Friday, December 16, 2011

Nikon Giveaway

I can't remember if I've shared that I'm a lover of Nikon cameras and photography. It must run in my genes, because my mom was a professional photo-girl for years. My sister, Colleen, ( is into it as well. I saw this on facebook and thought I would pass along the info for a chance to win a Nikon camera. There seems to be a bit of a rivalry between Canon peeps and Nikon peeps... but Nikon is for sure the best camera out there.. (sorry Canon peeps) :) So here's the link. Take a chance and enter.. you just never know!

Here are some of my favorite pics with my Nikon D5000

Happy Picture-Taking!!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well, life is pretty much summed up with one word... uncertainty.

Most of you know that I had a major health scare when I was hospitalized for pulmonary edema at the beginning of August. Most of the time, this condition is caused by congestive heart failure, which is exactly as it sounds. Blood isn't pumped effeciently from the lungs to the left atria and it backs up into the lungs, causing fluid to fill your lungs.

Lemme tell you... it ain't fun.

Generally the people who get congestive heart failure (CHF) are the elderly with weak heart muscles, chronic alcoholics, heavy smokers, narcotic overdosers, or people in severely high altitudes. I am none of these things, so it was a mystery as to why I would have all these symptoms. (shortness of breath, coughing, low pulse oxygen, low blood pressure, fluid in my lungs...)

I am exhibiting some of the same symptoms again, so today I am having an echocardiogram done... which is essentially an ultra sound of your heart.

I am uncertain of what the results will be. I am uncertain of how my life will play out if I do have CHF. I'm uncertain of how my life span may be altered if I do have it. I'm uncertain that if I don't have it, then what in the world is going on with me??

God never promises us certainty, save in this... He is good, He is faithful.... of that I AM certain!

I am no longer discouraged at all the crazy health problems I've had over the last 4 years. People live this way their entire lives, so I can to, if that's God's plan for me. I am joyful in the Lord. He sent these trials to me and will use them for my good and His glory. That brings me peace and anticipation of what miracles I may see because of my sufferings... not miracles in my own life, but in someone else's.
Friday, September 2, 2011


My quiet time today was amazing! Colleen has so many great books. It has encouraged me to start building my "faith" library. In reading an excerpt from Milton Vincent's book "A Gospel Primer", I came across this...

When my flesh yearns for some prohibited thing, I must die. When called to do something I don't want to do, I must die. When I wish to be selfish and serve no one, I must die. When wanting to cling to wrongs done against me, I must die. When enticed by allurements of the world, I must die. When wishing to keep besetting sins secret, I must die. When wants that are borderline needs are left unmet, I must die. When dreams that are good seem shoved aside, I must die.

Honestly, dying to myself is SO HARD!! I need to be reminded every day... sigh. But God calls us to renew our minds every day, so I guess he knows that we aren't very good at remembering stuff.

Here is a verse that really spoke to me today:
2 Chor 4:16-17
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

And now.. a sweet face to make you smile... it sure does that for me!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Not enough of us truly experience joy. Well, I did today. I got the privilege of babysitting my nephews for a couple of hours today. We had a blast! I have the music from the Disney movie, Rio, and lemme tell you... it's FUN music! So, we got to dancin, and Joseph was cracking me up!!

Oh,  the faces he makes!! Here's another....
Although he looks a bit frightened in this one, I assure you, this IS a dance move of his... hey man, dance is subjective.

Work it, work it... yeah! I tell you, I was laughing so hard watching him dance. I couldn't get any good ones of Matthew.. his eyes were always half-closed, or he wouldn't face the camera.. you know, kids' stuff.

I haven't laughed as hard as I did today in a LONG time!! It felt really good! I am so thankful for a God that gives us funny things in life to laugh at.... like the cutest brown boys in the world.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Happiness of Healing

Oh the sweet relief of accepting God's help! I read the book "Choosing to SEE" by Mary Beth Chapman. She struggled her whole life with depression. It was so insightful and familiar to read how she felt... I had felt some of the exact things. The HUGE difference was that she turned toward God, whereas I turned away. That was the biggest mistake of my life. I ran and became angry at the only One who had the power to help me. I allowed my earthly mind to dwell in dark places and self pity. Here is one of the quotes by Larry Crabb from the book. (I have no idea who Mr. Crabb is)

-Shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream. They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream.  -Larry Crabb

The Chapman family adopted 3 Chinese girls over the past 10 years. In 2008, their youngest, Maria, was hit and killed by a car... driven by her brother who adored her. The walk through the tragedy and their grief was heartbreaking and inspiring all together! They all turned toward the God of Life! They each went through every emotion I had ever felt, as well.... sorrow, anger, denial, guilt, anger, anger, anger. But with these emotions they would pray and ask for God's Hand to comfort them. They would study and REMEMBER the TRUTH. They did go through counseling and therapy, and some medications, but those are, in my opinion, healthy measures to take for those that need them.

A verse from the Bible that I read in this book really spoke to me and reminded me that SO many people have suffered on this earth.... even the apostle Paul. I must remember that I am never alone, and He is ALWAYS with me.

Psa;m 40: 1-3 I wait patiently for the Lord. He will turn to me and hear my cries. He will lift me up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire (past 4 years of sickness and family deterioration) He will set my feet on a rock and give me a firm place to stand. He will and is putting a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

The ultimate goal for me is that people hear my story and come to know and love Him. I trust Him to heal my family. I trust Him to glorify himself with my suffering.

May this be your experience' may you feel that the Hand which inflicts the wound supplies the balm, and that He who has emptied your heart has filled the void with Himself. -James Hudson Taylor 

Just for fun, here's an example of my "angry" face that I've worn for quite a while...

And here's the face I've been wearing the past several days... It feels wonderful, and permanent!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Self Revival

This trip is all about self revival. Not just getting a great massage and a manicure and some "quiet time". It's about my relationship with God and reviving it.... remembering in whom I should be trusting and depending. I attended church with Colleen and Lucas today, and in Sunday school the message was Self Revival. I felt like he was speaking directly to me!

He led us through verses in Hosea, and Revelation where God spoke of his love for Israel, but how they were "turning from their first love" (God). Then there were lists upon lists of the things that happen over time when God is not your focus. I know that for me, hitting rock bottom, and wounding the man I love most in this entire world, (Joel) that it was my time for change... self revival.

Several questions were asked of us.
1. Was there a time in my life when I genuinely repented of my sin?
2. Was there a time in my life when I placed all my trust in Jesus Christ alone to save me?
3. Was there ever  time in my life when I completely surrendered to Jesus Christ as the Master and Lord of my life?

Thankfully, I can say yes to all three. I can also say that I was the happiest I had ever been when Jesus was in control of my life... I do an extremely poor job of running it myself.

Now on to the harder questions....

1. Do I love to read and meditate on the Word of God?
2. Are my personal devotions consistent and meaningful?
3. Do I apply God's Word to my everyday life?

Sadly, I can say yes to only one at the time. Revival and deep trust in the Lord doesn't just "happen" apparently. It is something we have to actively pursue. It is something I had turned away from for several years. Praise God that He's reviving me once again!!

I encourage you to ask yourself these questions. I see that I still have LOTS of work to do! Thank my Holy Father, that He is on my side and wants to help me. For without him, I can do nothing.

Funny example, yesterday, Matthew wanted to take his shirt off. He got permission, then proceeded with a several minute long battle with wriggling out of it. I offered to help him, and he said "No! I do it!". After watching a few more minutes of the struggle, I attempted just to grab and pull, to get it over-with. He resisted me yelling "No! No help me!". So, I gave up, and watched him struggle in vain to get this silly shirt off. He eventually gave up. He just couldn't do it without help.... he reminded me so much of myself. Why do I resist the Father's help? He is only trying to love and teach me! I'm still a child in need of SO much parenting from the Lord. I love learning through these boys.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Letting Go

No, I don't mean letting go of my husband and children, so don't panic. I am finally letting go of so much pain I have held on to for years. I am asking forgiveness from my husband, whom I love more than I can say. I am asking forgiveness from God.... for SO many things! I'm learning, and succeeding, at not allowing my emotions to control my life. It sounds so easy, but let me say, folks, it is NOT easy for me! After years of bad emotional habits and a truck load of selfishness, this training is going to be long and difficult.

Disobedience is actually very painful. I have been angry with God and therefore, very disobedient to Him. I have suffered greatly and brought huge amounts of pain to my family. Confession and humbling yourself before the Lord is hard for me, but once done, peace and joy flow from my body. I've watched this occur with my nephews these past few days. They know the rules, and yet, when no one is watching, they choose to serve themselves and disobey. Eventually they are discovered, and the punishment follows..... every time.... no slide-by's.... no sweet-talking their way out of it. Disobedience brings sadness and pain...

Whether it's getting muddy from playing in a forbidden mud hole and being hosed off with freezing cold water...
or playing in a muddy water hole, getting a shower, and being sent straight to bed... (apparently water and mud are the great temptations here)
We all have our great temptations... money, selfishness, idolatry, turning to people before turning to God...

Disobedience HURTS!!!! I am striving to be the Molly God has designed me to be. I am striving to obey.

The verses that helped me today:

Romans 8:12 So then, bretheren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

Learn from my mistakes... and from two little boys who love mud.


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