"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

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I have to say that I was amazed when I laid down last night and pulled out One Thousand Gifts! I wrote in my previous post that thankfulness/eucharisteo grows faith and trust and brings peace. Little did I know that is exactly what I would read last night. I am so thankful that God is teaching me!

I was pondering the different issues we are facing with our children. I have been praying for wisdom to know exactly what to do with each of them. There is anger and whining/complaining. What can overcome them? I do not struggle that much with anger, so I have really been at a loss. I knew what to overcome the complaining with though; you need to replace it with thankfulness. Then, after reading last night, I realized that the answer to anger is also thankfulness.

What? It is that simple?
God says," the answer is simple, but the act is not."
Then how do I do it?
You lead by example.
But I am just learning. I am not qualified!
Learn together. Let them know you struggle too; they aren't alone. And I do not call the qualified and equipped! I equip the called!
First step?
Be audible.

Then, this morning God takes me even deeper! Don't you love how He does that!?!

I was reading through Psalm 4 the other day and God really opened my eyes.
Verse 4-5
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

I know the beginning of the verse by heart, but I had never taken the time to read it all, or to read the next verse; to let them soak in. Do not act in the moment. Go to your room/ get away and meditate. (sometimes this is just inn your mind while you sit quietly before speaking) What do I meditate on? Can I go over and over again how this should go and how I am not in the wrong? Can I just let the anger consume me?
Well, that wouldn't be offering the sacrifice of righteousness, now would it. That isn't putting my trust in God.
Then, what in the world do I meditate on?
Thankfulness! Thank God for the moment. Thank Him for the argument. Thank Him for what He is trying to teach you. Meditate on His word, on Him. By being thankful, I am putting my trust in Him! It is acknowledging that He has this under control and He doesn't want me to sin. He wants righteousness, and that takes trust! How does it take trust? Well, what if you are right, which we all are in our own eyes. Laying it down to Him and trusting that He is going to work it all out.
WOW!! This is tuff stuff!! I think I will be spending a lot of time on my bed, by myself and with others trying to learn the art of eucharisteo. Being thankful in the hard moments and listening to God.

As I was beginning to type the verse for the anger, I thought about the verse for complaining.
Philippians 2:14-18
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice.

Once again, I haven't really let the following verses set in! I knew that living without complaining and disputing made you blameless. When I thought about this verse a little bit ago, I realized that thankfulness is the key to being blameless. But, I missed the point!
Why does it make me blameless? Because it makes me a light. I stand out. I am different from the crooked and perverse generation. How? Being thankful is not the norm. How can you be thankful when you have every right to complain? I carried a baby for 34 wks that would pass into the arms of Jesus. I knew for 6 of those weeks that she would leave me upon entering this world. According to the world, I had every right to complain and dispute. Did I? Some days yes! But, I was thankful far more. Peace reigned in me through that time by thankfulness.
It was/is a sacrifice! It is a drink offering because I am willing to drink in my circumstances and sing praises to God with them. It is a service of my faith because I am acknowledging that God is in control and I am trusting Him even though I do not like the circumstances. It is clinging to the word of life!

It isn't just the big things. It can be the mundane every day mess. I will drink the dishwasher in and pour it out to God in thanksgiving. It will change my heart and it will make me blameless. I will look crazy to the world!

Both of these are hard! They take time and effort. It takes physical therapy to recondition our hearts to be full of thankfulness. To turn from our wicked ways of anger and complaining. But, I am going to take the challenge, and I am going to challenge my family to do the same. May my children become vessels of thankfulness because they saw it in me!

Abba Father, I have failed You so many times, and I know I will continue to fail You, but You are always there teaching me. Thank You!! Forgive me. Mold my heart, Lord. Condition it to be the way You want it to be. May I look for Your praise and not the praise of man. Make me a light in this crooked and perverse generation. May You continue to shape my family. I love You!!! Thank You for loving me so very much! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2011

One Thousand Gifts/ Thankfulness

I have found the library!!! I know that sounds funny. We have been going to the library for a long time, but it never occurred to me to check out new books that I wanted to read. LOL I happened upon One Thousand Gifts when I was checking out some biographies on George Muller, and I was so excited! It was on my wishlist. Let me tell you, it is amazing!!! She was searching for so many of the same things I am searching for. The book is about being thankful, eucharisteo. I really can't put it into words because she does so well.

God taught me about thankfulness quite sometime ago. I have worked through a lot and had to learn to be thankful for my past. I am so glad that God taught me that lesson before Janie Beth! It has given me the ability to look back on her life and be thankful; at least most of the time. Thankfulness brings peace. It recognizes that God is in control. Thankfulness puts the focus on God and gives me perspective. I had never thought of thankfulness the way that Ann Voskamp writes about. The journey God took her on is wonderful. Thankfulness is a sacrifice sometimes. That is another lesson God had already begun teaching me, but I am learning so much more. The last few days of noticing everything have brought me so much closer to God! I can feel the Holy Spirit so close. Thank You, Abba!!! Thankfulness deepens your faith and helps you grow. It brings trust to another level.

Here is the beginning of my list of gifts. :) I am trying to take more pictures too. I want to truly enjoy life and live it more abundantly!

1. Pancakes baking
2. syrup dripping

3. sticky smiles and hands
4. the promise of my promised land
5. pearls of water on pink roses climbing up to the heavens

6. cute kid words (jingles instead jenga :) )
7. playing games
8. wet dew between my toes; God's morning drink to His creation!
9. a husband of faith
10. the bright colors of the UNO cards when they are dropped on the floor
11. long hair that can hang over the shoulder
12. pretty toes ;) Can you guess!?!

Yep, Eli!!!

13. walks in the evening with the family
14. the sun poking through the gray clouds
15. the sounds of little voices singing God's praises
16. chatting with a good friend
17. water falls

18. walking through gardens

19. the sound of pages being turned by little hands in the car
20. Libraries
21. the ability to read
22. daisies :)

23. mama birds on their eggs

24. slushies during "happy hour" at Sonic

25. for this view...

Thanks Poppa for mowing the other day!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When You Become a Parent

According to Eli, you will become a mom or dad when you have lost all of your teeth. :D

He regularly tells me that he doesn't have any loose teeth yet. This stems from the fact that Josiah and Katie Jo have both lost 2, and KJ currently has a loose tooth. He proclaimed this the morning that KJ anounced her newest loose tooth.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Awesome!

I count it an honor, a privilege, and a blessing to get to watch God's magnificent work in my hubby's life!! I never could have imagined the ways that God was planning to change his heart. Is he perfect? No. Does he make mistakes and mess up? Yes. But, don't we all! I am excited to see what all God has in store. God is molding and re-shaping Joey, and I am so thankful that He has allowed me to be a part of it. I pray that He will mold and re-shape me into the wife I am to be for my Beloved. God truly does do "exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think, according to the power that works in us." (Eph 3:20) Our God is good!!! Our God is an awesome God!! :) Joey Karr, I love you and I am so thankful that God brought you into my life. My heart swells when I think of you. It is my privilege to be called your wife! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Here's What is on My Heart

I sit here with my fingers on the keys and wait for the words to come. Why I am waiting, I do not know since I have so many going in my head. Maybe it is more of a problem of where to begin. So, I will just pray for my Lord to show the way and guide my fingers.

I have been struggling. I am very short. LOL Sorry, but that made me laugh because I am literally short. :P  Maybe I should say that I have been short-tempered and impatient. I am wound very tight right now. I believe that many things are factoring into this problem, so here is what is on my heart....

Easter is coming... I really didn't expect this to be an issue! Mother's Day is coming... which means baby dedication. Kindergarten Graduation for Katie Jo is coming... really wasn't expecting this to bring on emotions! Easter, the time when we celebrate the Risen Savior!!! Why would this make me sad!?! I am not sure that sad is the right word actually. The resurrection has become even more real to me. Maybe it is the wonder and amazement of it all. It is truly overwhelming. Because He Lives!!! I love that hymn. We even sang it at Janie Beth's Celebration Service. This chorus rings so true in my life!

Baby Dedication. It will be Joy Michelle's baby dedication. I cannot put into words the amount of emotions that flow through me when I think about it, and they pretty much cover the entire spectrum from one end to the other. I have sat through 2 baby dedications; one with Janie Beth in my belly, knowing of her diagnosis already, and one afterwards on my first Mother's Day without Janie. But, participating is a whole nother story. Wow! God's grace is amazing!!

I was going through Katie Jo's pictures to send in for a slide show for Kindergarten graduation and it hit me that the pictures I have of Janie Beth are the only pictures I will ever have. There will be no comparing how she changed over the first 6 years of her life. They are singing the song "Find Us Faithful" in the service, and it is really touching my heart!

This move into Built 2 Last Ministries is all about faith. As I sing "Find Us Faithful" my heart swells with the desire that all who come behind me find me faithful! God is working in my heart in wonderful, yet hard ways. He is pruning and refining me. This was the part of the journey I didn't expect. Sad as that sounds. And that, my friends, is why I have to be refined- because I am surprised that I need to be refined on such a deep level in order to walk this road! You mean the building of my faith in the recent trials wasn't enough!?! "No, God says, I want to build your heart the way I want it." Ouch!

I learned quite some time ago that if I see something in someone else that really bugs me, then it is probably in me. Yikes! God has really challenged me lately as I have been dealing with some issues. It is very humbling. I realize that the desires of my heart have been ungodly. When I look below and see the motives it is scary and sad. I really thought I had moved passed that. I am realizing that I have been seeking after the wrong thing. I have been doing exactly what I don't think others should do. As I have been seeking to live totally by faith, I am seeing that there is a whole lot of ugly worldliness in me. The world has molded me and I didn't even realize it. I have fallen right into line with the world and I didn't even notice. Life isn't about me!! It is all about God and bringing Him the glory!! I pray that God engraves this on my heart and that He continues to teach me moment by moment.

As I have truly sought to do that, He has changed how I view so many things. Our society is more messed up than I realized. And the sad thing is, those that chose to live life the way God says look crazy! We are some messed up people. It should be the easiest thing to do; live by faith. But, we are taught that it is the hard road and the lazy road. How sad! I am having to allow God to re-shape things that have been engrained in my heart and mind my entire life. No ones fault really because we are all taught the same thing. In order to live by faith, I have to let go of the worldly views on aspiration. Let go of the American Dream. Live solely for God's glory!! Live for God's Dream! What is God's Dream? That none should perish, but all should come to repentance. He wants everyone to join Him in heaven and ask Jesus to be their Savior. Everything I do should point to God and bring Him glory.

This is hard at first, but once God prunes all of the ugly branches off, He will grow the most beautiful flowers; His flowers. I must decrease so He can increase. I must crucify my ego moment by moment. This is the journey off of the milk and onto solids. (Hebrews 5:12-14) The Spirit has felt so close. He is constantly nudging me, and I wonder... has He always been there whispering and I just missed it? Did I not care enough before? I love that God is taking the time to mold every part of my heart. I pray that I will stay in tune with Him. I much prefer to follow His leading on everything instead of mine. We all know that mine will just find me on the wide path instead of the narrow path!

So, here I sit resting after another day of tilling a new part in the garden of my heart. Weeds are never easy to pull up when you are trying to pull them up by the roots!

Abba Father, thank You!!! I cannot say it enough!! I pray that I never lose the wonder that fills my heart when I think about Your love, mercy, and grace toward me! May You continue to strengthen for the weeks ahead. You called me to be Janie Beth's mother and You equip me to walk her journey. Thank You! Prepare my heart and bring healing to the next layer. Thank You for writing my faith!! Please continue to teach me how to tap into every aspect of it. Thank You for being the best Gardener! Refine me, Lord. I want to be a woman after Your own heart. Thank You, Jesus, for walking the road to Calvary. You are my all in all. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have been contemplating lots of things lately, and it seems God is working on my heart quite a bit. This is not pleasant at times, but man does it feel good once you have been pruned!!! Anyways, security was one of the first things that started cropping into my thoughts a lot....

You see, we are stepping out of our comfort zone and onto God's narrow path. Joey is going into vocational evangelism. He will be doing revivals, conferences, camps, etc. We will be relying totally on God! (Built 2 Last Ministries does have a facebook page and a blog site. Those will give you more info on exactly what is going on. :) )

I was talking to a friend from our previous church last week, and I told her that I missed the false sense of security that I had when we were there.

Definition of SECURITY

1: the quality or state of being secure: as a : freedom from danger : safety b : freedom from fear or anxiety c : freedom from the prospect of being laid off

2a : something given, deposited, or pledged to make certain the fulfillment of an obligation b : surety

3: an instrument of investment in the form of a document (as a stock certificate or bond) providing evidence of its ownership

4a : something that secures : protection b (1) : measures taken to guard against espionage or sabotage, crime, attack, or escape (2) : an organization or department whose task is security

If you really look at those definitions, the only way that you could truly have security is with God. The only way to have freedom, as in definition #1, is to have the freedom of Christ. There is no guarantee that you will have your job tomorrow or will be safe a moment from now. The only way to have freedom from anxiety or worry is to trust in God, even when the situation would seem to constitute worry and/or anxiety.
True freedom or security is peace! Where does peace come from? From God!
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep hiim in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your eharts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever thingss are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these thigns. THe things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, adn the God of peace will be with you.
Here I have gone from security to freedom to peace; how did I get there? Well, true security comes from freedom and if you are experiencing true freedom, then you have peace. Not only can you have the peace of God, but you can have the God of peace!! Look at the verses from Philippians again. The peace of God comes from giving everything to God through prayer and petition with thanksgiving. The God of peace comes when you decide to focus on the things of God. When you focus on the things of God, then you are free to feel secure because the God of peace is with you.
John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
This verse tells us everything we need to know! We are only truly free if the Son makes us free!
Definition #2: Can you be sure that someone is going to fulfill their obligation to you?? Who is the only one who has always done that!?! GOD! Has He always fulfilled the obligation as we thought He should or would? Nope, but it has always been the best way because His ways are higher than ours and He sees the big picture!
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to thoses who are the called according to His purpose. (This verse is contingent on you being a child of God.)
Definition #3: documents can be forged. Pictures can be stolen. Someone else can claim to have your life and even provide evidence that it is really theirs. Scary huh!!! What is the only book that is living and can't be forged; the only one that will last forever and stand the test of time? The Bible!
Definition #4: Can you really be secure from danger? Can you really guard your home from any invader or your children from evil? No. You can put them all in God's hands and allow Him to protect you. God and His angels are the ultimate home security system!!! Nothing and noone can get past them if God doesn't want them to. It says over and over again that God is our shield and protector; a help in danger. Open the Psalms, and your will ultimately see that on one of the pages.
The only way for me to walk securely through life is to walk it with God! In this culture, we have so many false senses of security! Our jobs, our checkbooks, our family, our friends, our status, the list goes on and on! Can you be secure with no job, no money, no family, no friend, no status? Yes, you can be secure because you are a child of God and Jesus laid down His life for you!
I am choosing to find my security in Christ. This is not a popular concept and it is foreign to most, but it is where I am striving to be. I do not want a false sense of security. I want the Security! I want to live my life to the fullest through Jesus who came that I might have life and have it to the fullest!
Thank You, Jesus!!! Please help me! This is so foreign to me and I do not even know exactly what it looks like for my life. Please open my eyes and show me Your path. Thank You for your security, freedom, and peace. I love You, Abba! Thank You!! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The 3 Biggin's

Yep, the 3 big ones is what Josiah, Katie Jo, and Eli have become. LOL Here is a little update on them...

Josiah had his first RA race last week. He was so pumped! He and Joey already have ideas for next year. I told Eli that by the time he was in RA they would have it all figured out. ha, ha! We aren't sure what place he was in, but he did pretty good. He also had the Grand Prix in Sparks last Sunday. He won the first heat he was in, but then didn't advance after that. He was still a proud supporter for Katie Jo! 
He is also doing great with his reading! He is getting more confindent which I believe is helping. Still a long way to go, but I am proud! His love is still math, but hopefully reading will become more fun as he learns.
I have a feeling Josiah and Joy Schelle are going to have a special relationship. Josiah has taken to being a big brother again very well, and he really looks after her.

Here is his RA car. You can see that it was damaged before it even got in the race. LOL

The Grand Prix in Sparks

Katie Jo has really been enjoying the warmer weather! She has completely been in her element in the mud.
She also had her first Grand Prix race in AWANA. She came in 3rd out of all the Sparks!!! Words don't do her excitement justice!! She was jumping around and screeching after every race she was in. It was so cute! She wears her medal proudly!
She has been all about GiGi's Cupcakes lately! She plays GiGi's cupcakes. :) She bakes them in her kitchen. I checked out a GiGi, God's Little Princess movie from church and she assumed that it was because she loved GiGi's Cupcakes so much. LOL
She was practicing her swimming in the tub yesterday. She called me to show me how she could go under water and how she will swim under water once Nana's pool is ready. She even asked about swimming lessons. (I will say, that it is ridiculous how expensive they are!) I can see her on a swim team one day.

It isn't shadow on her arms; it is mud!

 She was "painting" a ball with a small broom covered in mud.
 There is a huge smile on her face in every picture!

 Pulling Josiah into the celebration when she made the top 4!
 She couldn't be still so she is slightly blurry in most of my pics. LOL
 Happy for the others too!
 The amazing car. :)

And then, there is Eli... LOL Never a dull moment with that boy!
His chore this week is cleaning the table. We had some chocolate cake for dessert on Monday. I told him to go and make sure all the food was cleaned up off the chairs and table before we wiped it. I asked him if he was done and got it all. He said, "yes." I asked if he had thrown it away. He said,"No, I ate the pieces." LOL It is much easier to just eat the crumbs from the cake than to try to scoop them to be thrown away. I asked if he was going to eat the crumbs that got stuck on Katie Jo's pants, and he just laughed.
Eli is loving being back in Cubbies! Every time we go to church, he asks if it is Cubbies time. :) He was slightly upset that he didn't get to watch the Sparks race, but he is talking about when he is in Sparks.
He is pointing to words and asking me what they say, esp when reading a book. But, he is quick to tell you that he isn't doing school yet. LOL
His birthday is in about 6 weeks, and it is very hard for me to accept that he will be 4! He is planning on celebrating at Nana and Poppa's house and having cake, and of course Star Wars will be involved somehow. The boy is in love with Star Wars!
And it wouldn't be Eli if he hadn't done something to his face! Yep, he thought stamps would be a nice touch!

This is his lion pose. There has been a lot of growling around here lately!
 Showing me how white and shiny his teeth were after brushing them.
You can see the stamps go all the way down his chin and onto his neck.
 It reads "He is Risen"

There is a peak at what has been going on around here. I have a couple other blogs I hope to write soon because we have other big changes going on here. A couple last pictures since we have been dancing our calories off. :)