Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lost & Found ~ Sarah Jakes

Recently, I told my husband it seemed like when we first got married, no one else was married. Then, once we hit our mid-twenties, it seemed like everyone around us started getting married. Now, in our early thirties, it feels like so many around us are struggling to hold on to the their marriages and/or are steps away from divorce. 

It's real out here. People are in need of real, raw, transparent ministry that will transform their lives. 

Sarah Jakes is a great example of someone offering that kind of ministry. She has quite the story. She has come through the pain of teen pregnancy, infidelity, divorce, and the shame that comes with all of that. However, I admire her honesty and willingness to share her story in order to uplift others in a real way. Her book is entitled, Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life. and the video below is just one of eight webisodes that you can find on her blog. 

I hope you check it out and are blessed by it.
 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Jesus it is you

Awesome lyrics. Awesome song. I needed this.


Jesus it is you
WHO MAKES THE SUN TO RISE AND BRING THE EARTH NEW LIFE IN EVERY BEAM
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO TURNS THE DAY TO NIGHT AND WATCHES ME AS I BEGIN TO DREAM
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO BRINGS ME FOOD FOR MY TABLE, WHO CARES FOR ALL OF MY NEEDS
WHO WALKS THE ROAD WITH ME
HAS GROWN WITH ME THROUGH ALL THAT I HAVE BEEN
JESUS IT IS YOU, JESUS IT IS YOU
SO I LIFT MY HANDS AND I BRING MY SONG
ALL OF MY DAYS, ALL OF MY RIGHTS, ALL OF MY WRONGS
I OFFER MY LIFE, HERE AND BEYOND
TO THE ONE THING TRUE, JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO SEES MY BROKENNESS AND CARRIES ME WHEN I AM FRAIL AND WEAK
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO TELLS THE STORM TO REST WHEN I AM OVERWHELMED AND CANNOT SPEAK
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO WEARS MY GUILT ON HIS SHOULDERS, WHO HOLDS MY HEART IN HIS HANDS
WHO TAKES MY THOUGHTS AND FEARS AND HANGS THEM ON THE ARMS OF CALVARY
JESUS IT IS YOU, JESUS IT IS YOU
Music & Lyrics : Ben Manusama

Monday, March 17, 2014

My boy is 5!


My boy is 5 years old today! Excuse me, I have to type that again for the sake of processing: My boy is 5 years old today! Okay. that helped. 

Currently, Noah is all about Batman. Thus, I have a Batman cake to pick up today around five o' clock. We have some gifts for him to open and are just excited to see him so excited to be a 5 year old. Here are some things we are just absolutely loving about Noah: 

1.Noah still loves to dress up with his ties, hankerchiefs, button-up shirts, and jackets. I secretly hope that this is not a phase, but just something about him that will remain until adulthood:)

2. Noah is still very much into singing and music and likes to pretend that he is in a band. He likes the guitar, the keyboard, and the drums.

4. Noah is so affectionate. He is especially affectionate toward his mommy (another thing I secretly hope will never change;) Hugs, kisses, and "I love you' s" galore come from this little guy and are a blessing to us all.

3. Noah, who has always been on the quiet side, is beginning to be more talkative and conversational. This catches me off guard sometimes because its new. However, I love to talk to him about things he is learning, about God, about how he loves his family, and of course, about Batman. 



Noah, 

When daddy and I prayed and asked God for a son, we knew we would enjoy having a boy. But, we had no idea just how much your personality, your voice, your humor, your quirks, and all the other qualities God has put in you would steal our hearts. You are a joy and we love you Big Boy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Guess Who...


Yep. You got it. That's yours truly. 

When my son so sweetly presented me with this drawing, I could tell he was proud of his work. I took one look and had to put forth much effort in order to hide my amusement at the look on my face in the drawing. I told Noah it was great, thanked him, and gave him a big hug.
   
After I walked away, I couldn't help but to shake my head and chuckle to myself for at least 10 minutes. I wondered, "Is this a picture of me on a good day or a bad day?" I thought, "It definitely had to be a bad hair day if nothing else. " Nevertheless, Mr. Noah was very serious about the fact that it was a picture of my looking quite lovely. 

What can I do in response to that besides feel proud of my portrait? Thanks Noah:)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"I didn't realize all that was going on and we never noticed."

 "In Thorton Wilder's play Our Town a deeply poignant scene takes place in a graveyard. Emily, still longing for the life she has just left, wishes to revisit one ordinary, "unimportant" day in her life. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much the living take for granted. 
Eventually her visit is too much for her to bear. "'I didn't realize', she confesses mournfully, 'all that was going on and we never noticed...Good by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners...Mama and Papa. Good by to clocks ticking...and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up'
 
 
On our new path we seek everyday epiphanies--occasions in which we can experience the sacred in the ordinary--and come to the awakening, as Emily finally does, that we cannot longer afford to throw away even one 'unimportant' day by not noticing the wonder of it all."
-Sarah Ban Breathnach  (Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy) 

         Monday, I had the pleasure of spending the weekday hubby and all four of my children. MLK day meant a day off for us all! I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and then did a little thrift store shopping, ( it was 1/2 off day and I would be foolish to miss such a sale). I was excited to find quite a few cute things that I either needed or wanted for myself and the kids. 
      
         Once I returned home, I found hubby had done some dishes and was watching Martin Luther Kings' I Have a Dream speech. All four of the kids were sitting on his lap watching it with him. It was his way of making sure they understood the importance of MLK and why exactly they were getting a day off of school.
        
       After a while, I found bunch of old Cosby Show episodes on You Tube and we all started to clean up as we watched re-run after re-run. Sweeping, wiping things down, putting clothes away. We chuckled. We stood in the middle of the floor with broom in hand and shook our head. After hilarious scenes we glanced at each other and smiled. We answered questions the kids had about why Cliff said that to Claire and why Vanessa or Theo were in big trouble. 
        
     The show brought back so many memories for my husband and I. However, we have only recently introduced the show to the kids, which makes it even more exciting because we are seeing them enjoy it as we did in our childhood. I think I enjoyed the show even more since I am now a parent and can appreciate Cliff and Claire's firm yet loving, and sometimes hilarious approach to parenting. 
        
      In the midst of cleaning and watching the Huxtables, I thought to myself, "This is so nice. I have my own family." I felt like Emily in Our Town realizing that there is something wonderful going on around me right here in the ordinariness of my "unimportant" days. As I move deeper into this new year, I plan on intentionally grabbing hold of and enjoying more of these wonderful things.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My guy and his girls.


These four are the king and princesses of silly-faced photos!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Commitment

There is a  message that has been on repeat in my house.

The principals seem to be just the kick in the rear I need during this very pivotal time. You can watch the message below and see for yourself how Pastor T.D. Jakes really unfolds and drives home the concept of reciprocity. You will find that the principals can be applied to every area of life; family, church, work, dreams, goals, etc!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fulfill Your Purpose

Last Spring, I was asked to speak in Bloomington, IL for a youth service. Hubby was so sweet that weekend, taking me to Bloomington a day early so I could spend time preparing and stay in the hotel overnight alone. 

He sat with the kids during the service as I spoke on the topic of Purpose. I enjoy bringing things out of God's word that inspire and empower other people to go a little further with Him. I'm always excited when a door opens for me to do so. You will see in the video that Noah wasn't quite as inspired as the rest us. However, I felt so blessed to have my family in the audience supporting me;) 

I looked back at this video today and am praying that the Lord will continually bring me to new levels of fulfilling my purpose in 2014. I pray the same happens for you!

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cheers


I feel very blessed as I reflect on this holiday season. We enjoyed family, friends, food, and fun! The Lord provided everything we needed and so much of what we wanted.  I was especially elated to be able to spend time with my nieces, who came in from Virginia. I am totally blown away at how much they have grown! Both of them are growing into beautiful young women.

We continued our family tradition of Chinese food on Christmas Eve and sleeping in on New Year's Day! Here are some photos of our Thanksgiving Day table, Christmas tree buying and trimming, and some of  the "fam" on Christmas Eve.

                                     Halle reaching for the Thanksgiving food. She was ready to eat.

Hubby picked out a really tall fraser fir tree at Home Depot.

"Halle-girl" (as we like to call her).

Noelle using the step stool to get towards the top of the tree.

Bella decorating in her reindeer ears.


Me with all my "babies." Halle  is the one sleep on the couch underneath the pink coat.

                                    Alyssa, 13, Noah, 4, Noelle, 8, Bella, 6, and Laila, 14

And, here is one more, just because it is one of my favorite photos of me and my boo from 2013;) Of course, we both hope to be even more in love and much slimmer in our 2014 photos!

Thanks to all of you who have checked in on my blog this year. I pray that your 2014 is full of love, peace, health, and prosperity. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bebe and Cece ~ "For Unto Us a Child is Born"

I love Christmas music and always start listening to it early. Bebe and Cece are forever among my favorite artist for the way they really minister traditional Christmas songs! They took me right on into the presence of God with the way they glorified the name of Jesus in this one. Listen for yourself!
 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#XMAS Jammies

This is cute alternative to a Christmas Card! My friend sent this to me and said she thinks our family could pull something like this off. With the theatrics that go on around here on a daily basis, I think she is right. However, I think it would take a lot convincing to get hubby to dance in public! ;-)
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Date Night

It's been a while since I've blogged regularly, but one thing hasn't changed...I'm still madly in love with the guy in the picture.
 
With 4 small children, we are so often in desperate need of alone time and date nights! There are times when coordinating schedules and childcare gets so difficult, we go a long time without one. Nevertheless, we are thankful for faithful grandparents who are willing and excited to take on the little ones from time to time. Below is a photo of us Thanksgiving weekend. After all the cooking, and eating, and hanging with the kids, we finally got a moment to ourselves!
 
The process itself: Getting a little dressed up. Putting on perfume or cologne just for the benefit of the other. Walking hand in hand. It just does something for you. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I told  Noelle and Bella, "Daddy and Mommy fall in love all over again on date night." They nodded their heads and said, "Oh okay!" Somehow, they seemed to completely understand. I guess they have seen enough romance in the Disney Princess movies to totally get it!