Thursday, July 30, 2009

First Blog Award

Yea!! My First Blog Award!! Jenna over at "A Slow Change" has awarded me with a Honest Scrap Award.The rules of the award are (and I'm copying this directly from her blog) In order to accept I must post 10 things you might not know about me AND award 4 others.

So let's have at it. 10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. I am absolutely crazy about smores... seriously, I could eat smores every day and never get tired of them. I don't know if this is something people don't know about me or not, it's somewhat obvious to those close to me, but I can't stop thinking about it right now in this moment... so maybe that qualifies as something you don't know.

2. All day today I was thinking about planning a girls get-away with my best friend Jaime. I totally need a get away and I miss her tons. I keep dreaming about grabbing a cup of hot chocolate, curling up on oppposite ends of a couch and having some "deep spiritual" conversation. She (along with our husbands) is one of the only people that will sit and just talk Bible/Religion/Theology stuff with me. I LOVE it!

3. I've always wanted to be famous, but I am deathly scared of being in front of people... go figure

4. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Israel & Greece - my favorite speaker (Mark Driscoll) is leading a two week tour over my birthday this year and I would LOVE to go but it's just not feasible right now... total disappointment, however, during that time I will be going to see my other favorite speaker Beth Moore, so it almost makes it okay.

5. My big toe is slightly shorter than my "ring toe" (is that what that toe is called)... hmmm... that's something else I could add... I don't know the names of all of the toes

6. If I could hire one job for someone to do for me, it would be cooking, not so much because I hate cooking, I don't, but I find it to be one of the most inconvenient of tasks... it has to be done 3 times a day (a little much), at certain times (totally not flexible), I'm usually hungry when I am doing it which means I am a little rushed and a little moody (I get crabby when I'm hungry). It's something that you not only have to work to do but but you also have to plan it out (in advance). There's just so much involvement and thinking... and the pressure that goes along with it.... you want it to be healthy, but you also want it to taste good, you want new unique dishes but something you don't have to spend too much time doing... I mean seriously.... it's just ALOT! I don't hate it, because when I want to do it I want to do it and I love cooking, but as an everyday task... I just don't like it. Are any of you getting what I'm saying?

7. I get startled VERY easily, which provides my husband (& now my son) with endless entertainment.

8. Right now, as I am typing this, Treyton is playing an Elmo game on his computer and it is the most distracting sound I have ever heard!

9. I have more firstborn tendencies and characteristics than I do middle child, but I am actually the second of four (which makes me a middle child).

10. I LOVE personality type, birth order, learning style, teaching style, love language, psychology stuff. I am ALL over that stuff and read about it too much!! I love studying people and trying to fit them into a "type" I think it's a great way to learn about people and understand the people in your life.

My 4 Nominations for the Honest Scrap Award (in no particular order)

1. For His Glory - Though Jaime is one of my bestest friends, she is also an incredible leader, spiritually inspired, gifted writer and I always love to see what God has lead her to share with us... if you haven't already you MUST head over to her blog and check it out!

2. Daisy and Pear - Catherine over at Daisy and Pear has quickly become a "blogging buddy" for me and though I have never actually met her in real life, I feel like we've known each other for years. I love her blog because quite frankly (besides her creative/artistic style) she is alot like me... I'm learning alot from her.

3. Mom for Him - Jessica, though I am lucky enough to know her personally is an inspiration to many with her uncanny ability to save money and live to tell about it!! I love following her blog because she makes it easy to find all the good deals --- she does most of the dirty work for ya!!

4. Bring the Rain - Angie's blog is actually... ummm... huge... so I know she does not have time to read my blog and I am sure she is not even aware that I or my blog exist, so I wouldn't expect her to accept this award but I have to give the award to her because she deserves it. I actually ran across Angie's blog a week before my nephew died and since that time have gained strength, encouragement and a place to cry at through her blog.... her story is incredible and she is an inspiration. She is not posting as much right now because she is currently in the process of writing a book... which I can't wait to read.

So there it is.... minus Angie's blog I look forward to reading the other three's answers and nominations!!

Thanks for this opportunity Jenna... it was fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Treyton's Name

I included this over on our Refined Metals Academy blog but wanted to put it here too because I was so excited about it!!

Today Treyton wrote his name ENTIRELY on his own for the first time!!!

For a while now Treyton has been able to technically write his name when I tell him the letters to write... or if I show him his name he can copy it without any help from me.
Today, I asked him to try to write his name entirely on his own, without seeing it anywhere or me telling him which letter comes next - and he did it!!!

This is such an exciting milestone so of course I took a picture of it!


Pivotol Moments

Have you ever had moments in your life when you realize (maybe not right then, but certainly soon after) that you just experienced a pivotol moment in your journey?

I had one of those... and I don't even know if it was a moment or rather several consecutive moments, but either way. A major change has taken place.

Last night after I got home from my Bible Study, as I do most weeks I sat and talked with Tim for a while about what I had learned, what impacted me, what I'm struggling with, etc. It's a precious time for me, and I cherish it every week. Last night was particularly.... deep, I thought I knew what I was going to say until I opened my mouth but when I actually started talking something entirely different came out. To be honest, I'm still reeling from some of the things that came out of my mouth. The Lord was certainly filling my heart and mouth with some things that He needed to reveal to me (& Tim) and some healing has definitely taking place (for me).

I don't want to go into too much detail (to be honest, it's still a vulnerable wound right now and I just need a little more time), I am still a little shocked by some of the emotional confessions I made but I do want to encourage you all, that regardless of where you are at right now, regardless of what you are feeling, God is bigger!

One of my biggest struggles lately has been "I'm just not feeling it." I was still praying, reading studying but I wasn't feeling a lot of desire or excitement - occasionally, certainly - but not consistently. The enemy has been working overtime to cloud my thoughts with doubts, fears and failures and it had taken it's toll on me, I was run down and running on empty. I kept praying to God "Lord, give me a desire and a heart for you - give me an unquenchable thirst for you! Give me the fight I need to get through this. I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU!" and I persevered as best as I could, even when I didn't feel like it, it wasn't easy.

Last night, the Lord made a break through and this morning, I literally feel like a new person. I have so much more to work through and so much more the confess, repent from and grow through, but right now, in this moment I am thirsty, I am excited and my desire for Him has returned.

I am reminded once again that God is bigger than my heart, my emotions, my fears and my shame. He is able to cover a MULTITUDE of wrongs and He LOVES ME, and He loves you.

Some powerful lyrics from (another) casting crowns song that I just love is "East to West" (it's on my playlist if you want to scroll down and select it) please read the lyrics and allow them to sink in, they're powerful:

"I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God's Heart of Service & Perfect Timing

This morning in my quiet I was reading my daily Bible reading for my Bible in a year program and one of the sections I read was Acts 17:24-27
'The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. He made from 1 man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not from each one of us for 'In Him we live and move and have our being"
This specific passage of scripture is so interesting to me; Paul was actually preaching to the people of Athens who served MANY gods and had an obsession with learning new things... the town of Athens was full of temples dedicated to any type of god one could think up. They were a very theological/philosophical people and Paul used this information to his advantage in his sermon to illustrate some valid points for not only their lives, but my own lifestyle and struggles as well.

Some of the things that I took away from this:

~ God is the Maker of all things - He doesn't need, nor does He desire my works. He has made and can provide anything He needs (or I need).... all He desires from me is a willing heart to live, move and have my being IN HIM. Like I mentioned before, the people of Athens would build beautifully elaborate and expensive temples for the gods they served, much like them I am constantly trying to build up, clean up and add to my own "temple" as a great and elaborate dwelling place/temple for the Almighty. The truth is, however, He doesn't want or need elaborate false beauty, He desires the simple act of faith IN HIM.

John Piper inspired me once again with His viewpoint on this same scripture he says
"God is so great and so self-sufficient that he cannot be served as though he needed anything, and his Son Jesus Christ is so great and so valuable that his death in our place is a sufficient ransom to pay all our debt to God. The question is, will we believe this, and will we receive God's service of us as the most precious gift in the world? Believing. Receiving. Not serving. That's the posture of a person who is right with God. God sets us right through the death of his Son in our place and we receive this right standing, this peace and acceptance and hope not by working for God, but by trusting in his work for us. "
~ Secondly, Paul made the point that God is the one ultimately in control of placement and timing. He has placed me in this specific place in this certain time, in order that I may know Him better.
This is huge for me right now.
During my quiet time yesterday morning the Lord was showing me some specific areas in my life where He has, in His perfect timing, acted on my (& my family's) behalf. Specifically in the area of health, I have been particularly aware and grateful to His timing recently.
It is comforting to me on days that I have absolutely no idea what is going on that God ultimately remains in control and that His first priority is always that I grow closer to Him - and for my life to glorify Him.
That is my prayer, that my life couple somehow point to Him and bring God glory.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who's Leading the Journey

A journey as described by dictionary.com is "a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time" and I don't think there could be a better description of where I am at currently in my life.

God has been taking me on a journey.... a traveling from one place to another. From a place of pride to a place of humility. From a place of condemnation to a place of healthy repentance. From a place of shame to a place of righteousness. From a place where "I can't be good enough" to a place where "He is Enough!"

The last several months have been some of the most spiritually painful I have ever gone through, one of my journal entries reads "I feel like I'm bleeding.... this hurts".

After a couple months of long hard journeying, the Lord revealed to me, this journey has been more painful than it needs to be - I have become my biggest obstacle.

I don't think that the original journey was not meant to take this long. I stepped in, tried to take over.... of course (sarcasm), I had to try and make the trip on my own. I wanted to show God how capable I was by taking care of my "stuff" on my own. I mean, it was obvious the areas that needed some fixin', so why shouldn't I do it on my own?

So that's exactly what I've been doing.... I've tried to do it myself. I've tried to be godly without God. I've been trying to produce the Fruit of the Spirit without the help of the Spirit. I tried to prune the branches without a Gardner.... and I've failed, and I'm lost... somewhere in a desert.

I don't want to do it anymore.

It is time.

It's time to grow. It's time to fire myself and allow God to take over. It's time to let God prune what isn't needed and burn it. It's time to to take back what the enemy has taken. It's time to trust, it's just time.

I'm ready for the real Journey.

I'm ready for Him to lead me.

I'm ready for Him to teach me.

Lord, transform me!!

"He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for Him, He kept him as the apple of His eye." Deuteronomy 32:10

Afterthought: The Lord is so gentle with me. As I was getting ready to post this, the Lord whispered something to my heart:

Maybe, just maybe, this lesson was a part of His journey. He never lost me, He knew where I was and what I was doing, and He was watching over me, pursuing me, leading me. Even in spite of me, He was teaching me, lessons that perhaps I needed to learn the hard way. Hmmm... interesting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Life without Fear

"Bring Me all your feelings. even the ones you wish you didn't have. Fear and anxiety still plague you. Feelings per se are not sinful, but they can be temptations to sin. Blazing missiles of fear fly at your day and night; these attacks from the evil one come at you relentlessly. Use your shield of faith to extinguish those flaming arrows. Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. If you persist, your feeling will eventually fall in line with your faith.

Do not hide your fear or pretend it isn't there. Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth to fear of fear: a monstrous stepchild. Bring your anxieties out into the Light of My Presence, where we can deal with them together. Concentrate of trusting Me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you." Taken from: Jesus Calling written by Sarah Young

Can you imagine a life without any fear?

Blog Redesign

Thanks to my blog friend Catherine over at Daisy and Pear, I was inspired to redecorate my blog. I used all the same resources she did including:
the banner I got from shabby shoppe
the background, FREE, from aqua poppy design
and new FREE fonts from Kevin and Amanda (their tutorial was UNBELIEVABLY helpful... definitely couldn't have done it without them!)
So if you're reading this in your e-mail or in a google reader hop on over and take a look at the new background, header and fonts!!

Thanks Catherine for the inspiration!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update on Lexie

Lexie ran a 102.4 ear temperature for most the day yesterday, she hardly ate anything but did well keeping all her liquids down (after Dr. F adjusted her).

She did NOT like the vinegar being put on her infection but recovered fairly quickly.

She slept lots yesterday and got up lots during the night (though she just went back to bed) her fever broke sometime during the night and I think the big problem was just that she was hungry. At 5:15 she woke up and I got her some breakfast amd she went right back to bed.

I think the infection looks less pussy this morning, but it is still there... but with doing natural methods I know it takes a little longer for things to properly heal.

As an added blessing we managed to get through this without giving her her pacifiers back. We took the pacifiers the day after her birthday and so far it's going... okay... naps are typically rough, bedtime is usually fine.

Pray for us as we get through this day, I can already tell Lexie is going to be especially clingy and I am (supposed) to be busy cleaning and packing for a fun filled weekend in the Dells!
Thanks Guys.... you all are the greatest!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prayer for Alexa

Please keep Alexa in your prayers. She woke up this morning with a fever and was throwing up. A while ago while playing Lexie scratched her leg, the scratch itself healed but soon after a bunch of ugly red bumps appeared around where the scratch was, (it's up near her diaper line).
Tim and I had Chiro appointments this morning so we brought it up to Dr. F while we were there and he said it was infected. He went ahead and adjusted her, and gave us a few instructions. Right now, we're allowing the fever to do it's thing (and fight the infection) we're giving her Apple Cider Vinegar, plenty of fluids and also applying Apple Cider Vinegar to the infected area.

So far she hasn't kept anything down that we gave her, but she just took another bottle (after a 2 hour nap and a few pieces of grilled chicken).

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Treytonisms

Lexie: (screaming in the car)
Alana: I don't know what to do Lexie....
Treyton: Don't worry, sometimes she's just like that, you're doing all you can

~~~~~~
After Skye relayed a cute story to me about Treyton in the plane, Treyton said to her "What did you just say to my mom?"

~~~~~~
Today at lunch Treyton was asking for a juice box, I told him that he could have water. He started whining a little bit and I said "That sound like whining, is that whining?" (he can't whine in order to get a magnet for his responsibility chart)
He replied back "Mom, you are totally screwed up" (and then he giggled)

Where did he pick that up from?? (I say alot of things, but that's not usually one of them!)

~~~~~~
Mom: I love you
Treyton: I know that, thank you, but I don't like it when you say it
Mom: Okay, but I like saying it, so I will probably say it again sometime
Treyton: Okay

1 minute later
Treyton: I do like that, mom
Mom: I know you do.


~~~~~~

I walked outside and heard Treyton talking to himself, he looked up to me and said "I was pretending to talk to a little kid"

Me: Oh yeah?

Treyton: Yeah, I was telling them "all the joy, all the peace, helping people"... all that stuff... but a lot longer

(I absoultely cherish the fact that Treyton uses biblical language with his pretend friends!)

Look What the Lord has Done!!

Tim's Four-Month Update
Today it has been four months since Tim's hand accident. I've been waiting until this day to give you all an update because for some reason I put a lot of emphasis on "anniversary dates". The pictures I am attaching were taken last night (7.19.09)
As far as the technical/functional side of things, we are SO very pleased. After physical therapy (which is now done) Tim has regained a large portion of mobility and flexibility. He can bend his fingers down to his palm but is unable to bend the top knuckle of his pinky at all. If you look at the pictures it would be the most malformed knuckle. So basically he cannot completely ball up his hand, because his pinky lies flat... but he is able to bend the finger down.
His fingers are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures which is a little concerning to us, but probably won't be an issue until fall hits, and at this point, I'm still praying it won't be an issue at all!
A huge milestone for us was a couple of weeks ago when he was finally able to put his wedding band back on!!
As far as pain goes, he doesn't say anything about pain, but I know sometimes the tightness of the scars do cause him some discomfort and inability to function the way he would like.
All-in-all we are thrilled with the healing the Lord has done, and don't think for a moment He's finished!! The physical therapists said not to give up on working the fingers (especially the pinky) and that eventually he may even gain control of that top joint.

I thank God for all that He has done, it's unbelievable really --- where we are now from where it began. I wish you all could have seen the site that I saw that first time walking into the ER, or you could have listened in as my husband literally cried/moaned in his sleep for the first week after the accident, or watched him try to bend his fingers in those first couple of months (he couldn't!). If you could have, you might have a small understanding of how grateful we are for the miracle God has done for us. The fact that Tim even has his fingers is a miracle and a blessing that I know we won't soon forget.

Thank you all for your prayers and support from the very moment it happened!! Heaven heard your prayers and has shown favor to our family!

Another Family Miracle
In other family news, we are soo very excited to announce that we are expecting our third miracle!! I found out Friday morning that we are pregnant!!!
We will be due sometime around March 25th of 2009.

As you probably can assume, we are absoultely THRILLED, and overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and blessings in our life!!

As of right now, I fell GREAT! I'm energized, eating good, taking extra naps when I can, and just living life normal (let's pray it stays that way, shall we?). I plan on calling today to set up an appointment with our OB-GYN, I'll update you all after the appointment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Somewhere in the Middle

As some of you have noticed, I haven't been posting many reflections lately. I apologize for the unannounced sabbatical (of sorts) but I have been doing some soul stumbling, searching and seeking in the past couple of months. I have much that I want to share with you, but as the Lord is gently pointing out to me, it's not time, yet.

I did want to share something the Lord gave me today.... a song. A song that perfectly illustrates part of where I am at right now, and what I am "working through" with Him. If you feel so lead, please pray for yours truly, I have a long way to go.... but I am learning so much. He is good and He is faithful. He is walking me through this and I'm certain that once I am on the other side He will have a story to tell!!

I tried to bold and underline parts of the song that are specifically speaking to me, but I realized I couldn't the entire song is speaking to/of me, so I will leave just the lyrics (minus one bolded line), and perhaps God can somehow use this song to minister to you (by the way, if you would like to listen to the song it is the new song on my playlist).

*If you are not hearing the song, scroll all the way down and it will begin to play.

Somewhere in the Middle (Casting Crowns)
Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Treyton's Owie

This morning, we worked hard getting the house clean so that we would have the rest of the day for "relaxing" activities.

Treyton and Dad decided to head out and have some cuddle time in the hammock.
They were so cute cuddling together.

Sadly, the dismount wasn't so cute!!
Ironically, this is the EXACT same spot that Treyton has received two previous cuts (one from falling off the play system at Memorial Park, and the other from boxing with Mickey Mouse and losing!)


Friday, July 3, 2009

My Man

Tim Up in Boundary waters a couple of weeks ago... Treyton just loves this picture he says "Good idea, dad, good idea, pick it up!"

Happy Birthday to the best man in the world... I recently wrote a post for you here so I don't want to get too long-winded here (I've got some birthday partying to do!!) and when you have time I would love for you (Tim) to reread it, because I mean every word of it, every morning.

I love you to pieces, baby, and I hope you have an AWESOME birthday and a healthy, happy year to come!

Tim in Boundary waters.... pooped after a long days work :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Free Downloadable Audio Book

A while back I blogged about a must-read book by Francis Chan called "Crazy Love". I was more than impressed with this book, on a personal level it really struck a cord in my soul and caused me to re-evaluate some "iffy" areas in my own heart and mind. This book which includes some convicting hard to read rebukes is written with a loving pastoral heart that is certainly felt by the reader.
It calls for a much-needed examination of our hearts, minds and souls. After reading this book, one is no longer be able to claim ignorance of many basic and essential Biblical and saving truths. I consider it an excellent read, one that I recommend to all of you.

And now for the good news....

christianaudio.com, which offers a free audio book download each month, has partnered with Oasis Audio to bring the best-selling Crazy Love by Francis Chan as this months FREE Audiobook Download.

Starting today you can download this book (for FREE) until the end of July.

I've already downloaded mine and listened to part of it - Francis Chan is actually the one reading his own book which I think is especially nice.

So head over there now and get your FREE audiobook of Crazy Love!!