Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Apple of our Eye~ Emmy Turns 1!

Today is Emmy Claire’s first birthday.  It seems like only yesterday we were patiently awaiting her birth.  It has been one of the best years of my life, and Emmy is such a blessing to each one of our little family members.

Sunday, we celebrated with an “apple” themed party.  The Apple of Our Eye.  It took a village to get it put together, but it turned out so cute.

My mom came over Saturday, and spent several hours helping me clean my house and get it ready.  Saturday night, my friend Kim came over and helped me finish cake pops, cupcakes and chocolate dipped pretzels.  Sunday morning, Ashley and Alyssa came over after church to help me set up.  During the week, Jessie had helped me gather supplies, and she kept me sane.  Angi made the cutest burlap apple for my front door, and it was just precious! It really was a group effort!  Mrs. Stacey let us borrow some decorating supplies, and she made Emmy’s tutu and bow too!

The table turned out so cute.  We served cake pops, a candy apple bar that consisted of apple slices, caramel dip, crushed nuts, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles.  That was the biggest hit!  We  also served chocolate dipped pretzels and apple-shaped cupcakes.


I made Emmy’s smash cake and although I quickly remembered why I don’t do cakes anymore, I was pleased with it.

The Tuckers brought Smokey, the miniature pony, and the little girls had the best time.


Eli wasn’t too crazy about him.


We opened gifts, and she had a blast with that.  Then it was time for the cake.


All of the boys are absent from the pictures because they were having way too much fun hiding, getting dirty and just being boys!

We had so much fun celebrating Emmy.  I have to say that it was a long, but overwhelmingly great weekend.  We had the 5K, a student’s birthday party and then Emmy’s party.  I was so tired but so grateful for the people in my life that love my family!!!  Not only  did my family come, but the majority of the guests were our high school students.  We love our big kids, and they love our little ones!!!  They pitched in and wanted to be a part of our little girl’s day, and it meant so much to me. 

We are blessed beyond measure!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

When God makes you wait...

My blog hasn’t seen so many posts in a very long time.  But a sweet friend sent this to me this morning, and I loved it.  So I wanted to share it with you all.

When God makes you wait...

Written by: Anna Bachinsky

Jesus could have come and healed Lazarus when he was still alive.

Instead, He waited to raise him from the dead when he was already in his grave.

God could have made David become king the day after he was anointed.

Instead, He waited 15 years to rise to the throne, many of those years spent fearing for his life, hiding out and running away from his own father-in-law.

God could have spoken to Moses in the desert about sending him to help free His people from slavery 40 days after he ran away from Egypt.

Instead, He made him wait for 40 long years.

God could have gotten Joseph out of prison one year after he was sentenced there.

Instead, he was stuck in that dungeon for 10 years before he was finally set free.

God could have given Abraham the son He promised him when he was still a young man.

Instead, He waited until he was 100 years old and because of physical reasons would have a more difficult time conceiving at that age.

God could have answered prayers and met the needs of these men of God much quicker, but He didn’t.

He made them wait instead.

And He often makes us do the same.

He makes us wait for healing to come after we’ve been praying for years and there is no sign of recovery.

He makes us wait to fulfill His call in our lives after He puts the desire and passion in our hearts to serve Him in a certain way.

He makes us wait to give us the desires of our hearts, whether it’s a baby, a spouse, or a new job.

He makes us wait for direction when we are stuck at a dead end and we don’t know where to go or what to do.

He could answer that same prayer that you’ve been praying for years every night in a millisecond.

That same prayer that has been bringing you to tears.

That same prayer that the longer that it goes unanswered, the more it makes you question whether He even hears.

But He doesn’t.

He kept Moses in a desert for 40 years.

Joseph in a prison cell for 10 years.

Abraham without a child for 100 years.

David on the run for 15 years.

And maybe He is keeping you right where you’re at for the same reason He kept these men for so many years: to build your faith.

To build your faith in a dungeon cell, during the valley in your life where it’s too dark to see and too hard to believe.

To build your dependence on Him when you are barren and empty to see if He is truly all you desire and all you need.

To see how well you will trust and serve Him when you are still stuck in the background somewhere, doing seemingly nothing too significant for Him.

To build your trust in Him when the storm keeps raging, the battle keeps going and breakthrough and victory doesn’t seem near.

See… sometimes the waiting period of our lives is the most important time in our life.

It is during this period when nothing seems to be happening, when prayers seem to go unanswered, when God seems so far away that the most spiritual growth takes place in our lives. That we learn to become more like Him.

It is during this time that we build spiritual “muscle”.

That we grow in faith.

That we learn to only depend on Him.

What are you waiting for today?

What longing do you have that seems so far from ever being fulfilled?

What prayer do you keep on praying that seems to never reach God’s ears?

I want to remind you that God is not deaf to your prayers.

He is not blind to your constant tears, to your desires, and to your needs.

If He is making you wait, there is a very good reason for it.

If He is telling you “no” today, maybe it’s because He has a better “yes” waiting for you tomorrow.

If He is keeping you in the same place you’ve always been today, maybe it’s because He’s helping build your faith before you enter your Promised Land tomorrow.

If He is not healing you or bringing you victory today, maybe it’s because you will have a greater testimony when He waits to help you be an overcomer tomorrow.

Wherever you are at today know that God is right beside you and that there is a purpose for you. Even if that purpose is to wait.

Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening today.

Maybe there is nothing physically happening that your eyes can see but there is definitely something happening in the spiritual realm as you learn to rely on Christ.

Don’t allow your waiting period to make you hopeless about what tomorrow will bring.

Instead, let it build your faith and give you even greater hope for what God has prepared for you.

He made some of the greatest men of faith wait.

Don’t be discouraged if He makes you wait as well.

He will come through for you, just like He came through for them.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Great is Our God

We have been working tirelessly trying to finish up our book about Faith’s life.  It has been what seems an extremely long process.  After sitting dormant on this project for some time, the Lord was really working on my heart about getting it done.  I felt so overwhelmed by the whole thing.  It hurt so bad to sit and recount, but I wanted it to be perfect.  I was talking to Bryan several months ago and he suggested I pray about finding someone to help me.  My pride got in the way at first.  This is my project that God has asked ME to do.  But I just didn’t have a peace about not doing something.  One night, during a youth workers meeting, I asked my friends to pray for me that I could get this finished.  The details are all God, and I will write a post all about it one day, but God through his awesome power provided the greatest blessing along the way.  Nat offered to partner with me and help me finish it, and I am telling you, we couldn’t have done anything without her.  She has really been a God-send to us.  She keeps me going, motivated, and on taskSmile  She has been working so hard to get it done.

When I first embarked on this mission, I thought it would be fairly easy.  I had blogged what I thought was every last detail there was to know, but I was so off target with that one.  I am telling you that the writing of this book, reliving every moment from the most life-changing thing to take place in our lives has restarted the cycle of grief , and has been the absolute hardest thing I have ever done.  God has taught me a great lesson through this.  So many times when we are facing a trial, we want so badly for him to tell us how it all plays out.  We think it would be so much easier if we just knew what was going to happen, we would do it with a more willing heart.  That is the farthest thing from the truth.

Because we know how our story has played out, we know it is hard.  We know that our family took some hits, that our kids have been forever changed.  We know that we faced some dark days.  We know that our lives have been changed forever.  While none of those things are bad, and every last one of them has grown us spiritually, they are extremely hard to relive, ripping scabs off of wounds that we thought were completely healed with only a scar to show for our pain.  Wrong Again!!!  Now I know why it has taken so long to complete it.  I now also know why it takes faith to walk in obedience to God.  When things get hard, and we know how it ends, we aren’t so quick to be willing.  When we are in the trenches, depending on God for every last detail, we easily trust in Him, because we know no other way.

This has all been weighing so heavy on my heart.  I have felt like the grieving mother all over again, back at square one.  I have been overwhelmed by the task of recounting our story, but I know that God is in it, and He is going to use it on His terms.  Last night, we had the great opportunity to see  Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio in concert.  I experienced worship like never before.  The Holy Spirit just poured into me like salve on a wounded heart.  I think I cried the entire time I was there.  But they weren’t tears of sadness and grief, they were tears of gratefulness for all He has done in my life and in the lives of my family.






You’ve seen me reference the song “How Great is Our God” on here many times.  The most memorable post with that song was when I was able to post the pictures of Faith from the hospital.  We knew that those words were the testimony of her life.  We even sang it in worship at her memorial service.  To get to hear it last night, straight from the man who wrote it and recorded it was a supernatural blessing.   How Great is Our God!!!