Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Little Warrior Boys

     Several months ago during worship at church the Holy Spirit spoke to me, and while I don't ever take anything lightly that I hear from The Lord, this specific instance carries with it a whole lot of weight.  Not thinking about parenting at all, but just with hands lifted and my voice singing praises to my King I heard, "I have given you boys; boys to be men, men to be warriors, warriors for me."  
     "Whoa!" I thought to myself.  When it comes to parenting, I've always had goals of raising polite kids who will choose to follow Christ, but when I heard this I thought, "Okay, there's more to this whole parenting thing than just raising 'nice, polite' kids. God what are you entrusting me with?  This is a HUGE responsiblility!"  Not that raising kids isn't a huge responsibility in and of itself, because trust me with two boys, it's a challenge to just get through the day without a trip to the ER, but raising warriors?  
     Fortunatelly, we have another, larger, more experienced warrior living in our home.  As most of you know, my husband is a soldier in the US Army and has spent as much of our married life overseas in war zones as he has at home.  And if there's one thing he and his men do all the time, it's train.  They constantly keep up to speed with the weapons and technology which are available to them.  They fire their weapons at the ranges reapeatedly to make sure they are prepared for the attacks of the enemy.  And when my husband comes home at night, he doesn't stop being a soldier.  Don't get me wrong, he's not the type of dad that barks orders at the kids and me, but rather mentally, he is always prepared.  He is disciplined to look like, act like, and think like a soldier.  Being a soldier has been engrained in him; it has become part of who he is.  
     So, when I look at him and then at my little boys, who are 2 and 4, I realize we have a long way to go. After that Sunday, I have to say, I approach parenting a little differently now.  And while the monotony of everyday life can be a monster to be reckoned with, I strive to be more intentional.  I long to see their love for Jesus and people be real and tangible.  I want them to see and understand that even if they are the coolest superheroes on the planet, they still need God's mercy and grace.  I want them to recognize how blessed they are and we are as a family.  I want them to have mercy and compassion. I want them to know God's Word and how to fight the enemy.  I want them to know they are part of something bigger than this world can see.  I want them to be warriors-warriors for HIM!  
     Oh yeah, one more quick little thing, we're having another baby and could you believe it? It's a boy- another little warrior!

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Pine Tree

     After moving back to Georgia, it took a while to get settled in, and somewhere along the way my quiet times in God's presence became nearly non-existent.  I felt the desire to read The Word and pray but it just didn't happen.  And while I could blame it on a time of transition or just plain tiredness from toddlers, I knew that I couldn't keep living without being refueled by my Creator.  So, one morning I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to the front porch.  I wish I could say I was excited and overjoyed to approach my God and spend time in His presence, but my feelings were quite the opposite.  I felt guilty, kind of the same way you feel when you're a kid and you've done something wrong and you just know your parents are going to be upset with you.  You could have done better but you've let them down; they're going to be so disappointed in you.  Okay, so I don't know about you, but I've always been the high achiever type and I hate the feeling of disappointing someone.  To be honest, I was afraid that God was going to be disappointed in me, that He would somehow reprimand me for my inadequacies.
     As I sat down and placed my cup of coffee on the table in front of me, I looked out towards the wooded area across the road.  I didn't know where to begin, but I knew I couldn't let guilt stand between me and Him.  I've always appreciated the beauty that God created in nature; His handiwork is so prevalent and easily recognizable outdoors.  So, I took notice of one towering pine that was swaying back and forth gently in the breeze, and began to thank God for the beauty that sorrounded me.  At this point, I was still uncomfortable but felt I was moving in the right direction and then it happened.  
     I felt God's presence, not his condemnation, or judgement, or disappointment, but His love and joy.  He reminded me that I like the pine tree may sway from time to time but my roots remain in Him.  He delights ini me, for I am His!  Wow, what an incredible God we serve.  It doesn't matter how long it has been since we have talked to Him, or just sat and spent time in His presence, He always wants us to come back.  
     I don't know if you've ever talked to God, or just sat in His presence and listened to Him, but I wish that each of you will take the opportunity to get to know Him.  You may feel weird and akward, but that's okay, after all, the devil will do some pretty crazy stuff to keep you from it; don't let him stand in your way.  There is a God who loves you, who will never leave you or forsake you.  If you don't know what to say, then just sit and tell him, you want to experience his presence, or if you enjoy nature, notice the details and begin to thank God for each of those beautiful things.  His Word says that "All good things come from The Lord."  Just meditate on that for a minute, what in your life is good?  Do you have a roof over your head?  Are you blessed with children?  Did you wake up today?  If you need more help, here's a prayer that can maybe get you started. 
     "God, I don't really even know where to begin.  I am not worthy to spend time with you, but that doesn't matter to you; You love me.  You created me and long to spend time with me.  I want to talk with you and to hear you.  Help me to be still and to recognize your voice.  Let me experience you presence.  God fill me full of your joy and give me a peace that surpasses all of my circumstances.  I want to know more of you.  Speak to me, and cover me in your love."  
      Now, just sit and relish in his goodness.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Man on the Ceiling

     A few weeks ago, i started having negative thoughts about my marriage.  They were thoughts of discontentment.  Now, I know we all have issues and marriage isn't always easy but at this point in my life, there was no reason I should have had these thoughts.  Jeremiah and I were getting along great, finances were in check, we had spent time together as a family, but still these thoughts kept creaping in.  I was aware they were in the back of my mind but there came a moment I had had enough.  
     I was tucking the boys into bed and as I leaned down to kiss Asher goodnight, the thought, "Maybe  we should get a divorce," ran through my mind.  It was at that very moment, I realized where these thoughts were coming from.  You see God's Word says that Satan is like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, and this time, he was looking to devour my marriage.  I however, chose not to let him win this battle.  Immediately, I said, "No way devil!  I've had enough, and I won't allow you to put these thoughts into my mind."  From there, I headed to bed, wondering if I should tell Jeremiah the thoughts I had been having.  We are always very open and honest with each other but I didn't want him to think there was a reason for him to be concerned, so as i closed my eyes, I began to pray.  
     "God, renew my mind.  Help me to not be tempted to believe these lies.  Help me to focus on the good things, the things that right and true.  Guard my heart and mind Lord.  Protect my marriage, and give me peace."  
      I went to sleep and in the middle of the night was suddenly awakened.  I know this might seem strange and out there to some of you, but i felt a spiritual battle taking place right in front of me, I didn't see anything, I just felt it.  I don't even know how to describe it, but there was defintitely something going on in our bedroom.  I got up went to the bathroom and tried to go back to sleep.  When I woke up the next mornning I just layed there thinking about the events of the night when  Emerson, our 4 year old, who was sleeping in our bed that night woke up.  These were the first words out of his mouth, "Mom, did you see that man on the ceiling smiling at us?  I wonder how he got in here?"  He pointed to the window and said, "Maybe he came in from there."  
     I'll be honest, I was almost frozen; I wasn't sure how to respond.  I was almost afraid to ask him what he looked like, but I did it anyways.  He said, "He was just right up there on the ceilig smiling at us."  At that point he didn't give me anymore details and I knew if I asked, he would probably just make something up to give me an answer; but on our way home from town one day, he was taking note of the sun and said, "Mom, look at the sun!  There's a bright circle around the sun just like there was around that man in your room!"  Chills covered my body.
      "Emerson, do you know what that was you saw in my room?  That was an angel!" I said.
     And in true four year old fashion, he quickly replied, "No mom, he didn't have wings!"  So, of course we took that moment as an opportunity to talk about how we don't always see an angels wings, and that angels help God fight the bad guys.  
     Now, while I think it is incredibley awesome that God chose to let my son see an angel, I thinkk there's something more important for us to hold onto.  God is real.  He loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend regarldless of what we have done.  When we believe in His son Jesus dying on the cross and raising from the dead, we become His child, but that doesn't mean, the enemy won't still try to win a battle here and there.  Just think, Satan even tried to tempt Jesus himself.  He thinks he's big stuff, but I tell you what, he's nothing compared to my God.  Don't allow him to drive a wedge in your life, wihether it's in your marriage, a relationship with a family member or friend.  Don't let him build bitterness in your life.  I get that life isn't always pleasant, but there are so many lies we believe that are the product of Satan's manipulation and our human nature.  Be prepared for battle! Guard your heart; In Phillipians 4:8, God's Word says, "Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse" (The Message).  When you are feeling defeated pray and ask God to direct you to His Word.  Get filled up on the truth and get ready to kick the devils' booty!  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homecomings and Houses

My oh my how does time fly! I looked at my last post and realized how much time has passed since I last posted- nearly 5 months! So, grab a cup of joe and let's catch up for a bit shall we? Jeremiah arrived on U.S. soil in January, but due to debriefing and a tight budget, we didn't get to see him until a month later. He was going to be driving from Georgia to Missouri so I flew to Atlanta, which allowed us to have a little alone time on the drive home, before he was attacked by children. I was a nervous, anxious, excited mess. This was his fourth time to come home from a deployment, and let me tell you, those emotions never change. You've just survived months of wondering if you'll ever see each other again, or if your boys will have their daddy around to teach them how to play sports and be a Godly man, or if you do see each other, will he be the same? Will he have his arms, legs, fingers, toes, or the mental capacity to know who you are? I'm telling you, you play every scenario through your head, and it's at this moment, when you're about to step off the plane, you realize all those fears can be pushed aside. You don't know where he is going to be, what he's going to look like, what those first few moments will be like. My heart was about to beat out of my chest. I found a woman on the plane who was willing to tag along to baggage claim with my phone in hand so that moment could be captured. She was so kind and gracious to tell me that I looked beautiful and that my make-up looked perfect- even though I had just been crying. It was just the little boost of confidence I needed to take that long escalator ride to baggage claim. I don't know if you've ever been to the Atlanta airport, but that was the LONGEST escalator ride of my life. Finally, we reached the top, and there he was- even more handsome than I remember him. I got to him as quick as I could and all those nervous feelings were gone in an instant. I was right where I belong, in his arms. Other than the hazardous, icy roads, the drive home was perfect. He would tell me his stories from war, and I told him stories from home. We talked about fears, expectations, and together wondered what transitions we would face this time around. The boys were so excited to see their daddy, even Asher who was barely a year old when he left, knew his daddy was home! For the entire month of February, we worked on the final projects to get one of our houses on the market. Our goal was to sell this house, and hopefully have a little cash to be able to do something with the other house that had all the foundation problems and had been robbed by copper thieves. We got the house finished and on the market. Within a week and a half, we got a full price offer, and closed at the end of April! God is good! Now, we are researching our options for the other house. After a few different opinions, we have come to the conclusion, the house isn't worth saving- at least with our limited resources. We signed our name to the bank note and feel it's our responsibility to pay, but we aren't getting much help from Bank of America seeing that we've never been behind on a payment. Due to it's present condition, our insurance is also being cancelled. Our best option now, looks like selling the house, and getting a loan to cover the difference in the payoff from the sales price-j the hard part is finding someplace to get a large personal loan without paying through the roof interest rates. All that being said, God has provided before, and I know he will in this situation as well. We will keep charging ahead and somewhere along the way, we will find a solution.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Week in a Nutshell

     I read back over the past couple weeks of my journal entries and let me just tell you, there are enough emotions in there to keep a counselor busy for weeks!  I would love to share them on here but think it's probably not the wisest thing to do just yet.  Here's a little bit of what it was like.
     I had started writing before Christmas, because I was just really bummed that Jeremiah wasn't going to be home. The reality of the length of his deployment was setting in.  He was supposed to leave in April of 2013 and be gone for 4 months, that didn't happen.  His deployment got pushed back and they didn't leave until May.  Then, the 4 months changed to a 12-14 month deployment, and we were only at the 7th month mark.   I love Christmas, the sights, the smells, the reason for the season, just the overall spirit of Christmas, but this Christmas was tougher than years past.  It was hard knowing Jeremiah wasn't going to be there to watch the wonderment of our two little boys on Christmas morning.  In the evenings, I wanted to be able to put the boys to bed and just snuggle up on the couch in front of the tree with him, but I knew it wasn't even a possibility.  Maybe the most unexpected thoughts I had were those of guilt.  It was such a strange feeling to know as I was rushing around from store to store getting the last things ready for the holidays, he was overseas fighting for his life and my freedom.  It almost didn't even feel right to be happy, but i pushed through it.  
    Next, came Christmas morning, which i'm pretty sure has always been magical since the very first one with the angels, shepards, and that sweet baby Jesus.  It was still dark outside and the boys woke up and wandered into the living room to find two guitars under the tree!  They immediately put on a show!  I loved it!  Then, as I'm sure we woke up the rest of the house, the rest of our family began to gather around as we opened our stockings.  Jeremiah joined us through Skype which was awesome.  I was so glad he was at least going to kind of get to take part in all the excitement.  He then proceeded to tell me he got a Christmas gift too.  I asked him what it was and he replied, "I'm coming home!"  
     "What!"  I said with question in my voice.  I was waiting for him to tell me that is what they had been told, that he wasn't sure if it was actually going to happen or not, but for now, that's what they have heard.  But that wasn't the case, he had actually found out a couple weeks ago, and they had already packed up and started heading out of country!  It was at that point the flood gates opened and tears of joy rapidly streamed down my face!  "You're actually going to make it out alive,"  I yelled.  There have been so many times this deployment that I didn't actually know if he was going to live through it.  He was blown up 3 times his last deployment, and once this deployment; just how many times can a person survive such near death experiences, not to mention the numerous firefights that seemed to happen on a weekly basis, at best.  
     So, here we are one week later, and he is still coming home.  No change of plans yet, but until he is on U.S. soil, I am going to try to not get my hopes up too high.  I am so relieved to know he will be safe at home, well at least not being shot at or blown up by IED's, but I am really having to not let myself get too down when I think about the months that lie ahead.  Emerson, our oldest knows his daddy is coming home.  Today he said, "Mommy, it is taking Daddy forever to get here."  I tried to reassure him.  I explained it is a very long trip and can sometimes take awhile, but in the back of my mind all I could think was how are we going to explain to this little boy that we can't live with daddy because we don't have enough money?  
     Money.  I hate how money controls so many things, but I am so very thankful that my God controls more.  He knows what our future holds.  He knows exactly what we need and when we need it.  He will provide all of our needs.  
     I don't like to ask for help, especially when it come to needing help financially, but I also know how good it feels to be able to be a blessing to others when I have been able to give.  If you would like to help us, you can help 3 ways.  First, is by simply praying for us.  I am a firm believer in power of prayer and know that God has the ability to do more than any dollar amount ever could.  Next, if you feel led, you can help by making a monetary donation at  Finally, you can be a huge help by simply sharing the link to this blog or to the GoFundMe website so we can reach  a bigger audience.  With your help, we will be able to have our family together, and these two sweet boys can have their daddy home!