Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring Joy

Spring is my favorite...just in case you didn't know.  I love the colors and freshness all around.  Its such a great reminder of renewal and how God renews and redeems.  In the winter it seemed like sunshine, leaves and flowers would never return, but as always in Gods timing it does.  Its like a nice warm cup a coffee that that gets you going! Spring is just what we needed around here!!!

Time to play and laugh and rollerblade down hills!!!! 
(Which just about makes my heart stop every time they do it!!)

Time to celebrate our risen Savior and what He purchased for us on the cross...NEW life!!

We were blessed with a  whole week of Mimi being with us! 

Spring brings beautiful flowers that we all love!!!

The hope of change and new life...of growth and beauty!

The joys of the simple.

The celebration of life! Happy 6th Birthday Caroline!!

The joy of good news and good scans....major part of our world these days!

Sharing birthday celebrations!!

The grace of a pretty day!!

The joy of family time!

A spring picture collage by Molly Cate!
Joy in the season!
Joy in renewal!
Joy in new mercies everyday!
"The Steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Filling in the Blanks

Since my last post there is MUCH to fill in and write about, I guess that is why I haven't blogged much.  This may be a quick and simple post, but Ive had a few people (maybe the only "few") who read my blog ask whats been going on so I want to do a quickie update:

We have had some more heartbreak, but still I continue to find JOY in each and everyday! Even the super hard ones.

* Ken's moms surgery was unsuccessful.  Her cancer had spread to her liver.  BUT God is good Since surgery day she has been doing amazingly well, she is taking a mild chemo and tolerating it well! I know it is by the sweet grace and love of God that He IS strengthening her and caring her through! We have had some super fun times including a recent trip to Pickwick lake with our family, and a 5K run to cure pancreatic cancer.  TODAY is another scan day....probably the hardest days ever if you are a cancer patient. PLEASE PRAY!! We are praying in Faith that God will take this completely out of her body!!

*We were suppose to make a return trip to Haiti as leaders with our church youth group in March, in January we decided that it was probably not a good idea to travel out of the country right now.  Honestly we were heartbroken, but we knew it was not the right time.  I struggled greatly with not going, but Ken and I felt confident that we did not need to go.  Oh how our thoughts are not God's thoughts...keep reading....

*Since we were no longer going out of the country during Spring break we did make a last minute (3 weeks out) decision to take a family trip to Disney.  This was crazy fast, but we had a free food coupon.  We went back and forth on if we should go or not, but again the timing of this trip was probably the best. This was such a sweet time for our little family of five and lots of fun for the kids...and us!!!

*The day we left for Disney my mom had a scan to check her cancer.  The day we returned we found out it had also spread to her liver!!!  Words can not even describe my feelings at this point.  I remember crying my eyes out in the Orlando airport bathroom. How could this be happening??? How were we going to face all this sickness with our moms at the same time??? It was a very long flight home!! (The news of this came a few days before we would have been leaving for Haiti)

*I unpacked and repacked our bags for Hattiesburg, so that we could spend some time with my mom. We left on a Saturday and returned on Wednesday. 

*Early on Saturday morning we got a call that my Nana, my moms mom had passed away.  We were surprised and so sad by this news.  The timing again seemed so crazy. On Tuesday we packed the car for a quick road trip to North Carolina for the funeral. 

*Since then my mom has started a natural healing journey seeing a doctor here in Memphis.  She has stopped working so that she can stay home and take care of herself.  It has been a hard journey so far, but she is just about the strongest person I know.  Im amazed at how she has handled this all with such grace. I know that God will also heal her body and take this cancer far, far away!!!! 

Now, some of you may say WHOA!!!! This is AWEFUL!!!........YES!!! IT IS!!!!

But Let me just tell you!! WE SERVE A VERY GOOD GOD!!!! The Lord has sustained us through every terrible moment, and has TRULY given us something to smile about EVERY day!!!!

God is teaching me SO MUCH as we walk through this valley.  #1...this is NOT our home, we are only passing through this life.  Time is short. We must enjoy what God has given us here, tell people about Him, and let God use us and our struggles and circumstances of life to reach His people. 

#2.....I tell people everyday, it is ONLY through the Love and Peace of God that we have conquered through these difficult days! We have VERY sweet friends, family, teachers and neighbors who I know are praying for us!!!  The people the Lord has placed in our lives are very important to us and we are so thankful for the love and support of all these people during this time.

The Matt Redman song, "Never Once" has really been speaking to me every time I hear it....especially this verse...

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

We have NEVER walked alone during this time!! God is Faithful!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Surgery Day

Today is a day that we have been hoping would come, with a little nervousness and uncertainty.  But the Lord hears our prayers.  When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October, surgery was not possible until the tumor shrunk.  My mother in law endured four hard rounds of chemo and after having a scan in December it revealed that the tumor had shrunk significantly.  So here we are today.  Is is surgery day.  Time passes quickly when you are watching from the sidelines.  I know for her this has been a long, hard road.  For my father-in-law, my sister-in-law and my husband too.

We give praise to God that we are finally at this point, a point to have the tumor removed, and prayerfully move forward.  I ask that you continue to pray for my sweet mother in law, Suzanne.  She will be staying in the hospital for up to 14 days and then have a 4 month recovery.  Again, another long, hard road.

I have seen such strength in my mother in law.  When the kids see her and she smiles, I know she is not feeling well, but her smile shines through.  Its relief and comfort for us, and I hope good medicine for her. We love you Gran! We are praying you through this every step of the way!! Today we find JOY in the fact that we can come to our Heavenly Father in prayer for this situation!

"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 3:20-21

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14

Thursday, January 2, 2014

JOY in 2014

Every year since 2010 we have chosen a word instead of a long list of resolutions…this year the word is 
In 2014 we are perusing JOY.  Its easy to get distracted by the everyday mundane things.  If you look deeper though, into the things God has blessed us with we can totally be overflowing with JOY! 

I'll be honest…as I type this I want to sit here alone and type in peace and quiet, but my background noise is squealing, and loudness.  I can choose to get frustrated with the noise or I can choose JOY because God has given me two squealing loud girls who are having the time of their life right now pretending they are on a campout in the middle of our living room. I choose JOY. 

Ann Voscamp has talked about her JOY dare for sometime now, I have never officially done it, but when I saw these gratitude journals I knew that it would be a perfect place for me to keep my eyes and heart on choosing JOY this year!! Monika from I Love it all helped me personalize this journal.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

I pray all of our days in 2014 be filled with JOY.  I know we will have trials, bad days, sad days, frustrating days…but I only want GOD to get the glory of our days.  When our focus is on the negative and the ugly….satan wins, but we can easily defeat him with our JOY that we find ONLY in JESUS!!! 

May your new year be filled with lots of JOY!!!
Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

'Tis The Season….

For not a blog post in December!
But here are some pictures to document the season!!

Jesse Tree was sometimes WILD!

We celebrated with Molly Cate at her 1st Piano recital!!

We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas concert at Molly Cate's school….

Caroline did an amazing job singing at her school with friends!

We partied with Molly Cate!

We got to visit Alpine Village for the first time!

We are also thankful for Journey to Bethlehem that our church did for kids!!

We also enjoyed The Singing Christmas Tree…What a treat!!

Of course there was lots of Christmas Eve and Christmas day excitement!!!

Hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas as well!!!!