how God has answered the prayers in His time.

Obviously, he has not seemingly answered all of my prayers yet, and I'm becoming more and more ok with that, even though it still saddens me I couldn't have more children.

Here is what I know. I know it's ok to ask for things you need and to trust in God to provide for those needs and even wants. If he answers the prayer, it's for His good. If he does not yet answer the prayer or answers it the way you specifically wanted, it's for His good.

1 John 5:14-15 ESV 

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV 

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Philippians 4:6 ESV 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I'm not yet who I want to be, but a thousand times better because of God. He sustains me and blesses me. Thankfully, His mercies are new each morning. I'm currently praying about new ways for God to use me because I want the whole world to know that there is someone who loves them, hears them, forgives them, and is there for them when it seems like they're all alone.

He sends the rain guys.
Listen to this new, awesome song.
Send the Rain: Fresh Start Music

By the way, I don't often post pictures on this public blog because it picks up more attention from foreign countries when I do, and that has concerned me.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

You're Not Alone

Image result for God goes before us

I sat down tonight to write a post that’s been on my mind for months, but tonight I couldn’t find the right words. Tomorrow will be five years since Brynlee went to Heaven, and I wanted to write about the five things I knew to be true since her loss. I was going to write about the importance of wisdom, obedience, faith, hope, and love, but each message seemed redundant. I’ve written about all those things over the last five years, and I didn’t believe that was the message I was supposed to share now, so…...I prayed.

Then, it was clear.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.”

It’s a beautiful thing to sit back and see how God orchestrated my life before Brynlee and up until now, and oh how He loves me, you - us. He has encompassed our lives with the most astounding people who are loving, supportive, and enrich us spiritually and professionally. God has gone before each trial in our lives and prepared a path for us full of love and hope by using His people to bless us.

It was hard to lose my dad at the age of 18, but there were many people in my life who were there for me during that time and who helped mentor me. Many friends too have continued to bless me even though I live so far away.

When I moved to NWA, it was really hard on me because I didn’t want to leave my support system, but God immediately started putting people in my life who would sustain me through my future trials, and I will be forever thankful for them. When I lost Brynlee, I had a chorus of people praying for me. I never felt the prayers stop. I safely rested in the palm of God’s hand and faced each day with people who God specifically placed around me.

And, even now, as life continues to happen, I couldn’t be more blessed. I recently broke my leg, and the amount of love and support I have received has been humbling. God knew this was going to happen to me, and he already had His support team in place. The last six weeks, honestly, haven’t been horribly hard. The motorized wheelchair I have at work has been my greatest blessing. God knows how important work is to me, so it’s neat to see how he set the wheels in motion to have that chair available for me. Also, I have loved my people - my people I get to enjoy and learn from each and everyday. They have taken great care of me during this time. It’s just hard to comprehend how God has used so many people to bless me in the last five years. 

With each trial you face, God is there for you. He has people in place for you. Living a life for God is more than rewarding because it’s a testimony that can be passed down for generations. When you walk with Jesus, you never walk alone. He walks before you and stays with you. He sets things into motion that you would never even expect. There is no reason to be scared or discouraged.

I go to the doctor on Monday, and I’m praying so much that I’ll be able to start walking on my leg, but even if I don’t, I know God has a plan. (But, I really hope I can walk again because I have a lot going on for the next two weeks.) Either way, it’s in God’s hands.

I’m praying God shows you His people He has around you right now for the purposes He plans to fulfill in your life in this season. As each bud begins to bloom this spring, may God reveal to you all the ways He is holding you, preparing you, and loving on you. Trust Him, and do not be afraid. Brynlee was born for so many purposes. Tomorrow, on her fifth birthday, I pray you feel God’s love enlighten your heart and contagiously help you spread your joy to each person God has specially placed in your life this season.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

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People who have heard my stories know how I have struggled with the word hope. I struggled because I didn’t understand what hope meant. God says to put our hope in Him, but to be honest I put my hope in all my wishes, my dreams, my plans, and my desires. My hope was that He would give me those things, but my hope was not in Him and His glorious ways. I was so blind to the truth, to His word. I was so deep in my desires and not in His desires. Outwardly, it appeared I had such faith, and I spoke of His faith, but I didn’t truly have the rock solid faith I needed to have peace, peace when alone, peace about my future, and peace to share with others. I had fear. I love Ecclesiastes 11:3 when it basically says the tree is going to land where the tree is going to land. To me it says God’s plans will prevail, and I know His plans are best. In verse four, I was struck by the paralyzing power of fear. Then, verse 5 said it all - said it all. God is the maker of all things. He is the maker of all things, all babies, all jobs, all health issues, all marriages, and all elected officials.

Ecclesiastes 11New International Version (NIV)

Invest in Many Ventures

11 Ship your grain across the sea;
   after many days you may receive a return.
2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
   you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
3 If clouds are full of water,
   they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
   in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
   whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
   or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
   the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
   and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
   whether this or that,
   or whether both will do equally well.

Basically, the tree is going to be where the tree is going to be.

I’m obviously still working on developing that peace that glorifies God in all things, and it’s definitely a work in progress.

Recently, I read about Moses’ mother, and I was astonished by her mighty faith and how her hope was in the Lord and not her own obvious desires.  

Exodus 2:1-10New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Moses

2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Her story spoke to my heart. It was amazing to me that her faith was rewarded when she was able to nurse her son and even receive pay for doing so. That’s only the work God can do. I love our God of miracles, divine intervention, and unseen plans.

Hebrews 11:1King James Version (KJV)

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

God says to hope in things unseen. Oh how beautiful are the things unseen, like Heaven and God’s glory. Four years since Brynlee’s birth I can finally say my hope is in the Lord like never before, all His promises and all His ways - not my ways or my dreams.

My hope is built on nothing less
    than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
    On Christ the solid rock I stand,
    all other ground is sinking sand;
    all other ground is sinking sand.

2.    When Darkness veils his lovely face,
    I rest on his unchanging grace.
    In every high and stormy gale,
    my anchor holds within the veil.

3.    His oath, his covenant, his blood
    supports me in the whelming flood.
    When all around my soul gives way,
    he then is all my hope and stay.

4.    When he shall come with trumpet sound,
    O may I then in him be found!
    Dressed in his righteousness alone,
    faultless to stand before the throne!

Your hope can be found in God and all unseen, glorious things. I pray His peace prevails when darkness hails. My hope is built on nothing less.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's been 2 years.

Ever feel like you’re at a masquerade ball with your mask of happiness on, so people won’t know your true pain?
I know I wear my mask sometimes. It’s understandable that we wear it at times. But if you’re hurting, how do I know?
If I really knew your pain, I’d let you know that you’ll get through it.
Yes, you’ll get through it.
“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or na├»ve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this.” ~ Max Lucado: You’ll Get Through This
• God will use the evil for GOOD. (Genesis 50:20)
This is my favorite go to verse in times of hurt and pain. I know everything is for God’s glory – EVERYTHING, so this reminder helps.

• God will be with you at ALL times. (Isaiah 43:2)
• God is with YOU wherever you are in your life. (Genesis 28:15)
When you are wearing that mask, he is with you.

• God has an amazing plan for YOUR life. (Isaiah 55:8-13)
This can be hard to believe, but hold on to this promise!

• God is your HOPE. (Psalm 42:5)
• God is your STRENGTH. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I’m not a fan of hope deferred because I’m extremely optimistic, which leads me to disappointment at times, but knowing that it all ends up for God’s glory helps me put one foot in front of the other.

• God wants you to REST in him. (Psalm 37:7)
Read His word, sing His praises, follow His people, and take joy in knowing that you don’t have to do a thing, because God has got this.

• God’s ways are PERFECT. (Psalm 18:30)
• God has made everything BEAUTIFUL. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
• God’s plan is ABUNDANT. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Everything is for God’s glory – at all times. If we only knew how much He loved us we would never, ever doubt His plan.

“Remember you have a choice. Remember to let peace rule. Remember to believe God’s truth even when it doesn’t feel true. Remember that your life is hidden with Christ in God, you no longer have to manufacture your own safe place.” ~ Emily P. Freeman: Grace for the Good Girl
It’s often easy for me to submit to God with the following understanding: it is well with my soul, it’s all for God’s glory, and Heaven is more than enough.
This has been my motto for awhile now.

Will I worry about tomorrow? Yes, I’m a sinner. I’m working on that. Am I writing this for myself? Yes. Will it help the person who is struggling behind the mask? I hope so.
“There is no magic formula to living life free of masks. There is no automatic mask remover. The masks will never disappear completely as long as we live in a fallen world. I have days where it feels as if my only option is to pull out those well-worn masks and move through life in survival mode, content to be good and invisible. But I can’t stay there for long, because I have tasted freedom. I know the truth about the rescue.” ~ Emily P. Freeman: Grace for the Good Girl
“I know the truth about the rescue.” Let that resonate….
All of God’s glory reigning down on you during this trial and being manifested through you for the greatness of His truth is liberating, door opening, and mountain moving – mountain moving!
When the devil creeps in like a snake to tear apart your faith, rebuke him. I say it again, rebuke him. The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) Command him to flee and claim the victory with God’s word.
If you feel distress, grab your bible. Read God’s word. (Hint: It does help to focus on those highlighted scriptures.) Seek God where he may be found. Run to him, and flee from the devil’s lies.
You are God’s chosen one. He didn’t choose somebody else, He chose you! During our weakness, He is strong. When you’re sad, depressed, and lost, He can be found in a mighty way with miracles abounding – even the really good life changing kinds in the hearts of His people that bring about God’s glory for all His people.
I know you’ll get through it, but to be honest, I do have to remind myself of this.
It was two years ago today that I lost Brynlee, my stillborn daughter, and I almost lost my own life. I wear my mask often. Actually, I get real embarrassed when I take it off and spill my guts. In an odd way, it’s good that I wear it sometimes. If you know me, that makes sense. : )
However, losing Brynlee has been really hard on me. I said so many times when I lost her that I was going to fulfill every purpose for her life and help it lead to God’s glory.
So, what did the devil do? He decided to attack.
Now, I face depression and fears, but God DID NOT put Brynlee in my life to ruin my hopes and dreams and cause me years of depression and fears. That was not the purpose for her life. So, I have to work every day – every single day – to trust God, His plan, and His purpose. How do I do that? I read his word and remind myself that everything is for God’s glory. No matter what tomorrow holds, I know who holds it.
I know I’ll get through this if I keep God as my focus.
Do you have a sick child? Are you sick? Keep God as your focus to heal your pain.
Do you have lost family and friends? Keep God as your focus to help guide them.
Do you struggle with future decisions? Trust God and focus on His word.
Are you worried about your marriage? Keep it in God’s hands. Be still, and know that He is God.
Do money burdens depress you? Trust God will make a way.
Are you lonely in some form or fashion? Cling to God and his word.

I don’t know why you’re wearing your mask, but trust God to get you through this season. Someday you’ll be able to remove your mask, and I’ll be able to remove mine too.
As for tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matthew 6:34)
“After all, tomorrow is another day!” ~ Gone with the Wind

Today, I will serve the Lord.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's Been a Year

 I'm typing from my iPad tonight, and I can't type anything past #4, so I'll make more changes later. #computerproblems

5 Things I've Learned This Year:

1. God's love is real, and it lives and thrives in us. We have the ability to share it in multiple ways everyday. I was overwhelmingly blessed by His love this year through so many of you.

Thank you to Paula, Tiffany, and Colleen for my beautiful flowers!

Also, I'm thankful He put Bonnie in my life. She has taught me how to share God's love.

2. If your world is ever shattered, choose God. A girl in my bible study recently lost her baby and has cancer, but she still chooses God.

3. Be obedient. For me, this means I choose to submit to my husband's spiritual authority. Particularly, I'm choosing to trust my husband's decision making regarding whether or not we have another baby. Honestly, this is not easy for me. It's really hard. But, it's the right decision for me.

This lady has inspired me as a wife.

4. God works in mysterious ways. He can use so many people in so many ways to minister to you. He can use scripture, songs, and circumstances. All you have to do is listen.

5. Love the ones you have!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Needing Clarity

I love my blog because it's an outlet I can use when I need an outlet. Unfortunately, most of the time, I blog when I'm sad. I wish I could say otherwise. For a while, I was doing really good, but lately I've had a harder time. I'm tired of wanting. I'm tired of mourning what I don't have. Here's the thing we really need God to clarify this for us. If he does not want us to have another child, I need peace about that. I need a peace that overcomes waves of sadness that pierce my heart. It's a topic that rattles me so badly, and I'm tired of being shaken. Please pray for clarity as we welcome 2014.

If you are on a PC, you should be able to see the video below.

Lilianna is a huge blessing to me. I burst with love for her!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Amen! 100th Post!

I have the BEST news for my 100th post! Jamie has a job!!! We are so excited about his new job, and we are so thankful to Jesus for his blessings. We have been waiting for this for a long, long time. There were many times when I wondered just how long God would want to keep us in the desert, but I knew it was for His glory. I took comfort in that. I chose to be apart of his plan even when I didn't understand. Also, I'm proud of my husband and our marriage. We never let this job issue be an issue that would cause walls to build in our marriage. Even when I had days of exhaust, I kept my faith in God's plan and in my husband. Through it all, God met our needs through our family and friends. Just like the birds, our needs were met!