"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, August 26, 2010

A Rut, yet Called to go Deeper

A rut, that is what I feel like I am in. I am not completely sure why, but I feel as though I am trudging through mud just trying to make it through the day. We are finding our schedule for school, but there are still some things I want to work out or in. We have enjoyed school on the back porch the last couple mornings as a hint of fall is entering the air!! (I will say that we only have 1 week until the first SEC football game!! WOO HOO!!)

Yesterday all the verses God led me to were about going deeper, in some way or another. I am reading through Hebrews 11 before I go to bed and I read about Abel and his sacrifice. I started asking myself "what am I willing to sacrifice for God?" I believe the hardest thing to sacrifice is my ego, and what I feel is a right to myself. Totally letting go and letting God is a sacrifice because then my superficial control is gone. I know it is superficial because in reality I am not in control at all, I just try to be.

So, I read about that Tuesday night, and then God followed it up Wed morning in both my Bible reading and my devotional.
2 Peter 1:5
 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

Diligence. That is not something to take lightly! Diligence requires work and effort, it requires sacrifice on my part. "Add to faith virtue." Adding isn't easy either! You mean I can't just stop at faith!?! This journey of life is a growing journey. We are not called to just learn one thing and sit on it the rest of our lives. I am called to take another step and go deeper.

Then, I went into my devotion and it was about building your house on the rock. I had not really read it in Luke before, or it just hadn't grabbed me in the way that it did yesterday.
Luke 6:48
"He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock."

WOW!! You mean I have to dig deep to lay my foundation on the Rock! Haven't I gone deep enough!?! (Sadly, this is what entered my mind.) But, then I realized I still have all kinds of mess and rubble that need to be cleared away in order for me to truly build my foundation on the Rock. Digging is hard work, and you can't just leave the pile of mess, you have to clean it up! Yikes! I am glad God is the top garbage man there is!!! I doubt He has been called that before, but for me in this time He will be my Garbage Man and He will take it to the ultimate dump, one that is as far from the east is from the west. :)

During my quiet time yesterday, I realized that God is calling me yet deeper. It is scary in a sense. I am not sure I want to see the garbage that we will have to dig up in order to lay this new foundation. I believe that there are different depths of foundation built on the Rock. There are times when we are called to lay another layer of foundation, and to clearn away the rubble that has begun to cover the foundation. God and I are going on a digging journey to clear away the dross. I am not sure how deep this digging will go, but I have been praying for Him to mold me as a wife and mother.

I also think going deeper has to do with entering fall. I am so excited to be entering the fall season. Football is coming and we can get outside and not melt. But, I also think this fall will be hard. I will need to go deeper in order to take steps through this season that will be hard and far different from last fall. God is calling me to believe and have faith. He wants me to let go and let Him rule my life as I enter a fun, yet hard time of year.

I really don't have a clue how any of this is going to actually play out, but I know God does and He sees the big picture and the outcome. I will cling to the promise that the Son/sun is shining behind the clouds. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


God graciously blessed me 50 years and 1 day ago by allowing Jo Karr to give birth to the amazing man that I call my Beloved and Friend!!!

The day didn't quite go as planned, but we were blessed by time together as a family. We hope to celebrate more this weekend. Of course, our lives aren't really where you would want them to be as you celebrate a milestone birthday, but instead of looking where we aren't I am going to look at what all God has done in Joey's life.

I know that God doesn't allow us to see what all we do with our lives because we would take credit for it, but He does allow others to see. :)

Joey has been in the ministry for 30 years now. Only God knows the impact he has made on the kingdom by allowing God to work through him. God has graciously given Joey glimpses through the years because He know pastors need it from time to time to keep them going, but overall we have no idea. He has helped several churches re-vision and it is wonderful to look at those churches now and see what God is doing. He has a deep desire to disciple God's children and spread the word to those that don't know. He has no problem with working hard and meeting people where they are in order to reach them. I am excited to watch him in the ministry position God has ordained for him!! Some say being a pastor isn't really a job, but having God for your ultimate boss (which He really is no matter what your job!) makes it pretty demanding. God doesn't call the lighthearted into ministry, there is a lot of junk in the ministry. God has brought Joey through a lot in these 30 years of ministry, and I know and believe that it has all been to prepare him for the years of ministry to come. God is awesome like that!! There is nothing that has happened in Joey's life that has been a waste.

Joey has written some amazing studies, and God trully speaks to him in amazing ways. God's word trully is alive!!

I must say that Joey's most awesome accomplishment is fathering 5 precious children. His 3 kids that are here love their Daddy more than anything!! His sons want nothing more than to be just like Daddy. :) His daughter wants Daddy to be her kind. He loves Janie Beth and her journey has changed him for the better! She has prepared him for ministry that he never could have done before. I am excited to watch him with Joy Michelle!!! God is molding him into the man He has called Joey to be, and in doing that God is molding our children as well.

He is an amazing husband!! We have had our trying times, who hasn't, but God has brought us closer than we have ever been, and I love him more now than I did almost 8 years ago when I said "I do". He helps me and cares for me. He loves me as Christ loves the church. I am thankful to have the privilege and honor of being Joey's helpmeet!

I love you, Joey Karr!!! I do not want to imagine my life without you in it! God did a good work August 17, 1960 when you entered the world. And to think that He knew I was coming along down the road a bit makes me go WOW! God really does see the big picture! If you hadn't done anything else with your life, you have brought me closer to God and for that I can not say thank you enough!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my Beloved and Friend!!!

With his 2 look a likes. I can totally see Joey popping in a picture at Eli's age in the exact same way. LOL
 Doesn't he look good!?! :)
 The awesome stocking my sister Abby gave him. She said he needed a big one. :)
 So, I didn't chose well on the sparkling grape juice. LOL
God is good to me!! Joey is good to me!! I am thankful for the many things he has done in his 50 years and for the road that God has brought him on because it lead to me. :)

A New Part of the Journey

We have entered the territory when things started to change with Janie Beth. I am 26 wks today. It was at this appointment with Janie Beth that we requested another u/s to see if her legs were still growing, and said that we would go see a specialist if they hadn't or were falling further behind. My OB called me; we had seen the nurse practitioner; and said that he felt we should go ahead and set up the appointment with the specialist because it usually takes a couple weeks to get in. This began the 2 wk wait before seeing our OB and the 2.5 wk wait before seeing the specialist. If I had only known what those days would bring!

As we get closer, I actually tend to miss Janie Beth more. There are days when it really hits me that we are going to have a baby. I know that sounds crazy! It is all getting more real. I think my sister having her baby has helped in this part of my journey. Seeing everything go ok makes me think that perhaps it is all going to be ok for me this time. Holding that precious little girl has made me long to hold not only Janie Beth, but Joy Michelle too. I was somewhat surprised by the desire to have Joy Michelle NOW. LOL These last 3 months are going to take forever. :)

I am thankful for God's grace with this pregnancy. Joy Michelle is a jumping bean! :) We have a mover on the way. It brings me much reassurance, and I know that God knew I would need it after hardly feeling Janie Beth.

I do not know what to expect from myself as we enter these weeks ahead. I have a feeling my emotions may be quite fragile. Fall and football will remind me of Janie Beth. If it snows this winter it will remind me of Janie Beth. We are enterinig Janie Beth's time of year. :) I do wish she was here to enjoy this with us, but I know that it looks far better from where she is. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fire Station

We went and toured the new downtown fire station yesterday. It was really a beautiful building, I should have taken a photo of it. Eli was very impressed, and had the most fun. :) Here are a few pictures of our day.

The old style Fire Truck. Can you see the excitement on their faces as we begin the day!?! LOL
Isn't he cute. LOL
This is the only station here that is two story, therefore has poles.
The 1927 truck that they drive in the parades. It has a Rolls Royce engine.

One day he will learn to just smile normal! :)

We had lots of fun, except for the sweating! From the station we went and met Gwyn. I will do another post with pics from that. My camera was about dead, so I have to get pictures from my Mom and sister.

Friday, August 13, 2010


"I AM" WOW! That is what those words should make me say. Those 2 little words have enormous power behind them. Exodus 3:14; And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." WOW! What is there for me to fear when I have I AM, and I AM is ALL I need!

Yesterday morning, I was up at 3am. My sister was going to be induced at 5am. My devotion was about I AM! I knew God had my devotions be exactly what they were supposed to be yesterday. He always meets me right where I am, and knows exactly what I need. I was honored to be in the L&D room with her and help her through her labor, but I had no idea how this would affect me. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would intercede for me on my behalf because I really didn't have a clue where my emotions would go. Then, I read that He is I AM.

Here is an excerpt from The One Year Book of Hope (p.226)
I AM a Redeemer who has orchestrated every aspect of your life to prepare you to serve others. I AM with you wherever you go, leading and guiding you. I AM the One who will enable you to do what I've called you to do. I AM everything you need.

How much better can you get than that!?!

You see, I had another engagement yesterday afternoon that was very important to me, so I had to just let go of yesterday (which I should do everyday!) and allow God to direct my steps and the guide the day. I had to leave the hospital at 1:00pm. My sister was at 9cm. I really enjoyed, as weird as that sounds, being in the room with her and helping her out. My mom was her real coach and her husband was her squeeze object. :) But, I had to take over the coaching at times, and I got to rub her back. I have had epidurals with all of my children, but Joy Michelle will be a natural delivery for me, so this helped to prepare me for that as well.

I really didn't have trouble being at the hospital and in the same places that I was with Janie Beth. God always gives me just what I need. There was a moment when we first went back that we turned a corner to go to her L&D room, and I longed to run to L&D 6 to be where my baby girl had been. I had a couple other moments when the stark reality of how different our journey's are hit me, but I did well, God is strong where I am weak.

It was hard to me to leave her at 1! I wanted to stay and help her push and take pictures, but that was not God's plan. I felt bad leaving her, but I also knew that I wasn't supposed to be there, that wasn't part of my journey this time. I admit that I cried a lot in the car to our next destination. The emotions of the morning caught up with me. The reality that they would get to hold their baby girl and feed her and feel the warmth of her body hit me too. I am so very happy for them!!! Yet, my heart hurt to hold and feed my baby girl.

But, yet again, God is gracious and His timing truly is perfect!!! My husband and I had to leave the hospital to go to an interview about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and the impact they had on our lives. As I was leaving my sister to welcome her baby, I was going to talk about my heavenly baby. :) I don't get to talk about her very often, so I love any opportunity I can get! I do not know that words could ever express how NILMDTS touched our lives. To have pictures of those moments is priceless. She captured moments that had no idea were there, and we are beyond grateful.

Not only did I get to talk about my heavenly Janie Beth, I got to celebrate Joy Michelle. The photographer from the paper was going to take some pictures of Kelly taking pictures, so she snapped some maternity shots of Joy Michelle. :)

August 12, 2010 was a very blessed day for me!!! God graciously orchestrated things to go just the way He wanted. My precious niece, Gwyn Michelle, was born healthy. I got to share Janie Beth and enjoy Joy Michelle.

Due to my leaving the hospital, I was afraid that I would not get to see my children see their new cousin and hold her. I felt that maybe that would be best for me, but they haven't gotten to hold her yet because she was squeaking, so she went to the nursery for a bit. It will be part of my journey to see them hold her. I did hear how they reacted in the hallway to seeing her, and it brought a smile to my face as well as a tear to my eye as I know what they would be like with Janie Beth. The squeaking Gwyn made, I have no doubt, is part of the reason God didn't have her there before I left because that is the noise Janie Beth made when she tried to breathe. She is fine though, and doing fantastic.

This has brought me to a turn on the road of my grief. I really thought I would have dealt more with babies coming home because I had a friend who brought her baby home just a couple months after Janie Beth was born, but I really didn't. I think I somewhat lived through her, and now I will allow God to heal another part of the pain that is deep in my heart. I miss Janie Beth a lot!! But, I am going to enjoy the beautiful little girl God brought into this world, even if I cry while I smile. :) Gwyn Michelle and Joy Michelle will, I pray, be best of buds!!

I AM is AWESOME!!! Without Him I don't want to think about how my day would have gone. And, I pray that as I release the pain that I believe I have been bottling up the last few weeks anticipating Gwyn's arrival, God will help me become the wife, mother, and woman (and Aunt :)) that He has called me to be.

Thank You, Abba, for being my I AM!!! I love You and I never cease to be amazed by the grace and mercy You give me each day! May You be lifted up and glorified in my life and through my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Crib

We pulled the crib down out of the attic. I wanted to get it out early to make sure it still worked. One of the sides was having some issues before, but it seems to be good now. We changed out some hardware.

I fully anticipated putting it up to be harder. It is in the exact same place, and the glider has been moved to the end of it, just like for Janie Beth. I did sell the bedding that I had bought for Janie Beth (it wasn't what I really wanted for her), so currently it just has a pink afghan thrown on it with some animals that will be Joy Michelle's. I like that Joy Michelle now has a spot to put her things. Although, at the moment Katie Jo's babies and animals are invading. LOL

I think having different bedding will make this more Joy Michelle's. It all feels so different this time. I actually wanted to set up the crib. I want to get things re-arranged to put her things out. But, I do still have in the back of my head that she might not come home. Just because it feels different, nothing is guaranteed except for the fact that God is going to work all things together for our good and His glory.

I have changed my mind (I am a woman you know :)). I have come to a point where I am ok with using the things that I had bought for Janie Beth. I had originally planned to buy all new things and sell Janie Beth's things. You know, I think she would like her baby sister to use them. :) I also believe that I would have just as much trouble, if not more, buying new used things. I didn't really get what I really wanted for Janie Beth, and if I got what I really wanted this time, then I would feel bad for not getting Janie what I wanted. It is a crazy cycle I live in. LOL

I have become excited to use Janie things, at least for now. It feels as if Janie Beth is contributing. Joy Michelle will be wearing the clothes that were bought for Janie Beth too, although there aren't that many. This is another way God has provided. We are coming closer to the end of our money, and Janie Beth's things were bought at a time when we had more money. Had it not been for Janie Beth, we would have nothing for Joy Michelle. God sees the big picture!!!

I have already just sat in the glider by the crib and just dreamed. Wondered who Janie Beth would be now, who Joy Michelle is going to be, how it will feel to hold a baby and feed one again. I am amazed that God would give me the opportunity to carry another precious baby. He is beyond gracious!

I am also amazed at how God changes my heart, when I let Him. This has been quite a journey, and I really wouldn't change it. I am very thankful for His hand in my life.

My Brain/ Homeschool

It hurts!!! LOL I am trying to find the right routine/schedule for our family. I even broke down and tried to write it all out. When I am pregnant I have a heck of a time making decisions. (Just ask Joey, LOL, you do not want to ask me where we are to eat or what we are to eat.) I am hoping that writing out a schedule will give me a framework that we can move around in until we find what works best for us. I need to structure what Katie Jo and Eli are doing for their "school". I am one of those crazy people that doesn't do much formal school before 1st grade. One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool is because we try so hard to make our kids grow up, and I want them to enjoy being kids.

I know God is going to show us the way and guide my path and steps, but I usually have to stumble a bit before I get it right. :)

The sad thing is, I had to learn the same lesson last year! I started out the year last year doing the same work with Josiah and Katie Jo. I had to pull back and pull Katie Jo out of school because she wasn't ready for what we were doing. Well, what did I do this year!?! The exact same thing!! HELLO, Michelle! Katie Jo is still doing school, but she is not doing everything Josiah is doing. She isn't a whole year behind Josiah really, more like a semester behind. If we had waited to start until Jan she would be totally ready to do everything Josiah is doing, so she may start some of the same things Josiah is doing this semester next semester. I love being able to gear things to where my kids are.

Unfortunately, God has to teach me the same lesson quite often! There are many times He shows me something and I will work on it for a while, but then I fall right back into my old habits. I am very thankful that He is gracious, merciful, and forgiving!!

So, our year is really starting out well, we are just trying to find our niche. This is really our first year because we only got a couple months in last year before Janie Beth's diagnosis, so I fully expect us to have to make some turns on the road. We will find what works best for each of us!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Preggo Pic Comparison and Update

I have always compared my preggo belly pics. I will usually compare them to try and figure out the sex of the baby. LOL It is amazing to me to see how my girl bellies look exactly the same, just bigger each time. LOL So, I thought I would share with you all, not that you really care, but here you go anyways. :)

Josiah at 29 wks

Katie Jo at 26 wks

Eli at 23 wks

Janie Beth at 24 wks

Joy Michelle 23 wks

Joy Michelle seems to be doing very well. Joey and Katie Jo both felt her for the first time Saturday. She is a mover. LOL You can already see my belly move around. I do pray she gets some meat on her bones because she feels very bony right now. :) I love feeling her!!! It is probably one of the things I missed the most with Janie Beth. It is hard to believe we will be 24 wks on Wed. I go back to the doctor on Thursday. I have several questions for him and some things to talk about. I really need to right them down so I don't forget!

Maybe I will do one of the pregnancy questionaires this week. We will see. Time is of the essence now that school is going!