From An Awakened Eye

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Focus! Jen Focus!

Today has been difficult for me to focus! I know it is Monday/Tuesday, but I have been like an ostrich with my "head in the sand" today.  I can not seem to shake my thoughts, the bad, ugly and plain darn stupid. I am so frustrated at myself today for listening to the lies!  Plain LIES!
Last night we had Bible study at my house. I love those girls! I really needed their presense last night. I needed the topics that we talked about from Beth Moore's SLI book. We talked about false insecurities and how we place our thoughts in a far away place that doesn't even exist!  We start with one insecurity and run with it in our minds and develop it into something it is not.  It's like putting your thought or thoughts in a gerbal bal and letting it go uncontrollably tumbling and jumbling the thoughts. This is the "mind field" that Satan works!  The sad thing is I know it when I am in the middle of this spinning spiral.  It is hard to shake.
It's like spinning in a piroette and not being able to spot during the turns because the room is spinning too!  I just can't find my focus today!

Father, stop this reckless spinning in my mind and show me You again as my focus. You have all the plans I need in the palm of Your hand. Jer. 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for Jennifer and Jonathan, plans to prosper you and give you a hope and a future."   The future is weighing heavy, Father take it from my thoughts. I want what you want for our future.   I need to see the Hope in You today. Please lift my eyes to your hills so that I will know where my hope comes from!  Calm my spirit and bring peace to me right now.  I need you to calm this storm I have created in me. Forgive me for loosing focus. Teach me to be still and know you are God.
I ask all this in Jesus name,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cleaning tips... Non-toxic 101

I am one of these "Clean and Green" kind of gals.  I am all about eliminating toxins around us. I truly believe it is the cause of many cancers that I see people walking around with every day. Yes, I am in the medical field and see that sort of thing daily.  I started cleaning green a little over a year ago with store bought products like Method and Mrs. Myers. My brother-in-law brought me this book back from his MD in Asheville and I am in love with it!
Check out the authors site that I have linked to the book title in the first sentence to learn how to detox your body in the bath tub and tons of other ways to clean and polish every thing from your kitchen sink to the car!   Green chia cafe is also good for resources too! {sorry the book is so fuzzy, but you get the idea of what it looks like} 
Happy Healthy Spring Cleaning!


this post brought to you by... Kelly's Korner Show us your life- Cleaning Tips...

      Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Hannah's Hope - Infertility Awareness

"When you are meeting someone new, don't start your conversation with "So, do you have any kids?" WHile innocent enough, such questions can make me feel like a deer caught in you headlights. Instead try something openended such as "Tell me a littel bit about yourself." Anyone who in a a less-than-ideal life circumstane _infulfilled desires for a spouse, unemployed, and so on) wil appreciate such an approach."  -Jennifer Saake from her book Hannah's Hope.

Click on this link to see the Infertility Awareness Video

5 Things You Must Know about Women Facing Infertility
Written by Kerry Anthony

Infertility - a crisis in the life of many women - often receives very little attention. It is an unspoken grief that afflicts at least one in every six women. This represents a lot of hurting women. How can we minister to them? Before we can help someone deal with infertility, we must first have some background knowledge about what infertility is.

What Is Infertility?

The National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, defines infertility as "a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has been unable to carry a pregnancy that results in a live birth."

This definition includes women that have not been able to achieve pregnancy, those who have had miscarriages, and also those who are trying to have additional children.

Five Things You Must Know about Women Facing Infertility

1.She may not be childless by choice. Society tends to assume that if a couple does not have children, they have chosen not to do so. The couple may not have options available to them to try medical treatments or go through the adoption process. Trying to have children through medical procedures and/or adoption is both very expensive and emotionally exhausting. Also, many ethical decisions have to be made regarding medical treatments.

2.Infertility is often a silent grief. A lady in your women's ministry may suddenly begin to withdraw from the group. Debby Peoples states, "Infertility changes you. It is a time when you find yourself disconnecting from those you love the most, your family and friends. A time when you pull back from the world and focus inward because isolating yourself can actually feel better than remaining a part of the fertile world."

3.Infertility is all-consuming. Infertility encompasses every aspect of the infertile woman's life. It works its way into her being. Left unchecked, it can overtake who she is. An obsession with infertility can develop which leaves the woman incapable of being able to identify with other women. The infertile woman sees other women only as "fertile beings."

4.Church can be a very painful place. Many events at our churches are family oriented. While it is important for the church to value families, you do not want to cause people without children to feel unwelcome. Celebrate motherhood but be willing to grieve with those who are not mothers. Mother's Day services are often avoided and not attended by couples dealing with infertility because of the painful reminders. Recognizing "spiritual mothers" is a wonderful way to include all women.

5.Infertility is a physical problem. Infertility is a disease with medical complications. The church has a tendency to blame infertility on a lack of faith or unconfessed sin. Learn to minister effectively, not offensively, to the woman who is experiencing infertility

The Nightmare of Infertility
Written by Rebecca Ingram Powell
This article is courtesy of ParentLife.

The dreams of most women begin as little girls, imagining their own homes, husbands, and happy families. For one out of six women, however, those dreams become a living nightmare of pain and heartbreak when infertility is diagnosed.
Dreams of a Family

Cara dreamed of having children. Instead, she experienced numerous trips to the obstetrician’s office, multiple exams, and harsh drug therapy. “The worst part was being around pregnant women,” she said. When you want a baby more than anything in the world, life itself reminds you of your inability to conceive.

Cara admits: “You get to the point where you are willing to do anything. When my doctor began prescribing fertility drugs, I was all for it. No threat of side effects was going to sway me from doing whatever was necessary to fill my womb.”
Barb and Brandon had been struggling with infertility for seven years. Barb confided, “When our friends had babies, and they knew we couldn’t, they began to feel awkward around us.”
She explains that there is a fine line between wanting to rejoice with a friend who is announcing her pregnancy and wishing desperately that you could share the same news about yourself. “I didn’t care how many babies they had. I just wanted one of my own.”
Part of every mom’s life includes ministering to friends struggling with infertility. It can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and, at times, intrude on your joy. Yet you are to bear each other’s burdens. You can minister a soothing balm to your inconsolable friend.

Wondering Why
The cry of the childless woman’s heart is a resounding, “Why?” There are many causes of infertility, including endometriosis, ovulatory problems, and cervical factors. Sexually transmitted diseases and drug use also can lead to infertility. Some women experience a combination of reasons, while others are suffering from unexplained infertility.
Many women endure feelings of guilt and shame when their infertility is diagnosed. Some wonder why their devotion to God seems to have gone unnoticed. “I have served God my whole life,” says Jennifer. “I don’t understand why there are many unwed mothers when my Christian husband and I can’t conceive.”
Encourage your friends to ask God these hard questions. God has shoulders big enough to take on the questions, tears, and heartbreak of a childless woman.
Four Ways to Minister to Women Facing Infertility
Written by Kerry Anthony

Here are four key ways you as a leader in women's ministry can reach out to ladies struggling with infertility:

1. Commit to pray for her. You may not know what to do or say, but prayer will be exactly what she needs. James 5:16b says, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Remember not to just tell her that you will pray for her but actually pray with her! Words of comfort can be hard to choose but prayer will offer supernatural strength from God. The Lord, our Comforter, is able.

2. Be sensitive with conversation. Try to keep conversations from always being about children. Encourage the ladies involved in your women's ministry to refrain from complaining about their kids as this can discourage one who is longing for motherhood.

3. Be willing to listen. Just having someone with whom to share the emotions of the stress of infertility can make a huge difference in the stability of the woman walking through the crisis. Allow your women's ministry to be a place of grace and healing.

4. Find a place for her to serve. Offer a place in your church where she can use the gifts and talents that come easily for her. By serving in this type of capacity, she will feel needed but not overwhelmed.

Do not assume that she will want to help with the children because of her desire to have them. Working with children may only serve as a reminder of what she does not have.
Take these simple steps to be sensitive to the needs of women facing infertility, and see what God will do in and through you, the women you minister to, and your women's ministry on the whole.

Three Things Couples Facing Infertility Must Remember

Written by Kerry Anthony

"Mrs. Anthony, I'm afraid you are no longer pregnant." I felt numb, not believing what I was hearing from my doctor. My husband and I had lost our third child. Why would God allow us to go through this once more?

My infertility during our marriage had caused a series of disappointments: the inability to get pregnant or carry a child to term, endometriosis, related cancer, and two failed adoptions. God taught us many important lessons during those times of trial as we clung to Him and His Word for survival.

If ladies in your church are facing infertility, help them watch for what God will teach them through the trials they have. You can remind them of some basic truths during their struggles. Here are three key lessons my husband and I learned through our experiences with infertility:
Focus on what is true.

It's easy to become buried by circumstances of infertility. Couples facing this must choose to change their focus from what's presently happening to God's eternal truth - as we should in any crisis.

During my family's struggles, we faced some intense crises, but we knew God was in control. He was not surprised or shocked by anything that happened to us and allowed things to happen to shape us into truer reflections of Him.

Remind these ladies with your words and actions - pointing to Scripture in a sensitive and non-trite way - that God does indeed love them and have plans for them. As you feel led, think of specific ways to encourage and support them with a kind note, a hug, or a special gift to show your support.
Give yourself and your husband permission to grieve.

With each pregnancy and possible adoption we experienced, each child became a part of my thoughts, dreams and plans for my family. I felt the pressure to "get over" my feelings because we did not lose a "real baby."
But I realized my husband and I did have losses that we needed to grieve over. I chose not to worry about what everyone else said and gave myself room to go through the grieving process, which for me also included getting godly guidance from a professional Christian counselor. Acknowledging and grieving each loss helped me to begin walking toward healing.

Encourage women facing infertility to allow themselves to grieve, rely on support from friends and family, and seek out a godly Christian counselor.

Remember that God can handle our emotions.

During our struggle, I remember telling a good friend that I was furious with God. She asked me if I had told Him that. Her question stunned me. I had not told God how I felt because I had the misconception that I could not.
God wants us to bring all of our burdens to Him, including the anger, isolation, and brokenness I had. By telling God all this verbally, I let go of the anger and depression that I had held onto for so long. What followed was a sweet time of fellowship with the Father. He gently reminded me to trust Him, and the sweet peace of His grace enveloped me.

Dealing with infertility is an ongoing process for any couple. As you reach out to women coping with infertility, look out for ways you can encourage them, remind them of God's truth, and even give them a venue to share what God is teaching them when they feel led.

Testimony:  We all want one but don't want to go through the test...

Secret Sorrow
Written by Donna Dunn
This article is courtesy of HomeLife.

I knew I should’ve stayed at home. Inside the church bulletin was a colorful insert, listing the names of more than a dozen babies and their parents. I’d completely forgotten it was baby dedication day. Only a few friends knew my husband and I had undergone fertility testing with discouraging results. When my eyes began to fill with tears as parents made their way to the altar, I quietly slipped out so I could cry privately.
I felt completely alone.

Recognize the Reality

About six million people in the United States experience infertility. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 10 percent of the reproductive-age population is affected by infertility. Probably someone in your life right now is dealing with questions of fertility and childlessness, and they need your support.
John Van Regenmorter, director of Stepping Stones, a ministry for those experiencing infertility, and co-author of Dear God, Why Can’t We Have a Baby?, says the support of friends and family is essential. According to Van Regenmorter, “Of all the letters we receive, most [people] say something about how alone they feel. There’s a real need to find at least one other couple with whom they can share their infertility struggle.”
Infertility often is called a secret sorrow. It’s not discussed like other medical conditions. Couples experiencing infertility have depression rates equal to those experiencing cancer, according to the support group Resolve. Understanding the pain of infertility is an important first step in supporting those in the midst of this struggle.
Cheri, a nurse and mother of two adopted daughters, started trying to get pregnant when she was 33. After infertility testing, drug treatments, and nine cycles of intrauterine insemination, she and her husband were emotionally drained. “The worst thing, especially after all the effort that went into us trying to conceive, was being around couples who talked about getting pregnant as though it was only a matter of scheduling time for sex,” Cheri remembers. “The emotional upheaval of hoping we were pregnant each month and then having my period was another thing.”
Cindy, a medical professional now in the midst of an international adoption, told only a few friends about her infertility testing and treatment. “It was hard to share with people,” she recalls. “I found myself withdrawing.”
Suzanne, who went through fertility testing and intrauterine insemination before conceiving her daughter, says it was most helpful for her to talk with other women struggling with infertility. “Women need to come alongside other women and be open, honest, and supportive regarding infertility issues,” she urges, “trusting that God may use you to encourage and bless another.”

Listen with Your Heart

Blessing the infertile can sometimes come as much from what you do as what you say. “The most supportive thing was receiving cards and notes of encouragement,” Suzanne remembers. “Sometimes it’s nice to have friends communicate their love, encouragement, and prayer support without requiring any questions to be answered or any explanations given.” Suzanne knows friends and family mean well, but some days she just doesn’t feel like discussing the details of their family’s infertility journey. She says, “True friends ... just walked with us.”
Van Regenmorter says friends and family members should also avoid pat answers. Some of the most common phrases heard about infertility are some of the least helpful:

• Relax and it’ll happen. Not only is this statistically untrue, it makes the couple feel as if they’re doing something wrong. Those who say this would never say to a cancer patient, “Relax and it’ll go away.”

• My friend tried … Success stories may seem encouraging, but it’s important to remember that no two situations are the same.

• If you adopt, you’ll get pregnant. Again, statistics show those who adopt are no more likely to get pregnant than infertile couples who do not. It makes adoption sound like a lesser choice. Adoptive parents, such as Cheri, know adoption is not second best. “I wish someone would have told me [early on] that adoption is as great as it is and that God has other ways to give us children and can bless that,” Cheri says.

Extend Grace

The ache of childlessness is more acute at special events and during certain times of the year. Be considerate. Infertile couples appreciate sensitivity — whether it’s a private conversation, saying it’s OK to miss a baby shower, or a note of encouragement during a difficult holiday.
The Van Regenmorters experienced 14 years of infertility before adopting two children. They also later had a biological child. They encourage families, friends, and even ministers to think of the childless when celebrating holidays and special events. Baby showers, baby dedications, and child-centered holidays can be especially difficult.
“For a season, say, ‘No.’ It doesn’t mean it’s forever,” Van Regenmorter says to couples. “Couples should not feel guilty, and others should not make them feel guilty, about not accepting invitations to baby showers and other similar events.”
Pray and Trust God

Befriending an infertile couple doesn’t mean fixing the situation. Only God can work out the plans He has for each family. Yet, giving the situation over to God in prayer is powerful.
Suzanne recalls one friend who let her know she was praying and that helped her through an especially difficult day. “One card in particular appeared on our front door the day of our scheduled appointment to try artificial insemination,” Suzanne remembers. “Our friend knew we were scheduled for the appointment and wrote in her note that she’d be on her knees during the time of our doctor’s appointment. It still brings me to tears to think of that note.”
God’s plans for an infertile couple are often beyond our greatest expectations. This year, I’m celebrating with two children, brought into our lives in wonderful and unexpected ways. I’m eternally grateful for them and for the journey that brought me to them.

Donna Dunn is a wife, mother, and professional journalist. She lives in Lynchburg, Va.

Other resources I have found:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday to Friday

I'm not sure where the week went? For the past few months the weeks have been creeping by and this week has flown! Incase you haven't noticed... it has been beautiful outside!  I officially have {Spring Fever}!!!! My tulips are coming up and the yard has been poked and seeded, thanks to my wonderful husband who loves a green yard! {no punt intended}  For those of you who don't know he is a jack of all trades!  He owns Yard Green of greater Charlotte... I usually explain it to people as "they basically paint grass green, pine needles brown and mulch one of 10 colors". It is a really cool concept and money saver, when it comes to mulch and pine needles, plus it is eco friendly and gives nutrients to the soil.  Can you tell I have a bad case of spring fever? I sound like a child cooped up in her room for the past 5 hours!
I love yard work!  You would think I was the "man" in the marriage, when it comes to gardening, but J does love it just as much.  Which reminds me I have to post pics of our pond that we built together. Most of you have never seen it, even if you have been to our house. It kinda hides until you walk out off the back deck. It is a beast in itself!  I am going to plant some bulbs this weekend around it. I love the joy of planting something once and reaping the harvest for years to come. Now don't get me wrong I love my pansies, but it thrills me when "my" tulips begin to pop up! 
So back to the weekend... last weekend was very productive. Friday night J and I had a date! I am loving Friday nights. We have done this several times in the past month and it is actually an answer to prayer. I asked God to bring us closer and of course He has and I am loving every minute of it. I mean let's face it, we have "dated for almost 12 years" the fireworks fade from time to time. So A local restaurant has become our special place. When we are there it is like a mini vacation, almost like we are in a different town. I think we will keep it that way as our little secret. (meaning not bring friends with us, so that the memories stay just for us) Oh yeah, almost forgot to reveal the "secret dating place"....

Isn't is beautiful? It doesn't look like it even belongs in Gastonia!  Oh... the name of the  place is Lotus.  {Our} booth is the one to the left near the stairs. It is tucked away and feels like we are on a cruise ship!  {Everything} on the menu is fabulous! A friend described the food as {cosistently reliable}.   We can eat there for around $35-40, that is with an appetizer! Considering the quality of the food it should be around 30-40 a person!
For those of you who are single... the man of your dreams is coming!  Do you really believe that?  The way you can tell if you really believe that is your prayer life. I encourage you to find every scripture in the Bible that speaks of "the husband" and pray them out over your life and just in speaking the word and hearing it ourselves gives us power in our tongue. Speak out all the details to God. He knows your heart and wants to hear you speak it out to Him.  Trust me, it works!  I was reminded this through the {wedding weekend} of how blessed I am with not only a wonderful husband, but an incredible Mother-in-law.  You know I prayed for that!  I wanted no tension between me and my mother-in-love to be.  We can talk about anything! I prayed that specific.  Now I am not saying that if God brings you someone and they are {not exactly to your order} that God didn't hear you. He truly knows best and be patient, maybe it wasn't in your best interest for him or his family to possess that trait. Look at it this way... when you ask a parent, mother or father, for something, they want to give it to you, right?  But if you ask for something they know is not in your best interest, they always have a better option in mind.  Making since?  This is true of anything we ask of the Father. We really make it harder than it is.
The past 2 weeks I have been drawn to James. I highly recommend it!  There are powerful truths in that small little book nestled between Hebrews and Peter. All that I have said above is found in that small book. I have been reading it over and over. I need to brand James' words on my heart, maybe you do too!
So as for last weekend... rewind to last Sat.  I took a trip to the metrolina expo, which I had no idea where it was, I do know!  After going the wrong way on 485 and taking a {Sara detour} we finaly chatted our way into the parking lot of the consignment sale. Jamie was with us and she is like {super momma} although her and her hubby don't have any biolgical kiddos of their own they have recently taken in 3 little  boys into foster care and with the experience of her nanny duties... there is no other way to say it... {she rocks} when it comes to raising babies!  So her and Sarah loaded me down with books, sleep blankets {that apparently are imported from the UK}, sling wrap and other little goodies to put in {our} hope chest.  It was alot of fun and we chatted the whole time about life, kids, friends and God. The coolest part was when we all held hands before we departed and prayed about all the concerns that were mentioned in the car that day.  It felt so good to be around women of God who are living out His will in their lives. It was very up lifting! And these are the goodies...only spent $27!

  So I have a lot of reading to do and journaling. I came home wondering about which room we would put the nursery. J says it will be where the guest room is now, but I have always heard that it's good to have the extra bed. My thoughts are I will want my mom to say with me for a while or maybe from time to time and what if later we have out of town guest we will want that option. I am so blessed to even have the option! Well you just experienced a chain of thought from {G} lol.

 So back to the weekend... I am just so full of excitement this week everything is bubbling out, God is so good. Change is taking place in my heart and it is good change. I see God moving in my life and it is so exciting!  I love being obedient and experiencing the {ride in the river} with Him. Now I don't always feel this way and I have noticed that when I loose my {focus} from Him {Jesus} is when I start drowning. It is truly a daily process for me. You know I guess it is like Peter when he walked on the water. {shrug}
 Saturday night was great at Catalyst!  I love the {Emotions} sermon series. I mean what girl doesn't struggle with emotions? Sunday was good too. I was able to see J play at Bethlehem for the youth service. It started pouring down rain during the service and when we left the air was cool. It was a good day to chill and take a Sunday nap, which J never does. He is just over doing it with the new job at Verizon and worship leader for 3 services plus 2 nights a week of practice... no wonder he took a nap!  The house is still a mess... tons of laundry to be done, but {shrug} oh well, there will always be laundry!
 Sunday night we went over to Deborah and Terry's house for prayer with Envoy. It was really productive!  I am an intercessor, so of course I love it.  I just love being at the throne room of Jesus and siting at His feet pouring out my fragrance to Him. I can feel His warm smile and loving embrace in that place with Him. For those of you who don't know how to pray, then corprate or group prayer is a good place to learn.  Go to prayer at your church or just have a friend who is a mature Christian pray over you or with you.  You will learn so much!  So many times we pray ineffectively because we do not know what to ask for. Don't worry about using {big words} to impress God, just use His Word to pray. If there is a certain thing you are asking God for then search the scriptures on the topic. Look up the Lord's prayer and study His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  If you still need help, message me!  Feeding your prayer life is a must in these end times! Ask God to draw you toward Him through your prayer life and His Word and He will give you a hunger to learn and listen.  Did I mention I can't stop reading James?  You should check it out, seriously!


Abundance is.... effective prayer, goodies for our baby to come in God's timing, date night with my soul mate, loads of laundry to do, because some people only have one set of clothes in this world.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Life in High Heels!

   The title of this post is kind of like saying {when I grow up}... I will wear high heels! Remember when you were a little girl and you wanted your first pair of {Sunday shoes} with a {high heel}? I do! It was around Easter and I had picked out my dress which was baby blue. I think I was around 2 1/5 {mom correct me if I'm wrong} and I asked for a white pair that had a tiny heel on them, yeah it still had a strap around the ankle. I remember trying them on in the store, I think it may have been Sears, and walking down the aisle way thinking I was so {grown up}! It was different, little slippery and wobbly, but I got the hang of it and it was only a 1/8th inch heel! I walked around at home in them {because I couldn't wear them until Easter Sunday} prancing around like I was walking down a runway. I liked the way they made me feel! I felt important because everyone knows that important people wear {high heels} and when they walk they make a clunk noise. I liked hearing that noise! Funny now that I look back on it, but {shrug} I was two and that was my perspective on the world.

From Jen 2 y.o

  Funny how things have changed, or have they? I can still relate to this world {in a pair of heels}. There is just something about them. I mean throw them on with a pair of jeans and {wha' la'} you’re a different person. So today I shared with a friend my perspective on life from the view of a four year old now almost twenty-eight year old {on April 2nd} at the importance of the {High heel}.... Enjoy!

  The truth is no one wants to be around a {Victim}. It just pulls them in the same direction, which is down. People like to be around {Victors}... and I will tell you why...
   In life everyone is given a {closet full of shoes}. We learn to walk in our first pair of baby walking shoes 1st right? As any baby does. Then comes our first pair of tap shoes or ballet slippers and those are fun, but then we get our first pair of {heels}. So what if they are just a hint of a heel? At 4 who cares, they make noise! Then we grow and finally we graduate to our first pair of {high heels}. It's a little wobbly at first, trying to walk in a straight line is a struggle. The ankles are weak and you get the picture. Then we find ourselves one day with our {high heel} stuck in a grate in the middle of the road, with our hair wind blown and make-up disappearing, cars coming at us in every direction and in that moment we have a decision to make. To decided to either keep looking down at the high heel that is stuck {ourselves} or to look up and see a way out! You see we have the promise from God that He will always provide a way out! It's up to us to look up and see it. I mean really it took years for that supermodel to learn to walk in her heels! So ladies, keep walking in your {high heels} and you will see that it gets easier to keep your head up and walk in those {heels}!

{Eyes Wide Open},


James 1:2-5 (New Living Translation)
Faith and Endurance

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed,
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

P.S. I will post a pic of myself in those heels... I think I was having a hormonal moment is them with tears on my face in the pic. Oh well, we all have our moments.  Chin up!

Abundance is.... warm Spring weather,  today is Friday,  Joy, a simple Smile, Fun weekend ahead!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Waiting and Planning

I am excited about this weekend! A friend and I are going to a {huge} consignment sale in Charlotte and I am really just going to check things out.  I am hoping J let's me take $20 to play with, but we'll see. I went to a local sale last fall and ended up with a few things that I couldn't resist. My friend Jen was with me and neither of us have kids, but she is a child play therapist. She bought the cutest wood play house with furniture to use with her patients for like 10 bucks!  They had {everything} you can imagine for cheep. So this one is much bigger and I can't wait to see everything.
Today I received an email confirmation from Baby Center. They have a baby planning center on their site and the point is to {get you ready} for babies, mentally, physically and financially. So I was playing around with the Baby Cost Calculator and this is what I came up with...

The Grand total for the Cost for the 1st Year of Life  is.... drum roll please....

with the Subtotal of One-Time Costs: $3,690
the breakdown of it all is in the link below...

All of you ladies who have children, I would {Love} for you to look at the break down and let me know what you could {not} live without and what you registered for and {never} used.  Also help me calculate the {unexpected} expenses in the Misc. spot. I want to be prepared, so help me out girls! 

So for this weekend I am looking for these...

I know {how long} it takes to find a great pair when your not pregnant! So I decided if I can find some that have already been {broken in}, then I am going to go for it!  After all {Faith} is {not enough}!  So I'll let you know how much trouble Sara and I get into this weekend! To be continued...

Abundance is... Hope that I {Will} be a mother, my hubby who places his sweet hands on my belly asking God to give us life in my womb and calling out the desire for {a little girl}, {sweet thing is I know God hears us and cares about this detail... He with knitt that detail in for us I just know it!}, {peace} in the {valley}(thank you Elvis for that wonderful,  and I found it...{JOY}!!! It has been a while and I have missed you oh so much!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Faith is {not} Enough!

Through this time of God carrying me (hence the new wings added to my background) I have been clinging to a book that I mentioned several blogs ago. It has become my second Bible. This book is full of the scriptures and promises found in them and the best thing about it... it fits in my purse! So if I am having a meltdown or just waiting in the MD office I can pull it out and remind myself of the promises He {God} has given me. Ok I almost had a hysterical moment because I couldn't find where I stuck the thing 2 hours ago...moving on. I also want to mention to you that the word {Faith} has been resignating in my spirit and the words..."Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." {Heb. 11:1} I found myself in Hobby Lobby last week  & I picked up a cute wall hanging that had the word {faith} on it and I just didn't like the colors and I thought, "well where will I put it?", and I just put it back down.  So this weekend I was in several different Hobby Lobby's {which by the way is my happy place} and I saw this and just had to have it...

Ok back to the book...I could just kiss Jackie Mize right now because of her obedience to write her heart in it. In the chapter of the book titled Before Pregnancy:  Desire to Conceive, Fulfillment Over Barrenness, She starts off with a prayer that goes like this..."Father, we thank You that children are the heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Children are Your idea, Father; You thought up children, and family and home. you instituted the family in the Garden of Eden. You ordered children; you commended them when You said to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply." You said that the barren womb is never satisfied. Lord, the Word declares that I am wonderfully and fearfully made by You; therefore, I'm perfect and able to conceive and have children. You said that I {my wife} would be a fruitful vine by the side of our house and our children like olive plants around our table. We are not ashamed but happy because our quiver is full of children."
"Thank you, Father, that You designed and fashioned me {her}, to have children, that in the Bible barrenness was the exception, not the rule, not Your will, not normal, something against Your plan and purpose. And in Your goodness and faithfulness, every barren women in the Bible who was godly and believed Your Word became pregnant; You opened her womb and blessed her, and she became pregnant; You opened her womb and blessed her, and she gave birth to a precious baby just as I {she} will. You make the barren women to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children."
" You said, Father, that because You are our God and we are Your people and have a covenant with You, that You will love us and bless us and multiply us and bless the fruit of my {her} womb and that neither male nor female among Your people would be barren.
"Father, we are redeemed from the curse of the Law by Jesus, and being barren in under the curse of the Law; therefore, we will receive from Your grace and have children.
"Father, no plague, no evil shall come nigh our dwelling. We are healed by the stripes of Jesus. Sickness of any kind is taken out of our midst. You said to ask anything of You in Jesus' name and it would be done; and that if two of us on earth agree as touching anything it would be done. So we pray and we agree with You and Your Word, Father, that we will conceive and bring forth a healthy, precious baby to Your glory and honor. We pray all this according to Your Word and will. You said, This is the confidence that we have in You, that if we ask anything according to Your will, You hear us; and if You hear us, we know we have the petition we desire of You. We have it now. Thank You, Father, in Jesus' name."
Then she list the scriptures that she was decreeing and declaring in this prayer:

Psalm 127:3-5 (New Living Translation)

 3 Children are a gift from the Lord;

      they are a reward from him.
 4 Children born to a young man

      are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
 5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!

      He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

Genesis 1:28 (New Living Translation)

 28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Psalm 139:14 (New Living Translation)

 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Psalm 127:4-5 (New Living Translation)

4 Children born to a young man
      are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
 5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!

      He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

Psalm 113:9 (New Living Translation)

9 He gives the childless woman a family,
      making her a happy mother.

   Praise the Lord!

Galatians 3:13 (New Living Translation)

 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

Psalm 91

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.

 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
      so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
      you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
      I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
      I will be with them in trouble.
      I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
      and give them my salvation.”

1 Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation)

24 He personally carried our sins
      in his body on the cross
   so that we can be dead to sin
      and live for what is right.
   By his wounds
      you are healed.

Exodus 23:25 (New Living Translation)

 25 “You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I[a] will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness.

John 16:23 (New Living Translation)

23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

Matthew 18:19 (New Living Translation)

 19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.

1 John 5:14-15 (New Living Translation)

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

{Still} with all the faith in these scriptures it is {not enough}!  Your probably thinking what is this girl talking about.  I was reading in James at lunch on Tuesday and God revealed to me this simple fact found in this scripture... {I know this is long, but stay with me}...

James 2:17-24 (New Living Translation)

 17 So you see, faith by itself {isn’t enough}. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the {demons believe} this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see,{his faith and his actions worked together}. His {actions made his faith complete}. 23And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as {righteous because of his faith}.”[b] He was even called the {friend of God}.[c] 24 So you see, we are shown to be {right with God by what we do, not by faith alone}.

So we're not talking random acts of kindness here!  We are talking about a man who when told by God to place his child on an altar to be {burnt} as an offering to Him... Did just that! He had {faith} that God was going to take {care} of his child. Now you or I may have said to God, "are you crazy?... no way", but Abraham {walked} out his {faith} in God. He knew God had a plan {although he couldn't see it} he knew God saw the bigger picture and He would {declare him to be righteous}.  "22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete."  Did you get that?  It may sound crazy to pray the next prayer, but go one step further and that is how you walk out your faith...

"Bodies, we speak to you in Jesus' name; you will com in line and agreement with the Word of God. you will respond to His holy Word. You will function properly and perfectly, the way God intended you to. Every part, every organ conform to the Word and plan of God as we come together in marital love. Body, conceive! Be pregnant. Cooperate with God's plan. Grow to a perfect baby- spirit, soul and body. Your Word says, Father, that none shall cast their young, nor be barren among your people and the number of our days You will fulfill. This pregnancy will be fulfilled. We decree it in Jesus' name and receive Gods' best; we won't settle for anything less in Jesus' holy name. Thank you, Lord, that it is so and done to Your honor and glory. Amen. {Ex 23:26}

In Romans 4:18-21, Apostle Paul wrote about Abraham's faith:
18. Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed that he would become "the father of many nations," just as he had been told: "This is how many descendants you will have."
19. He did not weaken in faith when he thought about his own body (which was already as good as dead now that he was about a hundred years old) or about Sarah's inability to have children,
nor did he doubt God's promise out of a lack of faith. Instead, he became strong in faith and gave glory to God,
being absolutely convinced that God would do what he had promised.(ISV)
Having faith is hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances. Having faith is never doubting the promises of God. Having faith is being absolutely convinced that God would do what he had promised to do.

This is just how God works... so hold tight. Tonight I decided to get a shower before going to church. I wanted to hear worship music, so I drug the Apple into the bathroom counter and started my favorite playlist {which happens to be the Passion 2010 CD} I was consumed by the Spirit of God. I couldn't even finish putting on my make-up, so I headed to church with no make-up {bye, bye insecurity} I didn't care!  I had to get there to see what God had to say to me tonight.   {I am a leader in a college/career age class called {Envoy}... So I get there and walk in and everyone is coloring a picture.I know what your thinking, but my 1st thought was "ah, therapy", bahhh I know I am pathetic} So I sat down {30 min late mind you} and started coloring "my stars" purple.  Yeah I totally missed the fact that there were letters all over the page and legend at the bottom on "what color were to go where" {yeah I totally laughed at my self}  Anyway, the title of the lesson was {Against the Odds- overcoming the fact that life isn't fair}... Ouch!  Deborah, one of the Godly mother's who mentor me, spoke about how we have to persevere to prevail.  Gen 50:20 says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."  {Eyes Wide Open... for sure}  She then asked 2 questions: 
 1. What is your suffering moving you toward? 
She pointed out that we as Christians will "beat the odds and come out on the other side different." 
2. What is the basis for the passion that fuels your dream?

"Do you dare to hope that God has the power to transform even the most horrendous events in your life into a catalyst for unimaginable success?"

Hello... that one is for every one of us, in any "valley" or "pit"! 


Abundance is... His presence that overtakes me when I can't carry myself, obedient "Mothers" in Christ who teach what God has laid on their heart,  pumpkin latte (decaf of course),  spicy chicken wraps from Wendy's, a warm safe place to call home. 

So after I bought the pink cross on Friday... that is when I had the {meeting with God at the altar} experience on Saturday morning. Yeah, He knows our hearts and when we walk out our faith and actions and then they begin to work together and become {complete}.  {Completeness} that's what I want, don't you?

.... so I know that was a long one, but it has been welling up in me for the past 5 days ok?  {Big cheese}

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Spirit of Natalie"

Today is the wedding day of my God-Sister Natalie. {3-13-10} (I am writing this much later than I wanted because of the craziness of yesterday)  I am the Matron of Honor and the duties are endless. My goal today is to absorb anything that could go wrong.  I am prepared to be on the look out and on Bride patrol.  I will start by telling you how my day started...
  My nervous tummy woke me at 6:30 AM before the sun even rose, or at least I thought it was just my tummy!  My stomach was in flutters for her. I remember how I felt the day of my wedding and every time a close friend gets married I get that feeling all over again. Today was different, I got up then quickly returned to bed to try for another 45 min of beauty rest, you guys know I like to sleep. {wink}  I placed my hot pink eye mask with black closed eyelashes embroidered on it over my eyes to avoid the sunrise bothering me and I just laid there. Then I began to cry. Not just any cry, it was from the depths of my being. I felt God's presence so incredibly strong it overwhelmed me. I tried to hold it in so I wouldn't wake Jonathan, but it was impossible I was overtaken by the presence of His throne room.  Have any of you had a throne room experience?  I have seen others have them at women's retreats and church. I have even had a few myself, but this one was different.... I was completely consumed!
 Let me let you in on something, I have been asking God to take me deep into Him and out of this world so that He can refresh my spirit, mind and body.  I have asked for a out pouring of His Spirit on me because I can not live this life any longer without knowing He is hearing my prayers. I have felt like maybe I was praying for the wrong thing and He wasn't answering because I was "way off base" with my prayers. Have you ever felt like He wasn't hearing you or that you may be praying the wrong thing?  I have truly found and lived the true meaning of the word {Faith} the past few months. It has a whole new profound place in my life.
 So back to the "awakening experience" this morning. I'm in bed sobbing from the depths and He speaks to me.  He poured out His thoughts into my mind and it was an experience I will never forget! It was out of the blue and completely unexpected. He began to speak to me and assure me that He had heard my cry and I have moved His heart.  He said that He would give us a baby girl in His timing and the reason He has not done this sooner is because of the destiny that He has on her life and she "will move the hearts of many". The "Spirit of Natalie" will be upon her and He will protect her from this tainted world. She will have a fear for Him and through Him she will do great things for the Kingdom.  Then He said "I will take you deep, very deep in Me for her forthcoming. Peace will now reside in you all the days of her life."  Yeah... I was speechless too!  {eyes wide open for sure} I mean blown away by the fact that {I} have moved the heart of God!  He has heard my cry!
 After I came out of His throne room I was shaking and still consumed by His presence.   Of all days He new I need this encounter today. As God was speaking all of this to me I prophesied all this out loud to Jonathan simultaneously so he heard all of it too. By the end of it all he was holding onto me as if he wanted to feel His presence too.  I immediately called Vickie, Natalie's mom, I had to find out the meaning of Natalie's name.  Her dad, Chris, answered the phone and I asked him. He said, "um, I'm not sure, my brain is kinda fried right now." He was officiating the ceremony of his daughter and was a wreck, so he handed the phone to Vickie and she told me that the name {Natalie} means "Christmas Child".  I explained the whole experience to her and she said, "well I have been praying for you hours a day since we spoke last Saturday."  I told her that I could tell! {eyes wide open}
So I kept asking God what He means by the spirit of Natalie?  Of course He answered... although it took the whole day to understand it.  I know I couldn't take the waiting either.  It all comes down to "the spirit of {giving}.  She will be a giving child. As I stood beside Natalie today in her breath taking beauty her dad spoke of how she has always given to others even before thinking of herself.  Her mother told me during our early morning phone conversation that when Natalie was little she would get so excited for others on their birthday when they were receiving gifts. Truly thrilled for them, sitting back being gentle and quiet, not rushing the birthday girl because she wanted to see the new gift for herself.
  I looked at her and she has truly become a Proverbs 31 women. I was blown away by the fact that God will give me a child with such demeanor and patience. Untainted and pure to stand one day beside her groom. I know that is rushing it, but really that's how I interpreted His words.  I truly feel the effects of God's rewards for mine and Jonathan's obedience to Him.  "May the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the earth beneath, and blessings of the breast and {womb} Gen. 49:25.
  The other thing I forgot to let you in on was I have been praying for her personality and demeanor. "Be full of peace - a calm, sweet spirit and tender heart." Is. 54:13  I have also spoke against the fear of bringing her up in this world and His protection upon her to protect her from the evil that is here. It is a cruel world and especially on women, {right Beth?} "For thou hat possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. Psalms 139:13.
Another take on the "Christmas child"is the fact that we consider it to be the time when the "promised child came to earth."  He has promised her to me and she will one day fulfill the destiny of living here on earth. She will be a {promise} that I have been chosen to one day carry. "Thus saith the Lord that made me, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee: Fear not, Oh {Jennifer} my servant; and thou {Jonathan} whom I have chosen. Is 44:2.  So like I posted several days ago... isn't God {Amazing}?
Oh, and you thought it stopped there? Nope!  Friday I visited a new chiropractor, Dr. Melanie Trexler, who is an incredible Christian women. I haven't seen a chiropractor since we have been married (almost 5 years) but I have seen on in the past for migraine headaches and was healed through it. So I had the day off because of the wedding and I had a 9:30 appointment that lasted until 10:40!  She started with a nerve scan to see which nerves are irritated from the vertebra being miss aligned. I "scored high" on 4 areas. #1 was between my upper shoulder blades, which contributes to my sinus and headache problems, I have known of this problem area for years. #2 was around mid-back it controls the stomach and intestines. (I didn't tell her I was having reflux issues for the past month) but I did tell her that it takes an "act of congress" to make the "depths of me move." I blamed that on being a woman and the commonality of this and just shrugged my shoulders like, yeah that was T.M.I.  #3 was the one in the lower back and well... it is the one that controls the ovaries and uterus.  Yep, I was thinking... "you've got to be kidding me?" Pastor Lane prayed that our bodies align for the forming of this child in like um... January!  #4 you guessed it, it gets better... my legs were 1/4 in. off in length. The right leg was 1/4 inch shorter than the left. That may not mean much to you, but to me, the legs are attached to the pelvis and well that is what holds the uterus!  The exact parts we have been praying to align.   I am just blown away as I laid on the adjustment table with tears streaming and worship music in the back ground singing praises of healing.  I could not believe it!  Autumn was right, Melanie's gift is {healing hands}.  It makes me realize how God uses us for the destiny of others. He moves through us because He is not here in the flesh anymore. Remember I was talking about the {Faith} word earlier?
So I am just overwhelmed by His promise of the Promise that is yet to come through {me}.  Undeserving, sinful {me} who by {Grace} is covered and made {clean} by the cleansing of the {blood} that was shed on Calvary.

Whew... that was a lot to fill you in on. The crazy thing is... this is only half of it!  Yeah 1/2! I will have to tell you the rest in person. So keep praying because this {mother} will need to be continually covered in prayer. I do not want the Enemy to come and "steal, kill and destroy" this promise that God has given me.  God will knit her in my womb in His timing.  He said that I was going to go {deep} and I need you guys covering me all the way.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Easter is around theCorner!

... and so is my birthday!{yours too Hallie}  For some reason they are not as exciting as they use to be. After 25 I have kinda lost count of how old I am and you know it's just not the same.  Well it's a rainy day today and a smoothe day at work, {Thank you Father for a smooth work day}and I have spring fever. With Monday being in the 70's and that little taste of sun I am craving more. Wanted to share some fun thins for spring like how to make an Easter basket out of paper and this cute picture!  You don't know what you are missing if you are not in church with a body of believers.  I could not live life without them lifting me up in prayer. My life would be very lonely and sometimes hopeless.  "Let us think of way to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25(NLT)
 Enjoy the rest of your Thursday... Jen

Also thank you guys for texting, calling and FBing me!  I had no idea all of you read my blog!  Nothing would thrill me more than for you to become a follower so that I know you are reading and so you can leave comments. {just click on "follow" beneath the picture frame that says please follow me} I have been so touched and blessed to know that you guys are praying for us. We truely can feel His presence with us. I can tell a difference just in the past week!  I will probably post several of your comments on here so that I can look back at it one day and be sure to send you a baby shower invite! 
***Also Jonathan's results came back normal! So we will follow up with the MD to make a game plan in 2 weeks and who knows we could pop up pregnant at any time! The master plan still belongs to God who will knit this baby together in His timing.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:13

Abundance is... friends crawling out of the facebook corners praying for us! and Friday off work!!!