Thursday, September 24, 2009

Souled Out!

I have told you before how we like to get our praise on, soul style, at the house.

These is one of our favorite new soul praise tunes and here is the other!

I have always dreamed of having a black baby. In sharing this desire with someone they said, "Oh girl, you married the WRONG man."

I know I didn't. Then, I looked outside our window one day and saw something like this..

and was reminded that God can work miracles in many different ways. :)

So the other night, my wonderful mother offered to babysit Isaac so we could go on a much overdue date. Joe had seen that there was a taping for this reality show, "How Sweet the Sound" that was taking place at the Toyota Center (where the Rockets play). Basically, it was like Reality TV meets B.E.T. meets Christian American Idol. We couldn't get tickets though because it was all sold out. bummer.

We decided to venture to downtown Houston anyways and see what we could find...

When we drove up to the stadium an hour and a half before it started, there were thousands of people waiting for the doors to open. There wasn't a white person in the crowd....oh, I was at home!

I walked up to the box office and asked her about tickets. She told me emphatically that it was all sold out. I conjured up all the soul I could muster and asked, "Even for a SISTER!?!"

She gave me "the look," laughed and then opened up two seats especially for us. They were up close and personal. They had 8 choirs that made it to the finals in Houston and then they were traveling to 10 other cities, then going to have a finale in Detroit. They had three judges: Cece Winans, Marvin Sapp, and James Fortune...

We even got to see Israel Houghton (a personal favorite worship leader of mine) who was sitting on the front row. We had so much fun; it definitely ranked up there in our top 3 dates of all time.

Cece Winans performing.

This choir was my favorite. It was "The Pentecostals at Royalhood" who sang "Peace and Favor Rest on Us."

There was even one choir that sang a song called "Souled Out" and that would describe us after that evening!

Monday, September 21, 2009

How This Works Best...

So, I had gone for a walk this morning and thought, "I haven't updated my blog with a belly pic in awhile. I don't want to keep my people in the dark of how things are REALLY growing around here."

Many people have commented, "Wow, you are getting bigger." One of the foreman out here on the ranch, said to me (you have to imagine him saying this in his best spanglish with hand motions) "Every time I see you, you get BIGGER, BIGGER." While those phrases arent bad per say, they aren't every girl's dream compliment.

My sister earlier on in this pregnancy (I know she meant the best and was trying to express how excited she was for me) but everytime I saw her she had a comment about how much I was growing and how big my belly was getting. So one day, in my best hormonal personality, I said something like, "If you're going to keep me updated on how big and fast I'm growing; you're going to get cut off." I later apologized.

Then, I remembered how I had meticulously schooled the beautiful women that I worked with while I was pregnant on appropriate things to say when you notice my growing frame. In case you missed those lessons, then using phrases like this is how it works best...

"What? No, your bootie is definitely not bigger than your belly."

"You must be have a premie because you belly is so small."

(If we're out to dinner) "You should get dessert; you need it."

(If I'm looking especially frumpy) "Wow, Melissa, you look like you're losing weight."

Now I know I can hear some of you thinking, "So you want me to lie?" Just while I'm pregnant. :) Then, once this baby pops out then please revert to phrases like:

"Do you want to be my work out partner?"

"Want to meet up for a salad?"

Alright, I'll quit yacking and unveil the belly. This is baby girl (still unnamed) and me while we were swinging Isaac this morning.

We love you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Are We Trying to Turn into Bread?

Today I was reading through Matthew 4 and the temptations of Christ.

I asked God, "After fasting 40 days, why is it so wrong to turn the rocks into bread? Wouldn't that demonstrate His power? Wouldn't that meet his need? What's wrong with a little bread for a man who was without for 40 days??"

I can see why it wouldn't have been good for him to throw himself down from the rock or bow down and worship Satan. But having a little bread?

Here is what I believe could be a practical application for us today. What are those things in our life that we try to make "God" that are apart from His timing, His provision, or His blessing? Those things that may even be legitimate needs or desires that are not "wrong." We try to create provision and make things happen. We try to baptize our strivings as from His hand when actuality they are from "The Tempter" himself.

I'm pondering that today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm seeing...


A few weeks after we lost our baby, Joe went to a men's conference in Dallas. While he was at the conference, he emailed me saying that he had a dream that we had a little boy named Joel Robert. It made me smile but my heart was still really hurting.

Then, a few weeks after that (two days before my check up where I would find out the big news), I had a dream that I had a little wavey brown-haired toddler boy named Joel Robert.

From 6 weeks until 13 weeks, I had quite a few sonograms when they were trying to find out what was going on with my pregnancy and direct me accordingly. At my 10 week sonogram, the doctor asked me if I wanted to know the sex and I of course said YES! She said, "Well, I usually don't make calls this early but if you look on the screen you can see a little penis." Sure enough with my very own eyes I saw what looked even to a lay person's eyes a cute 10 week old man part.

We were convinced. Joel Robert it is. We were just waiting on the 20 week sonogram to confirm that it was indeed a little boy.

I have always dreamed of having my mom come to a sonogram with me and was so excited when our schedules aligned for her to come with us for the full anatomy scan. The famous question people always ask is "Which do you want- a boy or a girl?" I can say with complete sincerity that I would love to EITHER! Two little boys would be too cute and a boy and a girl- isn't that what everyone wants- one of each.

(I just have to interject that while I type this, without solicitation my little man is sitting on the couch next to me ferociously reading Joe's Bible as if he can understand every word. You know I want to get my camera but that would surely ruin the moment.) need to keep you in suspense. The very first screen that they pull up is the perfect shot and the man asks if we want to know. YES, PEOPLE, YES! He says that is without a doubt a little GIRL! A girl?!? A girl! Is he serious? Or are these people toying with my emotions?

I told the sonographer our story so they brought in a second sonographer without knowing what he found to see if she found the same thing. SURE ENOUGH! We got lots of pictures of her little girly parts! On top of all of that, all of her organs and anatomy were growing just right, they said there are no signs of there ever being a hemorrhage, and my placenta (which was low lying before and were monitoring it for placenta previa) is in perfect position. Could there be any better news! GLORY!

We were still in complete shock! Totally excited and couldn't believe that we were really having a girl. What joy; what adventure; what fun; what a blessing!

So all that to say, there is no name yet because girl names are so difficult for me. We are still praying and we'll keep you posted on sweet baby girl's name.

Let me tell you that we did not plan the pink attire at all- I mean, we are wearing all pink-isn't that fun!?!

Road Trip with Grandpa and G-mama

So my dad called and said that he wanted to take his two grandsons on a road trip to see my grandparents. Is that not the cutest thing EVER!?!

My dad and Daina picked up the two teething boys early and they headed to Austin for the day.

After a full day of traveling and fun everyone survived!
Dad and Daina, thanks for a great day! You guys are so cool! Love, Isaac Thomas

Its Good To Be "Home"

It has not been a secret this has been a challenging transition- from Dallas to Normangee- for our family in many ways.

Symbolically, its felt like one year long funeral. Burying "my" plans, dreams, and ideas. Leaving people we adore and in many ways it felt like we were "just beginning." Saying good bye to our church family. Parting with how we thought our family life and future would look.

I absolutely knew in my mind and spirit that it was the right decision but my heart was mourning.

Throughout the last year, we visited so many different churches, various denominations, many different towns all to no avail. We wanted to make several places work but in the end, they just didn't...

Then, feeling like we were at the end of our rope in finding a community of believers, to bury our sweet baby and to find out that the baby that is now in my womb had a twin that didn't make it, was just almost more than my heart could endure.

"(we don't want you) to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope" 1 Thess. 4:12

After a year of praying, searching and praying some more...With much joy and exultation, we are excited to say we are "home." All the while we were searching, our church hadn't even begun. Its a new church plant in College Station, New Life Church, that began in May. Every time we go into worship, my face is washed with tears, our hearts overflowing with gratefulness, and our spirits encouraged by sweet fellowship.

You know those times when you are home after a long furlough and you just want to take a deep breath, put your arms out and turn around in circles. Ahh...deep breath...

Over the last month, with the joys of our newest arrival on the horizon, I have felt the gentle prodding of God to "clean house." At first, I didn't really know what that meant or where to begin. I knew the end result was going to be good but it might get a little ugly in the process.

It has been little things and big things.

Its been my sweet husband digging deep to ask the hard questions and conjuring up the guts to answer. Its been asking to hold a newborn baby and letting the tears wash his little face. Its been finding extra time throughout the day to sit at His feet. Its been just being raw...most of the time.

And then the Word...

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pastures." Ps. 37:3

Oh, I'm enjoying pastures...all 250 acres of them. :)