Friday, July 11, 2014

7 things to remember on hard days...

And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
    I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
    where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
    I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
    those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. Hosea 2:14-15  

7 things to remember on hard days:

1.  Know that God has a plan. He didn't make things hard for you, but he knew things would be hard. While your days were still easy, God was preparing to carry you through this. He was preparing you for this. He was preparing good at the end of this. 

2.  He makes all things new. Every morning when you open your eyes you have a new chance to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, devote yourself to him, to love others and yourself, and to accomplish what he has set before you.  

3.  He wants to get alone with you.  Go with him. 

4.  Remember that you're His bride. He draws your name in the sand with hearts next to it. He doesn't forget you. 

5.  For every valley of heart ache he has an acre of hope.

6.  Remember when you first met Him and you couldn't soak in enough of Him? He's taking you back there. 

7.  For those who are in Christ: You've already made it out of Egypt. The worst is behind you.   

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What do you weigh?

I went into the garage tonight to do laundry. As I pushed the button to start the washer something caught my eye.  It was the scale. I walk right by it everyday.  Sometimes I don't even notice it. Sometimes I see it and look the other way and then hurry inside. Other times, I look right at it, curl my lip, and kind of make a low snarling sound. Tonight, I looked at it and it seemed to be taunting me.  I dared myself to get on it.  At first I giggled at the mere thought of putting even one foot on that stupid cube that has determined my emotional well-being for so much of my life. (Stupid box.) 

I closed the washer and took a step toward the door.  But, the closer I got to the scale the more I thought I might actually step on it.  After a couple of more steps, I was standing right next to it. Then, before I could stop myself my right foot was firmly planted on it, then my left foot, then right before my eyes the numbers started rising.  Once it registered my...ahem...weight... I had to squint my eyes to see the number. Surely it was wrong! My heart started beating really fast as I squinted my eyes tighter and tighter to be sure I was reading that middle number correctly.  It was the highest number I've ever seen on a scale that held me. (Outside of pregnancy, but even then, I stop looking after a certain point.) "Jesus" I said. "I need you to remind me of who you say I am. Like, right NOW." 

I walked inside and sat down here at my computer to start editing pictures. But, before I started I picked up my phone and opened my Bible app to Romans 8. I've been hanging out in Romans 8 for the past few days.  I've only been reading a couple of verses at a time so that I can really mull over them and let them sink in. Today was the day to read v. 5.  But, after reading a few key words, (measuring, muscle, exercise) I couldn't stop there. I had to keep reading.  As I read, I knew God had something to say and it wasn't a read-between-the-lines situation this time.  Tonight, the words that normally seem like a great message delivered by Paul, became a direct response to my request, "Jesus.... I need you." 

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! Romans 8:5-11

Ok, so...if you "focus on God" you will eventually know where your identity lies or better, Who you belong to. You experience life on God's terms. "God's terms" means healing, power, acceptance, shameless, FREE, authority, revelation. It's the life Jesus had. God's terms.

I remember when I was healthy.  I remember when being in His presence and gaining a better understanding of communion was more important than eating food that brings death. 

I am "delivered from the dead life..." 

I "experience life on God's terms..."


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cartoons, Laundry, Laughter, Tears. and Lots of Milk

I complain almost daily about the state of my messy house. I can't remember the last time, that even a week went by, that I didn't comment on the size of it. Too many hours have been spent worrying about things that don't matter, while blonde heads and chubby fingers play and giggle only an arms length away from a hug, cuddle, or a soft caress of the cheek. But, instead of reaching for them, those lost hours all passed without even a wistful gaze in their direction.  

How many times have I taken for granted this beautiful family that was almost lost before Jesus intervened and gave two hurt people the deepest desires if their eternal hearts? How many moments have I spent mindlessly scrolling, staring at this lighted screen, feeling like I was missing something more special than what is just on the other side of this phone?

When I stop and breath, even for just a moment, I hear the soft breaths of my baby girl and my husband's quietly whispered prayers before he kisses our boys good night.  I see toys on the floor that irritated me today but that I know I'll miss in a few years when they're gone. One day, I'll long to feel the stabbing pain that can only be felt when your bare foot meets a lone Lego.

If I stop, even for just a second, I remember how much I loved this little house the day we moved in. I invited a friend over just because I wanted to show her the built in LAUNDRY cabinet and cabinet space above the bath tub (That remains empty to this day). We brought every single one of our babies home to this house. Each of their car seats were set in the exact same spot on the floor as we brought them into our home for the first time. In these moments when I catch my breath, I remember that our children don't know any other home. They don't know that the laundry, at one time, didn't have it's own spot on our couch. They don't know that my two year old's room was once an office/junk room. They also have no clue that I'm not a perfect mom. They just know how much they love it when I sit on the floor and play trains or tickle them until they get mad at me. They know how sleepy we get when we all pile up in the big chair to watch a movie. They know how to find they're way to my side of the bed after a bad dream in the middle of the night.

Then, in these quiet moments I look, and I realize, they're growing. My 2 year old is closer to 3 than he is to two. The signs of him being a baby are almost gone. I cry because my baby boy is growing-out and a big boy is growing-in. My first born, my first true love, reads to me. He has independent thoughts. My baby girl, I never put her down, but that's not stopping her from growing. She smiles. Today she said, "Ba ba ba..." And she meant it. Soon, they'll all be a little older. These days will be the old days and they are so good. 

So, after I put my phone down tonight, I'm going to forgive myself for not being the mommy I always thought I'd be. I'm going to forgive my kids for not being the kids I always thought I'd have. I'm going to be ready for the moments when they are with-in arms length. After this paragraph, there will be less scrolling, more hugging, more smiles, more love and more forgiveness. At the end of this sentence, is a mom who appreciates and makes time for, this little house, toys on the floor, piles of laundry, and the family and amazing life that God has given me. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mother's Day

Now through May 3rd, 2014 
KIDS ONLY sessions are starting at $75.00
Space is Limited

The price listed above is for a one hour session with a maximum of 3 children.  
Each additional child is $25.00
With-in 2 weeks, you will receive 
10-15 edited, hi-resolution photos on a CD. 
Release form is included.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


In his presence there is never a cold day. The temperatures are not extreme. They're always mild. The sun isn't too harsh. In fact, it's that just before sunset sunlight. The kind that is the best when you're at the lake, sitting in the back of a truck, with a damp towel wrapped around your shoulders, laughing, while your favorite summer time songs play in the background. 

In his presence everything makes since. Even the hard stuff. Looking at your baby's soft, perfectly beautiful face, you suddenly understand why you never knew that you were one of the pretty girls and how to help your own daughter embrace her beauty and femininity. 

In his presence darkness has to leave. It's like feeling afraid and intimidated in a dark room and flipping on a light. Your fear leaves as quickly as the light flipped on. He is the light. 

In his presence you see the young girl who always felt different and unwanted and as you stand with him, he reveals just how accepted you are and have always been. 

In his presence you are aware that you are covered. His feathers cover you the same way the blood of his son covers you. In his presence you are covered and protected. 

In his presence you are bold and you stand boldly before him as a son or daughter. You ask things of him that only a child would. He listens and is so glad that you came to him first, before you worried, or asked someone else. 

In his presence, you are reminded that you are flesh. That your flesh is the final vail keeping you from seeing his eternal face. When you received salvation through Jesus Christ you stepped into eternity. When the vail is lifted, the rest of infinity will be before you. No question will go unanswered no door will be closed to you. Like turning pages in a book, with every turn of the page, more of his glory will be revealed.  In his presence you are humbled because of your flesh. Your flesh reminds you that you are not the creator but that you were created and any power or knowledge that you have comes from the one who created you and everything he has is yours. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's the same with His word...

Every Sunday that I sit in church with my husband, with his arm around my shoulder or my hand in his, is a reminder that God hears and answers our prayers. 

This morning, we stood with the rest of the church while the band played the worship songs. Ryan cradled the baby in his arms and his hand held her pacifier in her mouth. He slowly swayed to the music gazing at our baby girl's face, and I gazed and swayed right along with him. My mind wondered back to a time that sitting in church with my husband and baby was only a day dream; a prayer that I thought would be impossible for God to answer. But, that was before I knew how incredibly possible all things are with our powerful God who loves and adores us. I dreamed that we would sit together in church. But, God desired to see my husband positioned as the leader of our family that he was born to be. 

I could have never imagined, in all of my day dreams, the man that God would transform my husband into. His heart for his family has been completely changed. We have a really beautiful life together. There are hard (really hard) days mixed in there, but at the end of every day he is on my side. 

On the days that my heart is cold, he warms me. When my faith is fading he speaks wise words, that seem to come out of no where, and he ministers to me in a way that only he can. When someone hurts my feelings, he reminds me that my feelings get hurt easily and then he loves me through it and says all kinds of sweet things that make me forget that my feelings were hurt. 

God is for marriage. God is for daddies and mommies. God is for unity. He is for transformation and healing. He uses my marriage to remind me of that all the time. He uses my marriage to show just how deeply and profoundly he is for all of these things. 

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the lord ’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” (Isaiah 55:11-13 NLT)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Texas Weather: March 21

Today was a day for gathering; a bringing together of some of my favorite people.  

Today was a day for laughing...lots of laughing and a dinner that just so happened to feed 10 unexpected guests. An open front door welcomed friends who are more like family. Children ran through the open doors into the warm sunshine, playing, sweating, giggling, and getting into the kind of loud toys that only grandparents have laying around. 

Today was a day to discuss silly things and important things; to give love and receive it. Today, the sun was shining.