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


May 1st, 2009


I know...I know!  This month's background music is a little different than the stuff I normally choose! I rarely listen to anything other than contemporary Christian. However, this particular country song is special.  This happens to be Tommy and my song.  It fits us to a certain T. The first time Tommy heard it, he rushed home and insisted I listen to it.  "Dana, you have to hear this song.  I swear he's singing about OUR life! This is exactly the way I feel about you."

I have to admit after I finished listening to the song, I had tears in my eyes. Because it is SO true.  We come from completely different worlds and so many people didn't expect us to make it.  We have been through the fire more than a few times, yet just as fire is used to perfect silver, we have come through the heat closer and better because of it!

So why am I playing this song now?  Why have I chosen it for this particular month?  Well because....

On this day eleven years ago....
             
                    I joined his life while holding his hand!

On this day eleven years ago...

             
                I made a commitment by his side to forever stand!

On this day eleven years ago...

                               

                          His Kiss took my breath away!

And Eleven years later...
 
           
                          
I'm still breathless....on this day!

                                          May 1st, 1998
                                    11 years and counting!

Yes Tommy Boy...
It sure does feel GOOD to prove em all wrong!

Just Livin' our Love Song!

Happy Anniversary!  I love you!


May 2nd, 2009

Tom and I spent our anniversary kid free with dinner and a movie. We had a lot of fun on our night out. First he surprised me with 11 beautiful roses. (one for every year of our marriage) There were ten normal red roses and one unusual rainbow rose. Every petal was a different color...
                    
Is that not the coolest thing you've ever seen? It sure impressed me! Of course it doesn't normally take much to impress this stuck at home Mommy of five! :)
We dropped all the kids off at my parents house. It's hard to remember the last time we were alone. I'm pretty sure it was on my birthday FIVE months ago and the time before that was our anniversary LAST year! Uh yeah... we make a habit of being alone twice a year whether we need to or not. :)

The drive to the restaurant felt so strange. The car was unusually quiet. Tommy and I talked the entire way, yet the lack of fighting siblings made for a boring ride. Consciously I thought, Wow this is nice. Unconsciously, however was a different story. My maternal instincts kept kicking in as I was constantly turning around to check on the EMPTY car seats in the back.

Tommy made reservations at Osaka's Japanese Steakhouse. If you've ever been to Shogun's it's very similar. The chef prepares your food at your table and does all the fancy tricks, tossing things around. I tend to think we happened upon the only rookie chef in the joint, as he dropped about as much as he threw. The bowl which was suppose to land in his pocket actually landed in the waiting area next to the restrooms. Customers were ducking their heads every time the poor guy picked up his spatula. We shared a table with an older couple. You should have seen the look on the woman's face when he picked up the matches to do his volcano stunt. I was sure she was going to sprint toward the door! It was hilarious! But, we really didn't mind his mistakes. He was actually a very nice young man and it made for a more interesting and comical night! Also, our food turned out delicious, so a few flying eggs was soon overlooked!

After dinner, we killed some time with some window shopping. Then headed for the dollar show. (Hey when your raising five kids you cut corners any way you can) We ended up watching, "Taken" Wow! Now that was an jaw dropping, eye opener!

It was so nice walking into a public place without being the center of attention. Usually we enter with all our little ducklings in a row and people can't help but stare. Last night we simply entered a room and the world continued to spin. We didn't have to answer the age old questions..."Are these ALL yours?" or "Don't you know what causes that?" We didn't have to stop every few feet for someone to offer us candy or pinch the baby's cheeks. We didn't have to tell our entire family history to every passerby, reciting each child's name and age. (although I did a few times anyway) We weren't the center of attention. We were simply a couple out on a date and....It was so NICE to just blend in!

After the show we made a quick stop for some....*whispering*.... ice cream. But shhh.. that's our little secret! You know it's actually a pretty inexpensive treat when you're only buying for two...instead of the normal seven. Who knew?

It was really nice to spend some alone time with my hubby. We really needed some quiet time! But to be completely honest by the end of the night I was SO ready to hug ALL my babies!


Our life may be a wild ride at times. We may be the topic of many whispering conversations between strangers. At times we may be stressed beyond measure and even want to pull our hair out. But every day we thank God for all the blessings that make up our home! We are honored by God's decision to entrust so many wonderful children in our care and humbled by the difficulty of the task. We offer thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for the comfort and love we find in each other and the strength we find in Him! For our relationship thrives ONLY by HIS grace!

We Praise God for our simple yet...completely fulfilling life!

We enjoyed our night out! However, when it comes right down to it, both of us would just as soon prefer a (not so quiet) night at home snuggled in the recliner watching TV with all the kids!





May 5th, 2009

Good Evening and Welcome to fashion parade with Serenity! Tonight we will be introducing a brand new line of fashions.. as well as some oldies but goodies. Every ensemble you encounter is a one of a kind creation by Serenity. Please no bidding at the end of our presentation. Each outfit is a work of art and clearly not for sale. :)

            First we'll introduce one of Serenity's classic attires.
  Note the perfect symmetry...one arm out, two legs in, and one boot on.
Ah sheer genius that could only be topped by a lovely stretch pant hoodie...
                              
                            

 
       
Next we have a fabulous blend of cotton and polyester fabrics.
One slightly older brother's dinosaur sweatshirt, accompanied by cozy pajama bottoms and completed with this season's newest trend snow boots!
                                  Orange, Red, and Pink?
     Only a mastermind could think to put THESE colors together!                            Yes folks we have a winner here!

                                     

                                         

               For those of you who LOVE to have a good time.
Try dancing the night away in Serenity's own version of a "Potty" hat!

                       

                              

Don't like dancing? Well how about a nice cozy night at home? We asked Serenity what kind of night wear is in style this season and the verdict is in folks! This year's greatest fashion sensation that is sweeping the nation is... Big. Yep, according to fashion expert Serenity... the bigger the better. 
        Be the talk of the town in some oversize Pajama bottoms...
                          They're so big who needs a shirt?

                    

                           
            Or how about some fabulous tennis shoes...
Not just one or two but....12 sizes too big!


                                  

                   Yes Serenity has a style for EVERYONE!
              Do you like Western wear? Well check out this cowgirl!

                  

                  Western not your thing? More into hip hop?
           Why not try on one of Serenity's bling bling stocking caps
              They're guaranteed to be all the rage next season!

                  

       
But wait! Who could forget her most popular ensemble?
              Definitely her favorite choice of ALL day attire...
                       (despite countless parental objections)
                  You know which one I'm talking about!
                                   Oh yes...
                           The Famous..Birthday Suit,
                   Now complete with just one added feature...
              A miniature sized Dora the Explorer backpack.
 
  (Sorry...No picture provided for obvious reasons!)

                           There you have it folks...
   Fashion advice from one of the (in our opinion) nation's top style experts.

Well... That's it for tonight, but We'll see you back here next season on....
        Fashion Parade with Serenity!!


May 9th, 2009
             We spent yesterday evening with Strong Tower Youth.
        
       

We took them to see..."The 99, The Ultimate Near Death Experience!"

What is the 99?  The number 99 represents the lives of  people between the ages of 10 and 25.  99 young people die every day.  Many of these deaths are influenced by drugs or alcohol and a vast majority of them could be avoided.   31 die in auto related accidents. 16 die from homicide or domestic violence. 12 commit suicide. The other 40 die from drug overdose, accidents or natural causes.  The 99 is a walk through theater that dramatically reenacts these leading causes of death in teens and young adults.  Once their eyes are opened to the reality of deadly consequences for bad decisions,  then it introduces the salvation and protection our Lord Jesus Christ provides.

All the way home, the group could NOT stop talking about their experience. I was really impressed by the topic of their discussion.   In a van full of 12 year old boys I would not have been surprised if they were talking about all the blood and gore.  However, there was actually very few mentions of the gory stuff.  On the most part, it was the last of the production that stood out to them, Jesus on the cross and the ending video which depicted a father's sacrifice of his only son to save a multitude of unworthy people.

At the end of the drama, every person had their own individual one on one conference with a prayer partner. This REALLY impressed me because these people didn't just hurry through the process.  They actually took their time and counseled each individual.  Every person was prayed over... whether already saved or not saved!   As you can see...

    
     
These volunteers had their work cut out for them.  After we arrived the line only continued to grow!

Strong Tower Youth enjoyed the experience and fellowship! Once again they achieved their goal....To have fun while growing in Christ! 



May 11th, 2009

                   Guess who helped Mommy make brownies?
                 

 
Okay, so it's more like who helped Mommy get rid of the brownies?

     

                    
  Ever seen a chocolate covered Reni?

     

                                  And now you have!
   She didn't mean to be so messy.  That's just the way it played out.
      I made the mistake of laughing at her.  Evidently Eli felt left out.
           He wanted Mommy to think he was funny too.  So....

   

               
Now we have a chocolate covered Eli as well!
             As you can see...his mess wasn't quite so accidental! :)




May 12th, 2009

Mother's day came and went. As a mother of five small children, I often get asked the question..."How do you do it?"   I would LOVE to say that my life is an exact replica of  "The Donna Reed Show."  I would LOVE to say that I'm always organized, always patient, always perfectly on top of things. However if I did, I would be lying through my teeth. I'm not always organized. I'm not always patient. To be perfectly honest, MOST of the time I'm stressed beyond recognition.

I raise my voice more times than I want to admit. There are moments when I'm irritable, grouchy and unreasonable. There are moments when I'm overwhelmed by sheer exhaustion. I often find myself praying for the strength just to make it through the day.

I wake up with babies. I go to sleep with babies. I even go to the bathroom with babies. Yes... when nature calls, I have two choices. One...I go with one baby standing next to me while the other sits on my lap, or Two...I close the door and watch tiny little fingers poking up from underneath while I listen to them scream "I want my mommy!" I rarely get a break. I rarely get even a moment of privacy.

Although, I spend 90% of my time awake cleaning, my house is NEVER clean. I mop... something spills. I do laundry...someone changes. I wash dishes...someone eats. I feel like I'm constantly spitting against the wind!

Our home is anything but a quiet place to rest your head! Noah LOVES to pester his sisters and they in return LOVE to tattle. The girls can not stop bickering for five measly minutes. I swear I'm raising the biggest drama queens ever to grace the theater. They touch each other and suddenly the world is coming to an end.

I'm constantly dealing with whining, fighting, crying, spills and thrills. My options for the day are, feeding, bathing, scrubbing, washing, drying, folding, or cooking. It's an never ending battle in which most of the time I swear I'm losing.

Yet somehow I make it through. Somehow I remain sane. At night when I check on them sound asleep in their beds, or when I'm holding a baby within each arm rocking them to sleep, or every time one of them wraps their arms around me and says, "I love you Mommy!" These are the moments that ALL is well.
These are the moments when my life is simply beautiful, simply wonderful...simply perfect!

Love gets me through!


Love is the driving force that pushes me on!

And 1 John 4:8 says... God is LOVE.

So whenever someone asks me the question, "How DO you DO it?" I always reply with..."Only by the grace of God."

As a child I was blessed with a very loving mother. So naively I thought that ALL mothers were nurturing. As I grew older I began to realize how very wrong that notion really is. Not ALL mothers are driven by a love for their family. Not ALL mothers are even capable of loving their children. For not all mothers even know what love really is. Just as I believe that it's impossible for a marriage to happily survive without God as the center. I also believe a mother can not truly be the nurturer she was created to be without God as her source. For without God true love does not exist.

I was blessed with a very spiritual and loving mother. Many years ago, I wrote her the following poem:

A Mother in Prayer
By: Dana Burk

A Mother in Prayer knelt gracefully on the ground
Hands held high with angels all around
One wish upon her lips, one need to be met
"Let my children follow the path thy Lord hath set."
Since birth her love has been our protection
Bringing every need before God for His divine intervention
Though times grow hard, she never gives in
She walks only by faith, KNOWING the Lord will win
Love, strength, a mother has it all
A shoulder to cry on, a friend to call
Qualities of a loving mother, they're easy to see
Still there's one thing more a loving mother must be
Whenever you need her, a loving mother will always be there
But a mother is just a woman UNLESS she's
A MOTHER IN PRAYER!


I believe those words with all of my heart! I know I'm far from being perfect! I desperately need God's wisdom, direction and strength on a daily basis.


However, after reading all my beautiful mother's day cards....

(Especially one in particular)

Dear Mom happy mother's day. When I look at you I see a mother who loves me and cares for me. And you are the best cook I ever seen. You are beder (better) than a chef. I love you mom. I am really spieshle (special) because of my mom. I love you mom.You are beautiful. You are the best. Everyone wants to have a mom like you. But haha I found you first. Happy mother's day. Love Kayleigh


I find comfort in knowing... with God's help... I must be doing something right! :)


For I am Loved and Blessed beyond measure!



May 15th, 2009

I was watching the news earlier and saw a segment that just horrified me. Apparently a beautiful 18 year old girl (whom I will NOT disclose her name) was involved in a terrible car accident. She was killed at the scene. Her body was so disturbingly mutilated that the coroner refused to allow her parents to identify the body. Now just wait, the story only becomes more disturbing.

Allegedly an officer on the scene leaked out the accident scene photos. In a matter of days, millions of people across cyberspace were viewing the last remains of this couple's daughter. Someone even went as far as to email the most explicit picture to the girl's dad.

My heart broke for this family. Why can't people just live their lives and let this girl die in peace! Why can't they just give her family time to mourn their loss! The other three daughters are scared to even access the Internet. They're terrified of what they might see!

According to the news, if you were to google this girl's name, you would get nearly 3 million hits. (Hence the reason why I will NOT disclose her name) 3 million hits guys....3 MILLION. This entire scenario literally makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me ashamed to even call myself human.

Truth is twice as many people will read an article entitled, A Tragic Loss, compared to those who would read an article entitled.. um let's say... A Family Celebration! This poses a question for me. Why are people so fascinated with death? Why is it impossible for us to turn away from the sight of a train wreck? I know that we all have come across an accident or car wreck at some point and just had to stare. "OH NO is everyone alright?" Am I right? Is it the curiosity of the unknown... Or on the most part, do most of us just genuinely want to help? I'm not sure...

When Serenity was facing the very real possibility of death, we had people coming out of the wood work to help us out. We were overwhelmed with the love of complete strangers. So many were so genuinely concerned. There is no possible way I could ever repay the love we were shown during our time of need. People were praying for our daughter, who knew nothing more than her name.

To make it perfectly clear, I AM forever grateful for each and every prayer offered for our daughter.

However at the same time I have to wonder, where are all those people now? Few have ever kept in touch. Once Serenity received her healing, everyone just seemed to disappear. Is my daughter any less special healthy than she was ill? Does she need prayer any less? I believe we ALL need prayer. We ALL need a daily intervention from God. We ALL need a mighty move of HIS hand.

Why do we feel that tragedy must strike before we show God's love? Why must someone feel misery BEFORE we drop to our knees to pray?

I have mentioned before in an earlier post,  complete strangers notice a difference in Serenity compared to other children. They are drawn to her, without even knowing anything about her.

Even as her mother, I honestly do not think my daughter is any more special than any other child. I love her, but in a world outside of a mother's love, she is no more special than the toddler down the street or a starving child on the other side of the world. She is Serenity... plain and simple... just Serenity. Yet people are always picking her out of a crowd. People continue to be drawn to her. Why? Simple... Prayer! She was covered by earnest prayer for a long period of time . God's presence surrounds her and people are drawn to His presence... not my daughter.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

There are so many sick children out there who need our prayers and attention. There are so many lost and hurting souls who need God's intervention. I am definitely NOT saying pray for them any less! Quite the contrary, Pray MORE, MORE, MORE. Pray until you KNOW you have reached the throne of God and received your answer. Then hold onto that promise with EVERYTHING you have! Hold on and don't let go!

I am not saying pray less for anyone! All I'm saying is, why should we look at the world through our little telescope. Why should we focus on only the most obvious selections. If we were to pray as earnestly for all those we come into contact with, imagine the mighty generation we could raise up for God. Imagine all the attacks of the enemy that would be PREVENTED!

I was just thinking what if... 3 million people cared about this girl BEFORE she left this world....
Let us just say that one million of these people are NOT actual psycho paths obsessed with morbid behavior. Even if those 1 million or 500, 000 or 100,000, or 100 or even 50 people had earnestly prayed for her BEFORE she passed. Would her family still be able to wrap their arms around her?

That's all I'm saying!



May 16th, 2009

The other day Serenity was being a big girl and went to the potty all by herself. From the other room I could hear her sing "Twinkle Twinkle little Star." Well... her own version anyway. :)

Serenity: "Tinkle, Tinkle ittle star how i underwear you are. Up above da word so hi like a.... Flush.... in da sky! Yay I tinkle in da potty!

A few hours later, she is back. Only this time she has an audience.

Eli: Neni you go peed?

Reni: Yep

Eli: Are you all done?

Reni: Yep

Eli: K... I flush for you.

Reni: NO! I go peed! I flush

Eli: You don't know how. I flush for you.

Reni: I DO owe how. I FLUSH BY MYSELF ALL DA TIME!

Eli: K... we flush together at da same time... K?

Reni: nods with approval K

They both place their hands on the handle

Eli: When I count to three flush it...K?

Reni: K

Eli: 4...5...6...7...

Mommy: Eli, what number are you counting to?

Eli: Three

Mommy: Well then you better start over.

Eli: nods his head K....4...5....6...7

Mommy: Uh...This may take ALL night!

Eli: ....8....9....

Mommy: Eli start with ONE.

Eli: OH! 1...4...5...6..7

Mommy: quickly 123

Eli: ...8...123

FLUSH

Together we walk out singing...

"Tinkle, Tinkle ittle star how I underwear you are!"



May 17th, 2009

                    Disaster waiting to happen...
           
                                                  "Hee Hee Hee!"
                    
I told you she was ornery! :)


May 20th, 2009

Lately my heart has been filled with praises! Songs of worship fill my mind and I can't seem to think about anything else. I just want to worship Him. I just want to draw closer to Him.


                                     Draw me close to you
                                         Never let me go
                                       I lay it all down again
                            To hear you say that I'm your friend
                                        You are my desire
                                       No one else will do
                          Cause nothing else can take your place
                             To feel the warmth of your embrace
                                     Help me find the way
                                      Bring me back to you

                                         You're all I want
                                 You're all I've ever needed
                                         You're all I want
                                 Help me know you are near


I long for more of my Lord! I want to be closer than I have ever been before. The closer I get... the closer I want to become. My soul hungers for a deeper relationship. My heart yearns for a tighter embrace.

I am so in love with my Savior.

I often feel His presence so strong around me! I can do nothing except bask within His presence. I can not move. I lose my breath yet he breathes for me. I collapse to my knees and just cry out... More...More...More! I want more of His presence, more of His guidance, more of His wisdom. I want more of a relationship.... a closer walk. Each day I seem to only need Him more.

I need You more
More than yesterday
I need you more
More than words can say
I need you more
Than ever before
I need you Lord
I need you Lord


More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than the next heart beat
More than anything
And Lord as time goes by
I'll be by your side
Cause I never want to go back
To my old life

I need you more
More than yesterday
I need you more
More than words can say
I need you more
Than ever before
I need you Lord
I need you Lord

Right here in your presence
Is where I belong
Now my broken heart
Has finally found a home
And I'll never be alone

I need you Lord


I feel God drawer me closer to Him I feel Him preparing me for a work. I feel that time is quickly running out. I feel a joy, an anticipation and at the same time... a Desperation. I must not waste a moment here on earth. There is so much work to be done. I must focus my eyes on the task at hand. I must seize EVERY opportunity! Time is an essence that quickly dissolves. Every moment has a purpose. I must fulfill that purpose!

I feel God drawer me closer to Him. I feel Him pulling me near for His protection. He is my refuge. He is my safe haven. Out of His presence are the issues of life. As long as I keep myself cradled within His midst, saturating my family with His word, doing HIS will, I am safe. One step in the wrong direction, I find myself vulnerable. We are in the last days. We are in the last moments. I must not allow myself to become vulnerable, for if possible even the most elect will be deceived... even the most elect will fall away. (Matthew 24:23-26) I must not leave room for any evil possibility. I must remain close. I must remain within His presence!

He is so ALIVE! He is so close and yet I want Him closer! I feel Him drawing me closer to Him. Why me? I am no one! I am not worthy of His love. Yet I feel Him tugging at my heart. I hear Him whisper within my spirit...
Come closer to me my daughter, Come closer to me!

I feel His unconditional love and my soul continues to sing...

                                 Draw me close to you
                                      Never let me go
                                  I lay it all down again
                       To hear you say that I'm your friend
                                     You are my desire
                                    No one else will do
                     Cause nothing else can take your place
                      To feel the warmth of your embrace
                                  Help me find the way
                                  Bring me back to you

                                     You're all I want
                             You're all I've ever needed
                                      You're all I want
                             Help me know you are near

 

Draw me close to you Lord!
For you're all I want!
You're all I've ever needed!

I need you more
More than the air I breathe
I need you more
More than the next heart beat
I need YOU Lord
More... More.... More of YOU!


"Oh God thou art my God, early I will seek thee; my soul thirsts for you... my flesh longs for you.... To see your power and your glory...as I have seen you before."   Psalm 63:1-2




May 22nd, 2009

                  Playtime with Eli and Serenity
                                   Shopping Spree

Serenity climbs onto her Winnie the Pooh ride on toy with her Easter basket strapped over her shoulder.  She begins to sing as she pushes her way through the kitchen.

Reni:  "We're goin' to All- Mart.  We're goin' to All-Mart."

Once she reaches the dining room, she carefully parks Winnie the Pooh and ducks under the table where Eli is patiently waiting.

Reni: "Ello All - Mart man."

Eli: "Elcome to All-Mart.  You wanna sticker?"

Reni:  "Yep"

Eli: "K here ya go" pretends to stick something on her shirt

Reni: "Tank you All-Mart man. I need cereal."

Eli:  "K here some cereal." hands her imaginary cereal.
         "That  be 9 hundreds of dollars" 
       (Wow inflation's a bummer ain't it?)

Serenity reaches down into her "purse like" Easter basket and hands him the imaginary money.  Then turns to leave.

Reni:  "Bye-bye All- Mart man!"

Eli:  "Bye-Bye Come back again and gimme er money."
                          (A true business man)

Reni:  yells over her shoulder "K... I will."

Serenity climbs back onto her ride on Winnie the Pooh and pushes her way back through the kitchen.

Bet ya can't guess where we spend the biggest part of our time away from home?  :)




May 23th, 2009

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.     
Proverbs 22:6


As a Christian mother, I often wonder...Am I saying or doing enough to train my children in the ways of the Lord? It's one of my greatest concerns. God has entrusted five little lives in my hands. I desperately do not want to disappoint Him. The thought that my babies might miss out on God's perfect will or plan for their lives because of MY failure... terrifies me! I want to do ALL I can to ensure they follow His path. For like most mothers, I only want the best for my children and I know with all of my heart that God's way is the only certain path to true happiness.

Of course I am human. I often make mistakes. I often get caught up in this fast paced world. I miss plenty of opportunities for bible discussion. I've been known to rush through prayer time on occasion or even (dare I say it) ...forget it completely.

I am also not one who likes to talk a lot (believe it or not). I can write down my feelings or type out long letters, but to actually put my thoughts into spoken words... is nearly impossible for me. I just don't talk a lot.

So I become concerned that I may not be doing enough. Are my children learning the ways of the Lord from me? Are they getting enough "soul" food for their spiritual growth?

Then remarkably they answer my question.

The older ones are constantly asking for prayer for their friends, talking about Jesus, humming Praise and worship songs. They know right from wrong. They LOVE to read their Bibles.

Even little Eli has picked up some good habits. Lately he has become quite the little preacher. Whenever he see a child his not familiar with, he will ask them about Jesus.   Just the other day I overheard him talking...

Eli: "Do you know Jesus?"

Little boy ignores him

Eli: "Hey! Do you know Jesus"

Little boy again tries to ignore him

Eli: "HEY! You know... JESUS?"

Little boy shakes his head in hope that Eli will stop bothering him. This only entices Eli more. He gets right up in the boy's face and again boldly asks..

Eli: "You know CHURCH?... JESUS?... HEL-LO?"

The little boy causally pushed him away but Eli was presistant until finally the little boy gave him a yes answer. He never gave up! The whole time I'm thinking... Wow he could teach ME a lot about witnessing!

I'm also in awe at how Serenity has learned to praise Jesus for everything. She praises Him for her favorite meals, toys and even getting her way.
Last week we were out shopping for new shoes and were having a hard time finding some to fit her foot. She tried on several pair... they were either too short or too wide. Finally we found a pair that fit.
Immediately, Serenity shouted.."Oh Thank you Jesus! Praise the LORD!"
Everyone in the store heard her Praise!

Moments like these I am so proud of my children. Moments like these ease my conscious and help me to realize that they are in deed being trained in the way they should go.

I may not express my thoughts or feelings well verbally. But, they are learning! They are absorbing every minor detail.

From the time they were conceived I have prayed God's will over their lives. I have asked for His hand to guide their steps and I strive to live a Godly life before them. Even with all my imperfections, I strive daily for "Christ like" perfection. They watch...they listen....They are learning...By the Grace of God... They ARE
learning to walk the right path!


                      And they will continue to learn

                           through Prayer and by....

              

                              EXAMPLE!




May 24th, 2009

Tom spent the entire weekend fishing.  A friend allowed him use of a small private lake.  He is ecstatic!  This afternoon he insisted that I go fishing with him.  After several long minutes of persuasion,  I finally gave in.  So we loaded up the boat, dropped the kids off at my mom's and ended up here...

        

Several miles out, with only one road in, we're very secluded. At the first chirp of a lone cricket, I was ready to burst out into the chorus of "I think we're alone now!"

Oh... sometimes there's no greater sound then SILENCE! 

Alone at last!   We enjoyed the quiet boat ride!  As we strolled along the peaceful waters,  The view was beautiful....

     

To top it all off, the fishing was incredible.  I have never seen anything like it! We would drop the line into the water and immediately would feel a tug. We were catching bass left and right with little to no effort at all.  Even little ole' prissy me soon become a lure expert.   I was catching them like a pro!  I was fearless... A master of the tackle. Grabbing those slimy fish and yanking those hooks out of their mouths.  I'm tellin' ya, Bill Dance had NOTHING on me!

Yes I was quite the little fisherman!

Ahhh! (stares off into a day dream)

REALITY CHECK!

Okay Okay,  So... I might be exaggerating just a tad... Maybe had a little help....

Oh... all right... I had A LOT of help! 

But why should a damsel  like me have to touch a nasty, slimy ole fish, when I have good looking backwoods boy like this....

     

                     Just begging to do all my dirty work?

           Notice that cute little wink!  Yeah... He LOVES me! :)


May 27th, 2009

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7


God's Word tells us to be anxious for nothing. Yet so many times in our lives we become engulfed in the cares of this world.

"Lord, I need this in my life or I must have that. I need it and I need it now!"

Soon it becomes all we can think about. Our prayer time is consumed with that one concern. We forget to offer Him praises. We forget to worship. We forget our relationship entirely.
Then... when these things fail to happen, we are quick to blame God or assume that He just doesn't care. "Oh well, God must not love me enough. If God really cared about me then He would have answered my prayer."

The first commandment plainly tells us "Thou shall have no other god before me." This commandment isn't strictly referring to other religions.
A god is anything that we choose to exalt or place as a higher priority over our creator.

We can have many "gods" in our lives: Money, food, jobs, relationships, addictions. When we become anxious for these things, we in turn, stop God from moving in the situation. For God Loves us too much to allow anything to hinder our relationship with Him.

When Serenity was struggling to survive, her life became a god to me. It was all I thought about....all I cared about. The status of her health consumed me. If you've read her story, then you know it wasn't until God asked me.."Would you still love me?" that I learned how to completely surrender her into His hands.

Just as Paul taught us.. we have to "learn to be content in whatever state we're in" (Philippians 4:11) For it's when we are truly content that we are fully trusting in God. Once we fully trust God, then our faith becomes pure. Faith moves the Hand of God.

I knew it was God's will to heal my daughter, but I had to become content with whatever decision He made. I had to say.. "Yes Lord, I would still love you! I would still serve you and hardest of all... I will still Praise you!" Immediately after those words left my lips, God's assurance came. From that moment on, the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded my heart. I knew but I knew but I knew just as I know the color of my eyes... I knew my daughter was healed and no word, action or deed was going to change my mind. With His peace came pure faith and God's hand soon moved mightily in our midst.

So we are to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let our requests be know to God.

How can we give thanksgiving during our time of need? Simple..when we are a child of God, and when we are truly doing our best to strive toward "Christ like" perfection, Then we fall under the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91). We our sheltered within the wings of the ultimate protector. The enemy can NOT bring anything into our lives that God does not allow. So if God allows it... then we also know this promise...

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

We have a promise of Victory! We have a promise of blessings! We know God loves us and is doing His best to perfect His chosen vessel. (James 1) So why should we become anxious, or impatient? Why should we worry?

We shouldn't!

Here's a tip I have learned...the sooner I allow God complete control and fully trust Him with every situation... the sooner I become content in whatever state I'm in.... then the sooner I obtain Victory and God receives His glory!

We are to offer our prayers to Him. Then be obedient to His commandment to...

"Be still and know that I am God!" Psalm 46:10

So be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made know to God, then...

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."  Psalm 27:14




May 29th, 2009

                         Yes... I KNOW that I'm cute...

      

                     Splashing around in my PINK floaty!

      

                                         But make NO mistake about it!
                            I AM armed and dangerous

            

              And I WILL defend my favorite damsel in distress!
                                            SO....
        
                  "DON'T EVEN TANK ABOUT IT!"





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