Friday, February 28, 2014

Quality Time with Uncle Josh

     Uncle Josh ships out for Navy boot camp next week. I can't believe it's almost time for him to go.

     He came over today and spent the day with us. He just hung out with us. This next transition will be hard for the boys. They love Uncle Josh so much. Uncle Josh lived with us for a long time, so he's such a big part of their lives. We love Uncle Josh and we'll all miss him a lot. 

    Aunt Calli and JJ came over too! I love my sweet JJ girl so much! Time with her is good for my heart. 

     Life is getting ready to change again. In the midst of all this change, I'm even more thankful that my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Lunch for Breakfast

     Yesterday the boys enjoyed lunch for breakfast. When I went in to wake them up and ask what they wanted to eat, Lucas said corn dog. Logan said peanut butter and jelly. I kinda hesitated and Logan said, "We eat breakfast food at dinner sometimes, so we can eat lunch food for breakfast." Made perfect sense to me, so they enjoyed lunch for breakfast.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Intentional Sacrifice

     Intentional sacrifice is about making one healthy choice at a time. Earlier this week I chose to run rather than eat a box of chocolates. (You can read about that choice here.) I was able to make that choice through Jesus's strength. I recited some key verses for me, thought about how I would feel in the moment versus how I would feel the next day, and asked myself if it was beneficial. Through His strength I found victory.

     No matter what I'm struggling with-food, miscarriage, difficult people, etc I know what I need. I need more Jesus. I get more Jesus by staying in His Word. No only do I have to be in the Word, but I have to choose to believe it. I have to believe that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I have to believe that I'm more than a conqueror through Him. I have to believe that I'm no longer living under condemnation. Reading and meditating is not enough; I must have faith.

     Prayer is an important part of this too. I have to ask Him to be the portion that I need. Whatever that portion may be~strength, self-control, peace. He wants to be that portion, but He also wants me to ask. I'm finding these days I'm having a lot of little conversations with God throughout the day. I'm also thanking Him in advance for what I'm asking which helps my faith grow. Because I'm saying, "Lord I know You are this portion for me. You are enough for me."

     Thinking about the consequences beyond the moment is helping me as well. I know how I'll feel immediately, but what about 10 minutes from now, 2 hours from now, tomorrow? I've been asking myself a lot, "Is this beneficial?". A lot of things are permissible, but not a lot are beneficial.

     Documenting small victories is important especially in times of discouragement. You can look back and remember where God brought you from. It boosts your faith and helps give you courage that if He's brought you this far, He's more than enough to help you reach your goal or conqueror that sin in your life.

     One healthy choice at at time. One Scripture at a time. One prayer at a time.  One small victory at a time leads to being an overcomer. A conqueror. It leads to walking in freedom from sin and struggles.

"All things are permissible for me"' but not all things are beneficial. 
"All things are permissible for me" but I will not be mastered by anything.
I Corinthians 6: 12

"in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37 

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Morning

     My day started at 6:30 this morning with coffee, Bible study, and my sweet Lucas. That is one of my favorite ways to start the day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


     Today I had a pretty big victory for me. I had a pretty rough day emotionally. My classes were great; I just felt like I was fighting depression all day. I'm trying really hard not to focus on the fact that we would've found out the gender of our baby this week.

     I really wanted to come home and pull the box of chocolates out of the freezer Joshua had bought me for Valentine's Day and eat them all. The whole box. On the way home, I thought about the chocolates and how good they would taste. Then I thought about how awful I would feel tomorrow after eating them. The more I thought about it, the more realized how not beneficial it was for me to eat those chocolates. I was thinking about going for a run to help me stay away from the chocolates. I had almost talked myself into the run, when Logan suggested we run as we pulled into the driveway. That was the final push I needed. So the boys and I changed clothes and went for a run. By the time I finished my run, I felt better emotionally and I didn't want anything to do with those chocolates. The box is still sitting in the freezer unopened. I was tired, my feet hurt, but I felt better after our run. And I'll still feel good about it tomorrow.

"Everything is permissible for me"-but not everything is beneficial...
I Corinthians 6:12

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lunchbox Love

     I started writing notes and putting them in Logan's lunch as an encouragement to help him make it through his school day while dealing with his tummy pain. I've started writing them for Lucas and Joshua too. The boys look forward to these notes each day. I try to write them out over the weekend, so they're ready to go when I'm making lunches during the week. Sometimes it's a reminder that I love them, or a prayer I'm praying for them, or just that I hope they're having a good day. Lucas wrote me a note and put in my lunchbox last Thursday. It made my heart happy to open up my lunch and find a note from him! I hung it up on my cabinet at school, so I can enjoy every day I teach.

Lucas's note to me says, "I love you, Mommy! Have a good day!" 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We Have Answers!!!

     We finally received answers for Logan's tummy troubles!

     On Friday, Dr. Osuntokun's office called with the test results. He had sent us for some blood allergy testing on Wednesday because the prick allergy testing they sent Logan for back in August of 2012 had shown he wasn't allergic to anything. The blood results showed that Logan is allergic to milk, not lactose intolerant, but actually allergic to milk.

     Joshua called me when he was on his way home from work with the news. He scared me to death and for a few moments I was afraid my worst fears about Logan's problems were becoming reality. He told me, "I have some really, really bad news about Logan." And he sounded so serious. I was so relieved when he told me about the milk allergy. The pH study confirmed that Logan has a rare form of reflux that Joshua has. Logan is now on reflux meds (the same one Joshua takes) twice a day to help with that.

    Joshua knew it was bad news because Logan loves milk and milk products so much. The boy would live off of chocolate milk if we let him. We were afraid he was going to fight us about this. But so far, Logan has been amazing. When Joshua got home on Friday night, we went to the store and bought Logan almond milk. I bought the unsweetened vanilla kind and he likes it okay. It's taking some getting use to, but he's being a good sport about it. Before he eats anything, he checks the label for milk or asks me too. This morning during Sunday school, he asked his teacher to check with me about donuts. We are taking this moment by moment. We are also trying to help him focus on what he can have rather than what he can't have.

     Thank you for lifting our Logan up in prayer as we went through the process of figuring out what is wrong.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Thankful Attitude

     This week's Bible study focused on the attitude of thankfulness which replaces a complaining attitude. You can read what I learned about a complaining attitude here. This week was much harder than what I thought it would be. I'm generally a thankful, appreciative person for the most part, so I really thought this week would be no big deal. I realize there are some areas in my life that I really struggle with thankfulness.

     James MacDonald says, "Joy begins to flow when you stop focusing on the glass half empty but instead on the glass half full by giving thanks." (pp. 34) Thankfulness is a choice based in reality. Not sugar coated. Not through rose colored glasses. Reality. Thankfulness is a choice I can make right now in the midst of dealing with my miscarriage. I can complain and mope about the fact that I won't meet my baby unitl heaven, or I can be thankful for the 14 weeks I carried my baby inside my belly. I can complain about the pain of loss, or I can be thankful for the joy I felt while carrying my child. I can complain about one baby I lost, or I can be thankful that the Lord blessed me with three children and has allowed me to keep two of those babies with me on this earth.

     Being thankful is being like Christ. Thankfulness is something Christ modeled during His earthly life. He thanked God when he fed the 5,000 (John 6:1-13). He thanked God for the sacrifice of Himself (Luke 22:19). He thanked God for hearing Him (John 11:41). God is using this journey through miscarriage to make me more like Himself. If I'm going to be more like Jesus, I have to find ways to be thankful even in the midst of the pain of miscarriage. It's a prayer I'm praying everyday. Give me the desire to be thankful. Show reasons to be thankful. If you ask, He does answer. I had a really rough and overwhelming day a couple of weeks ago. I asked Him to show me something good from my miscarriage. I asked Him to give a reason I can be thankful because of my miscarriage. I received a Facebook message the next day that contained something good that has come from miscarriage. Something I can be thankful for. Maybe one day, I'll be able to share that story with you.

     Thankfulness is choosing to focus on all you have rather than what you want or what you don't have. For me right now, it means focusing on Logan and Lucas and time the Lord has given me with them. It means I'm looking for more ways to spend one on one time with each of them and for us all together. It doesn't mean that I'm not grieving and feeling the emotions of my miscarriage. What it means is I choose to dwell and focus on what I have (time with Logan and Lucas) rather than what I don't have (time with my baby).

      Thankfulness is recognizing all God has done for me and realizing that nothing, including breath, is possible without Him. I can be thankful for specific prayers He has answered like my prayer above, or the prayers that He has answered and continues to answer about my sweet niece, Justice Jewell. I can be thankful for the hope He extends to me every day. I have the hope of eternity with Him. I have the hope that He hears and answers my prayers. I have hope from looking back and reflecting on His faithfulness in the past. It gives me hope that He'll continue to be faithful to me in the present and in the future. I can be thankful that He will complete the work He is doing in my life. I'm a work in progress. He's not through with me yet, and won't be until I reach eternity and I'm molded to be like Jesus. This journey through miscarriage is part of that work He is doing in my life. Even though it's painful, I can be thankful for the work He is doing in my life through my miscarriage.

     "Faith grows in the soil of thankfulness." "Our thankful attitude is anchored in the assurances of our faith in Christ." (pp.45) Thankfulness and faith go hand in hand. In the midst of trials or temptations thankfulness can be born out of focusing on the truth of our identity in Christ. Some of the truths I've been focusing on are: I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), He will complete His good work in me (Philippians 1:6), I am His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and He works all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). As I focus on these truths, my faith grows, my thankfulness grows, and He strengthens me to continue through this trial. MacDonald also makes the point that thankfulness is a spiritual discipline. It doesn't just happen; thankfulness is something we must practice. Thankful isn't just something I am; it's something I do.

     Thankfulness is recognizing that God is working to use the painful to bring something good. To bring beauty from the ugly. Thankfulness is an act of hope that says, "I know God is using this to bring about good for me. I trust that my future will be okay because of God and who He is."

     I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago titled A Hard Thing. (You can click on the title to read it.) That post was written when I realized that God wanted me to find reasons to be thankful within and for this miscarriage. At that point, I didn't even desire to be thankful about this. So I began to pray that God first would give me the desire for thankfulness, and then would provide me with the reasons, the good to be thankful for. God has been faithful to answer those prayers. He gave me the desire and now He's revealing to me reasons I can be thankful in and for this miscarriage. Being thankful doesn't mean I don't feel the pain. It doesn't mean I pretend miscarriage is good. There's nothing good about miscarriage. It's doesn't mean that I'm happy I lost my baby. I'm not. Being thankful about difficult trials and temptations doesn't mean you're happy about those things. It means you choose to focus on the positive that God is bringing from them. Thankfulness does make you a happier person. How can you not be a happier person when you're choosing to dwell on the good rather than the bad?

"give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
I Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

Friday, February 21, 2014


     Weary. That's how I feel today. 

     Weary from working through my grief. I actually had a couple of pretty good days this week. I had some moments of pure joy. I had almost forgotten my heart could feel that. But last night, I realized we would've found out the gender of our baby this coming week. Boy or girl. Daughter or son. Brother or sister. When I was still carrying the baby, it felt like 20 weeks would never get here. Like it was an eternity to wait to find out the baby's gender. Now we do wait until we reach eternity to find out. 

     I really want to lay in bed and cry and forget that life is going on around me. But there are lunches to make, meetings to attend, grades to enter, and a host of other things that must be done. So I asked Jesus to give me His strength because I can't do it. 

     Weary from trying to keep Logan encouraged. His tummy hurts a lot. More than it doesn't. We're still waiting on test results to determine a treatment plan. We went for blood testing for allergies on Wednesday after school. I've told Logan, if you end up with tummy troubles the rest of your life, you're going to have to learn to function with it. I wrote out and personalized Philippians 4:13 on an index card that he can carry with him at school. On the back, I told him I love him. I told him to pull it out and read it when he thinks his tummy hurts too bad or he just wants to come home. I've offered incentives if he'll just stick with it and not go to the nurse. I've reminded him to pray and ask God for His strength. I'm trying to equip him and keep him encouraged. These are tough lessons for a seven year old. 

     So today, I pray, that the Lord will the portion of strength Logan and I both need to face our struggles. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lamenatations 3:22-24

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."
Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

     These verses have been popping up in my life for a couple of weeks now. I've prayed them over myself and my friends. These verse have been such a comfort for me and a reminder of how thankful I should be for all He is and all He provides for me.
A few truths I have pulled from these verses:
  • The Lord's great, unfailing, faithful, steadfast love for me is what causes Him to give me new compassions and mercies each morning.
  • His compassions are new, fresh every morning. Not just every morning, but each moment as needed.
  • His faithfulness is abundant! It's beyond sufficient for what I need or deserve.
  • The Lord is my portion and I can ask for the portion, the measure of whatever I need~strength, peace, comfort, grace~whatever it is I need. 
  • Because the Lord is my portion, the measure of whatever I need, I can place my hope in Him because His love never fails. He never disappoints.
God's faithfulness and grace is new every day so I don't have to be consumed by my trials, temptations, and struggles.

Thank You, Father, for Your unfailing love, Your fresh mercies, 
and abundant faithfulness beyond what I deserve!
P31 OBS Blog Hop

Soul-filling Satisfaction

"For He [the Lord] satisfies the thirsty soul,
and fills the hungry with good things."
Psalm 107:9 (ESV)

     What a precious promise from the Lord! This promise fills me with hope and anticipation. I've felt broken and empty since we lost the baby a little over a month ago. While my arms long for the child I'll never hold, my soul thirsts and hungers for something that nothing but Jesus can fill. It's so easy to try to fill that longing in my soul with food or pity parties or friendships. Even if I'm able to successfully carry and birth another baby, it won't fill the longing in my soul. Only Jesus can do that.

      What I need is more Jesus. I pray that He gives me more of Himself. That He makes me more like Himself. That He fills me with Himself. These are prayers He is answering. My desire for time with Him through His Word and prayer are growing. I'm consistently getting up early even on the weekend so I can have uninterrupted time with Him before my boys get up. Even if I'm up late the night before, He is faithful to give me sweet sleep and to multiply my rest. He is faithful to fill us with Himself when we ask.
P31 OBS Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Backwards Night

     It was backwards night at AWANA tonight. The boys wore their clothes and hats backwards. When we were putting on his shoes, Lucas wanted to know how he could wear his shoes backward. He looked relieved when I told him he didn't have to.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Training Them Right

     Joshua taught Logan how to vacuum tonight. I'm very thankful Joshua feels it's important to teach the boys how to clean. And he's the one teaching them.

     Now I'm trying to decide which chore Lucas should be taught. 

"Whatever you are doing, 
work at it with enthusiasm, 
as to the Lord and not for people,"
Colossians 3:23 (NET) 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Joy Comes in the Morning

      Some days are still so black and sorrowful I know I'm still in the blackest of night. But then I get a glimpse of joy (like at Bible study tonight) and know that when morning comes, joy will be oh so sweet. The darkest of night will be worth the sweetest of joys when morning arrives.

One may experience sorrow during the night, 
but joy arrives in the morning.
 (Psalms 30:5 NET)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine Date

     Joshua surprised me and took me out this afternoon to celebrate Valentine's Day.

     We played Putt-Putt which we have not done in a couple of years. We chose the course that wasn't very crowded and enjoyed a beautiful, peaceful afternoon together. 

    Then we ate dinner at Olive Garden. We haven't eaten there in a long time together. Joshua had Chicken Alfredo Pizza. I had Lasagna Primevera with Grilled Chicken. I also had an Italian raspberry cream soda. I love Italian cream sodas!

     While we were at dinner, Joshua told me about someone he knows whose wife just miscarried at six weeks. They are not Christians. He told me it makes him thankful that we have Jesus because he doesn't know where we would be walking through this without our faith to hold onto. 

     I'm so thankful for our time together. It was our first date since we lost our baby. It was so good just to be together and enjoy each other's company. I'm so thankful that we have each other to support and encourage during this time. 

Happy Valentine's Day Babe! I love you! 

Snapshots from Our Week


The children's choir sang in the worship service. 

And Lo lost a tooth! Actually two-Dr. Davidson pulled one on Friday.


Lo getting ready for his procedures. 

His procedures did go well. This was in recovery. We're still waiting for results.

Ladies evening Bible study started. 


Lo stayed home from school with fever. He also wrote a letter to the Toothfairy. 


Lucas and I went shopping. He found John Cena Fruitty Pebbles. 

It was crazy hat night at AWANA. Logan had been fever free since 8:00am. 


Lucas took his Duck Dynasty Valentines to school and had his party. 

Logan went back to school, but was sent home at 11:00 with fever. 


I subbed for one of Lo's teachers in the morning and was able to stay for his Valentine Party at lunch. 

I took Logan to the doctor in the afternoon. The only possible reason they could find for fever was his gums are inflamed. It's not a likely cause, but it's not impossible. 

We exchanged Valentine gifts!

Lucas fell asleep like this. 


Grammie took the boys shopping to pick out a new toy for Valentine's Day. Lucas picked an Anakin toy and Logan picked a WWE wrestling ring. 

We had a pretty lazy, relaxing day. Logan's fever is finally gone, and Lucas has been getting lots of mommy snuggles. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Complaining Attitude

     I'm facilitating the Bible study Lord Change My Attitude by James MacDonald with a group of ladies at my church on Monday nights. We're finishing up week 1 which is about a complaining attitude. I do verbally express my complaints, but mostly I'm an inward complainer and save the verbal complaining for Joshua or my mom to hear. This week was definitely a convicting week for me.

    MacDonald defines complaining as "to express dissatisfaction with a circumstance which is not wrong and about which I am doing nothing myself to correct." Every time I vent about personal preferences inwardly or outwardly-I'm complaining. Every time I express my dissatisfaction or frustration with no attempts to correct it-I'm complaining. Ouch! Complaining hurts myself by fostering a negative outlook on life that feeds my complaining. It leads to more complaints. It's hard to stop dwelling on and complaining once I start. Complaining denies who God is because essentially I'm saying, "I can't trust who You say You are, God. I can't trust that You'll provide for me the way You say You will. I can't trust that You're control." I choose to complain rather than trust God who always faithfully provides even when I'm not faithful to Him. Bigger ouch! I don't want to be that person who slaps God in the face and says "Your provision isn't good enough." I hurt others by bringing them down with my negative attitude. Honestly, I can think of people in my life that their attitude affects mine. I tend to complain more around them because they are negative and complaining. Another ouch! I don't want to be that person that brings others down because I'm negative and complaining. My complaining is a sin, it denies who God is, and it hurts myself and others.

     MacDonald writes that "True praise affirms God's character. It is more than just positive words; it's a powerful force in battling wilderness attitudes." (He calls negative, sinful attitudes like complaining wilderness attitudes because they figuratively send us to wander in the wilderness much like the Israelites did for 40 years before entering the Promised Land.) I know that when I praise God through singing or prayer or serving others that it drastically improves my attitude and I feel better, but I never considered that it actually benefits me. Fulfilling my purpose to glorify God benefits me. Whoa~that's an awesome truth! On Wednesday, I challenged my ladies to praise God through singing, prayer, or serving others. I'm looking forward to hearing how praise changed their attitudes. I know it did wonders for mine. The boys and I have been singing Chris Tomlin's Enough around here a lot this week. I'm realizing that one thing the Lord is showing me through this miscarriage is that HE truly is enough me. I'm afraid I've tied my happy and purpose recently to my boys and to having another baby. That's a bad place to be because they will never bring joy and fulfillment to me the way Christ does. As much as I love my boys, they will disappointment; Christ never will. This miscarriage is showing me no matter how bad it is[ and believe a miscarriage is world ending], I can pick up and move forward through Jesus' strength because He is enough for me. The more I praise Him and tell Him He is enough, the more I realize it is true, and the more my attitude improves.

     Psalm 116:1 says, "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy." Another sobering truth, I've learned this week is that He hears my complaining just as He hears my praise and requests. Yikes, even if I'm not complaining to Him, He hears it. And it's an insult. Once again, I'm telling Him His provision isn't good enough. My lot in life is too hard. Instead of remembering and trusting His faithfulness.

     We forfeit God's grace and His strength when we complain about circumstances rather than realizing and accepting that they are tools He is using to draw us closer to Him, keep us humble, and make us more like Himself. Instead of trying to manipulate God, we should embrace it and use it to draw closer to Him. People look at me right now dealing with this miscarriage and they think I'm strong. I'm not strong; I'm a weak, broken mess, but I'm desperately clinging to the One who gives me His strength when I draw close and ask for it. I want this pain and my baby's life to have purpose, so I'm deliberately trying to choose thankfulness rather than complaining and avoid pity parties that keep me focused on me rather than on work Christ is doing to make me more like Him.

     He is faithful even when I am not. How can I complain about that?!

     Here are two of the three biggest reasons I have NOT to complain. They're watching my every move and mimicking my attitudes. I want them to know that God + nothing else = More than Enough.

"Do all things without grumbling or complaining, 
that you may be blameless and innocent, 
children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world."
Philippians 2:14-15

Friday, February 14, 2014

All Things Valentine's

The boys gave their friends and teachers Duck Dynasty valentines this year. 

I made the boys a special Valentine breakfast. 

I wrote acrostic poems using their names. 

I had lunch with Logan and was with him for his Valentine party. 

Here's my lil Valentines with their chocolates. 

Joshua gave me flowers and chocolates. 

The boys gave me chocolates too. 

I gave Joshua a painting he liked that one of the girls in our student ministry at church painted. I was so glad Bayli was able to paint one for Joshua. I also gave him his favorite chocolates. He has to hide them from Lucas because they're Luc's favorites too. 

     The best part of my day was hugs and kisses from all my boys and hearing them tell me how much they love me. I don't deserve them, but God blessed me with them anyway. That I'm definitely thankful for. 

"The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will quiet you by His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
 (Zephaniah 3:17)