Monday, March 30, 2009

Young Christian's Weekend!

Young Christian's weekend started out cold and rainy! It was actually just plain miserable on Saturday! We had layers of clothing under jackets, coats and rain ponchos and were still wet and FREEZING!

All the kids wore their rain ponchos at first. After awhile the rain turned into more of a cold mist. So I allowed the girls to remove the ponchos. Tori conveniently placed herself inside her jacket for easy carry. Then realized it made her look pregnant.
We had been discussing the harmful affects of quick judgements against people at a first glance. We often take one look at someone and assume we know the condition of their heart. However, only God knows the heart! Tori thought this would be a good opportunity for a little experiment. She wanted to see how many evil glances or snide remarks she would receive right smack in the middle of a Christian retreat. How many Christians are quick to judge? How many Christians actually share the love of Christ? Out of sheer curiosity, she remained "pregnant" the entire day.

We were really amazed at how many evil glances she received. Nearly everyone was quick to judge her based on the fact that she "appeared" to be pregnant. For surely she must be a very bad person to be 15 and pregnant...right? Imagine a Church Youth group placing such a girl on display. Huh! What a witness! I hope you're catching my sarcasm. For this is why so many young people are turned away from church!
Tori not only received hateful glances, but she was also the victim of ridicule. Some boys from another "Youth Group" walked by and made some very hurtful remarks. Tori's feelings might have been crushed, if it had actually been true. Instead, she just smiled, patted her fake belly and said, "The joke's on them!"
Our group is well aware of the importance of making Godly choices. They know we are always to STRIVE for that Christ Like perfection. However, this weekend they also learned another very important lesson on always showing the love of Christ! We are not God, we do not know everything! We do not undstand the circumstances surrounding someone's behavior, or the mistakes they make. Whatever the circumstances, we are to give them Jesus, and HE will take care of the rest!
So Saturday, we waited all day in the rain. All the rides were closed due to the weather. Everyone was cold and miserable. Then about two hours before the so anticipated Kutless concert, we received news that their lead singer was stuck in an airport due to weather delays! The concert was canceled for the day. We decided to leave the park early. We spent the evening playing games in an arcade, gorging on junk food and ice cream.
The next day the sun was shining! All the rides were open! The kids didn't waste time! They all enjoyed the thrill of the roller coasters.
Notice I said THEY! This particular experience is not MY cup of tea! I prefer to remain with my feet firmly planted on the ground!
Of course the best part of the trip was finally getting to see Kutless in concert! They performed the praise and worship for the Sunday morning service. It was Awesome! God's presence was so strong throughout the Amphitheatre. We were all the way up in the nose bleed section and couldn't help but just weep within HIS presence! It was something we will soon not forget!


All in all, Strong Tower Youth had a very nice trip. We were bonded with life learning experiences, spiritual awareness and just plan goofy behavior!


Yes! That's my husband! You just gotta love him!
Or at least.....I Do! :)



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"I Click it Mommy!"



For about a week, I kept finding Eli on the computer playing games on the Disney website. Since he's only three years old, I assumed the older kids were forgetting to log off the computer. I falsely accused them for several days. Each time they would blatantly deny and each time I would regretfully not believe them.


Until one day I found Eli playing while the other kids were at school. Hmm...I KNOW I shut that computer down! After taking a closer look, I realized he wasn't just playing, but he was WINNING!


"Elijah, how did you get on that website?"


"I click it Mommy!"


"You clicked it? But how did you type in the address to get there."


"I click it Mommy!"


Okay....So I shut down the computer and said, "Show Mommy how you click it."


With a confident touch, he moved the mouse over to the start menu, "I click this." Then he scrolled up to the Internet server..."I click this." The window popped up and he moved the cursor to the maximize icon..."I click this." Boom full screen mode. Then he placed the cursor in the browser..."I click this." He typed in a P. This made all the previous websites that started with a "p" pop up. Then he scrolled down until he found the one that said, "Pooh" (as in Winnie the pooh) "And I click this." Viola instant Disney website! "See Mommy I click it!"


I could not believe my eyes! This little boy is three years old!! I never taught him how to do this. Tommy never taught him how to do this. Sure he sat and watched the older kids a few (and I mean a very few times) but he was never instructed. I know some very intelligent older folks who can't even figure out the start menu. Yet here is 3 year old Elijah, a confident computer wiz.


I am reminded of a couple of things. One the story of Esther and how God divinely placed her for "such a time as this."(Esther 4:14) I am also reminded of how God created our inner most being, knitting us together while in our mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). God carefully weaves our personality traits. Before we are ever born He instills every trait we will ever need to fulfill His purpose or calling. He knows the traits that will be needed by every future generation. He knows every trial, we will ever face. He knows ever tool we will need to overcome them. Serenity was born with a God given fight or spunk. God knew she would need to be a fighter! Just as He also knows this generation will need computer skills!

I believe that every generation is created for "such a time as this." Moses and Noah were created with the skills they would need for their time. My grandparents had the skills they needed for their generation. Eli was created for the computer age. The next generation will be created for their time, whatever that may be! How awesome is that concept to think about. How great is our God! How much Love does our Heavenly Father have for us! Just as a loving mother would make sure her children were prepared for a rainy day by supplying them with an umbrella and raincoat. God takes the time to supply us with the tools we each will need for "such a time as this." (Whatever time that may be!) We serve a Big and Mighty Omnipotent God! Doesn't that just make you want to Praise HIM?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Toddler Talk - Telemarker Problem Solved!

Some telemarkers just don't quite get the message! We tell them that we are not interested, but they just keep calling, and calling and calling. Well not anymore.....

Phone rings.....

Serenity, who just LOVES to talk on the phone runs to answer.

Reni: "Helwo"

Lady: "Umm....is your mommy home?"

Reni: "Yep"

Lady: "Can I speak with her please?"

Reni: "NO"

Lady: "I can't speak to her?"

Reni: "No... You talk to Neni K?"

Serenity calls herself Neni but this poor lady doesn't know that. She thinks Serenity is referring to another adult.

Lady: "Okay, that will be fine."

Serenity settles down in her chair for a nice long conversation.

Reni: "Neni watch Mickey Mouse eber day. Ou like Mickey Mouse?"

Lady: "Uh huh... is there someone else I......."

Reni: "Neni has Mnnie Mouse ouseshoes. I air em ober my toes."

Lady: "That's nice honey... can I speak to....."

Reni: "There's a bunny on our porch. Bunny's eat carrots. Neni feeds bunny carrots."

Lady: very quickly "Is your daddy at home?"

Reni: "Daddy at work... He snores in the bed...like this (makes snorting noises with her nose)

Lady: "Is there anyone else there that I can talk to?"

Reni: "Yes"

Lady: "Ok honey could you put them on the phone please?'

Reni: "K....Ligah....phone!"

Eli: "Helwo?"

Lady: Big Frustrated Sigh then CLICK!

Eli: Looks at me with a big pouty lip "ER Hunged up on me! That's rude!"

I have a feeling that our telemarker problem is solved for awhile! What do you think?

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Prayer for Baby Stellan

Heavenly Father,
We humbly bow before your throne in the Holy name of your son Jesus! We bring we praise and thanksgiving for Stellan's miracle life. We know that your name is being glorified with every breath he breathes.
Jesus you took his infirmities and bore his sickness.(Matt 8:17) Therefore we resist the enemy in every form that he comes against baby Stellan. (James 4:7)
Heavenly Father, We stand firm on your promise of healing, giving voice to your Word and refuse to allow sickness to dominate his little body. Thank you that Stellan's heart is strong. Thank you that his heart rate will be normal. Thank you that his heart beats with the rhythm of life. The life of God flows within him bringing healing to every fiber of his being.(Romans 8:11)
1 Peter 2:24 declares that by your stripes Stellan WAS healed on Calvary. Right now we thank you for that healing as we receive your blessing by faith in your Holy word. Father we praise your holy name for you are ALWAYS worthy to be praised! In the Holy name of Jesus we pray! Amen


Let all those praying for Stellan keep our eyes focused on God's Holy Word. Paul said, All I know is Christ Crucified. Even in all his trials, he chose to only see the redemption that Christ provided. We are not to look at the circumstances but focus only on the solution. Let us not forget the benefits of Christ's sacrifice.

"Bless the Lord O my soul and forget Not all thy benefits; Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth ALL thy diseases; Who redeemth thy Life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;" Psalm 103:2-5

Let us cast down all imaginations, against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to of the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Thinking and Speaking only the TRUTH which is God's written Word. For His Word is life and health to all our flesh!

"My son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes, keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep them with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. " Proverbs 4:20-23

Let us join together in prayer and Rejoice together in triumph when Mckmama brings healthy baby Stellan home!

"Mommy, I Make Neni pretty!"


Looks like Someone found Mommy's beauty products!

I started to scold her but.... How can you scold this face?

Instead I simply asked, "Reni what did you do?" She smiled and replied, "Mommy, I make Neni PRETTY!" "I see, But you were already pretty! Only old people who aren't pretty already need to wear makeup!"

She looked at me with a puzzled expression, then said "OLD Mommy, YOU air makeup all da time!"

I guess I set myself up for that one! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Instinct to Know God!

God in all His glorious wonder never ceases to amaze me. Every tiny detail of His creative design has been perfectly planned out. Every aspect of His creation is connected. I have always known that God works both in the natural and the physical. I know that Jesus explained a lot of spiritual things by using parables of the natural. However, as I look around I am in awe at the spiritual meanings I plainly see in His physical creations.

Take the sun for instance, the sun gives life to every living creature on earth. We absorb it's energy directly into our bodies. Without the sun, there would be no physical life. Sun = Life, no sun = death. Now looking on the Spiritual side, the same goes for the Son of God. We obtain our strength directly from Him. Without the Son, there would be no Spiritual life. Son = life, no Son = death.

I believe that God has given all His creations both a physical and a spiritual side. To everything there is a cycle and to everything there is a spiritual meaning.

Take a look around you, everything that God has created think about it for a moment. Watch the trees as the sway in the wind, with their branches held high, they are constantly bringing praises to their maker. Even when change comes and their leaves begin to fall like tears covering the ground. Their bare branches continue to praise. The word of God plainly tells us to praise Him in ALL things (Hebrews 13:15) and God demonstrates this in His creation. When sun flowers need the strength to grow they turn their heads toward the sun. Even the flowers know where their help comes from. (Psalm 121:2)

Watch the animals as their instincts take over and the predators attack their prey. This is the same way the enemy stalks us. (1 Peter 5:8) He watches from a distance, waits for one to stray from the flock, then attacks the weak and alone.

These are merely a few examples. Everything God has created is connected with a spiritual meaning. We could learn the entire Bible by just watching God's creations. How could anyone ever doubt the existence of God? His Word says we are without excuse.

"For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are without excuse."
Romans 1:19-20

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Young Lady in the Shoe's Trip to the Zoo!

Once upon a time there lived a YOUNG lady in a shoe.....
She had so many children she didn't know what to do. They hung from the roof and slept on the toe. They were stuffed inside and out with no where to go! So time it came to move away. Off they went to find a new place to stay. They search on the ground. They search in the air. They searched in the mountains, but found not a spot to spare.
So the search went on day and night. Looking for a home, a place just right.
Danger and trouble soon caught them unaware.
The family was protected, thanks to prayer
Walking soon began to tire them some.
Their legs were sore, their feet were numb.
They decided it would serve them better to ride for awhile

Some were natural born, while others were....well....just in denial.

Horses were not the best option for all. So they looked for another animal to make the haul. They found hippos helped to carry the load.

They all sat together down the bumpy road.
Finally the time came when the jouney was through,
no more need to roam.
They found a house big enough to call HOME SWEET HOME!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's the Point?

I've been asked on a few occasions, "What's the point? What's the point of telling Serenity's Story?"

I can not express the compassion God has placed in my heart. I can not put into words the magnitude of it's affect on my life. There are times when it completely overwhelms me. There are times when I lie awake in bed and just cry for those I have never even met.
Now I'm not talking about just feeling sorry for someone or pity. I'm talking about compassion, the feeling of truly wanting to make the situation better! True compassion can ONLY come from God!

When we were in the PICU and received Serenity's diagnosis of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, my husband and I wanted to know exactly what we were up against. So we made a trip to the hospital's computer lab to do some research. We spent hours trying to find just ONE positive sentence to hold on to. We tried to find just one MEDICAL hope. It all came down to Transplant or death...and even then the outcome was not very comforting. Underneath was a list of all the possible side effects of a heart transplant then stated even IF she survived the transplant, she would need another a few years down the road, then another one a few years after that. The medical prediction of my daughter living a long fruitful life was not good!

If it had not been for our hope in Jesus, there would have been NO hope at all. From that moment I vowed that the next time a mother had to type in those dreadful words, She would find at least ONE positive story! At least ONE testimony of Hope to hold on to! Even if our daughter endured a heart transplant, her story WOULD be a positive one and God WOULD receive ALL the Glory for it!

A few months ago I received a comment from a mother in California who was stuck in the hospital awaiting her son's heart transplant. She was also doing some research on Restrictive Cardiomyopathy and came across Reni's website. She wrote, "Serenity's story gives me so much hope and has helped to strengthen my faith. Thank you so very much for posting her story and being open enough to share your journey."

That's it folks....That IS the point!

That is the reason what I feel compelled to SHOUT our story from the mountaintops. That is the reason why I want to scream..."GOD HEALED MY DAUGHTER...GOD HEALED MY DAUGHTER and HE CAN DO THE SAME FOR YOU!" It's an excitement that fills me. It fills the pit of my stomach. It burns within me like a consuming fire! I want to share the good news! I want people to know MY God is a God that saves, delivers and Heals. I want everyone to see the goodness of the LORD that I know!

The compassion God places in my heart doesn't just stop with children facing heart transplants. Oh NO! It goes far beyond that! It goes from the most difficult form of cancer or birth defects to the simplest colds or conditions. God's healing power stretches far across ALL sickness, whether mind, body or spirit!

I want EVERYONE to receive God's blessings. When faced with someone who is not willing to receive the message of hope. I can hardly contain my sorrow. I feel like my spirit has been completely broken and I just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. I have found myself alone at night weeping and crying out to God..."Why won't they believe.. Why won't they believe." In the stillness of my prayers, I am reminded that we ALL have a choice. We can not make everyone believe. Not everyone will receive ALL of God's blessings. Not everyone will even receive God's salvation. There will be those who will parish.

However, I am also reminded the intense sorrow that overtakes me, to the point where I can barely function and I suddenly have a revelation. This tiny bit of compassion that God gives me, is merely a drop of rain in His own Ocean of Love. Oh how He must feel to see His children parish! How frustrated He must become when they choose NOT to accept His blessings!

You see, this blog is not about me or my family. Serenity's website is not about promoting her, as cute as she may be :) No...it's about doing what I feel God is calling me to do. It's about spreading a message of Hope to a dying world (physical and spiritual). It's about quenching this fire of compassion burning within me. It's about making a difference in a Godly way.

Not everyone will receive the message of Hope! Not everyone will be open to receive the blessings Jesus has provided. But if one person's life is made better because of our story...then our journey has fulfilled it's purpose!

It's ALL about God's Glory! So that others may see the HOPE we have! So others will witness the Goodness of our LORD in their own lives!!!

It's about fulfilling our purpose in life!

As God said..."You are my servant, and You will bring me Glory!"

"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, and YOU WILL BRING ME GLORY." Isaiah 49:1,3

"God who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" 2Tim. 1:9

Jesus said:
"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:" John 15:16


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Blog Badge/ 64 Bottles of Milk in the Fridge

First I have big news! I'm moving on up in Blog world, with my very own badge! It was placed on my blog yesterday, but I only discovered today that there was a error in the code. So to those of you who might have picked it up before about 10:00 this morning. You will need to delete one of the / on my blog address within the code. That's it! It reads.....blogspot.com// and it should read....blogspot.com/ I have fixed the code so all should be well now!

Anyway, today I'm feeling the need for some giggles.

Yesterday while I was doing dishes, the kids were enjoying their lunch. Eli says, "Mommy!" Still washing I say, "Yes dear?" "Mommy, do I have something on my face?" "What was that?" "Do I have something on my face?" "Just a minute honey and I'll look." I finish rinsing, dry my hands and turn around to see this....

"Uh yeah, I think you got a little something there!" Immediately I start laughing! Eli responds to my laughter by saying, "What? What Mommy? Wipe it off!" I start laughing even harder, which only made it a game to messy little Eli! He would blurt out "Wipe it off Mommy! Then wait for the laughter then... "Wipe my face off Mommy!" He had the whole kitchen in an uproar!



The other day Tommy and I were reminiscing about all the funny moments during our journey with Serenity and this one was mentioned. It has since become a very common joke in our household, so I thought I would share it with you.

This story proves even the most intelligent people can have their moments.

64 Bottles of Milk in the Fridge!
My family often refer to me as the "Jersey Cow." I have been lactating for 10 straight years. I've had five babies very close together and believe in extended breastfeeding. Every time I wean one child.. I give birth to another.
My body is the perfect example of the law of supply and demand. It's working overtime trying to supply the demand of milk. So I am known for my abundant milk supply and record breaking 13 ounces in one setting score. My family's constantly teasing me about it.

While stuck in the PICU with Serenity, I had to pump my milk and store it in the nurses refrigerator. Well the night before our scheduled Life Flight trip, our nurse was making a list of all our belongings. She had to list each item with an estimated weight.I had just finished pumping a bottle and my husband was in full force teasing mode, when our nurse walked in with her list.

She asked, "Do you have any milk stored?" My husband sarcastically replied.."Ah..Yeah... only about 64 bottles!" Laugh Laugh
The nurse never even cracked a smile. She just casually stated "I'll go check the fridge."

In the morning I awaken to quite a commotion going on at the nurse's station just outside our door. This was the conversation I overheard.

Our nurse: "I've looked everywhere...But I can only find 11 bottles!"

Nurse #2: "Did you check the fridge downstairs!"

Our nurse: "Yes! Everywhere!

Nurse #2: "Maybe they're mislabeled."
Our Nurse: "No I checked with all the other Moms. All the other bottles are accounted for. They've just disappeared! Plus....I'm not sure if we even have enough coolers to store that much milk."

Nurse #2: "Yeah I see the problem...You're just going to have to tell them they can't take them all along."

Our Nurse: "I know, but I just hate wasting it...that stuff is liquid gold."
There is a slight pause then..."It doesn't really matter anyway because I called the Flight team to give them an estimated weight."

Nurse # 2: "Oh really what did they say?"

Our Nurse: "He just said, (switches tone to imitate a man's voice) 'Um...Mam I don't think we have room for 64 bottles of breast milk.'
I think it's because they can't carry that much extra weight."

Nurse # 2: "How much would 64 bottles of breast milk weigh?"

Our Nurse: "I'm not sure... I'm estimating about 5 to 10 pounds. Plus a couple of pounds for every cooler."

I could hardly contain myself while trying to hold the laughter in! At one point I nearly fell out of my hospital cot.

Now the thing that really makes this story funny isn't so much the fact that she spent hours looking for this non-existent breast milk, nor the fact that she went out of her way to involve all the other mothers on the floor. It isn't even the fact that she spent time trying to calculate an approximate weight and then called the flight team to prepare them for such a load. No....The part that really makes this story HILARIOUS is.....we arrived at the hospital about a day and a half before this conversation took place.
64 bottles of milk in less than 48 hours?
Now I may be good, but......I'm not THAT good! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Power of Prayer: An act of Faith

Does prayer really change things? ABSOLUTELY!!! Let me say it again....Does prayer really change things? AB..SO..LUTE...LY! We should never underestimate the power of prayer. Take Elijah for example, he prayed that it would not rain and it did not rain for three and a half years. Then again he prayed and the rain showers came and the land once again become fruitful. (James 5: 17-18) Prayer most certainly moves the hand of God. It is a powerful tool when used in connection with God's will.

God moves by faith! Every blessing that we will ever receive is received through faith! All the way from our very salvation to the smallest of blessings! We receive them all by faith.
Prayer is an act of faith...for if you did not have faith in God...you would not pray. Prayer is an act of faith therefore prayer moves the Hand of God.

It is true God is
omnipotent. He knows all. He knows how every situation will turn out. Which also means, He knows whether or not we will be faithful in doing our part.

Do you remember the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. She knew that if she could just touch him she would be healed. She didn't say, "if I touch him he might decide to heal me?" NO! She KNEW she would be healed. Within a multitude of people who were pushing, touching, and tugging on Jesus. He felt her touch. Why? Because her faith actually drew His healing power from Him. Jesus replied,
“Who touched me? Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” "Daughter be of good comfort, for thy faith has made thee whole; go in peace" (Luke 8:40-48). We have to be open to receive God's blessings. We have to BELIEVE that we WILL receive them. When we pray we have to EXPECT God's promises to be fulfilled in our lives.


There have been times in my life when I've been awaken in the middle of the night, knowing that I needed to pray for a particular person. Out of
obedience I prayed. Later I would find out that particular person was in a terrible car accident and miraculously walked away, or had a relapse in an illness but somehow made it through. These were all incidents of the power of prayer. On the other hand I have experienced a couple of people who died very suddenly and I never felt led to pray for them. Why do you ask? Simple...it was their time to go. When we feel the need to pray it's because God is wanting to move in a certain situation. He is wanting to make a change! Our faith filled prayers are the instruments He chooses to use! Prayer is a POWERFUL thing!! It should never be taken lightly or spoken in vain.


We must expect God to answer our prayers and we must EXPECT Him to do that which He has promised according to His Word. It's all about our belief! Just like the
Israelites I talked about in this blog entry. All of the Israelite children were promised a land flowing with milk and honey but only a few received God's promise. Why? Many lost out on God's promised blessing because of their presistant unbelief. Many chose to believe the negative report of the spies. Caleb, however, received the promised land because even though the circumstances said something else, he chose to believe a God that can not lie. He did not see the worldly circumstance! He chose to only see God's promise laid out before Him. He chose to believe the report of the LORD! We too must CHOOSE to believe.

There are nearly 100 times in the Bible where Jesus said, "I tell you the truth! I tell you the truth!" The circumstances in this world often SCREAM out worldly facts. But Jesus said, "I tell you the truth!"
"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" Matthew 17:20
"Whatsoever you ask in my name, that will I do that the Father might be glorified in the Son!" 1 John 5:4. We have to ask....then believe He will do just as He says!


If we doubt even for a moment...we have already lost the battle.
"For verily I say unto you. That whosoever shall say unto this mountain be thou removed, and be cast into the sea, AND SHALL NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, but shall BELIEVE that those things which he saith comes to pass; he shall have whatsover he saith. " Mark 11:23

We pray according to His will, we ask in the name of Jesus, and we
BELIEVE our prayers are answered. We EXPECT the promises of God to be made manifest in our lives.

When his disciples failed in delivering a boy from an evil spirit, they asked Jesus why and Jesus replied "because of your unbelief" Even Jesus when visiting His home city, would not perform miracles because of the city's abundant unbelief.
(Mark 6:1-6)

Sometimes we get so caught up in the
Almighty being that God is, we tend to forget that He is also our Heavenly Father. He only wants what is best for His children. He does not want us to suffer, not even in this world. That is why Jesus said, " And now I come to thee: and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray that thou should not take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world. Santify them through thy truth, thy word is truth. " John17:13-17 . We do encounter the things of this world. However we are governed by a different truth than worldly truth. We are governed by a GODLY truth. A truth that offers us VICTORY in all aspects of our life.

Satan would love for us to believe that it may not be God's will to save, deliver or heal. He would love for us to believe that prayer is not effective. His battle DEPENDS on whether or not we buy into LIES! He wants to destroy our faith. Corrupting our faith or placing our belief in his lies is what hinders us from God's blessings. Satan is the one who wants us to suffer. He's the one that wants to keep us in bondage. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
(John 10:10) Christ came to save, deliver and heal. That's why we must HOLD ON TO God's promises! We must HOLD ON TO THE TRUTH!

If you do not believe in the protection of God. I incline you to read Psalms 91. For a thousand may fall at my feet and 10, 000 at my right hand, but it shall NOT come near me. No plague shall come nigh my dwelling. For God has given His angels charge over me to watch me in all my ways. We have protection as the children of God!! God allows trials in our lives to perfect the vessel He has created us to be
(James 1). But we belong to Him, He loves us and He remains in control. And he says do not fear the things of this world for "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, EVEN OUR FAITH." 1 John 5:4.

It's a given, that God's first and foremost concern is our salvation. There are times when he uses situations to bring salvation to someone and/or their loved ones who might not have received it otherwise. There are times when He delivers us from unknown circumstances in our futures they could eventually overwhelm us. In these circumstances He grants us the ultimate healing of going home to be with Him.

God's omnipotent wisdom and mercy knows the very best for us. Sometimes He answers prayers differently than we expect. But WE NEVER DOUBT HIS GOODNESS! WE NEVER DOUBT HIS ABILITY and WE NEVER DOUBT HIS WORD WHICH DECLARES UNTO US.....BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED!

"Pray at ALL times in the Spirit, with all prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints. And pray also for me, that utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the Gospel. For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain Pray that I may declare it boldly and courageously, as I ought to do." Ephesians 6:18-20

"....For the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

Friday, March 13, 2009

Only our Serenity....

  • Only our Serenity would tattle on her daddy every time he bites his nails. Then when daddy teases her by saying, "You can't tell on me, I'm your Daddy!" Only our Serenity would reply with, "Uh uh, Mommy is MY Daddy!"
  • Only our Serenity would push her OLDER brother out of his chair at breakfast time...making him cry. Then when confronted..Only our Serenity would reply with, "He bugs me!"
  • Only our Serenity would follow Mommy outside to take out the trash.... completely naked! Then make pajama wearing Mommy chase her around the yard for several minutes while the neighbors watch in amusement.
  • Only our Serenity would knowingly break a rule by coloring on the walls. Then when she hears Mommy coming, only our Serenity would decide to spare Mommy the time and punish herself by sticking her nose in the closest corner.
  • Only our Serenity would get caught red handed with a near empty Krispy Kreme doughnut box and with a mouth covered in icing, only our Serenity would blurt out, "Wasn't me....Ligah do it!"
  • Only our Serenity would spend 90 percent of her time naked...Run her Mommy ragged trying to keep her dressed. Make her parents resort to duct tape just to keep her diapers on...(which by the way failed to work) Only our Serenity would make a trip to the bathroom...realize that it's occupied...Run into the her room...retrieve a Pullup....FINALLY cover her bottom....but....only to go potty...then immediately take the Pullup off and place it in the trash! Oh yes, Only OUR Serenity!!
  • Only our Serenity could stress out even the most patient person with her ornery behavior and in the same moment melt the hardest heart with her smile!
  • Only our Serenity could fill our lives with so much joy, laughter and excitement, yet at the same time have such a supernatural peace surrounding her entire life! Oh yes, Only OUR Serenity could be such a miracle blessing in so many ways!
Reni Mouse says..."Cheese!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.


My Highs:
1) My mother has always been the backbone of my faith. She raised us in a manner to which believing God to supply all of our needs just came natural. From the time we were very small, she has been instilling a strong concept of faith. She is my inspiration....my mentor....my best friend. God has always used her in a mighty way. He continues to open doors for her ministry to flourish. The church my parents Pastor together, has been blessed from the time they opened the doors. Every member continues to receive blessings, miracles, and spiritual growth. I continue to be in awe at what God has accomplished through them.

The beginning of this week she was approached with an offer to help host a radio program. The man said he wanted someone he knew would always be led by God to speak the truth and my mother came to mind. So today she will air her first radio show and I am so very proud of her. She is a little nervous! But I told her "Mom, if there's one thing you can do.....IT'S TALK ABOUT THE WORD!" Anyone who knows her...knows just how truthful that statement is! :)


2) Last night I announced to the Youth Group that they have finally earned enough points (by reading the bible, increasing their pray time, witnessing, participating in services, etc) for a weekend trip. In a couple of weeks, we will be traveling to a theme park that hosts an annual Young Christian Weekend. They will enjoy lots of fun rides, games, Christian workshops and concerts. The youth group is estatic and they are all counting down the days until we leave!

My Lows:
Tommy has not been feeling well this week. We are not sure if he caught a virus, a nasty cold or allergies, but the poor guy was miserable. He has had to miss two days of work and as much as I love taking care of him, we could really use the full 40 hours of pay! However, we know that God will get us through...He never fails to give us MORE than enough!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mother, Daughter and a Spiritual Bond

I am so grateful for the compassion God places within my heart. Sometimes His compassion just completely overwhelms me, but the more I feel for others....the closer I feel to God. I feel compassion for complete strangers. I feel compassion for people that I literally know nothing about. This kind of compassion can only come from God. When I experience compassion of this magnitude, it always reminds me just how close God really is!

A few weeks ago Kayleigh and I were watching one of our favorite shows, Little People Big World, It was the episode where Matt travels to, I believe, Iraq. He visits with another little person family, who have children struggling with some very difficult disabilities.

Immediately, my heart just broke for this family and I began to cry. I was trembling all over just weeping for these precious children, when Kayleigh looked up at me and said, "Mom I know what you're thinking."

I wiped the tears from my eyes as I asked, "Oh you do? What is that exactly?"

"You're thinking...you wish you could just go lay hands on those kids and God would heal em', huh?"

I smiled in awe at how well my daughter actually knew me. "Yes, Kayleigh! That is exactly what I was thinking."

At that moment God's presence just engulfed me. I dropped to my knees, stretched my hand toward the TV screen and began to earnestly pray for this family. After a few moments, I opened my eyes to see my eight year old Kayleigh knelt beside me. She too had her hand stretched toward the TV, praying for God's healing touch.

When she finally looked up at me, she had tears just streaming down her little face. At that moment, I thought, this is what life is all about!!

I may never know if our prayers led to this family's healing. I may never see them again. But I do know that it brought forth healing in a way that I am forever grateful. It brought a refreshing to my spirit, a bond with my daughter, and a healing touch to both our hearts.

The compassion that God gives us...isn't only out of this world, larger than life, or completely overwhelming....It's contagious as well!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Toddler Talk...Late!

I missed Toddler Talk last week! So I'm picking up the slack this week with some doosies!


Serenity calls from the other room.

"Mom!"

"Yes Reni!"

"Mom whacha doin'?"

"I'm cooking supper! What are you doing?"

There is a slight pause then Serenity answers with...

"I'm NOT making a mess!"

Mom thinks to herself, Oh well that pretty much means that you are, doesn't it?

Mom stops what she's doing and briskly walks into the next room. Serenity stands over two separate cups both containing a mixture of ice tea and milk. A big puddle surrounds them both.

"Oh NO Serenity! What a mess! Where is your Dad?!"

A now honest Reni shrugs her shoulders and replys with...

"I dunno! He's not watching me."

Mom sighs. Evidently!


A curious Mom wants to know the toddlers perspective on the duties of Mom and Dad
So Mom asks Reni,

"Reni what does a Mommy do?"

"Takes care of Neni."

"What does a Daddy do?"

"Plays with Neni."

"What do Mommy and Daddy do?"

"Kiss.....ALOT!"

Oops... wasn't the answer I was looking for, but... I guess it'll have to do! :)

Later on Eli answers the same questions.

"Eli what does a Mommy do?"

"Clean!"

"What does a Daddy do?"

"Go to work..Then....Snore...All da time!"

"What do Mommy AND Daddy do?"

"Kiss each nother...then kiss each nothers AGAIN!"

Wow...Maybe we need to kiss a little less often.....NAH!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Serenity on the Go!

"Daddy, Can we go bye bye?"


"Please Daddy! Open so we can go bye bye!"

"Dad...dy, I say PLEEEESE!"



"I'll open it...UH.....UH....O....PEN!"
"Fine!"
"I'll drive myself!"

"I'm outta here babe! See ya!"



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.


My Highs:

Serenity has picked up this new habit. About three or four times a day she will look up at me and say.."Mom er my ESTEST friend!" She just melts her Mommy's heart.

Gracee learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Well actually... she rode her bike so hard that they fell off and she didn't even notice until an hour later! We are so proud!

The toddlers never cease to make me laugh. From their debates on whether or not only girls wear panties with pretty princesses and boys are strictly "duperhero" wonder wearers (this debate seems to never end) to Eli's "Steve Urkel" impression. Oh yes folks...It's hilarious! I need to get it on video. He points his finger says..."Did I do that?" in a high pitched nerdy voice then laughs and snorts three times. Recently he has also added hiking his pants up to reveal his socks.

Big Praise Report:
Last week I mentioned Tommy's place of employment has been talking about cutting his time back to only 30 hours. He normally works 10 or more hours of overtime, so this would cause a major dent in our finances. Well, I have been praying and praise God they still have him working full time.

We recently had our taxes prepared! We love the wonderful man who prepares our taxes. He is a God send! He's done it most of his life and is retired now. However, he loves it so much He still works for a few local people. He really knows his stuff and never misses a deduction. Just as every year, we were very happy with the refund heading our way. Wait! It only gets better....When the government direct deposited our refund this week....They gave us $408 more than we were expecting. Not sure how that works...with the economy the way it is now.... If there was a mistake we'll make it right, but until then....

I'm not complaining....I'm just saying....PRAISE THE LORD!


My Lows:
Since our journey with Serenity, God has given me such a compassion for families dealing with similar circumstances. This compassion at times can overwhelm me. This week I have been focusing on many serious prayer requests. Usually, when I pray I am able to receive assurance and peace very quickly. A peace will just engulf me and I will know without a shadow of a doubt that God is moving in that situation! Once that burden is lifted, then I will then be able to just be still and watch God perform HIS miracle. Well...there are a few situations that I haven't been able to receive His peace in. The burden becomes so heavy that I just completely buckle. I can't sleep at night...I can't accomplish anything during the day.. All I can do is cry out to God..until I receive His peace! This week, I'm struggling for God's assurance and not understanding. However, I know God is faithful. I will continue to persevere until a breakthrough is made!

Well that sums up my week! Head on over to The Riggs Family blog and read everyone else's Hi/Lo posts!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Serenity's Story Part 15 - Complete Healing and Our Serenity Now

This is the inspirational story of our daughter Serenity Rose, who was born with three congenial heart defects and later diagnosed with restrictictive cardiomyopathy. You will read insights to our journey and discover how faith in our savior delivered our child from death and changed our lives forever. The sole purpose of sharing our story is to bring Glory to our Heavenly Father. So that others may witness the goodness of the Lord in their own lives. Serenity is living proof that no matter how grim the circumstances may appear, there is always hope in Jehovah the Great I AM.

The blog posts are in reverse order. So unfortunately you will need to scroll all the way down and read them from bottom to top or you can also visit our story page at http://www.throughthevalleyofserenity.com/ .


Part 15: Complete Healing and Our Serenity Now









Serenity was released from the hospital for the last time on February 18, just five days after her first surgery. Before we left, The surgeon reduced her medication to only propranolol three times a day and lasix once a day.


We since have never returned to that city. We have scheduled all of our follow-up appointments with our local cardiologist. He firmly stands with us declaring a miracle of God. His nurse tells Reni's story to provide hope for others in similar circumstances.


A couple of weeks after returning home, her cardiologist took her off the propranolol and then a couple of months later took her off the lasix as well. Our daughter is completely medication free!!! I had the time of my life pouring them all down the sink, as well as sleeping past 4 am.


Our Serenity Now!


Serenity is by far the most active out of our five children. She is constantly keeping us on our toes. God places a fight in the ones who he knows will need it later for survival. Now once they are well, that doesn't mean that fight goes away. As a matter of fact, I think it gets stronger with age. :) She has quite the little personality.


It has been two years now and Serenity remains very healthy. As a matter of fact, at her last check up, her Cardiologist said, "Go home, you're too healthy to be here!" God is so good and He always remains faithful to His promises.

God directed our steps throughout our journey. He placed every person in our path. He orchestrated every detail, constantly reminding us He was in control.

God taught us how to trust Him in all aspects of His healing power. He miraculously delivered her from a disease that no man could cure and blessed us with wonderful doctors who served as His instruments using the wisdom He has given them. In doing so, He reminded us to rely on Him and Him alone as our source. We are so very grateful! For this reason we offer Him praise and thanksgiving! We rejoice in the love of our Mighty Savior!

Serenity's name also continues to prove itself worthy! For the peace surrounding her life continues to touch the hearts of those struggling to find hope! She is a Living testimony of that hope. The kind of hope we can only find in Christ Jesus!

Jesus suffered to provide Healing For Everyone, regardless of the who they are, what they have done, or the circumstances surrounding them! No one is out of the Master's reach! There is HOPE for every man, woman and child! For our God is THE healer - The Great Physician!



Courtesy of http://www.throughthevalleyofserenity.com/


Serenity is Living Proof....Miracles Happen!


















TaDa
...I'm a Miracle!
God is no respecter of persons! (Romans 2:11)
What He has done for me, He'll do for you!

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Revelation 12:11

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Serenity's Story Part 14 - Another Surgery..Another Opportunity










Two days later, we noticed that Serenity was having a hard time breathing again. After examining her, the doctor declared that during her surgery the nerve the controls the function of one of her diaphragm muscles had been severed. They were going to have to go in and tie that muscle down.

They were able to get her in right away. The surgery went very smooth and very quickly. However, afterward they explained to us that this procedure was a lot more painful. Unlike the last time, They had to cut through several layers of muscle and when that tissue tries to heal it can sometimes be excruciating.

We were very leery of having to give Serenity more pain medication. We did not want her to have to go through withdrawals again. However, all it took was Reni crying hysterically and looking up at me with her eyes full of pain as if saying, "Help me Mommy."

There is nothing worse than watching your child suffer. Mommies are supposed to be able to kiss those boo boos away. We decided pain medication was the best thing for now.
Our family and the day shift nurse, spent the entire day figuring out a system to help manage Serenity's pain. After talking with the resident doctor we decided that for the first 24 hours the pain was going to be unavoidable. It was better to just go ahead and set up a schedule to automatically give her medication to avoid the pain from becoming unbearable. Then the following day we would return to giving it only as needed. This, we thought made A lot of sense.

The resident doctor also told us, right before she left that Serenity would probably not be too interested in eating and not to be concerned about it. I mean, she had just gone through a second major surgery in just a few days and was in a tremendous amount of pain. Who would want to eat, right? Another, well Duh!

Evidently, the night shift nurse was either not informed or did not agree with our logic. From the time she came in she was giving us attitude, making me believe that maybe she was just having a bad day. Regardless of the reasons, it still affected my daughter.

Once Serenity started to wake up and get a little fussy, I looked up at the clock and noticed that it was time for her scheduled pain meds. I called the front desk and asked them to tell our nurse. By the time she arrived, an hour later, I had already settled Reni down.

I told the nurse it was time for pain meds and very hatefully she replied, "She's asleep." I answered her by I saying, "I know she's not in unbearable pain right now. But why should we wait to get in under control when we know that it's going to get that way? I'm concerned that it may get to the point of excruciating before we do something about it. I do not want my daughter to suffer if she doesn't have to"

I then continued to explain to her the day we had and the plan that we had set up. She scuffed, then stomped out of the room to retrieve the medication.

A few hours later, Reni woke up and again started to get fussy. Again, I called to the nurse and again she took her sweet little time getting there. By the time she arrived Reni was in A lot of pain. I had been rocking her and trying to soothe her. But the nurse wasn't about to admit that she might have been wrong. Instead she pointed the finger at me and said, "Has she eaten tonight?"

If it wasn't for my Christian beliefs I would have jumped right up out of that chair and KNOCKED her OUT! I said, "No she has not eaten, She is IN PAIN." She scuffed again. "Well maybe you should try feeding her!"

I took a deep breath...realizing that this was the woman in charge of the well being of my daughter. If there was one thing I did not want to do, it was make her mad. So I bit my tongue and reached out to God for help with my anger.

I answered. "Anyone who has every breast fed a baby knows that when they are hungry, they root. They practically eat you up alive, trying to find that nipple. I have been rocking her pressing her right up against my chest all night long and she has not one time tried to root, but...(deep breath) I will try to feed her."

She left the room and my heart cried out to God. I sat there watching my baby cry, knowing that she was in pain and knowing there was nothing that I could do. It was about all that I could handle.

Once again I called out to God for help. "Lord, please help my baby! I know that you are a God that loves us. You don't want her to hurt either! Please Lord. You suffered so that Reni wouldn't have to. Take away this pain!!!"

I immediately felt like I needed to anoint her. However, I also remembered my anointing oil was tucked safely away in our hotel room. God brought back to my remembrance the story of Jesus healing the blind man. Jesus spat on the ground then made clay and anointed the mans eyes with it.

Then within my spirit I heard, "Spit."

Wow, wait a minute now, I thought.

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a girlie girl. I do not spit nor would I ever think about doing it on my daughter.

Then I heard, "I am within you therefore what is in you is anointed of me, Now Spit."

"Yes Lord."

I spit into my hands and anointed my daughter saying "By the authority I have through Christ, Pain Be Gone!"

Almost instantly she stopped crying. After that I was able to rock her to sleep.

The next morning my husband went to the head nurse and simply stated that we did not want that particular nurse to care for our child. He did not go into detail, because we were giving her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she was just having a really bad day. Besides, God had taken care of our baby despite her failure.

However, somehow our request got back to her and she went into defense overload… Stating that I was trying to give my baby pain meds when she didn't need them because I didn't want to feed her.

When we heard this, we actually laughed. It was so far from the truth that it was actually very funny. I have been breastfeeding for 10 years now. Every time I get pregnant with one child, I am still nursing the previous child. I have endured engorgement, sore bleeding nipples, bite marks, and Mastitis five different times, all so that my children could have the best possible nourishment. I have never been accused of not wanting to feed my babies.

Regardless of the truth, the damage of her word had already been made. Giving her the benefit of the doubt and not explaining our side of the story first, had come back to bite us. The entire staff believed her story and because of it, the surgeon now wanted to monitor Serenity's food intake. We really were not angry. The doctor didn't know us and he was just trying to insure our baby's well being. We went along with a cheerful heart.

You see, when you are on the brink of a miracle, Satan will come at you with everything he can to bring confusion, strife, or doubt. He wants you to lose your focus on the prize, for where these things are, God can not move in the situation. We have to be very careful of the way we handle circumstances.

The next day, Serenity refused to take the bottle, (she wanted mommy's nipple) They threaten to put a feeding tube back in and we did not want anymore tubes. Instead we came up with the idea of syringing it into her mouth. Day and night we syringed and syringed until finally she threw up and the new nurse told us to stop because we were OVERfeeding her. :)



Added information:

A couple of things here. First... God used this surgery once again as a way of teaching us to rely completely on Him. Pain medications are in fact effective and Praise God for the knowledge of them. However, God is always our source. He can use anything to bring about His comfort or healing.

Second.. God brought forth to me a mighty revelation. We saw two or three different nurses a day for months and only had the very best experiences ...until this moment. This particular nurse was in our lives for a purpose!
When our patience is tried with people...not only is He watching to see how WE will handle the situation..but He is also watching to see if His love is abundant enough in us to have compassion for those trying to hurt us.
Every person who acts in an ungodly manner does so for a reason. Their hearts are filled with hurt...bitterness...depression...They ALL have a reason. I may not know their reason...but I do know one thing....They ALL NEED Jesus!
No one crosses our path without purpose. God allows people in our lives so that He might intervene in theirs. Prayer Changes things! All the people who try to bring hurt, discord, strife...They are all opportunities for prayer. They are all opportunities for us to make a difference...For God to make a change!
I pray for this nurse. I pray that whatever problem she is facing that somehow steals her joy...God will move mightily and His name will be glorified in her life! I pray she comes to know a Savior who loves her unconditionally. A Savior who offers hope and victory in all aspects of her life! I pray for a spiritual walk so deep that His love would shine through her eyes brightly and touch all those she comes into contact with. I pray her patients not see her...but see Christ within her!