Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Thoughts...........

Hello everyone! I wanted to write one last time before we leave town to attend Big Stuf in Daytona Beach, Florida, with 15 High School Students and 5 Hungry Adults. I am so thankful for all of your prayers and please, please keep them up. I want to share with you how much I have been overwhelmed by God these past two week. A few weeks back a dear friend kept telling me that the Lord was just blowing her away, that He was showing her things daily, that she was seeing prayers answered and hearing His will for her life and even her day. I, personally, wasn’t so much feeling that same presence. I was in the middle of a super busy season, traveling lots and just trying to stay afloat. I even caught myself wanting to talk to her just to “feel” God’s presence, knowing that I had that same Holy Spirit living in me, but just desiring so much to feel its realness. One night I cried out to the Lord, “I can’t feel You” and I heard Him so softly speak to my heart and say, “This is just a small season, you will get back, get still, get in the Word and I will be right there waiting.” WOW, was He ever right. I have been home now almost nonstop for 2 weeks and I can feel the presence of the Lord so thick that I can hardly get enough. I have purposely said, no, no, no to play dates, trips to the beach, TV, scrap booking, all kinds of fun things, initially to give Cross some normalcy before the next “storm” of travel but through that setting myself up for the greatest alone time with my Savior that I have experienced in some time. I don’t know what next week holds. I can hardly wait to see my sweet baby boy strapped to his Daddy’s chest while my husband raises his hands in worship. I hope Cross mimics him and that I see Jesus dancing in Cross’ eyes. I can’t wait to see these teenagers come alive in their faith to the point that they couldn’t care LESS who was watching. I can’t wait for sins to be left in Daytona, not daring to return to this town. I pray that I personally hear God louder and more clear than I have ever experienced in my entire life. Throughout these past few weeks, there has been one reoccurring theme in my Bible Study, on my IPod, in my spirit and in my songs………. MORE! I want more of Him. I want more of His Spirit. I want to know more of His will, hear more of His voice, and to understand more of my calling. For once, the annoying, more, more, more is 110% fully acceptable, heck, even encouraged! As I type I know many of you on the other side of cyberspace are in a yucky season of life. I know husbands are gone, I know hearts are broken, I know marriages are rocky, I know sin is prevalent, I know children are astray, I know life is overwhelming, I know diapers are multiplying, I know addictions are lingering, I know jobs are up in the air, I know salvation seems to be the only part of Jesus you are feeling. Well, please allow me to encourage you to set aside a few weeks and say no to a lot of “stuff”. Sure there are some things you HAVE to do. I had to change many diapers, feed many bottles and even cook a few meals but the other stuff really is a choice. Get still day in and day out and ask God for MORE. He wants to fill you to the point that all else is truly a loss. I love you guys and I couldn’t think of a better sacrifice for us to make to our Savior than our sweet, precious time! Fight hard friends, fight for that time with God, fight to get those kids down, fight to turn that television OFF, fight to say no to the ever so popular extracurricular and say YES to the one who really will make life worth living! I covet your prayers for the upcoming week and please know that by name, if I know you are reading, I am praying for YOU!

HB (Heaven Bound has become my new nickname from some friends who are worried with my lingering obsession, I love you guys, just would rather go),

P.S. Please check out the hubby's blog for some specific prayer requests for next week! He makes me so proud to say the LEAST! Also, I promise cute pictures to come from the trip!

Baby Fat...................

It’s one of those phrases that can mean something so darn cute you just have to hold yourself back from squeezing those thighs to pieces! Cross is blessed with lots of this kind of “baby fat” and we do hold back, but squeeze as limits of pain will allow. Another kind of “baby fat” is meant for preteens who are in that awkward stage where they have kind of grown out but not yet up. That isn’t as sweet as Cross’ but an understandable part of life that is certain to go away with time and growth spurts (even for those of us who are vertically challenged). Then there is the final “baby fat”……… post pregnancy weight. YUCK. As if it weren’t “fun” enough to go through all your body endures, and let me promise I had no clue, then you are left with this amazing gift called, once again, “baby fat”. A friend recently cracked me up when she said “why doesn’t anyone come squeeze my cellulite thighs and think that they are just so darn cute”. Many of you have heard me make polite comments in my blog about 10 pounds here, 15 pounds there. I have really tried not to make it an issue, neither in our wonderful blog time nor in my own life. I can be the vainest of them all, wondering why on earth those old jeans still don’t fit. I'm just trying to figure out how to love a body I wasn’t thrilled about before the tummy roll even entered the scene. Well, I am here to blog that I am receiving some victory, and it is always easier to talk about things on the end of the victory timeline than at the beginning which feels like total defeat.

After Cross came along, I dropped 30 pounds in no time. I honestly couldn’t believe it as I got on the scale. "This is a piece of cake", I thought. Kind of a funny analogy because I was probably eating a piece of cake as I was “thinking”. Well, without divulging my exact weight gain, let’s just say 30 wasn’t enough. A great start, but there was more to go. A month went by, then 2 months, then 3, then 4, ok, wasn’t this just falling off?? Now it seemed those last “few” pounds weren’t budging! So, what did I do, what do you think I did, I bought a book. My life’s motto. “Look Great, Feel Great” by Joyce Meyer (she has a book for EVERYTHING). Well, to make a long story short, I HAD lost the “baby fat”, I just hadn’t lost the chocolate chip cookie fat and it was going to take some work. Honestly, my greatest motivation was when I started watching the Biggest Loser. We always want things to be easy, we never want to do the work and I kept telling myself if those people can do it, so can I.

I wanted to share my 5 step process to getting into at least most of the old jeans to encourage any of you out there who may be plagued by this same nuisance. I must begin with a mental shift. Quickly into the process the Lord showed me that He would not honor vain weight loss. If “hot momma” was my goal, His hand would not be on it. I had to eat to honor this body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So step one, ditch the scale. Yes girls it is true. I threw it straight in the garbage and my husband threw a party. I haven’t used it in months and I can’t tell you how freeing that is. I always thought it was a practical tool, but it had turned into a mood meter for the day. Ok, so step 2, 80 ounces of water a day. I really found that 9 times out of 10 I was just thirsty not hungry. I had been only drinking water but I still wasn’t drinking enough so out came the measuring and I noticed a huge difference almost immediately. Step 3, whole foods, good fats, high protein and only fruit for dessert. We’ve all heard it, but I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I take the time to reprogram my brain and eat this way. I feel like I could tackle the world, I’m not at all hungry and I know I am feeding my body the fuel it needs, not to be skinny, but to be healthy. Step 4, exercise, duhhhh. This I have been practicing for years now but we have got to get it through our heads that in our culture, 3 times a week is a lifestyle, not a “kick”. I have been walking, running and my new favorite, palates. I encourage you to do what works with your personality and your schedule. I don’t give myself goals that aren’t realistic. I can’t go to the Y every day. I do better if I have a girlfriend to chat with and honestly it has to give me results to keep me motivated (meaning a stroll around the block just doesn’t cut it). Finally, now this is the kicker. If there has ever been a “I should have started doing this years ago” moment, this is it, count your calories. I was eating a LOT too many calories a day. Honestly, after I did my little online calorie counter and saw how many I needed and then started counting thus realizing how many I had been eating, it is a wonder I have done this good. I won’t tell you my number for fear you won’t get your own. Remember, I am 5’2” so mine is going to be lower than most, but it has made all the difference in the world. The cool part is, my favorites, chocolate chip cookies do fit in if I make room and plan ahead. So does dinner with friends and the occasional Pappa John’s Pizza!

So, my body will for sure never look like it did pre-Cross and I certainly have not arrived to super model status, but I am feeling much more victorious for certain and I am thankful to say, until next time (Lord willing) NO MORE BABY FAT FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Most Important Blog to Date.....

Good Monday Morning Everyone!!!!!!!! Over the weekend something has rocked my world, rocked me to the core to the point that I know after this weekend my life will never be the same. I am a passionate person; I know you guys already know that. I love the Lord with all my heart and He has done so much in my life that anything less would truly be sack religious. The path I was headed down and the path I am on are literally as different as night and day and I owe it all to my Savior. Sometimes people feel like we Christians are shoving things down their throat and I can totally understand where they are coming from. The truth is, for some of us, we have literally been so transformed that we cannot help but tell the world. It isn’t something we “try” to do or want to do, it is literally something our tongues could not avoid because it is too amazing not to share. I accepted Christ as my Savoir at a young age but didn’t come under Bible teaching until I was 23. From that year, 2003, until now my world has been rocked. All the years before I was so defeated but something changed and I have never been able to fully describe it. One thing I am 110% certain of is that it wasn’t something I did in my own power. I had tried that for years, pull up your boot straps and get it together had never worked before so I am certain that wasn’t it. As I have grown, I have, not with judgment, just observation, looked around and wondered why all Christians weren’t like me. Please, please here me say I am certainly NOT saying perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth over even these last few years but maybe the word would be free, victorious, on fire, or in awe. I don’t know. I must say again, it has not been in judgment because that could only occur if I were able to give myself any credit for this season and as I said that is certainly not the case. Something inside my heart has screamed for more since 2003. I want more, I often look at Christians I see and wonder why I am so weird? Why do I want more? Why can’t I just have Jesus, be free, and now blend in? Why do I have to be the odd ball out? I know people have politely thought to themselves, “she is a little much, a little too over the top, a little too excited for my taste.” Well, this weekend I started listening to a sermon series that has put to words all that my heart has been screaming for years. I wanted to ask everyone to listen, but I know that is not realistic. Then I am tempted to ask only the ones who want more too, but then I think that is selling so many of you short who maybe aren’t even aware that is an option. So I guess I am just asking you to give it a shot. If you hate it DO NOT send me comments. I am all about having a teachable spirit and this is something that agreed with my spirit to the point that I literally felt it leap in me as Elizabeth did with John the Baptist in her womb. So, if you don’t agree with this message, let’s agree to disagree on the forefront. I feel like for years people have been telling me no and FINALLY someone is telling me yes! I will also say that this is a long series and I am writing after only 3 messages but let’s listen to them all, but you have got to get through #3 at a bare minimum! Please let this rock your world too! Let’s please, please, please stop settling! I love you all!

Changed for Life,
Kelly You will need to click on "Get a Sermon" at the bottom right and then scroll down and look for the series on the Holy Spirit. Guys I never give this much homework so please know it is THAT important to me!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beach Bums........

Ok, ok, I’ve heard the requests! Photos it is! Would any of you really even check this blog if it weren’t for Cross? Be honest! hahahahaha I couldn’t agree with you more! Pretty darn cute if you ask me. These are a few pictures from our recent adventures! We started with a family reunion for Jeremy’s Dad’s side of the family, then on to the beach with grandparents and our BEAUTIFUL cousin Ad. Then a quick trip home where we had so much fun with our dear friends Jay and Tracy. Last stop, the beach with my mom and my nephew where I did my last photo shoot of the summer (if you force everyone to smile and take a million you are sure to get at least a few good ones). We are home now, at least for a bit. In a week and a half we are headed to the beach again. This time with lots of TEENAGERS! We are so thrilled to be taking some students to a camp in Daytona. Please join me in praying for all the details to come together and for every single person that goes to have a life changing experience with our Savior! Sorry again, it has taken me so long to post pictures, but hopefully the quality of cuteness will win your hearts so you will continue to visit! Love you all!

Proud momma,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Incurable a/k/a Hopeless.....

So, many of you have followed and asked about my friend Shawnna. As a recap she and I were college roommates. She is just a few short years my senior, not to mention, 3 beautiful children, one heart wrenching divorce and the recent diagnosis of breast cancer. Shawnna and I both fell madly in love with Jesus after college thus sharing a now even deeper friendship as sisters in Christ. She lives in Jackson, Tennessee and thank goodness for us being "IN" with Verizon Wireless because we talk several times a day. I think she enjoys as much adult conversation as she can get her hands on due to the 3 sweet girls at home with a less than mature vocabulary. I enjoy a Jesus pick me up like none other as she calls and tells me what God is showing her that day. I remember my flippantness as she went to the doctor for "tests" and I will never forget the day I was standing in the middle of Walgreen's when she called and said it was cancer. CANCER, you have got to be kidding. We are young, we are moms, did I just hear her correctly? I walked out of the store as white as a ghost. Now, several months, surgeries, and hair losses later she has completed chemo and gone back in for the next round of scans. Again, I flippantly chatted as she went in saying this was it for sure, well, once again, the news, incurable. A text that she sent that drove my knees so quickly to the floor and sobs so loud that I almost woke my sleeping baby boy. I had nothing to give. Nothing to offer as far as encouragement, love, hope, Jesus. All I could offer was loud cries and loud whys. Finally, an hour or so later I pulled it together to call and then started sobbing as soon as she said hello. (great friend I know) My selfish self sat on the phone as my godly friend forced me to pull it together and honor our Heavenly Father! See Shawnna has received a promise from the Lord during her quiet time that she will be healed. I, having seen tons of miracles and tons of promises fulfilled, don't at all doubt that promise. I am just sick and tired of her pain. Her surgeries. Her hair. Her calling 2 days later after leaving pre-check in for her hysterectomy at 30. Shawnna told me that we should have literally thrown a party the day the Lord gave her that promise rather than shedding one single tear over man's diagnosis. SO, later that day I did manage to pull open my Bible and ask the Lord to show me a verse I could pray and this was what He led me to...Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10) WOW, see my Shawnna has dwelt many days in the house of the Lord. She has walked so tight with Him that she hears Him, feels Him, and knows Him by His name! God showed me that although I look at Shawnna and agonise over her pain, she has lived a more glorious life that millions of lost souls that I come in contact with every single day. Does my heart YEARN for them as it does for her? Do I cry out for their "pain"? Do I truly believe this verse is true? Well, today I am choosing YES! Yes, I do believe Shawnna has had a better life than millions and I will choose to let that word "incurable" be as much of a 4 letter word as many others I would not dare say! Jesus, you rock Shawnna's world. You blow Shawnna away with miracles, closeness and blessings that make all of us doubters sit with our chin in awe. Secondly, please show me who I can pray for to come into salvation through your Son, even if it is only for one day before they go to be with you for eternity in Heaven! Better IS one day in your house than a thousand else where!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't agree more and neither could she!

Gaining Perspective,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Knocked off my throne yet again

Hello everyone, it's Princess Kelly. I wish I could some how record Cross screaming right now so that as you read you could hear the same lovely background noise as I have while I am typing. I keep getting up and giving him his passy and grabbing a bite size Dark Chocolate Milky Way on the way back to the bed. I figure that is better than a BudLight or a Marlboro Light. I am sure you are wondering why I am blogging, well it is honestly an attempt at staying sane. It all started, well technically the day I was born and the world refused to revolve around me, but in this instance it started with an awesome week at the beach with my mom and nephew. There was only one tiny piece missing. My husband. He is 110% necessary for these adventures because 1. he has muscles that are much needed for loading and unloading and 2. he is an awesome daddy so I need his help with Cross. DUH Ok, so after I have loaded and unloaded 200 tons of baby supplies, the weather isn't even good. We keep getting rained on when we go to the beach. Then the passy ordeal started. First we got drenched by a huge wave that came way up on the shore and took green passy to the fishies. No worry, we had a blue back up which also got lost as we rushed out of the rain. SO, I took Cross who was starting to melt (a hotel room did not need to be his first nap without a passy) and we went to the store where I ran into a stack of drinks that were in the middle of the isle because I can't see over the cart with his seat. I get to the passy section and wouldn't you know it, they didn't have our kind. (and no, a passy is not a passy, we needed our brand) I took what they had and right there in the store took it out of the package and without not so much as a swipe on my shirt popped it right in his mouth. Then I had to ask a lady in the parking lot to move her car so I could actually get Cross back in the car. In the hallway right outside our room Cross drops the passy on the YUCKY floor (my standards have now risen) so I carry him in to the pack-n-play for his much needed nap, walk back out into the hall, wash the passy and by the time I get back to the bed he is SOUND ASLEEP with no passy. I literally shoved it in his mouth as if to say (in my most mature mom voice) you are taking this stinking passy. SO, we are good, right. NOPE 30 minutes later we are screaming. I am eating chips and Milky Ways like they are Valium (I wish) and asking God why on earth He hasn't gotten the memo that I AM A PRINCESS who doesn't do all of these exhausting tasks called life!

Searching for her throne,

P.S. I totally forgot to mention the flat tire on the luggage cart, our tent flying away by the ocean and Cross plunging face first in the sand, and then the straw that broke the camel's back, I found blue passy later that evening in his bottle holder! Starving kids in Africa, friend waiting on results that could possibly end in incureable cancer, I plainly have it rough! YUCK

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life Changing You Tube

Just watch, I dare you! What does, would, should or could, your sign read! Mine would be:

Before: Girl who was looking for love in all the wrong places!

After: Found the absolute love of her life, JESUS!!!!!!!!!

That pretty much sums it up! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Obvious calling..........

Hello friends and family! I sit here at another hotel, finally getting to catch up with everyone. After an awesome and crazzzzzzzzzzy trip home, I am now enjoying some much needed family time with my mom and nephew at Virgina Beach with the oh so glorious wireless internet. I wanted to share with you guys an amazing event that took place over the weekend. My husband performed his first wedding. To be honest, I really hadn't given it much thought until the event was approaching and Jeremy had asked me to seriously pray for him. Of course he was nervous, but he reminded me that this wasn't just a random speaking event, this was someone's wedding. Not exactly what you want to mess up. Once he put it like that my nerves got involved. I asked everyone I knew to pray. I tried to be a sweet wife and do everything in my power to build him up and have grace for him (a/k/a not nagging the crap out of him) as the day and hour approached. I sat in the back just in case I had to rush sleeping Cross out the back door. Jeremy's parents had so graciously offered to take Cross out but I was so nervous he would distract his daddy I just couldn't walk away. I had to sit on my feet because I am so short I could hardly see. I smiled intently to let him know his wife was there and proud of her man. And then it happened, my husband opened his mouth and made me (and his momma) the proudest woman in the whole entire world. My husband officated that wedding like it was an every weekend occasion. You would have NEVER known it was his first, that he was nervous, that he hasn't been a "preacher" for years. It was like being married to someone who was an Olompic swimmer yet never having seen them swim, heck, them never have swam, period. That is how it works with Jesus. People we have GOT to find our God given calling because when we do, those who love you most will stand in amazement as you do what you were LITERALLY born/created to do. Jeremy would humbly say "it went good" but I can say IT WENT AWESOME. Our pastor said you can never "brag" too much on your husband, but I know he would boast in Jesus and in Jesus alone. I know it is not Jeremy's stregth, I know it was Jesus, but I can say Jeremy has been obedient, he has gotten in the Word for years and searched God's call for his life. He has gotten SO far out of his comfort zone it isn't even funny. He wants to do WHATEVER God calls him to do and God is showing me that He equips the call! Are you doing something with your life that is outside of yourself, yet plainly your "success" is coming from the Lord. If not, start searching. You could be missing an equipping that will blow even you away! I think if even half of Christians really did what God wants them to do with their lives we could change the world. Don't settle for safe, don't settle for "it pays the bills", don't settle for comfort and security. Settle only for the radical call God has on your life and women, don't let your man settle either. I may not have "stuff", a fancy house and a fat daddy retirement account but I just watched my man do what he was born to do and that is truly priceless!!! Love you all!