Through the Valley
of
Serenity
Our Family's Miracle Journey
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June 2009



June 1st, 2009

Before Serenity's arrival I walked through life in a perfect little bubble.  I was completely oblivious to the dangers and evils of this world. I loved the Lord with all of my heart. Yet, I had become complacent in my walk of faith.  I took for granted every perfect heart beat, every laborless breath.  I took for granted all the blessings of normalcy.
The moment my perfect little bubble burst, my eyes were opened to a world full of uncertainty.  As impossible as our situation seemed, I crossed paths with a multitude of parents facing worse scenarios than my own.  I witnessed grieving moms beaten down by cancer, birth defects, accidents.  I witnessed babies crying for hours in their hospital beds alone because they had no mothers to cuddle them.  No one completely understands the evil in this world until they are forced to face it.   It's easy for us to become complacent... sitting every Sunday in our pews... saying our two minute bedtime prayers... taking for granted every goodnight kiss...every perfect heartbeat...every laborless breath.  It's easy to take for granted all the blessings of normalcy.  But just as this songs says, truth is.. 

"We're all one phone call from our knees"

So often it takes tragedy to wake us up.  It takes the trials of this world to make us realize just how much we need our Savior. Sometimes it takes an evil act to pull us Closer to Love. 

I no longer want to become complacent.  I no longer want to walk through life in darkness.  I want  Jesus to shine brightly within me.  I want to become a light in a dark world... shining brightly for all to see.  I want to stand in the gap for every sick child.  I want to hold every lonely baby.  I don't want to be pulled closer to Love.  
                                I want to RUN..

             Eyes wide open, into the Shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91)






June 2nd, 2009

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

This scripture is such an awesome promise. Just as every promise of God, it is so straight forward. God never leaves any room for doubt. There are NO maybes, mights or could be. Just plain and simple... do this and I WILL do this!
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He WILL sustain you. He WILL NEVER let the Righteous fall."

As a mother of five, I LOVE doing things for my children. I take great pride in caring for them... for a couple of reasons;
One... I love them more than life itself and it warms my heart to nurture them... and two.. I want things done RIGHT! If I do them myself first hand then I know the job is efficient.

Our little arrangement would work out fine. Except... my children are just too independent... especially Serenity.
Reni's favorite words are... "NO! I do it myself."
I can not tell you how many times we have had this conversation...

"Serenity, what are you doing? I already did it for you."

"NO! I do it MYSELF."

Big sigh " I guess you have to learn...Okay, do it yourself."

A minute later, I either go behind her and redo it or she comes crying.."Mommy, help me!"

Either way... I'm stuck doing whatever it is at least twice and we both end up frustrated.

Just like Serenity, I also like to do things myself. So many times I have become burdened down with the cares of this world. So often I have suffered grief. I have carried sorrow. I have felt broken, depressed, lost. There have been many nights when I have cried myself to sleep. So many times I have just wanted to give up. The burden seemed too heavy. I felt the weight of a load impossible for me to carry.

Looking back now, I wonder... Was Jesus looking down on me shaking His head saying..."What are you doing? I already did that for you."

For God's Word says..
"Surely He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4

Why must we insist on doing everything ourselves? We KNOW that we will never be able to do it as well as our Lord. Yet... we insist on trying anyway.

"I'm strong enough! I can carry this heavy load!"

Then soon after, we become overwhelmed... we begin to crumble and we must call out for help.

"Lord, Help me!"


How frustrating it must be... constantly doing everything over and over again.
Yet... Jesus is always patiently waiting to pick up the pieces and mend our broken hearts.


Once we finally make up our minds to cast our cares upon Jesus, He's always ready to wrap His arms around us and shower us with a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Do we not realize He already holds every tear in His hands? He counts each drop and not one tear is overlooked. He knows our suffering. He knows our sorrow. Do we not realize, He LOVES US! He HAS already provided healing for our mind, body and spirit. He has already provided an answer to every problem we have to face. He has already provided a peace to guard our minds and hearts.

We just have to call out His name!

We just have to lay our cares on the alter and say..."Lord... I give this to you."

Then let go...Completely LET GO...and walk away!

Yet for most of us, even after we make the decision to walk away, we tend to come back. Satan begins to whisper into our ears. "He doesn't want your burden. He doesn't care about you. He has more important people to care for" We know he is the father of lies. We know he is incapable of telling the truth. Yet, we listen to him anyway. So once again, we pick up our burden. This time feeding it with self pity, more worry, and more depression. Before long our burden is twice as heavy as it was before.

All we have to do...is place our complete trust in God. We have to KNOW that He loves us. We have to EXPECT His blessings, EXPECT Him to take care of our burdens. We MUST completely surrender our own will. We MUST completely trust our Savior. We MUST NOT look at the problem but rather focus on the Deliverer. God rose Peter up above his storm. Peter walked on water until his eyes began to wander. Once he started looking at the winds around him, he began to sink. No matter how strong the storm, no matter how big the burden...We MUST keep our eyes focused on Jesus! Problem SOLVED!
.

"Lord, you will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is stayed on you. Because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever. For in the Lord is everlasting strength."
Isaiah 26:3-4

God has promised to wipe away every tear... mend the broken hearted...bring peace in the storm...heal every fiber of our being. Nothing is too great for our Savior. No pain, physical nor emotional, is too severe for His hand to numb.

"Surely He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows."Isaiah 53:4

Don't leave Jesus standing there, shaking His head.... "What are you doing... I already did that for you!" Instead..

"Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you."1 Peter 5:7



June 3rd, 2009

Last night, the girls were playing Simon Says with Eli.

Kayleigh:
"Simon says, Sit down."

Grace:
"Good Eli."

Kayleigh:
"Stand up!"

Grace:
"NO Eli! You have to wait until Simon says."

Eli:
"Oh..."

Kayleigh:
"Simon says, Roll over!"

Grace:
"ELI...Simon said Roll over!

Eli just shakes his head.

Kayleigh:
"Simon SAYS, Stand up!"

Grace:
"Eli, STAND UP! Simon said!"


Again Eli shakes his head.

Gracee:
"Are you playing or what?'

Eli:
"Yep"

Gracee:
"Then WHY won't you stand up?"

Eli:
"Simon not say!"

Grace:
"YES HE DID!"

Eli:
"When? looks around the room Simon not even here!"

Grace: "Kayleigh is Simon."

Eli: looks confused... No er not! Simon at... imitating Ryan Seacrest...    This is... AMERICAN IDOL!"


You do have to give him credit for one thing...
Kayleigh looks NOTHING like Simon Cowell! :)



June 4th, 2009

                                        Summertime Fun

                     Have you ever purposely slid into a shark's mouth?   
                                             We have....

              
               Well, actually some of us walked VERY cautiously....

                       
                       Enjoying life's simple pleasures along the way....

                         
                                               We had fun slipping....
                          
                                                        And Sliding....
                          
                                               And we did it all in 3D.
                          
                                        Well, at least those of us who...

                                 
                            Actually managed to keep their goggles on!  :)




June 5th, 2009
                                   Choose Life!
               

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying God, and holding fast; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that God swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham and Sarah, to Isaac and Rebekah, and to Jacob and Rachel." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

I believe this scripture stands true for us today. Even as born again Christians, every morning we wake up and make a choice... Am I going to trust God today.... Am I going to walk by faith... Am I going to believe the negative reports of this world or Am I going to believe the TRUTH? (God's Holy Word)

Every day we make a choice to walk within the blessings of God or to walk within the curses of Adam and Eve. We make a choice. I believe that we can live in the land God swore to our ancestors... even while here on this Earth. I believe that we can live a life of abundance... physical and spiritual. I believe that we WILL encounter trials (it is promised) but I believe we can ALWAYS walk in Victory!

As you can read in Numbers the 13th and 14th chapters,  the Israelite children were also handed a choice. God swore unto them a land flowing with milk and honey. He delivered them out of Egypt. He performed miracle after miracle, supplying all of their needs. It should have been so simple to trust God. It should have been an absolute "NO BRAINIER" that God would fulfill His promise.

Yet, once they arrived, many chose to believe a negative report. The spies were sent out...The walls are so tall, the land is surrounded on all sides. It's impossible....blah blah blah. The people were faced with circumstances and became fearful. We're gonna get slaughtered! Let's load up and head back to Egypt!

Only a handful trusted a God who can NOT lie! Caleb did not ignore the height of the wall, nor did he deny the mighty forces on each side. He simply picked up his armor...God said it therefore it is! Let's Fight! The land belongs to us. We WILL win!

All were God's children...All were promised the same land. Yet only a handful entered in. Caleb received his promise land because he chose to believe God's report. He placed his trust fully in God! He chose life!

How many times have we acted as the doubtful multitude? How many times have we gave up on the promises of God because it seemed too impossible? How many times have turned our eyes toward the circumstances instead of focusing on the Deliverer? How many times have we been handed a negative report and laid claim to it?

We are promised many blessings, but we must HOLD FAST to God's promises. Even when things seem impossible. We must NEVER doubt God's goodness or ability! We must be confident in Christ! Last time I checked, the Word said to come BOLDLY to the throne of Grace.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16


Caleb was bold in his faith. He did not turn and run from his fight. He knew alone he was far too weak, but he was not relying on himself. He was relying on the promises of God! He KNEW that greater is He that is in us than he that is in this world!
(1 John 4:4)

We are to be bold because we are to be confident of who Christ is and what HE accomplished for us! We must know who we are in Christ....

We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS! (Romans 8:37)

Every day we are faced with two reports... the report this world has to offer (eternal damnation, poverty, sickness, divorce,etc) or God's report! We are faced with two choices... life or death. We can have eternal life... life in our finances...life in our health....life in our marriages! We can live in a land flowing with milk and honey or we can choose to live in the darkness of this world.

Every day we make a choice! Today will you choose life or death? Once the reports are in...Whose report will you believe?




June 6th, 2009

The day didn't start out that great for Serenity.  She woke up this morning with an upset tummy. Unfortunately, we didn't have to take her word for it, She gave us some yucky proof several times. :( 

She just laid in Mommy's lap for most of the morning.  When I asked her if she was feeling bad, she nodded her head, then replied with a BIG confident smile... "Jesus WILL make me better!"  So young, yet such unwavering faith.  Oh... to have the heart of a child! (Mark 10:15)
 

Over and over again,  "Jesus will make me better.  Jesus will heal me!" 

Until finally... she fell asleep....

       
She slept for what seemed like forever.  Then.. VIOLA... she was back to her usual mischievous self.  She was up running and playing just like any other day.

The other kids enjoyed outside play for awhile.  Although Reni made a brief appearance in her new bathing suit, she spent most of the day inside...just in case. 

After Kayleigh had been playing hard for awhile, she came inside to cool off and sighed, "Whew I'm pooped!" 

Reni didn't hesitate for a moment before she blurted out,
"Oh that nassy! You should be a big girl like me and poop in da potty!" 

LOL  Yep!  She seems to be back to her old self! :)



June 7th, 2009

Update on Serenity:
Reni, hasn't had any more tummy problems since yesterday morning. However, last night she started running a temperature... not high, but just high enough to consider it a fever...101. As long as she has Motrin in her system, she's good to go. She doesn't even act like she feels bad. Until...the moment the medicine wears off. Then she's back in Mommy's lap. As a matter of fact she's in my arms at this very moment while I type.  She's just about to doze...... zzzz zz zzz off. :)

On a more serious note, recently I was reminiscing. While we were going through Serenity's valley, I would listen to parents worrying over colds, flu, minor allergies. I remember thinking..."Man after all we've been through, I'm NEVER going to sweat over the small stuff again." And for awhile, I lived up to that standard. Things would come my way and just roll off my back.. no big deal. Then it happened! After two years of security, I've grown accustomed to normalcy. Last night, I was sweating the small stuff. 

I do not want worry over ANYTHING!  For, I do not want to become complacent. God taught us many lessons during our journey with Serenity. Lessons that I desperately do NOT want to have to learn again.

Still... there is the factor that because Serenity has once had heart problems, we will always have to be more cautious with her concerning colds and viruses. Medically speaking... it could cause her to be more susceptible to infections around the heart. A simple virus could soon become a major thing. Nothing to really worry about... just something to be more cautious about. She gets antibiotics more often and sooner than most people.. that kind of thing.

Anyway, we are always to be on alert for a temperature higher than 100.4. After, taking her temperature last night I started to feel fear creeping in. Fear over what... a little virus? Nothing compared to what we've been through. Right? Yet, my mind soon filled with those "what ifs." The "what ifs" soon began to overwhelm me. I felt as if I was nearly drowning with anxiety. I could hardly even breathe.

Immediately, I had to repent and call out to God for help...
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy1:7

I realized that I was not completely trusting my Savior. Once I repented, instantly my spirit recognized what the enemy was trying to do. He
wants me to become fearful. For when I'm controlled by fear, I allow him access into my life. His main purpose is to bring destruction. Especially, to God's children. He wants to destroy Serenity's testimony. He wants to destroy ANYTHING that gives God Glory. The word says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8
We must be wise to his devises! We must leave him no room to operate. He has NO authority over me nor my family. As a child of God, covered by the blood of Jesus, only two people have authority over my life... God and myself. I have to open a door for the enemy...through, fear, disobedience, sin... anything that bears the fruit of this world. Otherwise, God has allowed a trial because he sees something in my life that needs perfecting. If God has allowed it then I have the promise according to Romans 8:28 that He will turn it around for my good.

I have NOTHING to fear!

So I prayed for quite a while. Then I declared... "Get BEHIND me satan! You're a LIAR!" Immediately the peace of God filled my heart and I slept soundly without a second thought!
God is so awesome!



June 9th, 2009

Good news! Serenity is feeling much better.  Yesterday morning she said.  "No fevers!  Yay! Tank you Jesus! Praise da Lord!"

Since everyone was feeling so well.  We decided to spend some time bathing in the sun.  So...

                        Today was a lazy summer day
      
                              
Ahhh! This is SO the life!

          Even rambunctious little Reni enjoyed the relaxation...


        

             
However... a day of play isn't without its side effects. 
               After all the summer fun, Kayleigh pulled me aside...
            "Mom, do I have something on my back? It hurts."
                 "Let me see... Where exactly does it hurt?"
                  Kayleigh points to the center of her back
                                     "Right.....HERE!"

 

                   

                      UH.... YEAH.... X definitely Marks the Spot!

                           FYI:  Even SPF 50 has its limits!


June 11th, 2009

"Not to us oh Lord, but to YOU goes ALL the Glory for your unfailing Love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1

It's no secret that God loves to be glorified. For it's through His glory that we come to know His saving grace. It's through HIS Glory that we learn to completely rely on Him. His Glory is what catches our eye. His Glory is what draws us closer.

But so many times we tend to deny God His glory. So often we deny Him Glory for healing...I had some awesome doctors!
We often deny Him glory for our protection.. I was just lucky.

We are so ready to give anyone or anything else God's credit. That's why sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom. We have to go past the point of possibility... So credit can be given where credit is due.

Have you ever read the story of Gideon?  It's an awesome story found in the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges. Gideon was facing one of the most powerful armies... the Midianites. Not only were they powerful, but they were numerous as well. The word tells us they were thick as locusts and their camels could no more be counted than sand on the seashore. Can you imagine facing an army of that multitude?

There were times when Gideon became fearful. But God promised him Victory and he remained obedient. He started out with only 32,000 troops. If that wasn't impossible enough...22,000 became fearful and left. Then God took it a step further...
"The Lord said...There are still too many, take them down to the water and I will sift them for you there."

God wanted to receive ALL the glory for the Victory. He was leaving no room for doubt. Gideon was soon left with only 300. Yep I said.. 300 men facing an army compared to sand on a seashore. How many of us would have said...NO WAY! This is far too impossible.. Many of us today would have denied God's promise of Victory. Many of us would have accepted defeat. But not Gideon. He was faithful in listening to the voice of God and with the Lord's encouragement...He pushed through.

Now wait this story only gets more interesting. What weapons do you think they took with them? Spears? Swords? Nope! They had empty jars, torches and trumpets. Yes.. I said trumpets. They went in facing one of the most feared armies, with 300 men carrying trumpets. Surely they're setting themselves up for their own slaughter? Right?

Nope again. "When the 300 trumpets sounded the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords." God remained faithful to His promise of Victory. Gideon was Victorious because he remained obedient and fully trusted in a God who can NOT lie.

While going through our valley with Serenity. We went from the possibility of a slightly routine heart surgery...(good thing we have good doctors)...to a very difficult and extremely dangerous heart surgery...(good thing they're sending us to better doctors)... to no surgery can save your daughter's heart..(Lord, what are we going to do now)...God wanted ALL the Glory. He had to take us to a place where ALL we had was His promise of healing.

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we fully rely on God. Sometimes God has to remove all obstacles before He can receive His glory.


For the more impossible it seems....
The more Glory God Receives!


The problem is.. most of the time we (myself included) give up too easily. We focus on the circumstances.... instead of God's promise of victory. We see the fierce multitude of the enemy and we become fearful. "Oh, it must not be God's will." Sometimes we miss God's perfect plan because we fail to be obedient and trust a God who can NOT lie.

Do you remember back in 95 or 96... the first Holyfield vs.Tyson fight? Not the one of the infamous ear bite..but the first one.
I remember it well because I knew the outcome before the fight ever started.

Holyfield being the less fit underdog declared victory by God's hand. He boldly professed God was on His side. Tyson on the other hand,  just mocked his declarations.

I dished out the $50 for pay per view and invited all of my friends over to watch. For just as I'm sure that the Titanic had to sink when so many said.."Not even God can sink this ship." Holyfield HAD to win that fight! If Tyson would have won, our God would have appeared small to millions of unbelievers. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN...GOD WILL NEVER APPEAR SMALL!


Gideon and Holyfield won their battles because they openly placed all their trust in God! And...

"As the scripture says, Anyone who places their trust in Him will NEVER be put to shame." Romans 10:11

We may hit rock bottom. We may have plenty of reasons to become fearful. We may be left with NOTHING except a promise of God to hold on to. But as long as we are fully trusting Him...A promise is ALL we need!

We serve a God of miracles... A God of Victory....
A GOD OF GLORY!

"Therefore whether you eat or drink, whatever you do...Do all to the Glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31





June 13th, 2009

I've been having a hard time getting Serenity to eat anything for the past  few days.  It seems her tummy is still not quite up to par. She turned her nose up to everything I fixed.  Since she's already very skinny, I've been letting her eat anything she wants... junk food included.  Dare I admit that... She's had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for breakfast the last two mornings.  *Cringe* 
I just didn't want to risk her losing any more weight.  Anyway, now it seems she is completely spoiled and giving her mommy the run around.

              Yesterday, I just so happened to fix....Spaghetti...
          Bright eyed with a big grin, she jumps into her chair.
                   "Sketti! Yay! That's my FAV...OR...ITE!
                      
                                     Then she ATE...
                      
                                                     
                                      And ATE...
                                         AND....
                                        
               
                                           ATE!

     Then immediately after waking up this morning, she asked me...
                       "Mommy I eats cookie go ice cream?"
             "Not right now honey, you have to eat breakfast first."
             She quickly pouts up her bottom lip and rubs her tummy...
                          "But Mommy... my tummy urts."
                                 trying not to laugh..
      "Oh no missy! Your busted! Breakfast first..THEN... ice cream!"
                                She ate her breakfast.
                But, Apparently... I'm such a mean Mommy! :)



June 15th, 2009

Very few people know how our family ended up with Eli. You see.. Tom and I were not expecting to have any more children. As a matter of a fact, we were actually trying NOT to have any more children. I thought we had our hands full with the three we already had.

However, little did we know. Noah was quickly becoming VERY tired of being the only boy in the bunch. He was sick of having to defend himself against two VERY overbearing little sisters. Believe it or not, our girls are FAR more aggressive than our boys. Although Noah is the oldest, he has always been the laid back, quiet type. He doesn't fight. He just... kind of... goes with the flow. The girls are SO NOT like that. Which ever way the flow is flowing, it's because they TOLD it to.! They definitely know what they want and they WILL get it! Plain and simple. Noah's personality just doesn't stand up to the tide. He's always being overridden. At the time, he needed someone he knew would always have his back. He decided the answer was a little brother.
So it came as no surprise to him when Mommy announced..
"We're gonna have another baby."
Noah just looked up with a smile and said... "I know! I've been praying every night for a little brother and I knew God would give me one."

Even though it was a long time before we could technically discover the baby's sex.. We all knew we were having a little boy. God had answered Noah's prayer and given him a little brother.


However, once Eli was born. It didn't take long before Noah grew tired of having to share his "boy" things. Eli was always breaking his favorite toys, messing up his playstation, or just getting in the way. Each time Noah would become frustrated, I would always remind him..."Remember... You Prayed for a little brother. God gave him to you because He trusts you to take care of him." I don't think he ever fully comprehended my message, UNTIL... this weekend.

The boys were outside playing... doing boy stuff. When Noah comes running into the house. "Mom, Eli cracked his head open."

"What?"

"Eli, cracked his head open."

Immediately, I ran outside and met Eli at the front porch. He was covered in blood. His once bright blond head was literally BLOOD red.... completely saturated. His shirt collar was completely stained and it was actually dripping blood. My heart sank as I wiped the blood from his face.

"NOAH! What happened?"

Noah was crying hysterically! He could barely spit the words out.

"He got hit with a rock."

"A ROCK? How did he get hit with a rock? Were YOU throwing rocks again?"

He begins to cry even harder.

"Yeeeessss! I was skipping them on the mud puddle and he walked in front of me. MOM.. take him to the hospital!"

I looked at Eli, drenched in blood. I knew that head wounds bleed beyond excessively. Something very minor could appear to be very serious. On the other hand, because of the amount of blood, It was so hard to determine the size of the wound. I decided not to take any chances. While praying, I quickly ran into the house, grabbed a clean wash cloth and told Kayleigh to apply pressure as I changed out of my pajamas. It didn't take long before the wash cloth was also completely saturated with blood.

Tom was out fishing with my brother. So I loaded all the kids up and headed for the hospital. On the way, Noah was still sobbing.
"Mom, I prayed for Eli."

"I know honey and Eli is going to be just fine."

Meanwhile... Eli was just sitting there perfectly calm.. no tears... no worries... just wiping the blood out of his eyes.

The bleeding stopped just as we were pulling up to the ER. We went in anyway. Once the nurses saw my blood covered little boy. They wasted no time taking him back.

As they were cleaning the wound, I glanced down and suddenly blushed with embarrassment. The entire time, my shorts were completely unzipped. I
casually reached down and tried to zip them without being noticed. However, much to my surprise, I could not locate the zipper. Upon careful inspection, I realized... in the mad dash to get dressed, not only had I forgotten to zip my shorts, BUT.. I had also put them on inside out. Yep... I could not find my zipper because it was INSIDE my shorts. Obviously, sticking my hand down my pants in order to grasp the zipper was completely out of the question at that particular moment. So... I desperately pulled the bottom of my shirt down in an attempt to cover my mistake. Fortunately no one noticed... or... they were just being really polite by not saying anything.  
Either way I was grateful! :)


Anyway, It turns out that Eli did NOT have to have any stitches. As a matter of fact, all the commotion was over this tinnie tiny, itty bitty, little scratch...
                 
                                                  UNBELIEVABLE!

The other good part is.. Noah has once again realized just how much he LOVES his brother. He suddenly has more patience and understanding. He has even given him permission to play with all of his things.

Since the accident they have become inseparable...

           

               
"Thank you Jesus for giving me my little brother,
                                                 and...

                            for KEEPING him around."





June 18th, 2009


        Anatomy 101... From the mind of Serenity


Mommy points to various parts on Reni's body as Reni states their name and purpose

"Reni, What's this?"

"Eyes"

"Good and what are eyes for?"

"Open and close." demonstrates by blinking several times.

"Good girl! Now what's this?"

"Mouth."

"Good! And what's a mouth for?"

"Lip Gloss."

"Umm... okay. Yes... we do put lip gloss on our mouths...Good!
Now what's this?"


"Ear"

"Good! What's an ear for?"

"Ear rings"

"Okay... but not until you're much much older. Now what's this?"

"Nose"

"Good.. What's a nose for"

"Yucky stuff"

LOL "Yucky stuff?"

Oh no... My prissy little girl did NOT just say that!.... Did she?

Yes she did!

            Betcha can't guess what she said her fingers were for?


                 
                                                 Yep...
                                    To get the yucky stuff.





June 22nd, 2009

I wanna leave a legacy.

How will they remember me?

Did I choose to love?

Did I point to you enough...

To make a mark on things?

I wanna leave an offering.

A child of mercy and grace...

who blessed your name

Unapologetically

And leave that kind of legacy.

Nicole Nordeman- "Legacy"



Everyone wants to be remembered. Everyone wants to believe their life had some meaning... that they made an impression on this world (whether good or bad). Everyone wants a legacy.


This past week, my last remaining grandparent passed away. He lived a very long and fruitful life. He was 95 and had five children, 22 children, 33 great- children and 10 great - great grandchildren. He was a born- again Christian, who enjoyed sharing the gospel.

During the funeral, I began thinking about the life he lived and then my own life. At his grave site, I noticed the thousands of headstones that lined the cemetery... each one representing a life.

Who were all these people? What life did they lead? Whose life did they touch? Some lived only a few hours... some lived 100 years. Yet, all were given the same opportunity to affect someone's life. Did they affect it in a positive way or a negative way? Where they a pure example of God's love or a direct impression of satan himself? Some were laid to rest days ago... some have been buried for nearly a century. Are they still remembered? Are the memories good? And most importantly WHERE are all these people now? Are they celebrating eternal life or enduring eternal torture?

It really started to sink in. Each headstone represents a life lived. Each grave represents a soul departed. Who were all these people? What was their legacy?

I began to think about a couple of this world's "Legends." Marilyn Monroe was beautiful, yet she lived such a sad, unhappy life. Her legacy is actually referred to as one of America's greatest tragedies. I do not want to be a "tragedy" just to be remembered. I want my story to be an encouraging one.

Then of course there is one of the world's greatest legends... Elvis Presley with his sexy look and sultry voice, made the world smile. He forever changed our view of music and entertainment. He set an example for generations to come. Yes in deed, Elvis will live on as an icon until the end of this world.....

Suddenly it hits me.... that's just it.... this world WILL end.

So I then began to think about Billy Graham and the millions of people he's led to God's saving Grace. For years, he has worked to further God's kingdom. Not only has he been blessed for his faithfulness while on this earth, but he's also secured a legacy that will NEVER end. Billy Graham will be remembered even AFTER the end of this world... for His legacy is eternal.

Now as I look at my life... How will I be remembered? The number is not important to me. I don't care how MANY people remember me... Only HOW they remember me. Does Lisa Marie really care that her Dad was a legend to millions of people? I don't think she does. I just think she wishes he was alive to be a legend in her eyes.

I want to be a pure example of the love of Christ! I want to be an encouraging story of God's blessings and the Victory provided by the sacrifice of Jesus. I want to live a life that will draw people closer to Him!

When I leave this world, I want a legacy my children will be proud of. But most importantly... I want a legacy my SAVIOR will be proud of. When my eyes finally behold the Glory of God's face, I want to hear...

"Well Done my good and faithful servant!"


For that is by far the greatest legacy!

Everyone wants to be remembered. Everyone wants to believe their life had some meaning... that they made an impression on this world (whether good or bad). Everyone wants a legacy.


I wanna leave a legacy.

How will they remember me?

Did I choose to love?

Did I point to you enough...

To make a mark on things?

I wanna leave an offering.

A child of mercy and grace...

who blessed your name

Unapologetically

And leave that kind of legacy.

Nicole Nordeman- "Legacy"

              
What kind of legacy will YOU leave?


June 24, 2009

                        The Dress Shop Shuffle

What happens when you take two very active toddlers into a department store?
Why... you end up doing the Dress Shop Shuffle of course!


1. First place the toddlers into a twin stroller. Buckle them up nice and tight... You don't want them escaping.

2. Carefully move the HUGE stroller between the cramped clothing racks. When you crash on occasion.. smile and glance around to make sure no one is watching.

3. Sternly warn the toddlers.. "Do not touch anything!" Then... WHEN the toddlers fail to heed your warning, bend over to pick up various articles of clothing as you pass each rack. Bend.. pick... bend... pick and 5...6...7...8...

Your doing good ladies!

4. Next... Dare to actually look at clothing. Mind you.. this is a very dangerous step and should only be attempted by the most experienced Super Moms. Because only the experienced mom knows there is a sequence you MUST follow... A perfect rhythm that MUST be kept...
glance right.. down stroller... glance left... down stroller...forward... left...down.. right...down.. forward... left..down...right..down...forward...


Got the rhythm? Good!

5. You spot a sale rack! $4.00 Bermuda shorts and tank tops.. You lose concentration as your mind wanders... Let's see this one is good for Kayleigh.. Gracee would LOVE this one.. Maybe I should get two..... hmmm

6. Suddenly you hear a giggle. OH NO! You turn to look.. Sure enough... there is a reason you call toddler number two "Skinny Reni." She has escaped her seat belt and unbuckled her brother as well.

7. She quickly darts off. You chase her under, through and OVER clothing racks... leaving your stroller, purse and son behind. Oops... you run back to grab your son.

8. Other customers watch in amusement as you vainly yell... "NO! STOP! COME BACK HERE! 1..2..3...." All attempts fail. Until finally you catch her by the ankle as she attempts to crawl between the legs of a mannequin.

9. She kicks, screams and bites... Throwing a two year old fit. You desperately try to hold onto BOTH toddlers as you make your way back to the stroller. They wiggle.. you squirm... wiggle... squirm... wiggle.. squirm.. trying to push each one back onto your hips.

10. Back at the stroller, you buckle the escape artist in first... muttering under your breath.. "Just wait until I get you home." Meanwhile toddler number one thinks his little sister's game looks like a lot of fun. He grins as he jumps out of the stroller.
Here we go again....


11. Whew! Time for intermission. All toddlers all caught and restrained. You give them a couple of books off a nearby shelf. They're now quiet and reformed. So you continue to finish your shopping.

12. After a few minutes, all is forgotten. Shopping is complete for the children. You begin to head toward the checkout counter. When suddenly...

13. You spot the cutest little outfit for yourself. You think to yourself... No! Just keep walking... But... it's on sale and the babies are being really good... the smart thing to do is just keep walking... But today is NOT your smart day.

14. You grab the outfit and head to the nearest dressing room! BIG MISTAKE!

15. The stroller is too large for the dressing area. So you park it just outside the door. You set the babies on the table inside the room and again sternly warn them to stay put! You begin to undress...

16. Your vision is blocked for merely a moment as you remove your shirt. You turn around. Where is toddler number 2? You twirl around several times.... she's gone! You hear a faint giggle on the other side of the partitioned wall. You drop to the ground and look underneath the wall. Yep.. toddler number 2 is crawling from dressing room to dressing room.

17. Once again you make a vain attempt to call her back. When that doesn't work! You exit the room... Topless... in hopes of snagging her before she leaves the dressing area entirely. You barely succeed!

18. Completely exhausted and mortified... you give up all hopes of buying anything for yourself. Instead... you retrieve only the children's clothing and head to the nearest check out counter.

Here's the Dress Shop Shuffle in quick review:

Buckle... Crash...bend...pick...bend... pick...bend...pick...glance right... down stroller... glance left... down stroller... forward... left...down.. right...down... forward...
STOP!

Yell..."NO! STOP! COME BACK HERE! 1...2...3..."
wiggle... squirm... wiggle.. squirm... Buckle...Crash... AGAIN!
 Now REST!
Strip...twirl...fall down... jump up.... RUN!... CATCH...dress...buckle... go...crash...go...

NOW BREATHE!!!



Yet even with all the commotion, I can't help but think about
this post. I once prayed for just one tiny movement. Now I pray for just one tiny moment. God is sooo good! I am so thankful that both of my toddlers are healthy enough... to run me raggid. :)


June 26th, 2009

"You better kiss me... cause you're gonna miss me when I'm gone!" ( Or... maybe not! )  LOL 
Just letting everyone know that we will be living in the dark ages for several days... no computer access.  We should be back with lots of updates by July 4th (if not before.)  In the meantime, everyone can follow theburkfamily on twitter.  We will be updating via cellphone often.  Lots of Love and we'll see ya soon! 





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