Wednesday, February 28, 2007
nothing to write, nothing!
I wanted to write today. The problem is, I don't really have anything to write. Well I do have plenty to write, I just don't have a theme and that's okay because I am not really in to themes anyway! So here goes a very random post. Jeremy is home today, the baby is napping, the big kids are playing in the backyard and we ate a late lunch so I am not busy trying to make supper. What a perfect time to write! It's been kind of crazy around here so this helps. Coming to this blog and sharing a piece of me helps. It helps a lot!

Yesterday my couch and love seat looked great! Not one pile of clothes stacked on either one to be folded. I get so stressed out when the couch is full of clothes to be folded. Sometimes the clothes sit on the couch for several days. It drives my husband crazy and it drives me crazy too but it's really hard to stay motivated. But yesterday it was done. The house was clean, the laundry was folded AND put away! Today not so much. I think that is the hardest thing about staying at home. As soon as you get caught up, as soon as you get things in order, it all gets messed up again. It doesn't take long, does it? There are times I don't get bothered by this kind of stuff and then there are times like right now that I get really stressed out. Tonight we will all watch American Idol and I will try to get that couch cleared off while doing so. The couch sure looks great when it's ONLY being occupied by decorative pillows! UGH!

Oh how I pray that I do not have ANY men that read this blog. You all know how honest I am, how brave I am to bare my soul to the world on this blog, right? Well, I am about to get braver. Here it goes! Six week ago I gave birth to a beautiful precious baby boy. It was wonderful. But something happens to me about six weeks after having babies. Something returns, something comes back with a VENGEANCE and it is so bad that it even reminds me of those first few hours of pitosin without the epidural. You would think it would ease it's way back into your life, but it doesn't! It screams, it yells, it curses! It comes with full force and cramps that make you wish you were pregnant again. Oh and the mood, oh the mood! UGH! And the husband that you want to hide it from so he can't blame your mood on it! It's coming, I know it is. I feel horrible so I know it could be ANY DAY! Need I say more? Or do you get it?

So I gotta tell ya, I am tired. Not so much physically tired but just tired. I need to have some fun. I have been working non stop on our bankruptcy stuff that will be filed on March 15th, shopping life insurance rates (we don't have life insurance), choosing the company for our life insurance, changing banks, changing diapers, helping my husband study for tests he has to take for his promotion, doing laundry, playing with the kids, refereeing fights between the four year old and two year old and cooking! Someone always wants to eat around here and this is when I am glad I am not breastfeeding. WOW! You know the song Whitney Houston sings, the song that a not so smart American Idol contestants sometimes chooses to sing, the song from the movie Body Guard? Well, it's called I'M EVERY WOMAN! I have been trying to sing that song to keep me a little motivated but today it's just not happening. Even more proof that what I mentioned in paragraph three is coming soon! Oh how I need some time to myself or some girl time or something! Jeremy will be gone ALL DAY on Saturday for training so it won't be happening this weekend. But that's okay. This job promotion is a huge blessing so I am happy for him to be gone on Saturday. Thank goodness he doesn't work weekends! All of you women that have husbands that travel, you are amazing women. I couldn't do it! Well I could, with a nanny!

And when I am feeling this lousy, I crave Dr. Pepper. You see I am addicted to Dr. Pepper. I still had two a day while I was pregnant. I just couldn't let it go, it was impossible. Now that I am trying to loose the baby pounds I wish I was addicted to DIET Dr. Pepper but that stuff is disgusting. The refrigerator in the garage is stocked full. It's a beautiful site! So I think I will take a bath, drink a Dr. Pepper and pretend I am in Cozumel laying on the beach. Okay so now I am craving Cozumel!

That's it. That's all I have to write about. See, I told you it was about nothing. But at least I feel a little better.

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  posted at 6:15 PM
  7 comments



Tuesday, February 27, 2007
more pictures!

My baby Zeke! Isn't he just perfect?!

We always wear a bib after eating because someone has acid reflux! :) Praise the Lord he is a happy spitter!


Here we are today getting ready to leave for my 6 week post partum checkup! The big kids stayed with grandad!


Can you see my big blue eyes!? They are really blue just like my sister's.


Cheese!


Josiah is holding two capri sun straws as he plays the drums on sand buckets! So creative!

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  posted at 5:19 PM
  9 comments



A cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal
This morning I do not take my hot cup of coffee and warm bowl of oatmeal for granted, not even for a second. It's more than just a cup of coffee or a bowl of oatmeal, it's much more. As I sip my cup of coffee and eat my oatmeal while checking emails, I realize how blessed I am. Josiah and Ava Beth are in their rooms playing, Ezekiel is taking a morning nap and I just loaded the dryer with a load of clothes. Just hearing the laughs of the kids or the screams, hearing the sound of the air purifier in the baby monitor and hearing the buttons of the jeans hitting the inside of the dryer as it runs, happens to be music to my ear.

At times the day to day is frustrating. For I wish I could jump in the car all by myself and head to the mall! At times it seems that all I do is referee between my four year old and two year old. For I wish they could get along for an entire day without one disagreement! At times marriage can be so difficult. For it's nothing like what's in the movies! At times it seems the laundry is never caught up and the truth is, it isn't. At times I think taking care of my three children is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Well, it is. But this is still the greatest life ever!

I will never get over it. I will never get over the fact that I am living my dream. It is impossible for me to forget those days of living alone as a single adult and wondering if I will ever be married or have children. In about four weeks I will turn thirty one years old and still it seems like that twenty-four year old girl waiting on her dreams to come true was just yesterday. I can't even imagine my life without my husband, he is my best friend. And what on earth did I do with myself before there was Josiah, Ava Beth and Ezekiel? I'm guessing I slept a lot. Sleeping was once one of my favorite things to do!

Quite often I will look around and think to myself, "Wow. I am really here. This is the family I dreamt of my whole life." After growing up the way I did, after living in a home with so much pain and heartache, after watching my Dad drink years and years of his life away, I can't help but stand amazed at how my life has turned out. The nights and nights I prayed and cried out to the Lord as a young girl, asking Him to give me a normal family. Even then I could hear His voice telling me that my prayers would be answered in ways that I never imagined. The years I felt unloved, insignificant and ugly, I never thought the life I have now was even possible.

How blessed I am to actually be living my dream. Not very many people in this world get to see their dreams become reality but I have. I am doing everything I have always wanted to do and the best is yet to come. My friend Kathy tells me that God is not finished with me, He's got more dreams to fulfill. She said, "You still got stuff in layaway!" And she's right, there's more!

You see it's not just any cup of coffee or any bowl of oatmeal. It's a cup of coffee I can sip in my beautiful home with my beautiful family. It's a bowl of oatmeal that fills me up in ways I can't even describe. It's a dream come true and I'm never going to stop thanking God for it.

Thank you Jesus for saving my life and bringing me out of so much pain. Thank you for this dream come true.

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  posted at 10:44 AM
  12 comments



Sunday, February 25, 2007
willing
We went to church last night. The best part about it was getting out of the house, wearing a new outfit and fixing myself and the rest of us up! I felt cute last night and I haven't felt cute for quite a while. That's what happens after you have a baby! I know it may sound silly to some but I think it is VERY important for a gal to feel cute! I personally think the self tanner helped a lot or maybe it was my new high heels!

This journey we are on with church right now is very difficult. I am still processing last night and everything about the service. There is so much I want to write about but I am trying to pray through it right now and listen for God's voice in regards to us finding a church home. All day yesterday I prayed that I would not have a critical spirit while sitting in the service. If you have been following my posts on church and my spiritual walk right now, you know that I have been very down and out on the church. So I really prayed that God would help me see past that and soak up anything He had for us. As I sat in the service I knew that if God spoke to me, I would hear it. I have been in the Word, I have been praying, I have truly been walking closely by Him. If I am not walking in the spirit then I can't hear him. During the service I was full of anticipation. I wanted to know if this could be our church home. Instead of feeling that it could be, I felt like there was no way we could possibly call this our home. I began to feel confused because I felt with all of my heart that the Lord showed me that we should visit. He didn't show Jeremy. In fact, Jeremy did not want to go. I wasn't trying to take the lead from him but I had to in a sense because he is not wanting to go to church at all. During the service, he whispered in my ear many different times regarding things about the church. It was obvious that he was not on board. On the drive home, he told me that it was nothing close to what he felt God had for us. He also explained that he didn't really know because he feels so far from God right now anyway. He said it would be nice to go to church with his family but he didn't like the church.

So there is the kicker! This is his family's church. His mom, step dad, sister and brother in law go to this church. They were so excited to see us last night. Jeremy's mom teaches the kids at church so Josiah was in her class. Needless to say, they would be very disappointed if we did not go there. I think the miracle of this whole thing is that I was willing to go. There is a whole other blog I could write about this situation and I may someday. I have had a lot of issues with my in laws but in the past few months God has brought more healing than I can even explain. It is incredible! I feel loved by them and I KNOW they love me. I never thought this would happen but it has. Honestly I don't think they are the ones that changed, I think it was me. That is tough to admit but it's true.

Jeremy's job is changing drastically. He will be working nights more than likely and he will not always be able to go to church. So much is going through my mind right now about this. He will be on call a lot so our plans will never be solid. I will be taking the kids to church by myself a lot. It would be nice to have family around. But I want to be EXACTLY where God wants us and I need Jeremy to help in this decision.

PLEASE be praying for us. We have a lot of change coming our way and I feel that it is time for us to be back in a church. I just have no idea where. I want us to have total peace about our decision and only God can bring that.

The bottom line is this. I am willing. Willing to go to the church we went to last night, willing to go somewhere else. And I know God will bless us as long as we are willing.

P.S. EZEKIEL SLEPT SIX HOURS LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

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  posted at 11:38 AM
  7 comments



Friday, February 23, 2007
Church and so much more
It has been quite the week. There is so much I want to write about but I don't even know where to begin. God has been working in my life in a huge way and I look forward to sharing it with you. But I have not been meditating on His word like I should be and I am not going to share it until I have done that. I have been going through a very difficult time this week in regards to my MIND and dealing with FEAR. It doesn't help when you are totally exhausted and trying to take care of a four year old, two year old and one month old. Someone is ALWAYS hungry or needing me and while I love being the center of every one's attention, I am empty and need refueling.

Jeremy is an amazing husband and father, that is for sure. He helps me so much and tonight is my night to sleep ALL NIGHT. Ahhhhh. When he gets home each night, he helps me with everything. I am so blessed to have a husband like that and I do not know what I would do if I was married to someone that did not do all the things Jeremy does. Now that we have three children, I am really realizing how hard it is to make time for one another. I am praying daily that the Lord can help me to focus on my husband and make sure he is taken care of in every way, even when I am tired, feeling ugly and so on.

This week was a week of trials for me and Jeremy both. But the good news is, I know why.The enemy hates to see us blessed! Jeremy has been promoted at his job. He has worked for UPS for thirteen years and this promotion is well deserved and a must in order for Jeremy's back to heal. With this promotion comes a raise too! There will be a big adjustment period because of the hours and he has a lot of training and tests to take but I am confident he will do great!

Tomorrow night we are going to church. Yes, that's right we are finally going to church. After seven months of taking a break and trying to understand what God was teaching us, we know it is time to step up to the plate. We are not totally excited about going back to a "church" setting but we are being obedient right now to the Lord, so we must. To be honest, we are visiting a church that I would not normally choose. There are things I am not sure about and my flesh has had to surrender for the past month as the Holy Spirit has been leading us in our spirits to go there. I am excited that they have a Saturday night service, I am excited for the kids and I am excited to go and be filled up. Tomorrow night I will walk through the doors of that church expecting to be filled. Right now I feel so empty in every possible way. Much of it has to do with having a baby only one month ago and some of it has to do with the enemy throwing some vicious darts my way. I have had nothing to fight with. I've been battling with nothing. Since I know that the Lord has told us to visit this church, I am excited to see what He has up His sleeve. He is doing a new thing in our lives and I am really excited and WILLING.

Please continue to pray for us. As always, thanks for coming here and reading my thoughts. I am so blessed by all of you.

And I want to say thank you to a very special friend, Kathy, who spoke into my life this week in an incredible way. Thank you for being honest with me and thank you for praying for me. The Holy Spirit used you last night to truly renew my spirit. Diana, thank you for ALWAYS speaking the truth and reminding me of God's promises. You are teaching me so much about God's power because I see it all over you.

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  posted at 8:00 PM
  5 comments



Thursday, February 22, 2007
Zeke








It's 80 degrees in Texas and I love it! (Sorry Courtney! I know you still have two feet of snow at your house!) I will post some pictures later of the other two kids because I think they are growing like weeds too. But first I had to show off some pictures of the baby! I have yet to brush my teeth today OR eat breakfast so I guess I better get going. I am pretty tired over here but oh so blessed! :)

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  posted at 11:35 AM
  9 comments



Friday, February 16, 2007
Because I am feeling sentimental
Because I am feeling sentimental, I wanted to write a little something about a special friend of mine.

I could not make it as a woman, a wife, a mother, without my girlfriends. They fulfill me and encourage me in so many ways. I need them and they need me. Today I feel so blessed to have a certain friend that I talk to on the phone. We never get to see each other because she lives a few hours away. She is a part of my past and thanks to the phone calls, a part of my future. It seems that lately we have been facing some of the same things in life. It's nice to know I am not alone. I have someone that can relate or understand my fears. I love my friend because I don't really have to use a filter when I talk to her, she knows my heart. She has witnessed my pain, my joy and a few other things. The Lord has used her to bring healing to my life and I am so thankful for her. Whether we discuss our children, our health, our husbands, reality tv shows or the Bible, I always hang up feeling FULL. She fills me up and I need that! That's what friends are for. Right? So I just want to say to my precious friend, thank you. You are an incredible woman and having you in my life challenges me to be a better mom, wife and woman. You are a blessing. Isn't it cool how God works? I think so.

It seems I have a lot of close friends that live far away. Oh how I wish I could meet them for coffee or meet them to shop. But I am so grateful for email and FREE long distance! Canada, Colorado, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Iowa, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina! There are some amazing women in those states! I wish I could have you all over for dinner. You would all get along so well!

  posted at 3:45 PM
  10 comments



Thursday, February 15, 2007
I'm okay
Just wanted to let you know that I am great. Really, I am. I do have a cold and little Ezekiel will not sleep longer than three hours at night, so I am very tired. He is not content with 4oz so we are giving him more now. Two weeks ago he weighed 7.12 and now he weighs 9.10 so he is obviously a hungry boy!

There was a reason I turned off the comments on my last post. Most of you know why I would do something like that. The same reason people do not disclose the name they have chosen for their unborn baby. They don't want everyone's opinion! :) But some of you could not resist! Instead I got a ton of emails with many different diagnoses. Please know that I am not mad. It's hard for you to hear my tone while I type but I think it is actually kind of funny. Women will be women and we always want to give our two cents. Don't we? I appreciate your prayers so much. They have helped so much with my mind and the battle I sometimes face. My chest feels almost totally back to normal. I don't think it is reflux but I do think I may have had a virus in my chest wall. It was not a panic attack. I have had those before and they do not last for four solid weeks. I am sure stress made the pain worse because I was worrying so much. I never thought I was having heart problems. That was not my concern. I was worried about a blood clot because that is common in pregnant women and women who have just given birth. Some of my worry was totally warranted, most of it was not. I have a doctors appointment on Monday and I am still praying that everything is normal. Thank you for your continued prayers. It's still newborn adjustment time in this home so prayers for our family would be great!

Right now it is nap time for all the kids. I think I will do the same! Thank you for your emails of concern and thank you for encouraging me. It helped a whole bunch!

  posted at 1:17 PM




Tuesday, February 13, 2007
needing some prayer
I debated about putting this out there. I usually clam up, quit answering the phone and cut everyone off when I am feeling depressed. But I am trying to fight this with prayer and I would appreciate your prayers. I know your prayers work!

For the past month (since the baby was born) I have had some chest pain. I have worried, exhausted myself in worry. Too much time has been spent on the internet looking for a diagnoses. Searching the internet can make you feel worse than you already do. At least, in my case it has. My fear has been off the charts! I'm sad to admit this but I have even given into the fear and allowed some crazy thoughts to come my way.

Something else I have not wanted to share was this. We are in the midst of a bankruptcy. This morning we met with our attorney and everything is going to be okay but we both feel major defeat. Our house is fine, our cars are fine and we are very happy about that. This chapter 7 bankruptcy is a result of many different things. Starting a business, loosing money on a home, husband injured, etc. We tried to get things consolidated, we tried many things but after MUCH prayer, we felt that this was the best thing to do.

This morning after we met with our attorney, my chest pain felt worse. We went to the ER, where I spent the day having many tests run. I had a nurse scare me with her horrible bedside manner. She told me that I could have a pulmonary embolism and something else that scared me. Well, I don't. In fact, they were not able to figure out WHY I am hurting. My EKG was fine, blood was fine, etc.

We have a newborn, who is doing great and weighing in at almost TEN POUNDS, but I am very tired, obviously a little stressed and I am worrying a lot which is leading me to be depressed. I am sure that postpartum is a part of this but I don't feel like it is postpartum depression and I do KNOW the difference.

I would like to ask you to please stand in the gap for me and pray for healing in my body AND mind.

(I am going to have an upper GI, hopefully this week to check for reflux.)

  posted at 5:54 PM




Monday, February 12, 2007
Here's my guts
I am gregarious, loud, opinionated, flighty, hot and cold, often indecisive, controlling, confrontational at times, and many more negative things. I am an incredible starter, horrible finisher. I get bored quickly, I change my mind a lot and I HATE being stuck in the house. There are some things to my personality that really need sanctifying so I pray a lot! I could use the next paragraph to tell you all of the positive things about my personality but that just seems a bit too confident. And I am not confident! Well, I guess I am confident enough to begin a sentence with the word "and". Many people will tell you to never begin a sentence with that word but my English teacher in 6th grade said it is totally acceptable! So there's a little a bit of confidence! Why am I revealing all of these negative things about myself? Well I will explain.

When I was in High School I dreamt of being married. I did not want to go to college at all. In fact, I hated school. The only thing I wanted to do was get married and be a mom. The other thing I dreamt of being was a singer. I thought I would move to Nashville, wait tables and try to become either a country singer or Christian singer. The next Martina McBride or the next Susan Ashton, those were my dreams! Well I never moved to Nashville. Instead I enrolled in college because everyone else I knew was in college and what else could I do! My parents told me that if I wanted to go to school that I would have to pay for it myself or get a scholarship. I received a little bit of a scholarship to go to Dallas Baptist University but there was no way I would have the money to pay for the rest and I did not qualify for a student loan. I did not have parents that threatened me with college so it never seemed to be something I thought I could do but I went anyway, for a while. I began Junior college and hated every second of it. Not too far into it, I dropped all of my classes and got a real job. Then a few years later I decided to try the college thing again ONLY because I was dating a Youth Pastor that told me I would never be respected in the ministry if I did not have a college degree (I totally disagree now). I then enrolled at The University Of North Texas. I didn't make it past the first semester before dropping out. During this time, I continued singing and was a part of some incredible things as a vocalist. The only thing I cared about was singing on a big stage. I was blessed and got to sing in front of about six thousand people every weekend. Music was always there, singing was always a part of my life but it wasn't paying the bills and it soon went from ministry to nothing but competition. Finally I got an incredible job for someone my age and was making $30,000 a year. It may not sound like a lot but it was a lot for a single gal. Then one day I got tired of working for an ultra conservative Christian organization and I quit. Seriously, I went in one day to work and decided while I was there to QUIT! So I walked into my boss's office and said, "I am leaving and I will not be back." Here I was, twenty four years old living in an expensive, one bedroom apartment in a very nice part of town with no job waiting for me and I quit. Two days later I decided that I was going to go to beauty school. I loved fashion, hair, makeup and all that fun stuff so I knew that this had to be the perfect fit for me. One month later I was enrolled in the best beauty school in the metroplex and some family friends had decided that I could live with them rent free while going to school. Finally at twenty four years old, I was doing something for my future. A three year relationship with my boyfriend had ended and I had given up on the marriage/children dream.

Two weeks after being in beauty school, I met Jeremy. Not long after that, I knew I was going to marry Jeremy. We both knew. He told me that he did not want me to finish beauty school because he felt like it was a waste of time. There were many reasons as to why we came to this conclusion. Deep down I knew I did not want to be a hair stylist. I wanted to be a wife and a Mom and I wanted to minister with my voice. Jeremy told me that those dreams were the ones I needed to chase. Of course meeting Jeremy was a dream come true already!

I have said it many times before that Jeremy brought stability to my life and so did motherhood. Marriage and Motherhood has made me steadfast, something I needed. My kids are on schedules, they have routines and my home has order. For someone like me, that is a huge accomplishment. I may get tired of being in the house but I don't get bored with motherhood. It feeds me, it replenishes me, it challenges me, excites me and at times it frustrates the heck out of me. I'm in it for the long haul, I can't quit. I won't quit. I need these people just as much as they need me! But until these people entered into my life, I was wishy washy, and unsure about so many things. At times I still am. I have learned that my personality will always have certain struggles. I don't read to the kids as much as I should. We don't take trips to museums or aquariums (yet), we don't go to the library consistently, I sometimes yell, I have the TV on a lot (of course I do have a four week old in the house) and I mess up ALL THE TIME and I feel guilty about all of the above. Every day I am trying to learn to be content with who I am and what God has created me to be.

After looking at all of these things I struggle with and realizing how much I question myself in so many areas of my life, I think I may be crazy but I have decided that I want to homeschool my children. I can't even believe that I feel that way or that I have just typed those words. I am the mom that said I will NEVER homeschool. I am the Mom that said I would rather meet friends for tennis and lunch than be at home all day long for the next two decades! How can someone like me homeschool? I am not very educated, I struggle with being disciplined and I have quit everything else I have done in life. So what makes me think I can do this? Well that's just it! I don't think I can do it but I feel very strongly that I am supposed to do it. I have been wrestling with this for months. Josiah will not be five until next January but I think and pray about this every single day. There are about one hundred reasons why I feel I am supposed to do this but I won't list them here. I never want to sound like someone against public schools because I live in a great school district, a well known school district. In fact, our decision will be tough because we know the schools are good here. But my reasons have nothing to do with whether or not the schools are capable of giving my children a good education. I believe they are more than capable. My reasons are totally based on the kind of world we live in today and I would do anything to protect my children. I do not wish to shelter them, I wish to protect. And since I feel that God has called me to protect them, I feel that me homeschooling is a part of that "protection plan".

I am not confident, I am scared. My home, my children, they are my ministry right now. They are the only ones on my radar screen and I have to use this time to do what is best for them. I write all of this not so much to get opinions but encouragement. I know there are moms out there that have my personality and homeschool their kids. I am not a quiet, reserved, disciplined, lover of books kind of gal. That is not who I am at all. I guess I have felt that those were the only kind of moms cut out to homeschool. I have no formal education either. This will definitely be an area of my life and my children's life that I have to totally and completely rely on my Heavenly Father to show me the way. I feel like those that know me will think I am crazy, I even feel like people are trying to talk me out of it. I hear this negative voice in my head, my own, that says "Amanda, are you crazy? You are not cut out to homeschool. You are not smart enough." And a huge part of me wants to prove that voice wrong!

I have to admit though, I am scared. I am very scared. So I keep praying and praying and praying.

  posted at 11:59 AM
  18 comments



Thursday, February 08, 2007
My beautiful Valentine!

The next American Idol!

  posted at 9:48 AM
  16 comments



Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Ezekiel is three weeks old today!
Okay, I am really bad about taking pictures. I took pictures every single day of my first born. This poor third child is not getting enough camera time! Here are a few pictures I took last Friday. He already looks different from these pictures! I still need a picture of all five of us and one of all the kids for a birth announcement but it hasn't happened yet.

Here is my baby Zeke!

After a bath!

He's ready to join Josiah's band because BABIES ROCK!


  posted at 2:32 PM
  14 comments



Monday, February 05, 2007
Anointed
There are church services, moments of worship and people that are truly anointed. I will never forget a worship service I had at church several years ago. During the worship, the air was thick and I could barely move. The only thing I could do was cry. Unable to stand up, I sat in the pew and wept. The power that morning of the Holy Spirit was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I remember wanting time to stop. I did not want the music to end. The goose bumps I encountered that morning had nothing to do with how "good" the music was or the how great the worship leader was. On this particular morning, it was obvious that someone had spent a great deal of time praying for the service because every part of it was anointed. I even remember walking in before the service started and feeling like I was going to cry. I could not hold back the tears, no matter how hard I tried.

Over the weekend, we rented the moving Facing The Giants. As I watched this movie, I was instantly reminded of the incredible worship service I mentioned above. Just as the worship service was one where I was unable to do anything but cry, the same happened to me as I watched this movie. It touched me in ways that I can't even put into words. The music, the simple actors(non actors), the story line, everything about it spoke to me. Facing The Giants is an anointed movie. The acting isn't out of this world, there isn't any effects or incredible creativity. The movie is very simple. But this movie is one I will never forget because of it's message.

Since joining this blogging world about a year and a half ago, I have met some great friends. I have read some amazing posts and seen creativity at it's best. I have seen how much pride a woman takes in her blog and how much she puts into writing her very best for the world to see. I have seen perfect grammar, eloquent vocabularies and amazing story telling. But I have also seen the simple. Simple words, bad grammar (you will find that on my site a lot), misspelled words and other imperfections. And some of you out there really stress about not being able to articulate exactly how you are feeling when it comes to writing on your blog. This morning I thought about the life changing worship service I was a part of, the movie I just watched and my blog.

Some of the most simple writing out there is the writing that ministers to me the most. You don't have a fancy blog design, blog title or sidebar full of awards. It's just you, in the raw, sharing your heart and encouraging me to be a Godly woman. You are anointed and it's obvious. It's your writing that speaks to me, ministers to me and makes me cry. Thanks for being so vulnerable and showing others how to love Jesus. Your sweet and humble spirit is refreshing, challenging and such a gift. I am so blessed to have such amazing women in my life through this thing called a blog.

I am finding that the blog world is just like our everyday world. Some people drive a Cadillac, while others just drive a Ford. Some people make six figures while most of us don't. Some have a whole bunch of friends while others have a few. Some have extravagant homes, some don't. It doesn't really matter, does it? God can use anyone! As we serve our husband and children and take care of our homes, we can make a difference. I may be changing diapers all day, folding laundry and cooking suppers but I also find great joy in my blog. And I pray that everything I do will be anointed. When people come into my home, I pray that they will feel God's power while here and I pray the same goes for my blog. I pray the words I type will be filled with God's love. I pray my blog will be anointed. Blog awards, blog design and the amount of comments mean nothing. It's not about me and so often I need reminding. Since this blog is so important to me and something I enjoy, I give it back to Him. I truly pray that God can use me to minister to those needing hope. I pray that He can use me and my experiences to show others how to find freedom!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

  posted at 2:47 PM
  9 comments



Friday, February 02, 2007
My home is a sanctuary
When praying for my home, I always ask the Lord to make my home a sanctuary. When I think of a sanctuary, I think of reverence, peace and a place where people talk a little quieter than usual and display honor.

In Junior high and High School I went through a process every single year to be a part of different levels of UIL Choirs. My sophomore year, after making it through the first rounds, I was a part of an All Region Choir. There was something so amazing about singing The Requiem Of Psalms by John Rutter in an actual Sanctuary. In high school, our performances were always in an auditorium, so to sing an actual classical piece inside of a sanctuary was breathtaking. I was only sixteen but even then, I appreciated the sound, the acoustics and the way the piece of music flowed so sweetly. The day of the concert, we practiced all day long. We knew when to take a breath, when to stagger our breathing as a whole, when to crescendo and when to decrescendo. After practicing the piece over and over again, the song fit all of us perfectly. Our families finally arrived, along with our friends and we sang inside the sanctuary. It was beautiful, it was soothing, it was perfect and my spirit soaked up every moment of that experience.

Classical music is something I really enjoy. I love all kinds of music so it's something I have to be in the mood for. Each one of my children remind me of the my taste in music. Josiah loves the guitar. In fact, some would say that he is destined to be a musician. It is all he thinks about and he is rarely seen without his guitar. Even now I am praying over that gift. I know God has great plans for him musically so when I am riding in the car with Josiah, I tend to tune the radio to country or I pop in a George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Johnny Cash or Miranda Lambert CD. When Josiah was a baby and suffering from severe colic, I would sing to him almost all day long. I would also play music very loud all day long. Music soothed him. The dryer, the swing, the bouncer, a drive in the car, etc. would not work. Instead, music was the ONLY thing that seemed to calm him. Today at four years old, he can spend time in his room alone and be totally content as long as he has his Rascal Flatts cd playing in his very own cd player. Josiah makes you want to put on your boots and head to Billy Bob's. I love that about him.

Ava Beth is a music lover too. She is not as interested in playing the guitar so much, she prefers dancing. Dancing With The Stars and American Idol will stop her in her tracks! She is a two year old that will sit and watch those shows and not be distracted one bit. She has more fire and spunk in her than I have in my little toe! Give her an audience and she will grab a brush and use it as her microphone (I have always had a love affair with my brush too-it makes a great microphone)! Give her a leotard and tutu and watch out, this little girl is gonna twirl and spin like you have never seen! She's playful, carefree, LOUD and so much fun to be around. A car ride with her demands Christina Aguilera's "Aint No Other Man" or Kelly Clarkson's "Since You been Gone" and don't forget a little Beyonce! The spirit in Ava Beth reminds me all the time to have fun and enjoy the gift of being able to crank up the stereo and sing and dance like no one was watching. Of course, these girls, Mommy and Ava Beth, love an audience too!

When I was pregnant with Ezekiel, I had so much peace. I felt a release of so many things and really felt as though I was becoming more and more comfortable with being me. My friend Tiffany used to tell me that when she would think of Ezekiel, she felt peace and that he would bring peace to my life and to our home. I felt pretty when I was pregnant with him, confident and a little more compliant in my relationships. Peace was something I truly did feel. He was born only a little over two weeks ago and I can already tell that my friend Tiffany was right. Ezekiel exudes peace. Since having him, I can't really breeze in and out of the house like I did with two kids. Not yet. The weather has been crazy here. Snowing, raining, sleeting and cold so I have not been able to leave that much. My trips out with three children are short right now. I am trying to set myself up for success and long outings would not be good at this point in time. Needless to say we have been home a lot, which is usually very difficult for me. But being home with Ezekiel has been calming, soothing and relaxing. Instead of looking forward to shopping and running errands, I have enjoyed my afternoons when all is quiet and it's just me and Zeke sitting together. He may be sleeping or I may be feeding him, but it's quiet and calm. Every afternoon I look forward to my pot of coffee I make and drinking it from my favorite coffee cup. I enjoy my afternoon baths with him beside the tub in his Moses basket. It's during those afternoon hours, that I feel that my home is a Sanctuary. Today I feel as if Ezekiel had to be here, in all of our lives, before this home would become just that.

My baby boy brings such a softness to this home. I long to listen to Brahms Lullaby or music from Randall Bass or John Rutter. I wouldn't mind singing a few songs in Latin and hearing the beautiful sounds of voices in a crisp, cool sanctuary bouncing off of one another, yet sounding like one voice. These afternoons make me talk a little quieter, move a little slower and enjoy the precious moments I have with my newborn.

I do not know what the future holds as far as me having more children. I would like one more but my husband is not on board. But today I am so thankful for this baby boy, for all three of my children and what each of them bring to my life.

For my home is a sanctuary and my spirit is soaking up every moment.

  posted at 2:09 AM
  5 comments



Thursday, February 01, 2007
Parenting
After the difficult Doctor's appointment, I spent some time in seclusion. Well at least that's how I view it. Ezekiel was sleeping, Ava Beth was sleeping and Josiah was in his room reading books. On the way home Josiah cried and kept asking me to talk to him. I knew that I wasn't ready so I told him this. "Josiah, when we get home, Mommy needs you to spend some time in your room and I am going to spend some time in mine. Then after rest time is over, I will come in your room so we can talk." I have to say that the Holy Spirit was working in me because Josiah decided that rest time would be good for both of us and he gave me my space. So I use the time to pray. I prayed that God would help me communicate to a four year old and a two year old in a way that they would "get it." After a couple of hours, I went into Josiah's room and we talked. Josiah loves to pray. He loves to do it out loud and he loves to pray with me so I started with that approach. He may have not understood every single thing I prayed but I asked God to help me show Josiah how much I loved him and to help me communicate in a way he would understand. The praying thing helped so much. We pray with Josiah every single night but not usually before discipline. But this day it needed to happen that way. It was great! It was very effective and I have already witnessed him working on some of the things we discussed. The sibling rivalry can do me in sometimes so daily I am praying that I can nurture my kid's relationships. My brother and I do not really have a relationship so I am trying to do everything possible to show my kids how to get along and recover quickly from their spats!

All of that to say, I feel much better. I feel like I handled things the way God would want me to. Consistency is key and now that the new baby is here, the older ones are trying to test a lot of boundaries. I am praying daily that I can be consistent and not loose my temper. Sometimes that can be very hard!

It's exciting to see Josiah make some changes, even in the past two days. Instead of crying and running to me when his sister takes something from him or hits him, he is handling it how I told him he needed to. And when he handles it appropriately, I praise him for it. Parenting can be so difficult and draining but when I see a change, an improvement or a moment when I know they "get it", my heart is filled with joy and I know I am doing what God has called me to do. Now I just need to surround myself with like minded parents. I can't do this alone, that's for sure.

On a side note. I want you to know that I am always want to show myself humble. As moms we can sometimes seem like "know it alls" or consider ourselves much smarter because of the number of children we have, etc. I have been a part of play groups where this attitude is present and I hate it. Women, especially moms, are bad about tearing one another apart. We do it in ways where we think no one will notice. We can be manipulative, competitive and so much more. This really hurts me and makes me sad to see how much this goes on. What I posted on Tuesday about discipline was about my children and how we choose to take action. It was not about me having an edge on anyone else's parenting. Yes, I have three kids and I am a little more seasoned than some. Just as mother's of teenagers are way more seasoned than me. But most of the time I have no clue as to what I am doing. I often go to bed feeling guilty, afraid or scared when it comes to parenting. I am not perfect and I mess up probably every single day. However, we live in a world where people (moms) have a very hard time allowing others to see their imperfections. We want people to think our children listen to classical music all day and never watch TV. We want people to think we sit down with them daily to memorize the periodic table when they are only two years old! We want everyone to think that we have it all figured out when really, we know nothing. I can't pretend to know it all, God won't use that. He can't.

So there you have it! I know nothing. I have three kids, I have been married for five and a half years and I am CLUELESS. The day I have it all figured out, I will let you know. Until then, I will just keep on messing up and sharing it on this blog. It's funny that someone nominated me for a "Thought Provoking" blog award because many out there struggle with my "thoughts". :) I never write about parenting because parents get very prideful at times when they discuss their way of doing things, myself included. Many of you would not agree with some of my parenting decisions. So please forgive me if I seemed prideful or displayed a "know it all" attitude. If you were in my pediatrician's office on Tuesday, you would have seen that I really know NOTHING. Absolutely nothing!

But today I feel good. The house is clean, the kids are sleeping and have been compliant AND I have already prepared dinner. That way it can go in the oven when Jeremy calls to say he is on his way home. Oh and I have a pot of coffee I just brewed! Coffee is becoming my afternoon delight and it's a must with a newborn in the house and the two other rugrats! But tomorrow the house could be trashed and I could be way behind on everything and dinner may not even be thought about! So I will enjoy the success of my day TODAY and not worry about tomorrow.

  posted at 1:49 PM
  6 comments





Name:
Amanda

Location: Austin, Texas


Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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