When God Places Your Bricks

brick wallAugust 24 was my last post, titled, When change hits you like a ton of bricks.  I was sad, overwhelmed, and anxious about change! I decided I could cry, have a pity party, and worry or I could give God the pile of bricks and trust Him. I was expecting to feel the peace of Christ and knew deep down that everything would be ok. (only after a lot of prayer on my part and dear friends) But, I was so surprised how quickly it came and how Jesus revealed piece by piece that He had these bricks under control. I have eagerly wanted to write this update for sometime to shout Praise to Our King! To proclaim His Word is true and once again His steadfast love never ceases.

An update on Brick #1…..Jaden starting school

Jaden is absolutely loving school! My favorite part of the day is picking him up. As soon as our eyes meet in the school yard, we light up. He smiles big and runs to me bubbling over with excitement and information about his day. It just melts my heart. His teacher is a blessing and I think God hand-picked her for our family. Jaden told my friend a few weeks ago about his teacher. He said, “My teacher is a Christian too. You know my mom prayed about that.” Something I will cherish and hopefully never forget the importance of praying for my children. So far I have been impressed with the school and Royse City ISD. I feel they have great communication with the parents. Last week Jaden and I got to enjoy math game night hosted by the teachers. My mom was so sweet to watch Jacey so I could spend this time with just Jaden. What a blessing! Tomorrow night, I will get to attend the first PTO meeting. One thing I am most excited about and thankful for is that I can be involved in Jaden’s school. I am the home room mom and get to volunteer every Wednesday afternoon in his classroom. My mom started the PTO at my elementary school and was always there doing something. This was one of my favorite childhood memories so I am glad I can do this with Jaden.

An update on Brick #2…….Jacey going to weekday school

Jacey started weekday school at our church two weeks ago. I managed to make it through leaving her and parent orientation without too many tears. She cried the first two days for a couple of minutes when I dropped her off, but by week 2 she was good and waved bye. If I have to leave Jacey somewhere I am so thankful that it can be at my church, that I love! One of the great things is that she is already familiar with the building and she knows all the teachers from Sundays and Wednesdays. This was a HUGE blessing to both of us. She has two teachers, who we love, and also feel like God hand-picked for us. I was so concerned that Jacey might be a burden for them since she isn’t walking much and is behind in some areas compared to her classmates. The teachers love her and happily encourage her development. They listen to my concerns as an overprotective mom and even understand from their unique personal experiences. God blew me away with that one! In addition, Jacey’s physical therapist and speech therapist were thrilled that she was attending school two days a week. They said that was one of the best things I could do to boost her development. That helped a lot with the guilt and anxiety I had. Her teachers have been working with kids her age for over 10 years, so that was a plus for this mama too. The adorable crafts she brings home and the cute pictures they post throughout the day are a wonderful added bonus!

Brick #3….My part-time job

The day Jacey started weekday school at First Baptist Rockwall was also my first day at the office. After a few hours of cleaning and a couple of bottles of Lysol wipes I was ready to take on the new challenge of Dallas Office Products. People have been asking what I do. Right now I am just really doing anything that helps my husband and that has brought me joy. It feels good knowing I took something off his overloaded plate and that he appreciates me! I’m currently working on getting new customers while also answering the phones, assisting customers, occasionally making deliveries, and running errands for the boss! I’m learning the computer system and was able to place my first order by myself last week. Still a lot to learn though. Check us out at dallasop.com.

New Bricks…..

While adjusting to all the above changes we are working through weekly speech and physical therapy with Jacey. It is challenging many days, mostly because Jacey doesn’t feel comfortable with the therapists yet and she doesn’t like performing on command. 🙂 But, we do see improvement each week. Some days I find fear and worry creeping in when it comes to Jacey’s development, but most of the time the Spirit brings a calm to my heart and a scripture to my mind. I know God has a reason and place for this brick too. I can’t wait for Jacey to be old enough to share her testimony with the world, something I already started praying about. She will be going to Scottish Rite soon to rule out any physical problem being the reason why she chooses not to walk.

I also have some new and fun bricks thrown in the mix….. A new Bible study orchestrated by God, being part of the Women’s Ministry planning team, and exciting things happening with the NICU ministry. More info coming soon!

The Mortar…..

To close my brick analogy, I thought about the mortar that holds the bricks together. So what is going to hold all our bricks in life together? Nothing or no one, but Christ. He is the only one who doesn’t change. He is the only one who is forever. He is the only one with true steadfast love. Does it mean, we will always want our bricks or like where they are placed? No, but it means, despite all of that, we can cling to Him, find refuge, and have hope. Next post, Lord willing….When We Don’t Get an Immediate Response

Thanks for helping me stay accountable. Let’s strive to make Christ the builder of our life and the mortar that holds it all together!

Verse of the Day: Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against the house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:47-48 ESV

When change hits you like a ton of bricks

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I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of change. You have a plan, get in a routine, get comfortable, and bam….CHANGE! In my experience, change doesn’t just come in little doses here and there. In my life, it seems change comes by the truck full. This week I found myself thinking, wow, it’s like I was hit with a ton of bricks. When I started to think back about other times of change in my life, it has usually been several big changes at once. For example, getting married, graduating college, finding a job, changing churches, moving and buying a house in less than a 6 month period. Not recommend by the way! Sometimes these changes are wanted and positive and sometimes just the opposite. Another example, when your husband decides to become an entrepreneur when you have just came home from an extended stay in the hospital with your new baby, your older child is adjusting to life with a sibling, and you resign from your job, all in a month or two. I think both types of change can cause anxiety, fear, and yes even disobedience.

So, why do so many of us dislike and even fear change? It’s unfamiliar. We don’t know what to except. It screams, “I’m not in control.” It requires us to do something different. It demands trust and a renewed faith in Christ. Well, when you say it like that, maybe change isn’t such a bad thing after all. We need a good slap in the face to remind us God is in control. And how boring would life be if we did the same thing the same way forever. What would cause our faith to increase? How would God bless us?

What shall we do when change hits us like a ton of bricks?

1. Trust God.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

 

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Remember His Power and Provision. What has He already done in your life? What change have you already made it through with God’s help? What blessings came out of past change? How has He provided for you? Answering these questions can really change your attitude.

2. Pray without ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Pretty simple, there are numerous scriptures that tell us not to worry, but to PRAY!  So yes friends, fear and worry are disobedience! Ouch!

3. Seek support from others.

And not just anyone. Look for godly people who will encourage you, tell you the truth in love when you need to hear it, and pray for you.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

4. Listen for God to speak.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

We need to read God’s word and hear God’s word preached all the time, but especially when we are going through change, when it’s so easy to get off course and be anxious!

5. Look for God through the change

Carefully watch and pray to see God at work. How is He providing? What new people did He put in your life as a result of the change? What are you learning? Thank Him! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

This past week when I felt change was hitting me like a ton of bricks, how did I respond? Honestly, I first panicked. I worried. I thought of everything bad that could happen and all the reasons I didn’t like what was happening. I went to bed feeling this way and woke up literally sick. Then, I had to get my emotions in check. I prayed. I sent messages to a few friends asking them to pray. I went to see a dear Christian lady at my church I consider a mentor. I talked to my friends about what God had done in the past and how He had provided. And this brings me once again to my life verses….

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24) Next, I prayed some more, earnestly. God started responding. Songs I heard.  Scriptures friends sent. Verses He called to my mind. His faithfulness fresh in my memory. And this morning in the lesson my Sunday school teacher brought. You know the one where it feels like they are only talking to you.

I have to admit, my response to these new bricks didn’t start out good. I added a step (panic) that I didn’t need. With God’s help, now I think I am ready to take these bricks and let Him build something through me! I’m ready to trust God for what He has in store for me next.

For all you curious people wondering what inspired my post and what “my bricks” are now…..Jaden starting kindergarten is a big change that has had me emotional! I have been dreading school starting for a long time! My husband is under a lot of stress with his job and the company he owns. We have made the decision that I can help by working for him part-time. Jacey will go to week day school two days a week and possibly come to the office with me a day if needed. May seem like nothing to most, but for me, these are HUGE changes. After spending almost every minute with my kids since June 2013, letting go and being away from them is difficult. And after everything I went through with Jacey, I am even more protective and attached I guess you would say. Starting a job that is foreign to me is also a pretty big challenge. I will cling to my God and His word, as I face what seems like a ton of bricks!

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Part of the handout from my Sunday school lesson today

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My baby boy is excited and ready for school!

 

Children are a gift from the Lord…..All About Jaden

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I think about this scripture often…..Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord. I thank God for blessing me with some pretty special kids. What a gift children really are. This summer I have really thought a lot about this as I prepare to enter a new chapter of life with Jaden. In less than two weeks he will start kindergarten. I don’t know how it’s possible! I am so sad, but at the same time, excited for him because I know he is going to love school and have a lot of fun.  I have enjoyed spending so much time with him the past year and that is why I’m so sad about this new chapter.  I thought now was a great time to record my favorite memories of him at the fun age of 5! SONY DSC

Jaden brings me much joy, inspires me to be a better person, and makes me laugh.  Jaden is usually a pretty happy boy. He loves Legos and is really good at putting sets together. He likes to shoot his BB gun with his Papa and wrestle with Nanny. He loves baseball and football and really any sport he can play with his dad. When he hears the garage door open in the evening, he drops whatever he is doing and dashes out the door to greet Dad. If I leave to go anywhere without him, he makes sure to give me a big hug and several kisses. We enjoy reading books together, playing games, and going fun places. Ross and Christian are his best friends. He loves spending time with his cousins. He is really interested in the military and has been for over a year. We read military books, watch movies about the different branches of military, and he becomes a soldier in pretend play often. This has also sparked his interest in history. He recently learned all about the American Revolution and had his friends playing it 4th of July weekend. His best friend’s dad told me he assigned all the kids a role in the revolution.  He knows a lot about George Washington for a five-year old. It is a little weird when he tells his friends how several of the presidents were killed. I heard him explaining what a bayonet is to his cousin and asking her if she wanted to play Paul Revere. He will listen to you read books to him about complicated subjects for 30 minutes or more. We recently learned the physics behind airplanes. His love of airplanes began at about 18 months and thanks to one of his uncles he has been flying many times. He is a huge sponge soaking up everything.

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Since he started talking, he has never stopped. Yes, he gets that from me. It is never quiet here. Most of you know, Jaden says the funniest things. A couple of months ago we had a conversation about when he gets married and he told me he was nervous about kissing his wife at the end. He thinks that is a weird tradition for the wedding. He ends the story by saying, “Well I am just going to give my wife a big wet one.” He talks about his future career a lot, usually daily. He has so many career interests including a fireman, police office, and many branches of the military including the coast guard so he can stop illegal drugs from coming into our country. I wonder if other 5 year olds do this. And when I say he talks about his career, it’s pretty detailed. He told my dad recently that he needed to make a lot of money when he got a job so he could give us some, because we didn’t have any money. Earlier that day, I told him we couldn’t go to McDonald’s and so of course we have no money to eat. LOL. He tells me I can come visit him at the police station or on the military base anytime I want. “I will let you come over and meet my wife and my police dog.” A couple of weeks ago I was asking him some questions about his Sunday school lesson. He looks at me seriously and says, “Don’t you know any of this? Don’t you go to church too?” I walked out of the baby’s room after trying to get her down for a nap yesterday and she is crying. I say, “Well bad news, sister is never going to sleep in her bed again.” Jaden says, “Well, I guess we have a bed in her room for no reason, well I guess the only reason is for her to cry in it.” Great time to make mom laugh. The past few weeks he has started dancing, which is hilarious. Toady, I was a little stressed about Jacey trying to destroy DVD’s and stick stuff in the DVD player. I’m not sure what I said, but Jaden responds with, “Life doesn’t always go the way you want mom.” Nice reminder from my five-year old. My friend asked Jaden last week what he was most looking forward to about going to school. He asked me how many hours he would be at school and then answers her. “A 7 hour break from my sister.” He tells people how annoying she is, but he really loves her and is a great big brother. He is a big help to me and is very protective. I’m glad Jacey has him to look up to. She wants to do everything he does lately. He loves spending time with my parents, but recently told me he doesn’t like going fishing with them anymore. “They yell at each other when they are trying to get the boat in the water, even though they are married.” 🙂 My mom got quite a kick out of that. If I thought long enough, I could probably write down 100 more funny things he has said just this summer! His tone of voice and facial expressions make them even better!

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On a serious note, God is working in Jaden’s life. He has a servant’s heart and such a sweet spirit already. He soaks up the Word of God too. We recently started learning memory verses as a family. He has them down so fast and wants to know when I’m going to pick the next verse. He reminds us each night to read his Bible to him. He helps me serve others in love and enjoys it. We have started having conversations with him about what we believe and how it may be different from what some people believe. We are preparing him for when he is told or taught something that goes against the Bible. Sometimes you wonder if what you are doing is making a difference.  Are they really listening? God gave us some confirmation the other day. Jaden was talking to a friend about something one of them believed in and one did not. Jaden says, “The Bible is true and it says it in the Bible. We have four of them so you can have one and read it.” Same day he asked a friend if he went to church. The friend said no, not really. Jaden said, “Well you really should.” ( nicely) His friend said, “How am I suppose to do that?” Jaden responded with, “Just look for the steeple, that’s how you will know it’s a church.” That was a pretty special moment for me to hear from the front seat of the car. One day I asked him what he thought God was like, how he would describe him. “Well he died on the cross for us.” Wow. I think that is a good summary of God’s great love for us.

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My mom and I take a lot of pictures. Jaden is at the age where he gets annoyed by it. It’s understandable. I told him recently the reason why I take so many pictures is so when I am old, I can look back and remember all the things we did together and him at this age. He thought that was a pretty good reason and told me he would start letting me take pictures whenever I wanted. Score! Last one or two….Today he told me he was going to use his allowance to buy me a prize for remembering to set the alarm. And he asked me when you are going to have a baby, how do they get inside of you. Thankfully he was asking this after watching his Jesus movie and his question was in regard to Mary being pregnant with Jesus. Whew, that was a close one.

10, 20, 30 years from now I will have this along with all my pictures to delight in and praise God for my child. What a gift.

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God Provides. My Heart Overflows with Thanks and Joy!

Once again God has provided. Many months ago God put a ministry on my heart. As time passes I see Him work and provide the resources to put dreams into plans and plans into action.

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In January of 2013, while at the hospital, my husband and I talked about serving at Children’s Medical Center in some capacity. We both felt called by the Lord to do something. We didn’t know exactly what that meant, but we saw a great need and knew God opened our eyes and hearts to it. During our time in the NICU, we witnessed many families from all over the state of Texas and Louisiana. We met parents who were scared and many without hope. We saw parents in great physical and spiritual need.

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After leaving the hospital, the next several months were a whirlwind for us. Adjusting to life back at home, our new family of 4, giving meds around the clock, nursing, and our careers kept us busy to say the least. I battled with postpartum depression and we made life altering decisions in those few months. I’m so glad that season is over. During that season, I didn’t forget God’s call. I just needed some time for healing, growing, and praying.

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September 2013, I did a lot of praying about this ministry while pulling my kids in this wagon.

In the Fall of 2013, I was ready! Thanks to God doing a little prodding in a new group Bible study I was part of. So, I started praying and asking God what we should do. I quickly had ideas of some smalls ways to show God’s love to families in the NICU. Next, I had to ask God how we could make this happen. I asked Him to show me this was His plan. Within a week God showed up loud and clear. This isn’t a joke and no, God doesn’t always work like this. We received a reimbursement check in the mail from the hospital. I knew right away it was God providing the resources for us to move forward with the ministry. At the same time, I was a little nervous the hospital made a mistake! I mean, who gets money back from a hospital? I called the next day and spoke to someone in the billing department. I explained the situation and told her I didn’t want anyone to lose their job over this. She checked into it and explained the reason for the check. She said, “Well this doesn’t happen very often, but it sure is good for you.” Wow! Heart overflowing.

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December 2013, Jaden helping deliver gifts to Children’s Medical Center

We chose to start by providing care bags in December for families to receive when admitted. The bags contained toiletries, a gospel tract, and a personal note from me. Most parents aren’t prepared for a hospital stay and don’t want to leave their baby while in critical condition. The NICU provides blankets, pillows, towels, and showers for families. Oh and chairs to sleep in. That’s why the toiletries are important. We were also able to host a meal Christmas Eve on the NICU floor that gave us the opportunity to serve and interact with the families and hospital staff. What a blessing for us and those who helped us. That day we met a sweet young couple from Corpus who we were able to later visit at the Ronald McDonald House. With the help of some of our friends we were able to provide needed baby items for when their son was discharged. 

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November 2013, First packing party with some of my best friends

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Jacey and Sara delivering bags at Christmas

In February, we were able to order items in bulk from a hospitality company in order to make more care bags. This brought down the cost of the bag tremendously. Our church purchased plastic bags with our church logo for us to put the items in. During a women’s ministry event at my church I was able to share my story and have 50 women help pack 200 bags and pray for the families who would receive them. That was pretty amazing, but what was even better was when I got to deliver them to the hospital. I remember calling Ryan afterward, my heart was overflowing. I told him, “I could do this everyday.” The next day, a mom called our church office to thank us for the bags and say what a blessing it was.

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February 2014, Women from First Baptist Rockwall packing care bags

Through the women’s ministry event I found several people who were interested in helping with the ministry and people who provided some great ideas. I discovered we had a knitting group in our church and they started making beautiful hats for the babies. What a special gift for the parents to receive. More people in the church started bringing me toiletries. You know those soaps and shampoos you rarely use from hotels! We love those! Save them!

At the beginning of this summer, I started to pray and think about what would be next. It had been too long since we had ministered at Children’s. While my good friend and I spent many hours planning and preparing for a women’s ministry event for church, I decided I should use the theme and decorations to host a similar event at the hospital. A couple of weeks later, a lady in our church gave my husband an envelope for me and told him it was for the hospital ministry. I was surprised, thankful, and excited. You see, I couldn’t figure out how she knew about the ministry. I hadn’t told her and she wasn’t at the women’s ministry event where I spoke. The next week I hunted her down so I could personally thank her and find out how she knew. I told her what an answer to prayer she was and how God used her to help provide for the upcoming event at the hospital. Come to find out, a lady who did attend the event I spoke at, shared my story with her Sunday school class. Thank you God for using your people! Heart overflowing again!

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August 2014, Packing Party #4

Last Friday night, 8 ladies from my Sunday school class came over to pack 90 bags and pray for the families who would receive them. So thankful for these friends!

We are now about one week away from the NICU Family Lunch. I have had sweet family and friends volunteer to help serve and provide financial resources. I even had an old classmate from high school message me about helping. My heart is overflowing! My dear mom plans to keep my kids. Oh I can’t wait until they are old enough to attend the events. You have to be at least 12 to enter the NICU. Jaden is an active part of the ministry though. He helps me shop, sort items, pack the care bags, and even deliver them. Can’t wait to update all of you after the lunch. Remember God provides. What has God called you to?

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He loves to serve one another in love! Heart overflowing!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each of you who have prayed, encouraged us, gave your time, talents and money. We appreciate you more than words can describe.

When God Closes Doors

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I recently sent the message below to a young lady who is very special to me.

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Since the day I sent this message, God kept bringing this to my mind and showing me just how many doors He has opened and closed in my life. When I sent the text I was really thinking of one big example. As He brings more and more examples to my mind, I am filled with gratitude and am in aw of who God is and how He works in the life of His people. In several Bible studies and sermons I have listened to in the past couple of weeks Romans 8:28 keeps coming up.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

One of our pastors pointed out that it doesn’t say all good things. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all part of His purpose. Our times of suffering and heartache have a purpose as well. Closed doors are part of His plan. I don’t know about you, but that gives me HOPE. It encourages me to keep going even when the going gets tough. And especially when things don’t go my way. I’m a planner and a goal setter. You can imagine my disappointment, when I find a turn in my path I didn’t plan!  I’m also often reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts

We can’t see the future. We can’t see what God is doing right now. We must have faith. When I look back at many times God closed a door in my life, I can see Him opening another door. Now, sometimes it took longer before He opened that next door or before I followed in obedience and opened it. How boring would life be and how little would our faith grow if we stayed in one room, one chapter of life forever? Honestly, I need to read this statement to myself often. I’m currently dreading unwanted changes in life.

I strongly believe that God chooses to close some doors in our life because He has something better ahead. God has something we need, something that will bring Him glory, something that is part of His purpose for our life.

God closed the door on my career in 2013. When my daughter faced serious health problems in December of 2012 I wanted to resign immediately, but for many reasons it wasn’t the right time yet. I ended up returning to work at the end of March 2013 and finished out the school year. I really loved my job. I loved teaching, but loved my students even more. I knew God had called me into the career and gave me a mission field. I knew God had put me in the school I was in and with the students I had. (That’s another post in itself!) But, I knew I needed to take a break and stay home with my children. I felt God was telling me to take a leap of faith and do it. Because of my lack of faith and love for my students, I tried to find a way to do both. I asked my district if I could teach part-time. My request was denied. I’m not going to lie, I was angry, disappointed, and even bitter. I don’t really know why. I mean, I wanted and needed to take a break and stay home with my children. I think I took it as rejection. Anyway, that is not the focus of this post. God closed the door to my job because He knew it was best! And oh the joy the new door opened! The past year has been a tremendous blessing to me, my husband, and my kids. I have enjoyed each day with my kids and we have been able to make wonderful memories and have a lot of fun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all easy. We have rough days. I think I might actually work harder with my strong willed daughter than a class of teenagers! I thank God that I had a year at home with Jaden before he started kindergarten. I am also grateful that I am available to take Jacey to doctor’s appointments, therapy, and build important brain connections! I have been able to support my husband and focus on his career goals. God provided time for me to make new friendships and serve in ministries in my church. God knew I needed a new mission field, so He gave me the passion for ministering to families in the NICU at Children’s Medical Center. Which, would not have happened without us spending a month in the NICU! Jacey’s brain bleed, was part of God’s plan too.

The examples of closed doors could go on, relationships, jobs for my husband, moving, churches……These are times when I was worried about change, heart-broken, or discouraged. Through each situation, God taught me a lot and led me to a new door, a door I needed. Thank you God for closing and opening doors.

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Doing Deuteronomy 6:7- You shall teach them diligently to your children….

I recently had the privilege of participating in a great video Bible Study titled, It Starts at Home, by Matt Chandler.  A group of ladies in my Sunday school class are meeting monthly to watch via RightNow Media and discuss each of the six sessions. We found the first session, Faith: It Starts at Home, to be convicting, challenging, and inspiring. It really got us into some good discussion and sparked a lot of great ideas from our group. I thought I would share these great resources with you and highly recommend the study. The study made a valid point that no matter if you grew up in a Christian home or not, you can choose to pass on a legacy of faith to your family. Some may have had faith actively modeled for them, while others had the complete opposite, and everything in between. What we do today will affect future generations. How are we shaping them?

We focused on Deuteronomy 6:1-9. The two big things I took away from these scriptures and this study are the command of how we should love God and teach his commands to our children. If we love our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our might it WILL change our relationships. Which means it will have a positive effect on our children and really on everyone we meet. Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” I was definitely challenged here. How am I teaching my children God’s commands? Can I improve? YES!  Our group thought of several ways to do Deuteronomy 6:7. Most importantly, we need to read and memorize scripture. We read from a children’s Bible to our son each night. We recently finished the Jesus Storybook Bible, which I highly recommend. Each story points to Christ. Our children need to know we read God’s Word and are still learning as well. One mom asked, “How can your kids see you studying God’s word when you have to do it after they go to bed to even think straight?” We laughed and agreed that we all need to choose a time our kids cannot disturb us to read our Bible. We recommended letting your kids know that after you get them to bed or while they nap, etc., you read. You can even tell them something you learned. Make your faith part of daily conversations. I was specifically challenged to memorize scriptures as a family. I decided to start with Deuteronomy 6:5. I got a cute little chalkboard to display the weekly verse on for the family. My kids can’t read yet, but it sure helped me get it down quickly by placing the chalkboard in the window above my kitchen sink! I wonder why? My 5-year-old had it down by day 2 and wanted to know when I was going to write another verse. I have a super cute video of him saying the verse, but can’t get it to load yet. My daughter can only say a few words so she isn’t ready to memorize the verses yet, but I can still say it to her. I am working on some hand motions for her. A lady in our group shared that before the age of 2 her daughter memorized and recited several lengthy verses. So it’s never too early to start somewhere! But, I feel it’s not just about memorizing the verse. Talk about what it means, how to do it, and why. When implementing this new routine to my family I thought about why this was so important. Well first, God says to teach your children, but also how can we love and obey God if we don’t know what His word says. I also thought about many trails I have faced where God would call different scriptures to mind. We need a wealth of scriptures in our memory to pull out when we are tempted, scared, angry, lonely, broken…..

Week 1 Verse

Week 1 Verse

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Medical District Drive

lacey's phone 096

A well-traveled road. An emotional route. As we took exit 431 toward Children’s Medical Center yesterday for Jacey’s follow-up appointment I thought about all the emotions people had as they took this exit. Many, I assume, are heart-broken. Many are scared. Some are thankful. I have decided I love returning to the hospital because it’s a great reminder of God’s power, provision, and grace. You see our time spent on Medical District Drive was a significant mark on our spiritual timeline. Not just because we received a miracle, but because God used it to dramatically change our life and increase our faith. When you are faced with the thought of losing your child or your child receiving a life altering diagnosis you realize you are not in control. When a doctor tells you that they don’t know what they can do, you realize you can’t depend on doctors either. It makes you cling to your faith, to your heavenly father. He is the only one that brings peace in such a time. Day in and day out we would see answers to prayer. Our faith grew when early on we realized all the things He had done to prepare us for this event. There would be hard days, long days, scary days, and good days. Many days when I was so tired and fear would start to creep up, God would whisper “My mercies are new every morning”. And that is how I chose my new life verses. (Lamentations 3:21-24) We saw God work in big ways, that could only be explained by him. One being that the blood stayed in the ventricle and didn’t spill into the structural parts of the brain. We saw God work in little ways, that some might miss. Notes and gifts from friends and strangers, Christian nurses, pecan pie in the cafeteria, thousands of people praying, our family, and songs on the radio are some of the many things God used to meet our needs. I purposefully looked for God each day. I updated many of you through Facebook, where I would give a report, ask you to pray, and praise God for what He had done that day no matter how small or big. Medical District Drive taught me the importance of prayer and thanksgiving. No matter how difficult the situation is, God is there and there is something to be thankful for. Medical District Drive also opened up doors to a new ministry, a new way God chose for us to be His light. I have a new desire to share God’s love with the parents at the hospital. So back to our trip yesterday…… It was a follow-up with Jacey’s neurologist. As we sat in the waiting room, a doctor came out to get a patient who was scared. My eyes locked on him and my heart jumped. It was the doctor who was on call Christmas morning when we arrived at Children’s by ambulance. He is the doctor that showed us the scan that revealed all the blood. He is the doctor that told us we needed a Christmas miracle. He is the doctor that said she had significant brain damage. He is the doctor that told us two days later we received a miracle. We hadn’t seen him since that day. When we were called back for our appointment I asked the nurse about him and got his name. Thinking I might write him a letter. Seeing him brought back a flood of emotions,which explains this extremely long post! For those wondering about the actual appointment….They thought she looked good and were pleased that she wasn’t having any symptoms that she could be exhibiting since her right ventricle is still enlarged and bigger than the left. Praise God! Each visit back we hear more reasons to praise God. We are told more details that confirm we were blessed with a miracle. We do here possibilities of negative things that could occur in the future. Sometimes I find myself starting to worry or thinking what if. Last night I stayed up late reading about the brain on medical websites. Then God reminded me, it doesn’t matter! Whatever happens or doesn’t happen is God’s plan. No matter her physical or mental abilities, she can still accomplish God’s plan for her life, because He made her that way! Wow! Thank you God for all you did and continue to do through Medical District Drive.

Why Steadfast Love?

I decided to capture memories and encourage others by experimenting with a little blogging. Man, then you have to choose a title for your page! What a hard decision. My husband was no help. By the look on his face when I asked for his suggestion, I quickly said never mind because I could tell he was going with something comical. Well, something he thought was comical! After a few moments, I pulled up my life verses and chose to select a title from them. Lamentations 3:21-24….. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Now I can’t get into why these are my life verses without being up all night. I’m confident that will come in future posts. I’m sure my writing will mostly be about my faith and my family so I felt Steadfast Love was fitting. My love for my family is loyal and unwavering. However, it could never compare to the steadfast love of the Lord that is 100% unmovable and never-failing. My hope is to be more like Him each day. My prayer is that I would love Him in return with a steadfast love and that He would give me the ability to love others the same way. Steadfast is defined as fixed in direction, firm in purpose and faith, unwavering. Doesn’t that sound like an adjective we want to mark our life?