Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Full of words Wednesday...

I just realized today that I haven't posted for a week and a half...and I have missed it!! I love writing and documenting special things that are happening our family and it is hard for me to be away from that but I just haven't found time lately.

Dominic and I have been spending almost every waking hour working towards an opportunity that will be really exciting for our whole family. We feel that God has lead us to this place and I can't wait to be able to share it with you here....but there are just a few details that we are waiting on coming together and I want to be able to do a big "reveal" as soon as those are complete. I can say that I am so very proud of my husband and all he has done to prepare our family for this. It is exciting and scary and fun all wrapped into one!!
This has been a year of transitions and change and growing and we could not have gone through it with any grace if it weren't for all of those family members and close friends that supported us, encouraged us, prayed for us....thank you is not adequate enough ...but please know that we are so very grateful for each and every one of you and pray God's blessings for you all.

My grandparents, aunt Karin and aunt Naomi and my mom all came to visit on Saturday!! Did I take any pictures? Ashamedly, No... Boo on me!! But it was so nice to have all of them make the drive and spend the afternoon with us. We have wonderful family on both "sides"...we are truly blessed!

 I did manage to take a couple of pictures of Karlena in another pretty dress on Sunday...I got 3 dresses from the Children's Place late last summer online and because they were out of season each one was $3!! And the sizes I ordered are a little big so I hope they last through the summer!

Of course I didn't take her picture until after her nap and she had some serious bedhead going on!

Elijah wanted in on the fun a little too :) He was showing off his shoes here!

 Tonight at Awana it was "Favorite Bible Hero" night. When I asked Gabriel who his favorite Bible person was he said "Jesus of course!"  We had this costume that Dominic's mom made for Isaac years ago. She is very talented with a sewing machine and made this out of bed sheets!

Gabriel wasn't too sure about the "beard" that I put on him...but it helped finish off the costume I think! The wig is a men's adult size so it was huge on him....Dominic wore it one year in a Passion Play at our old church. We may need to give it a trim next year though! :)

My job is still going great...I work with a wonderful group of people and just feel like this is where I was meant to be. I am learning lots of new things every day and the days just fly by.  I thank God every morning for this blessing too!

Isaac is doing well in school - he is such a good kid and we are so proud of him. He wishes he could get a job for the summer....we might just try out at Menards...but in MN they typically won't hire you until you are 16.  

I guess that is about all I have for now...pretty random - but hopefully I will find some time in the near future so that I can sit down and write a little more! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My "sweets"

If it were practical to dress my girl up every day in dresses like this I would....but since it really isn't, Sunday's will have to do for now!!

 I think that she even enjoys it!

 I will never get enough of her baby blues!!

She wanted to go outside with her brothers so bad!!

Then she started playing peek-a-boo with me...

She'd crouch down and then pop back up!
 She is such a sweet girl!

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Fun!

Yesterday when I picked Gabriel up from school he told me this story...

"Mom, do you know what happened today?! We went to PE and Music and when we came back do you know what? Our room was a MESS!!! Mom, do you think that a teacher would make the room a mess?? NO WAY!! It was a leprechaun mom! Oh how I wish a leprechaun would come to our house!!"

So last night I went to our wonderful Dollar Tree and picked up a few things to surprise the kids with this morning!

 Gabriel was convinced a leprechaun came and set this all up....

 I found these cute little baskets in 2 packs and bought a few candy treats to give each of the kids. Karlena got a bag of iced animal crackers

 Dominic helped me decorate late last night and we put green streamers and gold star balloons around the table...that was of course a hit!

 Gabriel is pretty happy with the fake gold coins I found and put in their baskets!

 Elijah loved the "treats" and chocolates of course!

And Karlena can't get enough of her balloon! They still play with the balloons from Valentines Day so we knew these would be fun for all of them again!

And we had to have green pancakes for breakfast to top off the fun!

There is a parade in Marshall today at 3:17pm :) so we will be heading down for that later today.  Do you have anything fun planned for St Patrick's Day?!

A Before and After...

This is Isaac a few weeks before he got his braces on almost 2 1/2 years ago.

And here is Isaac the day before he was going to get his braces off.

And finally for the big reveal.....

One handsome young man if I do say so myself!!  And one down..probably 3 more to go! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You're Already Amazing! A Book Review

You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

I was pretty excited when I was contacted about doing a review of Holley Gerth's new book "You're Already Amazing".

I was already a fan of Holley's from her blogging so I knew that she would have something special to offer in her first book.

She didn't disappoint.

Within the first paragraph of the introduction she had me interested....It was her "Dare" with a statement that suggests "You don't have to to do more, be more, have more".

This simple statement is at the heart of so many of my struggles....always comparing myself to others, never feeling like I measure up.

And Holley found this was the case with many women. Many of us feel like we will never be enough but Holley uses the pages of this book to show us otherwise.

One of my most favorite parts of the book is when she tackled the idea of our emotions, and how they often get the best of us.  She shares this verse...."Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

Oh how true this is isn't it? You know the saying when mama isn't one is happy?  When I let my emotions get out of control it does affect the whole family. And when I get to the heart of those things that cause my emotions to be out of control it often starts with the fact that I am not bringing everything to God.

One of the unique features of this book is that it is like a individual reflection study along with wonderful encouragement.  She has space in each chapter where you can find out where you are. In regards to the emotions chapter she asks if we are a "head or a heart girl".  I am a heart girl 100% when it comes to my surprise to me! :)

This book is like sitting down with a close friend and talking through all the ins and outs of life.  I was encouraged to look inside myself and see where in my journey I was...and then also encouraged to remember that I am right where I need to be....

As Holley says..."The good news....God has a journey for your life. It looks different than anyone else's."  Such a good reminder for me to stop worrying about where others are in their journey, stop comparing myslef to others and start focusing on the journey God has me on.

I know that you will be encouraged and challenged if you pick up a copy of You're Already Amazing. Thanks Holley for sharing your life and journey with us! I am blessed by your words.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of You’re Already Amazing by Revell {a division of Baker Publishing Group} in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The ONLY Hope

Yesterday (Wednesday) was little Isaac Thompson's funeral service. I had the incredible honor and privilege of being asked to sing at his service. It was one of the hardest things I have been asked to do....but God is so gracious and I just prayed and prayed that I could get through the song and honor Isaac for his family, and although I was very nervous the entire song...I felt such a peace and strength right before I went up.

It wasn't me...God was there. He was present and I felt it in a real way.

I have really just been trying to process everything the past several days, trying to make sense of it all. And I can say that the answers haven't come.

It doesn't make sense and it isn't fair.

A coffin shouldn't be that small. And a parent shouldn't have to bury their child.

As many times as I have asked God why....I am sure Isaac's family have asked it a thousand times more. But even though we question, even though we scream that it isn't fair....God IS still here...He hears the cries of His people and He IS present.

The family asked that the pastor preach the Gospel message at Isaac's service.  They knew that there may be people there that didn't know about God's redemptive love, that couldn't claim Jesus as their Savior and they wanted to make sure that they had an opportunity to hear a message of hope.

He talked about that the ONLY hope we can have is in Jesus.  We can't have hope in this world and the only reason that Isaac's family can walk forward in this time of immense grief is because they know that this is not the end.

We will see Isaac again.  And as a people longing for the joys of Heaven, we hope that comes sooner than later.  I think that when a parent loses a child that longing for Heaven is even stronger.

But at least we have that hope, that promise that Isaac is healthy and healed and in the arms of his eternal Father. 

But do you have that hope?

What do you hope in? Is it things of this world? Things that we are promised will pass away?  Once again I am reminded that our time here is so short. We do not know the day or the hour.

Can you afford to put off making a real commitment to Christ? If you wait for tomorrow and tomorrow doesn't you have the complete assurance that you will spend eternity in Heaven?

I believe that God was present yesterday because He grieves with us. And He carries us when we can't move ourselves.  There is comfort knowing that although we don't understand or agree with the hurt in this life....that we, as believers, are promised an eternity in glory with God...where all things will be made whole again.

My prayer tonight is that if you haven't made that commitment to a personal relationship with Christ....that you won't wait. I acknowledge that I am a terrible sinner and that I can never achieve the prefection needed to grant me "access" to our Holy Father. But God, in His mercy, sacrificed His ONLY Son so that my debt and your debt would be paid. All we have to do is accept His gift and turn to Him, giving Him our will and our life and trusting that He will be with us during our time here on earth.

My God knows about sacrifice and He meets us where we are tonight. He is present and He is our ONLY hope. I thank God for that truth tonight and I pray that you do as well.

I am attaching a video of the song "Untitled Hym" by Chris Rice.. It is a beautiful song of hope!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

How Do You Offer Comfort?

Not long ago I wrote this post asking you to pray for a little boy from our former church in Parker SD.  Little Isaac had been diagnosed with JMML, a rare form of cancer, right before Christmas.  I was asking for prayer because he was very sick in the hospital trying to get well enough to have the bone marrow transplant he needed.

Many people prayed for Isaac and at the time he did get a little better and he was able to be transported up here to MN to get the transplant. God's people prayed and it seemed that He answered those prayers.

But the cancer was ultimately too much for his little body and on Friday Isaac went home to be with Jesus.  Earlier that morning his mother had posted a prayer request that they needed a miracle....and God's people prayed.

Ultimately our prayers for healing were answered, in that through Christ's sacrifice, Isaac is fully healed and in the arms of his eternal Father.

But of course the prayers weren't answered in the way that we all hoped....for healing on this side of Heaven.  And that is tough to reconcile with, isn't it?

And so I have been wrestling with this all weekend. Wanting to make sense of something that doesn't make sense. Wanting to figure out the "whys" and wondering what I could possibly do for or say to his family to offer some comfort.

I wish that I had all the answers....the right words to say to try and take away some of their pain. But I don't.  What I can offer is my prayers. Asking God to allow us to carry a portion of the burden for someone else so that their load may be a bit lighter.

Have you ever been there?

At a place where you faced something difficult, unimaginable even? And while you couldn't see how any good could come from this trial - you still felt even a small bit of peace?

I believe that peace comes when we share each others burdens. And when there may be no other words that seem appropriate, maybe the only thing we can do is to pray that God would allow us to carry a portion of that burden.

Right now the burden that the Thompson family is facing is huge. Will you please join with me tonight in praying for them? And if you feel led, ask God to allow you to carry some of that burden for them.

Wednesday is Isaac's funeral. Please pray that God's peace will be felt in a strong way that day. That the promise of Isaac's healing and now freedom in/with Christ will bring others that don't know God to the feet of the cross.
If you have lost a loved one...or especially a child...what were some of the ways that you found comfort and strength from others? Maybe by sharing here we might come to find a better way to help those we come in contact with.

Thank you for lifting up the Thompson family.

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