"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

Friday, December 30, 2011

East of the Jordan

Before Janie Beth, I was settling on the East of the Jordan.

This morning I was reading Numbers 32. It is the chapter where the tribe of Rueben, Gad, and half of Manessah ask Moses to let them settle on the East side of the Jordan. I then moved on and read in John, but I kept thinking about settling on the East side of the Jordan.

How many times do we pitch our tents on the East side of the Jordan because it looks so good even though it isn't the Promised Land. We still get blessings on the East side when we are following God's laws, but what are we missing out on!?! It is wonderful land and our families might be safe there, but what are we missing out on? We are comfy on the East side. We aren't challenged. We don't grow. We don't change. We just hang out and have God in a little compartment of our lives.

I was living on the East side of the Jordan! I had my 3 kids. My husband had a job. We had a house. The kids went to a little 2 hour/ 3 days a week program at the local tech school where they taught teenagers how to teach preschoolers. I had what I tought was the life. God fit right in, and I could still go about doing the things I had always done. My kids were kind of like a status symbol. I had them and I loved them, and I was called their Mother, but I wasn't really mothering them. I would if it was convenient for me, but they weren't really my priority. I was the preacher's wife. I had a title and status in the community. I felt important. I was blessed. God was teaching me, but it was on the surface. Oh, He was calling me deeper, but I didn't really want to hear it. I was having a good time on the East side.

Then life got hairy. We lost our job. We got a home, but it was half the size and the garage was piled high with boxes because we didn't have room and Joey didn't have an office. We became regular church members. I had faith that God would pull us through somehow, but my life was upside down! What happened to the East side of the Jordan!?!

Then, we found our we were expecting. Yay, a bright spot in this thunderstorm we were living in. But, I had a feeling...something wasn't quite right. Little did I know just how "not right" they were. But, I trudged forward. Then, we found out Janie Beth wouldn't be able to live after birth. REALLY!?! Are you serious? "God, I don't know what You are doing, but I pray that You be glorified!" Then, Janie Beth was born Dec. 29, 2009 and then went to heaven 2 yrs ago today. Thus began an even darker storm...

But, this storm would lead me to the river's edge on the East side. All along I thought I was living in the Promised Land, but in reality I was wondering in the wilderness. I was clueless!

God used Janie Beth to part the waters of the Jordan River and call me to the true Promised Land that He had for me. Really!?! We still didn't have a job. We still lived in a small house. I now had 4 children, but 1 of them resided in Heaven. How in the world was this my Promised Land!?!

God asked me if I really wanted to be a wife and mother? Of course! That is all I have ever wanted to be and do. But, you have just used them as a status symbol. A check off your list. They are there to meet your needs. Is that truly what a wife and mother should be?

WOW!!! How little I truly knew, and still know! God called me to accept my calling as a wife and mother. It wasn't a title to just put on. It is so much more than that! It is a lifestyle. It is a huge calling! It has major responsibility. It is hard work. It is rewarding. It is a blessing. It is a true Promised Land!

No, it isn't ready made like the East side of the Jordan, already ready for the livestock and children, but it is where I am truly called to settle. There is a little obstactle. :) Isn't there always!?! :) I have to conquer this Promised Land. I have to work the land to get it ready. I have to dive in with both feet and hands and sweat. I have to fail and get back up and try again. But, it is amazing!!! The land is fruitful if I am willing to take the time to work it. My children's souls and hearts are fruitful! Will I take the time to work them and feed them? Or will I just let them grow as they wish with lots of weeds? I must build my house and make it comfy and cozy. Relaxing for my beloved. I need to make him feel cherished. Am I going to let the world do that? I could try and let it, but it would never do it.

This Promised Land is full. I want to conquer every part of it! I am just scratching the surface of the coast on the West side of the Jordan. It is already amazing, and I know I can't begin to imagine the blessings that await for me and my family as we set out and conquer our Promised Land.

In a little house, with no job, and a child in Heaven, I found the entrance to the Promised Land God has for me. Before life got hairy, I was perfectly happy to be on the East side of the Jordan. I don't know what all awaits us in the Promised Land, and I know there will be hard times, but it will all be blessed. We have God leading us and following us. He has us enclosed all around. He is our helper and our guide. We are wholeheartedly seeking Jesus and following Him on the journey into our Promised Land! It isn't at all what I would have expected, instead it is far better!

Thank You, God, for a precious baby girl named Janie Beth. Thank You for using her 22 hours to bring me on an amazing journey that brought me to the edge of the East side of the Jordan where You showed up and asked me to go deeper! Thank You for Your love and guidance. Thank You for Your grace and mercy as I fail daily. Thank You for Your patience as I have to learn the same lesson over and over. I love You! May I grow to love You more and more. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2 Yrs Old

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY Janie Beth!!!!!
We love you and miss you so much!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I believe change is going to be a big part of our lives in 2012. Timothy will be joining our family, we pray. We will be moving somewhere; there is a particular place we are praying for. We will get some kind of job, prayerfully in a church. We will be changing how we do things around here.

2011 was about growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. I will continue to pray that prayer for my family. It has blessed us immensely this year, and I am very thankful for the ways in which God has had my family grow. He is growing us in our desires and priorities.

This year I want to take that even deeper. God has been changing mine and Joey's hearts in many ways. We took the plunge this year and told the kids that Santa isn't real. They really accepted it just fine! I wanted Christmas to be all about Jesus! Last year I brought up telling them about Santa, but our hearts weren't totally ready yet. I am realizing that our focus as a family is in the wrong place so many times! Christmas is a wonderful example because everyone is focused on self. What will I get? How many presents do I have? Me, me, me! But, our focus should be Jesus and giving. We tried to implement a focus change this year, and I plan to do even more next year.

But, I don't want our focus to be on Jesus only at Christmas time! I want our lives to be totally about Him.

I have been reading through Book Five of Psalms at night before going to bed. Sometimes I only get through one verse because it touches me so much, but lately I have been stuck on the same 8 verses. I just can't seem to move beyond them.

Psalm 119:8-16
How can a young man cleanse him way?
By taking heed according to Your word,
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blesse are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statues.
With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

All of these verses are rocking my world, but I am really rocked by verse 10 right now.

With my whole heart I have sought You;

Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Do I seek Jesus with my whole heart!?! Or is it just with the edges!?! Do I let Him have full access? Am I willing to change and let go of things I really like in order to truly be what He wants me to be? Am I wholeheartedly sold out for Jesus?

In all honesty, my answer to every one of those questions is "no". BUT!! (Don't you just love when it says, "But, God"!!!) But God is changing my heart! He is growing me. I want my answer to those questions to be a big resounding "YES"!!! I want to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior by wholeheartedly seeking after Him.

My word for me and my family is WHOLEHEARTEDLY! This year we are going to seek to seek after God and Jesus with our whole hearts. We are going to continue to grow, and prayerfully become a family after God's own heart. We are going to change because you cannot seek after Jesus wholeheartedly and not be changed!

This will not be easy!!! I will admit that there is a part of me that is wondering if I will have to let go of things I really like. But, then I think of the amazing things God will fill that place with! Look at the disciples! They dropped everything and went. Their eyes were only on Jesus. I can feel the changing stirring in my soul. It excites me. I am thankful for a husband to go on this journey with. I am thankful that we are changing the way our children are raised. I am thankful that God has called me to a higher standard as His child. I am thankful that He will be with me every step of the way.

I told Joey last night that everything needs to be laid on the table. We have discussed this many times with regard to the church, and how they (every single church) need to revision themselves and lay everything on the table and make sure it is all honoring God and doing what He wants it to. I believe there are times when He may call us to stop a ministry that is doing well because there is another one that needs more attention or is needed more. (That is a rabbit we can chase in another post. LOL) As a couple we need to look at everything we are doing as a family and/or not doing and make sure that it is all lining up with what God wants us to do. I honestly do not know what God may ask us to stop or start, or move away from a little bit, but I do know that His plan for us is good and His will is perfect. It may hurt as we are pruned and as we grow new roots because that is hard work, but we will be so thankful we did it!

So, here we go! We are off on a wholehearted journey toward Jesus!!! :) I hope to write more about the other verses in this section as well now that I have written about verse 10a. God's word is so amazing! Alive and moving still today if we let it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011


We have a special guest at our house this month. (And the kids have asked that she continue to visit after Christmas is over. :)) Her name is Lolly. Yes, my children named her. The first suggestion as Golly, so Lolly is good! She is our Christmas Angel. (You can find out more about them here.) 

First off I must say a HUGE THANK YOU to my awesome Aunt Tricia for giving us Lolly!!!!!

Each night I set Lolly up with a message of how we will give the next day. She has truly blessed our family! We have enjoyed focusing on others this Christmas season. The angels are God's messengers, and we are too, so we are trying to spread Jesus by the messages of our actions. I have made it my goal to really focus on Jesus and giving this year. Lolly has helped us to do that. We are also doing The Jesse Advent Tree. (Hopefully, next year we don't move at this time of year and I can plan better!) I pray that seeds of Jesus are being planted in my children's hearts as we seek to share Him with others.

Here are some pictures of Lolly and her messages that we have received so far...
Our first day we read her story and just talked about her and focusing on Jesus and getting excited about His birth.

 We made cards to share our thanks with our teachers at church.
 Sadly, we haven't actually accomplished this, but it is in the plans for this Thurs or Fri!
 Lolly hid in the tree! :)
 Here is her message. (We decorated a little tree for Grandaddy.)
 We wrapped 8 presents to go under Grandaddy's tree; one for each day starting Dec. 18 thru Christmas Morning.

Sunday Lolly had to rest because Mommy and the 2 youngest children were up almost all night! But, the 2 oldest and Mommy dropped off the tree and presents at Grandaddy's door and ran. (He somehow figured out it was us!)

I have to say that I am very proud of the kids for going through their toys and picking out like new things to give to children that lost everything in the tornadoes in April!!!
 We will be sharing our smiles at home tomorrow, and out and about as we drop off the toys and go visit Grandaddy since he was upset we ran and didn't stay. :)
I look forward to Lolly continuing to visit throughout the year some, and especially next December! I am thinking she will be around once a week throughout the rest of the year, but Mommy won't tell which day. :)

I pray that God will use Lolly to bring us closer to Him and make giving and thanks part of our lifestyle, being Jesus to those around us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

8 Years Old

It has been 8 years since I became a mother for the first time. Is he really that old??? Josiah Mark is now 8 years old!

This past year has been full for you! You are doing really well with school and your reading continues to improve. You are really sweet with Joy, and I look forward to seeing you with Timothy. You still building with anything you can get your hands on. You would LOVE a room full of legos! Your mouth never stops, especially in the car. :) You and Eli have a better relationship now, but you still have your moments. You and Katie Jo just fit. Neither of you remember life without the other. It is amazing to me how tall you are! You love to see how far up you are against me. It won't be long until you pass me by.

I look at you and wonder what amazing things God has in store for you. I am excited to see you grow through this next year. See you learn new things, and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Father God, I thank You for Josiah! I thank You for the privilege of being his mother. He is the first one that gave me that title. That day changed my life. I pray for Your blessings upon Josiah's life. May You enrich his faith. May You mold a thankful heart into him. May You keep him safe and healthy and growing. May You prepare him for Your call on his life. May You prepare his future wife for the call You have for their lives together. May they both grow into godly young people living their lives for Jesus. I pray, Lord, that Josiah would fall in love with Jesus. May You continue to grow him in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ his Lord and his Savior. Help me, Father, to be the mother that Josiah needs. Show me how to reach him where he is. Show me how to show him that I love him in a way that he understands. Mold me and help me cherish each moment I have with him. Thank You for a special young man! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Here are some pictures through the year...
Started with snow
 One of your many buildings
 Big Big Brother
 Best Buds
 Had your first RA race

 Waiting out the storms in April
 You went to New Orleans

 Went on your first RA campout with Dad.

 You have gotten good on your scooter!
 Hula Hoop King!

 Flexible!!! Your legs are flat on the ground!
 Joined the family of God!
 Lost way too many teeth! LOL
 First time playing flag football. You LOVED it!

 More of your building concoctions.

 Army man!
 You were cold one morning and this is how you dressed for breakfast!
You are fun! I love you, Josiah!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

20 Weeks

We had our ultrasound today. Our newest little one looked wonderful. Everything measured good. We are praising God for His mercy and grace!!!!

Baby #6 will be called Timothy Joseph. :) Timothy means "gift of God". He truly is a gift of God. I wasn't one bit surprised that he was a he. I have had a feeling since day 1.

Also praising God that the placenta previa has cleared up! My placenta is still low in my uterus, but it is not covering the cervix at all. Thank You, Jesus!!!!

He is a picture of a picture of Timothy, and my 20 week picture...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Day is Here...

The words... Where are the words? I am at a loss for them.

Tomorrow is the big ultrasound. I have been waiting for this day, yet dreading it as well. I am excited, yet so scared.

Sunday morning in church, I let go. I told God that I really didn't want to walk a similar road to Janie Beth's, but I was willing. I would accept that journey again. Silent tears streaked down my face, and I really wanted to run to the bathroom and just bawl! I wanted to just run into the arms of Jesus and feel Him hold me. I was vunerable. I put myself completely and totally in God's hands. I let go...

I have slowly been picking it all back up. The fear, the worry, the wonder. Why do I do this to myself??? It doesn't change anything.

As the week has progressed things in our lives have started to fall apart. AH!!! My faith is stretched thin. I fear, worry, and wonder. Things were falling apart before Janie Beth too. Will God choose to answer my prayers by having me walk through another journey of loss???

I do not know the answer to this question. Even if the ultrasound tomorrow is good, that doesn't mean that we won't endure another journey of loss because one day we will. Loss is a part of life. That is a hard reality to accept sometimes.

How Janie Beth fills my thoughts right now!

I must change my perspective!

Psalm 116:1-2
I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

WOW! Instead of looking at all that I lost. I must remember that God hears my prayers! He always answers my prayers, and I must continue to call upon Him as long as I live. He is faithful!!! He has proven Himself over and over again.

I am only as poor as I think I am! Oh Lord, change my perspective!!! Please! I need a mind renewal. You have given me so much. Thank You! Thank You for the stones that I can look back on to see your faithfulness in my life! Thank You for Janie Beth and the amazing journey her life has brought me on. Thank You for this new little one and the blessings You have in store for us through his or her life. You hear me when I call. You set my feet in a broad place. You are on my side. I will not fear. (Ps. 118:5-6) You are mindful of me. You will bless me if I fear You. (Ps. 115:12-13) May I totally trust You, for You are my help and my shield. Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? (Ps. 113:5-6) What a mighty God!!!! No one but You can truly behold both things on earth and in heaven. You care about each and every thing. Thank You for caring about every detail of my life! I love You! May You continue to be glorified in my life and through my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.