Sunday, December 27, 2009
I wanted to write it down so one day I could look back, laugh and remember. Remember leaving people that are more like family, cars, traffic, working with five women within ear shot, shopping, restaurants, and a twelve thousand member church to...
Come to the country (our address doesn't even register in google maps), be a stay at home mom, the baby doesn't talk back, neighbors are not a thing you walk to, and the wind blows like you're on the coast because there is not much around. There were lots of days that I didn't go any place, only talked to people (other than Joe) on the phone, and when I did get to converse with people it was through my best spanglish. Mega-church was a thing of the far distant past and you, as the new person, could be spotted from a mile away.
The last week before we moved, we were hanging out with some friends. A guy that we don't know very well (yet is a very discerning fellow) looked at me with all assurity and said, "Its going to be good." I just excused myself to the next room and weeped until no more tears could come.
Oh does God know what He is doing. It has been good for me, for Joe, for our family, for our future. God knows. He is so sweet to take me kicking and screaming and put me in the center of His precious, glorious and blessed will when what I really deserve is the hot pit of hell itself.
Not that we're leaving the country but I sense the pace of life picking up a bit. Another little blessing on the way, prayers for others to come quickly, sweet relationships, greater job responsibilities...God expanding us.
The scripture that has been resonating in my heart lately:
"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:5, 6
Regardless of what season we are in, I'm so thankful that I get to look into this man's eyes as we walk this journey together.
I thank God for friends, like you, that have encouraged me and held up my arms on this journey. I love you.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
All pregnancy long, I have just sensed in my heart God asking, "Do you trust Me?" Not based on circumstances, what the doctors say, or especially what your emotions say. "Do you trust ME?"
We received some questionable news last Wednesday and I was really disappointed. What I wanted to say was, "Are you kidding me?" Of the 15 or so appointments I have had with my OB for this pregnancy, there have only been 1, maybe 2, that there was not some red flag, concern or problem. When we met with the doctor about their concerns, she just painted a picture that I had not painted for our little girl or her arrival.
On Thursday morning, something broke...something in me changed. I had a Daniel moment. I came to a place where even if things don't turn out how "I" had hoped, the enemy could not steal my joy and my peace along with it. Either way, we have been fighting for her and we aren't going to stop any time soon.
Several people have asked me if I had heard Watermark's song, "Elliana's Song" (They spelled their little girl's name differently than ours). I don't know how I missed that song. I have been a fan since back in 1998 when they lead worship at the Metro Bible Study in downtown Houston. I do believe that a few years ago when they dissolved "Watermark" I shed a tear but was so overjoyed when she released her solo album this last year.
You should listen.
Last night as I listened, I surrendered her afresh to God, who is much better at taking care of her than I am.
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." Psalm 130:5-7
Today, we got wonderful news from every side from the neonatal specialist so now we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little fighter. (Above picture is from my sono from last week of her face and she is sucking on her arm)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Let me tell you, at first, I was just not sure how I felt about this. I was 34 weeks pregnant. Enough said. Not to mention, I had this Christmas sweater from when I was pregnant with Isaac and was the emcee for the Gateway Women's Christmas party. I was just wanting to get my money's worth out of that little purchase.
Instead, I was left to my devices.
Tacky Christmas sweaters. Hmmm. Mine was more of a tacky Christmas shirt. I wore a white tank top with a red shirt over the top. Then, with my most craftiest self, I cut three holes in the shirt to make it look like a white snow man and then with a permanent marker, I gave my snow man a top hat.
I know this is a weird picture of me but its the best one of the shirt. Yes, folks, that's as crafty as it gets around here.
Here's another shot where you can see the bottom half of my snow man real good. (This is with the cute newly engaged ones- what a fun season)
For my little man, he was given this snow man sweater last year for Christmas (G-mama you know I love you). My little manly boy just could never pull off a snow man sweater UNLESS its tacky Christmas sweater party, then its P-E-R-F-E-C-T!
They offered to give Elyana a prayer shower and I was so excited! When I was pregnant with Isaac, I worked at Gateway and every day in some way or another someone offered to pray for my upcoming arrival. I was so honored to have these women join in praying with Joe and I for our sweet baby girl- what a gift!
Not only did they fervently pray, they showered us with yummy, yummy food, delicious homemade frappucino drinks (perfect for my sweet tooth!) and sweet girly accessories! Now, I am just about ready for her gloriously girly arrival...
Friday, December 4, 2009
Isaac's favorite part....the tree cart becomes his wagon!
Here is our glorious tree and our "big helper" chopping it down!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Okay ladies now that we got that out of the way! A few months ago, I shared with you from the deep recesses of my heart the little ditty that I had sung to my back side to get in line with my desires. For those of you who may not have gotten a little glimpse of my pregnancy weirdness, I will paste it again here for you.
Oh my buttocks, how do you do?
Oh my buttocks, how about you?
Though I feed you carbs galore
Please don't keep them in your store
Please remember my dear friend
We are nowhere near the end
As you see my baby showing
There's no need for you to keep growing
I know you keep things balanced out
But that kind of thing freaks me out
Just remember my amigo
You are not the one that is prego!
With Isaac, I never had my behind documented in PHOTOGRAPH...oh my word...apparently, a ditty will not change your body's predisposition for "junk in your trunk"....
I mean...FOR...THE ...LOVE...are you kidding me???
Now, Stacy on the other hand is having NUMERO CUATRO and her behind is minding quite nicely. Hmmm.
You win some and you lose some.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I remember being in high school and my dance instructor gave me a compliment in front of everyone (which I was so embarrassed by) and I proceeded to tell her why it wasn't that good. She said very firmly, "Melissa, just say 'thank you." This is a scene that has happened many times and in different ways since then...
Then when a few of my dearest friends from Dallas called to say that they had already planned a shower to help celebrate Elyana and there was no way for me to protest, I was in pieces. These women have loved me so fiercely already and to think of them lavishing God's love on us again, was just more than I could comprehend. All I would like to do is give back for all that they have already deposited and sown into my life and to our family. I shed many tears as the day drew nearer.
God began to speak to my heart, "you love because I first loved you." I have to be able to receive God's love and love from other people before I can pour it out. Oh, I have a lot to learn.
Here are a few of the ways that each one of these women touched my heart by celebrating with us....
Here are the beautiful hostesses...(from left to right: Sarah, Nicole, Lynnell, Stacy, Anna and Mayce- down below :). Every detail of the shower demonstrated their love and was a message of His love- From the beautiful decorations, the place cards, the scrumptious food, canvases for baby girl's room....I could go on and on.
Lynnell has the GIFT of hospitality- any event or party that she puts her mind to turns to pure ministry to the Lord and to her guests.
These precious girls were a continual reminder of the sweet baby girl in my tummy. Hannah and Mayce, even at a young age, you are beautiful examples of what it means to be a daughter of the King!
Then, as I look through the blessing book and at the faces in these pictures I am reminded of how many mentors God has blessed me with. So many women who have shaped the way that I view life, being a wife and a mother. Here are a few...
It was so special that Bella (Isabella) was there because that was our baby girl's name that went to heaven in the spring and she was due on Bella's wedding anniversary. It meant a great deal to me that she celebrated with us.
Lea who is an example of using her many gifts for the Lord. She is the one who hand-crafted the beautiful canvases for Elyana's room (there's an example of one at the bottom).
Lexa, another cherished mentor of mine, who has PRAYED me through some really difficult times and spoke the truth when all I could see was the fog.
Sarah and Penny. Penny told me that she was thankful that I had invited her! I immediately teared up because the thought that she was glad to be there when I was humbled that she would take the time to come.
I didn't have my camera there and I wish I had a picture of every single person. Jan, I know you were there in spirit the entire time- I felt you. I am also so grateful for Cheri Cochran, Kelsi Webber, and Krista King for their sweet presence and to so many others that sent their love.
Monday, November 23, 2009
For Nicole's birthday, the husbands had concocted to send us on a little girls trip! We spent 5 days...yes count that, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days in New York City.
We were a skit I tell you. Two grown women who have not been on a trip without their husbands in a very long time and wondering how to keep it all together....navigating airports, taxis, directions, the city and our schedule. You tend to fall into the habit of managing the children while your husband leads the way.
I have never been more educated on germs in my whole life. Nicole made sure we wore the "booties" at the airport when we took off our shoes, used an insane amount of Germ-X and nearly scrubbed the skin off our hands from washing. Not to mention, our jeans got a wash after every single day (because who knew what germs were lying there). There was not a germ within a 5 mile radius of us...
I loved every minute of just getting to spend one on one time with Nicole. We got to see interesting shows together, stay up late talking, getting up early to have nothing that we "have" to do (except for the taxi day but we're sowing that one for the kingdom, right? ;), and scoured that city for a good deal (but few were to be found).
The best part was going to church on Sunday! If you ever wanted a glimpse of what heaven is going to be like, I highly suggest you attend service at Times Square Church. There are more than 100 nationalities represented every week in worship and when they praise God it is with abandonment. The sermon was so powerful and it was an amazing testimony of how God is working in that city.
The whole trip was an adventure! Sometimes in the routine of motherhood its good to break out of the norm and feel the wind (or the smog) in your hair!
I was talking to the husband before I left and said, "I think that this should be my pregnancy present." To which he so sweetly tells me that this is a present for me for no other reason than "just because." Major brownie points.
You better believe that when baby girl gets here and I haven't slept in a few weeks (or months:) that I will thank God for my mommy vacation.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Oh, I'm trying to soak up these last two months with JUST HIM! The thought causes my throat to get tight and my heart to ache with the new joy that is coming into our home.
He really started talking at 17 months but the last month, his vocabulary keeps us in stitches.
He loves being around people and knows everyone's names and says them with his own flare. His favorite things are his "goff cub" (golf club), books, "paying" (playing), his dada, brushing his "tees" (teeth- he does this at least 4 or 5 times a day), "swing," "skool" (school- we do some activities at home), "worshipping" and "chuch." His new word that he uses often this week is "awesome" and he does a fist pump while saying it.
He loves to feed his turtle (which we found outside), our dog, the donkeys, and any other animal that will eat what he puts down for them.
He is a great snuggler, still uses his and my hair as a security blanket, likes to sleep for 12 hrs at night then to take short nap(s) during the day, and wants to be very independent.
Last night he thought we were at a full gospel church ( I guess) as he shouted an exuberant "Me-Men" (translation- AMEN) and proceeded to tell everyone in the congregation "BYE" as dad took him out of the auditorium.
He loves to pray. He will ask you to pray at the most spontaneous times and he loves to point to the globe and pray for different countries.
Isaac, oh I wish you knew how many times I have thanked God that you are my son! We love you through and through, always and forever, no matter what.
(picture courtesy of Nicole Graves photography- she is getting professional on me with her new camera skills)
Since Isaac was born, Joe has been wanting to take him camping. So for their big adventure, Joe solicited Charlie and his son, Asher (here is a link to his post about the weekend- I stole the pictures off of his blog b/c our camera is still on the fritz). Asher is 2.5 yrs old son so we thought it would be perfect! The wild was calling and so the guys set out to make men out of their boys.
They had a blast- made camp, cooked food, made fires, played in the dirt, and got DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY!
I have to confess that I was praying so hard that Isaac would sleep (his sleep can be so unpredictable). That night it was chilly and I just didn't know how he would do. He slept like he was in his own bed (can't say the same for Joe) and had the time of his life!
When he got home, he looked at me and said, "Mama...bath." He didn't just need a bath, he needed a scouring.
Such sweet times. I just wish I could have been a little tree frog next to their campsite :)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
I am taking up my sword and wielding it in my battle against the enemy. I thought there might be someone who needs these verses too. They are in the amplified, which always gives such a fresh breath to His amazing Word.
Fear not, (Melissa), I am your [a]Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great- Gen. 15:1
It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit--depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].- Deut. 31:8
Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider how great are the things He has done for you.- 1 Sam. 12:24
Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple- Psalm 27:3, 4
I trust in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, without fear or doubt]- Psalm 86:2
The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil.- Proverbs 19:23
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.- Isaiah 41:10
because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).- Eph. 3:12
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony- Rev. 12:11
Love and victory to you!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Elyana (pronounced el-ee-AH-nah) means "God has answered" and her little life is such an answer to prayer and we have experienced so many answered prayers lately.
Joyce is Joe's grandmother's name. She really is amazing and I am so excited that baby girl is going to be carrying her name. It also means "Joy" or "Rejoicing"
Friday, October 9, 2009
My cousin, Bobby, has been doing awesome this season and has been named as NC State's best tackler and he plays on special teams. (He is the one in red below :)
Yesterday when the wee man woke up he had the molar sniffles and I was thinking, "OH NO, not before the weekend." Then I have been thinking and praying that there has to be something that I can give him to boost his immune system and keep the teething runny nose from turning into more than that. Off to the health food store I went and was referred to this little gem.
I thought I would pass this along for all you other moms wanting the same thing :)
Sambucus which has elderberry, echinacea, and something else. One of those things is to help block infection. So far, so good. No green snot, just a little bit of a drop of runny nose (yesterday it was pouring out of his sweet nose). He is overall feeling more peppy and himself.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I, yes I, have been cutting Isaac's hair. His hair grows so fast and gets long in the weirdest places that I have probably already given him about 6 hair cuts. But I figured for pictures, I better leave it to the professionals. So I made an appointment for both of my boys with the girl who did my hair last (it was a salon mind you, not a barber shop :)
Just before we were going to pull in, I asked the hubbs if he would pull into the gas station. He inquired, "What for?" Well, I just wanted to get a piece of candy to have on hand for an emergency. We both start cracking up to which he comments, "So, we've reduced our parenting style to bribery." For family pictures....yes :) I have just heard many a stories of perfectly wonderful children who have a meltdown in the barber's chair. I thought it would be a good precaution.
So I picked up this little life preserver for 22 cents :( (Lomama, you'd be proud)
When Joe saw what I had picked out he said, "Hmmm, candy-coated sugar. Get him wired so he'll wiggle in the chair. Good plan."
Now, we are ready :)
Let me tell you, that boy hopped up into that chair, she put a smock on him with flip flops and he sat as still as an 18 month old could sit. It was probably one of his top 3 cutest things he has ever done.
This is him when he first got in the chair.
At the end he was moving his head a little so Joe was reading him a book.