While driving to run errands on Saturday, I began to pray for the families who lost loved ones on Friday in Connecticut.
I asked God to give them comfort, peace, and understanding. But then I began to question Him.
At first I didn't say out loud what I was thinking, but He already knew what my heart was feeling,
"God, are you trying to prove a point? Why would let this happen? Do you really have to let the lives of children be robbed from this earth, and IN THAT WAY? I have a hard time believing in you when things like this happen, I'm sorry, but I do!"
I tried to calm myself down, wipe away the tears and be ok knowing He was listening, but I wouldn't have answers.
The next day I sought comfort listening to Nichole Nordeman's, "This Mystery" album. The song "Help Me Believe" started playing.
"Help me believe, cause I don't want to miss any miracles.
Maybe I'd see much better by closing my eyes,
And I would shed this grown up skin I'm in to touch an angel's wing.
And I would be free.
Help me believe."
My prayer changed as I prayed the lyrics of this song, "Help me believe God, I want to see Your miracles."
For the past two months we have been praying for the son of one of Jason's co-worker's, Tika. Her son, Armenius, was rushed to the hospital sick and having seizures. Initial tests showed that he had a heart condition. He was in ICU, critical condition and on life support. There were moments they thought he wouldn't make it. He was put on the transplant list. He had strokes and lost feeling in his left side. Then they were told he may not walk, talk, or be the same fun loving 6 year old.
But he fought back. He gradually improved. They discovered his condition may not be related to his heart but could be a very rare virus he contracted. He started walking, talking and his compassionate, loving nature is more present than ever.
Jason came home last night with an update. They took Armenius for tests to check his heart again and see if he could be taken off the transplant list.
The doctors couldn't explain what they saw. It was as if what they originally spotted had vanished. They couldn't say it, but Tika could,
"It's a miracle."
My heart was overflowing with affirmation that God heard me and he definitely heard the prayers for Armenius.
Jason said, "We can't explain why some bad things happens, but stories like this show us His love, that He is listening and renew our faith."
I'm praying we won't miss His miracles today, whatever they may be. Continue to pray that those who are hurting & aching to have their family members back would see them too.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Drew will hopefully be here in less than 6 weeks and today I finished the nursery. The final pieces, our bedding, came in from mellissasboutique on Etsy!
Here is a link to view photos of Drew's nursery. I enjoyed putting all the pieces together and we're so thankful that Jason's parents gave us the furniture, my mom the rocking chair & my dad the bedding!
Last week was one for the record books. On Saturday, May 5th (I could have really used a margarita on this Cinco De Mayo) we were rear ended as we exited off the interstate heading home. The impact was not too bad. The damage to my car was minimal. Jason was driving & saw the lady about to hit us. I was caught off guard so my neck experienced some whiplash.
But I couldn't feel Drew. And he was just going bizerk in my tummy cause I drank coffee.
I called the doctor on call after 20 minutes of not feeling him and she said that anytime you are in an impact accident you need to go to the hospital to be monitored. 30 minutes after the wreck I finally felt little Drew kick. Praise the Lord! As soon as we were able to leave the scene, we headed to the hospital in hopes I would only need to be monitored for 4 hrs. Funny thing is we were supposed to tour the hospital the following Monday but we ended up getting a hands on tour instead. :)
4 hrs turned into 24 hrs.
Drew and I were/are perfectly healthy, but I had a small contraction that I didn't even feel and some irritability so they wanted to keep me overnight. I was put on a liquid diet in case Drew decided to come early. I had 3 Popsicles & chicken broth for dinner and breakfast. Let's just say this pregnant lady was HUNGRY!
After a rough night of little sleep for Jason and I (guess it's good practice for the future ;) I finally saw the doctor on call and they let me have solid food again! It had been almost 24 hrs since I had a meal. We made it home at 4:30 PM that Sunday and got in bed at 9:00 PM. We were pooped.
Little did I know this would happen again 5 days later.
Yes, I was rear ended AGAIN last Thursday.
I was driving downtown headed to a dinner for work. I was stopped at a stop light when I heard the car behind me trying to stop, then BOOM.
"You've got to be kidding me," is all I could say over and over. Then I just had to laugh.
Luckily the impact didn't cause any new damage to the car. :) Drew was moving around and the doctor on call told me if I went straight home and monitored myself and the baby from there then I wouldn't have to go back to the hospital. Drew and I are doing just fine.
My OB nurse called the next day and said, "Please tell me this didn't happen AGAIN!" I told her they were going to put me on bed rest just to keep me out of the car! :)
We are very thankful that our entire family was protected during these incidents! Prayers for safety and for Jason and I as we prepare to meet Drew really soon. We both can't wait to hold him & tell him how much we love him, he is loved by friends and family and a Father in Heaven.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Last Thursday we had our monthly Women's Event with the women of Mending Hearts at Cross Point.
Mending Hearts is a place where women who are homeless or at the end of their rope due to addiction, mental or emotional disorders can find shelter, hope and healing. They live there as they recover. Mending Hearts is about a mile away from our Nashville campus.
Cross Point began a relationship with Mending Hearts a couple of years ago by helping them with construction needs around their campus.
In the fall of 2011, we committed to help Mending Hearts refurbish 5 buildings on their campus to house 40 women who are seeking freedom in recovery. On the 2nd Saturday of the month we meet at Mending Hearts from 7:30 AM - noon to volunteer with a construction team working to get these units built & finished! On February 12th we celebrated the opening of our first completed building!
During the first week in my new role as Missions Coordinator at Cross Point, I got to help facilitate an event that was arranged by a couple of women at Cross Point. The event was a painting night open to women of Cross Point & the women of Mending Hearts. Lisa Gardiner, a local artist and Cross Point attendee walked us through step by step to paint a beautiful heart. The ladies' paintings were auctioned off at the annual Mending Hearts Fundraiser.It was my first opportunity to spend time with the women of Mending Hearts. The girl I sat by decided she wanted to draw Snoopy instead! What are the odds of that. :) My friend Brenda won her painting for me at the fundraiser.
I knew Cross Point could serve these women by spending quality with them. I made time with the women of Mending Hearts a monthly local opportunity for the women at our campuses to be involved with. It is a time to build community with the women of Mending Hearts and help them with their recovery by encouraging them. The goal is to create a safe environment for them to have fun, enjoy fellowship with other women and experience the love of Christ through those relationships. Many of the women have said, "I didn't know I could have fun sober."
Our monthly events so far:
*Thanksgiving dinner w/live music from Cross Point women
*Christmas caroling in neighborhoods by Mending Hearts
*A chili cook-off where the Mending Hearts women made the batches
*A jewelry craft night with Strings for Hope
Thursday's event was an ice cream sundae extravaganza and we brought toiletries to donate to the Davidson Department of Children's services. The event was nearly over and my boss Ryan and co-worker Krystin said they needed to talk to me about some work related things upstairs. I kept fighting them saying, "I need to get back to them! What if I don't get to say bye to the women!" Krystin and Ryan did a good job trying to keep me busy while the women were hard at work. :)
When we got back downstairs to the gym, the women of Mending Hearts were lined up, beaming from ear to ear, screaming, "Surprise!!"
They had planned a baby shower for me.
Krystin caught the precious surprise on video. http://twitvid.com/5FZ5A
Many of these women are mothers, who currently do not have custody of their children.
Many of them are pregnant themselves.
They have very little financially because of their addictions.
But, they chose to love on me in an extravagant way.
While I was opening my gifts, I asked them to throw out motherly advice. We had so much fun laughing about the joys & crazy times of parenthood.
One of the girls pulled me aside at the end of the night, "This is such a blessing. Don't mess it up."
I will remember that advice & respect her for speaking so boldly. You don't have to be an addict to mess things up as a parent.
I love these women and I am praying for them to experience freedom from their addictions and to always rely on Christ through that process.
If you are a woman and attend Cross Point, I hope you will consider being a part of our monthly events. Our next event is Thursday, May 17th at 6:30 PM at Centennial Park in Nashville. We will be enjoying a picnic together! Email email@example.com to sign up!
Monday, April 2, 2012
When you are expecting, the word you hear the most is "advice." Some people say, "Don't listen to any advice" but then proceed to give it with much conviction. Some will share without asking if you would like to hear. Others who respect our decisions will wait until we ask for it.
There are so many ways to take care of a child. Bottle & diaper choices, feeding, outings, daycare, the list goes on and on. I find myself overwhelmed that we won't make the right decision about the trivial things, but more importantly, how we will parent our little one.
I was comforted recently while reading God's word. Every story bursts with advice on how to be a good parent.
Advice on how to LOVE.
God has been angry with us, disciplines us, laughs with us, is proud of us, welcomes us into his arms when we repent and never fails to shower us with forgiveness.
My thoughts have shifted from over analyzing decisions on how to raise our baby boy, to learning what it means to parent like God.
That is advice I'll never turn down.
In closing, the past 7 months have flown by! I started my new role at Cross Point as Domestic Missions Coordinator and I'm now in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I made it through 5 tough months of nausea/vomiting and have learned and embraced new, exciting opportunities at my job that benefit God's kingdom in huge ways! A few pics of my growing belly and our growing son. Prayers for the health of our baby & relief from some pregnancy pain for mommy are much appreciated. :)