Thursday, May 26, 2011


My grandparents came to visit a few weekends ago and just sent me these pictures we took when they were here! This one is 4 generation of women - My mom and grandma, Beth and Isabel and Karlena and I!!Amazing!!

And this is my grandparents with all of their great grandchildren!! Elijah and Karlena look less than thrilled to be getting their picture taken but don't you just love the grin on Isabel's face?? What a sweetheart!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


These days I wonder what DOESN’T make me cry!! I am walking this fine line between excitement and sadness at our current situation. My emotions have been all over the place lately and I am ready for some peace.

When Dominic and I bought the house we are in today we were so young. We wanted to find a home somewhere between where I was working and where he was going to school so that neither of us had to drive an hour to get to our destination.

Beresford was almost 30 each way. The perfect place. We went there one evening, looked at 2 houses with a realtor and made an offer that night. We drove back to my parents house to get a then 1 yr old Isaac and said “I think we just bought our first home!!”


And I don’t think that we thought we would stay there longer than the 3 years Dominic was to spend in school. But we did and so even though we have always been transplants….it has been home for most of our married life.

Insert tears….I mean seriously I can’t even write about it without crying!!

In 32 days we will lock the doors, turn off the lights for the last time….

Our dining room is now a sea of boxes. Each night after work I set to packing as much as I can. I am making progress and hopefully by move day we will just have the big stuff to deal with.

Isaac’s band concert and Gabriel’s choral concert were hard. I guess once I got used to the idea of being there and we really liked the school district etc I never thought that we would actually leave. I was pretty sure that Isaac would be wearing purple and white on graduation day. It will now be black and orange.

Gabriel was at a birthday party this weekend and when he came home he was so sad that he had to leave. With tears in his eyes he said “I just want to stay longer mom…” I told him that he would make new friends in Marshall and it would be so much fun….he said “I suppose you are right mom

He is 7. Such an adorable little man…

He left the room and I was sobbing. It breaks my heart that we are taking them away from what they know.

The familiar.

At that moment I just prayed that God would guard all of the kids and help make this a good experience for all of them. I know that He will but as their mom I don’t ever want to see them hurting.

And so I spend my days feeling overwhelmed with feelings of joy and sadness, feeling scared and nervous and anxious all at once. I look outside my kitchen window to the neighbors house and realize that won’t be my view for much longer.

I don’t love change – big surprise right?! And so at times I feel desperate to control all things and everything. I have to let go. Trust God with all of the feelings and know that we are safe in His protection.

If you have a moment please pray with me for the kids. Pray that they will meet and make good friends easily and this time will be happy and exciting for them and that their stressed out, over anxious mom will just chill out a bit! :)

Way to go Dad!!

I just have to take a moment to celebrate my dad!  Recently he took his PA recertification exam.
He had taken a prep class before the test and did really well....we were all confident that he would pass the actual test when the time came.

Well he took it last week and found out yesterday that he passed!!
YAY Dad!!
We are all so proud of you!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Today we celebrate our mothers. I am so fortunate to have both a wonderful mother and mother-in-law. Women who pray for me and set an example to me on how to love and raise my children.

My mom prays at red stop lights - isn't that great?!  She said that instead of sitting at the stop light and being irritated that she wasn't able to go...she started using her time more wisely and figured that maybe God wanted her to use that time to pray.

She has prayed for me and my family at LOTS of red stop lights. We have given her so many reasons to pray :) and even when it seemed like God wasn't listening to her prayers at times...she remained faithful and kept praying.

Today we see the fruits of her prayers. Yesterday my parents came up to Marshall with us as we looked at possible homes to purchase. And God really has blessed our whole buying and selling process. Last night Dominic said to me that he is glad that we stuck things out.  At first I thought that he was talking about this whole job situation....but he said "I am talking about our marriage".

I have said before that we had many years of TOUGH times. Many years when God wasn't a part of our family. Many years that my mom sat at stop light after stop light praying for a change. She said that she used to pray that I would have a strong Christian husband who would lead my family.

God has answered my moms prayers and we are seeing the fruits of that and our trusting God in all things today. So today I thank God for my mom and all of her stop light prayers. God is faithful!!

So Happy Mother's Day to all the faithful moms out there. Keep praying and know that God hears you and one day you will see the fruits of your labors!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"You Loved Me Anyway" - Sidewalk Prophets

I heard this song for the first time on the radio yesterday. It struck me all the ways my Father loves me.

When I doubt His plan - He loves me anyway

When I fight His love - He loves me anyway

When I repeat my same sins - He loves me anyway

When I question His authority in my life - He loves me anyway

Today take some time and think about all the ways your Father loves spite of who we are - He loves us. What a gift of grace!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good friends....

Pictured left to right: Maddie, Isaac, Christian, Bailey and Tiffany

Isaac had his last band concert of the year tonight and afterwards I wanted to get a photo of him with his best friends. These kids have been such good friends - they are all great kids and I am so grateful that he has them in his life.

This is probably one of the hardest things for me as a mom...knowing that we are taking Isaac away from all of this. I know that he will make friends in Marshall too - but this group has been together for years and that bond is strong.

To Maddie, Christian, Bailey and Tiffany....thank you for who you each are to Isaac. Thank you for helping to build his confidence, thank you for laughing with him and at him :), thank you for showing him true friendship. As his mom I am forever grateful. You are all a part of our forever family!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our home...and the details

As some of you are aware we put our house on the market a week ago Tuesday. On Saturday we had our first showing and the couple that looked at our house have made an offer!

We have accepted and are moving forward in the process. We still have things like an inspection and appraisal etc. that need to happen before we are officially sold...but they should be happening in the next few weeks. We continue to trust God with all the details.

When we finally decided that we should move forward we had reached that point where we said "Ok God...if this is what you have planned for our family take care of all of it...make it happen."

And make it happen He did!! An offer in less than a week in this market - a miracle! We prayed for the perfect buyer with no contingencies and He provided just that!!  We feel truly blessed by God's faithfulness.  I had shared with a friend that so many things had to come together to be able to make this move possible and little by little, after we finally let go of trying to control everything and gave it up to God, He has proven faithful!

And this weekend we are heading up to MN to hopefully, once again God willing, make and have an offer accepted on a new home. Please continue to pray with us for everything to work smoothly!

But as I was driving home tonight I couldn't help but think about our current home. So many memories....some good and some bad. But one thing I know for certain is that God has been with us in all of the details.

God was there when a month after we moved in, a then 2 yr old Isaac got out of the house unknown to us and was running across the street in the ditch.  Our new neighbors had to come and tell us he was out there. Yes we were "those" people that didn't watch their exploring toddlers close enough. (For the record we thought he was in his room taking a nap so we were setting up our new computer in the basement....he was apparently NOT napping!)

God was there when I cooked my very first turkey and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for our families. I was so scared that I would mess it up and so proud that I didn't cook the turkey with the giblets bag inside of it! :)

God was there through every one of our home improvement projects. All of the painting and new flooring, deck building and re-roofing.

God was there each time we brought another one of our children home from the hospital to their new home.  I struck me that Karlena and probably even Elijah will never remember this house as theirs and that makes me a little sad!

God was there when our marriage was falling apart and we thought that one of us would have to leave the home without the other.  And God was there and redeemed that marriage so that once again this house became a home. A home in which His name was spoken and celebrated!!

God is every wall, every room, every space that has become ours the past almost 13 years. Each inch of this house holds a memory. Oh how I wish I had written more down...taken more pictures...appreciated the gift this house has been for so many years.

It is going to be HARD to leave what has become so familiar, so comfortable.  In just about 6 weeks this home will hold another family. And I know that God will be here with them too. In all the details of their lives, He will be here.

I said a prayer on my way home for them today. I hope that they know Him like we have come to know Him in this house.  I understand that they have a 1 month old baby girl, a daughter that will likely have my daughter's room. Maybe she will remember this home like Isaac and Gabriel do.  I hope that it is happy and comfortable and familiar soon.

I have no idea what will happen this weekend. I don't see how it is possible to find and offer and buy a home and close when we need....but I do know that God is in the details and He CAN make the impossible, possible!

I am so grateful that I serve a God that is faithful and settles down into the details of my life. He IS good and He will be with us in our new home, I have no doubt! So today I continue to hand over the details and trust that He is taking care of all of it.

So, so very blessed.....

The Smith Family Journey

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