Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Renewal Complete

Before I begin the real point of this post I need to apologize that almost 2 months have passed and I have not done a single post about our new handsome man, Samuel Cord Bullock. I started this blogspot to pass along tons of pictures of our first born son and as time has passed, children have been added and life has happened the posts have lessened to a near total despair in blog land. BUT, I am promising a great attempt in 2013 to blog again and the only reason I can say with great determination that I can pull through is that the blog is now going to be my scrapbook as well. I have many books perfectly (as perfect as someone with zero artistic gifting can pull off) kept of family memories but that is no longer a remote reality. So I feel the solution to all of my slacking needs will be to make the blog my scrapbook. The good news is that pictures will be promised and my goal is going to be at least to post once a month. The bad news is this is still real life so we can only hope and pray for the best. Ok, onto the point, love you guys, thanks for reading....

Many years ago, a dear friend of mine told me about a concept her pastor had introduced to her and that was a New Year's Word - one single word- from the Lord. Around the upcoming New Year she would pray and ask God for a word to define her upcoming year and then she would be reminded of His goodness and even promise throughout the year. I was (and hopefully still am) hungry for any word that the Lord would share with me and I prayed and sure enough, I got a word and the word throughout that year came to pass. So several years later, this is now one of the nearest and dearest things between the Lord and I and He has overwhelmed me each and every year with His faithfulness not only to speak but to know and to work.

Last year, after what had certainly been the longest and hardest season's of my Christian life, He spoke the word that I was thrilled to hear, RESTORE! Oh the joy that word held and oh the faith that I clung to all of 2012, that it would truly come to pass. The verse He gave me to pair with that glorious word was Joel 2:25 which says, I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. I remember being so very excited and thinking to myself, "Do you mean EVERYTHING the enemy has eaten? You are going to restore it all in one single year?" I even made a list, our finances, my womb, our joy, our home, every single thing?? I prayed and with wild abandoned faith I just hoped for the best. Well, here we are, 2012 has come to an end and sure enough, His faithfulness has surpassed all I could have ever hoped or imagined. I sit here with my precious new son, in a beautiful house that our growing family now calls home, with a husband who has, by God's great grace, grown a successful business for our family and joy (not perfection) that I was certain a few years ago would have to wait for Heaven. 

So as 2012 comes to a close and 2013 has great promises provided by a faithful Savior, my faith has grown and my excitement will hopefully not be toned down by age. I want to always believe Him for BIG things but none of which this world seeks for joy, things that are eternal and really do deliver.  As I have watched my precious son Cross be disappointed after each unwrapping fiasco during this birthday and Christmas season, I have been so reminded that stuff is never ever enough. That's a hard concept to explain to a 5 year old but sometimes it's a hard concept to believe as a 30 year old. This year the word the Lord has given me is Rest. I have been excited about some of the bigger things I knew He was saying to rest from like any major life changes (to include but not limited to having children, adopting children, traveling to far away lands or moving, ESPECIALLY with one week olds). I received that one with great joy but in the past day or two I have really been researching that word in the Bible and I am beginning to think He means so much more. 

I know He is telling me to literally rest more, to take life slower, to say NO more often and to let all things come to a screeching halt in order that my body and my soul might be renewed. But another concept that unfolded during my research was that of peace. I kept thinking my word search was confused because no mention of the actual word "rest" would be in some of the verses but each time I would find the word "peace". One verse that I found that articulates this perfectly is Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" I think the Lord wants to teach me how not only rest for a year, but also to begin to learn ultimately how to rest for a lifetime. 

So let's toast to a New Year, a year of rest but also to a year of learning to truly rest. I pray that each of you out there reading prays and asks for a word yourself and that you sit and spend time with Jesus more in 2013 than you have ever done in your entire life. I pray that we do not go throughout this upcoming year tearing open "gifts" that will never bring a second of peace all the while ignoring and misprioritizing what would really bring joy. I pray we are overwhelmed during good times and even during bad at a God who is not misplaced and uninvolved in our day to day lives. I pray that He renews and brings peace and rest for us all to begin mainly by our relationship with Him. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

April-You have got to be kidding me......

If I weren't 100% convinced that time really is flying (despite the fact that I feel like I have been pregnant forever) I just looked back at the date of my last post and it said APRIL! I honestly had no clue but that is neither here nor there in the importance of this post but had to certainly be stated and apologized for all the same. I will also say this, if I weren't randomly up at 3 a.m. this one pregnant night, this update would have never been completed either so it could have potentially been next April if it weren't for a pumpkin patch hamburger which lead to heartburn which is leading to a blog revamp. Who knew the depths of life's timeline?

I AM saying and vowing (with fingers crossed behind my back) that starting officially in 2013 my blog is going to be our family's scrapbook so the posts have potential to become more frequent and have way more pictures but as I am seeing, no need to make any promises that you have no clue whether or not real life will allow you to cash. I used to be very disappointed in these so called failures but I am seeing more and more that I am one person and that this one person better keep first things first or she will wake up one day with a million more regrets that are all ready guaranteed.

Also, I have been thoroughly confused on just how to tell you guys the story of our little SON (aka not the daughter my previous post proclaims) that is growing in this mommy's tummy.  I had my wonderful doctor check and recheck again (he laughed and said, sure thing if it will make you feel better) and sure enough "it" was still there.  You guys that know me well know I like to process publicly and I am not saying that is the wisest thing always and I try desperately to use discression but God has given me a peace to write so here I go. A heart poured out and probably at the avoidance of the vomiting perfect Facebook posts I see daily that I am too immature to smile about and be happy for so let's just shoot for this being my attempt at being real. I will first say that YES I do/did know there was a 50/50 chance.  I do know a few things about reproduction after numerous years at the Pregnancy Center so I  certainly knew there was a possibility it "could" be a boy.  But here is the thing about life in general, sometimes your knowledge is squed by your experience, wants, dreams, and even hurts.  I was shocked because sweet Chapel Elizabeth has been a child in my heart since we found out we were pregnant the very first time, Cross or Chapel was our question, which would it be, and as we all know it was Cross. I also think I am a bit panicked at our call to 4, even though that desire has been in my heart since I was a little girl playing house. All of a sudden practical things like money and age and energy and really crappy mom days have interfered with those dreams. I did have another boy, on "paper" even, Samuel Cord Bullock, life verse 1 Samuel 3:19, but he was going to be adopted and maybe (well definitely)  even as a toddler like Mercy girl had been and all would have been well with my soul, minus those 3 words the doctor stated that day "there it is". Why was I shocked, why was I distressed, how had I "missed" God, what was the core? It was deeper than what I could fathom and after weeks and weeks and even months and months of prayer, God began to reveal the root of my confusion and it was called pain. I had birthed a precious boy in 2007 that daily steals my heart with the stunning good looks of his father but I had also birthed a son in 2008 that too had the stunning good looks of his father but had nearly ripped my heart clear out of my chest never to be replaced again. Grief is an odd thing really, you feel like you are at a great spot and then something else triggers it and then you are reacting in ways that make no sense at all and then you finally realize the connection and your jaw is left dropped on the ultrasound room floor. But our God has been gracious to heal this mama's heart all over again. He has spoken to me and said to me "Kelly, I knew this child before the foundation of the earth. He is meant to be biological, He is meant to be 5 years younger. (And then the most personal and stunning part that had never crossed my mind-)  He is meant to be the 3rd strand of a tightly woven cord of siblings". So there you have it, I was still statistically stunned by my man's production of boys but I knew God was all over it and that was all I needed to know for certain. I can't wait to see if this little guy looks like his mama or if those darn Bullock genes just cannot be trumped and I have zero idea of when or where our sweet Chapel girl is going to come from but I am gonna refuse to bury that dream on the premise of my capabilities as a human and trust that if it is God's will that He will do the miracles it will take to make that not only happen, but to flourish.

So where am I today? 3.5 weeks and counting until my due date. No induction this time if I can possibly avoid it which leads to my (obvious) LEAST favorite thing in life which is surprises. I like a plan so now I am daily planning what would I do if I went into labor right now. That is simply pathetic and I am aware of the disorder yet without the strength to change the disposition. I would say I feel good, great would be an overstatement and horrible an overstatement as well. I am certainly rocking the control loss that 3 brings and just hoping that I haven't forgotten anything major but my standards have lowered about 2000% since Cross came along. Diapers and my milk supply (which is conveniently attached) and a handful of outfits and a car seat are all that are a must.

Minivan Mayhem is in full swing and God's grace in that has not yet ceased to amaze me. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined His hand would have been on something so heavily despite me. I also promised in the last post that I would give the new blog site for that but shockingly I didn't remember so here goes, better late than never. www.minivanmayhem2819.blogspot.com. You will quickly be aware that someone else is in charge of that site because it is cute, up to date, and has glorious tabs which I couldn't make happen even if large sums of money were involved.

Cross is still the best looking kid ever (just kidding but not really). He is tall and looks more and more like a little boy. He looks just like his father and his kiss will absolutely melt my heart until the day I die. He is very excited about baby Cord yet he and Mercy are both convinced Chapel is coming next after my traumatic confusion that I insisted on spreading throughout the family.

Mercy, that mama is gonna be who raises sweet Cord. She cried and protested for days that it was a boy and not a girl but she too is now on cloud nine and certain to mama this poor boy to death. I just hope his wife will love her despite the spoiling that is about to take place. He may never lift a finger until he is 20 if she has anything to do with it and I could not be more thankful for the help I know she is to be. She may be the sole reason we can fathom 4 to be totally honest. She is a beautiful child, inside and out, smart as a whip both street and book and loves to talk and yes most certainly gets a lot of qualities from her mama (the talking not the smarts that is)!

And I'll just refrain from writing about my sweet man because it would all fall under the vomitingly perfect category and that has yet to encourage many but do know that marriage can be amazing if you will just get yourself right out of the way!

I think the best way to word things today is that we are all dreaming again, after a long, hard season, while waiting on a much more glorious Heaven, we are at least able at this very moment to be somewhat excited about what may be in the middle! Thank you guys for reading, our next post will Lord willing be the grand introduction of our biggest surprise in life to date, Mr. Samuel Cord Bullock! I am certain my heart will again never ever be the same!


Friday, April 27, 2012

RANDOM pictures......

But hey, they are pictures all the same. I am on a roll, 2 posts in 2 days, and I am certain no one wants any more words until I dish out the cuteness.  I have dreams of blogging groups of pictures that make sense and meet a timeline.  But instead, we will settle for what real life provides and that is the random shots that did actually get taken and uploaded and be thankful.  So here it is, random post bath photos, a monster truck show, some friends that have moved away and left a hole in our hearts and one that came to visit and then Easter!  Love you guys, have a GLORIOUS weekend!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Back!!!!!!!!

Hello sweet friends and long lost strangers.  I am currently aware that in a few short weeks my blog will officially be redeemed back to our precious family. The neglect here may never be forgiven by you but I am pretty certain there are about 50 Minivan Mayhem women whose lives have been forever changed and they would promise you my drop off of the face of the blog planet has been worth it.  We have partied like Jesus rock stars this past year but we are all fully aware that an official Minivan Mayhem Blog Spot is a must and thus the Bullock Family is BACK!!!!!!  I can also promise you that details of the new blog address and MM happenings will be to come as well!

So where on earth do you start after a YEAR almost???  To attempt to give you a little life update, I HAVE been updating my facebook because I can do that in a matter of 2 minutes as opposed to an hour’s worth of typing for a blog post. But with that I rarely get to actually read blogs these days or facebook posts for that matter so the social side of me is in vast withdrawls but the enjoying being right with God and my family side of me is at great peace.  I am learning there are seasons for EVERYTHING and this has just not been the season for the world wide web. 

Ok, so our life, as most of you probably know by now we ARE expecting another sweet precious baby.  We will find out in about 6 weeks just who God is knitting in this womb but that baby sums up this entire season of our crazy life, redemption!!!!  If you go back and read blog posts you will see a unanimous theme in our life and that has been some suffering.  Sure in comparison to the thousands I will see in a few short weeks in Ethiopia our suffering has been “mild” but that makes it no less painful.  God has done a mighty work over this past year and the Wilderness is in our rearview and the Promise Land is right up ahead but for the desert, we are still forever grateful.  No matter how “cleaned up” you look on the outside or in the halls of your local church, our gracious Father knows the depths of your heart’s need and despite your pleading or the pleading of your closest and dearest friends, He is still so faithful to do the refining despite us. 

Our Mercy girl is the sweet and precious princess of our lives at this moment.  She is the kindest, most loving child I have ever met in all my days.  She is also the most social or extrovert personality I have met outside of one and let’s just say she get it’s from her mama!  She says all the time, we love everybody and she is so right, she does.  I do always hesitate when people or myself even respond to our current pregnancy as a “gift” for our obedience in adopting Mercy. I know what they and my own heart means by that but let me take this public moment to assure you, MERCY IS THE GIFT!!!  She is the surprise gift you had no earthy idea you wanted or even needed but it was the gift you would forever treasure most.  She will most likely raise this next baby and forever keep my house clean and my meals cooked.  She is a servant of all servants and she would rather be helping me in the kitchen than playing with the fun-est of toys or watching the best that cartoons have to offer. She truly is a daily visual for me and for others of God!

And then our handsome man, no matter what happens in this life, that boy has this mama’s heart.  You hear women say there is just something different about a mom and a son and this I totally understand.  It gives you great amounts of grace for your sweet mother-in-law who thinks her son is perfect because now you actually understand and know that he is, in her eyes at least.  I will also encourage any of you gals out there raising a strong willed child that although I never even had the chance to read the book, the Holy Spirit has been so gracious to show me how to begin to raise that sweet boy in a way that is daily causing him to live up to the Proverbs declaration of children being a blessing from the Lord.  He is turning into the finest young man you have ever seen both inside and out.  I just pray that God will give me a lot of grace when I am one day a mother-in-law and that I will simply refrain from squeezing his little butt cheeks and asking him to “give me those lips”. Hahahahaha I hope you know I will but you get the picture of just how wrapped I am at this very moment.

And then the sweet one inside. I  think it is my Chapel girl, I pray it is! I have this VERY odd and new way of thinking which is we just need a pasty white gal in our lives and then one day a dark handsome young boy is going to hopefully complete our family and then this crew is DONE.  I never dreamed I would feel ready to be “done”.  With my past, saying “no” to more children seemed impossible but unless God vastly changes my heart and I honestly believe He is the one who has brought me here, this mama is done birthing and moving on to raising.  I feel a huge peace that I am only supposed to carry this last one and then God will orchestrate the last child right into our home in His precious timing.  I DO pray Chapel girl has red hair but for one moment in my life, I don’t even mind if she is strong willed or a people pleaser because regardless she is certain to pop out a sinner and I am certain to be called to show her the vast need she has for a Savior and either way my calling is lofty and will require a grace from Jesus like nothing I ever dreamed I would need.

And finally, my VERY good looking man.  Where on earth do I begin with that guy??  He is perfect, more and more and more I agree with his mother.  He is not perfect we all know that but I do know he is perfect for ME!!!!!!! I am learning when he drives me crazy to pray and zip my lip and what do you know, God moves.  And I am also learning that for every one time he drives me crazy that probably represents a hundred moments I have driven him.  He is just gracious enough not to count! I am also beyond proud of a man who lived through a HUGE trail and crisis of faith, yet came out on the other side a humble man of God, still faithfully surrendered to Him regardless if He gives or takes away.  He is also THE BEST real estate agent in town and you sure won’t be able to convince me otherwise.  I have watched him serve sweet military families and first time home buyers.  I have watched him pray and pray and pray over houses to sell and neighbors to get plugged into local churches.  He really does love what his job and he is good at it and he is right where God wants him to be and a price tag will just not stick to that!

So where do we go from here, well today I am going to a coffee shop as my normal Thursday, kids are in preschool, routine.  I am going to prep for my LAST (of this school year at least) Minivan Mayhem session and I am going to hold my tears back the entire time.  This journey and this group of ladies has humbled me like nothing else can.  We will be baptizing a slew of them on May 20th and you wanna talk about NOT feeling “worthy”. This gal has no idea why or how God has chosen her to get to witness these miracles but He has and I am certainly not going to try to talk Him out of it.  Something weird in my personality likes a good front row seat for a Jesus thing.  I know it is how God designed me (and probably how He designed all of us).  If you have a God story, I wanna see it, hear about it, and even watch it all unfold and that’s what MM provides, hundreds of them and that may just even be in one day.  He is not a religious being to be put on a shelf, He is the almighty King of kings and He is in the miracle working, life changing, world rocking business and I for one love to receive those graces but I love also to watch. 

So on this random Thursday when the long lost blogger emerges from her silence, please know one thing, this entire life, our entire being, is NOTHING without Him!!!!  If He has you smack dab in the middle of some sufferings, just walk through it by His grace because He is SO worth it!  If He is blessing your socks off, ENJOY it because it is all His grace and none of which we deserve and these blessings are only the tiniest taste of what is to come. And then finally, if you don’t know this God, this Friend, this Father, this Savior, make it your weekend’s mission to find Him, to surrender to Him, to accept the lavish love and grace He has for you.  Where on earth would this messed up gal be if it weren’t for Him??  I love you all dearly, I PROMISE tons of pictures to come in the days or maybe weeks ahead to catch you up and I HOPE to at least get to say hello every now and again in the months to come.  This ride is worthy of some documentation because if I had the time or the energy, the web could not hold all the works of the One who has redeemed!!!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Minivan Mayhem has made a cookbook!

Hello Everyone! We are beyond thrilled to announce our very first domestic attempt as Minivan Mayhemers. Our crew has a lot of children as you could imagine, which leads to a hefty childcare bill each and every week so a fundraiser was a must. We wanted one that would be a blessing in the Mayhem not just a random attempt to raise some cash. SO, with that, I present to you "Meals in the Mayhem" a mostly healthy cookbook for meals in the midst of the Mayhem. Most of us have a great assortment of Paula Dean's and Cream of Anything Soup recipes so we wanted to give you a tool to help your family stay healthy and fit for a life time of following Jesus. Please purchase one or ten today and pass this link along to all your (facebook) friends and family and let's make certain we are set for our budget and share some clean eats all at the same time. Thank you so much for your support!!!!!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Minivan Mayhem Myth #2

"Single Girl Mayhem"

My name is Jen. I am 24 years old and I drive a Ford Focus...no minivan...no car seats...no kids.

When I first heard about Minivan Mayhem, I thought it sounded like such a great group that I grabbed a stack of flyers and started handing them out to all of the moms I knew. When one of the leaders of the group asked me if I was going to join, I asked, "Am I allowed to?"

It turns out that acceptance into the Minivan Mayhem group doesn't require having kids or even a minivan. All it requires is a hunger to know more about God. As a recent Christian, I had so many questions about God, the Bible, and how to live life as a Christian. I knew reading and knowing God's word was important, but every time I opened my Bible, I felt so confused. Minivan Mayhem has changed my anxiety about the Bible into excitement. I can't wait to study this book for the rest of my life!

What is Minivan Mayhem? It is a place where I can ask any question and get answers from people who care about my spiritual walk and care about me. It is a place where I have friends and mentors whom I know I will spend time with outside of our weekly meet up. It is truly a place where the unity and love that Christ calls us to have for one another can be seen and felt.

So don't get hung up on the minivan part! Focus on the the mayhem...for that is something I am certain we all have in our lives, for which Jesus is the only cure.