Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What does the fox say?!?

The title of this post may send a rather annoying song running through your head- for that i apologize. If you have not yet seen this silly song phenomenon, consider yourself blessed as it will be your undoing! =)

With the craze of foxes running through our culture, i wanted to talk on them.
Mr. J and i have been going through a sermon series you can listen to here. The pastor is sharing through the book Song of Solomon. As a visitor of that church i may have second guessed my judgement in attending that day- but for Mr. J and i the series have been challenging and encouraging.
Last night we listened to the second part: Art of Dating.
We were able to pause the sermon, take notes and ask each other questions as we learned from this great example of love in the Bible. (i recommend this series for married couples as it may be a bit much to take in for those not yet there ;] )

One of the verses Pastor Nelson covered in the session was, (SoS 2:15)
"Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Did you know that foxes, as beautiful as they are, can reek havoc in vineyards?  It seems that the little blooms that come out all over the vines are sweet to their taste buds. . . 
Did you know that if they eat those buds and young blooms they will not be on the vine to turn into grapes?
If there are no grapes, the vinedresser will probably not be to pleased...

 In a relationship, as talked about in the verse above, the foxes are used as a metaphor. At this point in the book- the couple's love is young. It is spring time and they are enjoying getting to know each other better. However it looks like some tension may have found its way between them.
Pastor Nelson shared about how he and his wife had gotten to know each other, and a few times when the foxes appeared in their relationship. At first i thought it may just be influences of the world creeping in, and whereas that can be a fox, there is also more to it than just that. It is feelings and attitudes, words and actions- things that you face daily. If you are not careful, the cunning fox will start to unravel your relationship! 
Unlike a vinedresser, after the foxes have been rid of, loss is not the only thing we face. We have a choice: we can be left in devastation over the mess they made, OR we can be brought closer together through the hardship... *quote* "Fighting is fun because making up is great!" It leads to a deeper level of love!
Where i do not want foxes to make home in our vineyard, i am glad to learn from their visits. In GOD's great wisdom HE has tied so much together and used many great people to teach!
For those of you reading, look out for foxes! Dont let them get too cozy! Dont wait to hear what they have to say- glean from their wake and love deeper that one you found whom your soul loves!!

**images courtesy of Bing

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ever been streakin?

i had the realization today that for a while now i have been streaking.
Not in the physical since of running about in the nude- but spiritually.
i had the pleasure of meeting with one of Mr. J's customers, and though i knew her very little, came away encouraged and challenged.
Mrs. Edith was asking if i had my little girl in the car and if i needed to hurry and get back outside. A wave of sadness washed over as i had to tell her that i had lost my baby earlier this years.
She was very apologetic and said (like many do) that i was young and my time would come.
As i talked more with Mrs. Edith, she said in a very frank way- "Dont plan on having kids!" At first i was a bit taken back by her words, but i realized the truth in them. i have been putting pressure on myself and my husband to make things happen a certain way and in a certain time, instead of living in the time that GOD has given me!
Lately i have been harboring some bitterness - toward GOD, and even Mr. J. i was mad at what had happened and mad that i hadn't been able to get pregnant again. Instead of enjoying my time and making memories with Mr. J and others around me, i was allowing the enemy to steal my joy!
Other errands awaited me and as i drove i listened to this podcast (this is the written form- if you have an iTunes account i strongly suggest syncing The Busy Mom's podcasts! They are short little blurps that encourage, refocus and challenge!) - GOD showed me that i had been fighting this spiritual battle physically.
My moods, words and thoughts have been against those around me. Pasting a smile and faking the "being ok" i had been lashing out (internally, mentally and sometimes physically) on those around me- all the while being in naught but my skin and exposed to the enemy!
GOD has laid out my "clothes" (as found in Ephesians 6) and by my choosing not to get dressed has left me embarressed and hurt.
i am so very thankful that GOD showed me this before too much time passed. In my flesh i want to try and hide myself, but then i would be following Eve's footsteps.
Ephesians 6 says to get dressed and stand!
i challenge you- whoever you may be- to forgo the living in the flesh (walking exposed) and get dressed!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Strength will Rise

i knew this day was coming. i was told it would be hard.
Honestly today i woke with a fever and have not spent much time out of bed, but it is still the day.
The day i had circled and starred on my calendar, the day my ticker was counting down to and the day i was looking forward to being MOST thankful for this year at Thanksgiving dinner. . .

i am ok. GOD has been so good to me and has strengthened my relationship with Himself, Mr. J, my sisters, and even a few knew ones started.
On Sunday at church, we sang "Everlasting GOD" (originally written by Brenton Brown)
A familiar song that struck a different chord in my heart this time. 

"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles"

As i sang GOD reminded me how He had been strengthening me as i was learning to wait on Him. Daily strength was rising in my life that could only come from Him. Strength that was empowering me to face each new day with peace and understanding that His ways are not our ways.

As this day approached, i have had some really down times. Days where the drop of a hat would get me teary eyed- not quite a hat, but definitely a baby wrapping their fingers around one of mine, seeing friends get pregnant after their own miscarriage and the delivery of babies that would have been Enoch's friends. i am genuinely happy for them as i offer congratulations and interest in their little ones.

i love babies! i long for the day that i will be asking for your prayers as begin the journey again!
But for now, GOD is strengthening me- He is using others to minister to me, and it is my prayer that i have been able to minister to other people!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Confessions of a full-time wife

I have to have some kind of outlet for the Ping-pong thoughts that are giving me a headache!
Whether they are right or wrong, they reflect where I am today. 
I was told the other day of a song by Mandisa that says, basically, it's ok to cry, and ask God why because you are still asking the right person, He's still God and though things may not make sense, He is good!
That is where I am today. I've cried. I've prayed. I've asked the questions. 
Honestly I chastise myself for some of my doubts, I mean- look at Pastor Saeed's wife. I'm pretty sure there is not a day that goes by where she does not plead God for her husband to come home. Has God turned a deaf ear to her- no. He is being made more famous having her husband in Evin prison, then at home with her....
I think about that and wonder how I can be making God famous? My prayers for children have not fallen on deaf ears- God is having me wait.
It's hard when I get a lot of, "you're so young." "You have plenty of time" and my personal favorite- (said very sarcastically) "maybe you're just not ready" 
Not ready? 
I KNOW I will not be a perfect mom.
I KNOW that I will have a lot to learn!
Who are you to say that I am not ready?
How do you say that I am not ready and the teenage girl down the street who doesn't know who the baby's daddy is gets to have her baby?!?
No. I do not think it is a matter of not being ready.
I think it has everything to do with God's plan for my life.
Does it make sense to me - no.
Do I still ask why- all the time.
Does that make me doubt God - not at all.
God has been, is and will be GOOD! Despite where I am and what is going on around me, His plan and purposes are all for a reason. I may not know those reasons this side of heaven, and honestly they won't matter on that side. 
I know these ramblings of a wife on the other side of your screen may not make much sence, but they needed to go somewhere.
I needed to remind myself of who God is. 
I needed to see that I am not going crazy, but that I do need to refocus my thoughts on God and all that He is... Good, honorable, right, just, true, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of ALL my praise!
So I choose to rejoice - for this is the day that Lord has made, and it is good!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Teach a boy to fish...

... or in this case, shuck corn!
There is a famous saying that goes,
Give a boy a fish, you feed him for a day- teach him to fish and you feed him for life!
Something like that anyways. It may be slightly paraphrased, but hopefully you get the point. My sister does a really good job at teaching her boys how to fish. Having such a big family, sometimes we get to be a part of that teaching too!
Earlier this summer Pop and Mr. J were shucking the grilled corn and Moose had to be in on the action! I dont know if he was driven by curiosity or his stomach, but it made for some cute pictures!

He watched Popa and Uncle J really close to make sure he knew what to do!

Finally asking for an ear of his own to shuck
slow and steady

look at that concentration!

He needed Uncle J to help break them off

 Final inspection and removal of any "strings"
 Showing off his hard word...

 Enjoying the fruits of his labor!

It is fun to do things with these boys! To see them grow in to Godly young men i know is a joy to their parents- and a pleasure to those around them. They have quite a few of us aunts wrapped, but i dont think any of us mind! =]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Avast mateys!

In lieu of international talk like a pirate day, i thought i would share with you a pirate adventure that REALLY happened!
You see, after life on the farm, (which i will one day fill you in on) Mr. J and i decided to head to the OBX for a needed get-a-way of R&R! ;-)
My family tagged along (really it was us doing the tagging, but for fun story telling we will go with the added members of my family coming along with us!)
My sister has three boys who have my heart-strings wrapped around their chubby and sometimes sticky little fingers. So what doting aunt and uncle wouldnt want to make lasting memories for them? So we embarked in transforming our simple fun personalities into treasure leaving swash-buccaneers! It started with the construction of chests....
i got three plastic containers and wood printed contact paper for my chests. All from the Dollar Store, i paid $5 for three chests and had paper left over!
the duel colored paper
i was hoping looked
like wood-inlay

i had help filling the boxes with little toys, yummy candies, and what treasure box would be complete without gold??? Of course the gold coins had to make it in there!!

We managed to keep the loot hidden through the packing, riding and unloading of the cars. (i was excited for this b/c i had hopes and ideas of how it would all unfold!) Half way through the week, we decided to have the pirate strike the house! With help from my creative writing sister, and my map drawing husband, we plotted out our course and the hunt that would lead the boys to their treasure!

"Avast Mateys... Treasure awaits ye, so work as a team
Start in the room of your Papa and Meme
Im a Pirate Captain and Ive hidden my map
Under the place where you lay for a nap!"

Captain P... *aka Mr. J
how the note was left to be found

the loot

Captain P burying the treasure

In it goes
all safe and sound just waiting to be found

Hide all evidence!

"X" marks the spot
you can see the wheels turning as
he is trying to figure it out!

i LOVE the look on his face!
What made it perfect was a "pirate ship" was seen on the
ocean that morning, they came running out to see it, and Alas,
the note was found!!

And look for an "X"

Look mom! A real captain left a
map for me!

We have to go around to the
beach, and loop around!
looking for clues

on the hunt

Moose and Mr. J taking it all in

down by the surf

There's the "X"!!!!

Let's DIG!!

Even Moose got in on the digging!

the initials marked who got each chest
(went with the birth names instead of
Bito, Moose and Bean)

All the guys in the action


Surprised the Bean with a chest of her
own - b/c she's such a great sister, aunt...
and youre never too old for a treasure hunt!!!

Moose clearing off the sand

*edible* Gold D'Blooms!!

i think the hunt was a hit as the loot was unpacked and enjoyed. Sticky fingers, painted nails (Bean only) and sword fights followed as comments were made about "that Captain" and how he knew what kind of treasure would be best for them! =)
It did my heart good to be able to do this! i think i had almost as much fun as they did! i will leave you with a picture of Tank, he didnt get a loot box, but got plenty of doting and spoiling this week, so,... i dont think he minded! =)

seriously, i smile every time i look at this picture!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Life on a Farm

DAY 1:
Well Mr. J and i have some really good friends that needed some help, and in turn we get to "play house" for a week.
i guess i should back up, just a bit. Due to my lack of blogging, many of my life details are unknown.
Back in April, Mr. J and i left our barn apartment and moved in with my parents. (many reasons)
We have our own little area that can be closed off from the rest of the house and has been quite a blessing.
In May we celebrated Enoch, and as hard as that time was, it was so nice to be where we were.
Over the last few weeks we have been all over the place: Florida for vacation with Mr. J's family, upon returning we then we got a 2 week house sitting job- so we have been vagabons this summer! =)
(i dont mind, as long as i am with my man, we make an adventure out of it!)
So... bringing you up to speed- Mr. J and i are on our second house sitting job of the summer, and this time... its a farm! i pride myself in being a country girl, but when you have animals to tend to - it stretches one beyond all comfort zones!
This morning we saw the family off, and then set to tackle the morning chores of feeding, watering, gathering eggs and milking the cow.
Yes, you read that right- MILKING the COW!!!!
i have been around my share of dogs, cats, horses and chickens, but NEVER a cow!
i resolved to leave the milking to Mr. J- but as in everything else, we are a team and so we set out together across the field to milk the little dear, not a deer, she's a cow, but oh well you know what i mean.... =)
i think she could tell we were a couple of city slickers, (is that what we would be called? i mean a person just starting out in gardening would be a green thumb, so what would we be in this case? Oh well, i shall label us city slickers for now, though Mr.J and i both prefer the country to the city rush and lights...)
The cow did cooperate enough to get on to the milking pad, and even stood still for a bit. . .
But we, not being regular milkers were not as fast. After her grain bribe was gone, the fun began. She managed to poo not twice, nor three or four times, but FIVE, yes, FIVE times during our milking process. At least one of which splattered into the milk pail before we could fully move it out of the splash zone!
So... our morning milk was lost, no since in crying over it.
i looked that ole brown cow square in the face, ankle deep in mud and manure (feeling a bit like Anne Shirley chasing her Jersey cow of Mrs. Lynn's crops) and told her, "You had better get used to us- we arent going anywhere and you are just going to make this a long week for the both of us." (i guess i should add here that we were told she likes to be sung to, but my singing must have cause pain, because i was quickly head-butted into silence!) =)
It really was not so bad, just took a while longer than we thought. Maybe by the end of the week, milking twice a day, we will be pros at it! Mr. J did let me try and i can say - i have milked a cow! not fully since Mr. J had her near drained, but got down, whacked by that whip of a tail, squeezed the udder and had milk come out. i feel accomplished! =) Haha!
At least the other animals were fairly easy to take care of!
Like all else, we shall have an adventure in playing farm, and see how well we turn out at the end of the week!
Stay tuned for more - there is bound to be something! =)

Monday, August 05, 2013

live. move. be.

This is a picture found in the Creation Museum. (If you have never been- go!)
Mr. J and i went there for our one year anniversary this past March. 
It was a wonderful trip celebrating each other and the year God had given us together. We shared many adventures - maybe i will put up more pictures in another post.
This post, however, i want to focus on that verse in the picture.
You see, a week before we left to head west, we found out we were expecting our first child. 
This trip was a huge milestone for us- not only our fist year of marriage, but realizing we would no longer be a family of two. As we chatted on the somewhat long drive =) we shared fears and exciting dreams we had for our baby, not knowing the plan GOD had for him. 
When i saw this picture, it was a momma's heart-string being pulled. 
i saw the baby- instantly wondering about ours and counting ahead the days to when i would have that first ultrasound. The verse was encouraging then- being reminded that the baby inside me was because of GOD, but it is even more so now. . .
Today marks the third month since we celebrated Enoch's life.
I am stronger now than i was- emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually.
GOD promises never to leave us, and through this journey, HE has been closer than ever.
My pregnancy ended too soon for me, but not for GOD. 
It was not too soon for HIS plan to be put in action.
My baby was not too small to bring glory to HIM.
In HIM, Enoch can live, and move, and be- Because GOD created, purposed and wants him to do those things!
Enoch is experiencing a life i can only look forward to.
But for now- GOD is helping me to live, and move and be. . . in HIM!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Its been two months and 13 days since Enoch went to his forever home. . .
i thought i was doing good and on the mends. 
There are still times of sadness and "why?!" but for the most part, i have healed- physically, emotionally and mentally.
Until yesterday...
i came across a friends blog who just recently found that she and her husband are expecting their first child. i am so happy and excited for them! They are sweet, young and will be great parents- but as i read their blog, i sobbed. 
Their story was much like mine: finding out their pregnancy, going to the doctor and then not being able to "find their baby" They too went through rounds of blood work and after a week went back in for another ultrasound and there was there baby. Growing, healthy, and living. Again, i am VERY happy for them. 
i would not want a miscarriage to happen to anyone- yet i know they happen more often than we think. 
i found myself in a state of "Why not Enoch?!" "What did I do wrong?!" "Did i not have enough faith?!"
My wonderful husband held me in his arms as my heart broke and tears streamed my face. He reminded me of GOD's goodness, and how HE has been glorified through Enoch's home-going. GOD has certainly used Enoch's life- maybe more this way than if we had been able to have him...
i KNOW i will see Enoch again one day.
i KNOW GOD is good and had a plan and a purpose for his life, as short as it was. 
i KNOW that GOD will grow our family when HE sees the time is right. 
i KNOW that i have things to work on, focus on and do on a daily basis to prepare for whatever GOD brings my way.
At church on Sunday the pastor said, "There are two things that are eternal; the Word of GOD and people's souls- we should be about both of those things."
That's some of what i am working on. 
Last night at church we sang a very familiar song.... The chorus ministered to my weary heart and i fully surrendered and let go in the promise of knowing GOD will never let go....

Matt Redman: You Never Let Go

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth


Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Sunday, June 09, 2013

HEAV fun!

Anyone who has ever watched tv, or more specifically TLC, will know who the Duggars are. 
This family, whose first show was going to just be a documentary- has for almost ten years glorified God and preached His name to the nations through the "living life" of their family. 
i have enjoyed the times i have been able to watch their show, but never thought i would ever be able to meet them. . . until this weekend!

HEAV held their annual convention this weekend and the keynote speaker just happened (not really- God's hand was totally in the moving process of getting them to our convention) to be the Duggars!!!

My family was excited to say the least! We registered early. We waited like kids for Christmas for this weekend to get here - i must add it was NOT just because the Duggars were going to be there, that just how awesome the VA homeschool convention is! You can be challenged by workshop breakout sessions like the one i went to by "The Busy Mom" - Heidi St. John, get to meet-up with long time friends you only see at the convention, and even meet people you never thought you would - like i did with the Duggars! =)
It was a lot of fun to meet them and it was encouraging to hear their hearts! The thing that Michelle challenged me with was JOY! She always had a smile on her face, and really sought after keeping a spirit of joy in and about her, and whenever her husband, Jim Bob, spoke, her eyes would fill with admiration and never divert from him! God has certainly worked in and through them over the years! It sure was fun getting a few moments to say hello and take a few pictures! =)

 Jinger and i are on the left and the Mr. J and i are in the center picture with Jim Bob and Michelle and on the right i am with Jessa. They were all SUPER sweet and a joy to talk to. i mentioned earlier about Michelle's challenge of joy to me. You must choose JOY! When you feel you are upset or about to raise your voice, choose to lower it. Choose to smile. Choose to remember that God has given you joy and it is a fruit of the Spirit. When you exhibit joy, it is just evidence of your growth in God's Word!! 
 "this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10b

May you be strengthened this day. . . 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

i love you

i'll love you forever,
a beautiful necklace you Aunt Meg made me
i'll like you for always,
your daddy and i built you a bear
as long as i'm living,
so we can tell your siblings about you and where you're waiting for us
my baby you'll be.