Friday, January 23, 2009

Dry Bones MOVE…………..

Hey everyone, I just wanted to share some more random things that the Lord is using lately to make these dry bones move (Ezk 37). I praise Him that He is so incredibly personal!

1. Jon and Kate’s (plus eight) new book “Multiple Blessings.” J gave me this book for my birthday as a “fun book”. After “The Shack” I have desired to have a fun book (one that you aren’t reading to better yourself or do a deep Bible study, just a veg book), the next one was “The Me in Mommy”. Well, “Multiple Blessings” was just like “The Shack” and just like “The Me in Mommy”, EXACTLY what the Lord needed to say to me at that time in my life. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! How many times have you heard me say this, well, YOU MUST READ "MULTIPLE BLESSINGS"! Oh my goodness, I had no clue how madly in love with Jesus my sweet Kate was and I had no clue how much we are all having to suck it up to carry out our calling in life. I felt she put to pen about a million things I have been feeling over these past few months! My “fun books” keep turning into these major wows, I pray the Lord keeps em comin!

2. There’s no place like home…… I shutter to say this because in the matter of a phone call we could be packing back up (there isn’t anything that serious, I am just saying in God’s economy…). But today I went to Coy Lacy Park and walked and talked, telling God over and over, there’s no place like home”. For those of you who aren’t Clarksvillians, Coy Lacy is just a local park, nothing spectacular about it, but for me today it was like Disney World. I have been to that park many times, but this was the first time Mr. Cross had the experience. We had a little play-date with our sweet Snick who has been loaned out because of renting rules. I put pictures above so you guys could see our little man and our little princess(poodle roodle for the Pintos), having a blast. I may wear you out with pictures thanks to my fancy new camera (it’s not really all that fancy, but it is to me). So selfishly, pray with me because I want to stay home, but regardless, I will forever be grateful for this season of “at home rest”! The air just smelled perfect and the birds sounded louder today at Coy Lacy Park and that was a great gift for these dry bones!

3. Finally, a new series that is rocking my world called “My best friend”. I pray that you guys have gotten hooked on pod casts and if not, please do! There are some awesome pastors out there and thanks to technology, we are blessed to be fed in many ways these days so let’s eat up! I say this often about this guy, but I think this really is my favorite! His series called “The Journey” was my last favorite (if that tells you anything) so listen to that one as well!
Then click on "more sermons" and you'll see the goods!
I would start with "Who is He?"

Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Have you ever times two.................

The ride to the salon, the hat has many purposes right now!

Where on earth did this cape come from, a super hero in the making!

The Before

The million dollar expression....

And FINALLY, the after....

Ok, so I know I am being "that mom" but is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life. I just about fell in the floor and cried when Cross got his first big boy haircut (his very first was a tiny one by mommy). He just looked like such a little man. I know my baby Cross is getting to be a big boy, but God was so good this morning and gave me some uncharacteristic snuggle time with my forever baby! He is usually on the move until you literally feel like you throw him into the crib for bedtime. He grew out of snuggling from the moment crawling and walking came along. Our sweet little puppy won't even let me snuggle, but ONE DAY, I am getting a lap something or another. Hopefully a little pretty princess girl that will love her mommy's lap, but if not, I will be on the lookout for a 4 legged cutie that will fill my snuggle need! I love you guys and am still feeling your prayers! I thought I would share with you some random, but powerful things the Lord has been showing me lately, just snid bits of wisdom, but I am thrilled to share! Love you guys and have an awesome rest of the week!

"How's it workin for ya?" My favorite quote by Dr. Phil that a large percentage of the population does not live by. The Lord keeps impressing on me to constantly asking myself, "how's that workin for ya" and if my answer is "not so hot" then He is showing me to seek wisdom and make changes! Let's don't live defeated lives, let's seek wise council and wisdom and power from the Holy Spirit and let's do the work to make life better. Joyce Meyer said today, the world is supposed to be defeated, Christians on the other hand are supposed to be victories! Well, amen sister, let's start acting like it, deal!

What will make you come alive? Lately, I haven't felt all that alive and today I listened to a Joyce Meyer series that gave me a new found vision that I am thrilled to share. She was teaching on our purpose in life and it is simple, to glorify God and then she went on to say how, God's desire is for us to help hurting people. Then the Holy Spirit kept telling me that when our job opened that we were to be very intentional about using our new budget to help the hurting. He kept impressing on me that the key was to start with percentages instead of staring with all our "needs". We need to sit down and pray with our spouse on percentages that we agree to and then come alive as we sit down with our budget and see what a difference we can make. Here is a sample just to get you thinking! This will most certainly make us come alive, getting our minds off ourselves:
20, 20, 60 (if you read previously forgive my math error, we won't even discuss my major :(
20% Savings (10% short term, 10% long term)
20% Giving (10% tithe to your local church and 10% to something(s) that make your heart beat!
60% Spending (start with taking out the "main" bills: rent, insurance, utilities, and food, then add in til the money runs out, this will keep you from feeling guilty for spending, yet giving an end to your "needs")
Doesn't this sound fun, if you are not in a situation (like us) to have any left over after the bare basics are paid then be faithful in tithing with that budget and look at your "time budget" more closely and see how you can serve the needy.
You will have a blast with the offering percentage. If you have a friend that is a single mom, rock her world! Babies close to your heart? Give to a local pregnancy center. Love good water, give to James and Betty Robison and help them dig wells. If you can do 50% giving, crunch those numbers and get ready to have the party of your life!

Finally, don't live as a martyr. I was talking to a girlfriend yesterday who has desperately missed qt with her hubby after a very long deployment. Make sure the above is done and then give yourself a treat! If you are feeling overwhelmed, schedule a massage. If you need some time with your man, plan a date or better yet, a vacation. Need a camera (like I did) take that birthday money and run before the bills come a nockin! Let's don't be martyrs, let's enjoy life to it's fullest!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lot in Life.............

Ok, I just have to say it again, but if you haven’t been on for a while, please scroll down and start with Joshua Cade Bullock. One, because he was a sweetie and two, because nothing else in my life will make any sense unless you have.

I want to thank you again for all your prayers. A few days ago, I was at lunch with an amazing new friend and during that one hour period while my phone was on vibrate, I literally got like 8 calls and txts, (did I just do that, txt lingo on the computer, yep, sorry) all of which were sweet friends just checking on me. That carries you through the day let me tell ya, a blessing of Christian community to say the least. I have thought so many times through these past few weeks, how do people do this life without Jesus, how do they live through these trials without the comfort of the Lord? But I am also even more convinced than ever that this is one of the most amazing benefits of Christian community. Do you have to go to church to be a Christian, no, certainly not. For years I was a Christian yet chose not to go to church. For those of you who knew me during those years, it most certainly was not working for me not to mention it is in opposition to the Word of God. Today, I feel like I am living out the principal of why God’s Word tells us to not give up meting together (Hebrews 10:24-25). Christian community has played probably the most major role in my road to healing and to that I will be forever grateful. I have no idea what this burden would have weighed if I hadn’t literally had so many people praying me through. It has really meant the world to me and I pray if you don’t have awesome Christian community that you will dive in this coming Sunday because you never know when those people will be your literal air.

Ok, so back to lots in life. I may have gotten a little side track, sorry. I thought about naming it “lots of life” because that too is what it means. Most of us are dealing with a lot of life. As I have looked around recently, my personal tragedy has been placed on pause as I have observed others’ lives. Please know that I say that with the total freedom to continue to grieve, but with the harsh reality that even in my pain, it is true. Just in the circle of friends that I share, I know people who have had cancer, are single parents, haven’t been able to get pregnant, lost babies once they were pregnant, had to quit jobs because God told them to (there are actually several of us which is quiet comforting), people whose marriages are in need of nothing less than a miracle of Jesus and others who are being called to be that hero in their marriage. I have friends who hate their jobs, who hate where they live, who have just spent 15 MONTHS away from their husbands, who have lost literally thousands, upon thousands in the stock market, whose children are fighting drug addictions, friends who are being called to home-school despite the fact that they would love nothing more than to be released of that calling, who are in financial panic, who lost loved ones in Iraq, who have even had a puppy missing overnight…………………So, are you getting my point, we are all living a lot of life or our lot in life, which ever you would prefer to call it.

Now, please know if there is ever an advocate of fix what you can fix, it is me, but many of these people are doing EXACTLY what the Lord has called them to do or their circumstances are 110% out of their control, as were ours. Sometimes we just seem to forget (or maybe I seem to forget) which side of Heaven we are on and on this side, we need not expect anything less than our lot in life.

Sure, some may look like they are on the express route. Their lot may seem a lot less than yours, but please know that either they are doing a mighty fine job of painting a pretty picture on the outside or their lot is still being shipped. NONE OF US, NOT ONE are excused from this reality. This is certainly not Heaven and for me today, it doesn’t even seem like Kansas. I like when the lot isn’t as thick, as fresh, as new as it was this week, but I know that too will come. I also know that doing things God’s way is the only sure way of making the smallest lot for your life. If I can at least avoid all the ones I caused for years, I will have as much of easy street as planet earth can offer, but life is still just plain hard. It stinks sometimes and boy do I look expectantly forward to its end.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME, I was rereading this and getting depressed myself so I figure we better get to the good stuff quickly before we all hit the floor in defeat. The week after all of this happened, this song kept running through my head, it was one my dear friend in Elizabeth City would sing with her two beautiful daughters (that family I have mentioned that has the insane amount of talent all under one last name, the Pinto family to be exact). It simply says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and then some more good stuff I could never remember so I just kept humming the tune. I would find myself singing this song over and over as I tried to go about normal life and I kept thinking, of all the songs to “recall” this is an odd choice. Well, it was an odd choice, it was my Holy Spirit’s choice and His ways are not our ways either. As God would ordain it, those sweet sisters of mine were actually making plans to record that EXACT song for me without any knowing of my recall. (Does that not just give you chills??) So I wanted to share it with you, but I have no way of doing so, at least none that I know of so the words below will have to do! All my sisters reading need a big dose of hope. Wherever you are in your lot of life, I know it isn’t always fun. I know Heaven will be a lot better to say the least and if you aren’t 100% sure that is where you are going, please email me ( ) because without that you really are hopeless (no offense). The joy of the Lord IS our strength for this thing we call life on earth. In Heaven it will be our life, but on earth it is our strength, our strength to endure until that amazing day when we are called home.

I love you all and thank you again for your prayers. I can somehow, only by His amazing grace, sing this song at the top of my lungs (never will that be recorded praise Jesus) and mean it from the bottom of my heart…………

The joy of the Lord IS my strength (Neh 8:10),

*Note the highlighted verse, my personal fav!

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
I will not falter; I will not faint
He is my shepherd; I am not afraid
The joy of the Lord is my strength!

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
He will uphold me all of my days
I am surrounded by mercy and grace
The joy of the Lord is my strength!

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
I will not waver walking by faith
He will be strong to deliver me safe

And the joy of the Lord is my strength!

*Just thought it was cool, this is my 100th post, that is a lot of life! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The pursuit of peace...........

Hello all, it is difficult for me to blog because I am somehow afraid that me posting again will take the place of my last blog which will forever be my dearest so please go back and read it if you haven't already. I may just write this each time for a while if you don't mind. :)

I wanted to write everyone and give you a little summary of my week. Yes, I know, my posts and little aren't usually in the same sentence and probably won't start today, but I will do my very best, promise. Sometimes that Holy Spirit is just LONG WINDED! hahhaha Basically, in a nut shell, I have been a crazy woman. Monday and Tuesday I knew it was just part of it, but Wednesday morning I woke up and thought, certainly subconsciously because I'm not even smart enough to think of this, but I have got to get some peace, somehow, somewhere, and hopefully not by falling back to old habits of 12 packs (that is of beer and of cigs in case some of you didn't know the old me). So, I called a dear friend who is a Christian, but who is also a therapist and I told her up front, "I'm calling you as my therapist, not as my friend, and I want to tell you all that my crazy mind is thinking and I fully expect that after I have told you everything, that you tell me what to do to fix it." Sometimes we need an ear to listen and just let us get it all out, but I had been doing that for days with different amazing friends and I was still going insane. I had moved past the stage of guilt in grieving and I was in anger and I needed to get out of that stage fast before someone got hurt.

I do want to stop here and clarify that there is no right way or wrong way to grieve, that I am certain of. I am just sharing my PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! That is one thing I have done right is not to compare of give myself any expectations so please don't dare hear me suggesting otherwise. I am just sharing my journey to wholeness that has really only just begun.

Ok, so my sweet girlfriend listened forever and man do I praise God for giving me this awesome friend, at the end she said, "It sounds like you need some time away from Cross so that you can grieve properly." Well, amen to that sister. I think I knew that in the back of my head, but I was fighting thoughts of guilt for leaving him more and I don't have a personal babysitter on call 24/7 (you seem surprised, hahahaha) so I just needed someone to nudge me into my pursuit of peace.

A pursuit of peace for me is when things just feel off. This can be after a great tragedy or it can be the most normal week of your life. I have another girlfriend who calls it the flow. Like when things just aren't flowing, you got to get with your Jesus and go on the pursuit of peace to get the bottom of the problem. Sometimes you need to rearrange your schedule, sometimes it is a sin that is buried behind the to-do list that needs to be worked out, sometimes girlfriend time will do, other times it can be major like mine was this week and call for something a little more drastic. I guess, whatever size of chaos you are feeling is directly in proportion to how much Jesus you need to fix it. I hope that is a theologically sound statement, but that is exactly what I experienced this week. A good quiet time for an hour or a coffee date with a girlfriend just wasn't going to cut it, I needed for my Jesus to hold me in His arms, literally for days.

So that my sweet friends has been what has been happening for the last now 24 hours. I am at a bed and breakfast which the Lord provided every detail for thanks to some godly people who went insanely out of their way to bless me. I am learning that once you get on the pursuit of peace, God opens the doors for you to find it. I was so scared to get away, to be vulnerable, to be without my man, but I knew my Jealous God was calling me to simply come and sit with Him awhile. The year before I was married, this was how I lived. I went to work and then came home and spent hours upon hours with Jesus in His Word. That may sound boring to you, but it was absolutely life changing to me. At that point in my life, I had actually never even felt peace so it took a HEAVY pursuit to get rid of many years of junk so that the peace that passes all understanding could begin to surface. Well, again, a time in my life where the pain was so strong that I had no idea how on earth to even begin to come up for air has taken a get away that stripped me of distractions and placed me in the resting Savior's arms.

Again, I am certainly not saying "this is the godly, correct way to grieve" this is just what the Lord has called me to do for today and it is only by HIS grace that I actually made it to obedience. But I will say that the pursuit of a loving, comforting Father is ALWAYS the answer in whatever situation you find yourself. Whether major or minor things in life are getting to you, are you on the pursuit of peace? Are you making sure there is a flow in life? The only way you can know if it is there is if you have felt it before. Like if you have lived even a week in that flow, you will certainly know when it is gone. When the kids are not a joy anymore, when your husband is getting on your last nerve, when God is nowhere to be found or heard, when your days seem nowhere near a light burden and an easy yoke, (Matt 11:30), if this is you, then please, please, go on the pursuit of peace. Be willing to be radical if He asks for a weekend, take it. Be willing to do your part to get to the Savior because He promises to do His. It may mean nothing more than falling face first on your floor and just crying out for His mercy. It may mean rearranging a schedule that just "isn't working for you" and doing the work to reestablish order in your home. It may mean closets cleaned out, both literally and spiritually. I don't know what that pursuit looks like for you, but if there has ever been a time in my life I am thankful to know the One who does it is most certainly now!!!!!!!!

I love you guys to death and each of you who have prayed for me this week have paved the way for my pursuit of peace. I was going to wait to post after my weekend was over to share with you all my cool God moments, but already, there is not room enough on this World Wide Web for what He has done with this weary, broken, heart. I know there will still be tears and still be moments, but finally, for the first time, maybe even in months, I have HOPE and that my sweet friends is absolutely priceless!

I will leave you with one, very cool God moment, that happened as I was doing my Beth Moore last night. Have I told you lately that you MUST do Esther?? Ok, well, she went on and on about how Esther fasted for three days and how that "three days" had many important references in the Word, like Jesus rising from the dead after three days and then Abraham and Daniel having miracles after the 3rd day. Well, guess how long I am going to be here, YEP, you guessed it, three days. :) If that doesn't give you chills, you just may need to check your pulse. I will close with my weekend scripture and a thank you again for your many prayers! I love you and praise God for you more than you will ever know!

Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. *It most certainly doesn't get any better than that!

Healing, slowly but surely,