Friday, September 29, 2006
This week I have been really busy but I have felt fulfilled in so many ways. Everything I have done this week has been pretty domestic you could say and that is what fulfills me the most. My time with the Lord this week has been early, early in the morning and He has reminded me that all of the things I am doing is exactly what he created me to do. This is exactly what I prayed for when I was single. It's exciting to realize you are in the middle of those answered prayers! I am not trying to be a super wife or super mom, I am just trying to be the heart of my home. The Lord has blessed me so much with women in my life that have taught me how to do that. It may be cooking supper, searching all over town for a bow to match Ava Beth's Halloween T-Shirt, making Fall decorations for my home, baking brownies for my new neighbor, planning a baby shower for a family member, making gifts, doing puzzles with Josiah, snuggling with Ava Beth or laughing with Jeremy over a funny show we watch, it's been fulfilling. I feel like my home is in order. Laundry is washed AND put away (Right Paula?), dishes are unloaded out of the dishwasher, beds are made, toilets are clean and again THE LAUNDRY IS PUT AWAY! There is no laundry on my couch!!! Hooray for me! :) Anyway, it's been fun. I may not have blogged hardly at all, but one thing is for sure, I got my priorities straight and it feels good!
Something I pray for a lot is creativity. Creativity in my marriage, my parenting, my homemaking. This week, God has truly blessed my efforts and I have had a great week. He has given me creativity this week and I needed it! My kids even acted great in Target (I won't tell you how many times we were there) and I didn't have to bribe, threaten or talk through my teeth! That's a victory! But there has been one very important factor that plays into the success of my week. I barely spent ANY time on the computer. In fact, I did not even miss it.
So it's time for the weekend, time to enjoy the family and time to EAT! I'm hungry! I hope you have a great weekend my friends! As always, I am praying for a special Word from the Lord so I can post some encouragement for us all.
Here's a few pics of the kids this week! The weather in Texas has been great! I wish it was cooler but we are getting there. Slowly but surely!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
1. I have my sweet cousin's baby shower this Saturday and I have been working hard on her gift! (she reads my blog so I want her to be very happy on Saturday when she knows how many trips to Hobby Lobby I have made, with the kids, pregnant, swollen feet, etc.! I love you Cara!)
2. I am having a baby shower at MY house for my sweet Desi (soon to be sister-in-law) in two weeks. I am making two cupcake cakes and decorating them to match the plates and napkins. More trips to Hobby Lobby! Thank God for the Wilton aisle! And anyone that knows me knows that if something is going to be at my house, I go all out. Almost to a fault! So I have been planning a menu of yummo food, games that will not be silly or dumb (I HATE SHOWER GAMES! My friends knows that and they still make me do them at my baby showers!), shower invites, decor, etc. But I am loving doing all of this! And it's a shower for a baby girl and those are the BEST to plan for! I think I am copying just about everything done at mine for Ava Beth. It was the bomb!
3. I have been decorating my house for Fall which means trips to Hobby Lobby (my favorite store! everything I bought was 50% off!), Garden Ridge ( I hate this store but I went anyway for their $1 box of Christmas ornaments! I need new gold and red ornaments and for $1.00, you can't beat it!) and Big Lots (my scarecrows in the yard did not make it from last year so Big Lots was the place to go!). OH HOW I LOVE FALL!!!!!
4. I have been gearing up for my Holiday Baking Business, Sugar & Spice-Creative Baking by Amanda. I am adding something this year to my menu so I have been baking a lot trying to figure out what! My husband loves testing out the menu!
5. I have been working on something NEW to sale over the Holidays (more trips to Hobby Lobby)! I will show pictures soon but not yet! :)
6. I have had an aching back, swollen feet, a hemorrhoid episode (pregnancy is wonderful), and my boobs have gotten way too big! (hopefully men do not read this blog!) My body hurts and it's only just begun! My doctor says it gets worse with each child. The thought of a 4th kind of makes me ill right now. :) Well shall see! But I don't want to complain too much! I love it! Ezekiel is moving around like crazy. He has been waking me up, he moves so much! Oh yes, the sleep! That has decreased quite a bit too! Last week my doctor told me that I am measuring three weeks ahead (I do this every single time and every single time I have a big baby that comes three to two weeks early!). So yes, I think I am already walking like a duck! UGH!
7. My son is addicted to puzzles right now so I have been doing LOTS of puzzles!!!! LOTS OF PUZZLES!
8. Oh and I have been working on a list of invites for my shower in November. My best friend called me this morning telling me she needs the list now. I did not even expect a shower for the third but I am happy to be getting one. Oh and she wants me to register for some stuff she knows I need. She wants me to register this week! Okay, so something else for me to do.
8. And I haven't blogged because I have nothing to really say. Can you tell? HA!
Okay, so don't let this list fool you. I no domestic goddess (many of my friends are! Ahem, COURTNEY!), I am just trying to wear many hats right now! :)
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Adisyn will be my first, full blown, blood related niece so I am thinking about this little girl all the time. I can't wait for her to be here and be a part of my life. Some of my greatest memories as a little girl are going to my Aunt Carolyn's house. She doted on me like crazy! I want to be the Aunt that does the same with little Adisyn. I hope to be a Rock Star in her eyes! I'm positive I will be. But what makes this little angel so special is her parents. I can't believe my little brother is having a baby! He's actually not that little, he's a big guy and he's almost twenty-seven years old but I like to refer to him as my little brother. He will always be my little bubba. I can't wait to see his face when he holds his baby girl for the first time (I am hoping I get to be in the delivery room!). They need someone to take pictures, right!? And then there is Desiree (Desi), Josh's fiancée. I already call her my sister because to me, that's exactly what she is. The very first time I met her, I KNEW she would be a part of my life. I had prayed for a sister-in-law for so long that I could go shopping with, cook with, and have babies with. Well guess what? I got one! Desi has become one of my closest friends. My kids adore her and she adores them. We talk on the phone almost every single day and in a couple of weeks they will be living less than two miles away! She is also a stay-at-home mom so I officially have an all the time shopping buddy! You see I prayed for many years that my brother, Josh, would meet someone wonderful and He did. I never expected to fall in love with her too. She is precious to me.
The Lord has given me a lot of time with Desiree. We have shopped, hung out, acted silly and even cried together. Instantly we had a bond. As we became closer, I realized that Desi did not know the Lord like I did. She did not know Him at all. She had gone to church with Josh and my parents and loved going but she had not made the connection from her mind to her heart. I took a class years and years ago called Evangelism Explosion (E.E.). My teacher once told me on our way to knock on doors of apartments something that I will never forget. "Amanda, people often miss Heaven by eighteen inches. There's eighteen inches between the head and the heart and some people never connect the two when it comes to the Lord." Knocking on those apartment doors was a scary thing for me. I had my E.E. scripting memorized, I knew it by heart but when someone answered the door, it never failed, I forgot my script. So I ended up sharing Jesus in a very simple way. VERY SIMPLE! I would explain how Jesus changed my life as a little girl and continued to change my life daily. The further I got, the more my memory came back and I was able to share scriptures and important examples from my training. Many times I would talk to someone that was missing Heaven by only eighteen inches. They knew God in their Head but they never accepted Him in their heart! So the more time I spent with Desi, the more I realized how her head and heart had not made the connection. At night I was waking up constantly with her on my heart and I would hear the spirit of the Lord telling me, "Bring Desiree to me. She will listen. She is ready. Just bring her to me."
Last Friday Desiree came to my house so we could go shopping and register for Baby Adisyn at Target. When she got here, her eyes were swollen and I could tell that she had been crying. Since they have moved here from Washington, she has had a tough time. Who wouldn't? She has never been away from her family, it's hot as you know what in Texas and she's almost nine months pregnant. My brother is working but trying to find a better job AND they are trying to find an apartment so they can have a place of their own before baby girl gets here. I could see it in her eyes, she was spent. We were getting ready to leave but I still had to brush my teeth. So I told her I would be right back and went into my bathroom to brush. As I was brushing my teeth, I heard the Lord again. "Mandi, bring her to me. The time is right. Go talk to her. Don't wait a minute longer." I walked back into the living room and began to pray inside my head. "Lord, please let my kids come into alignment! Lord, please keep them calm as I talk to Desiree." And then I said, "Desiree, I want to talk to you before we leave."
Leading someone to the Lord has got to be one of the most incredible things to experience because you have to solely rely on HIM to give you the words to say. The whole time I am talking to her, my faith is being stretched, my boldness is being put to the test and I am allowing the Holy Spirit to use my voice box 100%! I quoted scriptures that I did not even know I had memorized! I gave examples as I presented the gospel that only SHE would understand. Everything I said came straight from the Lord, it was amazing. During our talk, things were flowing out of me pretty well. Emotionally I was holding it together. Until I said, "Desiree, God wants you now. He wants to be the Lord of your life NOW. He longs for you to fall down at His feet and say, Lord, I need you and I can't do this life without you ANYMORE!" When I said that she began to cry, I began to cry and the Lord did some awesome stuff! I held her and we cried together. I could actually feel Heaven opening up. WOW! There was a supernatural anointing in that room and I was so excited to be a part of what God was doing. So I asked her, "Desi, do you want to walk out of here today and KNOW that Jesus is your Lord and Savior? Do you want to KNOW that you will spend an eternity with Him? Do you want to tell Adisyn someday that right before she was born, you trusted Jesus?"
Well, she said YES! I prayed for her, prayed for Baby Adisyn and then prayed for Desiree's salvation so she could repeat after my prayer. My precious soon to be sister-in-law, my new sister is NOW my new sister in Christ. I told her to mark the day down, September 15th, 2006, you became a brand new woman! So if you can't already tell, let me tell you! I am so excited that Desiree got saved and that the Lord used me to lead her to Him!!! My brother and Desiree are going to church with my parents and they are getting awesome Word poured into them. Now that she has made the connection, I know God is going to do so many things to reveal himself to her. I can't wait for the day to come when she gets baptized! I will be there cheering her on as I sit on the front and center row!
Lord, I'm ready! Please bring more people into my life that need you! I want to bring 'em to you! Thank you Lord for Desiree. Thank you!
Recently I was scolded by both sets of grandparents for not taking enough pictures of the kids. I used to send pictures out weekly but lately I have become lazy in picture taking! so here are some picures of the kiddos and some cupcakes we made. Don't laugh! I ALWAYS take pictures of food! :)
So sleep my little precious Angel, Ava Beth! Sleep! SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HOW ON EARTH WILL I BE ABLE TO REST WHEN THE THIRD BABY GETS HERE???
Monday, September 18, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I love being a trend setter! If someone copies my hair or my outfit, then obviously they liked it so much they had to have it. It's a great compliment! But what about the way I live my everyday life? Am I a trend setter? Do others look at my style and want to copy? Are there things about me that stand out so much that others desire the same look? When it comes to fashion, I like to see what the stars are wearing. I love to buy fashion magazines and read about the hot new trends. In my Christian life, I love to surround myself with Godly women that seem to have a look that is becoming. Their words are kind, humble and wise. Their countenance is joyful, their actions are loving and giving towards others. These women forgive easily and are not easily offended. They are authentic and not afraid to be real. You never hear them gossip or “discuss” someone else. These women make a Fashion statement daily!
Walking the Red Carpet isn’t always easy. A woman has to plan ahead. She must know what and who she wants to wear. Something a celebrity is always asked when walking the Red Carpet, “Who are you wearing?” It may be Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera or Michael Kors. Whoever the designer is, the celebrity has put a lot of thought into the choosing that person to design the dress. He or she trusts the fashion designer to create an amazing look that hopefully lands them on a “Best Dressed” list. As wives, mothers, daughters and friends, we walk our own Red Carpet. We have our very own Project Runway. Many times we think we are walking it without anyone knowing our struggles, our sin. But many times, our fashion fopa can be seen by everyone. The more we try to be perfect, the more obvious those fashion mistakes come out!
Imagine going to a party where you know everyone will be dressed to kill. When you walk in the door in your stunning dress, you see another woman across the room wearing a poodle skirt. At this point you think a couple of things. “Is it Halloween? Was I supposed to wear a costume?” But you look around and everyone else is wearing appropriate attire while Miss. Poodle Skirt sticks out like a soar thumb. Either she didn’t come to the right party or she doesn’t know what year it really is! How often do we put on poodle skirts? How often do we wear things that are out of style, out of season, too small, too short, too big and just plain ugly?
Last week I had a friend call asking me to come over and go through her closet. She wanted me to get rid of everything she shouldn’t wear or ever think about wearing. After we hung up the phone, I thought about how bad I need to that in my spiritual life. Often I need to ask the Holy Spirit to show me what’s in my closet that doesn’t belong. What’s there that is so last season? I don’t know about you but something’s I have outgrown such as fear. Jealousy and gossip are not becoming at all. And pride is the smelliest, boldest, brightest, fashion mistake anyone could wear! It’s just plain UGLY! Why not wear something a little more flattering? How about something a little softer? Or something a little more confident? Maybe something that shows love and humility? Instead of those outfits that show arrogance, selfishness and deceit. If we truly trust our designer, if He truly has total creative control, shouldn’t we wear Him proudly?
It’s Fashion Week in New York City. The celebrities are sitting on the front row as they check out the hot new trends for the Spring Season in 2007. What shoes, handbags, dresses, pants, tops and jewelry will be in? Before we know it, the new styles will be hanging on the racks at all our favorite stores. But what’s going to be the hot new style in our own life? Will we be trend setters or will someone need to call the fashion police! I don’t know about you but I want to be a trend-setter! I want to be a woman that initiates the trends! What fashion can I make popular among women? What if WE can be the ones to create a whole new Fashion Week? What if WE can be the ones to show the world what looks best on EVERY woman?!
Off to set new trends!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The package was special for a couple of other reasons too. It came from a place far, far away from Texas and from a person I totally adore but have never met in person. When I began blogging over a year ago, I had no idea what I was in for. The purpose of my blog was to write about things God was teaching me and allow my friends and family to read it. I had no idea that people from all over the world would come to my blog. In fact, back in the early days of my blog, I was excited to see just ONE comment. When friends and family figured out how to leave a comment, I was thrilled. It took them a while! But then people started coming from all over the world! I couldn't believe it. So today I want to introduce to you one of the first people that came to my blog. I didn't know her, I had no clue as to how she found me but this person has truly been a blessing to have in my corner. I love her, I really do.
Her name is Vivian. She is one of the smartest, most intriguing woman I know. We often talk about meeting for coffee. Actually, we dream about it. You see my friend Vivian lives in Canada and I live in Texas. So our coffee talk can't be done in person. Vivian and I have such a special relationship because our connection comes straight from our Heavenly Father. The woman is a Jesus chasin' fool! She challenges me, prays for me and encourages me like you can't believe. Vivian is older than me, I love that. She is wiser than me, I need that. She is smarter than me, I learn from that. She knows God's word more than me, I admire that. She is a mentor to me in so many ways and oh how I wish she lived in my state! I talk a lot about surrounding myself with women that are serious about their walk with God. So serious that you can see Jesus all over them! So serious that their words are as sweet as honey and their hearts are as warm as pie! She loves her Lord and it shows. Vivian is a devoted wife, mother and friend. She has ministered to me in so many ways and my prayer is that I can encourage her as much as she has me. If you are looking for a woman to inspire you, she will do it. She is a part of some exciting things going on in Canada. I even got to listen to her on a radio broadcast in Canada via the internet. She was interviewed for a special project she is a part of called Love Winnipeg. You can check it out here. http://www.lovewinnipeg.com/ She is also a part of something else called http://www.alphacanada.org/. These programs are incredible and a part of her everyday ministry. I feel so blessed to have her in my life so if you have time, be sure and check her blog out. Her love for the Lord is contagious!
With eyes like this, you know she is destined for amazing things!Oh and if you are wondering what the gift was for Ezekiel, it was a bib that is the Canadian Flag! How cool is that?
I love you V.!! You are on the front row of my life and I am so blessed to call you friend. I had to give you a blog post all by yourself!
If you wonder whether or not my Mom can do her thing with scissors and color, just check this out! And if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and you need an incredible stylist who will also give you the most incredible Godly counsel you have ever had WHILE you get your hair done, you must check her out!
Minnie you look smokin' hot! My Mamma did good!!!!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
So many times I say or do things in a second without thinking about the after effect. I have been spending lots of time reading Proverbs lately. This morning at 3am while I lay in bed with a throbbing hand and finger, the Holy Spirit brought to mind much of what I had read the day before. Proverbs 11:17 Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. Is my soul being nourished? How often am I destroying myself based on my words and actions? I took inventory. I thought about my friends, family, the blogging world. I thought about my conversations that no one hears. And what about this one? 22A woman who is beautiful but lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout. Now who wants to see a pig with a gold ring in it's snout? Exactly! The gold ring is useless in a pig's snout. I spend lots of time trying to look pretty. But am I really "pretty?" Do others think I am beautiful? Not only on the outside but the inside?
I don't want to live in a constant state of regret. Just today I did something with good intention, with a pure heart and something I prayed about. But I also made a mistake as I approached the situation too. I said something I shouldn't have. I got a little defensive and in my act of being defensive, I got thoughtless and said something ugly. It was too late! What I said was already out there. There wasn't anything I could do to get my words back. Even now I feel a little raw and exposed. But the Holy Spirit is constantly allowing my skin to be exposed in order for me to be rid of so much self that daily rears it's ugly face. The process is painful but sometimes my skin must be scraped away. Much like burn patients that have to endure painful treatments AWAKE, we have to be put on the potter's wheel wide AWAKE too. Oh how easy it would be to sleep through the night, let God work out all of our kinks, wake up and be brand new and free of self! But that is not going to happen. Instead, the pruning process is often painful as we realize the many things in our life that can't stay. They must go!
My desire to be a Godly woman and to minister to other women is at the forefront of my mind every single day. But in order for me to be all that He truly wants me to be, I will find myself in a scraping process pretty much all the time. It's the only way for me to grow. Today my finger hurts pretty bad but with ointment and a band-aid, the burn feels a bit of relief. So many times in my own personal journey, I feel like I am just out there, exposed and wounded. But my Heavenly Father always doctors me up by the wisdom He gives me through His Word and by the comfort He sends through the Holy Spirit. For my wounds may be exposed for the world to see, but He bandages me up and holds me tight as I learn the many things I have to learn. The process is rudimentary, it can't be avoided.
And if it takes a burn from hot glue to wake me up at night and hear from my precious Lord, I'll take the burn. I will welcome the 3am hour any day.
Monday, September 11, 2006
My job was only a couple of miles away from our apartment so I chose to work early in order to get off early. When I arrived, the day was still quiet. The only thing I knew in the news world was the story about Michael Jordan. I worked for a relocation company at Cendant Mobility. One of my jobs was to help USAA members relocate. It was strictly military or retired military. My work days were spent on the phone with Sergeants, Lieutenants, Colonels and maybe their wives, placing them with a Real Estate Broker who would assign them to a listing and/or buyers agent. These members were all over the world. I had a sheet of paper posted in my cubicle reminding me of time zones so I didn't make the mistake of calling someone in Germany or Japan at the wrong time of day. When my phone rang, I never knew who would be on the other end of the phone or where they would be calling from. But on September 11th, I remember someone very specific that I spoke with. It was a wife of a man in the military that has just been transferred to the Pentagon. Her husband was staying in an apartment near the Pentagon while she stayed in Florida with their children to sell the house. After the house sold, the entire family would move. Her call was to let me know that she needed to get in touch with a realtor in Virginia to begin the search for a new home. I had spoken with her before so the call was brief. After hanging up, I made a note to follow up in 24hrs to make sure a buyers agent had made contact. I don't remember the exact time, but I do remember this. She was the last member I spoke with on the phone for the rest of the day. My phone quit ringing. I continued making phone calls but was only able to leave messages. The office began to get crazy. My co-workers and my boss had arrived. September 11th had officially begun.
My boss was an extreme sports fan. I think I heard him discuss sports more than anything else. Sometimes I wondered whether or not he really worked. My little cubicle was next to his much bigger cubicle. At the top of each cubicle was plexiglass so I could see him and all of my co-workers. I got along great with my boss and we joked with each other pretty much all throughout the day. While there was respect, there was also a great deal of comfort. I could hear all of his conversations and many times I would interrupt or butt in with a smart remark. This was acceptable in our boss/employer relationship. My boss had a friend that worked for another department that came over to his cubicle every single day to talk about the last football game they had watched or what was going on in their fantasy football world. I could see Jose walking towards my boss, Gabe. And this is when the memories begin that will forever be in my mind for as long as I live. As I see Jose walking towards Gabe, I stand up and hang over the cubicle to talk to both of them. Jose says, "Did y'all hear the news?" And I respond with, "Who cares! Michael Jordan is coming out of retirement!" Quickly I realize that Jose is not referring to Michael Jordan. "No stupid! A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!
At that moment I was not thinking New York City. My mind was in total shock! I was wondering how on earth a plane could crash into the World Trade Center in Dallas. Instantly I see coworkers running to the break room at work. I followed. Before I could even get to the door of the breakroom where the TV was, I heard everyone erupt. It was at that moment that the second plane hit. My Boss' boss stayed in the breakroom. He was also a retired Colonel in the Army. The Colonel (this is what we called him) made almost everyone go back to their desks until he realized he couldn't keep people away. This was serious stuff and no one understood what was going on. Since our job was to help those in the military we were informed to not make outgoing phone calls but to continue taking incoming calls. The Colonel wanted us to be sensitive to what was going on and making phone calls to those in the military was not a good thing on a day like 911. But the phones quit ringing, there were no calls to take. From the time the second plane hit until flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, a lot was being said about planes unaccounted for. There was a rumor that one was headed for Dallas. There were even rumors that our entire country was under attack and that bombs and explosives could be planted anywhere and everywhere. As the world waited and many of us froze in fear just trying to understand what was going on, I called my husband. We had only been married for five weeks and I just wanted to talk to him. I wanted to know he was safe and I wanted to feel safe. My mom called me from Houston where she lived at the time. She was crying. In Houston the media was busy scaring residents by reminding them of how close there were to NASA. Some news reporters were reporting that a plane was headed for Houston and that they could be a target. Finally, every plan was accounted for and nothing was in the sky.
My apartment and my job was just a couple of miles away from DFW airport. Any moment I took to stop and look or listen for a plane, I would see or hear one. But all airline travel had come to a halt. There was nothing on TV except for live coverage of the attacks. I couldn't sleep, I could barely eat. The only thing I did was watch the news with the rest of the world. That night our church called an emergency prayer meeting. I remember walking into the church. The lights were dim, no one was talking, no one was smiling, everyone was in total shock. We didn't feel safe, we no longer trusted. Instead we feared. Was it over? Was more to come? How could this happen to the United States of America? How?
This picture terrifies me because this is when people began jumping out of the building.Today on September 11th, my life is much different. I have two kids and I am pregnant with my third. The world is not as safe as it used to be. My kids will learn what a Threat Advisory means and what all the different colors signify. Currently, at this very moment, we are at level yellow. This means there is a significant risk of terrorists attacks. In fact, I don't think we have ever been below a level yellow since 911. And someday my kids will wonder what I was doing when 911 occurred. "Where were you Mom? Were you scared? Could this happen again?" My kids will grow up in a world that is not near as safe as it used to be. They will live in a world that gets worse every single day. How can I protect them? How can I keep their world safe and pure? How can I teach them to not live in fear, when most of us continue to wonder when, not if, this will happen again?
I don't think I was ever able to get in touch with the precious woman I had talked to on the phone that morning at work. Was her husband injured or killed at the Pentagon? Did she spend that entire morning in fear as she tried to get in touch with her husband? Did they ever relocate? I am sure that no matter what, their lives changed.
What about us? How has our life changed? How can we make sure we never forget what happened? May we always remember what it was like before. Getting on an airplane was simple, a mindless thing. We never thought about what shoes would could wear on the plane to make the check in through security fast and easy. We didn't think twice about bringing a pair of tweezers or even a pocket knife on the plane. We probably did not even look at passengers and wonder of they could possibly be terrorists. Our day to day routine was thoughtless. But not now, not ever again! So today as I think about where I was, who I was and what I was doing on September 11th, I think about how our world is probably not much safer. I hope and pray that it is. I support our President, I trust him. I would not want anyone else in office during times like this. But as a believer, as a child of God, I know that this world is not destined to get better. Things will only get worse! So I pray that before this happens again, Jesus comes back.
Friday, September 08, 2006
As I read her post I kept thinking to myself, "Don't give up Amy! Don't give up!" So please post Amy's name on your bathroom mirror, your computer, your refrigerator, inside your car, whatever, plaster her name on your HEART! She needs ALL of our prayers.
Let's give her much needed strength by fighting this battle with her. The only way we can do that is through PRAYER! So, get to praying ladies and pray like you never have before!
We serve an amazing God! He can heal Amy, he can wipe this cancer completely out! For by HIS stripes, Amy can be HEALED! In Jesus' name!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I had never been to the Gynecologist before. I was almost twenty one years old and I knew that I needed to have my first exam. This was terrifying to me. I found out that a ton of women in the church including many of the Pastor's wives used him as their doctor. His wife even encouraged me to use him as my doctor. At first I felt weird but my appointment went great! During my exam he began to tell the nurse about my singing. He told her that his seven year old son had a crush on me. He did everything he could to not allow me to feel uncomfortable. And now, ten years later, he is still my Doctor and I would never change!
But a lot has changed. My Doctor is no longer married to the same person. He went through a terrible, nasty, very public divorce. His name was slaughtered among church members and as you might guess, he no longer attends that particular church. I left when I was still single but continued to talk to him and his girls and also remained a patient. He has always been honest and has never proclaimed to be the perfect one through the divorce that happened several years ago. I know he isn't perfect and I know that he has made some mistakes but I also know more than that. I know the other side of the story. I know more than just the gossip that went on. The best account almost always comes from the children and the children adore their father. All three lived with him instead of their mother. Since the kids were living with him, his parenting was criticized, his reputation, his practice. Those patients of his that went to the church quit coming. But not all of them! Actually, almost every single time I am in the waiting room at his office, I see an old church member waiting to see him. And guess what? They still go the the same church! So not everyone gave up on him. Some decided to look beyond his mistakes, some decided to look beyond the sin and realized that they may not have all the facts. For only one fact remains, he's the best darn OB/GYN in the metroplex!
About a year ago I was attending a weekend retreat for a home business I was a part of. While attending the retreat I was surrounded by many women that went to the church my Doctor and myself used to attend. One of the ladies found out that I still went to him and that my kids were delivered by him. She began to tell me that she used to go to him but after all that happened she switched. At the point I knew I was not going to like the conversation but she took it a step further. She encouraged me to switch and also said some pretty bad things about him. The things being said about him had nothing to do with his professional career. No one said he wasn't a good doctor! It was all about his personal life. I decided to tell this woman that there are two sides to every story but by her response I knew she did not like hearing me say that. The subject was dropped and I continued being a patient of my Doctor. Right around the same time my husband and I were out to dinner with a couple that was a lot older than us. We had visited their church and even their Sunday School class. Through conversation we found out that my Doctor not only delivered my children but their children too. I was so excited! Their children were college age, mine were little. Wow. I was amazed at how popular my doctor was! As the conversation progressed, I soon found out that this woman had also quit using my Doctor. She was friends with a lady that was friends with my Doctor's ex-wife. I began to hear once again all kinds of stuff about my doctor. Horrible things! This time things were being said about him professionally that I knew were not true. You don't get the title "Chief of OB" at a Baylor hospital for nothing! So I ignored the comments and continued being his patient.
Two weeks ago I sat with my husband in an exam room after having a sonogram and talked with my Doctor. We didn't talk about the baby, the pregnancy or anything to do with my health. We talked about him. A few months ago he remarried. He has been with this sweet lady for years and his relationship with her has caused great controversy. His kids absolutely love her and not only is she his wife but his lead nurse. They have worked together for years and years. So you can see where the drama comes in. He told me that they have found a church that they really like and explained how hard it is to get over the pain of people shunning him. He not only lost a marriage but a church, friends and even patients. Many would say he brought it on himself but I would say that he is a man that made mistakes and needs God's forgiveness just like the rest of us!
How long do we make someone pay? How long do we have to talk about their sin? How long must we whisper about what we have "heard" or what we have "seen"? How long do we email back and forth about how we don't like someone? How long must we sit on the phone and murder with our tongues? What gives us the right to shred someone's reputation? Why is the church the biggest culprit of destroying one's character? Why do Godly women sit around and talk about things they have no business talking about? And what about Bible Studies and prayer requests? How often do we say "Well, I heard.." or "Well, I don't want to gossip, but..."?? The Bible says in Proverbs that even a fool can be found wise if his tongue is kept silent! But for some reason, we feel the need to talk about it. Get it out there, tell the world, kill someone with your words, talk about all the things you don't like! Isn't that what we do?
Just the other day I picked up the phone to call someone and tell them about something regarding another person. We sat for a few minutes and ripped the person apart. Later that day, the Holy Spirit showed me that my phone call was something that set itself up against all that God was creating in me. It was wrong! I knew that when I called this friend that my friend would listen and I knew she would agree with everything I was saying. It felt good, but only for a moment. It did not help, it did not fix anything, it was useless! God has been doing something new in me once again. Whenever He does, He spends a lot of time showing me some things that don't fit. Gossip or saying negative things is one that I truly want to be overly sensitive to. I really want to be one of those people that those around me would NEVER EVER feel comfortable gossiping to. I want them to think, "Wow. I have never heard Amanda say one bad thing about anybody!" That's the kind of woman I want to be!
I sure love my Doctor. I love him as a person and friend too. Who am I to sit back and judge? Instead I have spent many hours praying for him and for his decisions. I love his children and I pray that they can come away from all of this divorce, church crap and gossip knowing that it doesn't matter what everyone says about you. Instead of talking bad about him, I chose to stand by him even when he was wrong. Isn't that what being a Christian is all about? How long do we have to make someone pay? Christ already covered their sin, He has forgiven them! Shouldn't we?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
A couple of months ago I really began to pray about my relationships/friendships . There are those that I talked to on the phone but never really see. Those that I strictly email because we can never find the time to meet up. Then there are my close friends that make time to see me and I make time to see them. These type of friends are on the front row of my life and we have a foundation and history that makes our friendship so special. I truly trust the people on the front row. Recently I have become friends with a few bloggers. We have talked on the phone, read the Bible together, prayed for one another and chatted daily on email. These women/bloggers live too far away to meet. Maybe someday it will happen but for now our friendship is limited to email and phone calls. As I prayed about all of these relationships, from friends to friend bloggers to just acquaintances, I asked God for something very specific. I asked for clarity. I prayed that God would show me those that I needed to truly invest in. I asked Him to show me those that I can trust and those that I know will always be true to me. That is hard to find.
Several years ago it was very hard for me to grasp that people sometimes are in our lives for only a season. Just recently I had a conversation with a friend that was in my Wedding and I was in hers. We email each other all the time but we never really see each other. I have kids, she doesn't. I stay at home, she works an amazing job that allows her to travel the world. Also we live almost an hour away from each other. Our priorities are different, our friends are different, there is not very much we have in common anymore. During our conversation, we actually talked about this. But I know that if I needed her, she would be there. I know that when baby Ezekiel is born, she will be there. She is always there for the important things. We may not meet for dinner or talk on the phone as much as we would like but we trust our relationship and we know that even though time passes, we still love each other very much. There was a season where we met for dinner on Friday nights and then went country dancing with all of our single friends. We talked all the time and spent many weekends hanging out. In High School we would chat in the hall and giggle about silly things. We have history, we have a foundation so I am okay with our season of non-stop communication being over. She will always be a part of my life.
I used to meet people, have a connection and give my heart away. I longed to be a friend and to have a friend. But it's funny how I have changed. Actually I love the fact that I am changing in this way. I don't have to have a ton of friends! I don't want to hang out with everyone I talk to on the phone or everyone I email. Some relationships are meant just for that. When I spend time with other women and I feel like maybe this could be a potential friendship, I have started really praying. I ask God for an extra amount of discernment when choosing friends. He knows what I need and He knows what the other person needs. And this I can really rest in because I know He will protect me. Some may think this sounds a bit extreme but I haven't guarded my heart in the past so I have to be careful when choosing friends. We all do. When I truly seek Him in my friendships, it works. I don't feel like I do all the calling or I am the one always making the plans. My feelings are not constantly getting hurt and I am not wondering whether or not this person is being true/loyal to me. I know. Friends will always mess up, friends will hurt us, shock us and behave badly. But the difference is, you know their heart and you always give them the benefit of the doubt.
I guess I write this today because I am so thankful for the clarity God has given me in my relationships. I KNOW who sits on the front row and I am totally, 100% comfortable with who is there. And the cool thing is, I sit on their front row too. I am probably the loudest, most gregarious one on their row and they LOVE me for it! So I can rest. I can rest in who I am and rest when I am with them. Oh how I LOVE my friends.
Today I want to honor those incredible women in my life. Some have been in my life for a long time, a few years or maybe a few months. But each of these women God has shown me are in my life for a very specific reason, to trust and to share my heart with. I am so thankful for each of them. Thank you ladies for being in my corner and loving me. Thank you for your encouragement and for uplifting me. I KNOW that you truly desire God's best for me. I love you.
Kelly Ann has been in my life since eighth grade. She is my rock. We talk every day, sometimes several times a day. In a few weeks, we will begin our craft fair journey and decorate our homes for Fall. And the thing about Kelly is, she knows EVERYTHING about me! I think we even kissed some of the same boys in junior high and high school! UGH! I love you Kelly Ann. From passing notes in school to raising our kids, we have made the journey. Who would have thought? Bedford Junior High, L.D. Bell High school and now SpiderMan Birthday parties!
Rebecca lived across the street from me for almost four years. A little over a year ago, we moved. Oh how I miss her! We still get together at least once a month and talk on the phone EVERY SINGLE DAY. She is the FUNNIEST person I have ever met. She is also my biggest fan and tells me I am a star all the time. Burping and farting in our relationship is totally acceptable! That's right, I said farting! She will be in the room when Ezekiel is born so this is a good thing! I lobe you Rae Rae!
Courtney is my recipe queen and my fellow pregnant friend! We are both pregnant with our third! We used to live down the road from each other, then I moved and we met at the mall as much as we could. But now she had to move to Indiana! Again, we talk almost every single day! The first time I met Courtney, I KNEW we would be lifelong friends. No lie! I love you Courtney. You are my "go to" for soooooooooo many things in my life. Plus we have to love each other if Josiah is going to marry Taylor!
Tiffanyis the biggest cheerleader in my life and when someone hurts me, she is my biggest defender. I love how she thinks I am always the right one! She truly carries my burdens and I can't wait to see how God allows our ministry paths to cross. We have the deepest spiritual conversations and then have no problem talking about fashion! I would expect nothing less from a woman that is married to a fashion designer! He has big plans for us Tiffany! I love you so much!
You four gals are on the front row of my life! I can see your smiling faces, I can hear your cheers. You make me love who I am. I love you so much!
Now I have to celebrate my blogging friends that God has strategically brought my way over the last couple of months. You women are amazing!! I just wish you lived in Texas! I have met so many bloggers that I really like and love. There is no way I could list them all so I leave you with these. You must check these blogs out. These gals are precious, God chasing women! The phone calls and emails make my day!
Thank you Lord for all of these women and all the ones I have not mentioned. You have blessed me with amazing friends.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Remember this from a post several months ago?
Finally!!! (and I used to have stuff sitting on my end tables but with babies, it's easier to put picture frames out of reach!)
Jeremy picked out this clock!
I am excited because my home is finally beginning to look like MY home. I got some great pictures for the kitchen too and a beautiful clock. If you read the post back in April about that empty wall, you know how much I have wanted to buy something. The Lord provided! Aren't garage sales great? It's hard moving into a new house. You want everything to be put together and every room to be decorated. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes you have to do it one room at a time. This seems to be a common theme in my life. God is always showing me something new and I thank Him for showing me one thing at a time! Every woman wants to be proud of their home and I was proud of this home when nothing was hanging on the walls. Today I am proud of it even more.
For the past year God has been doing so many incredible things in my life. He has shown me so many new things and blessed me beyond measure. At times it seems to be a long process but when it all comes together, I feel so proud about the woman I am. I hear women say things like, "When I was your age." Or "You won't care about that when you are forty." But you know what? I am pretty darn proud of what the Lord is molding me to be. I still have lots to learn but the process is good and I am learning to rejoice in it. Decorating my home has been a process and there are still many things I want to do. Curtains, a cornice board (Jeremy is making me one this weekend!), new countertops, etc. I can't have it all at once, but I am having fun along the way. One room at a time, one project at a time. Instead of putting stuff up just fill the empty space, I think I will wait.
Sounds like God is trying to teach me something again! And what better way to speak to me than through my walls?