Thursday, December 27, 2007

God stinkin' ROX

Yes, my husband took a picture of the pregnancy test.......he was a little bit ecstatic at the time =)

So the news is out! We're having a BABY!!! Jus and I are beyond excited, in fact, we're relieved. Since we were finally victorious in concieving I strongly feel the need to talk about the struggle we've been through the last 14 months. Sheerly for the fact that I wanted so badly to know that someone else had been through what I was going maybe someone who needs that same comfort will find this post =).

So October of 2006 we threw away "the pills". Justin was 100% gung ho on the whole baby thing and while I REALLY REALLY wanted a baby, the thought of what would happen to my body and the fear of giving labor were still lingering in the back of my mind. A few months past and no was at this point that I started to really want this! I think the fear of not having a baby was FAR greater than all the fear that went along with having one. This is when the planner in me took over......ovulation tests, charts, basal body tempuratures.....the works. I was going to make us have a baby if it killed me, and it felt as if it nearly did. Each month I was SURE I felt all the symptoms. And each month I was more and more disappointed when my period came. I was reading all these websites and books telling me that most young healthy couples will concieve within 6 months of trying, very rarely it takes a year. So after six months went by, my goal was to beat that 1 year mark. That was this October, and when I wasn't pregnant that month, I lost it. I just remember crying uncontrollably. Sometimes in the middle of my classes in school. And for some reason God was bringing pregnant girls into my life repeatedly during this time. One of the freshman that I teach confided in me that she was pregnant and although I was in a twisted way jealous of her, I also didn't envy her situation either. I began to counsel her and she joined a bible study that I teach for high school girls. A few more students at my school got pregnant (I promise that is not the norm, but for some reason this year it was) and I guess I have this magnetism for pregnant teens because so many of them were approaching me for MY guidance....???? I didn't know if this was a test from God, I still don't, but I hope I passed if it was.
I began to look into fertility doctors and actually would have gone to visit one in October had I had my way. But Justin said just wait a couple more months. I'm not sure why he was so positive it would happen in a couple more months but I agreed and we waited. The next month.....nothing. I cannot even begin to put into words the sadness and longing you feel when you want to me mommy and have tried everything you can think of. I remember wanting babies and every once in a while getting that strong desire to have them NOW. But that isn't the feeling I am talking about. This is deeper, sadder, gut-wrenching. It's like no pain that you know. I would walk through the mall with my husband and see him staring at some cute little girl in her pig tails walking hand in hand with her daddy and I knew it hurt him too. We wanted that so badly. I started to think that God's plan for me was to adopt or something. I have a strange ability to absolutely love other people's children as if they were my own. I know that. Maybe God gave me that for a reason?? Everything about having our own child was looking pretty hopeless. Until December 18th at 5:30 am. That's when I decided "what the heck" take a's probably going to be like the last 13 negative tests you've taken so far, but you might as well, you're used to the disappointment by now. So I did, and it was POSITIVE! And here we are today. Praising God for granting our wish. he didn't have to. We don't deserve it, Lord knows I didn't even have the faith of a mustard seed but God is so gracious that he gives to me anyway. It was worth 14 long miserable months to have the amazing feeling I have now. To know that in 9 months (should everything go as planned) we will have a precious little son or daughter. I can't wait, I absolutely can't wait!~ Thank you to all of you who fervently prayed for us. I believe intercession was a huge key in this gift God gave to us. Thank you to the few people who listened to my sobbing about this and felt the pain with me. I love you. Praise God!!
p.s. for all you trying mothers out there I have a few tips and tricks we tried this last month....who knows which one worked (it's all in God's timing anyway) but I know I would have loved to get my hands on ANYTHING to help me concieve. Comment on this blog and I'd be glad to help in any way I can!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Woah, long time......

I started this post with the intention of uploading picture galore......tree, lights, presents.....the whole she-bang. But I'll have to get those on here later. But here is a Christmas Card for all to enjoy (Justin and I are truly trying to see if we can "out-tacky" ourselves every year).

The best I can do is leave you with the cutest Christmas story I've heard and the funniest clip I've been emailed. First we'll hit on the cute story:

So, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have just been called to move (again). After much prayer and trying their hardest to stay where they were, God called a little louder and...they moved. The only problem was that they had no where to live in this "new city" and their house in the "old city" wouldn't sell. The new church he is working for offered to let them stay in a house on church property until they can get their affairs in order, or until the house was needed by the church. After a few months of this, they were getting a bit stressed...."Was this truly what God intended for them to do? Wouldn't he tie up all these loose ends if he called them there?" To make matters worse the church had to let them know the house was needed and they would need to be out by the end of the month. I can imagine how much stress they were in, new city, new job, new friends, no relatives, a three year old, no house, well, a house they weren't using.......ahhhh! But it never fails, God comes through in the clinch and their house sold a couple weeks before they needed to be out, so in the hustle and bustly of closing on a house (in a city far far away may I add) and travelling back and forth to move out, plus doing this new (very important) job, and moving in a NEW house, and it being the holiday time when lots of people who live far away want to visit.....they were crazy. So here is where the story picks up. As they were riding in the car spouting off all the things that needed to be done......."prepare this for work", "sign these papers", "move in the furniture", "put everything up", "prepare the house for guests".......etc., etc., etc. When they finally came up for a breathe they could hear the three year old in the back seat saying something too. They both turned around at once (but the little boy didn't notice) he was too busy staring out the window and singing.........."Knowing you, Jesus, knowing you. There is no greater thing. You're my all, you're the best, you're my joy, my righteousness. And I love you Lord......"
(This is were you all say AWWWWWE) Out of the mouths of babes we are reminded of the true attitude we should have. In light of that here are ALL they lyrics to that song. They are more amazing and present than I remember them:

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss;
Spend and worthless now compared to this--

Chorus: Knowing You, Jesus, Knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness, And I love You, Lord.
(after third verse) And I love You, Lord. (2x)

Now my heart's desire is to know you more,
To be found in you and known as Yours;
To possess by faith what I could not earn,
All surpassing gift of righteousness.

Oh, to know the pow'r of Your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.

and here is quite possibly the FUNNIEST video I have ever seen.......or my husband and I are just giggly little girls =)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spongebob bandaid

Ok so I'm better now! haha. I know that last post was mucho depresso...but hey, you gotta love it when God gets you over that hump and puts a big fat bandaid on your know the really cool kind like SPONGEBOB bandaids. Well, that's what he did for me. Man what a support system he has provided me. My husband is amazing, he is so comforting and sweet and knows just what I need to hear when I'm sad or upset about something. I thank God for that sensitive quality he has yet still he manages to hold himself together through everything...even though I know he hurts too =( I just can't wait to spend every minute with him.

Oh and not just him, my fabulous, always there to listen to a rambling phone call about information that does no good whatsoever to your life but you listen due to the fact that it cleanses my soul, friends. I love how they can truly make me feel as if they care and their hearts break over the pitly little tragedies of my life...haha, you are appreciated.

And my Jesus. The one who never fails. Reminds me of whose I am daily and the promises he holds for me. If I could only always be more concerned with his glory than my own relief. I love him so. Something he does for my heart and soul that no other can ever match, no one can ever take. What should I ever have to yearn for or have a saddened heart after?? I am well taken care of.

And I couldn't end this post without the random acts, words, notes, gifts of kindness from all the others that truly touch my life. More of those have come my way now than ever before in my existence. Co-workers, my precious youth babies (I love you more than your mamas!), and acquantances alike have encouraged and uplifted...I guess they could be like the neosporin underneath my spongebob bandaid??

Thanks you Jesus for taking me up in your lap and kissing my Owie. You're unfathomable.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Christians get sad too =(

As I'm struggling God still speaks...

Psalm 56:8 "You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?"
He puts my tears in a bottle?? Wow, kinda makes me feel cared for...I know my tears speak a special language to the heart of God. Our tears are precious to Him. They stir the heart of God our Father and He responds to our tears. Maybe, since he can't reveal all his plans and "fixes" in life to me now, he keeps these tears to remind me at the victorious end of all the times he was watching and I was unaware, the times he wanted to reach down and physically wipe my tears and tell me it would be okay...then lovingly roll out the blueprints he's drawn up for my life. But he knows that wouldn't be for my ultimate good. So he is content with keeping my useless tears in a bottle. Just for him to remember, and for them to stir his heart. There are many cases of this in the Bible, I hope I can be one of them:
Isaiah 38:5 "Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.”
2 Kings 20:5 "Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.”
God saw Hezekiah’s tears and He responded to those tears and to his crying out in prayer.

Job 16:20 "My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.”
He has heard my cries. I am His child, He has heard my cries and He will respond.

“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” Psalm 34:17, 19

I take this one as a promise, and I rejoice because I KNOW God keeps his promises, every one! I have to keep telling myself that he may not always answer my cries when and in the way that I think He should. He responds in a way and time that is for my ultimate good.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8,9

We have One to whom we may pour out all the deep hurts in our heart and we do not have to fear that our confidences will be betrayed.
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:8.
God tells us that we may approach Him boldly so that we may receive His mercy and grace in our time of need.
“ Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16
So for now I will approach the throne of God boldly with my request and my tears in hand. And will claim his promises to me. Yet, for the sake of being honest, I am still human and my heart worries and still yearns...
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” Revelation 21:4

Maybe, He will show me that bottle of tears that He has collected from me. “Do you see this bottle here? These are the tears you cried during this time. You see my child, you were never forgotten. I did care that your heart was broken. I was there comforting you.”

I heard this quote in Sunday School this morning and I took it as a message of encouragement and motivation from God as to what I am to do in my downtroddenness...

"Don't think about what might never be but, instead, be FULLY available for what's happening NOW."
~a U.S. Marine (when asked about if he thought about returning to his family)

I am praying that I make myself fully available and stop making plans for the future that my never come to pass. I know I'll need help sticking with this, as I am the WORST planner of all time! I love you Lord and I trust your timing and plan for my life.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My baby!

I just got my first letter from my adoptee in Uganda.....YAY! His name is Amanya and he is 4. He can't really write so he just draws me pictures and tells his translator what to write to me. It made me cry, joy like no other...
He listed all of his family members for me:
he has 3 brothers (20, 18, 12)
one sister (16)
his mom is 33 and his dad is 39

He said his best friend is named Talemwa (aw, I bet they look so cute together playing football, aka:soccer)

His favorite food is rice and meat, nothing specific just rice and meat (I wonder if he had ever had gravy?)

His favorite color is blue and his favorite sport is football

Oh and this was my favorite part...his favorite song is Talemwa Katonda which his translator tells me means "Jesus never fails". How friggin awesome is that!
If he could visit anywhere it would be the village that his grandmother lives in because he loves her. He drew me some squiggles and told the translator that he wrote that he is excited that we loved him as our sponsor child...this is where I cried.

He wants to be a pilot and he currently has the flu and wants me to pray that he gets better soon (so if you happen to read this give up a prayer for little amanya please)

He even signed his little name which was of course more squiggles and put his fingerprint on the letter too. It was the tiniest little finger!

I am so excited! I can't wait until I hear from little Catherine. She is only 5 but she attends school already so she may be able to write some....put probably not too much.

I'm just grateful and happy...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I want to yearn

"But if God is so good as you represent Him, and if He knows all that we need, and better far than we do ourselves, why should it be necessary to ask Him for anything? I answer, What if He knows PRAYER to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God's idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need --the need of Himself...Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other needs; prayer is the beginning of that communion, and some need is the motive of that prayer...So begins a communion, a talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea, of existence itself in its infinite phases. We must ask that we may receive; but that we should receive what we ask in respect of our lower needs, is not God's end in making us pray, for He could give us everything without that; to bring His child to his knee, God withholds that man may ask."
~George MacDonald

Lord I want to yearn for you
I want to burn with passion
over you, and only you

Thursday, July 12, 2007

kids are a jungle...

So remember when they said that teachers get the summer off...someone LIED! I feel like I've been busier these last few months than I was the entire school year! So it all started when Jessica (my lil sis) came in town, even before school was out...She ended up staying for almost two entire weeks and we had a blast! I don't really remember everything we did but most of it involved the beach. Oh yeah and making foam crowns for ourselves and of course the King of the household...Jus. He was lovin' him some crown okay. It was quite manly if you ask me, with turkey feathers and all. Anyway, soon after that was VBS at our church in which I was teaching the 5th graders. I don't know if normal people are like this...wait, nope, normal people are definitely NOT like this...I just have to make everything perfect. They said our rooms were supposed to look like locker rooms so I jump into the idea that I am going to make three deminsional lockers and sports equipment, and let me just the third or fourth day of spray painting and gluing and cutting, I was soooo over it! I always do that to myself. But VBS went well and out of the 12 kids I had in my class 6 of them had already accepted christ and I got to pray with the other 6 to recieve him!! PTL, it was all worth it after that.

Whew! So the day bible school ended I jumped in the car and headed straight to Bama for my mom's surprise 50th bday party. It was awesome. I had worked so hard to keep everything a secret and it totally paid off! She was terrified when she walked in the door! haha. I'll have to post the pictures when I get them on my computer.

So immediately after that weekend we left for Student Life Camp with the high schoolers, which I wrote about in my previous blog so I won't bore you again...
The next week was semi-free of stress. I mostly slept to re-coop from the weeks prior. Then lots of old friends came in town for Heather's wedding. We did some awesome pictures on the beach (which I'll post more of when I have copies) and Heather's wedding was awesome. In the middle of that somewhere I went back up to Bama for a few days to go to the Shakespeare Festival with my mom and sisters.

The next week Brandy (my oldest sis) and Jeff and their 4 kids came to visit for a while.
Things are hectic with all those kids but I liked it...kind of reminded me of my childhood =) We spent a few days at the beach (of course!)
Here is Jeff and Tyler posin' but I'm not sure what Tyler is trying to look like here??? a ganster?? who knows?
Cole and Cory spent most of their time standing at the very edge of the water and watching their big brother and dad boogey board. They seriously spent hours standing just like this, haha.
And my little Tatum bug spent her time in the sand with the girls (her mom and I). She was lovin' some sea shells but when it was time to go made the entire beach laugh as she threw herself in the sand and refused to get up. It was seriously hard to scold her while everyone around is laughing histerically. she was so dramatic about it that it wasn't even one of those annoying fits that kids throw, more entertaining really. Gotta love her.The boys spent the rest of their time wrestling with Justin or boxing with Justin's oversized boxing gear. They were stinkin' hilarious. Then of course Tatum HAD to get in on the action.
Here is Tatum after I put this keychain type thing on her pacey. She called it her pacey "bling bling". It was so funny, even when I took it off she would frantically start looking for it, and asking for it! ha
Then she proceeded to put every bow that she owned in her hair and crack up laughing when everyone looked at her funny. She is such a ham at age 2!
While there were here we had a 4th of July cookout at our house. The place was packed and Justin grilled his fingers to the bone so all ba-gillion of us could eat. It was Goooood.
Here is Whit and I enjoying watching all the boys playing badmitton (sp?) in the front yard...this is their new sport of choice, weirdos. We all spent the rest of the day playing a massive game of trivial pursuit, boys against girls. There was like 15 people on each team, hahaha, and we STILL managed to get questions wrong.
This is just a great picture of Tatum in her ballerina gear. Prima Ballerina!
The next night we took Brandy and the fam to see "Cinderella:The True Story" at the church. It was a Dinner theatre and it was GREAT! The dinner was especially amazing. We beached it up a few more days and they sadly had to go. And now Sharry and Josh are coming this weekend and we are all going canoeing and camping. fun fun!
So, in the meantime I'll be playing with my sweet Audrey until she leave a few days nevermore to be seen again (or like two years from now). Oh yeah, that reminds me during all this chaos I had to say goodbye to Kristi as she headed off the Europe, but she will be back again before leaving for Africa, thank goodness.
Two URGENT prayer requests: I know most of you don't know these people but the more prayer warriors the better: Shannon and Robert Carver had a little baby girl yesterday afternoon, her name is Cori. She was born with a cleft lip and no hard pallette, but worse is that her lungs and heart are not functioning correctly. she is currently at Sacred Heart on 6 different machines. Doctors have given her a 50/50 chance at survival. They are now flying her to Birmingham. Please pray and pray hard for complete healing for little baby cori and comfort and strength to her mom and dad who will be here in Pensacola.
#2 - Greg and Ashley (I forgot their last names) are expecting their first child (7 months pregnant). Greg is only 32 and has just been diagnosed with the more rare type of cancer. I can't tell you the name of it but in all cases when treated with Chemo it has always come back immediately. Best case scenario for him would be life-long chemo. Now he has blood clots and they have had to put filters in his lungs. Prognosis is grime but God is in the healing business. Pray!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm not supposed to be learning here...

Be doers of the word of God, Not simply those who hear.
James 1:22

So, I went to Student Life camp as a chaperone with the Youth Group at Olive. Of course, I went into the week expecting to teach lessons, discipline children and pray tremendously about how in the world I can help them be in the world and not of it. I mean, I've been to youth camps and conferences galore when I was a youth and now it's my turn to pour the knowledge I've gained over the years on these precious souls, you can't honestly think that I'm supposed to be learning anything here can you? Ha ha, Just when you've mounted your high hourse and gently placed yourself on your seemingly deserved pedestal God comes along like that guy with Roid Rage at the fair who completely demolishes the weighted milk bottles that everyone else thought so impossible to knock over. yep, that was me this week, the milk bottles. Although, slightly less painful.

I do think that God used my past experiences and knowledge to help the kids that were, by no coincidence, in my family group. But he also used this week to make me rethink my christian walk. The speaker was Dave Rhodes and his focus for the week was "Here and Now", focusing on what you do TODAY. Meanwhile, I'm busy planning all the things I need to get done when I get back from camp the next week...sometimes I'm a real idiot you know.

Well, on to the point, we talked about two different types of sin in our lives, sins of omission (those are the things God tells us to omit from our lives...sexual immorality, drunkeness, lust, greed, hate, etc) and the sins of commision (these are the things God tells us to DO....feed the poor, be a father to the fatherless, take care of widows and orphans, Go and make disciples of all nations, etc.) Dave told us a little about his own life and he sounded a lot like me. Basically a big RULE FOLLOWER! I know this about myself, I know that I like rules and wouldn't break them for pretty much anything. I've always been that way. Well, he went on to tell of an epiphany God gave him...(Imagine at this point the audible booming voice of God)..."You're SO proud of the things you DON'T do, but you DON'T do anything!"

I tend to focus on those sins of omission (because it is hard for us to live in the world and actually omit these things) and these are the sins we confess, and feel convicted over. And I found myself asking, "When was the last time i was convicted of my sins of comission???" Am I feeding the poor? clothing those without? taking care of widows and orphans? No wonder people look at christianity like bondage and depravity...I'm so focused on the things I Can't do because I'm a christian that this is where my life has pointed. I know that God is so proud of me for following his commands and not giving in to the temptations of this world but now he is urging me..."where are your actions, you're not DOING anything!" this is how we show the world a victorious, joyous christian life, by the things we DO do.
So my first action of conviction was to buy two children in Uganda...haha, not really buying them, just helping make a difference in their lives. But still this tiny act is not enough...Sacrifice is not about how much you've given, but about how much you have left over after you've given. Did it cost me anything? So pray that God will keep my eyes open for opportunities to give, to serve, to take care of those whom I am called. Here and Now...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Most of all...

Would I
have built you an ark
while others
laughed and scorned

Would I
journey to a country
one that I
had never seen before

Would I
have stepped into the red sea
the wind and the waves

And bow
my head before you
while others
watch me pray

I don't have the faith of Moses
I can't proclaim the strength of Paul
but I want to follow you my savior
that's what I want
Most of all

Would I
carry my sick child
and lay him
dying at your feet

Would I
have given up my luch
so that thousands
more could eat

Would I
boldly preach your name
if it meant
I'd go to jail

Or would I
turn like the rich man
who sadly
walked away

I don't have the faith of Moses
I can't proclaim the strength of Paul
but I want
to follow you my savior
that's what I want
most of all

When you ask me if I love you
do I turn and walk with you
Or do I cling to my possessions
and make up some excuse
do I value your approval
over what my friends might say
do I grasp your nail-scarred hands
or do I turn and walk away

I don't have the faith of Moses
I can't proclaim the strength of Paul
but I want
to follow you my savior
that's what I want
most of all...

Friday, May 04, 2007

What's Next??

Seems that every conversation I've had lately has been re-routed to the same place, contentment. Whether it was meeting Audrey for a quick lunch to catch up on the day and soon we start pouring out the desires of our hearts, sharing the things we are currently praying for, and realizing together how dis-contented we are. Or reading Jill's last post about her newest book and the quote that I absoltely have taken to be my new life's motto, "Contentment is accepting from the hand of God what he gives because we KNOW that he is good and therefore, IT is GOOD!", and even sitting down to celebrate a birthday dinner with some old friends and in the midst of our loud conversations and enormous outbursts of laughter, beginning to remember how much I take for granted yet still ask for more more more...

I've decided I am an un-content person with life. Wow, that sounds so negative. I mean, I love life, I love my husband, I am completely in love with my God! But, I find I am always holding out for the next exciting event. There aren't many times that I just sit back and smile about what I have already been blessed with. Although that is what I have been trying to do these last couple of weeks. There are certainly moments when I praise God for what I have, especially my Jus and my Jesus. But, I want more of a content lifestyle, not just some moments here or there. If you don't truly understand what I mean here are a few examples... When I was in high school I remember praying for the day I would graduate and finally get to go to college, then I got there and all I wanted was to hurry up and graduate so that I could get into the real world, get married, be an adult, and now I'm here so I find myself asking what's next?

You get the drift. I get the impression that it hurts God's feelings for me to be this way, always asking "What's next?" "I know you've given me every little thing I've wanted and everything I need but, what else can I get?" I want to be content. I want to accept from the hand of God what he has given me because I KNOW that he is good and therefore whatever he gives, or doesn't give IS good. That's my prayer.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My thoughts...

Sooo, it's too far gone to go back and write about very many particulars that have happened since the last time you heard from me. So, I'll just summarize my current thoughts. So here it goes...
Early this morning one of Justin's friends from his high school years was killed in a car accident. She and some other folks were sitting in their car at a red light and were hit from behind by a drunk driver. Everyone else in the car was okay, but the one girl he knew died instantly. He knew her through the Olive Youth group and even though they were never extremely close, they kind of grew up together, even went on a date or two. I definitely didn't know her but I had heard him talk about her in the past, not to mention some of my friends from Tate who knew her. Anyway, all this to say, I'm affected. After the shooting at VT, the blue angel pilot (whose father was present to see him crash and die), the crazy guy at NASA who took the life of himself and another person, and now this...
Senseless, pointless, un-neccessary...but it is the way of the world. None of us are promised tomorrow. God felt the need to spell that out in the Bible (James 4:14 just to list one place he mentions it). I think he allows all of these things to happen to remind us that Satan roams this earth, stealing, killing, and destroying. Just this little glimpse of pain and hell, one would think might spark a fire in our hearts. Oh and it does, for a day or two, then we settle comfortably into our complacent lives and block out the idea that it could happen to us, or worse, the ones we love.

Not that I should sulk and sour over these tragedies...I should remember the victims, thank God for the fact that he created those precious people (remember, he took the precise time to handcraft them each one by one, I can't let myself forget that he cared about them even more than their very parents), and thank him for letting them be a sweet part of our lives as he did. But honestly, the one thing I got most from this, gratitude. How many ways are there for something tragic to happen to someone I love? Each of them jump in their car each day (potential for danger), some of them fight over sees (Ashley, pastor talked specifically about Lando this morning), some of them do manual labor, and some just sit in their classes all day...yet there are millions of ways that innocent people are wounded, hurt and killed. Yet my whole entire life (24 years of it now) I have yet to be in direct connection. First praise: I am still living after cheerleading stunts (thrown in the air by middle school and high school girls...scary), softballs flying at my head at high speeds, basketballs, being the horrible driver that I am (and still applying make-up while doing it), working at my school everyday...all of these are ways that my life could have been injured or even taken! yet I live! PTL. It's hard to think to praise God for these seemingly normal things, it's hard to remember to praise him because I didn't face tragedy today...but I am now going to try. And although I think it is truly amazing that he has kept me safe so far in my journey, I find it even more amazing that out of all the siblings, mom and dad, husband, neices and nephews, in-laws and wonderful friends I have...he has his arms of love and protection thus far wrapped around them each. I have been so sheltered from this kind of pain. And I never want to see it in my lifetime. But, if I do, I want the first word on my lips to be "Blessed be the name of the Lord, he gives and takes away". I hope I don't forget. I hope I don't fall back into my normal routine of taking him and his precious gift of life for granted.

Those have been my rambling thoughts for just this one day. I hope anyone that reads them leaves me a comment about what you are thankful for, so that I can be thankful with you. But mostly, take the time we often fill with other things...and thank God for those precious gifts in your life. I think it truly breaks his heart that he must bring us to the place of loss before we lift him up in praise for what we already have.

I'm thankful for you. Whoever you are reading this. You've no doubt bettered my life in some way. PTL!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day O' Love

The day o' love was wonderful as usual, even though I spent the majority of it with my kiddies at school it was still good. I decided I like immensely getting those corny little valentine cards from my students. You know, the ones that come 50 to a box. Maybe it reminds me of those cool little boxes we stayed up ALL night gluing and glittering so that they would be perfect for the v-day party at school the next day. Where everyone in your class would put a cute little card in your box. (and I do mean EVERYONE, due to the fact that the teacher made you bring enough for each kid, even the ones who smelled) Although some may have been forced gifts, I always LOVED going through my box at the end of the day searching each one to see if some special friend took the time to tape a piece of candy, or scribble the word "Hi". My love language is definitely gifts.....which sounds so materialistic but really really isn't. I just love that someone took one ioda of a second out of their day for little 'ol me =)

But, I would have to say that the best gift this valentine was not meant to be a gift at all. Well, not a valentine gift anyway... I randomly found the card that Justin gave me on Christmas morning and, if you're like me, you have to read it again, just to remember what it said one more time. Okay, so I opened it to re-read it's contents and it started like most the cards I get from him, a bit mushy and then abrubtly ending with some comment about my butt. This one was no different except for one thing. Justin had glued a picture of he and I to the inside of the card, which I remember being strange. I asked him why he did this on christmas and he said he tried to write something and he messed up so he didn't want me to see he hot-glued a picture of us on top. I must have been too distracted Christmas morn to dive any further into that comment (who knows) So of course, now that I re-discovered this card my first reaction was to rip the picture from the card, thinking I would find ugly scribbles. But instead I found a sweet little poem. Not an elaborate breath-taking poem like Ruco writes to Kristi, or a poem that said anything new. He's just my cute little country boy whose even cuter for I read it, I could tell he was having trouble finding words to rhyme and it wasn't going in the direction he wanted, plus it looked like he was running out of room. So instead, he covered it with a picture and wrote "Merry Christmas to my Princess Angel (this being my nickname of choice)". But little do these silly boys know, the poem was the sweetest thing I've ever read (and most of you know my husband's mad poetry skills from our initial dating emails =). He never reads this thing so I think I am safe if I post his writings. You may not like it, and probably won't think it as wonderful as I but regardless it was my best gift for some reason. Maybe because I like that he still tries, or maybe for the sheer fact that it wasn't meant to be a gift at all:

"You're the best wife
a guy could ask for,
You're the best friend
there's ever been,
I really need to know
why me above other men,
my life with you so far
has been nothing but the best,
I can't wait for years to come
till the Lord lay us down to rest,
Every day with you
I fall in love again,
Cause my bad days turn to good ones
with you I can only win.
I can only wonder..."

That is where the scribbles started and apparently the glue gun came out.
Anyway, that is my valentine story. Hope you all had a GREAT one!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2 Whole Years! Who'd a Thunk?

I can't believe I survived this weekend! It was Disciple-Now at our church and we had the 10th grade girls in our house. They are absolutely crazy and I love them with every inch of my being. Our weekend was not only filled with some amazing sermons, fabulous music and great food. But we can't fail to mention the most important part.....the PRANKS! The very first night my girls were chompin' at the bit. So we made our midnight wal-mart run where we stocked up on TP, plastic forks (to stick in people's yards), post-its (to cover thier cars with fun notes), shaving cream(it makes fun letters in the grass), and shoe polish (we just wanted this to wear on our faces, but even though it did up our coolness and danger factor a couple notches it soon made our dork factor grow also as it began to burn through our skin and the only thing available to get it off was the shaving cream we were using on people's houses, whew!)
This is Rory (Caroline's new yorkie) she brought her to spend the weekend with Prissy. You can't really tell in the picture but we gave her a mo-hawk with some serious hair gel.
D-Now is supposed to be a weekend for the kids but I find myself learning a lot in these situations. I learned I can't do everything myself. I try so hard to train up my precious girls in the way that they should go. I want so badly to give them hindsight and save them from mistakes that they will later regret. But God slapped me in the face this weekend. I had to give up all control. Nothing I could say would help them with the certain issues they were going through, I tried and tried but I seemed to be driving a wedge even further between. When I finally took my hands off the wheel and let the college leader in my house have full control, I mean, I got the heck out of dodge, it was then that God worked. Sometimes I guess you just need to talk to someone who doesn't know you. Our leader had a great testimony on how she used to party and drink and do everything against God's wishes purposely. She also talked about after she got saved, how she still struggled with those things, even up until last year! Yet, this girl was as close to God as anyone I knew. I began to feel down hearted. That my "goody-two-shoes" testimony would never be GOOD enough to convert or inspire anyone. Really, who wants to hear about a girl saved at 9 years old, a rule follower who would rather die than break them. It was all so boring in that moment and for the first time ever I hated my testimony. I wanted to be able to claim that God saved me from a drug addiction, or something so extreme. For the entire day on Saturday I struggled with this feeling of worthlessness to the very ones that have my heart. I was broken. It wasn't until late Saturday night, well maybe not even until Sunday morning that God reassured me. How much heartache and guilt did he save me from? Shouldn't I be thankful? In fact, It wasn't MY testimony at all! Lord knows I wasn't the one who was resisting ANYTHING. It was God doing it for me and through me. And he reassured me that it was for a reason. Someone out there needs hope, and somehow my story will give it to them. I'm sure of this, and I'm proud of my testimony. More so, proud of my God who rescued me from all this world swallows us with. So in a nutshell, that was my battle. It was quite an emotional weekend.
So, follow that with Jus and I's two year anniversay. We left town right after D-Now and headed to Point Clear Grand Hotel Resort and Spa. I must say I did a bang up job of picking this place (with the suggestion from Angie). It was A-m-a-z-i-n-g! Here is the view from our balcony (which we did NOT sit on because it was friggin' cold). But what I was most impressed with was the bed.......oh Lord. I'm not usually one for laying around in bed on exciting vacations, but that is all I wanted to do at this hotel. I found myself checking the mattress, pillows and comforters for name brands so that I could scavenge around and buy my very own! Okay so we did eventually leave the bed to dine. We got reservations at the Grand dining room which is one of those places with 18 different wine glasses on the table when you walk in. Pretty fancy. But the funny thing was that we were the only ones there! We had the whole resturant to ourselves. I would like to say that my husband arranged to have the whole resturant for our anniversary...but that wouldn't be true, there just really wasn't anyone there (and after we got the menu/bill I think I found out why :) Regardless, we had our very own piano player who kept referring to us as "ladies and gentlemen".
The next morning we ordered the best breakfast for room service and then hit the spa for our couple's massage. Justin assures me that massages are not sexual in nature whatsoever so I suggested that he have a male masseus. He was thoroughly grossed out by this and insisted that he have a woman. Now this makes me think, "hmm, in that case,it should be okay for me to have a male if he gets a female, right?" WRONG! He objected to that idea too. (double standard much?) So I gave in and we both got woman. But I was overjoyed when they walked in and he got the Helga type old lady and I got the sweet middle aged woman. hahahah! karma! Anyway, our vacation was soon over and we headed back to our destroyed house. We spent the rest of the day cleaning the massive amount of TP and valentine decorations that the 11th grade boys loving left there for us. Joy Joy! So, now a new week has started and it is the last couple days of hunting season, PTL! I finally get my husband back. Tootles!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Santa Done Came to Town

Well, now Christmas is gone and I find myself taking down all those decorations I worked so hard to put up. I'm kind of sad because I didn't even remember to take a picture of any of our Christmas spirit while it was there. I really did get to decorate so much more this year too! dangit! Oh well, there is always next year huh? It was a great Christmas this year. We got to celebrate it a million different times. First was the trip a couple weeks prior to alabama to enjoy the Noel with my mom's side of the family. I'm glad we all still get together and see each other, even if it is just once or twice a year. I love my family and I think living away really makes me appreciate them =)
This is where all Hades broke loose. The Thursday before Christmas I woke up, ready to enjoy my day off and finish up Christmas presents when suddenly I went from absolutely normal, to balled up on the living room floor crying. For half an hour I convinced myself that the knife stabbing in my abdomin/whole body was really bad gas (which I assumed I had never felt before). Man, gas seriously hurts.......or so I thought. Haha. I finally gave in and called Justin who rushed home and wisked me away to the hospital. And after spending the entire day in a hospital bed with, not one, but TWO IVs and doctors poking and proding they realized it was a bit more than bad gas =) I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured (who knew I even had an ovarian cyst in the first place?) Apparently I have a lot of them but the doc says they won't cause me any harm, just pain if they rupture. So I was relieved, not of the pain of course, but of the fact that the world will not be deprived of the future Tyner kiddies! So for the next few days/week I still had some pain here and there but now I can thankfully say, I feel normal again.....YAY!

The saturday before christmas we spent the day with Charlie and Rachel. They are seriously TOO generous. We got too many presents to count, one of which Justin is really excited to try, our new smoker. I loved Charlie's reaction to the gift I made for him, he is such a cry-baby and so is his son.....I just LOVE it! Jon, Ang, Jack, Jo and James were all there and we had tons of fun.
The next day we all went to church and then headed to Mom Wow's house for yet another celebration. We ate dinner and headed to the candle light service at church. This is my favorite service of the whole year, not because of the music or sermon, but because you just get a chill when thousands of people in one room pass a flame around and then all hold them up while singing Silent Night. Here is a picture of it from last year (I decided to refrain from taking another picture in the middle of church this year). It truly was so beautiful, pictures can't do it justice. So we headed back to the house and opened presents and Ms. Joy read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" as she does every year. Last year we started a new twist to the tradition though. Instead of her just reading it as we all listen, we would have her read every line and we would finish the last word............we were all crying before we could finish. I mean really, who knew "the stockings were hung by the chimney with DUCKTAPE" or "away to the window I flew like a BAT OUT OF HELL"?? It was quite the christmas story indeed. So anyway, Justin and I came back to our very own love nest so that we could wake up Christmas morning and clebrate together. Aunt Polly stayed with us that night too, in our guest bedroom. Well, since our tradition thus far is to wake up extremely early on christmas morning open our presents and then head on up to bama for the rest of the day. We did just that. I got Justin a new GPS system so he will always know where he is in those woods he always hangs out in. And I got an awesome new photo printer(I love it). It is fantastic....scrapbooks beware! And also, my new entertainment center! Prissy got some rawhide candy canes in her stocking, she proceeded to run all over the house carrying her prize! She so cute.As we are digging in our presents and stockings Aunt Polly comes out of her room and just laughs. We soon realize it is probably due to our very own Christmas tradition, the "underwear hats". Whenever we get new underwear in our stockings, we have to wear them on our heads while we open presents. The only hitch was that I forgot to put undies in Justin's stocking this year, so he had to wear some of my new ones on his head. I gave him the ones with the frilly legs and all. I cannot believe I didn't take any pictures of us as fasionistas, but I forgot =( Well, soon after we packed up and headed to spend some time with my family. Every year my mom cooks the biggest breakfast and all 20 of my brothers and sisters come over and we all eat together. We spent the rest of the day playing with new toys and later that night went to the movies. We Are Marshall is a great movie, I love football inspiration movies. Not to mention that it is a true story and Bobby Bowden's character was in the movie being the amazing man that he is. Justin had to come home the next day, cause some sad people have to work these days. But I got to stay until Thursday! yay. My mom took off work on Wednesday and we spent the whole day with Sharry galavanting around and shopping! it was so much fun and I realized that the magnet my mom gave me was seriously true....."Mirror, Mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all!" I'm not sad about it.
Well, that was the end of Christmas but just the beginning of New Year! Saturday night we had some boys over for the monthly UFC pay per view. They all spent the night and we loaded up to church the next morning..........I don't know how they do it since they stay up until 4:30! But the next night was the best. We had even more people over for New Years! It was couples' Trivial Pursuit (the DVD edition, which I highly recommend and dominate by the way) and then watching the ball drop and getting our ever so anticipated kisses. As for New Year's resolutions, we have already gotten a head start on the usual, "I'm going to start exercising" one. We started a while ago meeting a few couples from Sunday school at the church gym on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Justin is hard core and I think the body building mentality is back! As for other resolutions self-betterment, and spiritual growth is the core of them all. Now I am going back to school tomorrow, the break is officially over =(