Through the Valley
of
Serenity
Our Family's Miracle Journey
Your Subtitle text
April 2009


April 1st, 2009

I have been thinking a lot about missed opportunities lately...opportunites to fulfill my purpose in this life...opportunites to be a servant of the Lord...opportunites to bring God Glory!  How many people have I failed to witness to?  How many sick I have failed to pray for?  How often have I just gone through the motions of being a Christian without actually doing what I was called to do?  

I pass by people every day...  my spirit screams "they need Jesus!" Do I take the time to make a difference through prayer.  I may never see them again.. Moments later, they are out of sight and out of mind.  Did I miss that opportunity?  What if I had taken the time to pray?  What if they were saved tomorrow?  What if later they led a Revival that saved millions? More importantly what if they were supposed to....but didn't... because I missed MY opportunity.  

God doesn't look for ability! God Looks for availability! Do I always make myself available for God?  Oh the things He could accomplish in this world if WE were just WILLING to be USED by HIM! 

"I don't want to go through the motions!  I don't want go one more day...without your all consuming passion inside of me!  I don't want to spend my whole life asking, What if I had given everything...instead of going through the motions..... 

                   TAKE ME ALL THE WAY!"
                                                           




April 2nd, 2009

Serenity loves to watch me cook! The other night I was chopping onions and she was sitting on a bar stool hovering over me....


Reni: "Mom, I don't like nunions!"

Mom: "I know Sweetie! But I put these in white chicken chili and you LOVE chicken chili."

Reni: she perks up with really big smile.."Okay....Neni like chili!"

a few seconds later...

Reni: "Mom, I don't like nunions!"

Mom: "I know Reni! We already talked about this! You like chicken chili and we need onions to make chicken chili."

Reni: "Ahh.... Neni like chili!"

a few seconds later...

Reni: "Mom... I DON'T LIKE NUNIONS!   I WON'T EATS EM'"

Mom: "Will you eat chicken chili?"

Reni: "Yep!"

Mom: "Okay then!"

Serenity begins to lean in closer and closer as I chop the onions.... She begins to sob a little.... I look up to see her eyes filled with tears...

Reni: sniff sniff    "Mommy... Neni's eyes urt...they burning!"

Mom: "Oh honey scoot back a little! You're too close to the onions!"

Reni: sniff sniff   "Nunions make Neni Cry....See Mommy..... I toad you I DON'T LIKE NUNIONS!"

I pick her up and wash her face with some cool water. Then off she goes all better to play.

About an hour later I find her in the kitchen with a whole onion and a butter knife.

Mom: "Serenity! What are you doing with that?"

Reni: "Ligah took Neni's toy. Neni had it first!"

Mom: "So.... What are you doing with that?"

Reni: "Neni make Ligah cry!"

Mom: "OH NO YOU'RE NOT! Give that to me!"  Sighs....KIDS!


April 3rd, 2009

Just a little over two years ago, we were told the only way our daughter would survive was to endure a heart transplant. We did not close the door to that option. We merely trusted God to direct our path. We received His assurance that which ever way He directed she would be fine. Despite all the complications a transplant can bring, despite the predictions of her possibility having to endure even another one years down the road, and then yet another one even after that. Despite the predictions of our daughter never living another day without having to take medication, we trusted in a GOD that heals. We didn't close the door to any options, we just simply walked through the ones that God opened and we're content with the ones He closed.

Our doctors insisted there was no other option except heart transplant. They set up a day for a heart transplant evaluation. This was a time to emotionally and physically prepare us for a life altering event. We sat down for consultation with doctor after doctor after doctor. We personally met with two different transplant surgeons. We went as far as to set up financial support for what would turn out to be a near million dollar expense. We even had to make an appointment with the hospital psychologist to prepare us for the emotional strain. The evaluation took an entire day and afterward they handed us this folder...

                              
We took it home with us. I opened it to the first page and only made it through to the second. The information it contained was just too unbearable for me to read. It contained all the side effects of a transplant, the unpredictable life after transplant and There was even a section on how to grieve if your child didn't make it.

I knew that God had our daughter in His hands. He gave me that assurance. I knew He was already working in her life, for she wasn't suppose to make it out of the hospital or even be breathing on her own. I knew God was in control. However, I also knew that I was going to need all the strength that God could give me!


God could have chosen to heal our daughter by transplant. If He had chosen to take that route I have no doubt that she would have suffered none of the side effects. I have no doubt that she would have sailed through the entire experience. I have no doubt my daughter still would have led a long, normal, productive life. But God didn't choose that route. Instead He chose to deliver her from a heart transplant! For that we are forever grateful!

Once transplant was no longer part of our future, we removed those dreadful papers and placed the folder up on a shelf, But as you can see....


                                 

Our folder has since been taken down off that shelf and is quite worn with use!

We never want to forget the wonderful gift God has given us! Our journey with Serenity was such a learning experience for us. We never want to forget all the valuable lessons our Savior taught us. We never want to forget the closeness we feel to Him now! Our lips will forever sing praises to Him!


My husband and I lead part of the Praise and Worship service at our church. We made the decision to use our folder for the Glory of God. It was once filled with devastating possibilities. It once lacked hope. But now....Oh but now....It is filled with....


                        
                                                   Praises to our LORD!


April 5th, 2009
                                                More Good News/Bad News

Good News: 
After three weeks of fighting this nasty cold, I finally made time to go to the doctor. 
Bad News:  I ended up with bad Inner Ear and Sinus infections.

Good News:  They gave me antibiotics and sent me on my way.
Bad News:  I had to listen to Tom's "I told you, you needed to go the doctor!"  all the way home!  :)

Good News: The earth still MOVES when my husband kisses me! Ahhh!
Bad News: It moves ALL the time now thanks to the infection knocking my equalibrium off. Man where is that V8 guy when you need him!

Good News:  Tommy let me take a nap while he watched the kids!
Bad News:  His idea of "watching" the kids, is locking all the other doors in the house and confining them to only the room he's in!

Good News:  Their mess was secluded to only one particular area.
Bad News: Tom went to work! I drank ALOT of fluids, REALLY have to tinkle and have nothing to pick the STINKING locks on all the bathroom doors!!

Good News:  Eli is finally getting the hang of all this potty training stuff!
Bad News:  We had to bribe him with computer priviledges!

Good News: Serenity actually listened yesterday and covered her naked bottom with some PJ's!
Bad News:  The pajama bottoms belonged to her MUCH older sister!

                       

                                     Oh she makes me giggle!
                                You just gotta love her effort! :)


April 8th, 2009
As we all know, our Serenity is just the perfect little angel.  She is so calm and well mannered.  She NEVER does anything wrong! She always does EVERYTHING right! Taking care of her is a BREEZE...no problem at all!

Okay...now that I have my "Mother's complete denial phase" out of the way, I'll truthfully admit that our little miracle baby spent the biggest part of her day in the naughty chair. 

She LOVES to climb! She climbs on EVERYTHING! If she can't climb on something alone, she WILL find something to help boost herself up.  She drags toys, chairs, boxes, even step ladders all over the house. She used her Dora Kitchen set today to reach the top shelf of our MEDICINE cabinet. Yes, the MEDICINE cabinet.  She insisted that the obviously FAKE cough she had..uh uh... needed treatment! Praise the Lord I caught her before she actually picked up anything.  (I have no doubt she would have been able to open the bottle)

Okay so that was just the start of our day.  She also climbed up onto the baker's rack in the kitchen.  At the very top shelf is a little cup that I keep my car keys in.  I originally thought this would be a good place to keep them. I THOUGHT is was out of their reach....WRONG!  She managed to snag my keys five different times throughout the day. 

Climbing isn't her only passion..oh no... she also loves to play in the water!  She carries whatever item she happens to be using as a foot stool at the moment, into the bathroom, climbs on top of the counter and just goes to town.   In a matter of seconds she can completely drench the entire room.  I caught her, (by her own words), "washing" the only roll of toilet paper we had left in the house!

Oh but the day just keeps getting better.  While I was cooking dinner and making dessert, I had a few different items out.  I'm in the middle of making a strawberry shortcake, turn to grab my container of cool whip, and suddenly it's gone.  Where could it have gone?  I look up to see Reni in the next room.  She is dumping garlic salt (another item I had out while making dinner) into my container of cool whip...Oh YUMMMY!

I can't even remember how many times she smacked poor Eli! I'm surprised the boy isn't black and blue! The poor guy doesn't make it 10 minutes playing with her before he leaves the room crying for his Mommy! It's really sad.

So the climbing, the messes, the smacking, this is all normal Serenity behavior.  It's really typical. However, she's picked up something new lately.  She's heard a new word somewhere and uses it now everytime things don't go her way.  I'm not sure where she picked it up, but I'm suspecting an older sibling or cousin.(though no one is admitting it)  Anyway, every time she gets mad, she says..."Butthead"   OH NO LITTLE MISSY, WE'RE NOT HAVING THAT!  It's almost surreal hearing her tiny little voice use such language! We've had a few LONG discussions about that one.  Which I don't think she liked much, because afterwards she told her older sister to spank me.  LOL

It's really hard to describe her personality.  She's so different from all of our other children.  She moves in like.... HYPER speed.  I'm not kidding! It's ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM all over the house. Everyone thinks I'm exaggerating until they actually see it for themselves.  She literally goes from one mess to another.  Before you have time to clean one mess up, she has already made three more!  FOLKS I'M NOT EXAGGERATING! It's really unbelievable!

But then just when I think I'm frustrated out of my mind, she goes and does something SO incredibly cute that just wipes the slate clean.  While sitting in her time out today, out of the blue, she started singing, "Jesus ov me, Jesus ov me. this I O..Bible tell me..Bible tell me"  Then she raised both of her hands in the air, closed her eyes, waved them to and fro and said "Praise JESUS!"  Awwww!

Mommy's Heart Melted and ALL is well!!!

She may keep me on my toes, make me pull out my hair, and tire me to the point of sheer exhaustion, but life would not be life without all the wonders of our Serenity! We are BLESSED beyond measure!!


April 12th, 2009
                           He Has RISEN!!!
 

Today is a celebration!  For Today we celebrate Redemption!  We celebrate Victory through a Risen Savior! We celebrate the unfailing Love of Christ!  A Celebration is a time a Rejoicing, A time of Praising the guest of Honor, offering Him thanksgiving and we have SO much to be thankful for. 


As I read over Scriptures I find…We serve a God who NEVER fails.  A God who is our everything;  He is our Father, our shield of protection, the sword that wins our battles,  He is our Glory and the lifter of our heads.  He is our rock, our fortress.  He is the DELIVERER of ALL EVIL.  Our God is the horn of our salvation, our high tower risen above thine enemies.  He is our refuge, our SAVIOR!  He is our Healer, our provider and the author of peace! And the greatest of these…He is LOVE!  It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done,  God is EVERYTHING to those who choose to accept Him.  He has promised to be a Father to the fatherless and a protector to the widow.  Whatever loss this life has brought to you, God will fill that void! He will correct ALL wrong doing to His children. 


His presence, His glory surrounds those who call upon His name.  He surrounds us like a heavy fog.  All you have to do is just breathe Him in! God is everything that is good, Everything that is honest and Everything that is true! 

 

Yet, our Savior was persecuted, ridiculed. He was beaten, tortured, spit upon. He was cut, slashed, stabbed.  Our minds can not even comprehend the pain He endured.  Only the Son of God could have sustain such brutality.   He was born for a purpose.  He died for a reason.  He  was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: was chastised for our peace, beaten for our healing. He DIED so that we might LIVE!

 

Any mortal man would have screamed out in agony and begged them to stop! 

He was God!  

He could have caused the Earth to shatter around them…  Yet,

Isaiah 53:7 says

      He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
      Yet He opened not His mouth;
      He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
      And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      So He opened not His mouth.


Why? What could have motivated him to suffer such agony?? 

Simple! 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is Love and John 15:13 says.

There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for another.

 

For love such as this, Deserves an earnest heartfelt praise.  Our Savior Deserves our time in Worship!  He DESERVES our undivided attention! He Deserves Hands lifted in Honor of Praise. He deserves hearts filled with thanksgiving!  He Deserves our Love in return!

 

Where ever you are today, I pray you take a moment to reflect upon what Love accomplished for YOU. I pray you find a way to worship Him...whether it be by song, by prayer, or just standing still within the midst of His presence. However way you choose, may it be earnest, sincere and heartfelt. For He is worthy to be Praised! 




Updated:

     

I took a camera with a very DEAD battery to church this morning!  Once we returned home I grabbed a spare camera. I wanted to take outside pictures, but unfortunately it rained ALL day long.  So this is the best I could do.  As you can see, Serenity's siblings have been teaching her some bad habits. Lately during every picture she tries to pull a fast one.  The only problem is, somehow she missed the main rule of the secret bunny ear prank....You're Supposed to put them on someone OTHER than YOURSELF!  :)

        

             Happy Easter Everyone!


 


April 13th, 2009

Serenity:  "Mommy!"

Mommy: answers with back turned "Yes Reni?"

Serenity: "Mommy,  Neni's can't find Neni's E-ser basket!"

Mommy: still facing other way, "Hmm?"

Serenity: "Where Neni's E-ser basket Go?

Mommy now turns around to answer!




                  

Mommy:  laughs out loud   "Oh Silly Reni"


April 14th, 2009

                 Playing Dress up!
          

                           Where DOES she get her fashion sense?
       Oh Well,  I'm just glad she's putting clothes
ON
for a change!




April 17th, 2009

It's no secret that our home can get pretty crazy.  Stuff seven people into our little three bedroom, two bath house and you're bound to get some excitement.  There is never a dull moment and quiet seems to be a thing of the past.   Noise is just a part of our lives!
However, dealing with five small children isn't just about the sound. I also see some pretty strange things on a daily basis.  I find food in the oddest places. I encounter the most disgusting objects in pockets.  We have discovered the strangest items stuck in our toilets, all the way from  toothbrushes to potatoes.  In our home, Crayons have boldly gone where no other crayons have gone before.
Yet, even in the midst of our exciting routine, few things have actually surprised me.  That is....Until today!  As  I was going about my nightly routine, minding my own business.  I opened up our freezer to snag some meat for dinner and....




            

                  
AHHHHI nearly jumped out of my skin!

"Serenity, Why is your baby in the freezer!"

"Shhh Mommy! Baby is SLEEPING!"

whispering "Oh....So Sorry!"
 

So see what I mean! Apparently our house is SO noisy that a poor baby has to sleep in the freezer just to get some peace and quiet around here! :)


April 19th, 2009

"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation."
Psalm 91:15-16

                 

This weekend we traveled out of town for a birthday celebration! My Dad's Dad turned 95! Wow....God's Grace never ceases to amaze me! Even at 95, he still has the same spunk I remember ,more than 25 years ago!


My family has been blessed with so many wonderful years full of memories with my Grand-dad and I'm thrilled that my children get to experience them as well!

                     


April 20th, 2009
If you have ever traveled in a car with five small children, you know just how stressful it can be. "Stop touching me!" "Get on your own side!" "Mom....So and So is touching me." "I have to go to the bathroom!" "I'm hungry!" "Are we there yet?" You get the picture.

Everyone has heard the annoying stories of kids and road trips. But did you know that it can be quite comical as well? Here are a couple of funny examples from our recent trip!

Recently Serenity and Eli both have developed the skill of escaping from their car seats. I'm constantly harping on them about it! Serenity just loves to imitate her mother! Well, while driving down the road....

Serenity: "Ligah you stay in er seatbelt!"

Eli: "I am!"

Serenity: "I mean it! Don't even Tank about it!"

Eli: "Neni."

Serenity: "What?"

Eli: "I AM thinking about it!"

Serenity: very loud "NO...I SAID don't even Tank about it!"

Eli: "Haha...I'm thinking about it...right now!"

Serenity: screaming at the top of her lungs.."NO! YOU DON'T TANK ABOUT IT!"

Eli: "I AM thinking about it....I'm thinking about it!"

Serenity: almost to the point of tears "Mommy! Ligah's tanking about it!"

Mom: "It's okay Reni! He's allowed to think about it, just as long as he doesn't act on it."

Serenity: "Mommy, you said NO tank about it!"

Mom: "I know honey, obviously Mommy needs to choose her words more carefully."


Later on down the road....

Noah: holding his nose "Oh Man someone needs some Beano! Gross! Gracee did you toot?"

Gracee: "NO it wasn't me!"

Noah: "You're lying! You tooted!"

Gracee: "NO I'm not! It wasn't me! I promise!"

Noah: "Then it was Kayleigh!"

Kayleigh: "No it wasn't! I didn't do it!"

They begin arguing back and forth...accusing each other.
In the middle of all the chaos....

Serenity: very causally states, "Me tooted!"

Instant Silence...then....

Everyone: "AHHHHH!"

Reni just giggles!

   It was a long trip...a little stressful...a little comical...VERY exhausting...
 
                   


                  We are SO glad to be home!


April 22nd, 2009

My wonderful blogger friend, AKA Bella's mother Susie Ferrick, wrote a post on her blog entitled "Expectant Hope" In this post she included the definition of hope, "confident, expectancy."
I found a version that makes it even more clear...
 "to expect with confidence"

Contrary to popular belief Hope is NOT defined as merely "wishful" thinking. Hope is actually looking in expectation toward the future with confidence that something WILL be obtained!

Once you understand the true meaning of the word Hope, suddenly the biblical definition of the word Faith is seen from a completed different perspective. For

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1

Actually this scripture is saying...Faith is the substance of things EXPECTED!

Every blessing Christ died for is received by Faith! This is the Spiritual law that God set forth into motion. Just as there are physical laws of gravity or such, God has set forth Spiritual laws as well.

You see, Love has already moved the Hand of God. Compassion has already moved the hand of God. Because of His love and Compassion for us, God sent His only begotten Son to die for our Redemption.
(John 3:16) Christ has already laid the foundation for all of our blessings. He has already provided a solution to every problem we have on this Earth! Now that the solution has already been provided, God's hand is moved ONLY by Faith!

Our problems will not move the hand of God...if they did everyone would be problem free! Our whining does not move the hand of God. The only thing that will move the Hand of God, (spiritual law) is our faith in His already given provision.

When you are thirsty you ask for a drink. When someone answers by providing you with a glass of water, do you continue to ask for that said water, or do you simply reach out your hand, receive it and say thank you? The same goes for God's blessings, (salvation, healing, prosperity ALL provided on the cross) God has already provided, now it is up to us to receive His blessings!

Every day, people put their faith in things of this world. We have faith in complete strangers while driving down the road, for we EXPECT them to stay within their lane. We have faith in the pharmacist at our local drug store, for we EXPECT him to give us the right medication. We have faith in airplane pilots for we EXPECT them to come to work sober. Yet we fail to have faith in the one Being who controls ALL of these happenings. We fail to EXPECT God to bless His children. We become fearful and fail to EXPECT God to protect us! We become ill and fail to EXPECT God to heal us! He has promised us time and time again. The word says He is a God who can not lie. (Titus 1:2) He has sent forth a guideline on how to receive His blessings...obey His commandments, righteousness through the blood of Christ, and BELIEVING HIM!

Need salvation? Ask and ye SHALL receive! Expect it! Need healing? Expect it! Prosperity in ALL areas? Be obedient to God and EXPECT IT!


Does this mean we will not have trials? Absolutely NOT. The Word tells us in James 1 to consider it all joy. Within every trial there lies a lesson for us to learn. I can not even begin to tell you all the lessons we learned during our journey with Serenity. I am a completely different person than I was three years ago. I have a deeper understanding of faith, I have a closer relationship with Christ. God taught me how to COMPLETELY surrender to Him and rely on Him ALONE for ALL of my needs! He even used what satan meant for harm and not only healed my daughter, but also healed many relationships within my family! For those who love God and are called according to His purpose, He will bring our good and His glory out of EVERY trial (Romans 8:28)

God is our Heavenly Father. Just as any good parent knows there are times when we must allow our children to endure hard times. For this is the way, they learn, build character, become the person we hope for them to be. In our own way we are trying to perfect our children. However, once that little light bulb goes on and they learn their lesson, we are always there to bail them out. If this is the kind of love we have for our children, how much greater is God's love for His. For God IS love! (1 John 4:8)

Don't most of us EXPECT our earthly parents to take care of us? We EXPECT them to be there if we need healing, or provisional means. Even more than our earthly parents, our Heavenly Father wants to bless us! He does NOT want us to suffer! He LOVES us more than our human minds can even comprehend! So shouldn't we always EXPECT HIS blessings! You receive as you believe!!!

Remember we may endure trials....


"But thanks to our God who gives us Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. " 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

My Savior did NOT shed His blood in vain! My Savior did not take His stripes in vain! My Savior had a reason! My Savior had a purpose! My Savior Died to set me FREE! And my Savior DID the same for YOU!

"Have Faith in God" Mark 11:22 (Have the substance of things EXPECTED in God)


April 23rd, 2009
Serenity and Eli were playing when all of a sudden Reni starts crying. Immediately after,  Eli starts crying as well.   Then they both come running to find me!

Eli:  "Mommy, Neni ALMOST pinched me!"
Mommy: "Reni ALMOST pinched you?"
Eli: still sobbing.."Yes!"
Mommy: trying not to laugh "Oh well.. I think you'll be just fine!"

About that time, Daddy walks into the room! Eli and Reni run over to him. 
Eli tries to tattle but Reni cuts him off...

Reni: crying "Daddy, Eli ALMOST pinched me first!"
Daddy: also trying hard not to laugh "Eli ALMOST pinched you?"
Reni: sobbing "Yes!"
Daddy: teasing  "Well then... I guess you better thank him for  NOT pinching you!"
Reni: "OK..." turns toward Eli "Tank you Ligah!"
Eli: screams in anger "NO NENI... DON'T TANK ME!"
Reni: "Why?"
Eli:  "Cause I DID pinch YOU!"
Mommy: quickly "Elijah!! You know we don't pinch!"
Eli lets out a BIG sigh then stomps off toward the naughty chair! "...Man....I can't do nuffing right!"


April 26th, 2009
What do you do when you get a hankering to make snow angels in 80 degree weather?

Improvise...
             
Adapt....
             
And Overcome....
             
I knew that big gravel pile in our yard was good for something! :)


April 28th, 2009

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20

This scripture is NOT saying we are saved by works? Quite the contrary it is actually saying that if we are saved by faith....we will perform works. True Faith bears Spiritual fruit!

In Romans 4 it clearly states that Abraham was NOT justified by works but was justified only by his faith. His faith was accounted for righteousness.
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." Romans 3:28
Also, "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:14


It all about faith! It's all about what we choose to put our belief in. However there are two types of faith... a dead faith (without works) and a LIVING Faith!

It isn't enough to just say "I believe...I believe... For James 2:19 says, "the devils also believe and tremble."

How does faith work? Galatians 5:6 "...faith works by Love"

Without Love faith is dead!

According to scripture, Jesus is the way the truth and the life! (John 14:6)
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we become a new creation, old things are passed and behold All things become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We become one with Christ! There is no greater love than the Love of Christ! Plain and simply put... Living Faith bears Christ like fruit. (Love, obedience, selflessness, etc.)

For God is Love (1 John 4:8) Therefore Living Faith works by Love!

The Kingdom of God also works in the field (pun intended) of sowing and reaping.
(Galatians 6:7)
We can take a step of faith by sowing seeds toward a blessing of God.

We were faithful in sowing seeds for Serenity's healing. During our prayer time we would ask God to reveal the seed we needed to sow, " Lord, I know according to your word that you suffered for Reni's healing. We stand firm on your promise that she WAS healed on Calvary! Now what seed do I need to sow in order for it to manifest?" Once God revealed our seed then we were obedient to His words. We also named our seed! "Lord, your word says that when we are obedient to sow, we will reap a bountiful harvest. Right now, Lord I am bringing forth this seed in faith to receive Your promise."

Every seed may be different! God instructed my parents to fast. However, for Tom and myself our hearts revealed something different. We began sowing seeds for Serenity's healing by witnessing, blessing and praying for other families in similar situations. You see, usually the seed that you will need to sow, will be the toughest thing for your flesh to let go of. God uses trials to help us become more Christ like, to strengthen us spiritually (James 1). In order to do this, we must rid ourselves of the flesh.
Everyone has problems in different areas of their flesh.

As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our children. When your child is fighting for their life, it is so easy to become engulfed in your own burden. It's instinct to the flesh to become wrapped up in our own selfish pleas. You become consumed with the thought, I must help my baby, Lord save MY baby!

All the while, a mom is sitting on the other side of a paper thin wall crying over her dying child because she doesn't even know HOW to call out to God. No matter how difficult your situation is, there is always someone whose situation is MORE difficult. For, there is
always someone who doesn't have the comfort of believing in the healing power of our Lord and Savior.

In order to become more Christ like we MUST become selfless! We must TRUST God enough to lay aside our own problems! For this kind of trust truly is LIVING faith! (If we are totally consumed with our issues are we really walking in faith? Remember faith is EXPECTING something WILL be obtained! )

God opened our hearts and our eyes to see the suffering of others. We used this insight as an opportunity to witness! We placed Serenity into the hands of our Heavenly Father, and focused our compassion on other patients and their families. Even though, Tom had been without work for weeks, we blessed several families financially. We gave out of our need! (Yet God always sustained us.  The more we gave to others the more God gave back to us. It's impossible to out give God!) We spent time spreading the gospel to those needing Hope. We prayed fervently for the children of others. We made the decision to step outside of our pity bubble and allow God to direct our steps. We tried to seize every opportunity. We tried to become true servants of Christ. We did all of this, while speaking healing scriptures and proclaiming health over Serenity. We never let go of the promise God had given our daughter, we just reached out to help others hold on to theirs as well.

We must allow our flesh to die out, place our situations entirely into God's hands and embrace others with His love. Faith without works is dead! However, when we choose to combine our belief with sowing selfless seeds toward healing and prosperity, God ALWAYS brings forth life!

April 29th, 2009

Before Church started, I was killing time by taking some quick photos.  Serenity was being her normal playful self, prancing around the sanctuary, making everyone smile. She was posing for the camera and being a little ham. Just before time for service to begin, she wondered up onto the platform. She stopped, looked right at the camera and smiled big. 

Awww what a perfect little picture! 

So I picked up the camera and....


CLICK!

              

 In a flash,  she raised her dress up for the entire congregation to see! The camera captured the moment just before the skirt went up over her head!

"OH Serenity! You had to go up onto the platform to do THAT! "

That's our Reni, always the center of attention! :)

On a nicer note...

I did snag this cute photo of the babies FINALLY being good! Along with their cousin Talynn, they all lined up on the front pew with hymnals carefully in place and sweetly sang for Jesus!

       

Not one of them can read a lick, but they sure had fun concentrating on those words! :)






 
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