Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lord, "No Matter What...I'm gonna Love You!"

Tamatha "Tami" Thornton Fleming
September 14th, 1968 - July 6th, 2010

"I'm running back to your promises one more time.
Lord... that's all I can hold on to!
I gotta say this has taken me by surprise,
but NOTHING surprises YOU!
Before a heartache can ever touch my life...
It HAS to go thru Your hands
And even though I keep asking WHY...
I keep asking WHY....

On July 6th, my world was shaken to the point of complete brokenness. My older sister, my friend, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my encourager, my mentor, (in the eyes of a little sister) my hero... was involved in a fatal car accident and instantly met our Savior.
The first couple of days were of nothing but sheer shock and questions. WHY? Desperately seeking my Lord, I poured out my heart and asked my questions. God's love reached down, wiped away my tears and opened my eyes to His revelation. He was not offended by my need for assurance. He simply gave me the answers I so desperately needed... peace that surpasses ALL understanding and supernatural joy. He gave me a reason to sing and amazingly turned my mourning into dancing!

"There’s no way I can make it without Your help,
I wont even try it.

I know You have Your reasons for everything,

So I will keep believing,

I came to the conclusion... You either trust God or you don't! Simple as that! God ALWAYS has our best interest at hand. We do not know the future. We do not know what lies ahead. We do not know our capabilities. Only God knows. For, GOD KNOWS ALL! I can only taste the very tip of HIS love and yet even the tip is more than I can comprehend. HIS Love is ENDLESS!! HIS mercy endures forever. With every fiber of my being I know God gave my sister as much time on this earth as He could without compromising HER good.


After a long night of weeping, God awakened me to the words of the song.. Shout unto God... "The enemy has been defeated... Death couldn't hold you down... We're gonna lift our voice to victory. We're gonna make our Praises loud!" Then He reminded me of how satan plotted against Jesus. Oh.. as Jesus was beaten, tortured and murdered, the enemy thought he had won. I'm sure he was laughing with an evil sneer. But little did he know that his very own plot to kill was the very instrument used to defeat him.
God turned satan's evil plot into his own demise.

The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at them;

but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows his day is coming.

Psalm 37:12-13

I know where my sister is... I know that as she walks the streets of gold, My sister laughs with the Lord. For the enemy's attempt to destroy her failed miserably! She's more alive today than ever before. She's feeling happiness that we can not even imagine.

We may not always understand God's reasoning for allowing circumstances into our lives. But we either Trust Him or we don't. Once we understand the indefinite amount of His love, we have no other choice but to Trust Him. HE ONLY CONTAINS GOODNESS! Sometimes it's hard for our feeble minds to grasp His reasoning, because we want to look at things with carnal eyes, but God sees the eternal picture. Life on this earth is nothing compared to eternity. I would rather spend one day on earth and have all eternity to laugh, giggle and chat with my sister. Then spend 100 years with her on this earth, only to part for all eternity.

We will all have moments of questions in this life, but I can promise you one thing... if we truly seek His face, He will always give us the answers we need. I am able to understand that because of circumstances that I could not foresee. God reached down and embraced my sister in the perfect, premise, exact moment she needed Him. God's timing is IMPECCABLE!

I've taken the last couple of months to allow God to heal me. I needed Him to mend my heart before I could truly pour it out for the would to see. I trusted Him to piece me back together again. He is ALWAYS FAITHFUL! Although I miss her passionately, God's Grace once again carries me. I seek His presence often and bask within His peace. "Within His presence there is fullness of joy", I understand this better now than ever before and it's that supernatural joy that is constantly keeping in awe of His magnificence.

"Whatever I might be feeling,
God You are my Hope, and You will be my strength!"

No matter what... I’m gonna love you, I’m gonna need you,
No matter what.... I’ll trust you,
No matter, No matter, No matter what!
"No Matter What" by Kerri Roberts

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Safety First...

Even Serenity's tricycle has it's own anti-lock brake system...

That little booger is stronger than she looks!
The more Serenity peddled the more lil Rose pulled! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unique Knick Knack

Went to get groceries... picked the kids up from school.... told the kids to take Lil Rose out for her afternoon potty break.... unloaded groceries.
As usual, I was walking through the house a mile a minute, when I passed by the curio in our living room. I stopped... looked at the curio... tilted by head... hmm... something doesn't seem right... shook my head and took another gander.
Uh... yeah... something definitely is NOT right.

I burst into laughter once I realize...

Lil Rose is sitting perfectly still on a glass shelf inside our curio!

Apparently, Serenity thought she was sooo cute that she needed to be on display. She told her to "sit there and be pretty." The little dog didn't argue a bit. She just sat there quietly and watched all the commotion. lol Poor Lil Rose!

I do have to admit though... I totally agree with Serenity.... I have seen very few knick knacks that could even compare with that little dog's cuteness! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meet Lil Rose

We have a new beagle puppy. Noah named her Lil Rose.
The kids absolutely LOVE her. I have to admit she IS very cute.

Serenity likes to pretend she's her very own little baby.
"I'm your Mommy"

"You're my baby."
lol Poor Lil Rose

Eli, on the other hand is a very good Daddy.
See how he knows to support the bottom half. :)

While playing house... Serenity says...
"Eli you're the Daddy and I'm the Mommy, Okay?'
Eli agrees..."Okay."
Then immediately Serenity hands the puppy to Eli and replies...
"Now get her out! I don't like dirty dogs in my house!"
Eli argues... "But her is just a little dirty dog."
lol Kind of gives you a bird's eye view into our home life...doesn't it?
Kids are so funny!

Cute Aren't they?
Uh... yeah... Serenity is... well... just Serenity. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taken by Love

"The world will fade away as I lift my hands..."
"The King is worthy of praise He's the Great I Am."
"The joy you've given rings out as I lift my voice..."
"I'm captivated by your ways. So I will worship you!"

I believe one of the greatest miracles demonstrated by God is simply His ability to make all the cares... all the troubles... all the weight of this world just fade away. The moment we choose to worship Him, everything else just DISSOLVES...

The moment my heart yearns for worship... the moment it screams out... PRAISE HIM... The moment I choose to lift my hands... the world begins to vanish. Suddenly... My heart is overwhelmed! His Grace begins to carry me. I begin to soar like an eagle. Looking down on the cares of this world and yet not feeling it's misery. I begin to sing... I lift my voice in honor of Him... Even in the midst of destruction, My lips begin to quiver as His joy beams across my face. Because of His Grace... Because of His Mercy... Because of His Love... He takes me away and carries me.
He carries me to VICTORY!

All the cares of this world disappear because Lord....
"You've Taken me by Love"
"You’ve taken me by Grace"
"You’ve taken me away"
"I can’t resist because..."
"You’ve taken my heart!"

"You've Taken me by LOVE!"
Taken by Love - Kutless

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever!"
Psalm 30:11-12

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Jesus has Plenty of Money in HIS pocket!"

Sitting around talking about vacation, Serenity decides she wants to go to Disney World. I explain to her that a trip like that takes A LOT of money and money isn't something that is easily obtained... especially for a family of seven, living on one income. Well... my little speech did not influence Serenity's decision in any way. She just smiled and replied...
"Mommy... Jesus has plenty of money in HIS pocket and He will give it if we ask."

Her words just melted my heart! As adults we can learn SOOO much about faith from a child! She did not even hesitate. She simply relied on Jesus as her source.

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Luke 18:17

I was simply inspired by her persistent faith. I know that it is always God's perfect will to bless His children. He LOVES to give us the desires of our heart and He always honors a heart of pure faith. I wasn't going to shut the door on her desire. I simply explained to her that we just had to wait on HIS timing. If it was God's will for us to travel to Disney World THIS summer than He would supply the funds to do it.

Meanwhile in my mind, I was just trying to figure out.... HOW! We live on a very tight week to week budget. Last year, Tommy's job survived a couple of big layoffs within his company (PRAISE GOD) but he had to endure some major cut backs on his hours. This put was way behind on several bills and unfortunately we only broke even recently. After almost an entire year in the red. We finally are back in the black again. We still owe, but at least we're no longer behind on payments. So here is my daughter, exclaiming that God will supply us a trip to Disney World... a trip worth several thousand dollars ($1000 just to get my family through the park gates for two days of fun) and our savings is nearly non existent. It did not seem promising... but then again matters that require faith never do! :)

Then came the BIG step. God spoke to me to start tithing 20%, instead of our normal 10%. Wow! Now talk about a leap of faith! God has ALWAYS supplied all of our needs, but we were counting pennies just to get by before. So the thought of coming up with an extra 10% on top of the normal 10%, was a bit scary. But in my heart, I knew that even if God had to rain manna from heaven (Exodus 16:4-5) or give us money in a fishes mouth, (Matthew 17:27) He would supply our needs. So I was obedient.

Guess what I learned? God confirmed in a physical manner what my heart has always known... No matter how hard you try you just can NOT out give God! The more you give, the MORE you receive!

Since I started tithing 20 %. I have had plenty to pay all of our bills on time, buy groceries, and still manage to put back some every week toward our vacation. We are slowly inching our way there... we ARE well on our way. Serenity's dream vacation to see Minnie Mouse's house is not so far fetched anymore. As a matter of fact, it may be a lot sooner than anticipated. We have even been offered a FREE place to stay while we're there. God is Good! He always honors FAITH and OBEDIENCE!
He remains faithful to all of His promises.

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the LORD of hosts,
“ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10-11

The only place in the Bible where God says to test Him to see if it works and You can be certain that it DOES! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reflection of Love

Serenity loves to sit on my lap and gaze into my eyes...
"Mommy, I can see me in YOUR eyes!"
She will bat her eyes, tilt her head and smile. She thinks she looks so pretty in the reflection in my eyes.

When I see her, I look at her with love. I see my perfect, beautiful little baby girl. I look past her ornery behavior. I see past her smart little mouth. The love of a mother looks past all wrong doings and just sees her beautiful, blameless child.

The love of a mother is only a taste of what our Heavenly Father feels. When we become a child of God, Jesus sees us through eyes of love. He doesn't see our mistakes. He sees us covered in His blood... spotless, purified and blameless. He sees us worthy of even the greatest blessings!

The enemy loves to tell us we don't deserve God's blessings. He knows we will easily believe his shenanigans because truth is... we don't deserve them. That's the reason Jesus came to die for us... but now oh now... through the blood of Jesus we are joint heirs to ALL His Kingdom. By His LOVE we become sons and daughters of the almighty King!

When we look into the mirror, the enemy makes it easy for us to see all our flaws.. all of our imperfections. But if we could just strive to see... if we could just draw close enough to Jesus... if we could just reach up and sit on His lap... If we could just gaze into HIS eyes and see our reflection in HIM....oh how beautiful we would appear and how worthy we would feel!

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will -- to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. ~ Ephesians 1:4-6

"Jesus, I want to see Me in Your eyes!"


Monday, April 19, 2010

Let There Be LIGHT...

God saw darkness and He said..."Let there be LIGHT... and there was light!" What would have happened if He spoke more darkness into the darkness? Obviously... the night would have become much darker!

Our lives are filled with dark moments. The people we love all have dark qualities... our friends... our parents...our spouse... our children.. all have qualities about them that need refining. No one is perfect. We all need correction. We all have bad days with dark moments, But how often do we see those "dark" moments and speak negative things in to them? It's just impossible... How often do we rehearse the problems of are loved ones... You're so selfish... You're such a mess... Why do you have to be sooo lazy.... Can't you do anything right?
By speaking negative things, we are actually looking into darkness and saying.... Let it be darker.

What would happen if we actually took the time to think before we speak? What if we actually stopped and made the choice to be positive? What if we only spoke the promises of God over our dark moments... With God ALL things are possible! What if we actually put emphasis on all the GOOD qualities of our loved ones and encouraged them to do better... When you help others out, your face lights up and makes my day...

What if we made the decision to speak LIGHT into the darkness?
Our world would be a much brighter place!

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21

Look into your dark moments and say.... "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

Serenity Summer 07...

Who put this hat on my head?

Seriously.... TAKE IF OFF!
What? Not going to happen?

Mommy always says to keep a stiff upper lip
And Find the good in everything

I guess it DOES come in handy during nap time
And... What's that you say?

I LOVE to look cute!
Yes... That makes me....

One Happy Cowgirl... BA---BY!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Toddler Talk: Apologize and Serenity's New Song

Spent the morning hard at work cleaning house. I was in the girls' room gathering laundry, when Serenity walks into the room...

"Mom, I need to apologize."

Stunned to hear such a word I ask. "Apologize? That's an awfully BIG word for such a little girl! Do you even know what that means?"


"Okay then, What does it mean?"

She looks down at the ground and answers... "It means... I opened a banana and squished it on the floor." LOL

Uh... Apology accepted! :)


Serenity loves to sing. She always trying to find new songs to master. Sometimes she amazes me and memorizes them verbatim. Other times... well... she misses the lyrics just a tad.

The other day, she ran to me all excited about a new song she just heard....

"Mommy... Mommy... I know a new song!"

"That's great Honey... Let's hear it."

She begins to sing...
"Underwear ridge is falling down... falling down... falling down! Underwear ridge is falling down... Poor... Little... Lady!"

Trying very hard not to laugh, I applaud her...
"Yay Reni, that song is beautiful!"

With a grin of satisfaction she asks...
"Have YOU ever heard that song before, Mommy?"

"Uh...No Serenity... I can honestly say I have NEVER heard THAT particular song before." :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Someone really enjoys Springtime...

Serenity is absolutely LOVIN' this weather! She's really enjoying all the perks that springtime has to offer.... like wearing her pretty flower hair accessories or cool hot pink sunglasses.

Yes.. She loves to wear all her Springtime gear,
But not quite as much as she loves to...

Model them for the camera! :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rejoice! Our Savior is ALIVE!

Last weekend Tom and I attended some young Christian workshops with our youth group. We heard several inspiring messages. During a special sermon on Sunday morning, the speaker portrayed himself as the roman man who built the very cross Jesus was crucified on. As he built this cross, he talked about this man everyone called the son of God. He argued with himself about why he should or should not believe the accusations about Jesus. Then at the end of the presentation he made a very powerful statement. He said..."If this is true. If Jesus really is the son of God. If He really was sent to save this entire world. If He really is dying for all of our sins. Then even I... yes even I... have Hope!"
So often we hear people say... God could never forgive me. I'm a terrible person. No one could ever forgive ALL the things I've done! Satan often uses this lie to keep people in bondage. Who are we to say, we can't be forgiven? We think we can keep God in a little box. There isn't a box big enough to contain God's love. The love of God is powerful enough to cover ALL sin.
Jesus was persecuted, ridiculed. He was beaten, tortured, spit upon. He was cut, slashed, stabbed. Our minds can not even comprehend the pain He endured. Only the Son of God could sustain such brutality. Yet, after everything they did to Him. What did He say? Did He say.. Curse them Father? Did He say... Don't bother with them, for they're far too gone? No! What did He say? He said..."Forgive them Father! For they know not what they do!" Time and time again they spit in His face. They cursed Him. They beat Him. Yet He said..."Forgive them Father! For they know not what they do." If Jesus had enough love to forgive the very soldiers who tortured Him. Then who are we to say, our sins are far too great for His forgiveness?
No man knows the extend of His love! He was born for a purpose. He died for a reason. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: was chastised for our peace, beaten for our healing. He DIED so that we might LIVE!
As the Son of God, He had the power to stop them at any given moment. He had all the angels in Heaven at His beckoning. He had all the power of the universe. All He had to do was open His mouth and speak.
Yet Isaiah 53:7 tells us...
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
He opened not His mouth.
He opened not His mouth. Why?
Simple! 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is Love and John 15:13 says.
There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for another.
Jesus LOVED us so much that He was willing to die for all of our imperfections. He was willing to take the place of even the roman soldiers who tortured Him. He was willing to die so that even THEY might live. No one is worthy of His Love! Yet to ALL, it has been freely given. We all are born with the same opportunity. We all have an opportunity for redemption. We all receive it the same way... Through Grace and By Faith. Grace gets us there and Faith makes it happen!
Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe that He died upon a cross for the sins of this world and rose again on the third day? Do you believe that He LIVES today? Are you willing to surrender to His will? Are you willing to lay aside the things of this world for an eternal crown of righteousness?
If so... than YOU have Hope! No matter what you've done... You have Hope.
YES! EVEN YOU HAVE HOPE! Need to know more? Click Here!
The Love of Jesus is waiting with open arms. It's waiting for ALL those who call upon Him. Those who have never known Him... Those who already know Him.... Those who despise Him.... Those who worship Him... Those who need Him... His Love is waiting for ALL those who call upon Him.

For love such as this, Deserves an earnest heartfelt praise. Our Savior Deserves our time in Worship! He DESERVES our undivided attention! He Deserves Hands lifted in Honor of Praise. He deserves hearts filled with thanksgiving! He Deserves our Love in return!

Where ever you are today, I pray you take a moment to reflect on what Love accomplished for YOU! I pray you find a way to worship Him... whether it be by song, by prayer, or just standing still within the midst of His presence. However you choose, may it be earnest, sincere and heartfelt. For He is worthy to be Praised!
Our family offers special praise! We praise Him for ALL that was accomplished... Eternal Salvation, Deliverance, Prosperity, Healing... Oh to be offered Healing! True...There's no greater gift than eternal Salvation, but healing.... Healing is such a very precious gift! We are SOOO very thankful for the stripes Jesus took on the day He suffered and died. We are so very grateful for the pain He endured.

For it was By those Stripes, on THAT day,

Our little Serenity WAS healed!
From our Family to yours,

We pray you had a very blessed Resurrection Day!
Rejoice! For Today Our Savior is ALIVE!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Your Grace is Enough

I never really understood the meaning of Grace until our journey with Serenity. In an online dictionary it's defined as..."the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them." But to fully understand, you must experience His grace firsthand.

Just as you must also experience a PICU before you can truly understand it's depressing nature. In that area of a hospital, two large metal doors separate two completely different worlds. On one side, there is normalcy. There are blue skies and butterflies, birthday cakes and laughter. Then in an instant you walk through those large metal doors and everything changes. Skies turn gray, butterflies disappear. Birthday cakes are left untouched and laughter, not only fades, but it ceases to exist. Moments are filled with tears. Helpless cries from desperate mothers fill the air. Expressions begin to vanish. The majority fear to feel anything, for if they feel something, than they are sure to feel pain.

The PICU is a walk into a world of depression and the wonderful dedicated nurses of this unit experience this world on a daily basis. I'm sure if you were to ask one of them, most would admit that they love their job, but they would also admit that they do have their moments... many, many moments, when they long for a better atmosphere. I know this, because those same nurses use to fight over our room assignment. They all wanted to work in our atmosphere. We were the topic of many discussions. My husband was always cracking jokes. Even the most professional staff members couldn't keep a straight face once they entered our room. We were friendly. We were hopeful. We were joyful, because we were confident. We had our fair share of tears, but we had more than our fair share of laughter. Our room stood out to the entire staff. There was something different about us and everyone wanted to be a part of our world. People were drawn to the very thing that gave us our strength. They were drawn to a world where laughter could exist once more. They were drawn to the Spirit of God which surrounded us! They wondered why we were so different. They knew, it wasn't because we cared any less than the other parents. We just had something that they desperately needed, but didn't know how to obtain.
We had God's Grace to carry us through.

About a month ago, I had a dream... My family was driving down a street in our home town. We were enjoying the ride, smiling and having fun. Suddenly a storm hit. The sky became dark and funnel clouds started to form. I called out to my husband who was behind the wheel and insisted that he take us home. He sped up the car... a funnel cloud touched down directly in front of us. He slammed on the brakes. I called out... "Back up, Back up!" He put the car in reverse. A funnel cloud touched down directly behind us. I called out.. "Turn right." Several funnels clouds surrounded us on the right. I called out.."Go left." Both of our hearts sank when three more funnels clouds touch the ground on our left. We were completely surrounded by many powerful tornadoes. There was no where left to go. We were stuck in the midst of a powerful storm. The tornadoes on our left started to grow and quickly began to approach us. I turned around and glanced at my five small children buckled in the backseat. Instinct told me to get everyone out of the car and into a ditch, but in my dream there wasn't enough time. With no other alternative, I told my family to brace themselves. I could see the powerful storm. It was uprooting trees, demolishing houses and everything within it's path. Debris was flying through the air. The storm leveled everything near and it was heading straight for us. I grabbed my husband's hand, closed my eyes and started to pray. Several seconds went by. The tornado should have hit our car. I slowly opened my eyes to see... dirt, trees, dark wind flying all around us. My husband opened his eyes. He looked around, then at me. Both of our mouths dropped in amazement. We are in the very center of a tornado. There was no sound, There was no movement. Our car was completely motionless. It didn't even rock with the wind. The tornado passed to the other side...still no movement... still no sound. My children looked up, and wandered what all the fuss was about. My husband started the car and we drove away.. utterly untouched by the disaster around us.

A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Psalms 91:7

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not over overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43: 2-3

I awakened and remembered our journey with Serenity. This is how grace is defined.. In this life there will be storms. There will be LOTS of storms. Storms that seem impossible. Moments that seem hopeless, but as long as we focus our eyes on Jesus, we can weather ANY storm. By the Grace of God, we can come through victorious, dry as a bone, completely untouched and not even feel the wind!

That's the power of His Grace...
No matter what lies within our path.. as long as we place our trust in You oh Lord. Your Grace is MORE than enough!

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2

"And He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness...”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chasing Here... Chasing There... Chasing Everywhere!

Chasing toddlers Here...
Chasing toddlers There...
Chasing toddlers EVERYWHERE!

In the house...
at the park...
in the grocery store!
Chasing toddlers... til I can't chase any MORE!

As if two toddlers weren't enough to keep me running. Now we've added a very eager girl beagle to keep me moving. Yes folks... Lemar has a girlfriend. Her name is Cleo. She's not our dog. We're just watching her for a little awhile, but she just keeps me running just the same. Apparently, she is an INDOOR dog, because she HATES being outside. Every time the door opens... IN she goes! She sits on the top step all day long, just watching the door. The kids go out... Cleo comes in.

I chase the toddlers... I chase Cleo... I chase the toddlers as they chase Cleo... under the bed... into the kitchen... out of the trash can.... away from the toilet... out the door and into the backyard... AGAIN and AGAIN! All day long... over and over. After awhile, the toddlers stop chasing Cleo. They stop... so they can watch ME run. Oh how funny Mommy looks while she chases the beagle all over the house.. slipping, sliding and falling all over the place as the dog scurries along. Finally I've had enough and I set my foot down! "No one goes outside again today. Don't even THINK about opening that door!" The older kids all nod their heads in agreement. They know Mommy means business! A couple of hours go by and all is well. Then later, I walk into the kitchen and spot Serenity standing by the back door. She's turned toward me with her hand perched on the door handle. It's as if, she's just waiting for me to spot her. "Serenity... don't you even THINK about it! Get away from that..." Before I can even finish my sentence, she lets out a giggle and quickly opens the door. Like Lightening.. Cleo flashes through the house. OH GREAT! HERE WE GO AGAIN! Once again, I start chasing the beagle and a giddy Serenity sits back and watches the show.

Did I ever tell you I have one VERY ORNERY little miracle baby? :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Know Your Savior

Number 1 rule of engagement says to "know your enemy." People always say fight fire with fire! But I tend to disagree. Jesus said..."These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus overcame the world. Jesus defeated the enemy. Jesus knew His enemy, but Jesus did NOT fight fire with fire. He could have used satan's tactics. He had the power to instantly destroy all of us and satan himself. But He chose to use a different measure... a smarter measure. Destruction goes against His character. So Instead... He hit satan with a surprise attack. He did something that satan never could have imagined in a million years. Satan's mind could not even conceive the tactic that Jesus used against him, because it was something that went against every fiber of satan's being. Jesus overcame this world with an act of....LOVE! 1 John 5:4-5 tells us that through Jesus we can overcome this world as well.
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
So through our faith we have the power and authority to overcome all obstacles of this world. We will have tribulations but because of our faith in the one who conquered this world we can have peace and be of good cheer. Now... faith is more than just to say.."I believe", because the word tells us that even the demons in hell believe and tremble. Faith needs another ingredient. "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." James 2:17 and in Galatians 5:6 we see that...." works by Love." Faith needs LOVE and all the characteristics there of (1Cor. 13:4-7)
You see.. we don't have to fight fire with fire! We don't have to get inside the mind of our enemy. We don't have to use his tactics. We don't have to think inside his little box. As a matter of fact we need to think OUTSIDE his box. We need to obtain the mind of Christ. We need to become Christ-like. I praise God that in order to have victory we do NOT have to "know our enemy!"

We just need to KNOW our Savior!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

"Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice."
Serenity is part sugar. She has an amazingly sweet side to her. Yesterday morning, she awakened me with such a sweet sediment...
"Yay, It's morning! The sun is waking up and now we can go to church."
Now...If you didn't grin at "the sun is waking up" part. Then you just don't know sweet and the fact that she is just SOOO excited about going to church... well... that just takes the cake! heart just melts when she tells me...
"Mom your my bestest friend and the most beautiful Mommy ever."

And If you've ever heard her sing, "Jesus loves me" or "You are my sunshine" then chances are, you know that melted heart feeling as well. Yes... She has a sweet side. Serenity is definitely part sugar!

Now just as sure as I am that she is part sugar. I'm even more certain that she has a much larger part which is Spice. A recent example would be last night. She was taking a shower with her sisters and half way through decided she had enough. So she jumped out stark naked and took off running through the house. Noah yelled at her to get some clothes on and in turn unintentionally invited her into his space. She immediately ran and jumped onto his bed. From the other room, I heard him yell...
"Gross Serenity... get off my bed before you pee on it!"
Now I know my daughter! I know that she is very ornery and smart enough on her own. So if YOU are as smart as she is, than you will NOT give her any extra ideas.... or else! :) A few seconds later, I heard Noah again....
"Ahh... NASTY! MOM!!!!! Reni just peed all over my bed!"
On my way into the room, I heard Serenity's spicy little attitude reply....
"Oh WAAA.... What are you going to do about it, little BABY?"
I entered the room and spotted her from behind. She had her bare bottom stuck out, head shaking left to right and finger pointed. She was sporting the entire.."oh no you didn't" look. Then unknowingly with me behind her, she mouthed off again...
"Oh WAAA WAAA.. little baby boy gotta tell your Mommy about it."

Oh.. Mommy heard loud and clear alright! :) Now you do remember that she is only three years old right? UNBELIEVABLE! Of course she was punished for her terrible behavior, but I have to admit, not without a few muffled giggles from me.

Serenity may be part sugar, but one thing is certain. There isn't a pepper in the world that can hold a candle to her spice! Then just when you think you can't take the heat... "the sun is waking up." and there's that sweetness again. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Savior Please... Keep Saving Me

So often, I receive emails saying..."You're so strong." People read Serenity's testimony or hear the testimony of how God saved my marriage and they immediately assume I'm a strong person. Each time I read or hear that line, I have to chuckle a little. The thought of someone thinking I'm a strong person is just so funny to me. Truth is... I'm not strong at all. I'm one of the weakest people I know. The only reason I made it through these various trials was because like a limp, unconscious damsel in distress, my hero which is my Savior... had to carry me.
Oh... I try to be so tough, but I'm just not strong enough.

Recently, God used the story of Elijah to remind me of how much I need my Savior. In 1 Kings, we read how Elijah performed many miracles and in the 18th chapter, we read that Elijah stood strong through many tests of faith. God used his faith to open the eyes of those who worshiped Baal. Elijah was up against some mighty spiritual warfare and he stood strong in faith until the rain fell and the prophets of baal were slaughtered. Through his faith many souls were turned back to God and many rejoiced in the name of the Lord. Then soon after in the 19th chapter we read that Jezebel discovered all that Elijah did and she vowed to kill him by the next day.
Now when Elijah heard she was after him, he ran scared. The word says..
"he arose and ran for his life... and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
So after all that he witnessed God accomplish through him, after everything that had happened, even after the impossible was made possible and Victory was celebrated, he still gave up and ran for his life, when he found out a WOMAN was after him. (true, there's a powerful evil spirit behind that woman, but that's a different message)
God spoke to me through this story. Elijah knew God could move mountains. Elijah knew that God would save him again, but Elijah was tired. He had fought until he couldn't fight anymore. Elijah had grown weary.
The fight of faith is tiring. The enemy loves to attack and attack until we grow weary. Sometimes we get so caught up in fighting for others that we tend to forget about our own armor. We neglect our own strength.
Last week, God spoke to me and said... "
You started out this race strong and determined. You allowed nothing to stand in your way. Even when those whom you love, said give up.. you stood strong and watched Me move mountains. Now that the mountains are hills and the problems are small, you're ready to give up... because you've grown weary."
You see in my determined fight to help others, I've allowed my time to become consumed with my ministry. I've noticed lately that every time I try to minister to someone during a trial in their life, the enemy attacks my family in that same area. I minister to someone about standing for their finances, and immediately the enemy attacks my bank account. I minister to couples about standing in faith for their marriage and immediately the enemy attacks my marriage again. Now these attacks are nothing like the mountains I've faced before, extremely minor in comparison, but yet I'm ready to call it quits and just surrender. Like Elijah, I've grown weary.
If we read further we discover how God strengthened Elijah...
"Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God."
Elijah had to get in the presence of the Lord and eat. Now we see in Matthew 4:4...
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

God was telling me that I had grown weary because I had been neglecting my OWN spiritual strengthening. In order for my ministry to flourish, in order for my family to withstand the storms, I need to set aside time for my own growth. Yes, I attend church regularly! Yes.. I read God's word! Yes, I pray, but I need more! I need to forget about all the worries and just bask within His presence. I need to spend time worshiping and getting to know Him all over again. I need to lay everything else aside and just nourish my relationship for awhile. I need to get in His presence... read His word... and let Him feed me.

I'm NOT a strong person... I desperately need my Savior!

I try to be so tough.. but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone, God I need you to hold onto me
I try be good enough, but I'm nothing without Your love
Savior Please... KEEP SAVING ME!

Everything You are to me
Is everything I'll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don't have to prove a thing
'Cause You're the one who's sav
ing me

Savior Please - Josh Wilson

Savior Please... KEEP SAVING ME!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Serenity's Meatloaf Surprise

Serenity LOVES to help me make dinner. She LOVES to help me do anything that makes her feel like a big girl, because she genuinely believes she IS a big girl! So when it comes time to cook she will scoot her little stool over to the counter and "help" me. The trouble is... she thinks she can do it BETTER than Mommy. On occasions she's been known to add extra pepper, salt, sugar, or garlic while I'm not looking. But even after all my experience with her mischief, nothing could have prepared me for what I found last night.

I removed my glass baking dish from the cabinet, rinsed any dust particles off and dried it. Then I set it on the counter next to Serenity. I turned around, grabbed some non-stick aluminum foil and covered the bottom of the dish. With Serenity by my side, I finished mushing the ingredients of my meatloaf together. She helped me put the loaf into the pan on top of the aluminum foil. Finally, we placed the pan in the oven. Once finished, we all ate. It was delicious. After dinner, I went back into the kitchen to start the clean up process. I carefully removed the used foil and to my surprise found...

A melted orange crayon!

Yes folks... I baked an orange crayon at 400 degrees for an hour under the foil that contain the meatloaf my entire family consumed! I'm at a complete loss as to WHEN that special ingredient was added to our meal. Although I'm seemingly certain I can guess the WHO! Now I'm not saying I blame any little ornery toddler in particular. I mean I have no solid proof that any one person is responsible. But... let's just say, I will have extra eyes on one certain little girl the next time she decides to "help" me in the kitchen! :)

All I can say is... It's a good thing crayons aren't toxic! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just thinking out loud...

"Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; " Psalm 37:1-7

"Delight yourself also in the Lord" Take pleasure in serving Him! Not because you have to, not because you're told to, not because you want something from Him, but because you truly enjoy serving Him.
Do not wish you were on the other side of the fence. Do not envy the happenings of those who are worldly. Take PLEASURE in serving your King... through mountains and valleys... through rewards and tests. Do good... WANT good. "Commit your way to the Lord" Surrender your will....Commit to HIS way. When you are committed to Him, Your heart is Aligned with the heart of Christ. His desires become your desires.

Trust fully in Him. Recognize that He IS your ONLY source. His faithfulness FEEDS you! So rely fully on Him. Focus your eyes on our Lord. Do not become anxious! Instead...Rest in confidence KNOWING He WILL bring it to pass. Wait patiently, even if it seems long, wait patiently with Faith....
"And He shall give you the desires of your heart."

Just thinking out loud....:)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meet Lemar...

He's the newest addition to our family! I know what you're thinking. Why would anyone name a DOG.. LEMAR? Well.. I asked the same question and I honestly don't know! Lemar already had his name when we got him. Fortunately, it's starting to grow on me and I couldn't imagine him being named anything else. :)

Lemar's story is a nice one. My husband Tom is really into rabbit hunting. Not sure why, he very seldom actually kills a rabbit. But for some odd reason, he LOVES running the dogs and TRYING to catch those " Waskley Wabbits!" Men.. Go Figure!

Anyway... we use to have THREE beagles... two puppies (that eventually grew up) and one older female. The older female was a previous rabbit hunting champion. She won her previous owner LOTS of cold hard cash. We bought her after she retired in the hopes of training the other puppies. She died before she had the chance. So.. time past and the puppies grew into adult dogs.. that NEVER learned how to hunt. This disappointed my rabbit hunting husband. This Christmas he decided he wanted ANOTHER dog. This disappointed the WIFE of my rabbit hunting husband. :) I definitely did NOT want ANOTHER dog. It was hard enough keeping up with the ones we had... plus I wasn't willing to part with the money to fund another dog purchase. So... After MUCH debate, we finally came to a compromise. We agreed, he would sell the other two and then use that money to buy another puppy.

My husband has a BIG heart, especially when it comes to befriending strangers. He's soft and I love him for it. He ended up GIVING both dogs away, which left him without the funds for another one. Sad... I know. Well, my husband is also a VERY outgoing loud mouth. :) He's never actually met a stranger. He can talk to ANYONE as if he's known them his entire life. With or without a dog, he wanted to be right in the middle of the rabbit hunting world. So what does he do? He just starts calling places trying to find names and numbers of people who run beagles. After awhile, he comes across this man who agrees to allow him to come along on some of his runs.

After only a couple of conversations, they become the best of friends. Almost immediately, the man just offers, out of the blue to GIVE us one of his puppies AND borrow another one to train him. Lemar has been out only a few times and is already out hunting two well known rabbit hunting champions. lol What does Luke 6:38 say? Oh yes... "Give, and it shall be given unto you!" :)

Lemar has become one of the family.
The kids absolutely LOVE him.
Especially Serenity and Eli...

I just wish I could say the same about Lemar! :) He's not quite sure how to take all of us just yet. I can hear his little mind wheels turning right now....

"Who are YOU and WHY are you touching my leg?"

"Oh Please...
when I open my eyes... Please let them be gone...
Oh PLEASE... let them be GONE!"

"NOPE! They're STILL here!"

"Hey! Wait a minute... What's this?"
"Alright... this is kind of nice"

"OKay... Maybe... JUST MAYBE...."

"Maybe.. they COULD grow on me!"


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Learning, Growing, Watching

I LOVE my children!! I enjoy being around each and every one of them. For they each have completely different personalities and that just amazes me! I Love them at all ages, but they all have gone through a phase where I have especially enjoyed them. It's right at the age, when they are really developing their personalities. The age that they are learning and watching everything we do. Serenity is at that age right now!

I LOVE the way she giggles. I love the way she tries to pronounce big words but gets them twisted. I love the way she pushes buckets, step ladders, chairs, boxes, whatever she can find, around the house just so she can reach things she's NOT supposed to reach. I even love the way she gives everyone attitude. She's going to be such a strong independent woman, and that trait shines through, even as a toddler. I love all these things that make her who she is, but most importantly, I LOVE the spiritual side of her.

I Love the way, Serenity is always quick to pray... before meals... every time she gets a small boo boo... when she sees someone else hurt. She LOVES to ask Jesus for things!

I Love the way she jumps at the chance to praise and worship our Lord! Earlier she was going around singing a little song and making it up as she went... "Alleluia... Alleluia... Tank you for being my God... Alleluia... I Loved my God... tank you oh tank you!" That just THRILLS me!

I love the way she thanks Jesus for everything. Whenever she gets her way she always says with much enthusiasm ... "Oh Tank You Jesus! Praise da Lord!" Each time it warms my heart!

I Love the way she takes her authority over all things and declares whatever she wants "In the name of Jesus" A couple of nights ago, Serenity was watching me make supper and she said... "Mmm... Mmm...Mom that looks Delicious! I'm going to eat it all gone gone... In the name of Jesus!"

I Love the way she's learning and growing spiritually! I Love the way she's becoming the person God has created her to be and most of all...

I LOVE the fact that she's learning from ME!!

"Train a child in the way he should go
And when he is old he will not depart from it"
Proverbs 22:6

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fightin' Reni

Remember when I said..."God puts a special fight in those who He knows will need it for survival. Now that fight doesn't just go away once their well.. Oh No... it gets stronger with age!" I've said it dozens of times!

Well.. just in case your having a hard time taking my word for it. I thought I would supply you with some proof!You see... usually everyone knows better than to mess with Serenity. From the time she was old enough to bite, hit, pitch or defend herself at all, they've learned the hard way to just leave her alone! She's a fiesty little booger!

Well...Gracee had a slight relapse in memory and made a HUGE boo boo..

Yep... She TRIED to play with one of Serenity's toys,
She didn't get far!

Even though Serenity can DEFINITELY hold her own... Eli just had to join in. He's very quick to defend Serenity, even when she's in the wrong! That's actually his hand yanking Gracee's hair out! Ouch!

Don't worry Folks! Gracee wasn't hurt. As a matter of fact she's actually having fun and she ended up getting to play with Reni's toy after all. Meanwhile...Serenity and Elijah had to spend some much needed time in the naughty chair... a place where Serenity is becoming more and more familar with every day!

It's so hard to believe that this fiesty little toddler once had to fight for her life. Now she's fighting her seven year old sister... AND WINNING! Even though I don't approve of her behavior some times... It's actually moments like these that remind me just how blessed I really am! :)

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20

Praise God From whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How Important are the words we speak?

"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” Luke 1:11-20

How important are the words we speak? Important enough for God to shut the mouth of an unbeliever! God knew the importance of John the Baptist! John's birth was crucial to His plan for Jesus. Zacharias' heart was filled with doubt. God knew that if that doubt were to be voiced, it could stop His plan from unfolding. Therefore He physically shut Zacharias mouth until the day when Zacharias declared his baby boy... John!

There is POWER in our words! For we were made in God's image and He spoke the entire universe into existence! We can move mountains just by speaking the name of Jesus!

"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." Mark 11:23

We can have whatever we say when we believe! And the more you speak something the more you believe it to be true! God has given us the power to have what we say... be it positive or negative! If we continually voice the negative reports, just as the Israelite children, we will have what we say!

"And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:" Numbers 14:26-28

The same goes for those who give voice to God's Holy Word! When we speak God's promises over our lives. God unleashes a multitude of Angels to come and bring those things about! So...

How important are the words we speak?
Well... that's depends...
How important is a move of God in your life?

Monday, January 4, 2010

..."Behold... I make all things new!"

"...Behold... I make all things new!" Revelations 21:5
"Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters, Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:16,18-19

As I look toward the coming year, an excitement fills my soul. I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father with so much power and glory!!!
Ecclesiastes 3 the word tells us that for everything there is a season. There is a time to sow and a time to reap. 2009 brought so many hardships...many tests of faith... opportunities to plant spiritual seeds. 2009 was a time of labor. Many seeds were sown. I believe 2010 will be a year of HARVEST! I believe all the seeds we labored so hard over will begin to bear fruit in the coming months! I believe that God's children will be set apart from the rest of the world. I believe His Glory will shine brightly upon those who choose to fully serve and trust Him. I believe that He will continue to make roads in the wilderness and rivers in the desert! I believe the windows of Heaven are about to burst open and rain blessings down upon God's people... blessings that we can not contain!!! He is longing to show His Glory and majesty to ALL the world. He is longing to reveal His Glory in all it's entirety. He wants to shine brightly that ALL eyes my be opened to see and understand His mystery!

I have seen so many miracles in my lifetime. So many impossibilities suddenly becoming possible. I have witnessed God's glory time and time again and yet He never ceases to AMAZE me!! Each time it's like seeing His Hand at work for the very first time. Today I stand in awe at all His wonder. I stand in anticipation of seeing more of His Glory in the days to come. Today I stand completely.... AMAZED!

You're Glory fills the sky!
A Great and Holy Light
Shining like a million stars,
I'm amazed by who you are
Lord we lift you high,
Oh God be magnified
You have overwhelmed my heart,
I'm amazed by who you are

The universe, is at your feet
And angels bow, when you speak
So high above, our greatest song
but still you call
and we will come

How amazed I am

Amazed- Kutless

Love in Christ,