Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Joshua Cade Bullock

This was written on Monday morning, December 29th, just now getting to post……..

Good Morning Everyone! Although posting great news by blog is still hard because my personality would love nothing more than to tell each of you in person, posting bad news is certainly 1,000 times worse. Yesterday, December 28, 2008, at 1:37 p.m. our precious baby boy was born at 6 ½ inches and 3.7oz and he was blessed to never have to fully enter this world, but to go straight to be with Jesus. This morning (not even 24 hours out) as I awoke for the first time in months with an empty womb the tears would not seem to cease. I know that the days ahead are going to be filled with ups and downs so I am asking for prayer for our entire family as this is a loss for many more than just Jeremy and I. For anyone with a medical mind or a mommy one, I was 16 weeks and had an incompetent cervix. I went into labor yesterday morning as we were heading back to Clarksville after a wonderful visit with my family. We went to the emergency room in Smyrna, Tennessee where I have been treated like an absolute queen from the moment I walk in the door and probably largely due to the excess pain medication, yesterday I handled my emotions abnormally well, but today the reality check has hit from the moment my eyes awoke.

You know the old saying, you can’t believe everything you hear, well let me tell you, I am having to practice that full force because satan, the author and father of all lies, the terror of this earth (John 8:44), is the only one capable of haunting someone who has experience such a loss with a long list of lies that the Father of Creation is not even capable of thinking. My God has been so good through all of this to protect me from that enemy and I will not back down for one second and allow his harsh accusations to become a focus of my day. Satan has told me, “if only”, if only I had gone to the doctor sooner, when I saw things that were unusual that Cade would be with us today. Another “if only” is that a simple procedure could have been done in order to stitch my cervix in order for it to remain strong throughout my pregnancy. The list could really go on and on. He is attempting to haunt me with guilt for not wanting to be pregnant, for not wanting another baby so fast and all I have to say to him this morning is to SHUT UP!

My God is a good God and if He had chosen, in a blink of an eye He could have stopped everything yesterday and allowed this cup to pass, but because He promises to never leave me or forsake me (Josh 1:5) the verse that ran through my head a million times in the emergency room) I am choosing to trust that He only allowed this trial to exist because He fully intends for it to bring Him great glory (Romans 8:18). Cade is the lucky one, he personally will never hear any of those lies because he was never exposed to the author of them. He will never have to fight the fight this life requires for victory, he arrived there before the battle even began.

The Lord had already given me a life verse for Cade long before I was even pregnant and I wanted to share it with you in closing. Again, our family has many rough days ahead and I was so encouraged yesterday by a dear friend. She said that she had read that same day a commentary about Job and it said, (and I am paraphrasing, certainly not quoting), Job had two things in life nailed down that caused him the unusual reaction of praise after experiencing so much loss. He first knew his God was sovereign and secondly he knew that his God was good. Well, thank goodness I serve that same great and one and only God. My God is sovereign thus I know He was in control and how is that comforting? It is comforting because it is followed with the unshakable truth that my God is good. He promises that He is ALWAYS for us and never against us so even in the moments where that reality seems dim, His Word promises it is there! Pray for our family to have that unshakeable faith. Pray that we fight the author of lies to the point that he wishes he had never messed with this family and pray that Cade’s legacy will always be one of faith and hope. Hope and faith that we too will join him one day in the grandness of Heaven and that he will have our seats saved in our mansion to dine with him again!

I wanted to share one last thought (as I am sure you are not surprised, hahhahaha). To all the people I have spoken with, I want to thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for the way you carried our burden yesterday (Gal 6:2). I spoke with friends who I know had shed tears all day for our family and please know that for every tear you shed, I truly believe it spared us one in exchange. I felt the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7) that so many of you prayer warriors stood in the gap for me to experience. And your words, every single one of them spoken and unspoken comforted my soul like you will never know. I am so very thankful to have such an amazing support system that no words can express! Our little Cross was whisked away by loves ones and we never even had to think, he was just perfectly cared for during this hard time and that in itself was priceless.

Ok, finally………..
Joshua 5:14 Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked the Lord, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

This is how our family has attempted to live our life over these past few years and I pray that yours will as well. That our faces will hit the floor in full reverence of the mighty God that we serve, but that because of the blood of Jesus Christ we will share an intimacy with Him that will assure us that if we ask, our Father will be faithful to speak into our lives with a personal message for His servant. I pray that we will all seek any message the Lord has for His servants and most importantly that upon receiving that message, we will believe its truths and obey its commands.

In loving memory from broken hearts,
Mommy and Daddy

Calling on all married women............

I wrote this one a few weeks ago and am just now getting to post.....

Ok ladies, this blog is just for you and I pray you can detect the vast urgency of this message as you read. In Jeremy and I’s few short years of ministry there is NOTHING that breaks our hearts more than watching a marriage that is every adjective other than abundant. I’m not even talking about the ones who are borderline divorce, no often times those couples are at least getting to the nitty gritty of communication, past hurts and pains, and the changes that it would take to make the marriage work. No, I am especially heartbroken by the “Christian Cohabiters” that think divorce would never be an option but settling for a crappy marriage is somehow heroic at worst or all that is optional at best. On the flip side of this, I have watched (or am watching) several girlfriends lately get into the ring and fight like cats (ladies don’t fight like dogs ) for their marriages and women let me tell you, I am on the sidelines as your greatest fan.

In addition to those we have observed, I also want to share with you a brief testimony about our own marriage just so you won’t dare be naive enough to think this just comes natural to either of us (our closest friends are laughing, thinking, don’t worry, we know). J and I are the FIRST to admit that the only thing good about our first year of marriage was the honeymoon and the tax write off. Other than that, life as blissful newly weds felt a little more like hell on earth. So when year two rolled around I have no clue what was going through his mind but mine was thinking this was about as far from John 10:10 as life gets so I am going to dig in with the Lord until He reveals to me what on earth I need to do to make things better. I didn’t even care what Jeremy needed to do although I, like most women, thought I could make a list, but I knew God was telling me that was absolutely none of my business. So, I read every stinkin Christian book on marriage that I could get my hands on and started dying daily to my flesh and actually trying to put into practice all the amazing wisdom that was being revealed to me through authors that desired so dearly to see marriages succeed. Now, a few years later I can say that the man I use to wish would change in every way possible is the absolute love of my life and as I minded my own business, magically some things that really did break my heart actually started to change as well. Now I lay in bed at night, holding my man, thinking to myself, “I didn’t even know it could be this good”. I really believe that we certainly didn’t “arrive at blissful” because neither of us are all that great of people, we are both far from it. No, I truly believe that it’s God’s blessing on our lives because we have studied what the Word has to say about marriage and obeyed. I feel like we are reaping the reward from a season in the trenches.

Which brings me at least closer to my point. You have all heard me go on and on about my mentor in Elizabeth City and I want (and she would want) everyone to know that I don’t think she is SUCH a godly woman because she has arrived. No, I think she is SUCH a godly woman because she is teachable. If I share something with her that the Lord is showing me, she is praying that next day that the Holy Spirit will help her put it in action in her own life. Likewise, she will often call me ranting and raving about some awesome revelation she is having (which almost always includes conviction) and I know she is going to do so much more than just “amen” it, she is going to live it because she wants all this life has to offer and she knows that road is paved with obedience and wisdom to and from the Lord.

Well, for the past few months her raving has settled in on one particular marriage book and I decided that it was a must to share this with all of you for sure. I know some of you out there don’t have a “Merideth” (that’s my mentor’s name) in your life right now so by all means please, please let me share mine. But I want to preface the title with a very thought provoking question at the risk of sounding naggy. Ladies, I want you to take this one to the spiritual bank in prayer because it is the lesson the Lord has been sifting in me for a year now and I think there is a nugget of truth behind the refining that could open a door to an insanely fulfilled destiny in Christ.

I first want to ask you this, do you believe that if the Bible makes a blanket command for a gender or any certain group of people that we are in direct disobedience if we are not following it? Let me give you an example to get your wheels turning. In 1 Timothy there is a section of scripture that is directed towards men, women, and then overseers and deacons. My question to you is, as you are reading the Word (which no offence has GOT to be step one to knowing God’s will for your life in the first place) and you see those people groups, does a light go off in your head, “if I fall under that category, then is that calling is also for me and most importantly, if I am refusing that calling do I view it as disobedience to God or even the more detailed reality to view it as sin against God?”

Well, the scripture that literally brings me to my point as well as to the title of my mentor’s latest book is all the way back in Genesis at the time of creation. Gen 2:18 which reads, “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Ok, so…………Eve was CREAETED to be his (Adam’s) help mate, so we as wives have a choice to make, do we think that calling was specified to Eve or could it be that I too was created to be my man’s help mate (goodness know mine needs it, wait, did I just say that out loud)???

“Created to be his Help Meet” by Debbie Pearle (www.nogreaterjoy.org) has been my mentor’s latest “wow” moment over and over and over and let me assure you my friend is well read so if she says this book has truths worth repeating throughout almost every conversation she finds herself in then by all means we would be wise to take her advice, order our own copy today and grab the brightest highlighter we can find and get to work.

Ladies, this book I am suggesting may come across like an out-dated, 50’s way of thinking, but if you and I will have a teachable spirit mentality, I think we will be a lot closer to fulfilling our divine destiny rather than living in direct disobedience to the Father’s Word. 1 Samuel 15:22 says obedience is better than sacrifice. The Lord knew it would be easier for us to “appear spiritual” than to dig in the trenches of obedience like my mentor constantly models for me, but let me assure you that although her nails may have gotten dirty along the way, I can promise you her husband “sings her praises at the city gates” ( Proverbs 31) and for those of you who have ever experienced that victory in marriage, there is no greater feeling on this earth.

So again, the ball is in your court, if you are more spiritual than me and your immediate thought each morning is “how can I serve my husband today” (mine looks a little more like a to do list he can do to serve me) then by all means, this one may not be for you. But if you, like me, tend to find that calling about as far from my created purpose as any calling may be then we just may be wise to seek some wisdom and certainly some conviction in this category.

I want to leave you with one last question that has pondered or haunted me; however you want to look at it, over this past year. What IF God would not allow you to be fulfilled in any other calling in life unless you nailed this CREATED calling down first? What if He has an amazing life and calling in store, but He knows the importance of order, and quiet frankly I may be saying “Jeremy who” if work was going great or if I could engulf myself in the kids. It’s just a thought, but I personally am trying to be willing to do the work to fulfill my created purpose in order to experience all this life on earth has to offer!

Let’s walk the walk instead of talking the talk!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bullocks would like to wish all of our friends and family a very merry Christmas! I have been saying each year, “this is the year we are GOING to do Christmas cards” and thus far that project never seems to make the budget cut so praise the Lord for an awesome “blog card” to both tell you how much we love each of you and to show off adorable pictures of our sweet baby boy and his new Christmas wagon. I did think I should take full advantage of this prepaid postage and send you a family update as well. As you can tell, Cross is about as cute and sweet as any child could be. He really is doing great and any day we have a healthy baby is a good day. He is taking several steps, but certainly not walking on his own just yet. We have no teeth and are most fond of balls (not by Daddy’s wishes we are certain, it really was natural), puppies, and music. The music one I am interested to see where that leads because it will be a supernatural gifting if it is there, certainly not heredity. I think it could have something to do with Daniel Doss (Grace’s worship leader) being pumped into the womb for 9 months. The child just knows talent when he hears it! We have no real words yet, he says momma and dada and nana but he seems to have no clue that we are any of those words although my mom seems to be rather certain the nana is for her (as she should be)!

We are back in Clarksville and praising the Lord every day that we are home. This has been a tough season and I think that I have said this before, but it was probably best that I did not have internet access very often because if I had blogged everyday you guys would have most certainly called Jeremy and demanded that I be omitted and I wish I could say I were joking. Between life changes, job changes, 1st trimester pregnancy, a little toddler who was/is into everything, being stuck at home, and having little to no mommy time (because I bought into satan’s lie of guilt for leaving or taking help), I was on the verge of breaking. I once heard Beth Moore say that when someone asks if she has had a good day she says “any day that I get a word from the Lord is a good day” and I thought to myself, “wow, I wish that were the way I functioned” mine sounds a little more like “any day I get my way is a good day” for sure. Well, lately, I am finding that any day that I hear a word from the Lord is not just a good day, it is life. I am realizing more and more that this season of refining that Jeremy and I are going through is just as beneficial or certainly more to our future than any season of blessing could have been. I know I need refining, that is an easy one, I hear myself think and that alone could take a life time to work out, but my man on the other hand, I rarely see something that would take such a monumental season of stripping to work out. But I know because he is human that it is there and that we serve a God who is willing to work it out. I have cried out to the Lord often over these past few months and said “Jeremy is a godly man, bless him, why are you holding back your blessings from him” and the Lord always answers me “because I want to make him MORE of a godly man”. Well, who can argue with that, I am willing to settle for great, but the Potter is driven to awesome!

So our family, as of today, is really doing great. I have come out of what I now refer to as the “stay at home mom funk”. I feel so much better physically that mentally is starting to catch up. I have an appointment in January to find out if we are having a boy or a girl and I promise you guys will be the first to know. We are due to receive our next blessing June 16th and Grace Community has enough pregnant women right now that the nursery is going to explode. I see God’s hand in new life all around and it makes me ecstatic to see what calling He has for each of these precious lives He has ordained to enter this world.

And to answer the most popular question I get asked these days, “sooooooooo, what are you guys doing”; in a nut shell, we have no clue what we are doing. The Lord has told us two things, well I guess three over these last few months, “resign from our church in North Carolina, move to Clarksville, and then trust Him”. I wish I could tell you more, but that is really all I know for now. Thanks to wonderful families who bless us each year financially for Christmas our bills are certainly paid so please don’t worry about us financially. I would say our greatest struggle right now has little to do with the finances and more to do with the millions of unknowns. But there again, the “trust Him” enters. A girlfriend said you are learning “one day at a time” to a science and she is so right. We could live in Clarksville for 6 more months, 6 more weeks, or 6 more years. We could have our next step tomorrow or it could take some time. Here is what I do know without a shadow of a doubt that our Lord provides for us. He will provide what we need, when we need it and He does not mind watching us remain humble or grow humble, He does not mind developing our faith, and He knows all the fruit of the Spirit that we so desperately need to have developed in order to carry out our purpose.

So, is today a good day, absolutely, even from the moment that I opened my Bible Study this morning I have gotten more than just a word from Him, I have gotten several. I am studying Beth Moore’s Esther and the first sentence I read was “You see, even your current location is part of the set-up for your kingdom destiny.” I don’t know much, but I know that we are in Clarksville for such a time as this and I am bound and determined that we are going to be fruitful, not defeated, while we are here. Eph 1:11 says we were chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. Beth says, “These realizations should be stunning and marvelous to us, exploding our lives with significance.” And then she goes on to say that had Esther not chosen to step up to the plate that she would have missed her place in divine destiny.

I am choosing today to tell satan to shut up when he says this is all miserable and meaningless. My man has a mighty calling on his life and if we are not obedient today in the wait, we “could be left out of a divine loop that could one day mean everything to us.”

Our pastors at Grace could have chosen to give up when the going got tough (and I assure you that tough is a vast understatement) and if they had, they wouldn’t have gotten to witness hundreds of adults at church last Sunday experiencing a true celebration of the birth of Christ. Every time you hear or read the testimony of someone who the Lord has used in a radical way, they have a story like ours, one of waiting, one of vast unknowns, one that required the faith they would need to fulfill their calling and that I pray is what will be said of us.

So friends and family this Christmas, please, please don’t buy into satan’s lies that this God life isn’t worth it, that He only has great things in store for “certain people”. If you are a child of God, you are apart of a royal priesthood and Eph 1:11 applies to you just as much as it applies to us. I cried and cried Sunday as I was reminded of the virgin birth that paved the way for my forgiven sin and thus my purposeful destiny. For me this year, Christmas is about a secured hope for my family’s future because of the birth and eventual death of Jesus.

With the greatest love for each of you!
The Bullocks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pregnancy # 2

I wrote a blog about this a long time ago and it disappeared in internet land and I am just now rewriting, I am certain there was more to add.........

Top 10 ways you will know this is your second pregnancy.......

10. Instead of wanting to show because it is cute, you look forward to having a firm stomach again.

9. Wondering just how on earth you are going to balance a toddler on your 9 month stomach while pushing a grocery cart and trying to talk on the cell phone.

8. Thinking that the mini van just might be the greatest invention of mankind. My mentor keeps trying to sell me with the push button doors and it is starting to work.

7. Your dog is getting lower and lower down the totum pole and you aren't even noticing.

6. You are making mental plans to get your tubes tied upon delivery if it is a girl because you are CERTAIN you can't throw your way up through another 6 weeks of life, especially not with two.

5. When you wake up one day and think, "What on earth makes someone in their right mind volunteer to go through this AGAIN? That maternal instinct defies all common sense."

4. Think the Dugger mom is either a saint straight from Heaven or on Zanax.

3. Crying and telling God you don't want to be pregnant anymore and then feeling guilty that you really don't mean it, but you do, but you don't DARE want anything bad to happen. Thank goodness He has the grace to handle that reality!

2. Being really mad at your husband, because it is in fact HIS FAULT!

1. And last but certainly not least, never being more thankful for toddler naps, the more the merrier for me. I don't even blink an eye at "what needs to get done". You can't blink when they are already closed! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My dear sisters...............

I just wanted to write a personal note to my E.C. girls. I put some pictures above to show all the world what God has placed in my life during this journey. Meet Peri Pinto (bottom on right) known as Aunt PP to her sweet Bubby, my dearest girlfriend here. This gal makes life fun, let me tell you. She has taught me how to love wildly, how to live life to its fullest, even on the most average of days. When this lady sings to her King Jesus (and let me tell you it is pleasing to every one's ears) it is as if no one else is in the room. Man am I going to miss hearing her praise! Then my sweet Merideth (bottom on left)! This has been my spiritual mentor these past few months, but we feel like we have known each other for years. This lady has taught me how to love my Jesus more than I even knew possible. She is an amazing woman of God who lives it out in the private of her bedroom quiet time and desire to see everyone she comes in contact with fall madly in love with Jesus. Then my two "little" gals. Katelin and Chelsea (top right to left), my two sweet peas from Student Ministry who have adopted Cross as their own. They make me want to love the Lord more because their hearts beat to grow in Him. They love people like you wouldn't believe. They serve J and I with no desire for return. As you can tell, all of these sisters have made this move worth ever step of the 10 short months. I would do it all again in a heartbeat knowing I would get to share life with these women!

So, PP, I cannot thank you enough for giving us "drop in friends". You have no idea how cherished and loved you are by the Bullock crew and by your Savior. Your heart bleeds for Him and I promise you He is well pleased to say the least! I love you to death and will miss you like crazy but have been honored even if for a short time to get to share life with you and your family. Cross will miss his Mr. Keef like crazy, but we know this is only good bye til next time. And as far as your beautiful children go, no one on earth should be more proud. You have raised some of the sweetest of hearts and I will be praying for each of them as they continue on this journey called life. All of them, madly in love with their Jesus, and nothing less will do!!!!!!!!!! I am going to miss you like crazy, but wipe those tears dear one, the Friend of all Friends is right beside you I know! I love you so, k.

M.......... will I be able to feel Jesus without you by my side, yes, I know yes, but it sure felt good having you remind me everyday of His greatness. I have only met a small handful of people in my life that really demanded I love Him more, that I believe Him more, that I live for Him more and you my friend are at the top of that list. You are an "everyday mom" homeschooling, honoring your husband, ministering to your neighbors and driving that darn minivan that almost has me a believer and that my friend has been what has inspired me the most. You aren't waiting on some great ministry, you aren't waiting til something big happens, no, you are wildly in love with your Savior right where you are and you have no clue what an impact that has made on my life. I have never seen anyone who just studies the Bible like crazy, because, just because it brings you closer to the King. Please know you have made an eternal difference in my life and I will be forever grateful! Please know I am praying you through too. I certainly will never wonder if you are doing the same for me and many, many others.

Finally, my Kateseas.......... You two gals have kept me young and hip even though I am certain you wouldn't approve of the word hip. I thank you for being willing to shop in the maternity store and tell me the waiter is sooooooooooooo cute in the same night! I love you girls to death and please know that I believe in you and I believe the Lord has a mighty plan for BOTH of your lives. I fully expect a road trip from you two ASAP. Cross will be having withdrawals, who will give him his bath and a photo shoot all in the same night??? Girls, if you have not learned but one thing from me please let it be READ YOUR BIBLE. There is no relationship with the Savior apart from His Word and there is no life worth living apart from a relationship with the King. Read it often, study it deeply and treasure it more than even the cutest shirt on earth. It is your lifeline, the way you will make it and the ignition to the light that others will potentially see. I love you both!!!!!!!!!!

Well, there were many others that I loved dearly in this short stay. This church surrounded us, loved us, supported us and treated us as their own from day one. Sometimes you are humbled because your knees are broken and others by the traces of God's hand in your life. This is one of the later. How good is our Savior to provide down to even the most minute of details to those who love Him. Jesus, you have rocked my world these past few months not to even mention these past few days and it is You and You alone who deserves all the honor, glory and praise!


Please forgive any gramatical errors, it is now 5:20 a.m. on moving day and Cross has been up for an hour so you can only imagine, pray lots :) This tired mommy will need nothing less than a miracle, but I have a Friend...........who is my friend! Love you all!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

God's Grace.........

First, I want to thank so many of you for your prayers. Jeremy and I have had an outpouring of people who are loving and praying us through this season and we are eternally thankful. Friday morning we will be heading out of Elizabeth City and slowly, but surely making our way to Clarksville, Tennessee. We never totally unpacked because we had intentions of hopefully one day buying a house here, just another example of God’s amazing grace. One, that we aren’t trying to sell a house and two that our packing duties are at a bare minimum. I will probably get by with only a few more boxes and off we will be. I have been overwhelmed this week with God’s grace so I just wanted to share with you guys some “God moments” both big and small and encourage you with the loudest message that the Lord has repeatly rang through my ears that is best stated God blesses obedience! I have felt lately that our life looks so random. I mean come on Bullocks, make up your mind and just get a job. I can promise you that no one would love that life more than this family, but that is not the life the Lord has called us to live. The other night, when I (the world’s greatest sleeper, especially with pregnancy exhaustion still looming) couldn’t sleep, I knew the Lord was calling me to get out of bed and spend some time with Him. Quiet frankly, I wanted to sleep. I was tired both physically and mentally and just to be completely honest, the last Person I wanted to speak to was the One I felt was causing all of this. I heard the Lord so clearly whisper in my ear, “You are mad at me and I am not going to let you go to sleep until we talk.” I guess the Inventor of “do not let the sun go down on your anger” takes it seriously, who knew? I, being a “good Christian girl”, would have never said “I am mad at God” but that’s the problem or the blessing however you want to look at it, HE KNOWS OUR HEART. The coolest part is, He knows our heart and He can handle what it is thinking. He isn’t going through an identity crisis thinking, “oh no, I hope Kelly is not mad at me”. One, because He is 100% secure in who He is and two because He is perfectly assure of the fact that He has done nothing to harm me, that He is only desiring to bless me. I like to think of it as He is totally secure in His parenting. So, begrudgingly, I got up, sat on the couch and spent the next 30 minutes “venting” my case at why all of this was not in either of our best interest. He lovingly listened and then I felt the hug of a lifetime that was sealed with a promise of “I know what I am doing”. I then preceeded, while I was up and all, to watch a Beth Moore that sent me straight to my knees in awe because I can’t even remember a time when someone spoke so clearly into MY situation. I felt as if she had written her new study, “Esther” just for me and that week 4 was taped for that night of my life in particular. Since that night, I can’t tell you the hundred other encouraging moments I have had with the Lord, from another video solely telling me over and over that God did have a plan for me life [THANK GOODNESS], to a list of verses and even a text from a friend that all talked about God’s overwhelming theme in the Bible of obedience being followed by blessing. The Lord knew how to give me the final push to at least do what I know I supposed to do and that is to help my man get our family moved back to our homeland and to set up shop and keep praying for “the rest of the story” to be revealed. I look forward to the day that I write you guys a blog that will at least give another chapter. I am praying that chapter will put a few more of the puzzle pieces of our life together because quiet frankly, for now it looks like a big mess that has just been dumped out of the box. Please continue to pray for our “next step”. Pray that we hear God because a theme I keep seeing in my Bible study is to follow every step or every detail so we are going to need our ears keened to assure that happens. Secondly, my man is a worker, one day around the house is about all he can handle and then he starts going crazy so please pray that AS SOON as we get to Clarksville doors will begin to open. He takes his job as the provider of our family very seriously so nothing unnerves him more than not knowing how all the details will fall. Finally, for me, I have lived in a good place this last year of not being "stuff" focused and I am praying that as we move into our adorable rental house in Clarksville that the “stuff bug” will not come back to bite. I pray that we are content and aren’t nearly as focused on the empty hole of fulfillment as we are on the souls placed in our path that need nothing short of the Savior of the world, Jesus. And to close, I just had to share one last grace gift I received and some of you may have already had this same amazing blessing, but good golly, if you haven’t tried the new Peppermint Mocca coffee creamer, by all means, go out quickly and receive God’s latest gift to mankind. It is nothing short of heavenly!

hahahaha, love you all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You.......

Ok, I cannot believe this but I am officially the mother of a one year old. My sweet friend's son has been asking for months, "whens cross not going to be zero no more?" Well Dylan, Cross is officially not zero anymore, he is a big boy one year old. We were so sad that we weren't with family, but our closest family friends, the Pintos, made it nothing less than the party of a lifetime. We all know that I most certainly did NOT make that sweet cake. Cross loves a puppy dog so his "Aunt PP" sure did make him a puppy cake. He got lots of fun gifts that he couldn't care less about opening, but loves, loves, loves to play with them. We are great friends with the whole family and one daughter was in from college so we had to have the party on Saturday so RayRay could be there for all the festivities. It was nothing less than perfect. This mom's whole world has been so crazy that I just couldn't have pulled off a real live party so I was thankful to say the least! I look forward to the Clarksville gang getting to hug and kiss those sweet cheeks. We love you guys and will see you very soon!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Day After Thanksgiving...........

Happy Day After Thanksgiving (Black Friday just doesn’t sound all that nice if you ask me)……..…..

Well, I can promise you guys this, I am up, but I am certainly not out shopping. Our Christmas gift this year is going to be moving back to Tennessee and unfortunately they are not having a two for one sale on this at Wal-Mart starting at 5 a.m. so looks like we are going to be paying full price. I am up early because my sweet love bug can’t make it most nights past 7 p.m. (just to clarify I do mean Cross and not Jeremy) without having to be whisked away for a good night sleep. This can be a great blessing after a long day of activity, but often comes with a wide awake, “rarin” to go by 6 a.m. ray of sunshine. I was going to share a little “moment” I had last night, but you guys have to promise to still like me even after I have shared my most unattractive sides. The Bible calls us to confess our sins to others, but I am starting to fear some of you are going to think “I liked that gal until I started getting to know her because she sure seems to have a lot of JUNK”. Well, that is true, but the good news is that even though it is still a lot, many of you did miss years of a landfill full being burned away. I like to think now we are in the fine tuning stages. It may be a phrase that makes me sleep better at night, but all the same, I am praying I am looking more like Christ instead of less.

So, back to my moment, it is kind of a long story so let’s just say that I was having one of those up and down days. If you read the previous blog you saw that my morning started with a much needed confessional. That was very helpful. After I aired my dirty laundry, I found so much joy yesterday in the big stuff and the small stuff. I was thankful and even did something very out of character and whipped up a batch of banana bread to take to the friends’ house that hosted us for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Dinner however, shined another spotlight of revelation on some very unattractive behaviors that were buried deep behind my freshly showered self, make up and all (that is becoming a fashion moment for me instead of a daily occurrence but that is another blog for another day).

Basically, Cross is at that age where he is very “high maintenance” when we go places. Now I don’t at all mean that he is bad, I simply mean that he is almost one year old. That is really all you need to say. He can’t walk, and he can’t be trusted not to destroy anything that is in his path. He can’t “play” with other kids, he doesn’t know whether he wants to be fed or feed himself and he can’t tell you even if he decides and he can only make it for about 3-4 hours before a melt down is on the horizon. I can promise you that I know I have a big wake up call coming when the fits arrive to top the cake because he really was an angel. It simply made my selfishness arise again because life just refuses to be about me. I PERSONALLY wanted to chat with all the women in the kitchen. I mean these are our last days with our friends here and I wanted to fellowship for Turkey sake. Jeremy on the other hand, he PERSONALLY wanted to watch football and could you blame the guy? I noticed my frustration when Cross started this high pitch whine that I later interpreted as “I don’t want anything you are offering me. I want whatever you have in that glass.” Well, as all moms do, I broke the cardinal rule and gave in, I caved and turned back the sweet tea which at that moment seemed more like a glass of survival of the fittest than a fully sugared caffeinated beverage. Well, AS YOU CAN GUESS, that didn’t do it, no………………. he wanted more. Oh good gravy, this is where you get into breaking those rules of “I would never”. Now a year ago, I would have told you “I would NEVER put sweet tea in my child’s sippy cup.” I would have probably even said (only to myself for this one) but “HOW REDNECK.” Well, as if we didn’t know that I am Tennessee born and bred, I sure did open up that sippy cup and did whatever it would take for me to get to enjoy my green bean casserole and the best darn mac and cheese I have ever tasted. I put, and don’t panic if you are still in the “I would never club” it was only a tiny bit with a ton of water, sweet tea in my child’s sippy cup, screwed back on the lid, and smiled from ear to ear when he took the bait.

Ok, so as exciting as that may not seem, that wasn’t the revelation just the red flag. It was a red flag because despite the sweet tea, I didn’t do what my flesh was really wanting and scream at him “what on earth do you want child” and run away from life all together. The revelation started later that evening when my pity party continued because of course by 6:30 we were needing to head for home and fast. I just pouted. I had only been out a few short hours all week and here it was Thanksgiving night and we are closed in at 7 p.m. for good. There was nothing on TV as I should have guessed so I tried to be creative and pulled out my scrapbooking stuff and thought, make the best of it Kelly. Well, J did manage to find at least something to watch, men always can, it is a gift of theirs. It was some movie called “Click” with Adam Sandler and I was frankly too discourage to nag Jeremy about the frequent sexual innuendoes and the degrading humor. He was flipping between that, a football game, and the Incredibles so I thought, oh who cares, let it go Miss Legalism and let the man at least attempt to enjoy the 4 channels that we do retain signal. Well, much to my surprise, this movie had the most amazing message buried behind the cleavage and the corniness, it had a message of life being short, your kids growing up way too fast, and the regret of not putting your family first. All the while I am looking through our scrapbooks and then it just hit me, “I am doing it, I am doing what I never wanted to do, I am wishing Cross’ life away”.

You see, coming off of several weeks of first trimester sickness and full on exhaustion, I have turned into the mom who wants the child she does have to hurry up and grow up and doesn’t even look forward to the child she has coming. I have been so focused on all that I have “given up” that I am totally missing what I have been given. Please know that I am not mad at myself nor do I think God is mad at me, I just simply think He used that movie to give me a way in time wake-up call to enjoy these babies and this season while it lasts. I also received a book from a friend a few weeks ago that I for sure think is a must read for ALL MOMS. It is called “The Me in Mommy” by Lisa Welchel. I had a revelation then too, that I needed a LOT more mommy time than I was giving myself. I never dreamed that would be my problem. I am as far from the mom that never wants to leave her children as they come, but because of where we live, I have no option of a part time child care nor any family for a Friday night date. So in turn, instead of asking for a break, I have just sat here and let life happen and that in turn has created a lady who is mad at her child for simply being thirsty. It has made me want to cash in on motherhood all together.

So to sum it, last night after having a breakdown to Jeremy and him ever so sweetly allowing me to cry with him and look through Cross’ scrapbook, I told him I just wanted to go get Cross out of his crib and he did what has never happened in my practical man’s life, he said “go for it”. So what did I do, I whisked Cross back up from that crib, had all the lights off (except for the TV) and brought my baby boy who is growing way too fast into the living room and held him until I could literally feel the conviction on my heart go away. He was so sweet and I even fell back in love with the only mommy can love moment of a little toot when they wiggle. He was so sweet sucking on that passy and rubbing my arm. I think I, for the first time since the sickness started, got genuinely excited about the new baby that is on the way as well. I will say this experience has given me TOTAL grace for the mom who is completely overwhelmed that she is pregnant AGAIN. I would have said before, “no this is a blessing” but now I understand that sometimes even the biggest of blessings can feel like a death sentence at moments.

I honestly feel like I have been digging myself out of a small pit lately and I am hoping that you guys will be able to see the level ground through my writing very soon. I hope that sooner than later I am living victory more than defeat, but if my defeat at all motivates someone else to start digging than so be it, dig on dear sister in Christ. Satan has a lot of tools and as two lovely women in my life have spoken to me, “sometimes discouragement is his absolute favorite.” Sometimes is it is buried in a pit of sin and sometimes it is as simple as a bad day, turning into a bad week, then into a bad month, and before you know it into a bad lifetime. I love you all and if you have made it through this surprising long blog, I thank you so much for your prayers and patience with me as I stumble (hopefully forward) through this thing called life!

Because and only because of HIM,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving.........

This morning as I journaled to my Savior, I just had to stop and repent that it takes a national holiday for me to stop and be thankful. I personally tend to focus on all that I don’t have 364 days out of the year and then scramble to get all my thanksgivings in during one short day squished between complaining about not being home with family and stuffing myself full of rich goodies. I am sickened by my heart’s reality check, but it just comes so natural for me to be thankless. I mean the reality is I look around and see an amazing husband, the cutest darn kid in the whole world (second only to yours of course) and even a sweet puppy who is currently allowing her rear to be a cozy pillow for my head. I am warm thanks to my heater and I just got out of a fluffy mattress and drank some deliciously clean water. I wonder how often the Lord shakes His head at this spoiled brat thinking, “Kelly, really, you have it so bad.” I am such a wimp, I don’t think I could even handle hard. I would probably just curl up and die. So today, my prayer, it is listed at the top of the blog and needs to start being more of a consistent plea with God to change this selfish heart and pray that hopefully next Thanksgiving when I wake up I won’t feel one year behind on my thanksgivings. Pslam 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart Oh Lord, and renew in me a steadfast spirit.” I have studied that the original word for “create” means to create from nothing, not to refashion, but to literally create. Well thank goodness, because there is nothing much to work with in the first place. I want this heart’s natural tendency to be thankful which will most certainly need to be a miracle of the Lord because I, left to my own flesh, am certain to die wallowing in my own self pity. I am sorry Lord that I naturally complain, whine, compare, and spend most of my days fully enthralled in a one guest only pity party. I pray that you will cover my selfishness with the blood of Jesus and begin to create from scratch a new heart that consistently runs towards a joy that awakes me every morning with a heart that if full of thanksgiving. I pray that you will do such a work in my heart that I don’t even recognize myself in the years to come. I pray that Thanksgiving become just another day to pay You glory instead of a day of catching up on lost realized blessings. You did enough on the cross to have me on my knees everyday in total admiration. You have offered me an intimate relationship that has caused me to feel You literally in my car or in my living room. You have given me a calling and a purpose on this earth that even I could not handle if I knew all of the details. What on earth more could a girl ask for? So today, Thanksgiving it is, but next year tune in for a miraculously changed heart that will do this thing more intuitively because of a much needed heart transplant and not one from another thankless soul, one that has been created anew!

Naturally so darn selfish,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Desperation produces contentment..............

Hey guys, well, I guess all I can say is to please pull up a chair because this one may just make a record for lengthy. I have chatted with a few of you, but I never know what to do other than just blog because life never allows for a one-on-one chat with all the people you love. What a blessing, that I have TOO many friends to call each of you and have a heart to heart. Sometimes I think that we are losing personal relationships and other times I feel like we are just that incredibly blessed and that the blogs are a way we can still share life even when miles rip us apart. I will also tell you that my heart is very tender as I write. I have been on a huge roller coaster ride with Jesus for about 5 years now and as with any good roller coasters (I would NEVER dare step foot on a real one just for the record) it has its ups and it has its downs. It has twists and turns that make you scream with exhilaration, that makes you certain your heart will leap out of your chest and it has dips that make you certain something else (unspeakable) will come out for sure. My God has rocked my world. He has pulled me from the darkest grave any one person could have dug for them self and set me into a life I never dreamed was even possible. Along this ride, I have had a million great joys, I have also had my fair share of living out what the Bible repeatedly promises, and I have had to pick up my Cross, die to self, and follow my King Jesus even when not one ounce of His calling has made a lick of sense.

Well, today is one of a combination, exhilaration and confusion, excitement mixed with a hint of “what on earth are we doing”. To make a very long story somewhat short, a few months ago the Lord began a stirring in Jeremy’s and my heart. I have heard that lingo used before and I never feel like that does a great job of explaining what you feel, but I am left clueless of another. Maybe….. that something isn’t okay anymore, that something needs to change, that life as you knew it is now just not in God’s plan. We personally were in a great place as far as contentment. I think that is a huge blessing because we weren’t asking for a stirring by any stretch, we were literally just minding our own business and then almost overnight it hit. So that feeling along with months of prayers have led us to a certain detail but without a series of details, just steps. Step one, resign from our position here. See in “normal” life you don’t quit a job before you get a new one, but we just never had a peace about looking for other jobs (not counting that we had no clue what those other jobs were to be) before we informed our pastor. So, step one went awesome. The staff and elder team here has been so incredibly amazing. They loved us and supported us like crazy and I think really understood that we were just trying desperately to be obedient.

Ok, so I am not doing a great job of short, then 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant, then we couldn’t find a job we were at peace with or would even give us the time of day so out of my new favorite theme, “desperation produces contentment”, we were desperate and I was content with God giving us anything short of a next-step. I wanted a 5 year plan, but He just wouldn’t allow for it so all of the sudden a next step was enough to offer me more contentment than you could even imagine. Desperation for sure produces Contentment.
So the next step that the Lord gave us was Clarksville. Well, hallelujah, I mean grandparents, great friends, a great church. Then we prayed for the next steps, a home and a job. He immediately answered the home one with the coolest God story ever. Two families blessed with the deal. So now we are simply waiting on the job step.

So, how do I feel, well today for sure, I feel more content that I can even explain. I have a move date and a home to move to, the desperation of wanting an address puts all of life into perspective. When we moved here we experienced the same feelings. We were so desperate for a place to live that we could afford that the answer overrode the fact that the house had no central air, no dishwasher and J’s saddest moment, no garage. My man does enjoy a garage. So…… home we come! Some time during mid December we will be driving the Bullock crew, house, Cross, Snick, the baby in the oven, and all to the place J and I both love, home. Do I have a clue what life in the future has to offer, not one bit. I have no clue what state or series of jobs the Lord will call us to next, but for today, ONLY out of desperation, I have a spirit of contentment and a peace that passes all understanding. I have had days lately when I really thought I may creep into a depression never again to return. I have had moments where I wanted nothing more than to throw in the towel with this Jesus ride all the while knowing that would CERTAINLY not fix the problem. I am seeing His grace and the fact that you just can’t trust feelings (especially when you are pregnant) you have to trust nothing less than the Word. God is still rocking our world. He still has a plan for our life and He PROMISES that plan is to prosper and not to harm us! I am certain that He has something up His “sleeve” that is going to rock my world to the core, but for now He is revealing no sort of a plan, just steps and today I am so desperate that I will take it, what ever that even means.

So my question for you today is….. where is God taking you to the brink of total desperation in order to produce the (sometimes) only experience grown fruit of contentment? Where in your walk do you feel like He is totally absent and could that possibly be to lower your demands or hopefully expectations to land in alignment with His great plan for your life. What if He needs to teach you something in order to make the character match the calling?

I don’t know a lot about this Jesus thing, but the one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I have lived this life His way and I have lived it the opposite and His ways works a million times better. Although on the outside our life may not look all that exciting I have more peace and joy than I have ever even known was possible. He wants to make you look like Christ dear one and sometimes just to be honest, it isn’t so fun, but oh for the reflection to become clearer, what a joyous day that will be……………. I will see my Clarksville Crew soon and I’m going to miss my EC gals like words will never express, but I am perfectly assured that my gals here are so in love with their King that they too are in for the ride of their lives!

Desperately Content!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. President……………

Good morning gang, whether you are thrilled this a.m. with the results of the Presidential election or whether you are not wanting to believe it really happened, I want to challenge all of you to land with me on some things that we can all agree are Biblical to say the least. The Bible teaches that God places ALL authority (Romans 13:1-7) and that we are called to respect our authority for its position, not for its position holder (Heb 13:17). I am committed to pray for Obama, to pray that the Lord leads him and guides him through his decisions. I pray that the Lord places godly advisors around him that will teach him the Word and the blessing of Discerning the Voice of God. I pray that he does nothing while in power that will jeopardize the right to life. I pray that our God will meet Him in his room in the White House and speak to him on a conviction regarding abortion that will rock anything he has stood for in the past. I pray that we as Christians will commit to NEVER speak an ugly word towards our President whether in public or in private. I pray that we take God’s Word seriously in this matter. We are called to love and respect our authority and I think others would see Christ through that reaction alone. This man has a task ahead of him that none of us need to even pretend to fathom. I think our prayers for him regarding foreign affairs, the economy, and energy are the uplifting that Obama needs. I pray that regardless of who is supporting him in the spotlight, that his closest confidants are madly in love with Jesus and that they encourage his faith. When studying the Bible it is blatant that the Lord blesses leaders who hear His voice and lead how the Spirit instructs. I pray that behind the scenes his knees wear out the carpet of the Oval Office. I love you guys and I am honored to be a part of a generation where race is becoming a distant memory and where our country is really an equal opportunity employer. Let’s commit today to lift Obama up and intercede on his behalf and believe that with man things are impossible, but with God ALL things are possible (Luke 18:27)!

110% Behind our President Elect,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Miss you lots.............

Hey gang! I feel like it has been months since we chatted! Things have been a little wild around here to say the least. We have traveled lots and even my adventurous side is all pooped and ready to be home for an extended stay! Thanksgiving will be in E-City for certain! I have a lot of good stuff to share! I just got a copy of the CDs from the Relentless conference that I went to last month and as I started listening I found myself saying "I've GOT to share this with you guys". Here are just some things for you to ponder, I am pondering too, promise! Jeremy and I also have some unexpected, but amazing news.............yes, #2 is on the way. I so wanted to wait until we had an ultrasound to share with you guys, but a few people know and the word on the street is traveling fast! We are so thrilled to say the least. At the Pregnancy Center I was able to get an ultrasound right away, but now that I am just an average Joe (no pun intended) I have to wait on an appointment. How absurd! hahhaha So next Wednesday I will hopefully see a healthy little bundle and quiet frankly would be thrilled if there were two bundles. This has been a hard month of pregnancy, but I feel like our family is supposed to have 3 babies so I would love nothing more than to just knock it out and be done. We are overwhelmed with their closeness, but we know it will be a season that will reap great rewards! My brain is fried and I take every nap that Cross takes and am finally not feeling like I am going to throw up every time I move so my excitement is increasing daily. For a week or so I just wondered what on earth we had done! I would still greatly appreciate any and all prayers being sent my way! Ok, so back to the conference. I asked myself, "am I really relentless" " do I really plan to stick this Jesus thing out til the end, regardless" I pray my answer is always YES! Read over these highlights and let me know if you were as convicted as me! Love you lots! Cade or Chapel will be here ASAP! :)


Somebody's got to be a demonstration that this Bible works! Are you that someone?

Can God trust you with the last thing He told you to do?

Are you perfecting phoniness or realness?

Is it enough that He saved you? Period, no strings attached, or do you demand more?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

Ok, as I scanned through old posts, I thought you guys may be thinking too much talky talky and not enough Crossy Crossy! So here is a recap of our last few weeks! K

Time in Clarksvegas

This weekend in Gatlinburg with J's Fam!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Disease Detected............

Hey guys, please, please forgive me! This all actually took place last Wednesday and I am just now getting to internet access to post! So SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!

No Disease Detected..........

Now that’s a little more like it! Yep friends, for all of you who have been faithfully praying and petitioning for Shawnna, turn those prayers into shouts of praise. Our friend has been healed!! As Shawnna sat awaiting the nurses to tell her she could leave after her scan, they walked in and said the words, “no disease detected”. She had no clue she would get the results today, much less the words she has so longed to hear. She had the doctor repeat it three times! I so wish I could have been there to see her sweet face, don’t you?? At my conference a few weeks ago, one of the pastors taught on faith and how we must pray, get a word from the Lord, and then walk in that truth until our experiences match His promises. That is what Shawnna has done! The Lord told her over and over that she would be healed and today, her reality and her promise met on planet earth and with a joyful celebration for sure! I am speaking for Shawnna and for myself, I have NEVER felt such amazing love and grace over any situation. You guys have told me over and over that you were praying, diligently praying. You have asked about Shawnna and walked this journey with her as brothers and sisters in Christ even though for most of you, you were never even given the chance to meet! This is the picture of the church! One that stands around a beloved sister and intercedes on her behalf! It has blown both of us away. So, what now…… lots of juicing, and a cancer fighting diet to rebuild her strength. That would seem horrible to us but after chemo and radiation she thinks this is a breeze. This is not the least expensive grocery bill for sure and she has to take supplements that are not covered under her insurance so please pray for provision for all of that. Her sweet girls will also need our prayers because “statistically” they have an outrageous chance of having this as well. We just so happen to serve a God who loves nothing more than to rock statistics. He loves to take a child who “statistically” would have all the cards stacked against them and use them to change the world. That is my prayer for those three sweet babies! I pray they never hear their name and breast cancer in the same sentence. I pray they are too busy rocking this world for Jesus! Ok, so today, praise Him as often as you prayed to Him over this situation! He is a good God! One who heals and helps those in need! One that can be trusted at His Word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Excited to say the least,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Shack

A book of controversy, for me it was nothing short than a book of perfect Love. I just read the last sentence of my first fiction read since any required college material. Speechless is the best way to explain how I feel as I attempt to type. I thought about you all so often during my journey. He has taken me on this journey of The Shack on this weekend in October with a perfect purpose both for my heart and for eternity. I have wanted to go purchase cases of these books and pass them out to each of you and honestly even total strangers that I shared a flight with into Norfolk just a few short hours ago. I can’t wait for my husband to read this book and have his heart pierced with a reminder of our perfect Love. I really don’t know what more to say, if you haven’t heard of it, The Shack by WM. Paul Young, go get it ASAP. If you have heard of it and have been tempted not to read it for fear of bad theology, throw those lies out the door and attempt to fully surrender the internal, always nagging Pharisee within. If you have read it and the thought has crossed your mind to refer it or purchase it for a friend, DO NOT DELAY! Our broken world needs this message. Outside of our perfect Word, this book will penetrate even the hardest heart and encourage even the darkest soul, all the while exhilarating even a faithful follower who has received the redeemed. I feel like I have just been romanced by my Papa like never before. I feel as if my entire life I have only seen but a spec of His great love. I pray that each of you know how much I love you personally. I pray that you know that when I read the part about the relational hues that I think of you, the ones I know that are reading. I am honored to call you my friends and my family. In closing, my favorite quote of the book, ok, it will have to be plural quotes; I could never narrow it to one!

Love you all!

Fare Warning…. I am so thrilled now that I have almost forgotten the fight I went through to keep reading. The first part is hard and that is an understatement. I feel like I must disclose this because I literally had nightmares and committed to stop reading for fear that the rumors of wrong theology were true. The problem was, I hadn’t yet gotten to God so read on if you get stuck, it is worth the rip your heart will endure to sit under the Great Physician for your healing.

Okay, the quotes,

“Oh my soul…..be prepared for Him who knows how to ask questions.” T.S. Eliot

“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” Author Unknown

Oh, forget it, just read the book. I am wanting to quote the whole thing! 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ponder Anew,

What the Almighty can do.........

Yesterday morning as I sat in a church in St. Louis at the end of my amazing weekend, we sang a familiar hymn that contained a jewel of a phrase that would sum up my entire weekend. The Lord is asking me to Ponder Anew, What the Almighty Can DO! Have I experienced and witness spiritual breakthroughs in my short walk, you better believe it. In my own life I have witnessed miracles beyond any and all comprehension. I feel like the Lord has literally reprogramed my hard drive to the point that I will never be the same. However, just like any Christian, I have been feeling as if I have hit a brick wall in my walk. I didn't consciously come to this place, it just happened. This weekend as I sat down for the first night of the conference and the speaker begin to talk, I felt as if the Father of ALL the universe turned my chin towards Him and with every ounce of love available He said to me, "we need to talk". The pastor went on for an hour speaking on things that were so deep in my heart that I hadn't even fully discussed them with my husband. It was as if the whole message was just meant for me and basically by the end of the weekend, I knew God was repeating one word, MORE! More of a walk, more of a commitment, more of search for Him and His greatness. I don't fully even know how to put all that I felt into words other than to explain that "warm fuzzy" was only half and the other half was staring at a task that seemed honestly overwhelming. I am at a crossroads, will I go further in my walk or will I accept good enough. I mean come on, lets face it, whether we want to admit it or not a lot of times we feel like "this is really good enough". I mean, I don't cuss, smoke, or drink anymore. My husband is a student pastor and I am a stay at home mom who does Bible Studies all the time. Isn't that good enough? Well guys, the answer after this weekend is most certainly, NO! I have to decide, make a conscious commitment, to pull up my boot straps and go further still. I am encouraged by His approach of love during all of this. It wasn't as if He were looking down on me for not wanting this, it was more as if He was asking me to come closer, but being too polite to make me. He is asking me to enter the Holy of Holies, but He is not dragging me in. Today I am forcing myself to not look at the big picture of the unknown because honestly I have only a small vision for how this is to play out in my life. After spending a weekend at a conference called Relentless, all I know is that it is going to take work, determination, perseverance, focus, and commitment at all cost. The Lord has given me two starting points, but I feel a call to walk into a relationship that I didn't even know existed. So, how about you? Are you feeling relentless this morning or is good enough a better description of your walk? Do you believe the Lord is on a constant pursuit for a deeper relationship with His children or do you buy into the lie that Susie (or Sam) Christian is your lot in life. I am really starting to realize that His way is the best way, but He is only asking for more and I would be a fool not to take Him up on it! I need your prayers. My flesh would rather do just about anything right now that to venture into this uncharted territory, but how romantic that I was even invited to go! Jesus, I would love nothing more than to Ponder Anew, what the Almighty can do!

Uncertain, but Relentless!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On the road again............

Hey guys, I want to tell you first that I promise more is to come about my trip to Gatlinburg. I have felt led to start an individual blog for our group so as soon as I get that done I will attach a link. I am actually about to head out of town again, this time with my sweet baby boy but without my man so I would greatly appreciate your prayers. Cross and I are traveling home for a little over a week while Daddy goes to see a friend in Houston and then to a conference in Atlanta. I am going to get some more amazing Jesus time as some amazing old friends and I head up to St. Louis to see Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar and Lisa Bevere. I have learned my tank gets empty way more quickly these days and is already in dire need of a filling. Cross will be being spoiled (I mean cared for) this weekend by the Bullocks and then we will move on at the first of the week to the Wilkinson clan. I am certain he will get caught up from any loss time with an overflow of hugs and kisses. He may never be the same because he is getting to the age where he will be eating it up and I promise so will they. We are officially world travelers and that is only by God’s grace. It is only in God’s economy that you can go down to a single income, add a mouth to feed, and still take fun trips.

I have been listening to some amazing messages lately and honestly, I wish I could MAKE you download each of them, but let me do what I can and at least ask and promise they will rock your world. My new favorite is called the Blessed Life Series by Robert Morris at http://www.gatewaypeople.com/. You have to click on more sermons and then podcasts to get those for free, but they are totally worth the navigation. Also, I feel led to encourage my awesome army friends to listen to a message on Knowing the Will of God by Perry Noble as you embark on new journeys. I know some of you are getting out or making decisions on where to relocate! Love you guys and have been reminded to pray for you as you make these decisions! The site www.newspring.cc/files/xml/podcast.xml or http://www.newspring.cc/ and the Series is “You asked for it” “How do I discover God’s will”

Ok, I will be back soon and I promise pictures soon! I am certain Granddaddy will take a million! Love you lots!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spiritual Renewal

Hello everyone, it is 1:00 a.m. and I am sitting in the floor of our amazing cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I laid in bed last night thinking of you guys, wishing I could write and just try to explain what the Lord has done for me here. I didn't bring my computer out of obedience, but the Lord blessed me with a sweet girl here with a laptop and I felt free to say a quick hello. Let me explain what I am doing. I am here with a group of women that started as 4 sweet moms wanting to get away for a few days to what now is 22 women who are here basking in God's presence. Tonight we did a "ice breaker" because we don't all know each other, actually your first year you just know the friend that brought you. During the ice breaker the Lord performed a miracle that I have only seen a few times in my life. He opened the door for us to be real. Someone made a joke and the ICE BROKE and later there were groups all over this cabin ministering to each other, pouring into each other, being the church. Guys, I heard my husband say this recently and I felt like it was the greatest "sermon" you could ever hear, he told some friends "this God thing is real". We are a group of 22 women from all walks of life, from all denominations, from all family dynamics and from all amount of freedom and of bondage and we all have the same cure, we all have the same remedy, JESUS! Renewal is what I have experienced already and our teaching sessions haven't even began. I have layed in bed and enjoyed the peace of not needing to make a bottle or tend to a crying baby. I am surrounded by women who demand I love my Jesus more, my man more, and my children more. I have experienced something the Bible commands, rest. I have seen the true meaning of Sisters in Christ as I have hugged necks that I haven't seen since this time last year. I love you all. I pray that you know this Jesus. I pray that you believe that this God thing is real. I pray you are real instead of the all so sickening fake. I pray that if you read this and long for what I am experiencing that you will get on your knees and ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to get at His feet and most importantly that you will receive it! I love you lots!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Drum Roll Please..............

Ok, so I'm really not into living vicariously through my child, but I sure wouldn't mind if my little guy DID play the drums and rock this world for Jesus! Love you all!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Don't Blame Me...............

I sometimes struggle with being one of God’s messengers. Sometimes He puts blogs in my head and I think, “Oh, no, not again Lord, can’t we just do something light”. Can’t we just do something that feels good? Maybe some cute pictures of Cross, of the fam, of the new Student Auditorium, but no, here I sit at a cross roads asking myself, will I type as He leads or will I sugar coat it so you will keep logging on. I do think anyone that has stuck around this long has given up on light. I feel like we have weeded out any fun Cross searchers because especially lately, He has had me literally on my face rethinking everything--and if you are still in on this journey, my bet would be you are starting to question some things as well. So this blog is titled, "Don’t Blame Me." Like I said, it has been in my head for a about a week now so I am attempting to be obedient. Bear with me if I step on some toes. Honestly, mine are bruised from these truths I have been faced with lately so here goes: This is a letter from God to us!

Don’t blame me my children for the raging of the sea. Don’t blame me for the hungry or diseased. Go help them dear ones. Go rush to their aid. Go tell them of Jesus in any and every way. Feed their hungry lips instead of indulging yours. Clothe their little bodies and ignore all the stores. Wipe tears from their eyes instead of watching TV. No, it is you who was plainly called, don’t blame me.

Recently I heard or read, I really can’t even remember, a message on this and it just cut like a knife. I do, just to be real honest, look at those poor children on TV in Africa and think, why God why. The sad answer to that ‘why’ is that there is simply a lopsided allocation of funds. In America, we spend millions of dollars on football stadiums and SUVs, designer clothes, tanning beds, and big screen TVs. We get manicures and pedicures and massages for our weary feet. We have excess in the pantry, the walk-in-closets, the shoe racks and maybe most often, the baby-clothes-collection. Babies certainly don’t care what they wear! We feel that we “deserve” so much, yet in doing so are we assuming that others deserve so little? And if you say you don’t, you are lying--unless your actions prove otherwise.

Today the Lord had me give a challenge to my Bible Study, another fun request, for sure. I asked those women, some of whom are years my senior and others, my junior to just be brave enough to ask Jesus if He would have them respond to this truth in a practical way in their day to day lives. Honestly, for me personally, I do feel I have asked, but I don’t believe I 100% know the details. I know some things are changing. I know that the more I listen to sermons, the more the reoccurring theme of giving lavishly is present. I know He is slowly having me to let go of things I ounce clinched with a white knuckle fist. I am slowly visioning us without ever owning a home. I am slowly believing that our kids really can share a 9 by 9 room (when I say kid(S), plural, I promise there are none in the oven). I just mean He is starting to show me that if we all (all Christians) got on board with this others focused gospel and turned our backs on the far too popular me centered one, that we really could change the world.

I have said this before, but I do know I can be a little much. I know I can be a little over the top, but I feel like I am meeting some people, even if only by computer, that are way more over the top than myself and I will just have to be honest with you, it is exhilarating. I sometimes feel all alone and now I feel a little more normal. If you have ever sat around and thought to yourself, especially after you started following Jesus, is this really all life is, then you too are crying out for more. My mentor and I were talking about this being the button for midlife crisis for sure. You think the home, the spouse, the 2.5 kids is going to do it for you and then you wake up one day not wanting to go to your awesome job and subconsciously being so disgusted with your surplus of things and instead of seeking Jesus, you just take another angel. You take another spouse, another life, another home, another job and years go by and it just gets more empty.

So to close, my camera is broken so who knows when cute Cross pictures will be back on the scene. I honestly think that is about as far down the list of Jesus’ concerns as one issue might be. Ask yourself today, is there anything I’m missing. Go ahead, don’t be scared. As Francis Chan put it at Big Stuf where he so radically challenged students in hopes they would never have to reprogram, “I’m not asking you to give up your dreams, I am honestly just asking you to buy into some bigger ones”. I really believe there are some things on my horizon that are going to rock my world to the core and that I am going to look back and be like “house what and comfort who”. Following Jesus IS where life exists, I just think some of us are guilty of taking the lead!

Because of Him,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You are good, all the time, all the time, You are good!

I was going through some old sermon notes today, trying to organize what I was going to keep and how I was going to keep it. When you are under an amazing teacher who showers you with truth it is impossible to keep every single note you wildly scratch, but I don’t dare want it to be a seed (a Word) I only heard and did not sow. I ran across this sentence and I most certainly felt led to share this with you. This truth might possibly be just what is or has been holding you back from total surrender to one amazing God.

What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you because it determines EVERYTHING!

This is actually a topic that the Lord has been drilling into my head over the past year or so and I wanted to throw it out there to you guys to maybe get you to think if this could be an area of hang up for you. Let’s first look at some ways we can think of God that will impact us in a negative way:

1. Unconcerned
2. Uninvolved
3. Dominant
4. Bossy
5. Wishy Washy
6. All smiles and love

This list could be a mile long, but let’s look at the opposites of just these and see what kind of impact they could have

1. Totally Concerned- Thus we take everything to Him because we are positive He cares
2. Totally Involved- Thus believing that if we ask He will most certainly be doing something about it, well even if we don’t ask (because although we are commanded to ask, if everything were left to us asking we’d certainly be in trouble too), we know He is working because He is God.
3. Our Authority- Not dominant as in mean, but our security could lie in the fact that He has the last call.
4. Loving Guidance- Not bossy, always having our best and other’s best interest at heart, but He does have a will He wants carried out.
5. His Yes means Yes and His No means NO- If God says it in His word or in personal revelation then it is a done deal, no need to wonder, remind, fret, touch base, done deal.
6. Finally, what if we had the right kind of reverential fear, again like a loving parent who we knew loved us, but we also knew that no meant no, and that they would pop our behinds if we refused to listen. We would certainly jump at obedience a little faster, don’t you think.

The things that God has been drilling into my head lately derive from many smaller pieces yet all fall into one all encompassing word. My smaller pieces are His Word is total truth, so ANYTHING it says is what God is so I must know the Word to know God. Secondly, He loves us but He means business. If He says go, I say yes Sir. If He says no, I say yes Sir. If He prompts, I am to listen and if I choose to spend time away from Him and His presence, I am the one to pay. And finally, the all encompassing truth that has changed the way I immediately think of God thus changing the way I immediately respond to Him is simply that He is good, all the time. Literally, all the time. Even when life makes no sense, when tragedies happen, when my favorite candidate doesn’t make it to the election or when I don’t like the way my husband is acting that day, God is good, all the time. His Word says that He sets all authority and that He permits any and everything that happens to His children, even if He didn’t will it (because He never wills sin), He must permit it. I sometimes don’t think we realize just how heart broken God is with some of the things He has to permit in order to bring His name the most glory, in order that we will fall flat on our face in repentance, in order for others to see Christ in our lives.

Now that Cross is crawling, I have got to allow a few bumps and bruises along the way. Sure I would love to pad everything down, but that isn’t how this world works. We have to fall a lot to learn how to avoid certain turns and twists, in order to get our feet up on the ground and the whole way I think we forget that our Good God is watching, wishing that that apple still hung on the tree.

Guys, above all else, God is good. I once heard an amazing testimony about a nation being impacted for Christ where previously missionaries were literally forbidden to go. That door opened all because of a tsunami where literally thousands were killed, but we could sometimes choose the alternative which could have been millions in hell. From that day forward, I think I got the hint that I don’t have a CLUE what God is up to and I just need to trust that He is good. I have felt sorry for others and myself for having financial struggles while following whole heartedly after the Lord, but if you asked me today what the greatest part of this last year has been, I would say being stripped of all my STUFF. I have since been disgusted with my need for perfect paint and spot free carpet. God has used this so called “injustice” to open my spiritual eyes to a focus that was so far from eternity that I am certain it made Him sick!

I pray that this rambling at least makes you ask yourself some questions. What do you think of initially when you think of God? And how does that mindset either spur you along or get you into a world of hurt? Above all else our hearts are deceitful so please, please seek the Word for your answer here. Feelings do guide us but they are not necessarily (or better yet rarely) truth. Search this one out my friend and believe that He is good, all the time! Stop questioning the creator of the universe for every nail you break (or see your friend break) and start believing that He is good, even if it doesn’t feel good to you!

Searching out core truths,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Perfect Day...........

This morning started as anything but perfect, just an average day I would say, nothing horrible, but certainly nothing extraordinary. Jeremy has been working a lot lately in preparation for the fall kick off and as he left the house (again) this morning I loving frowned and asked, “When are you going to be home?” You see, this stay at home mom with more words per day than even the average Chatty Cathy was sad to face another day in predictableville. I found myself folding laundry, day dreaming about my upcoming fall travels, doing something I would so strongly warn against, looking towards tomorrow instead of enjoying today. I did manage to be somewhat of a godly wife and not nag my husband to death. Entertaining me is certainly not his #1 calling, especially after me passing along the Christ Centered Relationship pod casts to the whole reading audience. I need to at least attempt to practice what I preach. After Jeremy left, Cross began to have an honestly uncharacteristic melt down and I thought great, welcome to the weekend. The good news is, I just so happen to serve a good God. One that wants to rock my world yet is lovingly testing my heart on the front end.

Now, several hours later, I have enjoyed a wonderful walk with a friend, had a great conversation with an old neighbor and have now sat down to watch a brand new Bible Study, and then, just as icing on the cake, in the midst of the silent house due to the ever so blessed nap, it began to rain! The window unit air conditioner that Princess Kelly complains about every single day does have one not so modern day feature that is honestly priceless, it is tin. Similar to a rainy day with a tin roof and as I propped my feet up on some pillows and grabbed a blanket I decided I would just go all out and make myself an iced coffee to as closely immolate Heaven on Earth as humanly possible. There is nothing I love more than breaking the seal of a new Bible Study, knowing that I am about to embark on a hand picked, personal adventure with the God of the Universe. Discerning the Voice of God by Pricilla Shirer is my new adventure so I promise to share what I hear. (P.S. I just watched the first video and you MUST, MUST do this study, everyone!)

I just wonder how many of you out there are in need of the perfect day as well? One without the thrills of travel or friends or even family as great as they may be. I wonder if you, like me, just need a day with the Savior of the Universe. The funny part for me is that I didn’t even know that was what I needed. He, unlike husbands and stuff, never tells you to “hold on” and He never leaves you feeling empty in the long run like the thrills this world claims to offer. No, He rocks our worlds with His presence, never ever leaving us hanging.

His Word is our red carpet to this dazzling event. I have been studying like crazy lately and if I could go back, I would only study more. He is still in the life changing and sometimes even better, the day changing business. His Word can be purchased at hundreds of convenient locations. He has sent forth Bible teachers to give us tools that will both practically and educationally keep us on track. Maybe you need to break the seal of a new Word and dive in with full vigor.

I recently closed Stepping UP by Beth Moore and at the end she asked that we pray a blessing over our small group. You all know that in addition to those amazing gals, I was also certainly thinking of you. So to all my favorite friends, here is my blessing to you. Whatever study you did last can certainly apply and if you have never cracked the pages of a B-I-B-L-E (that was me just 5 ½ years ago) well then by all means, jump in while the water is warm, or is it wet??? There are perfect days to be had while we pilgrimage through planet Earth.

May this study have been a mere spoonful of the thousands of gallons you will drench yourself in over the years to come. He (Jesus) is living water and His Word is our well!

Loving you dearly,

Oh, and just to keep you coming back (like M&M’s on the corner of my desk) here are the newest of the cutest. The cell phone captured preciousness! Please forgive the quality. They turned out much better last time. Our camera is on the blink so this is all I have for now! :(

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Developmental Difficulty

Hello everyone, the Lord has granted me the okay to post. Who knows the correlation for sure, but I felt the Lord saying that when Cross began crawling, I could post. I wasn’t sure if it was the simple need to video our cutie in order for grandparents, aunts, and cousins to not miss a beat, but I am thinking it is a word picture He is using as well to encourage me, and hopefully you. I was a little worried because thus far Cross hasn’t been ahead of the game as far as the infant milestones go, so I was thinking it may be a month before I could be free to join you again. However, much to Mommy’s surprise, with the coaxing of a shiny red cell phone a few feet away, yesterday Cross went hauling across the room like a track star. He has always wanted to get his hands on a yummy cell phone and he thought his chance had finally come. He now probably wonders why that darn cell phone won’t stay put. I pray that you guys have all listened to the pod casts by Francis Chan. I have been so convicted lately about how self serving and self centered we have made our Christian faith. Last night I listened to the Christ Centered Relationships Part 2 and Francis made mention of how we have socialized Christianity to the point that we really have no clue what it even means to look like Christ. This morning as proud mom and dad were marveling at our baby boy’s new found skill, I told Jeremy that one of the most amazing things to me is that we come into this world literally not knowing how to do anything. Sucking and breathing (and a few unmentionables) are our only birthed skills and EVERYTHING else has to be added on and learned. I never realized how many things these little guys had to learn: holding up your head, sitting, rolling, picking up something, moving things from one hand to another, the list could go on and on and this morning in my amazement, I felt the Lord saying, “This is exactly how you follow Me, one developmental skill at a time!” His grace is so good. I felt His hug this morning, saying, “You have missed some things, but you are still learning.” Still learning is an understatement for sure, after Cross reaches the pinnacle of infanthood and turns into a literal toddler, his journey has only begun, eventually everything from going to the big boy potty to algebra is in his future with a million more in between. I want to encourage you guys today that wherever you are in your spiritual development that you (nor I) won’t dare feel defeated. How dumb would it be if Cross threw in the towel because he just couldn’t seem to master the sitting up skill. That sounds crazy to us, but I am sure God has seen millions of His children do that same thing because they weren’t easily mastering some of the things He has asked of them in His Word. For me today, my new skill is to both live and teach a relationship with the Savior that rocks our bones to the core, yet never, ever, ends with us. I feel like I have so desired to see people live an abundant life that I have missed one of the top requirement for that to take place and that is to die to self and to reach out to others to the point that it is so much more than a monthly service project, but that it is a way of life. I am not going to throw in the towel and neither are you. Have you been a crappy wife or a crappy mom, have your quiet times been off the “to do” list for so long that you have forgotten the concept all together? Do you spend every waking hour thinking about nothing more than yourself? Thank goodness that although technically we do have a million things to develop in our spiritual lives, everything from ridding our lives of ungodly anger to holding our tongues and opening up our ever so worshipped check books, we can start with a few truths that will encompass every thing that makes our Savior smile. Check out Matt 22:34-39 and lets get back on our knees and start crawling, it probably is the greatest position to begin this sometimes overwhelming task. Anything with such eternal significance is certainly going to take some work. I do love you guys to death and I do want nothing short of an abundant life for you and for your family, but I have been so guilty of encouraging you to focus solely on yourself. Nothing will increase our insignificance more than to stare at ourselves 24/7. Repentance on your face by nature requires getting back up and trying again! So………..ready, set, go and keep me posted and don’t dare give up!

Trying to REALLY look like Christ,