Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review~Brave

For several years I have been focusing on a word for the coming year instead of a New Years resolution. Because you begin but always have it in the back of your head that you will eventually quit. The past few years my words have been grace and intentional/purpose. Grace was for myself, for others, not expecting perfection in anything. Purpose was as I learned how to manage this massive family. I felt like I had been just surviving. There is a Jim Gaffigan quote, he says, "you wonder what it is like to have 4 kids? Imagine you are drowning and someone hands you a baby." Perfect. The first time we heard that we could not stop laughing. (He is a great comedian for large family parents.) That is exactly what I felt like. I didn't feel that I was bringing glory to God for the work He had done in our lives because I felt like our lives were a mess. So I took that year learning and planning. Getting rid of clutter and junk that filled my house and my mind. It was amazing and I still operate in everything I learned. It is still crazy at times but I can whip it all into shape in just an hour or so. I learned so much about myself both of those years.

Coming out of 2014 I was dealing with Gideon just having come through RSV that was life threatening. As we were entering 2015 I felt the Lord impressing in me the word brave. I think that everything I went through I realized that there is much for me to learn about being brave. I'm not sure I have ever really seen myself as brave. Usually shy, quiet, easily intimidated. Not brave. In public people see me with my children and comment that I am brave. It is usually a snide remark, nothing I have ever taken seriously. 

Brave. I assumed that God as going to just reveal to me what we had walked through with Gideon. Or that He would keep teaching me what it means to be brave as a mother of so many boys. As the months have gone on I have felt small nudges to new things that I had not considered before. 

Some of the things I have walked through this year where I sensed the Lord calling me to be brave were starting a facebook group for Bible studies, just as a facilitator, leading worship more freely at a retreat for the women of my church and being more brave in my prayers. Also, I started this blog and facebook page on prayer called Breathing Prayers. It all has been terrifying. Blogging has come from going through the Bible study Breaking Free by Beth Moore. As I sit to write, things I have never realized about myself flow through my fingers. Just knowing the freedom I am receiving from that makes the level of vulnerability worth it. 

As the end of the year came, God began calling Mike in new ways. Realizations of the calling that God has placed on my life have shocked me. God remembered that longing. And so many years later He is bringing this to pass. We are having to be brave in ways I never expected this year. It is hard. In employment, ministry, friendships, our children and their friendships. Stepping out in faith and trusting that the Lord has to catch us, otherwise we will fail.  It is terrifying. 

2016. Over the past 14 months, since Gideon's birth, the Lord has been reminding me constantly that He is my peace. Also, during the Names of God Bible study peace resounded within me. Peace, He is my Peace. My hope is that as I focus on this through the year, that my mind will be stilled and silenced of the chaos. And that it will overflow into my family around me. I can't wait to see what He will do with me during this year as I focus on Him as my peace. 

Luke 1:45
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promise to her."

Oh Father, my hearts desire is found in You. 

2016 goals

For 2015 the two main goals I set were to begin waking up earlier to actually have time in quiet and to do some sort of exercise routine. I did well with waking up early. I began waking up early with Josiah for school, then in June I began waking up with Mike to get his coffee ready and send him out the door. We went to a marriage conference and he has shared with me how he felt to wake up and get ready for work all alone. So we set out to change that because I want him to feel loved and not feel alone. For the exercise part I was doing well but it reduced my milk supply so I decided to hold off for little while. I think I did pretty well. I was determined and I had accountability, which is huge for me. 

So for 2016 I know I can accomplish my goals. Right now I have just a few goals.
1. Begin an exercise program (since Gideon is almost ready to wean).
2. To write through the books of the Law, almost a fourth of the Bible, by hand.
3. Hug my boys more.
4. Read 6 books/Bible studies, I haven't picked them yet.
5. Practice my guitar a couple times a week and begin to refresh on the piano a little.
6. Work on our savings.

There are a couple that are more personal.   I am a bit nervous about some larger things we face, but we are trusting that the Lord is leading us and we are obeying. I know He is doing a new thing and my desire is run hard after Him. If we fail, it wasn't because we were afraid to jump. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Crazy 5 year goals

For about a week I have been fighting the urge to start writting the Bible word by word. 

I am afraid because it is enormous. I know it will take years. 

I'm not really sure this desire came up in me. To copy every word of God. I want to know Him more. I want to desire Him more and to know His word better. 

I bought a pink moleskine and and I have a black felt pen and my plan is to begin in January 2016. I'm hoping to finish by my 40th birthday in 5 years. 

Father, as you have placed this desire in my heart, I ask you to give me this love for Your word. 
Psalm 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield, I hope in your word."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

35 reasons

35 reasons he is amazing. 
Today the love of my life turns 35. Words fail to describe him. 
At my 30th birthday he wrote me a list and I need to make one for him :)
I could go past 35 but will save them for future birthdays. 

1. He loves Jesus.
2. He is kind. 
3. He loves deeply. 
4. He doesn't waiver from his convictions. 
5. He is strong. 
6. He is brave. 
7. He is a dedicated father.
8. He loves his boys. 
9. He leads his family well. 
10. His wit and dry humor, he always makes me laugh. 
11. He is a hard worker, very driven. 
12. He is spoils me in any way he can. 
13. He has never spoken a harsh word to me. 
14. His heart is always for my good and the good of our boys. 
15. He always surprises me how much Scripture is in his mind. 
16. He doesn't give up when a thing is too hard. 
17. He is quick to apologize. 
18. He dreams big, God sized dreams. 
19. He is self motivated and disciplined. 
20. He is so handsome. 
21. He listens to my heart. 
22. He values my opinions and makes hard decisions. 
23. He is comfortable to sit in the quiet with me. 
24. He helps me in the home even after he works so hard outside the home. 
25. He provides well and is wise with our money. 
26. He never treats me less than. 
27. He makes it easy to submit to him, because he is a kind leader. 
28. The way he laughs crazy. 
29. The way he smiles when he is being sly. 
30. The way he sniffs from across the room and I know it is to get my attention. 
31. His prayers and the way he leads worship. 
32. Soft heart. 
33. His knowledge of random facts. 
34. He protects and defends, he is brave. 
35. He trusts and he obeys God's calling in His life. I know I can trust him with our family. 

I am so in love with this man. It is an amazing thing to love a person so deeply. I am so thankful God gave this man to me. 
Happy birthday! I am so thankful God gave you to me! I can't wait for the next 35!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

God's will for my life

My job is not to know God's will for my whole life right now. 
If I did, I would not be able to bear the weight of all the things I knew God would take me through.  
My job is to lean in so closely to the Lord and know Him, so that I can know His every move in my life. Abide. He is in me, Emmanuel, God with us. God in us. He will not fail me. 
Genesis 28:15 "I will not leave you..."

Friday, December 11, 2015

standing on a swaying limb

Yesterday I shared the Facebook page on prayer that I started a bit over a month ago.  It is a pretty terrifying feeling to put myself out there.  What will people think? Will they even really care? Do I really have anything that will benefit anyone? So many doubts fill my mind and heart and I even consider deleting it all so that there is no proof of stepping out and sanding on a limb that is trembling.

What a strange time in my life to be putting myself at risk.  Risk of judgement, risk of failure, or being made fun of or being doubted by the decisions that we are currently making. Hard decisions. To change what we have known for 2 and a half years.  To change what my kids know and love.

It feels like we are standing on these thin branches and they sway under us.  Are they going to crack and break completely or will they slowly bend down until we just are on the ground...
Will these branches grow strong and into this big dream that we have.

I guess dreamers have to be a little crazy.  Humble, because we know failure is so close.  But if I am stepping out like Abram to a land I do not know, I have to be ready for the crazy questions. The more questions we get the more waves of "am I sure?" flood my mind and butterflies fill my stomach.  And questions of "why do people care so much about what we do?" Because of the feeling that we don't truly affect anyone deeply.

I do know that God has always asked us to do things that don't make sense. I've asked Him to give me His dreams and His desires since I was 12.  I don't know what else I would expect of my life.  I will follow Him.

I know and rest in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 "Faithful is He who called you, He will also bring it to pass."

He is always faithful and when I am found in Him, He will never bring His own to shame.  
This is where I run.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

30 day challenge. Do you collect anything?

Pretty funny question for a large family mom. 

That was one of the questions I have been asked. Sure, I guess I collect children. 

I love my children. They are so sweet as babies and they are handsome boys. Who wouldn't want them? 

I never really thought I would want so many before I was married. I think when we got married we knew we would want a few children but we never really had a number in mind. 

Our plan was to wait 5 years before we began having children in order to serve on the mission field more easily, but our first was a honeymoon baby. Honestly we were pretty upset and our pride was shattered. 

As we had babies we were so in love with our babies and wanted more. My HG pregnancies were horrible though. That is always what made me say never again. The sadness in his eyes when I would say that was heart breaking. But then when the baby was about a year we would always feel like someone was missing. Like we wanted another one. 

For years I always wondered if we would know when we were done. It was always guessing and feeling like we would always want to have more. 

The sixth baby came and there was a feeling of fulfillment. But acceptance at whatever came next. So we gave it to God again since we were settled after our move and things were smooth. 

The first month life was given. Amazing gift of a life. I think we both knew. Just knew with no explanation. So as doctor appointments go along we begin to receive confirmation that is is our last baby. 

I think we have slowly gotten closure  about it. It comes in waves. The first wave was mourning the loss of G's newborn days at home. It was supposed to be perfect but it was the hardest experience of all. The next wave was G growing out of each different size of clothes and me having to go through them and make space. The first time I did it I bawled. Each time it gets easier and I  happy to be freeing up space. Another step was letting go of all the little girl things. I have boxes of stuff away to sweet friends having baby girls and I saved two things. (That story is in another post).

We have both begun to see the future and the things God has in store as our sons grow. We are excited and expectant. 

But if someone offered me a baby I would jump at the chance. 😉

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What is in a name?

Bernice. Bringer of victory.

I was born to a 18 and 17 year old. What people would consider a mess. Failure.

Poverty, abuse, drugs, alcohol, infidelity. 

And here I came. Beloved Bringer of Victory. Because Mama knew that victory had to come out of the loss. Loss of dreams, loss of innocence, loss of choices. Victory had to come from the broken mess. Or so she believed. 

The story is long and winding, I'm sure I will get to more of it in time. One bite at a time feeds. Chewed and processed is the best way. Healthy. It has to be out of my mouth before I can bite the next thing. 

I am so thankful that my Father is opened my eyes to see this. The slow acknowledgement of all the pain heals and fill empty broken places. 

He will use that fullness in time... For His glory. So that I can be poured out as an offering to Him. 

He will get all the victory. We know the end.
Christ redeems. 

Believing and Trust

It is time for me to make an appointment for  G to see the cardiologist. I keep putting it off. I realized today that I have anxiety when I think of it.

I don't want to make the appointment.... I don't want to know if the hole is still there in his heart. 

I am afraid that God has not healed my little warrior. 

I don't want The Lord to take us down a new road.... Of heart surgery. 

But we are His. There is no other option but to trust. 

Though He slay me, yet will I trust. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 30. One thing I am excited for

I am so excited to grow old with this man. What a joy he is. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 24 something I miss

I miss my island. 

I miss living so close to the water and the breeze that is always there and how 
much cooler it is there. I miss hearing the wind through the Australian pines in the back yard. The boys called it the pee pee forest. They played survival there. I miss the magnolia tree, first tree the boys learned to climb. They would climb on top of the swing set and use it as a balance beam to get to the tree. What beautiful blooms were on that tree in the spring and so painful to step on the seed pods barefoot. I miss the boys racing back and forth on our corner sidewalk, where two boys learned to ride bikes and just all the walking and pushing of cars and trucks back and forth. They loved it. So many trees were in our yard there. So many memories of boys conquering the world.  

I miss our evening beach trips and how close target and the mall was, even if to do nothing but walk. I miss friends who helped to shape me into who I am and saw me through very very hard times. Most have moved on. 

My heart aches as I remember. 

God gives sweet memories. And He calls us deeper and farther than we can imagine. 
Oh to just trust. 

The days I live now I will one day miss, ache for. It is always hard to recognize that the days we are living in now will one day be the good ole days. 

Oh Father, teach me to number my days and to count all the ways I find You in them. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Writing Prompt 22 morning routine

Morning routine. 

In June, He and I went to a marriage conference.  The biggest thing we took away from it was what makes us feel loved and one thing to do to show it. 

We had to make a promise to do that thing. I won't tell his, it's only fair. 

Mine was that he wanted me to get up with him and send him off to work. 5:45am. This makes him feel loved. I want to make him feel loved. I do not want to get up at 5:45 am. There are many many reasons. 

I did it. I have kept my promise for 6 months now. I get up with him and get his coffee ready. We try to be so quiet. It is terrifying. 

But I enjoy it now. I miss him if I don't see him in the morning and I enjoy a cup of coffee in the quiet before anyone is awake, usually. 

He challenged me and I have grown. 

He was right. 

Fitting in

Something happened today that felt like a bit of a signal. 

I guess this has to be vague. 

We were leading in a obvious way. One person got up and walked out. 

You know when you realize that you truly are not like the rest? It is a concerning feeling. Being left out, rejected, unwanted. Even if it is by a vocal minority.  Somehow the minority always wins? Because the majority are afraid. 

Today it didn't feel quiet like that. It felt ok. Just letting me know that I don't fit, but it is ok. Freeing maybe. I've never really felt this before. It is a little strange. Ill have to process it a bit longer. 

But it is better than rejection. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Favorite Color and Why

Writing prompt for the 18th is your favorite color and why. 

Deeper than I originally expected. 

Pink. For years I think I tried to hide it. It is girly and I shouldn't be too girly... Because that is just not good. 

As I have grown into the woman that I am and as I have son after son, I have embraced my love for pink. It makes me happy. 

I have 7 sons and one in heaven. We lost a second baby, but it was to early to know, but it was probably a boy. 

I have always longed for a girl. A daughter. A sweet pretty child with long blond hair and blue eyes who would grow into my best friend. Who I could shape and mold into a beautiful woman who loves Jesus and knows she is deeply loved by Jesus. 

As our family grew, we knew we wanted many children and as I had c-sections we knew one day we would be limited in that. At times I doubted having a daughter. Other times I just knew that God would hear my hearts deepest longing to have a daughter and since I have obeyed and followed him my entire life, why would He not give me exactly what I desired. He is a good Father. He knows my desire. 

There were times I felt that I heard Him promise me. But He didn't give me what I wanted. 

The grief that comes with knowing that Gideon is our last baby is doubled when I knew he was not a daughter. It is deep. I am still trying to understand why. 

It seems like people knew all along but just didn't want to say it. That I am a boy mom. Boy mom, what does that mean? Manly woman? Woman who can handle a lot of junk and crazy? Woman who is not dainty or girly enough to be a girl mom. Just undeserving of a daughter, a relationship or a friend. 

I have struggled with not being good enough. Beautiful enough, womanly enough. It does have to do with history. People not wanting to embrace their womanly-ness.  

My husband has helped heal much of that. 

But Jesus, He is deeply healing. Even if I feel ignored or unimportant. He is healing and revealing His Fatherly heart to me. 

Daddy knows best. 

I love pink. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rays of light

Late afternoon of a Florida fall may be my favorite time to watch... His love. That is the way it feels.

The sunlight streams into the house and everything that it shines on suddenly becomes beautiful. Even the mess of my life, legos, crayons or cars scattered.  Even crumbs on the table suddenly become beautiful in the light.

It streams through the leaves on the trees and through the windows full of fingerprints.  His beauty in the mess. It warms me... softens me... to slow.  To see how He loves me.

He does make beautiful things out of us. It drives me to search for all the ways.  The busy can run me into the ground under all the weight.  But knowledge of His love lightens.

We are all a mess, we really are. But His love does not stop shining... pouring onto us.

Good Father plays on repeat soaking myself in Him.  He is my good Father and I am loved by Him.

Oh, Father, let it soak deep into my soul, that I will never doubt or see myself unworthy. Thank you for your love and the daily late afternoon reminder... a love letter to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In knowing

In many big decisions there are times you just know. Searching for all the answers for months, even years. 

When you feel like something is storing deep within you and you know change will come. 

In knowing direction in missions, in finding my husband, in having my children and in knowing when we have had who God has for us, in ministries and when to leave or to stay. These are the times I have known. No true explanation, just a knowledge and a peace. 

To know intimately I think of different relationships.

 Mother to child. I know which child coughs or sighs from three rooms away. I just know their voice. They may not know me so easily. 
This is where the relationship with my Father begins. 

Husband to wife. In the beginning the knowing is slow. With more and more experience the knowing deepens. Just a sound or just pressure and a slight movement communicates desire, displeasure, joy. Knowing deeply. And the knowledge that it will continue to deepen. Such a holy heavy weight. My soul hurts with it. It is unexplainable. Knowing. 

This is where my relationship with my Lover grows deep. Feeling His nudge with my spirit. Unexplainable. Of course there have been years and years of my relationship being of a Father and a child. It causes me to trust deeply. 

The relationship of my Lover teaches me to know His movements and His touch. When He is filled with desire for me to come deeper or when He has displeasure, feeling the pain of that. Because I love Him I know Him... I learn to know Him and I trust myself that I am learning to know Him and His every movement.

I want to be where He is. 

I want to rest there in His arms... Knowing. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Your life in 7 years

Day 14 My life in 7 years!

Wow! It blows my mind. 

My babies will be grown and I will be 42 years old. 

Ages of my children. 
Gideon will be 8
Abram 10
Simeon will be 12
Malachi will be 13
Ezekiel will be 14
Isaiah will be 17
Josiah will be 19

I can only imagine what this will be like. 
I will still be homeschooling these boys. Hopefully I will have two graduates and lots of independent workers. I hope to not have to do much around the house. I also hope that I have a bit of time to do my callings in ministry to women. 

I would like to have a home on a bit of land. 
I also dream that our ministry will be full. Worship and women's and men's ministries. I expect to be fully in love with my husband and that our marriage is even more beautiful and deep. This man is my everything. 

I know that we will look back and say this was abundantly above anything we could ask or even imagine, just like we have the last 7 or even 14 years. 

Father, this next 7 years are yours. Do what you want with us and with these years. For your glory and your fame. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bakers half dozen

I homeschool my kids. A bakers half dozen.... Can you call 7 kids that? It probably isn't right.
Anyway. All of them. Are with me all. Day. Long.
No really, I love it. I know I am called to that. 

The day to day is hard but usually the overall feelings are good. 
Lately, like the last year and more recently, it has been much more discouraging. Because of the older boys and the effort they are not putting into learning. I have been at the end of my rope more than I like to say this last year. I lean on grace, and I wonder deeply if that is enough. 

Am I ruining them? Am I doing a disservice to them by not putting them in school. These are deep thoughts. Am I truly failing my boys education. 

Wow. I don't want them to just know how to find the answers in the paragraphs but to know it so deeply it becomes a reaction of the knowledge deep within them. Know how to find the answers, yes. But to live the answers.... 1000x yes. 

So he fails. He doesn't know. I fail. I don't live the answers that I claim to learn. I rage.  
He doesn't understand that it is deeper than just writing the correct answer.
I don't understand that it is deeper than putting a smile on my face.

Wow, do I want that.  I want to know the answers deeply in my soul. I have had so many questions lately about how I should do something or how I should respond to something hard.  I feel like I should know this by now. I shouldn't be struggling. The answer should come right out of me.  Grace and truth comes to mind. I long to walk in grace and truth.... even in a disagreement, grace and truth.

Father, would you put this so deeply in my soul that grace and truth will flow out of me effortlessly.  It comes from rest and trust in You. Give it to me Father. I know I cannot do it on my own.

The last week or so I have felt inside of me that I can just sit and be still... I don't have to 'do' in order to be accepted. I am found in Him. Hidden in Him.

Truly, the lessons that I struggle with my boys are the same as my own just in different areas. Grace and truth should go deeper within me.  Motherhood is sanctifying is the saying, honestly that is annoying to me sometimes. I want it to be easy just like my son wants his math to be easy.  Our homeschool journey is not just about these boys... it changes me.

His lessons build on each other and if he can't get a concept we have to do it over and over until he does.  I do the same thing... over and over and over.  I wish he would realize that he isn't the only one failing. Oh, but for grace.

These 7 arrows. The number 7 means completeness and perfection.  More than just the idea that our family is complete and perfect the way my Father arranged it, but in a spiritual way, He has promised that I am being completed and perfected in Him. What a gift they are to me.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
I rest in this.
Father, teach me to boast in my weakness so that Your power may dwell in me deeply.

God size dreams

When God begins to whisper God sized dreams it is terrifying. 

God placed His dream in our hearts for the family He has given us. Looking back one step at a time faith builds on faith. To look at the whole picture I am amazed. He has done big things with those dream for "just one more" said over and over through the years. I am already in awe over wheat He will do with each of my sons. I feel an excited expectation. 

It always shocks me when I realize that God has used us to speak into the life of those outside of my home. The feeling that comes to mind is uncomfortable, like attention has been brought to me. I shrug it off.... Appearing to be a snob, inwardly terrified. I don't want responsibility of leading others when I know the weight of it. 

God is placing these things deeper in us and I see glimpses every now and then of how He may accomplish it. His ways are not our ways and the way He accomplishes He plans are never what I expect. Just like with our family. 

I pray desperately for humility and that we will walk each step on the path He has for us. God if we fail, You are with us. You are sovereign and your will will be accomplished. I trust in You. 

We'll be the dreamers of your dreams. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Writing prompts challenge day 5

Day 5
A place I would live but I have never visited. 

Being in missions as a young adult and having a love for travel makes me think this would be easy, with Mike. Thinking of all the boys at the age they are now it doesn't sound easy, a romantic thought, but not easy. Probably because life here in America isn't easy, no matter how convient it is. 

Back to the question. 
Anywhere in Europe. I have visited a lot of it but I would love to live anywhere in Europe. 

From a missions standpoint, I would live anywhere I felt the Lord asking me to. The feeling is indescribable, fully alive. Amazing. 

When can I go?

Easy question. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Break Free

Days like today are hard. Stress is starting to weigh on me... Hormones too, I guess I shouldn't leave that out even if I want to.

These boys are exhausting some days. The time change has just added an extra hour for me to keep a 3 year old calm, which is always unsuccessful. His screams make me want to rage. I have fought so hard, lost some and won some. So many triggers and I just can't keep it all in check. Ministry, sickness, teething, tempers, homeschooling and math. Everyday things that add up in a mind fast. 

I know that the Lord is working on my raging, opening my eyes to see the strong holds and break them. I hate what I do. Because I remember..... and I know no matter how much I cry and apologize that is what these boys will remember, a raging mom. 

I know that break through is coming. When you acknowledge the sin the enemy loses his power. Turn and repent. 
God's power is greater.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spinning heads

On days you don't know who to trust. Who is telling the truth. Who can I turn to. 

Jesus come and be Truth in this. 
I beg you. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Breathing Prayers

When I was a child I would pray desperate prayers... God answered the faith of a child. That was all I had. Faith in the Father who would always provide, His good in His time.  He is so good.  That was my foundation in prayer.  Always desperate.  It carried on to people coming to me know that somehow God heard.  If not for the thing, but always peace that passes understanding.  I think that when you know God is the only option that something will happen you are in a place where He inclines His ear to you. I imagine Him leaning down to me... oh my Father, thank you.

As years pass some prayers aren't answered and a wall is built because I don't understand why He won't heal and answer these prayers that I feel would bring Him glory.  That is just it.... what I feel will bring Him glory.  A child does not know best.  A good Father lovingly smiles and knows and holds.  For years He held me. But my prayers were not as desperate as I began to doubt.  Is He really good.... does He really what my good... questions you don't actually want to voice. They are sin, they are normal... we all ask them.  And we all hide the questioning from anyone on the outside.

He begins to stir again out of my desperation.  Oh I want that back. To know I am lowly and that He is holy and perfect and begging Him, because you will fail and fall if He doesn't come through.  You will look like a fool. God, do not bring me to shame. My prayer is that He would make me a woman of prayer and of faith. To use me for His glory.

He uses the birth and sickness of my 7th son(!!!) to bring me back to that place. Desperate.  Knowing He is sovereign and He will do what He wills.  But Moses! Moses changed the heart of God toward His people.  I remind God of these things.  That I know and I trust, but I know He is able.  What peace He gives.  He answers and He saves.  He draws me to Himself and He shows His glory and what only He could do.  But even if He didn't, I will trust. I've been through too much to do anything else.

As I have prayed again desperately this past year again in new ways and new things that I am asking Him for, He has begun stirring.  My brother reminds me in his words to someone else,  "If you are asking God to do something amazing, why would you expect it to be beautiful and perfect?"  Wow, it is not.  But I know God can... I know He will bring the glory all for Himself and that is what I long for.

Drag us along if you have to Father... but teach me to run hard after you.
Put it in me Father.

Just as my breaths are constant and never ending, let my prayers continually rise like sweet incense before You.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


So my goal is to write every day, any topic that is on my heart. Long or short. 
Most will probably be short because of all these guys. I never know what to call them... My crew, my tribe, my team? Arrows, or is that too fundy? Anyway, them. 

Today I wrote four different drafts with four different topics.  Usually as I am washing dishes or preparing dinner my mind is full from the events of the day and today I took a second to write a couple lines in hopes of triggering my memory. I think that will work well. 

It is crazy how busy the mind gets and how many things can go forgotten. I was telling Mike recently that most days I am often 5 tasks behind what I need to be doing. It feels crazy most of the time. 

Time goes so fast though. I really feel like if I blink it will be over. 

I have to remind myself often. Otherwise it feels like a daunting task to care for 7 children night and day. 

His grace truly holds me when I am at the end. 


My husband is brave.
I am terrified of his calling. 
He says hard things and sometimes people don't like to hear them. 

I am terrified of people. What they think of me and my brave husband. 

I never really imagined I would be a pastors wife. I am not sure I can handle it. 

So much to know and hold in. To know when something has to be kept silent and when to speak is too much pressure. 

Today I saw my dream of ministy vanish, from this perspective anyway. My heart broke. It was as if God was finally slowly handing my dreams to me just to snatch them away. 

I know the heart of my Father is not evil but only good so I have to trust. There is no other option. 

My Father is asking me yet again... 
If I have done everything that He has for me in ministry, am I satisfied? Am I satisfied. I feel at the end again because I can't see through the storm. 

Or maybe ministry just isn't for us. 
Mike says no, it is his calling. 
We must be brave. 

He is sovereign. 

Friday, October 30, 2015


Here I am again....
Six years later....
Three babies later...
That is what I have been doing.

It has been intense.  Ministry and Church issues, Church planting struggles, then stepping away for a season.  

A season of so many little children. Focus on our family was good.
Then God called again and we followed... trust and obey. Always so hard.

God strengthened and blessed us in so many areas. This last two years has been the best yet.  I've learned how to manage our family well and Mike works so hard to provide, he is selfless... well, most of the time. I constantly fight to find joy. While I have learned how to manage well, I have also morphed into more of a manager than a compassionate mother, I feel.  I want to love more. I want to love better.  I was telling Mike last night that I feel as if I don't touch the boys very much.  The older they get the less touch.  I know it is because the needs are much less and they are almost self sufficient in so many way. But I miss touching them each more.  Hug them three times a day to feed their souls should be a rule to live by.
Our marriage is amazing.  We are in love again. It is amazing to have butterflies again and not just coexist/co-manage. I love to kiss him and I love to love him.

Ministry has been amazing. Each one of us has found a place to plug in, be fed and to feed others. Being able to minister with Mike in worship has been amazing. Like God remembered a dream that I thought He had forgotten. And God has given us new dreams.  Sometimes it seems impossible and I am so curious how He is going to bring it all to pass if they are truly dreams from Him.
Things are shaky now, but we rest in knowing that God is Sovereign and He will do what He plans to do. That is usually different than I ever imagine. To know His Father heart for me causes me to trust, deep trust. 

Sunshine and rain. Hard to really explain a name, but I just heard it.  The longer I think about it the more it makes sense. The beauty of the rays of sunshine coming in the window in the late afternoon. The beauty of the rain, hard downpours or light sprinkles, scary at times but you know there is a purpose.  The amazing beauty of sunshine through a hard rain... I am a Florida girl. And of course, a rainbow is only found in sunshine and rain. I think that I am having a revelation as to how my Father works though it all.  My eyes are beginning to open.... as I find Him, I find myself.