"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Randomness and 4 months

After I was all set to begin the turn to a family blog, life got busy. LOL Josiah is having a fun time with poison ivy or oak. I called the doctor yesterday at 8:10 and they asked if I could make it for the 9:00 appointment. I said that I thought we could. We all got dressed and out the door at 8:30. I believe it may have been a record. :) Poor guy is on steroids for 15 days. I will try to post some pictures later. Thankfully, no one else is getting it!! Here is one picture of his leg, and hopefully I will get updated ones later. This is a copule days ago, so he looks worse now. :(

Once we left at 8:30, we did not return home until 3:45 just to leave again in 1 hour. :) It was a fun day even though it was long, and I missed my nap for a second day. Missing naps isn't a good idea for me. LOL I was not real coherent last night, and a friend even told me that I shouldn't miss more than 1 day of naps. LOL I was going to post on the blog yesterday during naptime before I laid down, but I completely forgot about kindergarten graduation practice. I survived the day, and even enjoyed dessert at Ruby Tuesday's with some friends while all our kids were at church in their mission organizations. It was a fun time of chatting with no interruptions.

Today is library day, and we are going to my sister's softball game this evening. I am hoping to spend a nice amount of time outside as well!

Janie Beth would have been 4 months old today. WOW! She would have been doing all of sorts of little things. But, instead she is doing amazing things in heaven that I cannot even imagine! I miss her terribly. She has been on my mind a ton lately. I even started off one night sleeping with her lamb. For a couple days I was in a mood about it all. :) Now, it brings a smile to my face and sometimes a tear to my eye. Oftentimes it is bittersweet. But, I would rather remember her than not. And to think about how wonderful the place is that she is in and how she is having an awesome time brings me so much joy. There are days I wish we all were in heaven just so we didn't have to go through life here. The rewards of life here are wonderful many days, but they cannot compare to being in the presence of God at all times! Soon enough we will all be together again. :)

Well, this has been a rather random post. Usually I would have given Janie Beth her own post, but at first I didn't even realize it was her day. I don't think she would mind because she wants me to keep on living life. I am hoping to maybe have time to write about my Beloved Man later today, but it may be tomorrow or Saturday. You just never know what God has planned for our days.

I pray you have a blessed day!!! Cherish each moment you have with each person you come in contact with. Don't waste the day you have been given.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Branching Out in My Blog

I feel as though I am branching out in my blog. I have been thinking for a while whether to start a new one for our every day family stuff or watch this one mold into that. Janie Beth is still a part of our every day life, but I didn't want to take away from her story. But, we are really continuing her story by continuing to live. I thought about my title "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and I wondered if it would still fit for every day life. Well, I want it to! I want to lean on God's arms everyday regardless of what it brings. He is the One who gets me through whether I acknowledge that or not.

I also want the world to know my other kids stories. Their lives are just as important. Who knows what their impact on this world will be!?! They are each special. It is time to stop cheating them out of blog time. :)

I am not sure how all this will shape up. I would love to figure out how to do a 3 column blog, but I am just not that tech smart. :) This blog will hopefully become a way to show others how you continue going in life after a tradegy. We suffered a tradegy and it is still hard, but we are smiling and laughing. We make it through each day. We are learning to praise God through the storm. And He always sends rainbows as we walk the path through the storm.

I have a few family posts I am hoping to do over the next couple days. I want to write about each of my kiddos, and one of them has big news for a 6 year old. :) I also need to write about the awesome man that is in my life. He enhances me! I will also share my struggles, and what God is teaching me, as well as continue sharing about Janie Beth. How could I not!?! She is my child too.

Maybe this will make me upload pictures onto my computer quicker. LOL I look forward to sharing a little more of our lives and all that God is doing in them! He is so good to us!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Love Revisited

Love. It has come up again as something I have in a way stopped doing. Love is doing. I have been stuck in worry. When you worry you get in the mud. You are running trying to get out and all you are doing is flinging mud all over you and getting dirtier by the minute. How do I replace worry? LOVE!

This week I have retracted back into protect myself mode. I hate doing that!! I pray one day through the Lord's strength I will not do it anymore. Things happened this week that have made me worry and when you begin to worry about one thing the door is opened and all kinds of junk come in. Satan is jumping on every chance he gets to pick at my brain. I am battling in the arena of my mind. I am reading the book "In the Arena of My Mind" and man am I ugly!!! I have just finished reading about all the junk in my mind and I am very ready to read about what to replace it with!

I am seeking yet again to walk as an imitator of Christ in love. It is hard. Love is an emotion that you have to chose to put on. It doesn't come naturally. But, oh how freeing it is when we put it on. It is like putting fresh clothes on out of the dryer when you get out of the shower on a cold morning. :) Love brings peace. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love is like clothing. Clothes cover a multitude of imperfections. When I chose to love someone I pray for them. 

I wrote a post about love back in Feb. I always seem to need the same lessons multiple times. I need again to love without reservation!

Abba, may You clothe me in love. May You teach me to love others as I love myself. Lord, I want to be an imitator of Christ. May You continue to mold me and help me. I am broken and I need Your grace to fill my cracks. I love You! Draw me deeper in love with You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My First Blog Award

Monica from God's Gracie gave me this award. :) She is very sweet. Her gave birth to her baby girl with Trisomy 18 on December 10, 2009. We have talked some through email, and I really wish we didn't live across the country from each other!!! She surprised me very much because I never considered the fact that I might get a blog award.

The rules of this award are:

1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

10 things that make me happy (in no particular order):
1. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
     I could put each of them in my list separately because they all make me happy in different ways. God because He is my Abba and Strength and all that I need. Jesus because He died in my place and took my sins on His back. The Holy Spirit because He guides me each day and keeps me in constant contact with God.
2. My Beloved, Joey
    He loves me. He walks with me. Janie Beth's journey has brought us even closer. He makes me laugh. He loves our children. God put us together!
3. Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli
    Once again I could have put them in my list separately. They are each different people and I can't imagine my life without them. They are wonderful children!!! I need to do a separate post on each of them introducing them all to you!
4. Janie Beth
    She is different from my other kids because I don't get to enjoy her presence everyday. She makes me happy just the same though. When I think of her, it always brings a smile to my face!!
5. God's Creation
    As I draw closer to God I am drawn closer to His creation. I love to be outside in the Spring. We have spent many hours outside the last few weeks, and we will be going back out shortly. It amazes me the things God created!!
6. My Girlfriends
   I love getting together with my girlfriends! We have a good time! I can talk to them and let the kids play. What would a girl do without her friends.
7. My Family
    I love family! Joey says that we love holidays because it is a chance to get together and cookout. :)
8. Reading
    This is not something I get to do very much, but I love to do it! My Bible is my favorite book, and I can't imagine life without it. I enjoy books that challenge my walk with God, and I love inspirational mystery. The table beside the couch is piled high with my books. LOL
9. Pink Flowers
    Pink flowers have come to remind me even more of Janie Beth. Pink roses are the most special. They bring a smile to my face!
10. Games
     I love games!!! My family is a game kind of family. Joey is not a game person, unless it is a computer game, but he indulges me from time to time. My children are now getting old enough for me to pass on the fun of games to them. :)
I am passing on this award to:
Julie at Houseful of Rodgers She has become a wonderful friend. I am so glad that God has brought us together. She challenges me and I can talk to her about anything.
Holly at Caring or Carleigh She has been an inspiration to read. She just celebrated her daughter's first birthday in heaven. I am thankful that I found her blog.
Jennifer at My Cup Runneth Over She has become a wonderful friend through Janie Beth's journey. Our journeys are very different, but I am thankful to have her as a friend.
I could give this award to everyone! :) It was so hard to choose because each person has become special to me in some way.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just Stuff

I am sorry I have been quiet around here. :) I have a blog award I am hoping to post later today. I am working on getting our curriculum set for next year an start working on lesson plans. I also have to start planning or my VBS class. Added to that regular life, and I am a little busy. LOL We are also spending lots of time outside right now in the beautiful weather. I have several posts I hope to get done in the next few days. I pray Spring is awake in everyone's neck of the woods now!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Names

Here is my precious Janie Beth's name. :) I hope you also enjoy my new look. It was time for a little change. :)

In the sandbox. :)

In the snow on the trunk of a car.

Isn't this the sweetest!!! From another blogger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brag on God

I need to take a minute and brag on God!!!! He is so good!!!! Here we were sitting without a job and only having about 4 months worth of money left to our name, and then GOD! We have been fighting the VA for quite some time to get Joey approved due to some injuries during Army duty. (He was a chaplain in the Reserves for 10 years.) Well, it has been worked out and he was finally approved. I say "finally", but in reality it was perfect timing by God!!! We will be getting back pay as well as a monthly allotment starting May 1. We will now be able to live for over a year as we continue to search for the church God has called us to. He has been beyond faithful during our time here! I tried my best not to worry about our dwindling finances and trust God because He had been so faithful, but my flesh still creeped in!

This got me to thinking about my saying. I mentioned in my last post that I wanted it to be "Janie Beth" and what she had done for me. YIKES!!! That is giving Janie Beth glory and not God!!! I want people to automatically think about God when they think about me. I want others to see Jesus when they look at me. I want "God" and "Jesus" to be my phrases in good ways. I want to tell the world all that they are doing for me. Even through the rain, God has been awesome!!! Instead of saying look what Janie Beth has done for me I should be saying looking what God has done for me through Janie Beth's journey. Only God can bring me through to the other side of losing a child. Only God can sprout flowers from the storm and during the storm! Only God can provide for a family for over 2 years that doesn't have a job! GOD, GOD, GOD!!!! :)

Isn't God good!!! God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Saying

I went to a retreat this past weekend for homeschool mom's that school through our church. It was wonderful and God met me there! He reinforced the things that I need to work on and gave me some tools to work on them. One of them being to DO!! I have been praying for God to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, but I haven't been doing it like I should. It takes effort. I have to exercise myself toward godliness; it doesn't happen over night. We were given a book, and in the book the author says that his favorite saying was "I got gyped" in high school. That is what his friends decided to put as his favorite saying in the yearbook. OUCH! It hurts to see ourselves sometimes. He didn't realize that he said it that much.

I have been pondering what the phrase of my life right now would be. I have come up with several, but they aren't things that I say, just attitudes that I have. I fall into the all about me syndrome that we all are in at times. I think too much of myself. (YUCK! That is another post in and of itself.) Why is my life going like this?

But then when I wonder why my life is like this it makes me sad because if it wasn't then Janie Beth wouldn't be my daughter. I am so thankful to be her mother. Right now I would love for people to say that I say Janie Beth all the time, not to get pity, but to share her story and how much that precious little girl has touched my life. But, there is only so much you can say about someone who isn't here anymore. I am still trying to learn how to bring her with me through each day. I still miss her so much.

Last night I pulled out her journal, and all I wanted to write in it was I LOVE YOU in huge letters!!! I long to tell her that. I cannot feel her in my arms anymore. I cannot feel her finger around mine anymore. It is amazing how I can love someone so much who isn't even here! She is constantly teaching me something. It I had not been chosen to be her mommy I would have missed out on so many blessings. God trully can do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think. Thank You, Abba!!!

I love you, baby girl!!!! Father, please give her a hug for me. :) Thank You, Lord for hugging me!!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I have issues! :) I am actually taking a break from the internet starting today until next Friday, except for writing on the blog and doing email. (If you need to email me, my address is michelle@thekarrfamily.net)

God has shown me just how ugly I look to Him sometimes. OUCH! It isn't pretty, obviously. I am thankful that He doesn't do this all the time, but I am thankful that He cares enough for me to show me who I really am. There are times when we begin to think that we are really like the person that we portray ourselves to be. Not that everyone does this, but most do at some time or another. When I am faced with what my problem really is it makes me mad. Why? Because I don't want to face that truth about myself. I don't want someone else to tell me what I am really like. How dare they not see the good points about me!?! :) When I see something in someone else really strong, then I automatically look at myself to see if there is a 2X4 sticking out of my own eye! Most often what bothers me the most in someone else is exactly what bothers me about me. Yikes!!

This morning I decided to look back at some notes I did last April as I studied the person Joshua in the Bible. It was amazing to me! God was completely and totally in charge and knew exactly what I would be facing. He trully does prepare us for the journey ahead. God prepared Joshua as well. He allowed Joshua to follow Moses and see all that God did through him. God has placed many ladies in my life that I have been able to watch God work through. He gives us examples to live by, not only in the Bible but in our lives.

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them -the children of Israel.

After Moses died, then it was time for the Isralites to enter the Land. Moses was the last one standing in the way of the Promises Land. There are things in my life that have stood in my way of going to my Promise Land. Whatever does not encourage or support my walk with God must go.

God said "arise, go". Getting to my promise land takes faith, active faith. I have to act. God doesn't hand it to me on a silver platter.

"go over this Jordan"-- just deciding to take that step and enter the promise land takes faith. So many just stand on the other side of the river looking and wondering what it is like, but seeing the challenges, they don't want to risk losing anything.

God was "giving" them this land, but they were going to have to conquer it. What kind of fights am I going to have to fight in order to conquer my promise land? What must die before I can cross over?

That question is exactly as I wrote it on April 18, 2009. Can you say, WOW!?! What was it going to take to make me decide the challenges were worth fighting? Through Janie Beth's journey I have faced things that I feared facing for a long time. I have looked at myself with truth and realized that this fight is worth fighting. These issues that I have are battles that I am fighting in order to conquer my promise land. God brought me through my Jordan that day at the cemetary when He dried up the line going through the heart on her headstone. Now, that we, He and I, have crossed over the real work begins. There will be battles for the rest of my life. The Israelites are still battling. There will be no peace until Jesus comes. God's good work in me will not be completed until I meet Him in heaven.

I am in the first battles in my promise land. These are the hardest because I am new to this. I am learning how to use the weapons that God has given me. He has been preparing me and teaching me, but it is different when you have to use it and put it into practice. It will take practice, endurance, and perseverance. But, God goes with me and before me! Psalm 18:39, He has armed me with strength for the battle. Psalm 57:2, God performs all things for me. 2 Corinthians 10:4, the weapons of my warfare are not cranal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. With God I will fight to bring down the strongholds in my life that are in my promise land.

Over this next week, God and I are beginning to conquer the first strongholds, my issues. I am excited. But, I know it will not be easy. Since I have decided to do this, Satan will make it his mission to make it hard enough that I want to give up. But, He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world!!!!!! (1 John 4:4)

I would appreciate your prayers as I enter the first battles of my promise land. I pray that you will begin to conquer your promise land too. God has one for each of us!!! Rise, go, cross the Jordan, and take what God has given you. It is there waiting. He is waiting to go with you. He is mighty to save!!!!

Abba, thank You for bringing me to my promise land. Will You continue to be with me and go before me as we conquer it? Thank You that You have put Your armor on me. Please teach me to use it. Thank You that I already have the victory in Jesus!! That through You I will gain the victory and You will trample down my enemies. Even if I am sometimes my own enemy! Thank You for loving me enough to do all of this for me! I love You! May You bless this week of fasting from most things internet. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter and a Little Slump

Yesterday was a beautiful day here. We started the day with doing the Resurrection Eggs with the kids and going over Jesus' story. Then, we all got ready for church and we headed to the cemetary to tell Janie Beth "Happy Easter". It was hard. I was sad that she wasn't here with us, but also thankful that she was celebrating in Heaven and that Jesus died and rose again so that I can see her again! After church we got together with family. Janie Beth was remembered during the prayer time and it touched me more than most will ever know. My Aunt asked me how I was doing and said that she thought about me while she was in church. It warmed my heart and I am very thankful that she told me!!! Joey and I were exhausted so we came home and laid around. We watched a movie as a family before bed. It was a blessed day! And many people remembered my birthday. I was humbled and thankful!!

And then, today. :) As usual, the hard days don't get to me until the next day. I have been in somewhat of a funk for about a week, or so it seems. I haven't really been down, just not feeling as close to God and not experiencing His peace like I want. This morning I realized that this past week I had gone into survival mode. This means that I try not to feel anything. We have spent a lot of time outside and with friends and that has been wonderful, but I it makes the fact that Janie Beth isn't here all the more real. I miss her more than I even realized!! The pain is still there! The ache to have her here is still very real! I have tried not to think about her much this week, without even knowing that I was, or at least I feel like that is what I was doing. I know she can't always be on my mind, but I want her to be. :) That is the only way that I can have her near me, so I want her in the forefront at all times.

Due to my being on autopilot, I didn't really do anything with the kids to get ready for Easter. I am hoping that it was a wake up call for me for next year! I didn't think of ways to incorporate Janie Beth into our celebration either since I didn't really plan anything. I wrote her name on a plastic egg today and put it on the counter in the kitchen.

Today God brought me to Psalm 16: 8-11
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God will show me the path of life!! He is going before me getting the path in the perfect shape and angle for it to do the most in my life. He is at my right hand and I will not be moved. I will stand on that promise with active faith! When I stand on that promise, then my heart can be glad, my glory rejoices, and my flesh can rest in hope.

I had lost sight of the promise that God is showing me the path of my life. He is leading me on the path that will shape me into the woman that He needs me to be to give Him the most glory in Heaven.

I have felt like I was stuck in mud. Thinking of this made me think about being stuck in quick sand. To get an animal out of quicksand, or a person for that matter, people will usually find a huge stick or branch to pull them out. (At least that is what they do in movies. lol) In order for the person to get out of the quicksand, they have to actually take hold of the branch. It takes effort on their part too. God is the one doing the pulling and the bulk of the work, but I have to cooperate and help too. God has the power to do it all Himself, but then I wouldn't learn anything!

I will trudge through this mud and get back on solid ground again. I was writing in my Janie journal earlier and I said that I wanted to go back to the way I was a couple weeks ago, but then I realized that would be going backwards. I don't want to do that. I want to take another step forward and get to a new part of solid ground! It will be fresh and new and better than the last. It will be closer to God!

Now that I have learned all of this I need it to work down to my heart. :) I am going to stand on God's promise and read Psalm 16 multiple times until it sinks in. I will run to God and take hold of the branch He is throwing my way to help me out of this pit I have fallen in. He is my Redeemer!!!! He will deliver me!

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone

Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Grief is such a crazy road! You never know from day to day or even moment to moment what it will be like. You can go through every stage in the span of one day and only one the next day. There is no rhyme or reason to your emotions sometimes. Being tired makes it all worse, which means at the end of the day things can creep in on you.

When regret comes in, you have to bombard it with gratitude. Actually, gratitude can pull you out of many stages of grief, or self-pity, or any number of emotions. There are times that gratitude is hard to find, but once you start, even if it is begrudgingly, it becomes true and God really does fill your heart with gratitude.

This week has been somewhat of a roller coaster for me. It hasn't been a bad week, but it feels like under the surface there is a mass of sadness ready to come up. My peace has been fleeting, and I miss it. I am praying for God to bring me back to the place where I have His peace that passes understanding. I am thankful that I get to worship tomorrow and celebrate Christ's resurrection. I believe that God will meet me there. I will be thinking of Janie Beth and the awesome celebration in Heaven! She will be on my heart a lot. Joey and I are going to the cemetary after church. I wish I could see how beautiful she looks, but I will just have to do with my imagination and know that it is even better than that. To know that my imagination cannot begin to touch reality is amazing and just a WOW thing.

Father God, thank You! Thank You for being with me. Thank You Jesus for coming and dying in my place. Thank You Abba for raising Him from the dead!!!! Thank You for reigning in Heaven! Thank You that my baby girl is there with You and that she is more beautiful than I can imagine! I look forward to getting to worship You on Easter morning! May many souls be saved tomorrow all around the world. Thank You for gratitude! It brings peace. You are an Awesome Father!!! I love You! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wind -->> Air

So, I went to the cemetary on Wednesday. I can't go down in that part of town without going by to see her. I wasn't able to go Monday or Tuesday, so Wednesday it was. :)  It was a beautiful day!! This was the first time I have gone by myself on a pretty day. LOL As I was squatting, (yes I squatted because the grass was still wet with dew), beside her grave I thought, or may have said out loud, how is God going to speak to me today. I was looking for Him. I wondered after I got home how many times I have missed what God wanted to tell me because I was too busy or just not paying attention. It makes me sad because I know the number is way higher than I really want to know!

Anyways, back to wondering how God was going to speak to me. The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 28:9 that If you seek Him, He will be found by you. God's word is always true! The wind was blowing that day, so I began to think about what the wind does. It blows and I can feel it; it touches me. The wind changes things and you can see the evidence of the wind, just not the wind itself. I realized that my love for Janie Beth is the same way. I can feel it; it touches me; it changes me; and I pray others can see the evidence of her love in me. After realizing her love is that way, God showed me that faith, hope, and belief are the same way. They all can be felt; they all touch me; they all change me; and you can see if there is evidence of them or not.

Last night I was writing a letter in Janie Beth journal about my cemetary visit and after I wrote about the wind, it struck me that God is like the wind. But, God is more than the wind. He is like the air. We need the air to survive. It is everywhere. It blows in the form of wind, sometimes more than others. I need God to survive. God is everywhere. He is always there, but sometimes I need Him more than others. I can feel God. He changes me. He touches me. You can't see God Himself, but you can see the evidence of Him in the lives of His children. The fact that air is everywhere all at the same time, is just like God. That is hard for my simple mind to fathom. The vastness of God can become overwhelming if I try to understand it in my limited mind. It is something I have to take on faith.

In Bible study we are talking about angels and spiritual warfare. When I think about heaven now, it is more real but it is also surreal. It is all so amazing! I can see where it is easy to put God in a box when we try to think about Him without faith involved. We want to understand, but we just can't fully understand. I believe that God is calling me to take another step deeper with Him and I just have to take it in faith and believe because my little brain just can't get it. :) I will choose to walk by faith and not by sight. He wants me to accept Him as He is, and trust Him completely. I know that doesn't really make much sense; I don't really know what I am trying to say in this paragraph. LOL I guess I am coming to realize just how big and mighty God really is, and that it is even more than I can fathom.

God is my air!!! My faith, hope, and belief in Him are the wind. Without the air you can't have the wind. Without God, I can't have faith, hope, or belief. Thank You, Father, for being my air!!!!

Thank you to everyone who prayed that I would have time to type. I found the time, but all my kids are up now, so I need to get going. I miss typing everyday!!! In due time, God will make a way. :)


Please pray that I have some time to type today!!! I have a cool post to share! We are going to an Assisted Living place this morning to share our crafts, and then off to the park. I am hoping to get my Bible Study done at the beginning of naptime and then type. I am praying that I won't be in need of a nap so I can type. :) Isn't that sad!?! LOL

I hope you all are having as beautiful weather as we are!!!!! I love Spring!!! :)