Thursday, October 29, 2009


So it all started with this.... (its kinda hard to see...but it CLEARLY says PREGNANT) haha:)
Ray gave me the option of going to get a pregnancy test or getting icecream... I voted pregnancy test. He thought I WAS preggo; I thought NO WAY! After we saw these results...He said, "Do you wanna go get icecream now?" hahaha!

We were both (well mainly me) shocked at first...but obviously knew it could happen :) Ray has been my rock...He has been excited, happy, encouraging me with Truth, making me laugh, and being there for me since the minute we found out. It has only been about 8 weeks (we think), but we have both been overwhelmed with God's love and grace carrying us. We kept it a secret until a few nights ago.
Since I had kinda gone crazy when I first saw the first positive test...I decided I needed to take another one so that I could have a little calmer reaction :) So I took another one while Ray was at work. It was once again loud and clear with the results... PREGNANT!!! So here are some pictures from when I told him we DEFINITELY were gonna have a baby... :)

I made a nice dinner and several little things sitting
around his plate...

One of his favorite books from when he was a kid...
Where the Wild Things Are...

The Baby Name Book...
Which we already have names that we really like :)
(I love that we agree on most things... or I win!!)


Then he had to read the story aloud at the table...
and he said he needed to hold the book like the teachers
in school holds it so the kids can see the pictures... haha!

I can already tell he is gonna be a GREAT dad...CRAZY, but GREAT!!

So here we go...onto the next step of the journey....
An unexpected gift and the best surprise I have ever had....
We are going to be parents... Sometimes I just have to let the words sink in...
But I know that there is grace upon grace upon grace in the arms of our Savior...
Sooooo.... Lets get the party started... :)

Psalm 139:14-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Laughing in the Wildflowers....


What does the Enemy use to take our gaze off our beautiful Savior? This past week I have felt my gaze dropping from heaven to earth. Thoughts of the future mainly... regarding money, our families, our house, etc. The Lord clearly tells me to stay focused on today and not worry about tomorrow.

Matt. 6:25-43 (The Message)

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

How often my mind drifts to what i must do next with the house, what I will fix for dinner, what new clothes are out... though these are all good in and of themselves.... i must remember that one day it will all burn. I will not take my house, clothes, food, or job to heaven. I enter heaven with my gaze fixed upon the most beautiful treasure... Jesus Christ. "All my crowns will fall down before him." What a gift!

I have been trying to apply this to my life... Laying down each day and surrendering to the Lord to use me and every aspect of my life as he wills. I was reading through Proverbs 31 the other day, just reminding myself of the precious precepts in that passage. One verse, that has never previously stood out to me, jumped out at me when I read it this time....


WOW!! Lord, how can I laugh at the days to come...I don't know what is going to happen???? The woman that trusts in God can surely LAUGH at the future...nothing is going to take her by surprise because she is steadfast. She is firm in her grip on her faithful, loving, sovereign Father. Her Abba will not give her anything she cannot handle...and the same goes for me! I can handle anything!! :) Because my Savior is TRUSTWORTHY.... ALWAYS!

May we just try to forget all our cares and worries just long enough to run through the wildflowers and admire their beauty, laughing as we hold the hand of our Father... I bet we will never go back to our worries...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Little by Little

Flowers from my Love before I left to visit my parents...
He has been such an encouragement to me and my family during this
season. I don't know what I would do with out him :)

Putting up our new decor :)
We finally finished up our last few gifts cards from the wedding!!
"Laugh, Live, Love" for our dining room

Our new shoe rack.
It actually rotates!!
I will not even begin to tell you what I went through to try to find
a wreath for our door. I had no idea a silly autumn wreath would
be sooo expensive. Anyway, we put this little door hanger up.
I guess it does the job!
Don't you love our newly painted red door?? :)

This house is definitely feeling more and more like home each day.
We are taking one thing each week to focus on in the house.
Things are getting done ... little by little :)

Our schedules have been quite conflicting lately, so it was so nice to spend the day together yesterday. Life can be so busy sometimes!! We are excited about our trip to STAUNTON next weekend with Ray's family to visit my family! The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains this time of year is beautiful! :)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moving past devastation

Oh How my heart is overflowing this morning... what a wonderful blessing to open God's Word and have him speak to you!
This week in the study I an currently doing we have been studying about getting past your devastation with God. I was initially thinking, well, I have never really had anything that horrible happen to me. But as I began to think of the things that cause distrust in my heart towards God at times, I was completely humbled at what was laid bare in my heart. Every time I go to work I am surrounded by the most precious children, most of which are walking through devastating treatment for cancer. I see little children that spend their days in one after day, these children that should be outside running around are lying in a hospital bed. I see teenagers, trying to make sense of this new, cancer, but I was supposed to play basketball in college, i'm going to miss my senior prom and possibly my graduation. I see doctors and nurses that are speechless, no answers to these heart broken parents. My ears are always sensitive to the sounds of monitors beeping, children crying, alarms going off.

My heart at times is angry...Lord, why? Why do "these" children have this horrible disease? Why did the cancer come back after all that treatment? They had their whole life ahead of them! Then my questions usually turn to "how." How can I make all this sadness better? How can I encourage these dear parents as they face this horrific, life changing news? How can I trust you, Lord, when I see all this pain?

There are times that I allow a wall up in my relationship with the Lord. I see this suffering, dying, discouraging news, and sadness all around and I cannot reconcile this with the loving, faithful God that I have always known since my childhood.

As I have been pouring out my heart to the Lord this week, the anger and fear that occasionally creeps up, has subsided, as He has begun to pour out immeasurable amounts of grace and surround me with his unconditional love.

As I have been studying 2 Samuel 6, I have seen and remembered the God I know! In this passage, David has become King and he has a strong desire to bring the ark of the covenant back to the city. God's presence dwelled in the ark and this was remarkable symbolism of the heart of David to bring God's presence to dwell with them again. They were celebrating and dancing and then, something devastating happens. The ark begins to fall off the cart and Uzzuh reaches out to steady it. He dies. It then it says in verse 8, "David was angry because of the Lord's wrath." David, the man after God's own heart, was angry at God for pouring out His wrath. Then in verse 9, it says, "David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, "How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?" Again, this man after God's own heart, was afraid and fearful. The passage continues, and David leaves the ark at the house of Obed-Edom for three months. Then David hears that the house of Obed-Edom is flourishing... God is pouring out His blessing and favor on them. David then remembers his faithful God and returns to bring the ark back once more.

I just think that is awesome... First of all that David, after the death of Uzzah, was angry and fearful... This man that we esteem was on our level...he had the same feelings we feel at times. He asked the same questions we ask sometimes. He had to leave the ark for three months to work through this devastation. But then, seeing how our faithful God reminds us of his goodness, kindness, mercy, and grace. He showed David that he was still there. He was still working out a plan.

So, back to my adorable little patients at CHKD...
God has a bigger plan... Most of the time I cannot see that plan. But I was reminded this morning that He is working. He has not left these families in their devastation. He will bring them out and their will be dancing and celebrating. Sometimes it is not how we think it should be, but God knows best. He sees all, knows all and now I must trust Him...with all that I am and all that I have because He has always been faithful to me.

I want to be like David. Though I work through my human emotions, I want to always stay close to the God I love. "A bruised heart that chooses to beat with passion for God amid pulsing pain and confusion may just be the most precious offering placed on the divine alter."

This question in the study truly helped my heart to remember who I love...
"What about you, Beloved? What have you found at Jesus' side that distancing yourself from Him at a time of devastation could jeopardize?
What was my answer??
I have found Him to be my Lover, my closest friend, my confidant, my life-giver, my strength, my salvation, my guide, my joy, and my song and so much more! He is my everything!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

So the past few weeks I have had to get rid of some of my old things... the last time Ray and I visited my parents, he graciously carried 5 very large boxes of old mementos from, believe it or not, elementary, middle, highschool, and college. Just ask him...I saved every little letter from my girlfriends, every card from every birthday and christmas and special occasion, every plaque, every picture, every stuffed animal, etc. Lets just say it was a ton of stuff! So I have been going through the old memories...remembering God's amazing faithfulness to me through the last 24 years. It has honestly been a blast going through it all, but very painful to throw away some of the things that I cherished so much...Ray gets a good chuckle at some of the things I saved :) So... after 6 trash bags full of memories I am feeling much better about things :) At least the room isn't as stuffed full of "stuff."
here's a couple of my sweet mementos from friends and family...

This is a picture that my parents gave me to keep in my little
treasure chest full of special people in my life :) This is them
on their wedding day!! SO CUTE!

This note hung over my bed all four years of college,
to remind me to NEVER

This was a silly picture I filled out, pretending each
dog represented someone in my family (even my dog, Manda!) HAHA!

Me and my dad on the SCOOBY DOO Roller Coaster Baby! :)
(I know its crooked)

An encouraging note from one of my best friends, Julia,
also known as HULES :) She was and still is faithful to
send me little notes that ENCOURAGE my heart!

My mom would always leave the sweetest notes in my lunchbox or bookbag...
this one I found in my gym bag on the way to a volleyball game :)

BUT I am learning to LOVE and APPRECIATE new Things...

*being newly many wonderful blessing!
(This was taken when Ray surprised me and took me to see
Rascal Flatts! It was SOO much fun, even in the rain!)

*My new favorite drink... Coffee frappaccino

*Starting a new study at church on GALATIONS!

*nEw TV...Whoohoo!!

*New dear friends Derek and Carianne, just had their
second baby...such a CUTIE!!

*painting for the FIRST time...our study is now a new beautiful BRIGHT blue!

*And...Our sweet, clean, and NEW toothbrushes...
to get that minty fresh breath :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blessed in Brokeness

"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"
2 Samuel 7:18

The past two weeks have been rather hard for my family. My precious dad lost his job at the church I grew up at. He was informed of this decision rather suddenly. Finances was the main reason, but many other things have transpired in the past two weeks. My parents have sensed the church going in a different direction, after many meetings and much discussion it is with broken hearts they leave the church they love. There is so much to the story, and I usually don't get very personal on this blog, but my heart is breaking for my parents. I have seen them in the trenches with our church for the past 15 years. My dad has faithfully led worship, passionately taught and discipled the youth, cared for the members of the church, and truly laid down his life for this flock. My mom has served by his side as a loyal and supportive wife through all the ups and downs of minstry. I have never seen my parents "above" anything or anybody...they are FAITHFUL to the body of Christ.
This past Sunday was my parents last Sunday at the church. In God's sovereignty, mom and I had a planned to go to the Extraordinary Women's Conference in Roanoke together Friday and Saturday. In God's kindness, we shared the most precious times together..laughing, crying, talking, and laughing some more :) I have seen a strength in my mom that I hope to emulate in suffering. She has walked so humbly, yet confidently through this whole situation. God has been speaking to her very clearly and she knows His vioce. After the conference was over, we were overwhelmed with sadness when we awoke on Sunday. Knowing that it was my dad's last Sunday to lead this congregation in worship broke our hearts. My dad confidently, yet so graciously stepped up on the stage and lead the congregation, as usual, to the throne of grace. The church (and its leadership) has been humbled through all this as well and we saw the love and gratefullness the people from our church have for us. We were blessed in our brokeness. Though it was one of the sadest things I have had to walk through, I felt so uplifted by the prayers of my friends. It was difficult to go home without Ray or my sister being there, but I pray that my presence brought encouragement, support, and love to my parents as they walk through this trial.
My parents still need much prayer and love during this season. The Lord has been encouraging my heart as I grieve with them. He has reminded me that He is Jehovah Jirah, our Provider...that nothing catches Him by surprise...and He has wonderful things in store for His children. The road will have bumps ahead, but my parents are full of faith in the God that has always been faithful every step of the way. I am filled with anticipation as we wait to see the doors that the Lord will open for them!