Thursday, October 29, 2009

60/60 Challenge Begins Soon

Just wanted to remind those of you who want to join in the 60/60 challenge. We are officially starting
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I am loving this! It is so amazing to turn my heart towards Him all throughout the day.
* I am able to get my heart back to a place of peace
* Scripture is ever before me
* Finally feel like I am really praying for others consistently
* Children tend to drop everything and join me in prayer (w/o prompts from me)
* My almost 2 year old bows his head, folds his hands and closes his eyes at the sound of the timer. (can you imagine the benefit what this could mean for this little man?)
* I can only imagine what goes on in all their little minds as they see mom stop to pray or meditate on scripture all throughout the day.
This is the watch that I have, which, by the way, does have an hourly chime I am told.
Silly me ;-) (I bought this a long time ago and paid A LOT more for it.)
I am not sure how to make it chime every hour, and I am not sure I want to. If I forget to set the timer for any amount of time, I feel like I miss Him so much. For now I am going to stick with every 3o minutes. I think I need it!
Let me know if you are joining in.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When God Whispers

I had pushed too far, physically. I was a wreck. I needed to just get quiet and sleep. I couldn’t, though, my mind was racing with thoughts of hopelessness and doubt. The thoughts attacked my mind relentlessly.

I fought the tears, which felt an impossible task, knowing they would only delay my rest and would not profit me.

I kept saying over and over in my head, "be still". My mind would run away again and again. I fought with all I had to reign in my thoughts, to stop the incessant chatter. "Be still", I would say, "be still", repeating the words hoping they would drown out the invasion taking place in my mind.
Suddenly, as I said, "be still", I heard ‘and know that I am God’.
I immediately sensed His presence and my desperate chanting "be still" melted into His
"Be still and know that I am God"
Softly, gently, He whispered, ‘be still and know that I am God’ as His tired and weary child found comfort in His embrace.

‘Be still and know that I am God’ He breathed into my very soul, until all worry, fear and doubt melted away under His omnipotent words of ‘be still and know that I am God’.
I found rest, at least in that moment, as my Father held me in His embrace, breathing peace and calm into my soul.
What is troubling your soul today?
Listen for His voice whispering,
"Be still and know that I am God".
He longs to comfort, to love, to bring peace.
Shhhh, quiet your mind, softly He says, "be still and know that I am God’

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gratitude Journal

Have you heard of Ann Voskamp's Endless Gifts and her Visual Journals? If not, you really should go check them out. I read about them and was so taken with them I just had to join in. Her journals are so beautiful and inspiring.

The Lord was speaking to me to purposefully notice blessings in my day to help with the depression I was struggling with. I would do it, when I remembered, but more often than not, I forgot. This is when I read about Ann's Endless Gifts and her Gratitude Journals, I knew it was the Lord encouraging me to join in.

I was determined to not over think this and jump right in, very hard for me to do. ;-) I went to Hobby Lobby and Michael's to find the perfect journal. I'll share some thoughts with you that might help you.

1. You want at least 60lb paper, but 70lb would be better. I still have some ink bleed through with 60lb.

2. I usually always go for spiral bound journals, but in this case I went with a bound book. The reason is when I have the book open and want to enjoy the full spread, I didn't want the white or black binding to interrupt the space. Spiral bound is always easier to write in, I think, but as long as the book opens flat, I am happy with my choice.

3. I went for a full size journal as opposed to a 5 x 8 size, and I am glad I did. Many of the pictures I cut out of magazines would be too big for the smaller pages.

4. I jot ideas down to put in my journal all throughout the day on a sticky note. When I have some time at night I write them in the journal.

5. I only 'decorate' a few pages ahead. I don't know if my mood will change, or the season, so I didn't want to fill in too many.

I knew as soon as the kids saw what I was doing they would want to join me. Sure enough, sneaky mom wins again! I tend to have all these grand plans that we start and never finish and I didn't want this to be another one of those in their minds. They really wanted to do it. My 13 year old has really gotten the hang of it and has made a beautiful journal. She fills it with scripture, quotes, poems, as well as her 'thankful list'.

One day a week I sit down with the littles and we work on decorating their journal. I gently encourage them on placement and picture choice, ;-) (Hard for this type A mom to just have fun) Each day, as I remember, I ask them if they have anything they want me to write down for them. I'm gently teaching them to look for 'gifts' from their Father all throughout the day. I am hoping that they will catch on and not need gentle prompts from me.

I just love when something is His idea. He is the one that makes it happen, not me. I marvel how He has drawn my heart at the perfect time each time I have worked on it with the children. You also need to know that I don't 'naturally' sit down with my littles and do 'crafty' things! Don't you just love it when it's Him?

Here are some other links for 'visual journals' and Endless Gifts

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Practical Way to Practice His Presence

Ever since I read Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence and several of Andrew Murray's books about 10-12 years ago, I have longed to 'practice His presence' or ' abide in Him' in a greater and more consistent way. I have amazing quiet times with Him, but often times feel like I leave Him in my room as I chase off into my day.
One of my all time favorite verses is Psalm 27:4

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

Oh, I just love that verse! Dwelling in His presence, all day, beholding and gazing upon His beauty! I know He is always with me, that's not what I mean. I guess I somehow mean a more tangible and focused way.

While reading Susan's blog, I came across this post on "Cultivating the Discipline of Prayer". Finally, a practical way to practice His presence! Have you heard of the 60/60 challenge? Here is her quote:

"Here's the challenge: Set your watch to chime every hour and use that small prompt to turn your heart and thoughts heavenward. The second part of the "60/60" refers to the duration of the challenge~ 60 days"

I have been practicing this lately and love it! My watch can only be set for 30 minutes at a time, so I guess God wants to hear from me a little more frequently. ;-) I think, starting November first I am going to start the challenge, but will 'practice' until then.
Want to join me? Wouldn't be wonderful to spend a few minutes of every waking hour with your heart turned towards the Lord for the rest of the year?

I am combining this idea with another idea I read on her blog and that is carrying around scripture on a 3 x 5 card to pull out of your pocket and meditate on it throughout the day. I loved this idea too, as I love all the verses that talk about 'meditating on His word day and night', but again, how to make it happen? I have tried this before, but at the end of the day found my card still in my pocket untouched since I wrote it. :-(
My pants or skirts don't always have pockets, so I snatched one of my children's 'chorepak' holders, which we aren't using. ;-) I put my scripture in it, and hooked my watch on it. I just clip it on and away I go.
(If you are wondering why I don't wear my watch, I like my gold watch better)

I have even taken to stuffing prayer cards that I pray for my husband in there. Praying every hour, or thirty minutes in my case, you can cover a lot of ground! I am loving this. It doesn't have to be a long and drawn out process. It can be as simple as just turning your heart towards Him for a few seconds. Or, you can pray, or read your scripture card, or go through a prayer list, or just take a few mindful breaths and say Jesus.
You can make it whatever you want it to be. Each of my prayer breaks look differently depending on what I am doing at the moment the timer goes off and how the Spirit leads me.

I like the idea of a watch timer, I can assure you if I had to get up off my buns to set a new timer I might not do it. Just being honest here. I might eventually get a watch that I can set a 60 minute timer, but for now, I'll just enjoy Him twice as much.

Brian had the idea of using a lanyard to wear around your neck if you don't have one of these handy clippy thingys. That is of course if you don't have pockets.
I have already seen many benefits from this.
*I find myself checking my timer as it feels so long since I last prayed.

* The children are seeing this and are intrigued. I thought it better to just quietly be an example instead of forcing them to join in. If there are some children by me when the timer goes off, I say, "let's pray together" and we'll hold hands or get on our knees at the couch and pray. Nothing forced, just fun. They seem to be enjoying this. I have even noticed my older boys bowing their heads, unprompted by me, when the timer goes off.
*Imagine what this is teaching the children!
*I find myself with time to pray for more people than usual.
*I finally 'feel' like I am with Him all day.
What do you think!? Want to join in?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Special Kind of Love

Do you see that sweet little face? Adorable, isn't he? This is Elijah. He is 22 months old. In this picture he is showing off the make-up he got into that day. While he is adorable and I don't mind showing him off, there is more to this post then how cute he is.

You see he has an itsy-bitsy weakness. Well, it is not so small, it is huge and has caused a great deal of stress in our household. You see, he screams. He screams at and about just about everything! Now some of it is not his fault. He does have several other siblings poking and prodding him all his waking hours. That, and he has a sin nature like the rest of us.

This screaming has been so hard on us, especially because no form of training or discipline seems to work. We have been praying for wisdom for months. We have been praying that he would just stop SCREAMING, to no avail. It makes me laugh how God will not let some 'method' work sometimes, well most times.;-) When we put our hope in what some book says or some expert's "three easy steps to get your child to stop screaming" He is bound to let it fail over and over. You would think we would know this by now.**

Today, as I was crying out to God continually on this matter, I felt He spoke something to my heart that gave me fresh perspective. I have often thought that if we ever were given a 'special needs' child, by His grace, I would have to stop everything and give that child my all. I would have to learn to love that child however they needed to be loved. (I know this is easy to say when you don't have a special needs child, and I do not mean to minimize how hard it must be)

The Lord showed me that my little Elijah has special needs right now. Yes, there is a place for discipline and training, but he needs some special kind of love right now. If he was a true 'special needs' child it would be so inappropriate for me to get frustrated with him and to expect so much from him. What makes it okay right now?

Can I give him my all right now? Can I rely on God to give the grace to help me meet his needs right now? Can I stop relying on man's methods and look to Jesus each step and with each situation?

I say often that he is so lucky he is so darn cute! He is so precious and has the cutest personality. He is so smart for his age. I repent of my foolishness for relying on 'methods' and for being so impatient and 'un-loving' towards this creature!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

As I read these verses, it makes me cry, I am sad for the lack of love I have extended towards this little man.

Thank You, Lord for Your mercy and forgiveness. Thank You that Your love is shed abroad in my heart. Enable me to LOVE with your love.
**I would like to add that I am absolutely not opposed to parenting books and the like. I have and recommend quite a few. What I am referring to is putting our hopes in a method rather than on God. While these types of books have great 'practical' advice, they are not the end all. Our hope must be in God and His word alone. Capiche?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Give Thanks in All Things??? Serious?

In all things, give thanks . . .

be thankful, giving praise always . . .

offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Thank God in everything(no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks) for this is the will of god for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5:18)

Yikes! Give thanks . . .in ALL things?

And if that wasn’t enough, 'for this is the will of God for you'?!

Serious? I am to give thanks to God, no matter what my circumstances, and just to make it clear, this is His divine will for me?

This verse, and others like it, are so easy for me to stop and look at for a moment, rattle off some things I’m thankful for, get a warm fuzzy feeling, and then move on.

When I stop and really meditate, and the Holy Spirit begins to show me ‘thing’ after 'thing' that would actually be included in “ all things”, and that giving thanks in all those things is God’s will for me, now its not so easy to move on.

“Lord Jesus, are you serious? Do You know how hard that is? All things? Really? This is Your will for me?”
“Yes”, a resounding, Yes!

The Lord has been dealing with me on these verses here and there, gently for the past few years. Step by step I have seen Him reveal a little more, convict a little more, expect a little more. In light of all the recent struggles with my health, the loss of our baby, and just life in general, I am finding this 'command' very difficult at times. I also am finding that those times I do get the victory and praise and thank Him, healing and joy come flooding into my heart.

I do desire to ‘be thankful in all things’, which, by the way, is pretty easy in the things that feel good. Where it gets difficult is for those much harder things,
like when others hurt us,

when we are sick,

when our money is gone,

when our marriage is failing,

when our children wander away,

when our heart aches,

when loved ones die,

when someone is abused,

when God ‘seems’ so far away.

How do we possibly thank Him in the midst of these ‘hard’ things?
I certainly do not have all the answers, but here are a few things He has been teaching me.

* Most often times it is ‘by faith’ that we thank Him, not because we feel thankful. And more often than not, it is through tears and clenched teeth that I offer my sacrifice of thanksgiving.

* He is all wise! He knows far better than I what the whole picture looks like. I have to get to the place where I am convinced of His wisdom.

(I’m not suggesting some work of the flesh to believe in His wisdom. It is His work and He will do it.)

*God is love! Read it again. God is love. Perfect love. When I get a revelation of His deep and perfect love for me, I am not quite so thrown by the “things” that come into my life. This is a never ending process.
*God is completely and utterly sovereign. Absolutely nothing that comes into my life has not passed through His hands. This is a tough one for some to handle. They tend to think the devil can sneak one by on God. Not true!

I love how Hannah W. Smith words it:
“Second causes are powerless to act, except by God’s permission. And what He permits becomes really His arranging.” (The God of All Comfort)

I hesitate to share this because 7-10 years ago this would have sent me for a loop. The thought of God allowing or even sending something so seemingly harmful in my life was more than I could bear. It has become easier as I have grown in the knowledge of His wisdom, His love, and His absolute sovereignty.

If He is


loves me with and everlasting and eternal love,

is truly and completely sovereign and omnipotent,

can I not trust Him and obey His command to thank Him is all things?

*I have to be convinced that His Word is true. An If I believe that, then I can believe, certainly by faith, that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Ro. 8:28)

This is certainly not an exhaustive exposition on thanking God in all things, just what is on my heart today. This is a challenging concept for me, as I am sure for others. Isn’t the prospect of being able to thank and praise Him no matter what the world, the devil, the flesh throws at you or even what God allows, a glorious aspiration?

Do you struggle with 'thanking Him in all things'?

What verses or things can you share to help us in this journey to obey this command?
A book that has really encouraged me in the past is Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. God used it to give me such an understanding of His Wisdom, Love and Sovereignty.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good News This Time

I went to the doctor this week and he was very pleased with the way my body is responding to the supplements that are treating my adrenal fatigue. He gave me great hope that, yes indeed I am on my way to healing. He encouraged me not to change my activity too much, but that he had hope for a full recovery. (Which makes me wonder just how concerned he was)

I have felt significantly better in the last week or so. I can have three or four good days before a major crash, which is a great improvement. The challenge is still knowing just how much my body can take.

Last week I walked five days out of seven. The first two were 15 minute walks, and the last three were 30 minute walks! This is all after doing nothing, and I mean nothing, in the form of exercise, or even moving further than from the couch to the bed to the bathroom. ;-) Great improvement, I think!

The severe hypoglycemia has become much easier to manage, I suspect due to the miscarriage. One thing that was a struggle was a 5-7 pound weight gain (this after losing a lot of weight this past year) I was so relieved to find out that, more than likely, most of it was from carrying a precious baby! The best reason for weight gain, right?

My emotions are still across the board, varying daily. Depression is still a factor some days. My family continues to take great care of me! God continues to carry me, speak to me daily, listens as I cry my heart out and then gently puts me on the right path again. I still struggle with this forced rest, but am learning so much and so thankful for all God is doing in all of us.

From the beginning, I have been uncomfortable sharing too much about my health, as I feel the Lord's purpose for this blog is to encourage my daughters and women to 'look well to the ways of their households' so I put a link on the sidebar to the blog I started to track my journey to healing from this adrenal fatigue. (I had read it is wise to document the progress as it is a long, up and down journey.) I don't update it as frequently as I should, and most of what I have already shared on this blog is on that one. I know some of you are really praying for me and are interested, for which I am so thankful. When I update that blog, I will put the date in the sidebar that I did so.
Obviously, I will continue to share what the Lord is showing me, I just don't want to 'bog' this blog down with all the health details. Make sense?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twenty Weird Questions Answered!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?

I don't snack while on the computer, oh, I did have a chocolate coconut milkshake one time.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?


3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?

Most definitely a farm on or near the mountains. Currently praying for a move to Kentucky.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?

I really like to clean, my favorite is scouring out the kitchen sink! You have to realize that I feel like I don't get to clean very often, the children do the bulk of it. I just remembered a chore I don't like, putting away my clean clothes!

5. Who do people say you remind them of?

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?

Mostly staying home with family, occasionally having other families over. I don't like parties or socializing with lots of people I don't know well. I think for as outspoken and opinionated as I am, I am quite insecure.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?

Steel Magnolias

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?

I wash my make up off, doesn't everybody?! L y n n e t t e, do you sleep in your make up?

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?

I would love to learn to play the piano. Sitting at the piano, worshiping the Lord, oh that sounds so dreamy. Oh, and I sure wish I could sing well.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?

My children pointed out that I am really good at getting hard boogies out of children's noses. I don't look down my nose at others, I look up others' noses. (This from my children;-)

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?

He is very handsome and he really liked me!

12. What is something you love to smell?

Freshly cleaned with Downy clothes and sheets! A baby's head just recently washed with Baby Magic shampoo. Newborn babies! Candles!

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.

Come on, are you serious, nobody thinks I am irritating! ;-) (See number 10)

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?


15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?

An out loud laugher. My dear husband makes me laugh the hardest.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?

Thrift stores!

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?

Read, have more 'quiet time' write our family story and be with my hubby more. (we already do just about everything together, but it never feels like enough)

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?

Probably a big spender with a little frugality thrown in.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)

Tevye, the father from The Fiddler on the Roof

20. Would you want to be famous?

I don't think so.
Be sure to head over to Lynnette's to join in the party fun!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Harvest of Friends Blog Party

My wonderful and dear friend Lynnette from Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground is hosting a party starting Monday! I know we just had a party here, but don't you just love a good party? In light of the heaviness of this past week I have decided to join in and have some fun.
Be sure to head over there and check out the details. She is having some great give-aways.
There are also twenty questions that you can answer one or more to help the rest of us get to know you.
Sounds like just what this mama needs. Want to join me?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tears On the Windows

One last thing I wanted to share concerning Beracah. I feel the need to move on, as these past few days have been very emotional. Yesterday was very difficult, physically and emotionally. Bearing one another's burdens can be very sad. What a privilege to read about and pray for all the women who have lost babies and have/are grieving. Story after story told of God's faithfulness and mercy! Thank you all who took part in this special time. Below is something I wrote the day after we found out our baby died. Also, below is a sweet poem my 13 year old daughter wrote.

The rain rarely comes from this direction.
It seems odd to walk into my room and see the raindrops hitting the window.
They run down like the tears on my face.

I see the beautiful plant your papa bought for me.
The flowers are so strikingly vivid; oranges, yellows, and a distinct lime green middle.
It sits there right in front of the window that seems to be crying with me.

I don’t know why it stops me in my tracks. I try to take a picture;
I doubt it captures what I see, or what I want it to say.
I think my heart desperately wants to find something,
anything, to somehow mark your short existence here on earth.

I didn’t even really know you were there until you were gone.
How can you miss something you didn’t even know existed?
For now, I don’t want the rain to stop,
I don’t want the tears to stop,
I want to hold this sadness, just a little longer,
it feels like it’s all I have left of you.


Six they are in heaven
Nine down here on earth;
Six up in heaven
They died before their birth.

Jeremiah and Ephraim, two little boys
Baby B the twin,
He left without a noise.

Two they have no name,
One more is left you see,
It’s name is little Blessing
He is on God’s knee.

Though nine be here on earth,
Six more in heaven unseen,
Though only nine right here there be,
Of us there are fifteen.
(By Victoria)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sorrowful Yet Rejoicing

(Please feel free to link up to Mr. Linky at the end of the post, or leave a comment with your story.)

How is this possible?

It seems so contradictory to be so sorrowful, full of sorrow, yet to also be rejoicing.
I am so sad that I won’t get to love on this baby in this world.
I won’t get to see this baby grow like I have nine of my other children.

I’m sad I didn’t even know I was carrying this baby.
I missed being able to be surprised and excited when the test was positive.

The wonder of it all.
The giddy feeling that both Brian and I feel at the prospect of having another baby.

The sheer fun of telling the children; telling others and seeing their shock,

secretly enjoying giving them a jolt and provoking the question ‘how many is this?’

Sad I won’t experience a wonderfully unique birth experience orchestrated by my Father.

Sad because He has put such a strong desire in my heart to have another baby,

and feeling like this one slipped away without even me knowing it.

Sad because when people see our family and do the inevitable head count, they won’t know that there are six more little ones that have a piece of our heart.

Sad because I didn’t hold my belly and whisper words of love.

I am surprised by the joy I feel, amidst this sorrow.

I rejoice that God chose my womb, once again to carry a life. I rejoice, even though I won’t meet this child here on earth, because this baby is in heaven with Jesus already.

I rejoice and sing over this little one just as I did my other children. This baby is no less precious to me than the nine I have held and the five other babies I never got to hold.

I rejoice, because I believe with all my heart that the Father has a special purpose for this baby’s life, no matter how short. I know, for some reason, possibly many, He formed this little one in me for those ten weeks.

I rejoice, because He chose me to be this baby’s mama. I rejoice in His love. I rejoice in His mercy and grace to carry me. I rejoice because He chose this sorrow for me. I rejoice because even sorrow is a treasure, filled with gifts unknown.

I rejoice that Brian and I can share in this sorrow together; it only glorifies and beautifies the oneness we share. I rejoice at the godly seed produced from God having made us ‘one’.

These tears seem to fall so frequently and it is hard to tell their origin. I think if you could somehow dissect each one, you would see that both sorrow and joy are their cause/origin equally. Yes, that is what it is, sorrow AND joy mingled together in each and every tear that falls.

We remember . . .

Baby B, the twin to our third born son.

A sweet baby we lost just after six weeks of knowing about you.

A precious life lost from an ectopic pregnancy.

Jeremiah, the baby I lost at seventeen weeks of pregnancy. We were so shocked and hurt, but we grew so much.

Ephraim, another baby lost at seventeen weeks. This time we were so devastated, but in one morning Jesus healed my heart. We went on to deliver him in a room filled with grace so thick you could feel it, really. The Lord gave us this name because of its meaning, we believe. It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering. (Genesis 41:52) He has indeed made us fruitful in the land of our suffering, we went on to have four more precious children in six years after this.

Beracah, the baby we just lost, whose name means blessing. I asked the Lord to name this baby as He has all our other children. Just the other day, He gave us this name. It was used in 2 Chronicles 20 in the context of the Valley of Beracah (Blessing) This has definitely been a Valley of Blessing in our lives.

Six babies waiting for us in heaven!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Remember Our Babies

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I just found out about this yesterday. I already was planning on posting some things that have been on my heart in light of our latest loss.

When I realized how many of the readers of 'She Looketh Well' have lost babies to miscarriage, I thought it would be a neat idea to provide a place to share your loss and together we can pray for each other, praise our God, and remember these precious souls that are now in the arms of Jesus.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to post on your blog about your experience and then link up to Mr. Linky. Remember, it does not need to be some elaborate post, just share your heart and/or your experience. Something as simple as, how far along you were, due dates, names, anything you want it to be. If you would rather just leave the information in the comment section, that is fine too. I know myself, as well as the other women, would cherish the opportunity to pray for you and praise God for the life of your little one(s).

Also, I would like to recommend a book that I love and that ministered to me in a great way. I read this book about a month ago and was stunned by how amazing our God is, and how merciful and comforting He is.

It is called, In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me. It is by a sweet 'blog friend' of mine, Lynnette Kraft from Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground. Her testimony of severe heartache and God's love and mercy will touch your heart deeply. If you have ever experienced heartache or know someone who has, you will not be disappointed by this book, I promise you. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. She shares with raw, honest emotion the depths to which her heart was plunged, but, she also shares the awesomeness of our God, His faithfulness, and His love. If you page down her blog, on the right side is a place to order a signed copy of her book. Please check it out. Also, on the left side of her blog are pictures of her sweet family, including Samuel, Josiah and Anna, all who are dancing with Jesus.

The song below has ministered to me greatly these past few weeks. I hope you are ministered to also. He will carry you.

Please consider joining us tomorrow to remember. If you know of someone who might want to join in, please let them know.

I Didn't Even Know

It was a complete surprise to us,
we didn’t even know about you until you were gone.

We want you to know that we love you just the same.
We rejoiced the day we knew that you were growing in my womb.
You had been in there for ten weeks, all while we didn’t even know.

The day we rejoiced is also the day we cried.
The day we found out that,
while your tiny little body was still in my womb,
your precious spirit was already in the arms of Jesus.
How very blessed you are to be with Him already.
How very blessed we are to know that you are there.

You will never know pain or fear, only love and joy, perfectly.
For this we rejoice!
What a privilege and honor to have carried you for those weeks,
even if I didn’t know.

I know with all my heart that my Father,
and yours, has a beautiful and grand purpose for your life,
no matter how short here on earth!
While I would love to hold you, smell you, kiss you and nurse you,
I trust you to the Lord.
And the day I meet you will be glorious indeed.
I was deeply touched by all the sweet and comforting comments,
thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I was struck by how many of my readers have lost babies or children. I suspect the percentage is extremely high. This got me thinking. Until Stacie mentioned it, I did not know that there was an actual day set aside to remember and honor our precious ones that have gone before us to glory . (October 15) In light of that, I had the thought to join our hearts together in remembrance and praise for our little ones. I have a post planned for tomorrow (10/15/09) called, "Sorrowful, Yet Rejoicing" and would like to put Mr. Linky up again and invite each of you who have lost a baby or a child to share in a post on your blog something about your little one(s). It doesn't have to be elaborate or fancy, it could even be as simple as mentioning your loss.
I picture going to each of the blogs and quietly praising God for each one of the 'glory babies' and praying for each of the women. How beautiful and powerful to have our hearts joined in this gift of motherhood and sorrow. What do you think, will you join me in remembering and honoring their lives as well as praising our God for His faithfulness to each of us?
I wonder how many women out there are still hurting, feeling alone and need to be lifted up to our Savior.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Winner for the Party!

His Bondservant
Please email me with your address! Congratulations!

Sad News . . .

I wanted to wait until after the party to share some sad news with you. Last Thursday, in about a 2 1/2 hour time frame, we found out that I was 10-12 weeks pregnant, that the baby had died, and I delivered him/her. It was quite shocking to us and we were, and are at times stunned.

I was spotting off and on for about a week and a half, which we thought was my cycle starting up again, as they had stopped in the middle of this adrenal exhaustion, or so we thought. I did take a pregnancy test in August, which was negative. According to how far along I was, it should have been positive. (I have never had a false negative pregnancy test, and I have taken a ton ;-)

Thursday morning I was on my way to the grocery store when I had a strong urge to go to the bathroom. (We also thought I had been dealing with a bladder infection during this time) I went and was still uncomfortable, but proceeded with what I needed to get. About 4 aisles over, the pain, which felt like my bladder, got pretty bad and I thought I should probably go home. At that time, I felt a huge pop and preceded to bleed everywhere. For some reason I thought maybe I passed a kidney stone, which I supposedly have. I made a beeline for the back bathroom, leaving a trail behind me. Not one of the more glorious moments of being a woman. ;-)

I was able to have cellphone reception, (which is usually sketchy, at best, in this store) and called my dear husband. He came and bought me pads and underwear. Thank God I had a skirt on, pants would have been a nightmare. We left the store after several trips back to the bathroom, as I was bleeding profusely.

On the way home, it hit me that the 'pop' I felt was just like what I felt with my 7th child, the only other one with whom my water broke. And then I realized that the 'blood trail' looked watered down. The shock of realizing that I must have been pregnant was, well, shocking.

We got home and because the bleeding was so bad, we called my midwife, who instructed us to come in and she would check me and run some tests. When we got there, she examined me and found that the baby had already started to deliver, she just helped it along. She cried with us. She has been such a big part of the birth of our last five baby's births.

After some blood work, we went home to rest. As I lie there trying to rest with my mind swirling with prayers and questions, one thing welled up in my heart so big. I believe this baby was a gift from God. I also believe He gave me the gift of joy that afternoon. You see, I realized that each and every pregnancy in the past was greatly rejoiced over and I was determined, by His grace, that this was not going to be any different! I chose right then and there to rejoice over this precious little one, even though this baby had died. I rejoiced in the fact that God chose me to carry this little one, if only for a short time. I believe this joy was a gift from Him, there is no way a women in my condition physically and emotionally could do that in her own strength, trust me. He is so amazing and kind to give joy to a confused and grieving mama. I guess you can truly say that He has 'made me a joyful mother of children'. I am humbled and marvel at His love for me.

Even now as I type this out it seems so unbelievable to me. How does a woman who has been pregnant 14 times previous to this not know she was pregnant? The negative pregnancy test and the extreme extenuating health circumstances played a huge part, I know. We also believe, for some reason, I was not meant to know about this until that day. Where we don't understand, we can only trust.

I have a few posts that I will put up in the coming days that the Lord put on my heart as I was grieving. I hope you will permit me to share my heart through the grieving.

We are doing amazingly well, considering the circumstances. A testimony to the grace of our God and the prayers of the faithful. We continue to go in and out of sorrow, but there is much rejoicing. I will share more on that in another post.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Winners Are . . .






Melissa and Lori, please email me with your home address so I can get these out to you!

I had so much fun putting these together! It was so hard to only pick two, though, I wish I could send everyone something. Thank you all for taking part in the blog party, I trust you met some wonderful women out there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

WOW! What a Party!

A few reminders:
I will close Mr. Linky at 5:00 pm (If my tech support can help me with that ;-)
You may certainly continue to go visiting and meeting new women. You might want to save, in a Favorites folder, each of the blogs you plan to keep up with, as with the last party I hosted, Mr. Linky went away with me knowing it. ;-)
(I plan to put each link in a 'Blog Party' folder in my favorites as I have not yet had a chance to really get to know all those who linked up)
I will probably have two drawings! I am thinking of more and more ideas of what to 'throw' into the give-away boxes! This is so fun for me.
Like the last time I hosted a blog party, there have been so many great comments and wonderful testimonies of women being encouraged. Thank you to all of you who linked up. And thank you to all of you who went to the other blogs and left words of encouragement.
You have until tomorrow at 5:00 pm (eastern time) to link up and get your name in the drawing, if you have not.
Don't forget to save the links just in case I lose them when I close Mr. Linky!!
Stay tuned for the drawing!
Unfortunately, I need to limit those eligible for the drawing to those who reside in the United States.
Please let me know if this excludes you so I may enter the names accordingly. Thank you for understanding.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hurry! It's Not Too Late!

I have been getting amazing feedback from so many women that I have decided to keep the 'blog party' going over the weekend. Monday I will pool all the names and draw a winner. I think we might have more than one winner, it just sounds more fun! ;-)
If you haven't linked up yet, you still may. Mr. Linky is in the original Party Post. Remember, this will help other women find your blog, and you might find a few new and inspiring blogs yourself. This is a great opportunity to 'meet' others and minister to other women.
Thank you so much for taking part in this. Really, the testimonies are so encouraging.
Oh, I almost forgot, here is the link to my 'introduction' for those of you who have never read it.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Delay!!!

Dearest Titus 2 Women,

I have been getting emails daily from women who are so hungry to 'hook up' with other like-minded women. I know many of my followers and faithful readers have not linked up yet, and I am asking you to do so for the sake of these women. I know you might not be interested in the give-away or think you have already done this, but please do. You all have so much to offer these women!

Without naming names ;-) Just off the top of my head . . . someone who lives without electricity . . .someone who likes to make cheese . . .someone who is married to a firefighter . . .someone who has a wonderfully peaceful blog. . .someone who often wonders if she is 'too old' to offer any 'modern' advice . . .someone who has been through some serious sorrows . . .someone who loves all things thrifty and 'farmy' . . .someone who has TEN children . . .someone who is very 'hip' . . .

These were all just off the top of my head . . . I know there are tons more, so come on ladies, sign into Mr. Linky, you never know how God might use you to touch another woman's life!

All you have to do is click on the Mr. Linky button and fill in your name and your blog address. In that link you will also find the other women who have linked up so you can visit their blogs.

Mr. Linky is in the Party Post.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mini-Party and Give-Away!

Okay, it's official. I now have a reason for a mini-party and give away! Plus, I need a little fun in my life right now!

I officially have 100 followers!

When I firsted started my blog it really didn't matter to me how many followers I had, I just wanted to minister to whom ever the Lord wanted me to. Several years ago while I was whining about not affecting very many women, the Lord asked me "would I rather speak to a room full of women who were only mildly interested in what I had to say or would I rather speak right to the heart of the woman He put in my path?" I got it. It doesn't matter how many women, it matters if they are the women whose hearts He has prepared.

It was incredibly cool, though, when I got my first follower. I screamed and startled my family. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning, still am actually, over each follower. I appreciate each of you who come here frequently to read what the Lord puts on this crazy little mama's heart, and am humbled by the comments and emails. So I thought a party and a give-away would be a fun way to celebrate.

Some of you might remember the 'Titus 2 Blog Party' that I hosted. Part of my purpose in that party was to link like-minded women together and to help increase each other's readership. That is what I want to do now with this little party. I have gotten to know some very amazing women through 'blogging' and would love for you all to get to know each other.

I want to have a give-away. The package will include Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood, Hannah Whitall Smith's The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life and whatever other goodies I can find to throw in there! All you have to do to get your name entered in the drawing is write a post on your blog introducing yourself. Tell us who you are, what is the purpose of your blog, what type of things do you write about, pictures, ect. Then come back here and link up to Mr. Linky. That is it! That way we can go visiting to learn more about each other.

I will keep Mr. Linky open until Friday and then hold the drawing. You do not need to be a follower to enter, nor do you need to sign up to be a follower, this is not what it is about. You can invite your friends by posting about it on your blog and invite them to link up and get their name entered in also. Whoever signs into Mr. Linky will get their name entered in the drawing. Go and visit all the wonderful blogs entered in Mr. Linky and get to know some new people or visit some old friends!

Taking Part in Godless Living?

Gathering At the Well

It is so funny to me that this is the topic At the Well.
Do you find yourself taking part in godless living and sinful pleasures?
If so....What steps are you going to take to gain strength in wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God?
I was planning on doing a post about something Brian and I were convicted of, but who is all that excited to write a post about our sin?
A couple of years ago during the summer, we started watching reruns of a network TV show. (I don't think we really watch any network shows, mostly things like Food Network and TLC.) It wasn't the cleanest, actually, it was pretty bad, but we (I) got sucked in. When the new season started, we began watching it. We knew it didn't feel right, but continued none the less, mostly because of me.
Well, at the same time it was getting even raunchier, I read a devotional about the ermine. Are you familiar with the ermine? It is apparently a pure white coated animal that does all it can to keep pure and clean. Hunters trick it by 'muddying up' its home while it is out and then unleash the dogs to chase it. When it returns home and sees all the filth, it chooses to die rather than risk its purity. (OUCH!)
Yes, the devotional goes on to say how the act of the ermine condemns us. We are made in the image and likeness of God, with minds and immortal spirits; yet, how often, in order to obtain something we desire, our character is sacrificed on the alters of worldly pleasure, greed, selfishness!
Keep thyself pure!
We were convicted and I must say it was hard to not watch it. My flesh was really battling me on this, but we held each other accountable and didn't watch anymore.
This summer comes around, what do we do? We start watching, again, at my lead. So it was with great anticipation that we started watching the new season. We only got one show in though, and I read that same dad-blasted devotional again! The really bad thing is, I recognized it and tried not to read it knowing what it would mean. Can you believe that???!!! The long and the short of it is we repented and refuse to watch it. We are so thankful for His mercy for giving us another chance to obey.
Keep thyself pure!
Every thought, every word, every deed, even the motive behind the deed--all, ermine-pure.
I do believe accountability is very crucial.
BTW, my husband wanted me to add that he was very convicted of being 'Adam' as Eve offered the forbidden fruit. He recognizes that as the leader of the home he should have put his foot down and not let us watch it.
(psst, aren't I blessed?)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Encouraging Videos On Motherhood

I stumbled across these two videos by Christy Nockels. They are an amazing encouragement to mamas. Listen to them as you have time, I think they were 6-7 minutes each. Trust me, very, very encouraging!

When your done I'd love to hear your thoughts and how these might have touched your heart.

Being A Mom {Part 1} from christy nockels on Vimeo.

'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Being A Mom {Part 2} from christy nockels on Vimeo.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just Stay

This story was in my email this morning, don't know if it is true, but it is sweet and convicting.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
'Your son is here,' she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack,
he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside
the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand.
The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones,
squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair
so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.
All through the night the young Marine sat there
in the poorly lighted ward,
holding the old man's hand
and offering him words of love and strength.
Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine
move away and rest awhile.
He refused.
Whenever the nurse came
into the ward,
the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises
of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank,
the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings,
the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words..
The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died.
The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse.
While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned.
She started to offer words of sympathy,
but the Marine interrupted her.
'Who was that man?' he asked.
The nurse was startled,
'He was your father,' she answered.
'No, he wasn't,' the Marine replied.
'I never saw him before in my life..'
'Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?'
'I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son,
and his son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me,
I stayed.'
The next time someone needs you ... just be there.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In Case You Had Any Doubt . . .

I just thought I would share a teensy peak into my world right now. I need some lightening up and I want to share what a sense of humor God has.

Today has been a particularly difficult day. My 'feelings' have reigned, depression has reigned, pain has reigned, weariness, hopelessness, loneliness, self-pity, condemnation. . .you name it, if it's ugly, it has reined! Everything but the TRUTH!

Brian just left with the kids to go to Costco. Something chocolate and cold sounded really, really good. I knew we had some ice cream in the freezer that the kids must have brought home from grandma and grandpa's. (we don't buy ice cream very often, we make a really good one) As soon as they left I went to the freezer, noticed it was 25% fat free, which turned me off, and it was freezer burned. Also, when I looked at the ingredients, something my kids pray I never do, I dumped it! Sugar is horrible for adrenal fatigue, if I was going to poison myself I was at least going to do it with something I would enjoy! I knew I could make my own, but that would take 25 minutes, depression can't wait 25 minutes!

So I thought about our coconut milk ice cream recipe and said to myself, "self, we could make a coconut milk shake!" Brilliant!

Into the blender:

1 can coconut milk
3 squirts agave nectar
3-4 T. dark cocoa powder
lots of ice

Blend until smooth, creamy, cold and chocolaty!

Oh, the funny part? Well, I am notorious for sticking my spoon in the blender, risking spoon and blender each time. I just had to taste it, the blender was not that full, so my spoon hit the blade and chocolate coconut milkshake went flying everywhere! I stood there stunned, chocolate, coconut milkshake dripping from my hair and face. Plastered all over my clothes and bare feet. I went to the mirror and laughed out loud. I so wish I had taken a picture, but vanity won. (come on I have been crying all day, you wouldn't have done it either) Not to mention, I, even in the depression, chose healthy over junk. Who does that? It takes a pretty loopy mama!

I came back to enjoy my milkshake only to look up and see chocolate drips on both sides of the shelves inside the cupboard that was open, all over the fridge and the counter top. Once I cleaned it up, then I enjoyed the chocolate, coconut milkshake!

We will discuss the depravity of turning to chocolate in another post. For now, I'm smiling and my tummy is full! At least I made a healthy choice physically;-)