Through the Valley
Our Family's Miracle Journey
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June 2010

June 7th, 2010

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

My heart goes out to all those who believe they can survive the troubles of this world without God.  How lonely it must be... how completely devastating it must feel... to be offered no hope and have no where to turn. During all the dark moments of my life, there has always been light at the end of my tunnel.  I always had the promise of a new and better day.  I always had God's love to hold me together.... not just through the arms of those closest to me... but God brought complete strangers into my life to show me His love during the moments when I needed it the most. I would NOT have made it through without HIS love! His love has always been there and I have always felt it so strong.  His love is everlasting! It never changes.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

He is a God that is no respecter of persons! His love is eternal for each of us who call upon His name!  The choice belongs to us!  We have the choice to FEEL His love and to SHARE His love.  His love is eternal, but the choice is ours.

No matter how dark life seems... all we need is LOVE and
LOVE will hold us together!

It's waiting for you...
Knocking at your door. 
Every moment of truth
when your heart hits the floor
and you're on your knees... Then

Love, will, hold us together
Make us a shelter
to weather the storm

And I'll, be, my brothers keeper
So the whole world will know
That we're not alone

Surrender to His love.... enter into a new and better world.  Make this the first day of the rest of your life.  So that even in the dark you can still see the light. Then share that love and light up the entire world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

June 8th, 2010
Just in case you're wondering... we haven't been home for about 10 days. God blessed us with a wonderful vacation. I apologize to those who look for journal updates.  I was without computer access. Good news is I will be posting further details, along with pictures, either tonight or tomorrow. However, right now I need to go to the grocery store as we are completely without most of our necessities.  The kids are hungry and our cupboards are empty! Not to mention the mountain of laundry that is forever calling my name. :)
Thank you for understanding and not forgetting about our little family! We truly appreciate the time each of you spend reading about our blessed life!

June 9th, 2010

Okay.... so back on April 25th, I wrote a Journal entry on tithing and I shared with you Serenity's desire to go to Disney world.  One day we were sitting around talking about vacation and I asked everyone what they wanted to do.  I was actually referring to the same place we normally go, which is fairly close to home and doesn't cost
hardly anything.  We were planning on keeping it cheer, since had to spend our savings last year due to the harsh economy.  Anyway... Serenity had just watched a commercial for Disney World and she blurted out..."I wanna see Minnie Mouse!"  (Minnie is one of her favorite things)  I tried to explain to her the harsh realities of a family of seven traveling that far with little to NO savings. We would need several thousand dollars and we had very little extra. She wasn't buying my excuse.  She simply stated..."Jesus has plenty of money in HIS pocket and He will give it if we ask."  Well...How can you argue with that? :)

Soon after... God spoke to me to start tithing 20% instead of 10.  This was a leap of faith because our budget had NO wiggle room.  However.. I was obedient.  If there's one thing I know... it's you can NEVER out give God.  I knew our needs would be supplied even if God had to rain manna from Heaven!! :)

Immediately after I started tithing 20%, I began to notice that suddenly we had money left over. So I began putting some back every week. 
Tommy's step-mom's Dad lives in Florida.  Well... come to find out... They had a rental property gone bad.  The renters were very disrespectful to the property and they were asked to leave.  Once it was vacant, they fixed the house up again.  They were going to sell it, but decided at the last minute to keep it instead. They wanted to use it as a guest house for visiting family.  So...Viola... just like that we were offered a FREE place to stay. It was very close to the beach and only an hour and half from Disney World!

I continued to put money back. Then Tommy decided to put an old car up for sale... despite the fact that very few people are buying anything these days.  He put a for sale sign in the window and parked it at my brother's shop uptown. He didn't even place an ad in the paper.  We immediately started getting calls.  It sold within a matter of days and we got exactly what we were asking. :) God is Good!
     And... less than two months after Serenity declared it in faith....

                                We were at Disney World!
My husband LOVES to embarrass me with his Gilligan hat!  He's so funny. The other man is Tommy's Dad.  Once we were on our way, he helped us with gas money, bought several of our meals and even splurged for one day at Disney (a $600 value for our family and that's just to walk thru the gates) Because of his generosity, we ended up coming home with almost half of what we left with... unbelievable!!! 
Now... this is a man who was diagnosed as a brutal diabetic.  He currently lives on disability.  However, God recently blessed him and in return He blessed us.  The fact that Tommy and his dad are posing for the same picture is a miracle in itself.  They've had a VERY rocky relationship. At several points in their lives, both had completely denied the other.  It's taken a LOT of prayers offered by myself and his wife to get to this loving point in their relationship... but that's another story! :)

               So God gave Serenity her Disney World vacation....
                                 She met Minnie Mouse....

                             and even went to the beach....

                          Which she LOVED by the way....

  God is GOOD! His faithfulness NEVER CEASES to AMAZE me!

Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause; 
And let them say continually,
“Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." Psalms 35:27


FYI:  I'm going to try to upload some more pictures of our trip very soon.  I have a TON that I think you will enjoy!!!  :) 

June 11th, 2010

                              More Vacation Pictures

Lots more pictures to choose from! I'll try to post more at a later date. :)
ADDED Fifteen MORE PIX on June 12th

June 15th, 2010

I was going through some pictures that were taken a few months ago and came across one of Eli's drawings.  At the time I didn't even know he knew how to spell his name, let alone WRITE it. (
He has since perfected his E by giving it only 3 legs) So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I saw it. I ran straight for the camera!   :) 
So now without further ado...
Drum roll please....
AND Here it is... the doodle board masterpiece...
                                  Eli's Self Portrait....
                  I know what you're thinking and I totally agree....
                  For the first time, I am finally willing to admit it..... 
                       He looks exactly like his Dad! :)

June 18th, 2010

After an evening of playing in the sprinklers, Serenity decided to ride her pretty pink tricycle. This isn't any ordinary tricycle... oh no! This is Serenity's pretty pink tricycle.  Serenity LOVES pretty girlie things!  She even tied pretty gold ribbon on it to give it that extra special touch. 
                      Yes.. this is a tricycle fit for a princess! 
    Little did she know,
another little princess was about to hitch a ride....

             Lil Rose spotted the dangling ribbon and didn't let go!
                           She pulled and Serenity peddled...

                          The more Serenity peddled....
                             The more Lil Rose pulled! 

  That little booger is stronger than she looks! :)  Serenity ended up walking the tricycle and pulled Lil Rose across the entire yard.  Lil Rose never let go... at least not until SHE was good and ready! You know... about the time something else sparkly caught her eye! lol
Moral of the story... Everyone loves to shine but be careful you don't sparkle too much.  You never know whose eye you're gonna catch and all it takes is one tough dog to keep you from reaching your destination! :)

June 20th, 2010

"Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”  And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.  Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “Abba Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:36-39

There is no actual word in the English language that can truly translate... Abba Father.  It describes a deep and intimate relationship that no other word can truly express. It's a combination of the highest Holy reverence and closest intimacy. It's been said that the closest English word to describe it would be... Daddy.

I can only imagine the concerns running through the mind of Jesus at this point in His life.  He knew the time was nigh. He knew the horrible torture that laid before Him. The scripture says... "He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed."  I can picture Him falling on His face and crying out... "Abba Father!"

When I was a little girl I use to LOVE sitting in my Dad's chair and watching TV with him. Now... my Dad loved to watch slightly scary things... Sci Fi flicks with genetically modified creatures. Technically, a girl of my age should have been terrified, but I never even flinched. I enjoyed every minute of it! I didn't have to be scared. I was with my Daddy... my protector!  You see... My Dad is a big, strong, jack of ALL trades. I thought He could do ANYTHING and He loved me. I had no reason to be scared because I knew my Daddy would protect me!

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father." Romans 8:14-15

Jesus was about to embark on terrifying journey.  Yet.. Jesus did not fear.  Jesus was free from the spirit of bondage to fear. Jesus had to reason to fear, because Jesus could cry out..."Abba Father."  And by our adoption through the blood of Christ... we have the power to do the same!

As I truly believe that our Heavenly Father does indeed love us in a "Daddy" way.... He is the Father that we can come to in our time of need and just bow at His feet for the comforting touch that only a "Daddy" can give.   However... I have a problem with actually calling Him "Daddy".  I do not believe that this earthly word does Him justice.  I do not believe that it offers Him the reverence that He deserves. 

As much as I am a Daddy's girl... as much as I love my Daddy and believe he can do nearly anything.... My Daddy is NOT the maker of Heaven and Earth.  He is NOT the King of Kings or the Lord of Lords.  Therefore I will not place my Creator on the same level as my Daddy.  I have one Daddy, whom I love very much and I have one... and only one... "Abba Father" to whom words can not express His Majesty and LOVE.

I once had a spirit of fear... I once had reason to become terrified...

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" Galatians 4:4-7

Now I have a NEW spirit!  Now I am free from the bondage of fear! I have been adopted by the King of Kings... the master of EVERYTHING! Therefore no matter what this life brings, I will not become afraid. For at any given moment, I have the privilege of falling on my face and crying out... "ABBA FATHER!"

June 25th, 2010

Not only is Lil Rose an anti-lock brake system for Serenity's tricycle, but she's also a criminal in her spare time.  Lil Rose has developed an unhealthy fetish for flip flops which has led her to a life of crime.  Yes.. our little shoe bandit LOVES to hijack flip flops and HIDE them.  Now the problem is.. she never hijacks an entire pair of flip flops.  She only takes one of EVERY different kind.  So we have plenty of shoes, but unfortunately NONE of them match.  

A couple of days ago... I was in a rush to mail a letter, but was busy at home.  The post office is only a couple of blocks away.  So I asked Noah to mail it for me. He was taking a little longer than usual to get ready. I knew the post office would be closing soon and he had to go inside to buy some stamps.  So I rushed him along.  Noah hopped on his bike and was gone in a flash.  About 15 minutes later, he walked through the door.  I looked down and could not stop laughing.... 

              Yep... Lil Rose the shoe bandit strikes again!  LOL

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