Friday, January 28, 2011

Holly - Nobody knows that I...

Finish the following... “Nobody knows that I....”
January 26th, 2011

Hmm...this is a super tough one. Is there really anything about me that truly NOBODY knows?? Even when I think I come close to thinking of something, I remember, “nope - so and so knows that...”  

Like the fact that I have  a TV crush on Jim Halpert of the office (even my husband knows this). Or that I can do this really weird thing with my toes where I can spread them all apart (lots of my close friends know this). Or that I really despise all kinds of animals, especially dogs - (I think everyone might know this by now). Or, that I would love to write a book someday, even though I am not a gifter writer, or even like writing so much, it's just that the more I have grown to love to read, the more I think it would be such an accomplishment to write something meaningful (and, many of my friends and husband also know this too)....

So, with that being said, the closest thing I could think of was that I am a daydreamer. I have always been a daydreamer...right down to the part where I would stare out windows during school, often times missing what the teacher said.  I still daydream, mostly when I am driving ( I don’t know if that is dangerous or not?) Or if you catch me staring off into space while biting my nails...might be a sure fire sign that I am daydreaming.  So, since I admitted that I daydream, you may be wondering exactly what all I am dreaming about....well, there are these wonderful lyrics by Future of Forestry, from the song “If You Find Her” that say “deep inside her dreams, is all the beauty that she keeps...”  Truth is - it’s really hard to say what all I daydream about, but, they are my dreams after all - the beauty that I will keep for myself =)

Jen: Rules Growing Up

Tell about specific rules you had, or didn't have growing up. Did you follow them? How were you disciplined if you broke the rules?"

I kind of had to chuckle at this question. I really didn't have too many rules growing up. I felt like my parents trusted me. I rarely did anything to break their trust. Guess you could say I was a "goodie goodie." ;-) I'd like to think it was the grace of God over my life. My personality, as a middle child, was a people-pleaser to the core. I would do anything and everything to please my parents. For example, washing the dishes night after night without being told. I never wanted to do anything that would hurt my parents. Just being scolded at something I did wrong would bring tears to my eyes. Guess you could say I have a sensitive personality as well. ;-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lauren: What Did You Want to be When You Grew Up?

As a child, what did you most want to be when you grew up? Did you end up doing this? Why or why not?

There were quite a few professions that I dreamed of having when I was young. They ranged from neurosurgeon and writer to model and show girl (think Rockette not Vegas nudity).

I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because I loved science and, at the ripe old age of 6, I thought that money made the world go round. Neurosurgeons made lots of money. I had no idea that such a job would require a lifestyle with little room for friends, family or relaxation. Once I discovered the personal sacrifices this job entailed - the dream faded.

Good thing I had other dreams. I have always loved to write, won several contests throughout my school-age years and knew it was something that I could succeed in should I choose to make a career out of it. When I was younger - there were a few years when I was determined to grow up and be a journalist. But, as time went on I abandoned that aspiration because I realized that writing was an artform and like any true artist - I didn't want someone else (a boss, magazine editor, etc.) telling me how to "do" my art. I enjoyed writing what I wanted to write about, in a voice that was uniquely my own and I had no desire to be asked to conform to someone else's style or preferences.

There was a period of time (middle school years) that I wanted to be a model or a show girl. Not the naked, peep show sort of show girl but a New York City Rockette or dancer on Broadway. I was trained in all styles of dance and thought surely it was something that I could make a career out of. But, in 9th grade I gave up on that ambition too.

Finally, during my senior year of high school, when I made the bold (OK, it's true I just couldn't hack it) move to quit calculus class in exchange for accounting 101, I settled on the "job of my dreams" - accounting. I decided rather quickly that I wanted to work in public accounting for a national or international firm. Accounting was something that I could do and do well. It was basic and simple. Either the numbers matched up, the books balanced - or they didn't. When I did well - I knew it and so did everyone else - the financial statements were proof. To succeed in the profession of public accounting all you needed to know was principles, standards and financial rules, apply them, pass certain tests, and maybe have a few people skills (although the last qualification is debatable). There was no subjectivity to the process of accounting and so I determined that I would choose a job in this field. My writing would be left for personal use so that I could explore the talent under no pressure or opinion of anyone else. My parents were indeed shocked when I applied to college with a declared major of Accounting.

I sailed through the college courses with an A average - all but that one lonesome"B" that I got in Cost Accounting. I was offered a full-time job (and accepted) with a regional accounting firm before my senior year of college, passed my CPA exam (on the second try) and had a great career.

BUT - my heart was never in it. My heart - was to be a mommy. AND THAT IS WHAT I AM.

I may have talent in writing, speaking, baking, and accounting but the gifts that I desire to refine in my life are the gifts of patience, teaching, understanding, innovation, peace-making, communicating, creativity, nurturing, advocating, protecting, welcoming, providing, trusting, praising, encouraging and LOVING. And those gifts are best displayed in my lifelong career choice: to be a Mommy to as many little kiddos as I can.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lindsay - Book Title About Your Life

"If you were to publish a book about your life, what would the title be? Why?"
January 24, 2010

This was actually a really hard question to answer. I want a title that reflects how life is full of seasons. Seasons that are unpredictable, always changing, constant and surprising. When I was a little girl I never would have imagined the story that God has drawn out for my life so far. It's incredible how hindsight works! I can see how different people impacted my life and changed me for better or worse, and how I always seemed to be at the right place at the right time in order for God to fulfill His purpose and plan for my life. I can also see the times when I was far from God and how He was still so very present and at work in my life.

I was asked this question in a grad class one time, and I think my title had something to do with a quilt. A true quilt is one that has many threads and colors and patches and patterns that work together to make a beautiful masterpiece. It's very hard to find two quilts that are the same. I think that was my title A Beautiful Masterpiece. Anyway, I'm not having any real breakthroughs for a title. So I'll just go with something like, oh, I don't know, Constant Grace in Uncertain Seasons.

Why? Well God has been The Constant, no matter what I've done, His grace is sufficient for me. No matter how selfish I am or undeserving of love, His love is unfailing. Life is full of uncertainties, and unsteady times, but having the hope in a God who can't be removed or shaken is all I need to walk through those uncertainties.

Life won't be easy guys, but with "the Word as a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path" (Psalm 119:105 and a song you'll hear mommy sing to you a lot), you will be able to face many storms. Remember to "trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in ALL you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path" Proverbs 3:5-6. I love you forever!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Danielle - Favorite Family Vacation

Talk about a favorite family vacation. Where did you go, what do you remember about it?

**Pictures to come soon when I can figure out how to scan them in.**
Growing up our family did not take many family vacations. Pappy bought and then ran his own business. Most of the time it was just him and one other guy. Since he was the majority provider of our family and leaving meant that the doors were closed on his shop which meant no pay, we didn't take lots of vacations. We did go away once a year to Camp Hebron as a family. This started when I was about 8 years old and continued until I was around 13. This was a highlight of our summer. Camp Hebron was located in Halifax, PA. It was a campground that had a pool, a lake, horses, basketball courts, and lots of other activities to do. Each year we would take the 2 hour trip up to Halifax, PA. The drive seemed like it took forever. Our good family friends, the Davis Family, also went along. There were a few families that were always there the same time each year but there were also other families that would come and go.

During the week, the parents would meet for sessions with speakers that helped them grow in their faith while the kids were split into age groups and got to enjoy lessons, games, and activities with each other. Until now, I never went back and thought about how my parents gave their week of vacation to grow closer to God and to give us the opportunity to grow closer to Him too. We could have went to the beach or any other place by ourselves but instead my parents dedicated usually the only vacation we took to take us as a family to a Christian run camp to sit in on sessions with friends to learn more about the Lord.

We stayed in Silvan View which had "hotel" type rooms that each family would sleep in. Meals were provided in a cafeteria type dining area. One night during the week, the families would head to the lake for a picnic type dinner followed by water games such as relays and races.

My favorite part of our week was getting to ride the horses. When we first started out I was only allowed to go for the horse rides where a person would lead the horse around a fenced in area. As I got older, I was able to go on the breakfast rides and trail rides. These were group activities but you controlled your horse which was AWESOME! I loved horses and this was one thing I always looked forward too.

A lot of our afternoons were spent at the pool. One specific memory I remember from our pool days was the day that Aunt Amber had to get stitches. She was jumping in backwards into the pool. She ended up jumping too close to the wall and caught her chin on the way down. Sure enough she had to go and get stitches.

Another memory that I have from one of our weeks at Camp Hebron was that the one night my class had planned to go for a hike on Peter's Mountain and camp out. We headed up the mountain shortly after dinner. We reached the top just as it was getting dark out and a little bit later a storm had rolled in. We were on the top of this mountain and lightning was everywhere. I just remember hiding under a large rock while we waited for the rain to slow down. The thunder was so loud and the lightning felt like it could strike right next to you. Needless to say, we were all soaked and were not going to be staying on top of the mountain that night. We headed down after the storm had slowed and ended up getting back to the Hotel late at night.

I am sure there are so many other memories from our weeks spent at Camp Hebron that I could share including talent shows that we participated in, games we played, trips to the icecream truck for a treat. It was always a great time to enjoy as a family and with friends.

Danielle - Hardest and Best Part of Becoming A Christian

What was the hardest part about becoming a Christian? What was the best part?

I think the hardest part about becoming a Christian is something that I deal with every is trying to do away with thinking about myself and having my own selfish desires and motives. Instead I have to surrender to the Lord and let Him direct my steps. This world pushes you - what will make YOU happy, what is best for YOU, what do YOU want, what do YOU deserve..YOU YOU YOU!! That is all that is ingrained in us from the media and the world around us. It is easy to get wrapped up in yourself and it is part of our sinful nature to worry about ourselves more than we worry about the people around us.  It is a daily choice to choose the Lord and to choose the things that He cares about, the things that He sees, and the things that He wants. Daily I have to lay down my life to gain life in Him. Laying down my life for the Lord will make me look different. I may not be able to do the things that my friends do or say what others say. I may choose to do things differently than what the "world" accepts, but I do it all for the Lord and that is who I need to seek my approval from. All of this is something that I have struggled with growing up and even now as an adult. It is not easy to go against the norm and to stand up for what you believe but I do believe it is RIGHT! I desire to be liked by people so not agreeing with something or not participating in things is hard for me but it is the best at the same time.

Laying down my life for the Lord brings joy. It brings hope. And it brings peace! You can not gain joy by having all the things in the world (even though every commercial will try to tell you those things can). There is no hope without the Lord and peace can only come from Him. Peace, joy, and hope are 3 of the best things about Christianity. When things in this world get hard, I have peace that the Lord is with me and that He is in control. I have joy in the Lord for He is my father and the one that I can depend on no matter what. And I have hope for the future. There is no certainty in this world but there is certainty that having a relationship with my Father will lead to Heaven. Heaven - a place that  will surpass all of our expectations. A place where we can be reunited with the one who created us and where we can spend the rest of our days glorifying Him and giving Him praise. I am grateful for my life on this earth but I am also hopeful for my life in heaven and what it will be like.

Kids, being a Christian is not choosing to live the easy life. Look at Jesus - his life was not easy but look at what an impact he made and how much glory he brought the Lord. My prayer is that each of you will come to know the Father and experience His love and I pray that when you make the decision to follow Jesus that you will be ready for the hard road but the road that is the BEST OF ALL! Being a Christian is a journey but it is worth it all. Love you forever!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Holly -3 favorite things about being a Mom

What are your 3 favorite things about being a mother?
January 20th, 2011

  1. I love seeing the world again through my daughters’ eyes. I love watching them grow and learn and experience new things. I love seeing their reaction when the lightbulb goes on, and the finally GET it. I love being able to be the one who helps them learn and experience these new things. I was their first teacher, and I will forever be grateful for that.

  1. I love the spontaneous hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” that come from my girls. Nothing will melt a Mommy’s’ heart more than when their child crawls up in their lap, wraps their arms around you, and says “i wub you mama”. Seriously - it doesn’t get too much better than that!
  1. I love that each time I look at my girls, I am reminded of what a privilege and honor it is to be their Mommy - how blessed I am to be able to have carried them inside of me. And even though being a Mommy is probably one of the hardest jobs out there, I don’t think there are ANY that are more rewarding.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lauren: Middle School Years - Challenges, Struggles, Temptations

Tell about middle school years. What were some challenges, temptations or struggles you had?

me in middle school

Middle school was, for the most part, a wonderful season in my life. I enjoyed the experience of leaving elementary school behind and learning in a new place, with a new schedule, new teachers and new classmates. I have always loved meeting people so I enjoyed the process of making new friends.

On my first day of 7th grade I did not know anyone in my "section" (that is what my middle school called the group of 20-some kids that I had classes with) except a tiny little blond girl who was practically half my size. I recognized her from the 6th grade, district-wide spelling bee where she was eliminated on the word "restaurant" and I was shut down with the word "dense." Once we were knocked out of the competition we briefly shot the breeze and built up our bruised egos while the other dorks duked it out with spelling power. Then we did not see each other again until that fateful day in middle school.

She remembered me from the spelling bee too - and that is really all it took. We became inseparable, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. We laughed together often and made big plans to grow up, own houses right next to each other, find handsome husbands, raise our kids together in a warm state like Georgia or South Carolina, and grow old side by side. Nearly 18 years later, God has made most of those plans a reality (all except the location and the growing old stuff). You kiddos know that "tiny little blond girl" as your AUNTIE HOLLY. She is still "half my size" and she is by far the BEST PART OF MY MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS.

Holly and Me (8th grade)

I had several great friends in middle school but my best friends were Holly, Lisa (who was my BFF since first grade) and Lauren.

I think the biggest problem I see with my middle school self was my judgement of other people. Sure, I had my first kiss in 7th grade (WAY TOO YOUNG AND IF YOU FOLLOW IN THESE FOOTSTEPS I WILL HURT YOU - or ground you - OR SOMETHING) and was rarely "boyfriend-less" until my senior year of high school (again, ridiculously inappropriate - STAY TUNED FOR MY FIRST DATE POST FOR MORE INFO) but the most pervasive problem, and one that I didn't even recognize as a problem at the time, was making fun of and judging others. I laughed at the unfortunate circumstances of others and though most of my classmates would say that I was kind and friendly, it was my thought life and my inside jokes that were dangerously unloving and without-a-doubt unnecessary.

I really was a good kid. I have always had a big heart and a sensitive spirit. But, I have not always had a relationship with Jesus and He makes all the difference. He gives us compassion. Holly and I were some of the "regulars" (along with our friends Jon and Doug) to help with our special needs classmates (Alex and John). We were usually kind and hard working. We were great students. The teachers loved us. We were funny, happy kids. But, we also found humor in poking fun of other people - so much so that we created a book dedicated mainly to that purpose. It was called the "B&B Book of Laughs." It actually breaks my heart to think about it now. For the most part, we did not share our observations with others and certainly not the person who was the butt of our jokes. We were not outwardly critical or cruel. But, our focus in the book and in our humor was judgement rather than LOVE - and whether hidden or exposed our words sowed seeds of hurt and oppression.

That is really the ONE THING that I wish I could take back. Since my middle school years, nearly two decades ago, God has given me a heart that seeks justice and defends the weak. He has placed in me a passion to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. He has blessed me with a compassionate heart. (And if you know anything about Auntie Holly then you know he has done the same for her!) I am thankful. I am thankful for Jesus.

If you learn anything from this middle school post learn this -

  • Friendships really can last (and grow stronger) FOREVER.

  • ALWAYS choose compassion over judgement. (clothe yourself in compassion - Col 3:12, be compassionate and humble - 1 Peter 3:8, do not judge - Matt 7:1, Luke 6:37)

Meghan: Tell your engagement story.

Tell the story of how you and your spouse got engaged.

We dated for 3 years prior to our engagement and I can honestly say that I knew almost immediately that one day I would marry Dwayne. We mentioned marriage a few times( I probably more so then he), but for
the most part we didn't have a date or year as to when it might work best for us.
Halfway through my second year of college, I started to get the itch to do missions. I ended up leaving to complete my DTS in Makapala, HI. with YWAM in July 2002. I was gone for 5 months. During that time Dwayne and I continued our relationship long distance. Nearing the end of my time in Hawaii(about a week before I came home), I remember having a conversation with Dwayne about our friends Holly and Anthony. Dwayne was telling me how Anthony was proposing to Holly that weekend. He then started asking me what kind of ring I liked. That should have been hint #1, but I'm oblivious to a lot of things and this was one of them. Sure I knew it was going to happen but when I was completely in the dark.
My flight came in on the friday night before Christmas if I remember correctly. Of course having not seen each other for 5 months we spent every waking minute together for the next few days. At church that weekend, during a conversation with Linsday, Dwayne asks me if I like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve better? This should have been hint #2, but again I missed it completely! On Christmas Eve we always go to my parents church for the service. That year Christmas Eve was a tuesday. I remember getting ready then heading to Dwayne's house. He made me dinner, which I think was just spaghetti, but up to that date I'm pretty sure he had never done that before. So that should have been hint #3. I remember his sister Dawn was there and she got mad at Dwayne for something and threatened to tell me something. Hint #4! Of course, luckily for Dwayne, I am oblivious!!! So we ate then Dwayne mentioned that he wanted to take me to see the Christmas lights at the Steinman mansion on Marietta Ave before church. Hint #5, I love Christmas lights, but in our years of dating we had yet to do such a thing. As we are driving there Dwayne remains quiet and a little nervous (although really I didn't see that until after he proposed then i put it together). When we got to the mansion, he wanted me to get of the car and SNEAK onto the grounds(which is no trespassing). Me, not a dare devil, locked my self in the car and was refusing! I can't believe he didn't change his mind then! With some coaxing he finally got me out of the car. We got in and he was acting like we were sneaking so of course I went along with it. In the back there is a tower that overlooks the grounds and he headed up to it. Of course I was following close behind because I wasn't about to be left behind by myself. Then he mentions that he has to go to the bathroom and he'd be right back, ha, that was not flying with me. Oh and by this point it also started to snow flurry! So he skipped his secret mission to turn on the video camera and we went to the tower where we stopped to look at the
lights. He looked down and saw that two plugs were laying there unplugged. After trying to talk me into plugging them in, he gave in and did it himself. I was scared thinking we were going to get caught if they messed something up. As I was standing there, he plugs them in and instantly lights light up on the ground we are overlooking. I stood there and read them, "Will you marry me", and honestly my first thought was how sweet that someone did that! I turned to look at Dwayne and realized he was down on his knee. At that moment, I realized he did this for me!!! He asked and of course I said "YES"!

Jen: What Did You Want to be When you Grew Up

As a child, what did you most want to be when you grew up? Did you end up doing this? Why or why not?

As a child, I loved playing house. I would take my babies...a.k.a. "Cabbage Patch Kids" everywhere. We would cook together, go on stroller rides, have school, and even have church services where I would put on worship music and we would sing to Jesus together. I loved being a Mommy and wanted to be that more than anything else when I grew up.

So...did I end up doing this? NOT YET!!!

I believe the Lord loves to give us the desires of our hearts (Ps 37:4). We continue to DREAM BIG, believing God that He will give us a family in His perfect timing. I long for the day when I can be a mommy and see my dreams become a reality. You will be a MIRACLE! An answer to our hearts cry for a long time. We can't wait to meet YOU!! xoxo.

Romans 8:35~ ..."But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

carrie-tell the story of how you and your spouse got engaged

hi kiddos.
like my new font?
your daddy proposed to me on a couch.
a couch with a name.
a couch with a gross name.
you can see schweaty in the backround of this picture of daddy with a smokin hot mowhawk.

the couch was named schweaty because we lived in maui hawaii in a little town called paia.
and it was hot. all the time.
and this couch was all warm and fluffy and thick and must have been brought over from the mainland by some sentimental minnesodian, or er, minnesodier-ian, who just could not leave the blasted thing in its winter wonderland where it belonged.
and said minnesodierianian probably left it on the side of the road after they realized that it was not created for the tropical climate, which is most likely how it found its new home amongst the fine folks of YWAM maui.
cause in YWAM you don't ask questions, you see a couch on the side of the road, you make it yours.
because free is free.

so, anyways, this is where your oh so romantic father got down on one knee to propose to me.
i mean, come on, who could say no!
nothing says lovin' like a couch named "schweaty."
so here is the story.
your dad talked to uncle andy (who was also on staff with us in maui) and shared with him that he was ready to propose and wanted to go look at rings. so corey missed lecture and went ring shopping at queen kamehameha mall.
he came home from that trip with a ring burning a hole in his pocket.
uncle andy told corey to give him the ring.
he was smart and prophetic like and knew that your dad would not be able to wait to propose till the weekend.
corey refused. said he had it under control.
said he could wait.
and i got proposed to that night.
i think it was a tuesday.
since corey missed our night lecture i knew something was up.
but when i asked him, he was all vague and said "uh, i just had to talk to andy about some family stuff" LIAR!!
i knew he was lying to me.
but i didn't know why.
and i had already had a long day and was just over everything.
so i did what every frustrated girlfriend does when she doesn't want to think anymore.
i went to bed!
so as im snoozing away and dreaming of bunnies and rainbows, corey comes in and gives me a note. and as i sit there holding this note in a daze, (because im sleeping!) he tells me i have to not only hold it, but also read it.
thats a lot to ask in the middle of the night.
so i read it.
it went something like this.

i feel the Lord has released me to share the things that he has been stirring on my heart. meet me on the porch at derricks at midnight.

are you kidding me? midnight? now what am i supposed to do for the next hour?
so i took a shower.
and while in the shower the light bulb went on.
"corey wants to talk to me, because he wants to break up with me!"
so i was not so excited about meeting this corey martin on the porch of derricks at midnight.
midnight rolls around.
i am armed and ready.
i walk to derricks with a fluffy pillow in hand.
because no matter how bad news is, its always a little less bad when you have a fluffy pillow to hold onto.
so we are sitting on the porch.

awkward silence.

and then corey says, "lets go inside"
i silently follow clutching my pillow tight wondering what the heck this guys problem is.
just break up with me already!

then he sits me down on schweaty.
and then he says "ill be right back"
and then leaves. huh?

sitting, sitting sitting.
schweating schweating.

he's back! (it was probably only a few seconds, but felt like a lifetime.)
im annoyed.

so corey walks over to me and gets on one knee.
worst breakup ever.
then he says something like this.

corey- "we are all alone and no one else is here to interrupt us. its just you and me."

me in my brain- "holy cow just get this over with dude!" still not getting it.

corey-"i wanted you to sit in the spot where i first laid eyes on the girl i would hope to spend the rest of my life with"

me in my brain-"flashback to when i first met corey a year ago at christmas time. me curled up in the corner of schweaty at some meeting, and corey walking through the door fresh off the plane. in classic corey fashion, he walks around and looks each person in the eye and gives a firm handshake while introducing himself.
"hi, corey martin."

corey-"will you marry me?"

me in my brain-CONFUSED!! wait, he's not breaking up with me? wait, did he just say marry? tears. no words.
poor corey.
i did finally answer him though.
and my answer was YES.

but i was still a little bit mad at him for making me think he was gonna break up with me.
but it gave us an idea for how to tell everyone that we were engaged.
so the next morning at lecture we go to the front of the room to make an announcement. i pull my sleeves over my fingers so you cant see my ring, and try to look all somber.
we tell our students we want to share with them a decision we have made about our relationship. we say we've thought long and hard about it, and we think its for the best.
i swear a few of my guy students looked like they were ready to rip corey to pieces for breaking my heart.
and we tell them we have decided to.......
"get engaged!"
flash golden smiles, and show the bling.
happy us. happy students.
i figured since i had to be on an emotional rollercoaster for my engagement, everyone else should be on the ride with me. its only fair.
all in all too many emotions for one night.
but im glad he didn't break up with me.
im glad he never ever will.
we have chosen each other.
love is a choice kiddos.
i don't believe in soul mates.
i think there probably are a handful of people out there that either of us could have married. and we probably would have been really happy.
its true.
but love is a CHOICE.
and we chose each other.
and every day since then we have chosen each other and will continue to do so till death do us part.

it was the best choice i have ever made.

and here we are just engaged. please know
that your mommy does maintain her eyebrows, but
it seems i was due for a clean up in this
photo. dont worry, ill introduce you girls
to the best indian lady in the mall.
she works magic with a piece of thread.

Meghan: Describe your first car and learning to drive.

When I turned 16 you were allowed to get your permit then the next day go and get your license if you wanted. However because my birthday falls at the beginning of winter, my mom & dad decided to let me get my permit, but wait until spring 1998 to get my license. My mom wanted me to have practice and my dad wanted to teach me how to handle winter weather. I got my permit on my 2nd try. Most of my practice was driving with my dad in the car, not my mom, she would always use her pretend brakes. I learned to drive with their Honda accord. Dad and I would spend many nights driving into town and practicing parallel parking. I was an expert by the time he finished teaching me. I remember going out in the snow to learn to drive, which to this day is not my cup of tea. I'll do it if I have to but would rather wait it out till the roads are clear.
I got my license on my first try in the spring of 98". I remember the first time my best friend Renee and I got in the car together alone we were freaking out! We thought we were so cool. I can clearly remember driving away from my parents house in her car down Eckman road blaring our music and laughing our heads off. Little did we know of the responsibility we just took on and the responsibility that would come from that day on.
My first car was a maroon Jetta, I think it was around a 89' or 90'. It looked similar to the picture above. I really wanted a manual car to learn how to drive stick, so that's what I got even though I had no idea how to drive it. We got my Jetta in the fall of 99', my senor year of high school. I started dating Dwayne in November and he actually helped teach me to drive stick shift. My dad knew how too, but it had been years since he had drove it, so he was a little rusty. We would go over to Willow Street CTC and practice stop and go on the hill there. My grandma bought my car so I wouldn' t have to pay interest but I did pay her back every penny over the next 2 years. Mom and Dad were gracious enough to pay for my insurance, but I paid for the gas to fill my car, I can remember when gas was only 89cents a gallon! In the little over 10 years since I got my first car gas has gone up over $2 -$3 a gallon!

Lindsay - 1st date

"Tell about your first 'real' date. Who was it with? Where did you go? How old were you?"
January 17, 2011

I wish I could say that my first "real" date was with your daddy, but I did date a couple guys during high school. Some people say this is good, because then you can know more of what you want in a mate. However, if I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't date anyone until after high school; because let's face it, you can't get married when you're in high school, so what's the point of dating? It can be fun, but it really just leads to a lot of broken hearts. Dad and I haven't talked it over yet, but there will be some type of dating rule(s) when that time comes around for you guys...a long, long, loooong time from now. :)

My first date didn't make that much of an impression on me, because I had to ask Gigi if she remembered who it was with and what we did! I couldn't even remember. We think it was a double date with my friend Lindsey Freidly. I think they guys picked us up at Lindsey's house, and then we went to the movies. I have no idea what we saw, but it was probably some lame movie.

Since that guy didn't make much of an impression on me, let me tell you about a guy that left a major impression on your mama. :) About 6 years ago your dad asked me to go to the Christmas party for his work. That included a night out to see Sight and Sound's, Miracle of Christmas. We went with Dwayne and Meghan, and decided to go out to eat after the show. We ended up at Kalhoun's (which was where I got my first and only waitress job for 3 months and quit)! I should say that I assumed I was just going as a friend with your dad, but I thought he would at least pay for my dinner since he asked me to go with him. I think he's made up for it, but I definitely paid for my own dinner that night. At the end of the "date" I said, "Thanks, I had a lot of fun. Have a good night." And that was the end of it, or should I say, that was just the beginning.

About three weeks later I turned 20, and I got a text signed "BFunk" asking me if I wanted to go out for ice cream or do something for my birthday. I wasn't exactly sure why your dad was asking me to do something since we were "just friends," and how the heck did he know it was my birthday? (We hung out with the same group of friends, and went to the same church together). I remember calling Meghan and being very confused. She just laughed and told me to have fun and go with it. Well your dad must have enjoyed himself, because the night I turned 20 was the first of many dates to come. Since it was a week night, I suggested we just watch a movie, because we both had to get up early to go to work (your dad was excavating, and I was working at my beloved coffee shop). So we hung out and watched Cheaper by the Dozen. Your dad is a gentleman and made no moves on me that first night or even hinted that he was interested in me, which made him mysterious and started to attract me to him. Who was this guy and why did he want to hang out so much? He made his intentions known a few dates later, and that began the roller-coaster relationship that neither of us could ever give up! It was all worth it, and if you want the details just let us know, we'd be happy to share with you.

Oh, and in case you're interested, the first "real" date I remember going on after we were an "official" couple, was to Olive Garden for Valentine's Day, but it was so packed that we made our way to Panera which has been a favorite place to eat ever since! I love you forever!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jen: Elementary School

Tell about elementary school. What do you remember, what was fun. What did you play at recess? Who were your favorite teachers?

Because I was a twin, I had the advantage of never going to school or on the bus alone. Aunt Jessey was always there to hold my hand. Grandmommy put us in separate classrooms so we could develop our own friends which I think was good. She always would dress us so cute, with matching headbands & bows and everything. I remember teachers and friends complimenting Jessica and I on our outfits. I would proudly tell them "my mom made it." Grandmommy could make anything! I remember wanting to be the first off the bus to see what new additions Grandmommy had decorated our room. She had made our bedspreads, pillows, curtains, desk chair pads...etc. All in purple & white gingham. I loved sharing a room with my sister...for the most part. ;-)

Back to school. My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs.Reidenbaugh. She felt like my "mom" away from mom. She was so caring and sweet and took extra time for me to learn my cursive. She would put her hand over mine and we would trace the letters together. I loved the extra attention. ;-) My best friend was Maya. We loved going to each other's houses to play. At recess we liked playing foursquare~ a game with a ball that probably you'll never grow up to know. School never came easy, but I pray you'll always have a close sibling or friend to walk by your side through it all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holly - "Describe your pregnancies and labors for each of your children."

January 13th, 2011
"Describe each of your pregnancies, and labor stories for each of your children."

I will warn you all up front, this will be a long one.  Feel free to read if you feel like it, if not, no worries!

Eden - 

My pregnancy with my first daughter, Eden, was expected.  What I mean is that, when I first shared with some of my close friends that I was going to go off birth control and see what happens, my lovely friend Lu (who has a prophet gifting for sure) says to me that she felt “something” would happen in March. She didn’t know if that was we would get pregnant in March, have a baby in March, but she felt March for some reason.  As it turned out, I found out I was pregnant with our first child on Sunday March 13th.   Anthony and I were undecided on who and when we were going to tell people so we went to church that morning, alll business as usual. I sat across from Lu and simply looked at her and smiled - she started crying. See, she just knew =)  My first 2 weeks of being pregnant were fine, other than being really tired, but once the 8th week hit, so did the sickness. I spent the next 10 weeks being pretty sick. I was usually sick upon waking up, would muster up enough strength to get through the day ( I was still teaching 3rd grade at the time) and then come home and fall asleep, sometimes to wake up and get sick again and go back to sleep.  I survived and lived for the day when I could find out what we were having! Initially I had wanted to be surprised and Anthony wanted to find out, but by the time our 20 week ultrasound came around, I jumped up on the scan table and blurted out, please tell me what we are having. The ultrasound tech kindly told me to calm down, and she would tell us IF she could when they got to that part.  I think all along I had just expected to have a boy, with Anthony coming from a family of all boys, but when she said, “looks like a little girl”, I couldn’t have been more excited!  I spent the next 4 months buying all things girly.  Anthony and I knew her name before we even got pregnant - we had always loved the names Eden and Nevaeh (which is Heaven spelled backwards) - and especially together. So, as soon as we knew it was a girl, we announced to everyone that our daughter Eden Nevaeh was expected to be born on November 19th, 2005.  And guess what - SHE WAS!  I am one of those rare few that actually have their baby on their due dates - and thank Goodness, because I don’t know if I would have made it another day.  I had started my pregnancy weighing in at a whopping 100 pounds -and I weighed in around 138/139 right before I had little Eden.  That is substantial weight gain for such a “little” person, and I felt every pound of it, let me tell you! 
 just to prove it...this was a few WEEKS before I had Eden!!!

 I had started labor in the middle of the night on 11/17....we even called the OB and they told us to wait it out until morning when the regular docs came in, but by then, it had all but stopped. I immediately went into a sort of depression and laid around and slept for hours until finally I decided to get up and walk for awhile and then our friends invited us out to dinner, and I welcomed the distraction.  We met Ken and Lauren and ate at 2 Cousins.  On the way there, I started having contractions again. Which proceeded through the entire dinner, and then through the entire night we spent visiting at the Martin household (Carrie and Corey had come home for Thanksgiving).  So, there I sat, in the midst of many, many people, mostly guys, in labor for over 4 hours before I told Anthony that perhaps we should go home and get our stuff ready.  We drove home, called the OB, and they told us to come on in.  I was in immense pain sitting, and did not enjoy the ride to the hospital at all.  Once we arrived and they got me all changed and checked into triage, Anthony and I made guesses as to how far along I was- we both thought around 4 or 5...much to my dismay, the midwife, Anne (bless her heart) sadly looked at me and told me I was barely 2. She suggested I go home. I proceeded to cry right there and then.  So I got changed, and suffered through another 15 minute drive home.  I tried a bath, I tried to sleep, but I was having contractions every 3 minutes or so - so sleep was pretty much out of the question.  I told Anthony to get some sleep - so at least one of us would be rested, and I literally walked around in circles for the next 6 hours. I couldn’t sit- no, sitting was definitely out of the question.  I peed every single time after a contraction.  That was so annoying.  Finally at around 6 I woke up Anth and told him I could barely take it anymore, so certainly I must be getting close, so we went back in, and I was trying so hard to be brave as they checked me, but I was certainly scared they were going to send me home again - but alas, I was 4..ONLY 4, but at least I could stay!!  I got a room, ordered an epidural right away, and then rested. We had one brief scary moment after my epidural in which my blood pressure and Eden’s heart rate dropped significantly - thus sending in an barrage of docs and nurses equipped with oxygen devices and I remember a long poking looking thing, that was to break my bag of water (which by the way was already broke and I didn’t even know - remember the peeing after every contraction - yea, that was my water).  After they got everything sorted out, mommy and baby were great. So I slept for an hour or so, and then just waited.  We realized when I was fully dilated that Eden was face up (that’s why I couldn’t even sit - very bad back labor!) So they gave me this egg shaped device to allow the baby to turn on her own, which she did MOSTLY, and then they let me start pushing. I will say I was the most scared of this part, but by the time it came around, I could NOT wait to push this little girl out!  It is certainly a give and take process. I opted for a mirror in which to watch this give and take, and although frustrating at times, it was one of the most amazing things to witness!  Finally after about 45 minutes, at 2:22 in the afternoon on 11/19/05 Eden’s tiny little head appeared - and I laid there awestruck- literally. I did nothing. Just stared at her tiny little face and features. For 9 months you dream about and constantly wonder what your baby will look like, and then all of a sudden, here she was!  Anthony had to remind me, a few times, that I needed to get the rest of her out, in which I was glad to do.  They plopped her scrunched pink and purple little body on my belly, and instantly, I was in love.  She was the tiniest little thing - weighing in at only 6.0 pounds even.  She was screaming and crying, and healthy, and beautiful, and perfect in every sense of the way.  Although I remember few things about the blur that was the next few days, or even weeks, I still remember very clearly the moments when she made her arrival into this crazy thing we call life.  Five years later, she is still my beautiful, and tiny, daughter.  
 Eden Nevaeh - 11/19/05  6.0 pounds  2:22 PM

 one day new!

 Eden Nevaeh - 5 days old.
 Kaiah was a bit more “unexpected”.  I had, not on purpose, but accidentally gone off birth control in July- when Eden was only about 7 months old.  I was not planning on having my kiddos too close together. But after I realized that I had forgot my BC while we were on vacation at the beach, and would have to start all over again, we just decided “heck with it” we will take our chances.  I got pregnant with Kaiah in the beginning of December. Her story is funny because i KNOW when I conceived her, only because shortly thereafter all 3 of us got SO SO sick that there was no baby making going on for awhile I assure you =)  So I found out about her on Saturday, January 6th 2007.  Eden was 13 and a half months old. I had waited a bit of extra time to take a test, as I kind of suspected I might be preggers, and sure enough, I was.  Starting Sunday January 7th I was deathly sick.  It was probably some of the worst weeks of my life, which seems horrible to say since I was carrying another little baby and we were thrilled about it...but seriously, I was miserable. I joke often that if there was some sort of program to put me in some sort of medical coma for that first trimester, I would have signed up immediately.  I was sick at least 4-5 times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY.  And by sick, I do mean vomitting and all.  This lasted until my 11th week. So for over 6 weeks straight, I dealt with this, and trying to juggle a very busy almost 14 month old.  I would have hands down won the worst mom award - as I would wake up, throw up, struggle to get eden’s diaper changed and put clean clothes on her. Bundle her up, struggle to get to the car without throwing up again, and drive to my mom’s house, where she would take care of Eden and I would alternate between sleeping and getting sick until it was afternoon and time to put Eden in for a nap. I did this almost 3-4 times during the week.  I would come home in the afternoon, throw up again, try to nap - but to add to my list of dilemmas, was a bad case of Tachycardia (increased heart rate). So even though I was laying down and not exerting any energy (unless puking your guts out counts) my heart would race - to between 130-160 beats per minute. It was loud. I could heart my heart working away as I would try to lay down...that my friends, is no fun at all.  I remember telling Anthony (who by the way was probably wondering what in the world happened to his wife during this time - Holly (as he knew her) was nowhere to be found!) about 2 weeks into this misery that if this little peanut was a boy, WE WERE DONE.  Approximately one week later, I said, WE ARE DONE. I don’t care if it is boy or girl, or gorilla for that matter, I just couldn’t do this again.  The funny thing was, as quickly as this sickness started, it ended just as abruptly...I woke up one morning in the middle of my 11th week, and didn’t throw up. It was a miracle.  I had a few episodes here and there throughout the rest of my pregnancy, but all manageable. I was BACK, thank the Good Lord Himself!  Anthony and I both expected that this little one was, indeed, a boy. This pregnancy was very different than Eden’s - and I just felt differently.  So, when 20 weeks rolled around, I expected to hear that we were having a boy.  But as the ultrasound tech rolled her “stick” over “the area” I saw that it was another girl.  The 3 lines that the first ultrasound tech with Eden tried to show me over and over again to prove it was a girl (which I wasn’t buying, but decided to trust her anyways) I saw very clearly on this ultrasound, so when she said “looks like it’s another little girl for you guys!”  I knew I wasn’t seeing things.  My first thought initially was, “I hope Anth isn’t disappointed”, which of course he wasn’t.  I was completely thrilled to have another little lady around!  We had a bit more trouble deciding on a name for this baby.  Because we were kind of thinking it was a boy, we focused more time on that name...which we finally agreed on Malakai Elias.  I was really pulling for the name Quinn for a girl, but my husband could not be persuaded, once we knew for sure it was going to be another girl, we decided on Kaiah (thinking we would call her Kai, just like we would have if we had a boy) and Malyn (which means my beauty).  

The rest of my pregnancy went by pretty fast, since we moved into a new house when I was 6.5 months pregnant, and summer was right after, it was kind of a blur.  I started this pregnancy at 102 pounds (that’s right, I kept 2 on from my last one...yippee!) and ended at 143.  Do the math, it’s over 40 pounds, and I spent the last trimester during the months of June, July, and August. If I ever had second thoughts about maybe having another one and revoking my first trimester declaration, the summer trimester reassured me that I was INDEED not carrying anymore children.  I know you are thinking “wow, she really complained a lot about this pregnancy!”  and you would be correct. I was not a glowing pregnant lady.  I was laying by the pool (beached whale style) at the end of july (so about 5 weeks until my due date) and this lady walks over and is all bubbly and going on and on about how much she loved being pregnant, and saying things like “isn’t it just the greatest!  don’t you just love it”.   I am sure I had one of those moments where I involuntarily make a disgusted face, and simply said “actually, I don’t. I can’t wait for it to end.”  

And end it finally did on September 2nd, 2007 ( 2 days early from my due date of the 4th - which was Labor day that year!)  It is very true what they say about second babies having a mind of their own when it comes to labor, and no two labors being the same.  With Eden I had frequent contractions only 2-3 mintues apart, and wouldn’t progress.  With Kaiah I had off and on contractions for over 24 hours. Sometimes with 10-15 minutes inbetween.  I had tried going shopping, going walking, sleeping, anything that might get them more consistent. NOTHING.  SO, we had our wonderful friends over, ordered Nino’s (here is a plug for eating pizza shop foods right before your due date, it works every time), and AGAIN, I sat here in labor for a few hours while my friends talked to me and each other...some who were pregnant also at the time asking me how it felt like, how painful was it, how could I just be sitting around while I was IN LABOR.  I was still not convinced it was active labor...but after they all left, Anthony insisted I call the doctor and see what they say...they told me I should probably come in. I had horrid flashbacks of having to be turned away and sent home...and just didnt’ want to look like an idiot, I mean this was my second time around!  So I go threw the whole deal in triage, get all hooked up, and my midwife comes in to check me and says, “oh wow, you are almost 7!”  WHHHHAAAAAATTTT!!  I never had contractions closer than 8 minutes apart in the past 24 hours.  The first thing I thought, beyond knowing they wouldn’t send me home was, “Can I still get an epidural!?”  I was settled in my room, got my magic medicine and went to sleep.  Anthony was out on the little couch and we slept for an hour or two before I felt my water break, and shortly thereafter, it was time to push.  

I was assured by several midwives throughout my pregnancy that this one was going to be little as well, probably 6 and a half pounds.  Well after 22 minutes of pretty easy pushing, Kaiah Malyn entered the world at around 4:40 in the morning - and she wasn’t 6.5 pounds, she was 7.12!!! That is almost 2 pounds different than Eden! I couldn’t believe it.  My first thought when I saw her cute little pouty face was that she looked a lot like Eden, just a bit bigger.  The second time around was much more smooth, and I felt much more prepared, but it was equally amazing to experience the blessing of giving birth to another healthy and beautiful little girl.  I will say though, that I remember a little less of what all happened after Kaiah was born...I was so totally exhausted from a lack of good sleep, that I remember trying to feed her, I remember them taking her to the nursery, and then getting me all cleaned up and ready for a room, and then the next thing I remember is waking up to the sound of my IV drip monitor going off because it was empty.  Anthony and I were in a recovery room sound asleep for a few hours before anyone came to check on us.  Kind of crazy, but it all worked out.
 Kaiah Malyn 9/2/07  7.12 pounds 4:48 AM

 Eden meets her baby sister!!
 One day new!

 4 days cute!!

I realize that this is a really long post- and yet, it could have been 20 pages longer.  There are so many little things about pregnancy and labor that you mostly forget, but once in awhile you are brought back to them when you see a pregnant woman do something, or you hear a newborn baby cry.  Even though I didn’t enjoy being pregnant, I was still incredibly happy and blessed to be able to carry my 2 daughters without many complications and have safe and happy labor experiences. I realize this isn’t always the case, and so I always try to remember that along with all the crappy stuff I went through, mine had a super happy ending for which I am eternally grateful and thankful to God above for.  My daughters are the greatest joy in my life, and they were worth every single trip to the toilet, every sleepless night, every ache and pain, every pound I gained, every stretch mark they inflicted...all totally and completely worth it.
In the words of Mat Kearney “Nothing worth ANYTHING, ever goes down EASY...”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lauren: 3 Favorite Bible Verses (and why)

Picking only 3 "favorite" bible verses is tough. The Bible in its entirety is more precious than diamonds and more satisfying than P.F Changs (EVEN WHEN IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT, KIDS. JUST TRUST ME - IT IS). But, you will find as you navigate through life that the Lord gives you particular verses or books of the Bible to encourage you, to motivate you or to give you direction for a certain time. Other verses are "life verses" a part of your destiny in Christ, specifically meant to align you with his plan or spur you on to fulfill that purpose that YOU were created for. Those verses move your heart and bring conviction no matter the season, no matter the moment.

I chose to share with you 3 verses that are precious to me as "life" verses. Little glimpses into my personal callings and purposes in Christ.

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." -Philippians 3:10

This verse has daily impact on my life. Specifically, the last 6 words. BECOMING LIKE HIM IN HIS DEATH. My sweet Jesus died by choice. He was God, He is God. He could have taken himself down off of that cross at any moment. Believe me, people taunted him and mocked him about that very thing. He had the power to remove himself from the cross and rescue himself from death - BUT HE DIDN'T. He chose instead to lay his life down - for me and for you. He chose to take the weight of our sin and our ugliness upon himself and pay the penalty for all of our wrong-doings so that we could be reconciled to God and live for eternity with him in heaven. There is nothing that would have redeemed our souls but His death - and so he chose to die.

"Knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, participating in his sufferings and being like him in death" is HARD. BUT I WANT TO DO IT. How do I know Him? How do I understand the power of his resurrection and participate in his suffers? - I DIE. I choose to say "no" to my flesh and "yes" to Jesus. I choose to lay my life down for others, to let go of the ways of this world and hang on to my Savior. I choose Him over me - daily. Jesus, at any second could have removed himself from crucifixion but instead he chose, each moment he hung there, to remain on the cross and likewise it is my ambition to choose, with every minute, to die to my flesh and selfish desires. I wish I could tell you that eventually "dying to self" becomes EASY. But, I have found that no matter how many times I have done it I still have to purpose and fight to do it again. It is a perpetual choice - "death is gain... to die is to live." And so, I want to be like Him in his death because it is only then that I will truly know Him and knowing Him is worth it all.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27

It should come as no surprise to you that this is a verse that has had life-long impact on me. Specifically, in terms of looking after orphans. By the time you are reading this blog there may be 15 Uhrichs in our "little" family. IT IS SO POSSIBLE. This verse encompasses my calling. I was made to be a mother to the motherless (and your dad was created to be a father to the fatherless.) God has been clear in commanding us to be adoptive parents and he has set the most perfect example by first adopting us into his family to be heirs to the throne of God not through heredity or anything we have done - but through grace, mercy and unconditional love. It is our pleasure to be adoptive parents - we are the blessed ones. THIS IS RELIGION THAT GOD OUR FATHER ACCEPTS AS PURE AND FAULTLESS. And - let's not forget the final part of the verse "to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This world has a way of creeping in and polluting us subtly - it can be so subtle that we are completely unaware of it. Unless we are walking closely with the Lord, spending time with Him and prioritizing our time, daily, to be transformed into his image - we can become conformed to the ways of the world rather quickly. Being "in the world but not of the world" is a tough feat and it takes constant reliance on Christ. Go there by whatever means necessary.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

In this world we will have trouble but HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD. (John 16:33) Bad things will happen to you. It breaks my heart to even type that - but it is the truth. Giving your life to Christ does not mean that you are guaranteed balloons, rainbows, unicorns and cotton candy for the rest of your days. These verses are important to me because I have had my share of sad/difficult experiences. At only 28 I have several battle scars from wounds I endured over the years. But the markings that remind me of broken relationships, abandonment, miscarriages, special needs and a cancer scare now sparkle in the light of a life lived beyond those moments. It has all been for GOOD.

As your Mommy, there is much of me that wishes I could prevent all of your heartaches and disappointments but there is another part of me that knows that the spiritual value of "light and momentary troubles" (EVEN HEAVY AND SEEMINGLY PERPETUAL TROUBLES) is much more impactful than the temporary hardship that they produce. This may seem so cliche but - these verses remind me of a pearl. A pearl is a beautiful, precious commodity yet, it is produced under stress and irritation. (GOOGLE IT.) Though it may prove difficult at first, choose to fix your eyes on Christ and on eternity during rough times in life. Hold on to hope. I promise you that though your sufferings may seem long or unfair - they will depart. Have patience. Choose to lean on Christ and take every opportunity to learn valuable lessons about dying to self (SEE THE FIRST VERSE THAT I NOTED ABOVE). If you choose Christ during your sufferings you will emerge from your troubles stronger and wiser. I know, this last verse seems depressing but there are two things that I can promise you:

1. As long as we are on this earth your Daddy and I will be there for you to carry you, hold you, encourage you and pray for you through all of life's events.

2. He (Christ) has overcome the world. You already have victory over whatever you are going through because of Jesus and his death on the cross. His stripes have healed you, he promises a "way out" from all temptation, he loves you so dearly and he is an "ever present help in times of trouble."

Read The Word. Store it in your heart. It is a powerful weapon and a strong shield.

I love you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lindsay - 5 Things I'm Fearful of

Ok, so the phrase "...but mommy I'm scared of _____." was a phrase I used a lot as a kid! However, as I grew up I learned that I didn't need to be afraid because Jesus was always with me. (Right now you should look up Isaiah 41:10 and read it for yourself. I love you). I've found, even though I'm only 26, that what you're afraid of changes throughout your life, yet follows the same theme or pattern. So I'm going to break it down into categories and maybe go into some detail of different times in my life when that specific fear was more prevalent.

This is by far my biggest and most selfish fear. When I was living at home, my biggest fear was losing my parents. I'm sure that may be one of your fears too. If I lost them, who would take care of me? When I got married, I was afraid of losing your dad to some type of accident at work or when he was driving to and from faraway jobs. Family means so much, that to lose people you love with all your heart is something that would break mine into a million-gabillion pieces!

As I grow up, this one is more and more realistic because I can grasp a little more each day how real eternity is. My prayer for you is that you would love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Your dad and I will do our best to raise you in the ways of the Lord so that your eternity will be one that is spent with your heavenly Father.

I'm a perfectionist, as I'm sure you've figured out, and you may have inherited a little bit of perfectionism from your dad as well. Sorry guys! This lovely character trait may get the best of you at times, but know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we're all sinking in an ocean of grace and mercy!

This one is pretty self explanatory. No one likes to be hurt or see other get hurt, especially if you love them. So use your words carefully, and know that your actions speak loudly. "Hurting people hurt people." I hope that you know you are loved so that you can only love others. Let your lights shine!

This will be a big deal when you enter the school arena. We all want to be accepted. It's just in our human nature. The problem is, we should really only concern ourselves with pleasing the Lord and doing what is favorable in his sight. But, the world gets the best of us, and we end up doing stupid things to gain the acceptance of people. In the end, the only thing that will matter is if you lived a Godly life. I'll talk to you about the stupid choices I made when you get to your teenage and high school years. I hope you won't have to deal with this fear, and that you may be a confident child of God who knows that your identity is in Christ alone!

Yes, these stinky creatures have invaded our lives. Hopefully the razorbacks will be extinct by the time you're old enough to read this. I would hold you in my arms and run around screaming as the bugs dive-bombed and helicoptered around our heads. The only way to kill them...toilet death. One, sometimes two, flushes is all it takes, and they're gone - into the deep dark deathly sewer where they belong.

I know these are pretty deep and heavy things...well except fear #6. I'm a super, deep thinker. Believe me, I wish I could say I was really afraid of spiders or something like that. Oh, I did forget one, SNAKES! UGH! The grossest creatures on earth! And don't try to be funny and hide a fake one in my bed like your uncles did when they were younger! I love you forever.