Monday, April 23, 2012

Morning Joy...

Last night I made the mistake of allowing my children to watch a new to them movie...
A movie that I thought that they might enjoy because it was a topic they have been talking about A LOT recently...
But I didn't realize it would be a bit too real for them...
So they both ended up sleeping in my room after the movie last night... sigh.

(I never sleep that well when they are in my room)

But if they hadn't been in my room this morning I might not have got the awesome treat I did get!

Early this morning, as Nathaniel was waking up, he started singing a song...
And he ended up belting out the full song of "Better is One Day In Your Courts"!!

I LOVE that song, and Nat must too!

What a joy it was to my heart to hear my little man singing to the Lord so early this morning!

And because it is such an awesome song, here is a link so you can listen too!

May this bless your day, as it blessed mine this morning!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I have been struggling for a while now emotionally, but I recently heard a great message and I had to stop and think about it. Which of course means I had to write my thoughts down to figure it all out! I thought maybe someone else might need to hear this, like I did. Or maybe you just want to read my rambling brain. Either way, here it is!

Sometimes life is HARD and I just get down about it.... that I get.
Other times life is just normal for us (which is still pretty danged hard, but not HARD) and I get annoyed at myself for being so down.
I feel like I am ALWAYS on an emotional roller coaster.

The truth of the matter is that I should NEVER feel that way.

I KNOW who has my back, and His love, His grace and His provision will ALWAYS be sufficient.

I get lonely on this journey with no human to lean on.
I often cry myself to sleep at night wishing for arms to hold me.
But the truth is that my Lord's arms will hold me for far longer than any man could.
The truth is that my Lord's love for me is deeper than any man's love ever could be.
The truth is that I CAN make it through life with just my Lord.
And I can even do it joyfully!

So why do I let the emotions run away with me?
Consume me?
Bring tears to my eyes on a daily basis?

Simple answer.....
Because I am human.
Because the enemy wants me to doubt, to hurt, and to be defeated.
And in my life, emotions are the easiest place for him to target me!

So many times it is the little things that I stress about, that I let get me down and that I let steal my joy. But the truth of the matter is that my God is mighty to save, He will ALWAYS be enough for me, and He will ALWAYS walk through the storms of life with us, carrying us when needed!

The emotions I battle daily. I DAILY have to surround myself in the Lord and His love to battle the emotional void in my life that I too often look to others to fill. But I have learned SO MANY lessons about the Lord's sufficiency over the years, especially in His provision when you are following His path.

One of the lesson I have learned, and continue to learn is His provision to those who are faithful with what He gives them.

Recent case in point:

Many of you who read here know that I am a single mom. I struggled with this choice for YEARS longer than I should have. I NEVER wanted to be a single mom, but the father of my children chose his addiction over his family and I just could not let that rule our lives anymore.

When we split I took the opportunity to evaluate our life, make some choices on how I wanted to live and start walking out the healing process. I decided that the Lord would be FIRST in all we do, and that, to the best of my ability, I wanted to live as He called us to. Mark never did those things.

I felt that the Lord was calling me to financial accountability. For years I have scrimped and saved and clawed my way our of debt. There have been many times that we have gone without extras and pleasures of life to get to the end goal. And we got there! As of a few months ago I am COMPLETELY debt free! Including ALL of the joint debt from my marriage, I paid that in full even though I didn't have to as by California law it was joint debt and Mark hasn't paid a dime of it.

I have worked diligently to use the funds we are blessed with to build a life for the children and I that they enjoy and grow from. I work HARD to pay for them to have dance lessons, play golf and chess, and to have tutors to help with school work. I make sure they get to be involved with church, and service work. And I scrimp and save to take them on special trips. We live tight, but my children are healthy, happy and involved in the world around them. I do this even when their father chooses not to pay his child support, or his share of their expenses that he is court ordered to pay. At this point in time he is WELL into the quadruple digits in arrears, and actually nearing the five digits very quickly. But I choose not to let the kids feel this shortage in their activities.

The house that the kids and I lived in for the last 2+ years was all electric. When we moved into our new home I had to turn gas on here. When I called the local gas company that services this area I was told that I had a HUGE out standing bill. You can imagine my shock and my fury when it came to light that AFTER I moved out of our old home (shared with Mark) and he moved back into it he turned the gas back on there with my name on the bill! The he proceeded to not pay said bill for over 8 months, and then let it sit in collections for another year after that. The gas company agrees that I turned service off, but says that since he added me back on his account that I am responsible to pay that HUGE bill before they will turn service on for me at our new house. To say I was outraged is an understatement. We just moved, we have had tons of extra expenses and the last thing I needed was to pay my ex husband's bill just because he won't pay his own bills. I cried all night long, I was so upset.

But the thing is I should know better than to let these things upset me.

First off, I have worked hard to be in a financially stable position. I have a cash emergency fund, and this sure the heck sounds like an emergency to me. I fought the bill through all of the channels open to me, and still lost (since he put my name and social security number on it, and they say that is legal) so I HAVE TO pay the bill so we have gas here. Yup, that is an emergency. Suck it up, spend the money and rebuild the emergency fund. I can do that, I have done it before with what God has provided for us.

Secondly, I have a God who is in TOTAL control. This is the one I forget all the time, even thought He shows me time and time again. (I guess I can be a slow learner!)

The NEXT DAY, in the mail I got a check from my insurance company. Right before the first of the year, the house that Mark owned FINALLY got sold in the foreclosure (yea.... he is THAT good at paying bills!) I carried the insurance on that house right up to the end, I was terrified that something would happen and the insurance wasn't that much. I canceled the policy in December and my monthly bill went down some (I pay all of my insurances {life, car, house and renters} with one payment a month) and that is all I thought about it. It seems that the insurance company made a mistake and only took PART of the premium off of my bill and I didn't notice. They figured out the mistake and issued a refund check. The check completely covered the gas bill that I had to pay and I got it the DAY AFTER I found out about the gas bill. Yep, my God is THAT GOOD, that even in this fallen world where people lie, steal and cheat He worked it out that we wouldn't suffer too much from it.

Could we have used that money for something fun? Sure, of course we could have. But the truth of the matter is that we didn't suffer any for having to pay his bill. Up until I got the check in the mail I did not realize I was overpaying the insurance, so it wasn't shorting us monthly. And the check came RIGHT when I needed it. There is NO WAY that could have been worked out any better to keep us on an even balance.

The lesson is this?

Next time take a deep breath and pray before spending all night crying! And have a little faith, after all, through all of the crap, He hasn't let me down yet! And He sure has taught me a LOT on the journey!

And thank you my dear friend for reminding me that, no matter the situation, our God is ALWAYS sufficient for or needs! He will NEVER let us down.

Now if somehow I could just get this message through to my emotions that get so danged lonely! Maybe that is the next lesson? Or maybe He has the answer for that too....

Friday, April 13, 2012


59 years of wedded bliss.....

For my grandparents!

The kids and I (all FOUR of them!) decided to take a day trip and go hang out with GGmama and GGpapa for their anniversary. The weather was challenging, tummies were not being nice, but the kids actually behaved and the time we got to spend with them was priceless!

Even after taking GGmama shopping and having dinner, she was still feeling good, so I tortured everyone with the camera!! (cuz that's just what I do!)

The girls... all 4 generations of them!

The boys.... great-grandpa and his great grandson!

Bri and Josie with  their great grandparents... the last living ones they have!

Notice the little girl in the "then" pictures up there.... she has changed a little!
My mom and her parents

And of course, my family and two of the most important people in the world to me!

Every time we get to visit and have good times together like this I feel so blessed! My grandparents have been SO important in my life. I could have NEVER asked for more from them, they are AMAZING people. The last few years have been tough with health challenges and changing lives. My grandfather has a rare form of leukaemia that he has been fighting for 14 years! My grandmother has COPD and has been having a rough time the last year. So with it all, I feel so blessed that we were able to have a great day together yesterday!

Here's looking for more great times in the future!!!

Oh, and we were given a great gift today too.... Grandpa had an appointment with his oncologist, and he was told that he looks good for now! We LOVE these appointments!!!

Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Surprise Visit!

Hello my long lost blog and blog friends!

Oh how I have missed you!!

I am speechless that I have managed to go over two months without writing... I guess life has been BUSY, to say the least. But fear not, for I am BACK!!!!

Today I wanted to share about a surprise visit we had not to long ago...

We moved on the 24th, I headed out of town on the 26th & 27th (NOT a fun trip... .UCSF here we came, sigh), and on the 28th we had a HOUSEFUL of WONDERFUL guests!

Real friends don't mind the boxes everywhere, the complete lack of organization or the pure exhaustion... REAL friends just enjoy simple time together reconnecting and hanging out!

Our families were originally brought together by these two handsome young men YEARS ago. Blake and Nathaniel have something very important in common.... they were both born with Spina Bifida! Nathaniel is 2 years older, but they both enjoying hanging out with someone "like" themselves.

One of the funniest moments of the night to me was when I told Nathaniel it was time to go cath. When he came out Blake looked around and said, "Guess that means it's my turn too!" It was all good, everyone present was totally used to the cath routine and need!

I LOVE hanging out with our special friends and their family. We didn't do anything special, just hung out in our mostly packed up house and had pizza and talked while the kids played. But I really wish we could do it WAY more often! I think our time together is even more special because the kids all get along so well, and this couple is so near and dear to my heart!

They have two new additions to their family right now, and I think we all fell in love with the babies too! Faline especially made a new friend! While the littlest one just wanted to hang out with April.

Dave even seemed to do pretty well with all of the girl power that was in the air! I swear, if I ever marry again, I want a guy a LOT like Dave! He is awesome! Spoken for, but awesome!

And these "special sisters".... LOVE them! Love that they get to hang out together once in a while and be real about what it means to have brothers like Blake and Nathaniel. Not to mention they are a BEAUTIFUL bunch of girls! But I bet no one can put them in the right age order, LOL. That is Brianna, Audrey and Kaia in the top row, with Josie doing a swan dive across it all.... so oldest to youngest, who are they?

I was so blessed that April called, and everyone came over to hang out. I mostly sat in my chair and basked in friendship, but it was so wonderful! I wish I hadn't been so exhausted, but I will take what I can get! Praying we all get to hang out together again soon! And that they can find a way to make down for PSC this summer!!!

At the end of the night I just sat in my chair too exhausted to walk a few steps to my room, but it was WELL worth the exhaustion! Please come again soon, dear friends!