Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Nassy" Kisses

Bright and early one morning, I'm talking with Serenity, first thing I announce, "Well there's my big girl!" She simply says, "No." "Oh, you aren't a big girl anymore?" Again she replies with, "No." "Are you a little girl then?" "Nope." "Are you a baby?" "Nope." "Well, okay then what are you exactly?" She smiles a big grin and while holding up two tiny fingers says, "I two!" Oh I definitely stand corrected! So I pick her up and begin giving her lots of lovin' kissing her all over her face and neck. Afterward, she stares at me with a disgusted look. "What's wrong Serenity don't you like Mommy's kisses anymore?" Quickly she answers, "No! They're Nassy!" "Nasty!? That's breaks Mommy's heart! You better come here and let me give you some more then." So once again I pick her up and begin tickling her and laying big kisses all over her face. "How's that?" While laughing she says, "Still Nassy." So once again I tickle and kiss her and once again, "Nassy." Finally during all the commotion she slightly scratches her foot on the corner of the chair. "Ouch! Mommy my foot!" "Oh let Mommy see, where does it hurt?" Pointing to an invisible mark she says, "Right here!" Squinting my eyes I say, "Umm, Where?" "Right here! See?" While Lying, "Oh why yes, there it is." "Kiss it Mommy!" "Kiss it? Are you sure?" "Yes Mommy! Kiss it. It hurts!" So I lean down and kiss her ouchie. Puzzled I ask, "Reni aren't Mommy's kisses Nasty?" She jumps down out of my lap and as she runs off to play yells, "Nope not nassy, all better!" Can't help but smile a little bit at that! :) How often are we embarrassed to admit the joy we find in feeling true affection? It's only until those painful moments that we need it, do we fully understand the healing power of love!
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1John 4:8

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lord, I want to be just like you, for they want to be like me.

Reni recently found my contact case. Fortunately, I was wearing them at the time. Since no harm could come from it, I silently stood back and watched her for a moment. She carefully unscrewed the lid and placed it on the counter. Then she dipped her tiny finger into the leftover solution, opened her eye as wide as it would open, and leaned into the mirror. With a slow and steady hand, she gently poked her finger into her eye. Then blinked several times. I was amazed at just how very precise her imitation of me was. I couldn't help but giggle. The more I thought about this, the more I was reminded of the song we played at Noah's dedication ceremony,nearly 10 years ago. The words made famous by Phillips Craig and Dean say,

"Lord I want to be just like you, for He wants to be just like me. I want to be a Holy example, for his innocent eyes to see. Help me be a Living Bible Lord, my little boy can read. I want to be just like you, cause he wants to be like me."

So often we forget just how much they are watching us. They hear words we don't even realize we say. They see things that we don't remember doing. They are little sponges soaking up every word, deed or action. Their entire focus is centered on becoming just like the people around them. Serenity had no idea just why she was poking herself in the eye. She just did it because Mommy does it. Therefore it must be the right thing to do. Even when it's something that hurts them, they do it anyway because it's all they know. My prayer includes words of that song. I want to be the very best Mommy I can be. In order to do that, I must always be led by the Word of God. I want to be a Living Bible that not only my children can read, but every person I come into contact with as well. I want to always bring every thought and word into captivity to the obedience of God. For innocent people are constantly watching and listening, waiting for direction. When I leave this world, I want to be remembered as a person whose example affected the well being of others. I want to make a difference for the better. I want my life to have meaning. When my children look at me I pray they don't just see Mom, but rather reflections of Jesus. I pray that looking into my eyes only reveals the light of Christ burning within my soul. I want my actions to speak LOUDER than my words. When they lay me down to rest, I want people to say, "This was a woman that truly loved the Lord." But even more than that, I want them to say the same for each and every one of my children!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good News/ Bad News!

Good News: Gracee loves Mom and Dad SOOO much that she has decided to live with them Forever! AHHH!
Bad News: She also plans to move in her future husband and 10 kids with her as well! :0

Good News: Serenity has been blessed with LOTS of extremely cute clothes!
Bad News: All she wants to do is run around completely naked! uh oh!

Good News: Our other girls have also been blessed with an abundance of clothing.
Bad News: They store them under the HUGE junk pile in their closet! UGH!!

Good news: Naked Serenity just decided to put something on!
Bad news: Hot pink Snow boots do not really go with a birthday suit!

Good News: Today was family day! We enjoyed several movies while snuggled in front of a warm fire! oooh cozy!
Bad News: We had to take all five, very eager, yet mostly tired, cranky, ready for a nap, children into a crowded video store in order to rent those movies!

Good News: Elijah was very happy when he discovered a rack of yummy candy.
Bad News: He quickly shoved the unpaid for candy into his pockets. When questioned he replied, "I gonna save em' for lader."

Good News: Serenity immediately found the movie she wanted.
Bad News: Copies of Whorton Hears a Who where flying across the store when Mom simply reminded her that we already have that particular movie at home.

Good News: Serenity has decided she is much too big for her little potty chair! She has moved on to the REAL thing! You Go girl!
Bad News: In truth, she is actually much too tiny for the big potty and has to stradle the seat just to stay on. So when she goes to get off one of her feet always goes directly inside the stool. She then has to shake off the excess water like a little puppy. Yewww! Yuck!

Good News: Tommy has decided to be a good husband and help out around the house. So sweet!
Bad News: His idea of helping is putting everything into one big pile (clean clothes, dirty clothes, toys, etc.) for ME to sort, wash and put away. Oh sooo close!

Good News: When I asked Noah to clean his room yesterday, he didn't even argue. Instead he joyfully spent the entire day working!
Bad News: He was working on beating a new video game. Busted!

Good News: Serenity just ran past with her back side finally covered!
Bad News: A Dora the Explorer back pack can only cover so much!

Good News: School has been canceled for two whole days! Kids shout yay!
Bad News: School has been canceled for two WHOLE days! Mom prays for better weather

Good News: Noah turns 10 years old tomorrow! Happy Birthday!
Bad News: My BABY turns 10 years old TOMORROW!

Good News: We serve an Awesome Savior!!!!!!!!!
Bad News: N/A ( There isn't any!! )

Lead me Lord! I'll Follow!

So many times in our lives we may not fully understand the direction in which God leads us. I know there were many times during our journey when I wondered, why Lord? Times such as, leading us to four different hospitals, and stopping surgery three different times. Looking back now, I can see things so much differently. My eyes have been opened to circumstances that at the time only God could foresee. Serenity ended up having her surgery at a hospital ranked within the top ten for pediatric cardiology. Receiving the diagnosis of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, was the only way she arrived there. I also wondered why God miraculously healed her of that disease but allowed the coarctation to become worse. Then later I realized whenever someone reviews her chart they will see that Reni was a very sick little girl, no one expected her to get better until after transplant. As a matter of fact, for several weeks her condition was rapidly declining. However something changed and suddenly she began to improve ( just so happens it coincided with the same night I received God's assurance of healing, hmm). After she was released from the hospital, the coarctation only worsened. Therefore, removing any suspicion that there might have been a "misdiagnosis.' He made it abundantly clear that Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, which has never been known to improve, was in fact once there and now it's not! If her problem had only been the coarc, then she should have never been able to leave the hospital! It worsen yet she improved. I believe this was God's way of saying, "I healed what no man could cure. Now use the wisdom I have given you and finish my work." God was ensuring He would receive all the Glory and at the same time, teaching us to trust Him in all aspects of His healing power. He has so many different ways of healing; instantly divine, creative, through medical technology. But make no mistake, whatever way He chooses, ALL healing is by the hand of God. By guiding our steps to so many hospitals, we were also able to witness to a multitude of people. Doors were opened and hearts were touched by our Faith in Jesus Christ. We may not have fully understood God's direction at the time, but regardless, we trusted Him completely! We walked through the doors He opened and were content with the ones He closed. God's plan may be difficult to comprehend, but it's always in our best interest. We must believe that with our whole hearts. The hardest thing for me to understand is why Serenity was delivered from a heart transplant when so many other God fearing, faith filled children have to endure one. The only explanation I can come up with is, God's plan is different for everyone. (He may use their testimony to speak to the hearts of those Serenity's story can not reach) I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is ALWAYS God's will to heal and He heals in many different ways. I also know within every fiber of my being that if He had chosen to heal Reni through a transplant, she would have come through with flying colors and would have suffered NONE of the side effects!! Despite the medical predictions, God was going to give me a normal healthy little girl either way. This I know for certain. I also know that He is no respecter of persons! Whatever way God chooses, one thing remains for certain, He is a God that heals your mind, body and spirit! He is a God that delivers you from your destructions. He is a God that gives you life and life more abundantly! Forever God is faithful! Therefore, whatever your circumstance, whatever direction He leads you in, TRUST God COMPLETELY! You may not understand His direction at the time, but that's what makes Him God! Find comfort in knowing that the Omnipotent Being which He is, is also your Heavenly Father and He loves you very much! Allow Him to shelter you within His wings. For His direction never fails to lead us to Victory!

"How precious is Your lovingkindness O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 36:7
"For you have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of your wings." Psalm 61:3-4

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Laughter Lives Tuesday

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.

I have always tried to make it clear to my children where love comes from. I try to instill the principle that God is Love and without HIM we wouldn't even be capable of loving, but THROUGH Him we can love anyone, even those who might hurt our feelings. During those moments at school when someone isn't nice to them, or they're just finding it near impossible to like someone, I always tell them to look deep inside and Jesus (who lives within them) will love through them. Well, one day my oldest daughter Kayleigh, was having a hard time following the rules. It seemed every time I turned around she was doing something that she knew very well she couldn't do. I spent most of the day scolding her. Until finally, the warnings and Mommy's patience ran out. I stripped her of all her priviledges and sent her to her room for some time out. As I was leaving, she softly asked, Mommy do you still love me?" Those words just about broke my heart. Immediately I replied with, "Of course, I love you! I will Always love you. There is nothing that you could ever do that would make me not love you. Right now I just don't like your behavior, But I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!" A smile quickly came across her face. She seemed very content with my answer. Then very sincerely she replied, "Thanks Mommy! I'm glad! And Don't you worry cause Jesus will love you FOR me."

A few weeks ago while putting the laundry away, I distinctively heard the dangling sound of my car keys. Knowing good and well that it is my 2 and 3 year old's favorite pass time to play with and eventually lose my car keys, I immediately began following the sound. As I approached the bathroom the sound grew louder. When I finally came to the door and peeked inside, I saw Eli standing over the toilet. Before I could even utter a word, I suddenly heard a flush. I stood there for a moment in disbelief. Then I placed my hands firmly on my hips while stomping my foot and blurted out, "ELLIIIGAH!" He quickly turned to look at me with that "deer caught in the headlights look". He KNEW he was in trouble! However, the boy is no fool! He knows exactly how to escape the wrath of mom. His expression quickly changed as he turned up his bottom lip, casually glanced to the ground then back up at me again and softly replied, "Mommy, I ov you SOOOO much!" Yep! The boy has skill! Look out Girls!

My children are all very close in age. Therefore, they are all very close in heart as well! However there isn't any quite as close as my two toddlers. They just can't get enough of that lovin'!

All tuckered out from channel surfing!

"Cause I can't get enough of your lovin!"

"Can you PLEASE get this guy off of me? Enough Already!"

Now for something completely unrelated to this week's theme, yet still worthy of the spot light. Here's one for the "Funny things kids say,"
My three year old, Elijah just pulled out a bra from my dresser drawer then with a puzzled look on his face asked, "Mommy why do girls wear these boob hangers?" LOL For that very reason honey.... to hang our boobs up!
Have some funny stories about love?

Monday, January 26, 2009

God's Purpose: "You will bring me Glory!"

So often we all wonder, "Does my life have a purpose? Am I really important?" I know that each and every person has asked themselves these questions. We all want a purpose in life! We all want to feel like our lives have meaning, a reason to be. I can assure you that no matter who you are, what you have done, where you came from, God has called you for THIS time.
"Listen to me, all of you in far-off lands! The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb He called me by name. He said to me, You are my servant, Israel, and YOU WILL BRING ME GLORY." Isaiah 49:1,3
The Word of God says that He called you by name before you were ever born. How awesome is that when you think about it? He created you for a certain task, a certain destiny. He has given you everything that you will ever need to accomplish your purpose in life.
"For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14
You were knit together! Think about that for a moment! Have you ever watched someone knit a sweater? It takes much time, thought and patience. Your innermost being is the very person you are. Whether you are; quiet, loud, outgoing, or shy, every strength, weakness, or quirk, He has carefully placed each personality trait, every heart felt desire. God knew exactly what you needed to fullfil your designed purpose. Before you were ever even conceived, God called you by name and said, "You are my servant, You will bring me Glory." Although some of us choose not to answer, we all have been called by God. (Matt.22:14) We all have a purpose to which will ultimately bring Glory to the name of our Heavenly Father. Our steps have already been laid out before us. When we choose to walk within the path of God's perfect will and plan, we also fullfill our purpose. Our purpose is bringing Glory to the Father through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We all must strive to become what God has created us to be. None have acheived their full purpose until the moment that God calls them home. It is a daily struggle and we must all press toward the goal.
"I have not reached perfection! But I keep working toward the day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, Dear Friends, I am still not all I should be. But I am focusing all my energies on this ONE thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus."Phillippians 3:12-14
With every fiber of my being, I want to become the very image of what God has created me to be! When I reach the end of my race I want to receive that ultimate prize of,
"Well Done my Good and Faithful servant."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Help Mommy! Reni make me stuck again!"

While playing with his sister, Eli suddenly starts to cry! Then I hear him yell, "Help me Mommy! Reni make me stuck again!" Apparently, when it comes to sibling rivalry, hitting, kicking, biting and pinching aren't enough anymore. Serenity has found a new way to torture her brother:

And you thought I was exaggerating about her temperment! HA!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Serenity: Messy little Monkey!

Some people might think I'm exaggerating when I talk about Serenity's hyper behavior. Believe me when I tell you I am NOT! She literally goes a mile a minute. She never stops! She goes from one mess to another, climbing on anything that gets in her way. Trust me she is SO NOT your typical toddler. I have five children of my own. Plus 16 nieces and nephews and I've never seen anything like her. It literally takes her a matter of seconds to spill, tear, break or shred something, then in the mere seconds I turn my back to clean up. She's already bouncing, swinging or climbing something else. Plus, keeping the child fully dressed is nearly impossible. I still haven't figured out her obsession with being naked! I think she just doesn't like feeling confined. She needs room to move! As long as she is wearing a diaper, we are doing good! I always say that God gives a certain spark or fight in those that he knows will need it for survival. That fight doesn't go away once their well. I think it grows stronger with age. Her spark just keeps getting brighter and brighter and Mommy just keeps getting more tired and more tired. Sometimes her stunts take my breath away. I pray just a few more prayers of protection over this one for sure! For nothing, and I mean nothing scares her! She's quite the little messy monkey! But she sure is a cute messy monkey! Check her out:

"Mommy! Mommy! Watch this!"

"See what my can do? Mommy! Mommy See?"

Workin' it! Wait for it..... Wait for it......... Bottom's up!!


"Wow! That fun! Again Mommy?"

Believe it or not, a few years ago when Tommy and I went shopping for new bedroom furniture, this scenario never even made the pro and con list. You would think after four previous children we would have anticipated this a little more. But then again we never had a Serenity before! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

How Great is our God!!

"He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite." Psalm 147:4-5

Have you ever just looked up into the sky and gazed into the stars? Their number seems to be never ending. Yet Astronomers estimate that there are as many galaxies outside the Milky Way as there are stars in it. Each containing their own set of stars. Have you ever really stopped to think about that? The Word tells us that God not only knows the exact number of the stars but he also calls them each by their name. How incredibly awesome is that thought to ponder? His understanding is infinite! His power is never ending! How very small our once seemed impossiblities are, compared to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Is our biggest problem even considered a problem when placed in the hands of our Heavenly Father? Not even close!

"Cast your cares upon Jesus!"

Whose Report will YOU Believe?

God, who never lies had promised the Israelites the land flowing with milk and honey. All they had to do was believe that He would give them that which He had promised. However, when the report of the spies was in, they chose to believe the negative.

"And they told him and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south; the Hittites , and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses and said Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said We be not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we." Numbers 13:27-31

"And all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; And they said to one another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will thine people provoke me? and how long will it be until they believe me, for all the signs I have shrewed among. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it; But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring unto the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall posses it. Numbers 14:1,2,4,5,11,22-24

"And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken to mine ears SO WILL I DO UNTO YOU." Numbers 14:26-28

Caleb received the land through his belief that God would keep His promises. God let the others have that which they believed as well. Many suffered for their lack of belief in the goodness of the Lord. I have been thinking a lot about the power of our belief. Every promise God has ever given to us is received by faith, or the true belief in our hearts of these things. It is how we receive Salvation, healing and deliverance of any kind. God promises us blessings, but we must have trust and faith in Him to receive them. Throughout the bible, God tells us that we can have that which we believe. Mark 11:23 ",,but shall believe that those things which he saith come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."

From the beginning of our creation, God has instilled the ability in us to have that which we believe. If He had not, we would be unable to receive His Salvation. Now just as we are able to receive God's blessings by our belief, Satan has taken this God given ability and perverted it for his benefit. Think about fortune tellers, who time and time again have claimed to predict the future. Sometimes the evil things they claim come to pass. We know that their predictions are not of God, but rather the demonic form. The bible talks plainly against their idle babbling and not to hear, believe or listen to them. So where do they get the little power they have? They obtain that power through our belief in their words. First we listen, then we speak, then we believe. Our belief releases all the demons in hell to come and bring those things about. That is why it is imperative to speak and dwell on positives things. The more you speak something, the more you believe it to be true. "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written. I believed, and therefore have spoken; we also believe, and therefore we speak." 2 Corinthians 4:13 If you speak negative things, then you start to believe those things that you speak. If you believe them to be true. They will come about. You receive as you believe! If you believe in the goodness of the Lord, you shall have His blessings, Mercy and Grace. The Israelites had two reports to believe. If they had believed God like Caleb, they could have went in to possess the Land. But they chose to forget the power of God and believe the negative reports. Be careful of your beliefs for they have GREAT power. For this reason Satan tries so very hard to destroy our faith. He is constantly whispering negative words in the ears of God's children. He is hoping and waiting for you to believe these things. For he knows that the moment you start to believe him, he has a chance to destroy God's perfect will and purpose for your life. A God who never lies has promised us blessings, Salvation, Healing, Deliverance! We obtain these things by believing Him and His Word. I know with all my heart that if we had chosen to believe the doctors reports, We would not have Serenity today. We have her because we held on to God's promises. We believed with our whole heart that she was healed. God said it therefore it is! We all have a choice. As for me and my family, We choose to believe the report of the LORD!

A land of milk and honey is waiting, whose report will you believe?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday: "Lets sing Fire Fall"/ Poop Smears and Sucker Punches

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts.

High: "Let's Sing Fire Fall!"

My definite high this week was seeing how my children and their friends LOVE to praise the Lord! At church they love to get involved with the service. So we always allow them to come up onto the platform and Praise God with song. They have such a wonderful time learning to Worship and to be completely honest, we have a pretty nice time watching them as well. Sometimes the smaller ones get a little too excited and well.... you'll see what I mean!
(Don't forget to pause the media player located at the very bottom)
Now Let Revival Fire Fall:

Low: Poop Smears and Sucker Punches

As a mother of five, two of which are toddlers, I literally go from one mess to another. Only to stop in between trips to separate fighting siblings. I deal with every thing from poop smears to sucker punches! Just for an example let's talk about yesterday afternoon. I come home from an exhuasting trip to the grocery store. As a family of seven you can only imagine how many bags I have to empty. It usually takes quite a while to unload everything and put it away. While completely focused on this grueling task, little did I know that the toddlers were kind enough to help me out. From the Living Room I hear Kayleigh yell, "Mom, I can't see the TV!" Trying to focus on the groceries, I ignore her. Then again, "Mom, I can't see the TV! Tell Reni to stop it!" Casually I reply back, "Reni stop blocking the TV." A couple of minutes later, I hear Kayleigh again, "Mom she's not stopping it!" Now frustrated I say, "Reni sit down!" To which Reni yells back, "I AM sittin' down!" Okay I return back to putting groceries away. "MOM!!!!!!!!" "Kayleigh what? Is she sitting down or not?" Kayleigh again yells back, "YES!" Now even more frustrated I say, "Then what is the problem?!" There is a pause then, "She's slinging yogurt all over the TV and I can't see the picture!" UGGHHHHH! I go into the living room and sure enough, the room is COVERED in strawberry yogurt! Elijah is on the other side of the room dumping an entire container of salt on my end table and Fritos line a trial in between. As I'm struggling to clean up the mess, I ask Noah to put some clean clothes on Reni. I can now hear Kayleigh and Gracee fighting in the background. "NO! Stop that! It's MINE! I'm telling mom! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!" Suddenly I hear a SMACK!! Then Kayleigh bursts into tears! "MOM, Gracee hit me!" I stop to scold them both. Then return to the HUGE mess! While on my hands and knees, scrubbing yogurt off my rug, Noah walks into room, "Mom" "Yes Noah, now what?" "Umm, Reni's going potty!" "That's good." "Umm, No mom! I put her PJ's on her" "SO?" "Well... I couldn't find her pullups!"

Yes folks she pooped in her footsie PJ's with no diaper! You can only imagine the poop smeared legs I had to clean up! Welcome to my life! LoL

Looking back now through the tears of laughter, I realize that my lows aren't so low (especially knowing how far our family has come) Instead, they are precious memories to last a lifetime.

Whether high or low, I am truly grateful! For ALL of my moments are greatly blessed by an awesome Savior!

Hold On and Never Let Go! God is Faithful!

"Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

As I count my blessings, it's hard to believe that all the simple things that we so easily take for granted, were once things that I hoped (expected without sight) for.

I can still vividly remember how hard it was to stand on the promises of God. I would sit beside Reni's bed day in and day out, watching her motionless body. I would listen to the beeping sounds of her machines only to be interrupted by the oh so dreaded doctor's reports. I hate to say that they were negative, because they were not trying to be. They were just simply doing their job by stating the medical facts. But oh how those facts would cut straight through me like the sharpest knife. It was so hard, that's all I can think to say, It was just so very hard!

"Before him whom he believed, even God, who quickened the dead, and called those things that are not as though they were." Romans 4:17

Calling those things they are not as though they were is not as easy as it sounds. Especially when your child, your very heart and soul is fighting for her life. It's hard to look past the worldly reality when it's staring you right in the face. I had to look past what this physical eye would see. I had to mentally and spiritually step out of this world and view things from God's perspective. During our hardest moments, I would hold on to a mental image of Serenity years older. I would see her running and playing, like a normal child. I would envision her as a young adult, so very full of life. I held on to these images until they were eternally branded on the walls of my heart. I not only asked God to give me this vision, but I EXPECTED Him to. I was determined not to settle for anything less, for God's Word had promised me nothing less. I didn't care how He would bring it about, I just knew that He would. I knew that He would give me my healthy normal little girl. Every time the doctors would bring in their razor sharp facts, I would mentally return to the image of that grown healthy young lady. Now, I am not a strong person. I, alone am a very timid and weak individual. However, during my weakest moments, God gave me a supernatural strength. He gave me the muscle I needed to hold on. I held on to those images. I held on to God's promises. As hard as it was, I held on and NEVER let go. I sometimes still see her that way! Do you know how I spend my days? I spend them chasing Reni from one mess to another. As quick as she dumps one thing, she shreds, or flushes, or spills, or breaks, something else. Tommy is constantly having to tak apart both of our toilets. Recently, He found a toothbrush in one and a potato, yes I said a potato, in the other. She is so full of energy, so full of life, so full of mischief. I have to collapse in my chair a few times a day just from sheer exhaustion. It's hard for the human mind to comprehend the ability to go from one extreme to another. God on the other hand, always saw her the way she is now. He knew the ill side of her, but He didn't see her that way. He saw her through the blood of Jesus, perfect in every way. He gave me the strength to see her the way He did. Now, here we are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. I have witnessed a creative miracle first hand, and every moment of every day, I am still in complete amazement by the Healing power of our Lord and Savior. I am so thankful for all of my blessings, the simple and the complex. We serve such an awesome God! He loves and cares for all of us equally. Always remember that He is no respector of persons.

"Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons:" Acts 10:34

What He has done for us, He has already done for you. Envision those biblical promises! Envision them until they are branded within your heart. Then hold on, hold on and NEVER let go! God is always Faithful!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Laughter Lives Tuesday!

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.

The following are actual moments of laughter that we have been blessed to experience, thanks to our many children.

I am a faithful breastfeeding mom. I have nursed all five of my children for well over a year. So if comes as no surprise that they are all very familar with the task. One day I was out shopping with my mother when my son Elijah was still very small(Before Reni was born). In order to make the trip easier on both of us, we split the kids between us, I had two and she took two with her! While on opposites sides of a small, yet very crowded store, I heard Eli begin to cry. I knew it was getting close to his feeding time. So I began heading that way. When suddenly, I heard my 4 year old daughter Gracee yell, "Mom, Eli wants to drink your boobie!" Laughter erupted throughout the store! Mortified, I tried to hide my head. Then once again I heard, "Mom did you hear me? Eli NEEDS to drink your Boobie NOW!"

Play Time with Eli and Reni

Eli: "Hey Reni, you wanna play hide and YOU go seek?"

Reni: "Yep!"

Eli: "K, close er eyes"

Reni: "K"

Eli: "Cannu see me?"

Reni: "Yep!"

Eli: "K, Now I hide!"

Eli runs off to hide under a nearby end table.

Eli: "K! Come find me!"

Reni, who has been peeking the entire time, immediately runs over and looks under the table.

Reni: "Yay! I find you! I find you!"

Eli: now frustrated looks up "No Reni! You are supposed to look AROUND first!"

Reni: puzzled "OHHH?" then nods her head "K"

Reni runs off to look under ANOTHER nearby table while Eli remains "hidden"

I think Serenity has been hanging around her brothers and sisters too long! I caught her playing in the cabinets today. She had a bottle in her hand and was dumping its contents all over the floor. When I yelled, "Serenity No!" She quickly dropped the bottle and exclaimed, "It wasn't me Mom!" Hearing those words with that innocent expression, it was very difficult to contain my laughter!
Then, a few hours later, I had a revelation. I have finally pinned down the bad influence. I found Serenity and Elijah playing in the toilet. Elijah was squeezing tooth paste into the water while Serenity used the hairbrush to stir it. Before I could even utter a word, Eli dropped the tooth paste and blurted out, "Wasn't me Mom, Reni do it." Then Serenity immediately followed his lead by handing me the brush shaking her head. "Wasn't me Mom, Ligah do it." Then they walked out of the bathroom hand and hand, confident they were both safe from the wrath of Mom. This time I could not contain the laughter.

I found Serenity on the girls' bunk bed again! As soon as she saw me heading her way, she immediately dropped her head down on the pillow. Sternly I asked, "Serenity what are you doing up there again?" She quickly raised her head and firmly replied, "SHHH! I nighty night!" "Oh no," I said, "You're not going nighty night up there! You come down here and sleep!" She ignored my request by making snorting noises with her little nose. "Reni are you snoring?" Again she quickly raised her head and yelled, "YES!" "Oh? Where did you learn how to do that?" She grinned from ear to ear and replied, "Daddy!"
Out of the mouth of Babes, right?
I love you honey, Snores and all! :)

Finally to conclude Laughter Lives Tuesday:
Another Boredom Relief Lesson
as taught by
Professor Eli and Professor Reni

If you are having a hard time finding something creative to pass the time, then try this:

1. Sneak an ordinary package of Tositos chips from the pantry while Mommy is otherwised focused on cleaning house. (This also works well if one partner carefully devises a distraction while the other waits for her back to be turned.)
2. Then take said package of chips into the living room and quickly dump its ENTIRE contents onto the hardwood floor.
3. While music from "Dora the Explorer" plays in the background, jump up and down on said chips, performing your own version of a Mexican hat dance. This makes an incredibly entertaining crunching noise. (the only downfall is it can be heard throughout the house)
4. When you hear Mommy heading your way, blurt out, "Hide Mommy's coming, Mommy's coming!" while you scurry around the room trying to hide yourselves AND the mess. (Note: make sure your bare bottom isn't poking out from behind the hiding chair)
5. Then if Mommy does indeed find you and sternly order you to pick up said mess, innocently bat your beautiful eyes and declare, "Mommy, I don't want to! I princess!" (It's worth a try because sometimes this works like a charm)
6. If for some reason Mom isn't buying into your overwhelming cuteness, than embrace the challenge of picking up the mess, by singing a song as you both go along. "Clean up! Clean up! Every-boddddyyyy Clean up!"
7. Afterward dump your entire collection of Legos out on the same floor and start the whole process all over.

Once again make note of the fact that if you truly want to NEVER be bored than become the said Mommy of the said Professors! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

"She's Special isn't she?"

"Let thy work appear unto thy servants and thy Glory onto their children. And the let the Beauty of the Lord our God be upon us;" Psalms 90:16,17
"For he that findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord." Proverbs 8:35

About a month after we were released from the hospital, I was standing in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. Of course every trip anywhere is exciting and exhausting for me with five children.

This trip was no different. I was standing there clutching Reni in my arms, staring off into the distance from sheer exhaustion. When a voice awakened me from my day dream. "I don't like children!"

Wow! What was that?

I definitely wasn't expecting to hear those words. I shook my head in amazement as I turned around to see a pretty scary figure. A woman stood before me, dressed in black and covered in tattoos. I could tell that she had led a very rough life, for she was aged way beyond her years.

At the time I thought, Oh no I'm going to get pounded in the parking lot. Then before I could speak, she noticed the fear in my eyes. She quickly corrected herself, "What I mean is I don't usually like children. I don't have the patience for them. So I just choose to stay away from them."

Then she looked directly at Reni and smiled a very sweet grin. As she took Serenity's tiny fingers into her hand, she continued, "But there is something different about this one. I'm just drawn to her for some reason. For the first time in my life, I just want to hold a baby. She's special isn't she?"

I could see the tears swelling up in her eyes as I said, "Yes she is!" Then proceeded to tell her Serenity's testimony.

I know that Reni touched her heart. She touched her heart just by being there. Of course, I also know that it wasn't actually Reni that touch her, but the glory of God that surrounds her!

I have often noticed a difference in the way people perceive Serenity compared to other children. Now I don't truly believe that Reni is any cuter or more special than other children, especially my own four. All my children are beautiful and special. However, Serenity did have constant prayer over her for several months straight. Prayer not only from family and friends, but from complete strangers as well. Then because of that prayer, she was touched by the very Hand of God. The Holy Spirit surrounds her even today! People can sense His touch. They want what she has. They are drawn to the sweet aroma of HIS presence.

I have notice this, not only with Serenity, but other miracle babies as well. So this made me begin to think. What would happen if we prayed as diligently for every child as we prayed for the ones needing healing. Now I'm not just talking about saying a prayer once or twice a day, then going about our business. I mean truly standing and declaring EVERY promise of God over them. Then taking the authority we have in Christ to make those things come about. How awesome would it be to raise up a generation of children, saturated with the presence of God? Think of the miracles, the souls that would be saved, the healings that would take place. We would raise up a mighty generation of warriors for Christ! All of this, because of the sacrafice of prayer and praise.

I often think about that lady in Wal-Mart and I wonder just exactly, how much was she blessed that day? I think it would be a safe assumption to say, she probably hadn't spent much time in church. That may very well have been the first time she ever felt the presence of the Holy Spirit strong enough to recognize it. Then I wonder, how many more people out there are in desparate need of that same blessing?

My heart answers me by saying, Far more than we will ever know!

Psalms 118

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; because his mercy endureth forever. Let Israel now say that his mercy endureth forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth forever. Let them now that fear the Lord say that his mercy endureth forever. I called upon the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in man. The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The right hand of the Lord is exhalted; the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. I shall not die but LIVE and declare the works of the Lord. I will praise thee; for thou hast heard me and hath become my salvation. Thou art my God; and I will praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O Give thanks unto the Lord; for HE is GOOD; for His mercy endureth forever." Psalms 118 (in parts)

I praise God for the knowledge and instinct to Trust the Lord. For confidence in man often fails, but trust in the Lord ALWAYS prevails. I can not even begin to count the number of times I quoted Psalms 118:17 over Serenity. Over and over again as I sat beside her bed listening to the beeps of the machines keeping her alive, I would speak, "Serenity shall not die, but LIVE and declare the works of the Lord. God your Word has promised, Serenity shall NOT die but LIVE and declare the works of the Lord." It was in these moments that I often talked with God about the testimony I would someday share with others. Hence, the birth of our website, this blog and someday my book! Forever God is faithful! O I give thanks unto the Lord; for HE is GOOD; His mercy and Love endureth FOREVER!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Valley to Mountain - Our Journey to a Higher Place!

Well, Here she is our daughter Serenity standing on the mountain of God! She is beautiful and by far the most active of our five children! However, there was a time when she wasn't quite so active. There was a time when we were given very little hope for her survival. We were told that only a heart transplant could save our daughter. We were told she would not live another day without taking medication. Two years ago we were given a diagnosis of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, a physical hardening of the heart muscle. Two years ago we were walking through this valley. We made the decison to stand on God's Holy Word, declaring healing. We made the decison NOT to accept her diagnosis but to firmly take a stand proclaiming the power we have through our Savior Christ Jesus! We quoted scripture over her little body day and night around the clock. The doctors would come in and say these are the facts. We would take the time to let them know we appreciated EVERYTHING they were doing to help our daughter. Then we would say, these may be the facts, but here's the TRUTH, "By HIS stripes she IS healed! Our daughter will LIVE and declare the works of the LORD!" (Psalms 118:17) You see in this world there are lots of facts, some good and some bad. But there is ONLY ONE truth and that is God's Holy Word. When we stand on His promises, no matter how grim the circumstances might be Truth ALWAYS conquers Fact!!

Today as you can see she is VERY healthy! But what you may not know yet IS, she is transplant free, medication free and MOM is energy free! Our God is so very awesome!

Is there a fact in your life that needs clarifying by God's truth? Drop us a line and we'll pray with you! :)