Friday, September 12, 2008

Out Loud!!!

I was kind of having a serious lack of confidence moment yesterday. It was Alonzo's and my date night so we went to a restaurant and walked around the mall. A few of Alaiyah's close friends that she's grown up with started school this year as she would have if we weren't homeschooling. I've been having some issues with that. I struggle with feeling like Alaiyah is missing out. She loved school when she was in pre-school and she loves people, so I know she would have a great time. I struggle with feeling like she's bored here playing with her little brother most days.

I really needed to here the truth!! My husband rose to the challenge. This is what God has called our family to. Our children have plenty of great interaction with lots of great people and contrary to the lies in my head she is not here playing with her brother all day every day. We get out plenty!!! Even if we didn't, it is always better to be in the will..of..God. Alaiyah will always do better if I follow the leading of the Spirit than she would if I follow what I think will be better for her. Plus she loves it! I'm not sure why, but she tells everyone who asks that she's homeschooled! We've never had a real conversation with her about it. Anyhoo my point is, I knew this truth but I needed to hear it...out loud.

This week one of my friends from Tuskegee came over to hang out and we talked about the consistent struggle with thoughts. We talked about the importance of taking every thought captive and how to practically do this. We talked about the importance of being very intentional about replacing those thoughts with the truth. We talked of the practical application of speaking the truth not just in your head but out loud so that you can hear the truth that you know!!

Both of these situations make me think about the importance of hearing the truth! Most of us who have been Christians for awhile know all of the right answers and yet we struggle to apply those truths when put through the fire. Why is that? Of course I don't know!! LOL. But I believe that part of that is that we don't ruthlessly replace the lies that dominate our minds with the truth that we know that we know!!

Romans 10:17 Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ

Let's speak the truth in our struggles...Out Loud!!!

Other verses that deal with speaking the truth:

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteiousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Why is speaking the truth so powerful?


Praise the Lord!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Budget Watcher in the Making

Alaiyah and I were in the car today going to pick up Amorri and she said,

"Momma they have burritoes for free."

I said "really?"

she said, "Yeah and the graham crackers are free too...and their from PUBLIX!!!"

Then she moved on to the car magazine.


It looks like I'll soon have my very own personal coupon searcher outer/clipper!! Praise the Lord!! I know that she noticed those because she hears me telling Alonzo about all of the great deals at Publix...and because she's such a great reader!!!!!


We had our first family day trip to the YMCA today and it was wonderful. I always love it when Alonzo and I are able to go together. We don't generally workout together (he plays basketball and I get on my beloved Elliptical w/ my Ipod...Ahhh! such a wonderful time), but just knowing that my whole family is there makes it so much more fun for everyone! Here's to many more family Y trips!!!!

Ok since clearly this is a very random post, I thought I'd include some random pics :) Ayden loves her big brother and wants to be just like her big sister. Alaiyah was painting her fingernails and Ayden climbed her little self in the chair and propped her foot on the table. Enough said!!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Love Blogs!!

I was reading a friends blog about her time with her little boy. I was struck with and encouraged by how she really enjoys her kids. She talked of spending time talking with her son taking pictures with him and drawing with him while her youngest slept. What in the world? Nap time is equivalent to MY TIME!!! I don't want to here from any children for atleast an hour.

I want to enjoy and have fun just being with my kids. I prayed that the Lord would show me how and just like my lesson on loving people he reminded me that it was a choice. Instead of focusing on what I want to be doing right now or what I really should get done, I can choose to focus on this moment right now with this person and in this case my children.

So, not 10 seconds later when Zo whined that his head hurt, instead of sending him off and telling him it would be ok. I picked him up and hugged him and just cuddled with him for awhile. That somehow (I guess in answer to my How? to the Lord) turned into a game of run from the dangerous bees that we even got daddy involved in.

He's such a good Daddy. He had no clue what was going on as the kids and I huddled on the couch being very careful not to touch the carpet where the bees were. Alonzo walked in the room and I said, "Daddy hurry you have to jump on the couch so the bees won't get you." He didn't miss a beat. He ran and jumped his grown tail on the couch as if he'd been a part of the game all along. (thanks Honey!)

It was such fun and I could tell they were really loving it. Then we made lunch “together”. Another of those things I just don’t do because it’s so stressful and frustrating. I think it’s a matter of perspective. They had a great time and Alonzo and I actually had a great conversation while they were having fun fixing lunch. Both things I would never normally do.

Thank the Lord for blogs. I am so encouraged by them.

Thank you Lord for yesterday!!! Help me to keep the perspective of enjoying my children and making that a priority.

I talked with my friend Kim the other day and my huge take aways were huge in helping to change my perspective on life and children:

~~~One of the things that was huge from our conversation was having the perspective that everything is appointed by the Lord. All of my children's little arguments, the fact that I’m in Tuskegee, AL after the Wal-Mart has gone because people were stealing all of the merchandise, all of the students that were in my home last night and who felt welcome here, Ericka calling (or facebooking) to see if she could come and spend the weekend. All of these and all others are appointed by the Lord. This is what He has given me to glorify Him. Though it’s hard work and I often shy away from hard work (or RUN away to be more exact) this is really what I want to be doing. I do want to be here raising my children, homeschooling, and sharing my life with college students. It sounds good in theory. The reality is often much more difficult. I realize that now and I embrace it, with the Lord’s divine and limitless help. I will make a choice to enjoy!! In the face of the difficult and maybe one day because of it, because I know that God is using these times to make me stronger and better able to serve and love Him and those He brings around.

~~~Another of my take aways is that I must continually speak truth to myself. By continually I mean continually. The lips of my mind should always be moving the truth into my heart. There is no other way to serve the Lord. The world, my flesh, satan are fighting constantly to pull me in another direction. How can I survive if I don’t continually pull myself back with the truth. Taking “every” thought captive has taken on a whole new meaning. Every single thought!!!!

~~~Yet another take away was that I need to die to my expectations of what my children should be doing. “I have told you this a million times you should get it by now” DIE DIE DIE!!! To my expectation! That doesn’t mean that I don’t train or that I don’t discipline, but what it does mean is that I do it with an entirely different heart. I should not become as irritated and frustrated as I have been. This is what the Lord has given me to glorify Him. It is appointed by Him. All I am to do is ask Him what I must do with it in order to show my children Jesus, who I so long for them to see and know!!

Praise God for His commitment to finish the work that He began. He is so faithful and loving to show us our sin and give us grace and power to turn away from it.

Well, I must go now. According to Zo the bees are back!!!!

These are just a few pics from the fellowship we had at our house with our Tuskegee freinds last night! It was a packed house and a really great time! I praise the Lord for putting us in a position to be a part of their lives. If only I can keep speaking the truth to myself, I might continually thank Him for this blessing!

When the students come over it's always like a party for my kids! They absolutely love it!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barak Obama

I have been watching the Democratic National Convetion this week (trying to be an informed voter and all :). Last night as Obama made his first appearance I was struck by the work of the Lord in our country. Less than 50 years ago there were some places in this very country where Barak Obama (though his mother and grandmother are white) could not vote!! and today...he has been elected to run for president of the United States of America. I looked at the television screen and saw a black man...a real black man.

I was listening to faith radio today and they pointed out that this is the exact day that Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech 45 years ago. There are no coincidences!!! Only the Lord could transform the evils of slavery, segregation, and racism into the opportunity that we will witness tonight! A black man giving his acceptance speech to run for President of the United States. I'm not saying that all is well in America and that the issues of racism and injustice no longer exist. What I am saying is don't miss the Lord in this. He has done great things in America! Let's celebrate that tonight!!

Regardless of your or my political views. Let's not let that get in the way of us seeing the Lord and what He has done. Again, I'm not saying we have to vote for Obama because the Lord is in this (I'm trying not to loose anyone here...I know this political thing can be real touchy :) I am only saying even if you totally disagree with Obama agree that he's making history that's good for America and Praise the Lord!!

My husband and I have made a date (forgoing our real date night) with our children to watch this historic event and talk about the goodness of the Lord. Why don't you join us?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Thing Is Needful! luke10:42

This blog from I Take Joy! encouraged me so much that I had to post it here. I am very easily overwhelmed and confused by all of the voices that cry out with all of the differing "right" answers to every conceivable situation! Just yesterday I wrote a journal entry about this very thing including the verse from Psalm 131 that she includes here. Isn't the Lord wonderful!! I just want to rest with Him and fight to live in the peace that He came to give His chldren. Not always looking for the "right" way to do it, but looking for Jesus and the way that honors Him and draws me closer to Him. The "right" ways may be and are very different for each of us. That's that's great!!! God works in sooo many different ways and we celebrate the vastness of who He is when we can look at someone who does things differently than we do and see how they honor the Lord in what they do!! Praise the Lord that we can live before Him...our audience of one...and seek the glory that comes from the one and only God (John 5:44)!

Too many choices--replaced by love
Last night, around 7:30, I was sitting in a chair by my window up in my second story bedroom. Our home sits up on a hill that is about 7500 feet high, and we look out over tall Colorado pines with the mountains not too far in the distance. As I sat amidst the peace of my darkening room, I looked out on the horizon and across the sky, once again, the Lord had painted the most vibrant sky--luminous, "screaming pink"--(the color of shirts my mother used to love to buy for me!)--seemed to be dancing across the
sky for those who would see it! Then fading into hews of orange and finally darkness. I was reminded again how present God is in all of our moments yet wondering how many people in my little town took the time to notice Him and His art.

I was pondering some of the dilemmas of modern, Christian life---way too many choices. Choices scream at us and block out the simplicity of Christ and His love and His voice. We live in a time of so many voices that represent so many choices--republican, democrat, independent; theologies--charismatic, reformed, catholic, baptist, emergent church, Bible church; public, private and homeschool; whole book, curriculum, or classical; pro-Shack people (referring to the book)--anti-shack people; is it acceptable to watch the dark knight or it is sinful --good imagery or poor imagery--dating or not-dating; what movies are acceptable; universalism or limited atonement; whole foods or MacDonalds, soccer or piano lessons; t.v. or no media at all; infiltrate culture or draw back and seclude, spanking or grace-based parenting; and on and on and on. And then there is the busy-ness associated with getting it all right and reading all the blogs and books and reviews and making all the choices--frenetic that we might make the wrong choice--yet confused in the midst. There is such a pressure to be involved in all that is relevant and the pressures of our modern Christian culture cultivates insecurity and fear and isolation. Lots of head focus, not so much heart.

So much wrangling over words and so much judgment and pride and finger pointing--what is the right way to believe? So many who are involved in these issues have a heart that desires to find what is best and to do what is right. Who is the right authority? Such choice overload obscures the simplicity and presence of God.Satan can use the frantic searching and frenzy to obscure what is essential--loving God and knowing Him. So many I talk to long to be close to Him, but find Him illusive. No wonder there exists so much shallowness in our culture--we are seeking so hard after the answers and He wants us to seek Him.

Now don't get me wrong, I am orthodox in my beliefs and trust in Jesus for my salvation and am so very grateful for this. I have a strong foundation of ideals for my home and children. But the older I get and the more countries I have seen and the more people I have worked with, the more I see that it is the heart--where love and faith and beauty and humility exist where the life of Christ flourishes. It is in Him and His presence that I find peace that transcends "getting it all right." I have learned that God is much bigger than I originally thought and that He understands and has compassion for many outside the comfort zone of my own ideals and beliefs and values and that I would be wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak and even slower to judge. His purposes and ways transcend time, history and cultures and I would be wise to focus on Him above all else.

I find rest when I ponder the One who took small children into His arms to bless them; who gently and lovingly washed the disciple's feet, who threw the vibrant colors into the sky for me to enjoy last night. Jesus, came in simplicity--not a man of titles or authority--but the authority that comes from within.

I ponder His messages--admonishing us to give cups of cold water; taking care of our enemies as did the good Samaritan; parenting in such a way as to have the heart of the father looking every day for his prodigal son to return; encouraging us to be like the gentle, humble Mary who chose the "good part"--to sit at his feet and rest in his love and be filled with the life of His words--not being like Martha who was "worried about so many things."

It seems His priorities were for us to be anchored in character and deeds of goodness and kindness--the simplicity of being a good neighbor, giving grace and forgiving as we have been forgiven--making bridges of peace--not walls of separation.

Often, with the media and so many "experts"--(everyone is an expert if given the opportunity to blog!)--I see people laden down with the voices that seek attention in their heads--seems that with all the conflicting messages and so much media in our face, pleasing and finding God can be complicated, confusing and overwhelming and impersonal--more about knowledge than personal in an intimate relationship. Wouldn't Satan just love for us to confused and insecure--since God so clearly wants us to be secure and stable in the knowledge of His love, His calling and His grace.

Jesus had great scorn and condemnation for the Pharisees who "tie up heavy loads and lay them on men's shoulders," --those who were so dedicated to defining every jot and tittle of the law. Just this morning, I was reading in Matthew 23:23 where Jesus says to them, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel."

Then I read in John 14 and 15, some of the last chapters recorded of Jesus's personal messages to his disciples. His desire and heart to comfort and encourage his precious disciples is so evident throughout these chapters. "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled or let it be fearful."

He comes not to give as the world gives to us--but peace--restful, filling, assuring peace--that keeps us from being troubled or fearful.

There is so much more. But, the God who told us the most important commandments were to love Him and love others, is the gentle shepherd who will not judge us today if we get all the answers and choices right, but if we abide in Him, love Him, rest in Him and walk in the abundance and security of His love for us and His redeeming love for those needy in our lives who need not just answers and words, but love, forgiveness, healing and peace.

Lord, let me today and every day, abide in you, see you, rest against you--"not being concerned with things too difficult for me, but composed, like a weaned child rests against his mother, so will my soul be within
me." (Psalm 131)

Monday, August 4, 2008

O Happy Day!!!

The Lord is amazing and He is intimately involved and concerned about the details of our lives. He wants good for us. He really does but that good doesn't always come in the way we want or the timing we want!! I know we know that, but last night it hit me smack in the face.

Alonzo and I cancelled our YMCA membership when we moved to Tuskegee. I have regretted it ever since. We know how life in Tuskegee has been a struggle for me and I really felt like having the option of going to the Y a couple of times a week would really help. Alonzo was not so sure. We've had tons and I mean tons of conversations about this over the last 6 MONTHS!!! We never could come to a conclusion. I must confess that I didn't at all times handle it well. I had to repent and ask for forgiveness at least once if not more times. I really should have left it alone along time ago and just waited on the Lord to work it out. There were different times when I felt that way,but something would happen that would be the "perfect opportunity" to bring it up, so I couldn't resist.

Yesterday was one of those times. We had a very normal and I think helpful conversation about life in Tuskegee and ways to make it work for our family. As the day was ending and we were coming home from my parents house. I thought, "what if the Lord really doesn't want me to have a Y membership and it really wouldn't be the best thing for my family?" I said to myself, "ok Lord I'm going to leave it alone and just trust you...for real this time" :)

Alonzo asked me something and I told him that I was going to leave the whole Y situation alone. I was not going to bring it up again. I was going to step back and let him lead and trust the Lord. I had never told him before that I wasn't going to bring it up and believe me telling him would give me some serious accountability! He said "ok" and I thought that was that!

I started thanking the Lord for the ways that I could exercise and trying to come up with a plan. I prayed that the Lord would open up a gym in Tuskegee (you know praying for the prosperity of the city where I'm in exile :)) I was really trying to put feet to my faith.

About five minutes later Alonzo said almost to himself "we're going to have to adjust our budget if we were going to do the Y"

I thought that was a little strange. He hadn't said anything even hinting in the direction of rejoining the Y in 6 MONTHS!!!! But I was trusting the Lord so I didn't say anything at all!

We came home and I was thanking the Lord for my home and my children. You know continuing to put feet to my faith...trusting in the Lord. We laid the children down and I started unloading and loading the dish washer. Alonzo came and sat in the kitchen just chit chatting. All of a sudden he said, "I don't think joining the YMCA would be a problem" You don't understand! I literally almost hit the floor. I had been waiting to hear those words for 6 MONTHS with NO!! response.

I knew immediately it was the Lord! I started thinking oK so what was my lesson, because clearly this was a setup and for a purpose. As soon as I truly surrender it to the Lord He gives what I've been asking for for (let's all say it together) 6 MONTHS . I was almost too overwhelmed at the Lord to realize I could finally rejoin the Y. I ran over and hugged and kissed Alonzo!

I then started asking the Lord what my lesson was. I love the Old Testament! To see the Lord full of wrath but also with overwhelming compassion. He warns and warns and warns the Israelites of the consequences of turning away from Him, but in the same breath He often tells them how He will bless them if they turn from their sin and back to Him. He is good and wants to do good to His people!! I felt like that was the case last night. The Lord really used this to teach me to trust Him. I really struggled to do that the whole time. When I'd had enough of that lesson (from His perspective) and moved forward in that area, He blessed me. Immediately!!!

I know that it won't always be that way. That's ok! I'm very grateful for this time, but I'm equally as grateful that the Lord loves me so much! Enough to order the small details of my life to teach me to come to Him. Thank you Lord!!

So if there is something you're waiting for. Know that whether that something is coming or not the Lord is using that wait to draw you to Him! John 17:3 says, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." God is concerned that we know Him and He's willing to take us through things that we might know Him and come out on the other side with a deeper more intimate walk with Him. In that I can rejoice!!!

Look What I did!!

I braided Zo's hair all by myself!!! I think I did I really good job for my first try. I did it on Saturday and it's Monday and it's still there! Yes me!!!

My sister Traci's children are here for the week. My Daddy is keeping them!!!! You have no idea what an astounding statement that is. He's doing a good job and the kids are having a great time. Here are some pics of them and Amorri:

Brianna is 6, DJ is 3, CK is 2

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alaiyah Says...

Ok so we were watching blues clues and it was going off. They were singing the usual Blues Clues song "we can do anything that we wanna do." Here's what follows:

Is there no God on this show?


Is there no God on this show? They said they can do anything they wannna do. Is there no God on the show?

I am rolling!!!!!!!!! Then (because she's starring at me waiting for an answer) I realize she's serious.

I try to gather myself and answer her deep theological question. I was not that successful.

Uh,I guess they really can't do anything they want to do.

As she turns back to the T.V. she casually says,

Whose gonna to tell them?

I loose it again. Two seconds later she says with a look of confusion on her face,

Why don't they ever go to the bathroom?


Bring the Rain

Bring me joy

Bring me peace

Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings you glory

And I know there'll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that's what it takes to praise You

Jesus, bring the rain

(Mercy Me)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Alaiyah Says...

Looking back over my pictures I see that I have a lot to post about, but I only have a few minutes and I really want to share this it was sooo cute.

Alaiyah was in her roomtime and I went back there because she was making too much noise. This is of course very typical for her. I spend half of the time that she's in there in terror that she will wake up Zo or Ayden.

I walk in the room and she had books spread in all directions all over my bed. Obviously she noticed the look of confusion on my face because she opened her hands and looked at me as if to say duh!!

She said, "This is the library! There are books all over the place in the library, you know?!" She was so serious and it was hilarious!

When we were in Florida (pics soon) my friend Andrea and I were talking about parenting and she said it often helps to think of speaking to your children as if they were someone else's children.

I don't know about you but I'm usually nicer to other's children.

After I got home the Lord pointed out that these were someone else's children. They weren't just mine...they were His and He'd entrusted them to me for a time. He's reall used that to begin teaching me to learn to be the nice momma instead of the fussy irritated momma I can more often be!! It's not easy BUT the Lord is so kind to reward my efforts immediately and obviously. Alaiyah responds totally different when I'm being kind to her. She is very sweet and very eager to please!

Now I"m saying DUH!! I should be quicker to catch on!!

okay so 30 min. later I call her to come out of the room and she runs in as if the MOST EXCITING THING IN THE WORLD has just happened.

She says, "Come here, you HAVE TO see this."

Ok so the nice mommy (that would be me...just in case you missed it) jumped up and ran to see what was so EXCITING!!

She had made my bed and she was as excited about it as she could be!

"Mommy I did that because I wanted you to be SOOO proud of me!"

"Alaiyah that is so wonderful! I love you soo much! Thanks for making my bed!"

We hug and she says, "That's why I love you too Mommy!"

Ok I could't have created a better moment and it couldn't have happened on a day when I needed it more!

Thank you Lord for loving me through Alaiyah!!!

(p.s. excuse my bedroom I've been emotionally unstable lately which for me translates as absolutely unproductive)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Lord's Wonderful Miracles!!

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, "therfore I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lam. 3:22-25

The Lord is so very faithful to meet us in our struggle! He is our help! He runs to the aide of those who seek Him!! He is our very good God! Let us put our trust in Him! Even in those struggles that seem to never never go away! It is a small thing in the eyes of the Lord to deliver you (2 Kings 3:18)! Trust Him to do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)! He is able and He is faithful!

I praise the Lord with you my sweet friend in your victory over the evil one! I rejoice in Him who was able to accomplish it and Him who is able to keep you! Amen Sister!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

The day started off pretty bad as you know, but after reading blogs for awhile I was really very encouraged. I'm so glad that most people are better at writing in their blogs than I am :)

My neice's mother Timika invited us to her house for bbQ and water fun for the kids. It was great and something to look forward to in Tuskegee.

The food was good. The hang time was good. The kids played on the water slide and ran screaming in terror from the was a good time.

As we were getting ready to leave, Timika mentioned a fireworks show at the lake starting around 8:30p.m. She said it was just a little something for the kids. I didn't think much about it and of course I didn't expect much...(this is Tuskegee after all).

8:30 rolled around and I thought the kids would just like to get out of the house if nothing else so we jumped in the car to go to the lake.

Well this is what we found!! Okay this is not a pic of Tuskegee, but the traffic is really the point. There were cars and people everywhere!!! I kept whispering to Alonzo "where did all of these people come from"

I obviously had reached my limit of repeating that phrase because Alaiyah started saying (with a voice a lot louder than a whisper), "Why do you keep saying that?"

So, we finally found somewhere to park. (I'm serious yall the people were really out for this) We stood around and saw some backyard fireworks and I thought "Timika was right this is really just a little something for the kids"

Then all of a sudden

I could hardly believe my eyes. I'm talking REAL fireworks! This show was as good as the one in Winn Lakes (Montgomery's 90210 neighborhood). I just could not stop smiling! It was very impressive. I almost forgot where I was!!

When it was over, as we were walking to the car, I could not help but think that the Lord had done that for me. Timika mentioning the fireworks show was purely an after thought as we were walking out the door! Had she not said anything we would have missed a great fireworks show here in Tuskegee Alabama.

I felt as if the Lord wanted me to know that He could do BIG things in Tuskegee too!!

Thank you Lord for my fireworks and my time out with my family in our new hometown!

By the end of the night, my sweet husband was a bit tired of my low blows at Tuskegee. He said that it only encouraged me to be discontent. I actually thought it made me feel better. He's probably right so I'll do better in the future. And besides Tuskegee has shown me that they CAN do something worth writing about.

I intended that to be a compliment. I'm not sure it came out that way. Old habits are hard to break. :)

Honest Blogging?

i got a link in my e-mail about a mom/tooth fairy forgetting to leave money under her child's pillow (thanks Tay). It was hilarious and I've done it before to the tears of my little one. I hadn't read a blog in a long time so I read more of her blogs and I just loved it. (if someone would show me how to put a link to her blog I'd be able to send you there) She is so honest and real about her struggles and I had a revelation!! (stop laughing Nicole!)

I was really excited about blogging when I started the blog. That was before we moved to Tuskegee and when I had many pleasant things to blog about. Life has not been easy since we moved to Tuskegee so I didn't exactly want to post all of my struggles. That's why I created a private blog!!

The toothfairies blog really encouraged and challenged me. Am I really willing to bear all to the world? It's not a requirement I know but is my lack of sharing PRIDE! Am i not availing myself of an opportunity to be spurred on by those who read? be aided by their prayer? be encouraged by their advice and godly wisdom? Am I missing an opportunity to be helped because I only want to share happy, funny stories? Do I really want people to see only what I want them to see, but not get a real picture of me?

Once again, I know blogging is not a required spiritual discipline. I have shared my struggles with my friends, but what if the Lord would use this is my help build some of the community that is so desperately missing in life. Who knows? Maybe we'll see! Here it goes...

Atlanta was great!!!! So great that it is hard returning to Tuskegee!!! I miss seeing my friends everyday. I miss having someone for the kids to play with everyday. I miss Publix, the mall, Target!!! I fill trapped here. I feel like I'm in this small box that I can't get out of. Not to mention on top of that I'm hormonal. I feel like I'm so often controlled by my feelings. I'm not sure I know how not to be. When I have a conviction about something I can push on even when I don't feel like it. When I don't have a conviction, that's so hard to do. One minute I think I should do one thing for well thought out biblical reasons. The next I believe I should do something totally different for different well thought out biblical reasons. I really do think these things out, but somehow something else will happen that will change my thought process. It's so very frustrating!!!

This morning I was crying out to the Lord for help! Asking Him for His wisdom and direction. I don't want to always waiver on decisions and constantly change my mind. After praying for awhile, I thought maybe a Psalm would help so I just opened the Bible to see where it would land. Guess where? The Lord loves me so!!!! Psalm 43

You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Yes yes yes!!! I never understood why the Psalmist would ever feel rejected by the Lord. Now I do!!! I know it's not true, but the feeling is real! Why am I mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me;
Yes yes yes!!! That's what I need the Lord's light and truth to guide me!!

let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will i go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

The Lord is soooo good!! I will continue to pray for the Lord's light and truth to guide me to the place where He dwells. That's where I want to be!! Will you pray with me?

This struggle and I'm sure many others that are not as clear at the present are often paralyzing. When I'm stressed I'm emotionally and thus physically drained. I get so tired that it's hard for me to manage my life. I'm frustrated with everybody around me because I'm frustrated with myself. I fight to focus on the truth. Sometimes I win and know the truth, but the emotional struggle is soooo energy draining! I can never really know what I will accomplish in a day because I get so tired and discouraged!!! I have a sweet friend who holds me accountable for making a schedule and that helps a lot, but the underlying issue that makes it so hard to accomplish tasks is this uncertainty about my life and decisions when things are hard.

Okay I do believe that's enough for today! I will go on in the strength that God provides. He is faithful and I know He will see me through this! PRAY!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Puppy Is Gone

What puppy you ask?

Let me explain. Alonzo (my husband) was never, I say never, willing to entertain the idea of getting a puppy. His thinking was that he doesn't want to do that kind of labor for a puppy. Well a student asked if we could babysit her brand new puppy German Shephard for three days until she could get her home to her mom's in Florida. We of course said yes and our lives will never be the same.

Spirit was such a sweet puppy. She was a little nervous when she got to our house. The kids liked it that way because she was calm and they could pet her. Well the next day she started to warm up to us and little Zo never left the couch anytime she was out. She was so smart. She had already started doing really well with house training. In the days she was with us, she had already started having fewer accidents and using the bathroom on a regular basis when we took her outside.

Don't get me wrong it was work. But I can definetely see why people consider dogs companions. Our house seems so much more empty without her here.

As you can see she won us over. She even started to whimper when it was time for her to go (lump in my throat). She not only won me over,but also Alonzo. He was ready to keep her and we are sure that a dog is in our future.

They Grow Up So Fast

Ok I know Easter is long gone, but we know I'm a little slow at the blogging thing. I'm not going to let that stop me though.

I was nearly in tears Easter morning because all of my children had on their new church shoes...even Ayden.

(yes we could have removed price tags prior to taking the picure LOL)

She was so proud of them and her pretty dress. She kept looking at her feet.

I love it that they are all growing up. They play so well together and the Lord is really giving me grace to enjoy them.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why I Love This Man!

...because He is the most wonderful,
God loving man.

He is so great for me!

When I'm having my issues...(and trust me I have many)...he's always patient, always willing and wanting to listen to me, always wanting to help me find a solution, and always willing to do whatever he can to make it better (if the Lord allows).

He doesn't always respond the way I think he should, but I am now convinced that the Lord leads me gently through this wonderful man and I am so very grateful!!!!

Clearly the Lord has freed me!

To blog that is :) Here are some fun photos from our Spring Break Vacation.

Sam, Katrina, and Nadia Hodges with Alaiyah and Zo at the Farmer's Market in North Carolina.

We enjoyed hanging out with both Hodges' families soooo much! I can't wait until the next time we can all get together...Wait that was a 12 hour drive...maybe I can wait just a little while :)

I am so grateful for how well these two little people have been playing together lately. I don't even have to send them to their room to play they just end up there anyway. Praise the Lord!!! Their conversation this day at MeMa and PaPa's was really really cute to watch. I'm sure you can imagine!

I'm a Big Kid Now

He got a hair cut!!!!

I both hate it and love it at the same time. He looks like such a big boy now! He is a big boy!

But before we chopped it off I washed and braided it.

No, I didn't do it for photos. I was only trying to keep it untangled until Alonzo got home to cut it, but after seeing how long it really was I couldn't resist.

Aw, he's so cute.

That's my little man!!!

Why am I excited about a rat?



This is my babies sentence that she read all by herself. Not only did she read it but she understood what she was reading. She knew where the rat was and that it was happy. All of you who know her can imagine with what detail and hand movements she explained that!

I am so proud of her. To say she is loving her reading lessons is a gross understatement. She literally begs to do "just one more."

Who would've thought I'd be teaching my child to read (in 100 easy lessons no's a great book...highly recommend it). I surely did not, but I may be teaching her everything she'll know. AGGGGGGHHHHH!!!

I'm sure there will be many more posts about that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Watch out world!


We aren't ready for her. She is all over the place. We went to North Carolina to visit friends and to Maryland to visit MeMa and PaPa (my in-laws). In North Carolina Ayden met her match in Miss Amber

I know you can't tell from this picture but Miss Amber can get around. She's one month younger than Ayden but she is walking with the best of them. Ayden spent a few days with her and said, "hey, i think i can do that!"

Well she's no longer thinking. She's been walking ever since. Today was the day of reality. She walked to her brother and sister's kiddie table and ate their food as Zo screamed "AYDEN NOOOOOOOOOOO!!" and she knocked over their cups of water TWICE!!!

Someone please send me a baby gate!! :) I love it!

In God's Place, At God's Pace

"The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to beleive that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours." John Piper Future Grace

I feel soooo free and I could not be more gratful to my Lord!!!

This day started off pretty crappy. Alonzo and I talked about it and I realized how difficult this move to Tuskegee has been for me. We were very excited about being here, so even though I'm in the place I expected...I'm nowhere near the place I expected.

I know...doesn't make any since to me either.

God met me though in my confusion. Things will not always go as planned, but they go according to His plan and in that I can


In Future Grace Piper talks about how different our responses to interruptions would be if we knew they were saving our lives. The thing that just amazes me about knowing the Lord is that we don't have to ever know the reasons but can at the same time be 100% confident that there are reasons and that they are GOOD!!!

I don't know why the Lord called us here, away from everything (and I do mean everything) to do a work I can't possibly accomplish. Perhaps he'll do it in a different way. Perhaps it was for some other reason entirely. What I DO know is that my Father in heaven who LOVES ME has a plan and it is good!!

I'm not where I expected to be, but I'm in God's place at God's Pace.

O Lord help me to trust you...when days are long and hard...when I don't know why. Trusting that you will guide me every step and give me grace to glorify you. Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Visitation

Clearly the blogging mood has to literally slam me down in order for me to post something new. Well that surely happened.


We were riding in the car when Alaiyah just starts wailing!!!
I think to myself...what now! I know she's tired so any little thing could have set her off. Honestly I tried to ignore it hoping the crisis would pass...we all know it didn't. She only got louder.

I asked her what was wrong. She says she dropped her candy.

(mind you she's crying like they are coming to take her away to never see us again).

My automatic, natural, (SINFUL) response is to get irritated. This is soooo over the top and after all they sale candy on every corner. She will get another piece some day.

(ok I know you're wondering where the Holy Spirit shows up because he surely wasn't in any of those insensitive thoughts....I know! I know!!! that's what makes His entrance sooooo dramatic :)

I prayed!

I was talking to a friend earlier today about really trusting the Lord and looking to Him to lead me and guide me in oppossed to looking at what others do or what they expect. So, my attempt in praying was to ask the Lord, "now what do I do with this." I was thinking in real general terms because this occurs frequently and I know I'm to be sensitive but I don't want to raise a cry baby either. I continued, "how would you handle this situation?".

Immediately...I do declare...immediately I knew the Lord would speak to her from His word. So i said

(here's where the Holy Spirit steps in)

ME: "Alaiyah sometimes when I'm sad i have to tell Jesus about my problems because He cares about me. You should tell Him why you are sad and ask Him to help you feel better. You should even ask Him to give you some more candy."

aLAIYAH: (through sobs and tears) "We don't have any candy (boo hoo hoo)"

ME: Alaiyah did you tell Jesus why you are so sad?


(long pause)

aLAIYAH: Now i did. (still crying)

ME: (here's the Holy Spirit again) Now we should think of all the things we have to be grateful to Jesus for. What can you think of to thank Jesus for?

aLAIYAH: (still through many tears) I can thank Jesus for candy.

ME: (really shocked she's even should've seen my face) That's right we can be thankful for candy. What else can we thank Jeus for?

aLAIYAH: (still crying) We can thank Jesus for answering our prayers.

ME: That's right we can thank Jesus for anwering our prayers. What else can we thank Jesus for?

aLAIYAH: (tears deminishing now) I can thank Jesus for my friends.

ME: (literally grinning from ear to ear...I can't believe this) That's right we can thank Jesus for our friends. What else can we thank Jesus for?

aLAIYAH:(at this point no longer crying...Hallelujah! Thank you Lord!) I can thank Jesus for my guitar and journal.

ME: That's right we can thank Jesus for...

In the end Alaiyah was no longer crying, I was no longer frustrated, and we both had been drawn to Jesus! If only you could hear my heart SCREAM!!!! The Lord met me my time of need Jesus came and gave me wisdom. Wisdom that was so beyond me. Did it sound from the beginning like this was the direction that conversation was headed? Absolutely not. I was soooo excited and I couldn't hide it! When I got home seconds later, I told Alonzo that he had to hear what the Lord had done (while putting on my Baptist Church shout LOL!!) PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!!

O Lord, continue to draw my heart to you in the midst of my sin and help me to point the little hearts you've given me to train to your word where they will find that you are a refuge, a very present help, and an on time God.