Saturday, February 28, 2009

Card Board Testimony

Have you ever heard of a cardboard testimony? No... yeah me either until last Sunday. But they are moving. At first I watched the testimonies of my church family and shared the saddness for families going through some of the things mentioned... and then I learned those were their actual testimonies. Talk about brave. GOD washes away our sorrow, trials, even sins, but the Grace he gives us to hold our heads up after forgiveness is more than amazing. I encourage you to check out a video of them on http://www.youtube.com/ Just type cardboard testimonies into the search box, and any number of them will come up.


Related, but off topic: I love music... Music has documented some major moments in my life. I have often wondered how many songs would fill the soundtrack to my life, but I know the first would be Amazing Grace... My Chains are Gone. Check out my best friend Heather sing it...



She turned 15 recently.... can you believe that voice... Her spirit is Amazing.. I wish you could meet her, but I'm reluctant to share her ;O)


I DARE you to not have goose bumps...


Lastly I would like to share my cardboard testimony with you:

And just in case you were worried that the Nugget wasn't playing an active role in the daily life.....


Lord tonight I am thankful for a testimony.. it means we are on first name basis.

For a baby girl who pulls all the toilet paper from the roll.

An almost 4 year old, who by only your will, makes my life richer by just being in it. You held her in your arms until you passed her to me, and I am eternally grateful.

For those quiet moments we shared, when I just didn't know what you had planned...

For that first moment you gave me with her.. and the not so quiet moments ever since.

For these moments now when my throat is thick with emotion, my heart full of remembrance, and my spirit humbled by your grace.

For the book... the one you wrote my name in almost 20 years ago...

If there be one who reads these words that doesn't know about that book, I pray they will find the courage to seek out your face.... to reach out in the darkness and find a friend who looks for light too... for we are all sinners saved by grace...

I would LoVe for You to Share Your CardBoard Testimonies. You can email them or leave them as a comment, and If you are comfortable with it I'll post them in a blog...

Friday, February 27, 2009

No More Tears Beyond the Gate

Thank you to any and all of you who offered up prayers for my aunt in the last blog. She passed on Wenesday, about the time I was posting. I received a card several years back in sympathy for the passing of my grandmother and I want to share it's message...


Someone new has entered
our eternal home above-
the heavenly gate has opened wide
to welcome one you love.
We cannot help the tears that fall-
our hearts need time to grieve
when earthly life has ended
and a loved one has to leave.

Yet even in the saddest time,
we know our Savior lives,
and we can trust completely
in the promise that He gives-
that in a glad reunion with the Lord
our loved one's wait
to welcome us in joy
with no more tears beyond the gate.

Thank you Lord for a place with no more tears beyond the gate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The World Keeps Spinning...

And it's like they were never even here. I heard that on television once and it really hit home for me. I desire your prayers today. It has been an emotional couple of days around here.

I have an Aunt, whose is my Nanny's best friend. You met Nan... or if you didn't scroll down to the bottom of the ONEness post and you can meet here there. My Aunt has been literally heartbroken for months, since her husband of many years passed away. She has lost the will to fight in this world, because she's anxious to move to her next. I can't say I fully understand that, but in my heart I feel her. Her husband was her life, they did everything together, especially church, and she took care of him, as his health failed over the years. He was in essence, her life; now he is gone, and she longs to be with him. The decision was made to take her off of life support and today they are only giving her meds to make her comfortable. The rest lies in the hands of the LORD. I have been in a situation, not Once, but TWICE where it was said that a loved one wouldn't make it... he walked out both times, and is still healthy and living today.


But....


The prayer I desire is for GOD's will. I will miss her terribly, but do not wish to keep or discourage her from what GOD has in store. Only he decides when we leave this world, and no matter how much fight she has given up, he will do only his will. My nanny is heartbroken over the loss of her sister, but also the loss of her friend. There will be a void, but GOD will NeVeR leave or forsake us, and he will send a comforter now as he always does.


I recall 2 things from GOD's word that stick with me now....
2nd Samuel 12:10

"But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me".

I hope you got what was intended from that scripture, but if not let me explain. A really good friend and former pastor Keith (www.touchedbygraceministries.net) gave me this scripture when I was dealing with a personal loss. He explained that my pain was valid, and I was entitled to it, BUT even though I could not bring this person back, I could go where they were... eternal life.
John 3:16
"For GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".

We, the gentiles, were not GOD's chosen people, but by grace, more grace than is deserved he accepted us. His son gave his life that by his stripes we are healed, through his blood our sins are gone, and we are free. My heart breaks for a life leaving this world behind, but rejoices for what she stands to gain on the other side because our GOD is that good.



Lord, my prayers are with the Bailey family. May your grace and comfort build a hedge of protection around them. I also pray for your child who stands at your feet, somewhere between this world, and your glory. May she find peace, joy, relief of pain and suffering beyond those gates, and for those of us who wait to meet her there, a comfort in the fact that you paid a debt we are unable to repay, that we may spend eternity with you.



If you read this and you don't have the peace and assurance of an eternal life I pray something said here or around you gives you a push to explore those words. And if you just have questions please email me: livelysituation@yahoo.com I will not address your questions here or embarrass you in any way... I would just like to be an ear.


This world will keep spinning and it will seem like they weren't even here... lives go on, laughs are harder to remember, faces fuzzy around the edges from distance. But they were here... they left a legacy, and perhaps the most important legacy we leave isn't here... but in the Lambs Book of Life.


Proof that GOD keeps his promises...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

ONEness...


A Time of Wonder


The Nugget.. she did not like being in that stroller...




Wow, what an amazing week-end. The hubs decided, as a Valentines day gift for Sugar Mama and the Nugget, to take advantage of the Mommy and me special at the Georgia Aquarium. We had never been and could not wait to see what all the fuss has been about. What an amazing place. It will never stop making me feel small to look at animals that GOD has created and think how small I am in the grand scheme of the universe. Sugar Mama was especially fond of the Whale Sharks and the Giant Sting Ray from the Ocean Voyager tank. We spent the entire day exploring, finished off with truly wonderful Varsity Hot dogs, and finally settled in after finishing our items for the baby shower the next day...




The Whale Shark



The Giant Sting Ray






Which is how we spent our Saturday. Let me introduce you to the twin.... that's how I'll refer to her ;O) Twin, since she was 16, has been told that she wouldn't be able to have children. No matter the age I imagine this is a life changing conversation, but at 16 that pretty much destroyed her. It didn't keep her from trying, but no matter what she did she wasn't able to conceive, even after taking medicine to control her insulin. About 8 months ago my brother announced that he would be adding grandchild number 3 to the mix. Naturally we were very thrilled for him, but felt a sense of sadness for the twin. But, GOD is always in control, and 3 weeks after my brother, the twin came up pregnant. What? My mother was stunned... the twin would be adding grandchild number 4 to the mix, 3 weeks after grandchild number 3 came in, and only 4 years after the first came along. Anyways we gathered yesterday to celebrate our Little Miracle... Here is the Twin opening a present...



After co-hosting this event, and staying up the night before until 1 am to finish a belly cake I made, at the Twins request, I was exhausted. I fell asleep early and even with a solid nights sleep; woke up this morning just not feeling it. Have you ever felt like that? I've mentioned before that lately my relationship with GOD has struggled, he's still there, I just feel distant sometimes. This morning it would have been all too easy to stay snuggled up in my warm sheets, hiding in the comforts he provided and fall short in giving him the glory and thanks deserved. But I didn't. That's a praise in itself.. I got up and went to my house of worship; exhaustion and all. GOD is always worth it, but from the warfare this morning I knew it would be extra worth it and it was. The sermon was about ONEness with my spouse and more importantly my Father. It gave weight to what I had already known, which was that I am spiritually lazy.... I'm not doing anything to reel in and return the joy of my salvation and today I really witnessed that... At the end of the service our Pastor of Music and a supporting cast lead a great song. As they played, couples crossed the stage with cardboard signs of struggles that have tested their relationships with GOD: Adultery, alcoholism, inability to conceive, worries over finance. As they crossed their worries were flipped in testimonies with supporting scripture. One of the signs read "She loves Jesus, and I didn't want him" That man got saved and is now a deacon in our church. It was moving and I found it hard to get control. As I left the Nugget in the nursery to go to Life Group (Sunday School) I still couldn't get my emotions under control, but managed just briefly.



As we sat in Life Group talking over other religions and their beliefs I felt a strong conviction to tell my Life Group about the blogs I have read recently. The ladies are all moms and while I barely knew them, I was hoping they could relate. I barely got one word out before the tears came. I do not like to cry in front of people, and often feel embarrassed after I have, but the Spirit was strong... their eyes were locked on mine as I had a mini-breakdown. I couldn't stop it... my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest and for a second I almost let it slip by, but GOD lead a man to leave a prayer request and the beating was back, and this time I knew it was mine. In the end I felt vulnerable, and embarrassed, BUT felt closer to these people and hoped that my exposure would allow GOD to work deeper within me. This morning I wasn't feeling it, I was spent, frustrated, exhausted, and quite frankly over it. But GOD never let me down, and if you don't know him I invite you to send me an email at: livelysituation@yahoo.com and we can talk more about it, OR if you have a question please ask I'll do my best.



Today I am thankful for:

Music, what a wonderful way to express a soul.

Friends in trials and tribulation. Life is easier when I know I am not alone.

Trials and Tribulation. When I do good, evil is always present.

Family. I enjoyed a great lunch with The Twin, Mama J, and the rest of my fam.

A baby who sleeps through the night and says Mama all the time. She is a mama girl ;O)

My Father... it puts it into perspective when I realize I could have been born anywhere else, and lived forever not having known him. I am very undeserving, and eternally grateful.

Nan... I saw my grandmother yesterday.. here she is with the Nugget. I love her dearly.







I am also thankful for the rendition of "The 3 Little Pigs the Hubs and Sugar Mama are acting out in the living room right this second ;O)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hide And Sneak...

The Nugget and Sugar Mama



Sugar Mama

The Nugget

The hubs and I took these amazing photos to Michael's today to be framed. He took them, for me, for Valentines Day and had them printed in an 11.75 x 10 Format... or something like that... Didn't he do a GREAT job?

I was bored during his indecisiveness over the matting, glass, frame, etc. So, Sugar Mama and I started a rousing game of Hide and Sneak... this is what she calls it. I wish I had carried my camera with me, because I would have loved to post pictures of here sneaking around corners, hiding in shelves, or shouting victoriously "I found you mama" loud enough for the entire store to hear. She, for whatever reason, is convinced EVERYONE around her cannot hear and must shout everything. :O)

This game lasted for a good 20 - 30 minutes and I loved every minute of it.. We took turns... One would count to 5 while the other hid, and I passed Sugar Mama more than once, hiding on a shelf, and before I could sneak past her to make her think I had not found her, she would jump out an announce herself. She even enlisted the help of her distracted daddy and diligent Michael's worker to find me as I hid. I got two presents today... a picture that will look beautiful when it's framed, and the best game of Hide and Sneak I've ever had :O)
Today I am thankful for an amazing little girl, the reminder of the games and fun had in childhood, and the stillness and permanence of pictures... they will forever be this size, atleast in print.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Quiet Moments

For the past two nights I have taken a few moments, after Sugar Mama and the Nugget are asleep, and the house is quiet to reflect. It is remarkably easy, day after day, for the: responsibilities, to-do lists, laundry, bills, trials, grief, tribulations, heartache, seclusion, etc., to stack higher and higher until the light is dim and distance. I have had two of those days.

Let me be clear, in case you do not know me personally. At 7 I stepped out of a pew and began my walk with Christ. YES - it was early. YES- I skirted the issue as I got older. BUT, on this day know that when this life ends I have the promise of tomorrow. Likewise, recently life has gotten the better of me. Nothing tragic, profound, or life changing... just weighted. My spirit feels weak and tired, and my walk with Christ has suffered. My desire to seek out GOD's word, freedom in the spirit, and fellowship have fizzled. And yet, GOD seeks me still.

Kristin has turned me into a blog fanatic. I am both fascinated and envious of women all of the world who are strong enough to share their lives, some at their lowest most vulnerable points, with perfect strangers. In these blogs true grace is found. Kelly has shared her assurance in GOD's healing of her daughter, whether here on this earth or in his arms, and her faith was rewarded with a beautiful daughter. And then last night I spent hours pouring over the story of a woman named Angie. If you have missed her story check her out here.
www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com. WARNING: This blog may cause you to - scoop up your own children from their warm slumber to simply memorize their smell, hit your knees in prayer and join the journey with the father, or simply raise your hands in praise and thankfulness for healthy children. Either way you will be touched. Angie and Audrey's story is amazing. Proof that a mother's love knows no bounds, and the Father's love is ever binding.

When I was pregnant with Sugar Mama, I had contractions early on, about 16 weeks. After consulting my regular physician and specialist I was given my options and a bleak outlook. My pro activity would include sewing up my cervix, which would inevitably lead to pre-term labor and "The fetus would not be viable".. a.k.a... My baby wouldn't live. The hubs and I discussed and we decided to wait. This scary situation went on for weeks... Each time I saw a doctor they repeated what they had already told me... often threatening to take it out of my hands and do the cerclage anyways, but MY GOD always delivered... each time they had made up their minds, they pre-exam showed a cervix too long to sew up and they would send me home... they were baffled. I was angry and scared and felt betrayed by my body. As a woman and a mother I felt it was my job to protect my baby and instead I was a by stander.. a vessel if you will, carrying precious cargo, but in the end it was never really mine.. GOD was lending it to me. GOD created this body and he protected it during the process... I never had a cerclage and from the pictures you know she is a healthy beautiful girl and this is the shortest version EVER of this story. This world offers nothing short of heartache, but in that midst GOD waits for us...

During these rough two days, I have thought of that time... that testimony should be fresh, distinctive in my mind, but it took reading Angie's blog to refresh those memories, smells, raw emotions and I feel stripped as I share this with you.. I have often felt there is no other time in this world like the time you lay your worries and fears at the feet of the Father, for when you open your eyes, push your self up, and face the world that specific moment of peace is gone... I vow to keep those moments closer together... to lie more of my problems at the feet of the father, that my light at the end of my tunnel gets bigger and brighter...... I hope you enjoy Angie's blog and that if Jesus is your light, he's brighter in the days that come... and if he is NOT that something said here, or in Angie's blog touches you deep, to the core....

Thank you father for all I take for granted, a wonderful hard working husband, a warm place to rest my head, bread of life, and healthy children... And may you bless EACH and EVERY one who reads this, that they may receive your blessings in abundance and a hedge of protection...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sock Hop and Valentines Fun...


Boy do I love 3K. My child has been a stay at home child since she was born, but we decided for her, ours, and our little nugget.. a.k.a. Addison school would be great this year. The Lord really answered our prayers. I was especially reluctant, and I had to pray REALLY hard before even touring the school...


Have you ever been in a place where your spirit just felt at peace? As though the fears you carried in with you melted away, and you had an overwhelming calm? That was how I felt as I toured this Christian school. The Lord let me know immediately that this was where my baby was meant to be, and then because he's an even better Giver than I deserve he gave us Miss. Lisa. We couldn't have asked for a better educator, and the love and generosity we have received has been far more rich then the money we provide. Because she is so wonderful she set up a 50's Sock Hop Valentines Day Celebration... What else do you do with 2 adorable girls and a 50's day... You ask Memaw to sew up some Poodle Skirts of course....


This was our fashion photo op before school started.





And then The Nugget all ready for French Fries and Sundaes.



And our Fabulous Miss Lisa.

We hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day... With your loves, and with the one who loved us so much he gave his only son...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Manic Mondays...

Wow, what a weekend. If you live in the South I hope you enjoyed the glorious weather we had. My family and I took advantage and played at the park and walked around the flea market. On top of great weather the Nugget and I made great strides toward her sleeping pattern; for the first time since she came in May she slept, in her bed, by herself for 7 hours... Isn't GOD amazing?

We are also looking forward to Valentine's Day. Sugar Mama will enjoying a 50's sock hop, complete with French Fries and Sundaes, with her preschool class in authentic 50's garb. She is very excited about her "Princess Skirt" courtesy of her Memaw's sewing machine. I can't wait to post pictures, I'm hoping to find one for myself also... Party City Maybe?

I wonder what great and creative ideas people have for their kiddies for Valentines? Are you doing something special you'd like to post? We will be giving the girls baskets with candy and for Sugar Mama big girl Valentines games, and the Nugget lots of 1st Valentines day stuff.. bib, rattle, etc. Aren't kids fun? I love to share these holidays with my husband, but to come up with great stuff for kids is awesome.

Speaking of awesome.. thanks Mandy C for passing this along. If you go to www.georgiaaquarium.com and type in Mommy in the search box you can find tickets for $20 which allows you and up to two children to the aquarium. That's worth it's weight in gold... what kid wouldn't love to see the amazing attractions at the aquarium? Hope you get to check it out and enjoy.

I'll be preparing for a mid-term this week, as well as gathering my hostess supplies for my twin sisters 1st baby shower!!! How exciting that my niece will be here in about 8 or 9 weeks. Again, GOD is so good, what precious gifts he gives. I hope you and yours receive more blessing that you can handle :O)

<3>



P.S. Here is a picture of my lovely Dooley, he's bigger now, but here he is...


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kickin' It Old School

I want to start off with Amanda C's comment from the last blog... I too find myself trying to be the perfect mom... but what is that? When I put into perspective that there are children in the world with out the basic standards of living like food, clothing and shelter, I try to remember that while my children do not get to go to the park, museum, zoo, etc; everyday they are always Loved and taken care of. Deciding to be a stay at home mom was easy at first, and then I noticed a few things... 1. Getting ready did not happen everyday. I am all to comfortable lounging in my elastic wasted pants and t-shirts EVERYDAY... this needs to change. 2. The needs of my family are met before mine, and on most occasions this is ok, Most days this needs to change.


* Christina was a person before my husband and children came along and to be the best person for all 3 of them, I have to take care of, and nurture me, or essentially I'm letting them down. I am getting better at this, not great, but better.*




This is the Nugget, my nine month old needy nugget. She had a check up with the greatest Nurse Practitioner today... Patti Hellam at Locust Grove Pediatrics, in Locust Grove. You can find more info at www.locustgrovepediatrics.com. We had a long conversation about weaning Addison off of Night Nursing. I was told from the beginning nursing during the night would be necessary until she was 9 months old, and now it's no longer necessary and she is awake every hour out of habit. Patti gave me the instructions I was waiting for, but dreading also... Let her Self Sooth... Self Sooth is code for Cry it Out. I have always been against it, I've tried it but it broke my heart so I stopped. With Addison, however, I have tried everything else to no avail. I cannot put her to sleep because she is used to nursing and SCREAMS relentlessly. I have tried:

1. Letting her cry it out while rocking her.

2. Letting her cry it out in her crib.

3. Letting Jesse put her to sleep.

4. Nursing her to sleep and laying her in her bed.

5. Nursing her to sleep and laying her in MY bed.

None of these have worked. So this is my last straw. Patti pointed out something that finally clicked: Addison needs to be more independent. I am doing a dis-service to both of us by letting her depend on me for this, which she can do herself. I will attempt it in the coming weeks. This is not going to make me a bad mom, but to allow my tiny little daughter to gain the comfort and confidence in her ability to sooth herself, she will need that confidence later in life. Please Pray.. I will undoubtedly be crying right along with her, crumbled at her bedroom door, but I need this for my sanity, I have not had a solid nights sleep in 9 months, I can no longer function, and I need focus for school. If you have any comments, advice, encouragement, I welcome it with open arms... Just remember us when you Pray.

Christina

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why Write a Blog?

You may have heard of this website called myspace.com. So, a girl that I went to high school with posted a bulletin asking prayer requests for a woman, whose blog she reads everyday. The blogger had a baby, but was at a serious risk of losing this precious baby girl, and I visited the blog to read up on the story. What I found was a blog that was changing lives. Readers of this blog were searching GOD's word to find why this woman, in the face of a very real tragedy, had such Faith and trust. As a Christian myself, I have often said, it is easier to help others through tragedy then to stand solid in the face of it. Kelly, however, was praising GOD through her storm, and leaning on the support of friends, family, and strangers to send prayers for her daughter. Not only did she receive those things, but people from all over the country reached out to her family in their time of need, and were inspired by her story.

So here I am. I am a 26 year old Stay-at-home mom of two girls: 3 1/2 years, and 9 months. I was pregnant 5 months into my marriage at 22 years old and, when my precious baby girl came home, my husband and I decided for me to stay at home mom. If you are a stay at home mom, you may relate, but at the time I didn't realize the decision I was making. After some time I started to feel like I had lost my identity, the person I was, before I was a mom, or wife, and need to get back there. I'd like to share my story, my faith, and hope that someone can relate.. that I can meet people on here sharing my struggle. I NEVER wanted to be a stay at home mom, but 1 husband, 2 children, and a bulldog later, THIS is my show, and I wouldn't trade a minute of it...

Here is my family... Our most recent photo from Christmas 2008




P.S. If you would like to read the blog mentioned above it's : http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/