Friday, August 15, 2008

I just got word yesterday evening that my friend (I might've mentioned her earlier) is miscarrying a surprise & very wanted baby...My heart aches for her.

That, and reading Jodi's blog, brought this song to mind, and heart.

Like I commented on her blog, it's funny what God uses to touch, heal, speak, love, move us. When I first heard this song, I was at a pretty dark place after our 1st miscarriage...I was mad at God. He's bigger!! And, He's compassionate... He is just awesome...Anyways, I hope this song blesses you like it did me, and if you're not at that place to hear & let the message wash over you, that's okay, I'm not posting it to be "holier than thou" or insensitive to wherever you are...It was just laid on my heart to share...

When Steve & I started attending COTC (that's our church) we took a "Finding Your Spiritual Gifts" small group study...and I learned a lot!! Great study!! I'll have to find the "official" name of it to pass on to you all...ANYWAYS, through that study, I "found out" that one of my top 3 strongest gifts is faith...And I have to tell you, that's no lie!! Through everything I've experienced, the good, the bad & the ugly, I've never doubted that God is who He says He is, and that Jesus is always there for me, that He loves me... Not that I've always understood the depth of His love & grace (I don't think anyone can really comprehend that this side of heaven), but I've never doubted Him...

But sometimes knowing who God is, and that He is who He says He is can be confusing in the midst of heartache & despair...Because knowing He is and was and is to come, has the power of life everlasting, and knowing that He loves us so much, it just doesn't jive with the heartache & despair...I forget that He isn't heartache & despair, but the enemy is...Sometimes I mix up who to blame, who is really responsible for the heartache. I don't understand why God lets him, but I know heartache isn't of God...I know He grieves with us...He cries with us...He ministers to us any way He can (and that's a lot!! Thank you, Holy Spirit, for working through an animated movie about Joseph!!).

I've still got a TON to learn, a ton to work through here, and like my Dad says, the more I read the Bible, the more I realize I don't know diddley squat!! LOL :) But take this little grain of rice (actually smaller than that) that I do know, in the Spirit in which it was meant...Just to love ya, girlies!! :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Christmas in July, a funeral, Pennsylvania & REUNION/Vacation

That is what has been, and what is to come!! :) First of all, July was fun!! We actually "celebrate" Christmas in July, and this year Abbey invited her friends Mackenzie & Maguire, & her cousin Katie. Well, okay, so we Mommy's wanted to get together to "celebrate," too :) We had a GREAT time!! :) I pulled my little Christmas tree that I keep up all year round by my front door & put some ornaments that I bought last year for Abbey's room tree on it. I baked Christmas cookies (sugar cookie snowmen & hearts), made special sandwiches (YUMMO!! cream cheese, sliced strawberries, & strawberry preserves...DELISH!!) Anyways, I also made hotdogs in crescent rolls. We played Christmas music, had Christmas movies on for the kiddos, but they mostly played outside & in Abbey's room, and we Mommy's mostly talked about this & that...It was really nice!! :)

Then, the following Monday we had a family funeral. Maybe some of you locals have heard the 2 brothers shot in Trotwood... Those brothers are my, Jodi & Missy's cousins... I never really knew Jimmie (the one who was shot & died) that well, or at all, really, but Tommy (was wounded...shot in the chest & "just" nicked his lung...he's since been released & is healing). This whole situation is weird & I'm not even sure if I could repeat the story without confusing all the details...Anyways, VERY VERY sad...What struck me, though, while at the funeral was how many people don't know Jesus...The preacher did an excellent job, I thought. They also played the song, "Cry out to Jesus" by Third Day & I thought that was an awesome pick, whoever picked it...That's all the preaching some people hear, and to hear the truth in a loving, caring way was a breath of fresh air. Anyways, as I was standing there during the service I just prayed & prayed that hearts would be receptive to Jesus...I just felt this urgency to pray that, so I went with it...

After that, it was nice spending time with some of my family at Lone Star Steakhouse!! :) Jodi & Jimmie were having lunch on their way back to KY, so a few of us joined them...It was nice to be with everyone, since, like Jodi says, we don't really do that very much anymore, and I miss my family, sometimes...But, reunion's coming!!!!

Before Reunion, though, we're heading to PA. We thought Steve's parent's feelings might be hurt if we went on vacation (after Reunion we're going to the Smokies!! :)) before we brought Eli to their place, so the last weekend in August was the only weekend that worked...We're going up on Friday, back on Sunday... Then, I'll have a week to do our laundry, then re-pack everything, then some, and we're off to Somerset, KY on Saturday. We like to get there a little early on Saturday so Abbey can swim some before we head out to the shelter (where the pre-reunion is on Saturday nights before THE Reunion on Sunday). We were going to leave Sunday and head down to the Smokies, but the price of the room on Sunday night compared to the rest of the week was OUTRAGEOUS!! Sickeningly so, actually. So, we're going to stay the night in Somerset again on Sunday night, as usual, then leave for the Smokies early on Monday.

We're staying at the same condo place that we stayed last's SUPER nice...Steve's coming this year, too, but Matt's not...Matt's mom & dad aren't coming this year, either...WOOHOO!! Bless their hearts... It's just more stressful, more work, more awkward when they come...So, we're looking forward to vacation!! :)

Our VBS was last week...and I wasn't in charge!! I missed it a little bit, but it was nice to not have to answer any questions!! LOL :) Although, the first night, everybody came up to me like I was in charge & asking questions!! LOL I thought that was pretty funny...I kept saying, "I seriously don't know...All I'm doing this year is the painting!!" LOL Abbey loved it...They did Power Lab & it was very cute...

Anyways...that's it for me right now...Eli's crying...he's fighting sleep already...I hate when babies do that!! It's hard on their Mommy's!! :)

Love you all!! :)