I am a sucker for a rescue.

Daniel 3:29

Daniel 3:29

Do you love a good rescue story? Man, I am a sucker for a rescue.

Lately, I’ve been feeling down. I’ve been letting circumstances get to me. I’m still pouting over losing my people in this move. I still have my family, my most important people. But I lost my support groups. I lost my friends. Friends are a tricky thing to replace. The thing is you can’t replace them because no two people are the same. It’s not possible. So you have to keep your old friends, but you have to find new friends too. I’ve met some ladies I like here, and I’ve already leaned on a few of them. We’re getting there. It’s promising. These things just take time.

Alan was gone for a great part of November for work, and it was a hard month. It was getting to me big time.

But this morning these verses in Daniel spoke to me. 

“No other god can save in this way.”  –Daniel 3:29

And those lines were spoken by the King of Babylon, who had just erected a giant gold statue of himself and proclaimed that everyone must worship it or burn.

But he saw the results. He couldn’t deny them. He SAW Jesus rescue those three Jews out of that fire when they refused to worship his ridiculous gold statue.

And that’s when he stood amazed, and he proclaimed a decree that no one was to say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “because no other god can save in this way.”

I’ve seen the results too. I might not have been there all those years ago for the fiery furnace rescue, but I have seen one rescue after another in my own time, and it lights a FIRE in my soul, let me tell you.

The Bible is not just any other book, y’all. And God is not just any statue. He’s not a statue at all. Why would you worship something so small you could DIY????

This year my parents had their own fire. In case you missed that, I talked about that here. It was a burn-it-to-the-ground kind of house fire. This thing was so impactful. I would never wish it on anyone.

But God’s raising up something beautiful from those ashes. He’s staging another rescue. My parents will move into their new house, probably next month, just in time for Christmas.

He’s making everything new and everything beautiful, and he’s blessing my parents with a new home. It smells like new paint, it is handicap accessible, and it has the prettiest master bathroom shower I have ever seen. I am so excited for them. And you know what I said at the beginning about the hardship of finding new friends? They won’t even have to worry about that because he’s building it right where their old house stood, on the same plot of land I grew up on.

They will still have their neighbors and their church family right down the street.

Don’t you love a rescue like that?

And I want to say a special thank you to the members of Victory Baptist Church and to their neighbors on their street. They blessed them in ways that I, far away in California, did not. They were there for my family when I wasn’t really. You have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you!!!

Remember the kind of God we serve. Amen. Amen. Amen.

 

 

 

“Are you so happy, Mom?”

Are you so happy, Mom?

So happy: My friend Amy sent me this Anna/Mickey Mouse ornament, as a souvenir of our Disney trip. Love this!

John David asks me one question every single day.

“Mom, are you so happy? I just want you be happy, Mom.”

If I cry, he can’t take it. “No, Mom! I just want you be happy!”

If I get stressed and start rushing around, “Mom, I just want you be happy!”

If he’s in trouble for something, well, if John David gets in trouble for something he does that thing that little kids do that will melt your heart. He sticks out that bottom lip, his face scrunches up, and he cries, and then he says, “I just want you be happy!”

Apparently, it is exceedingly important to this sweet baby that I be happy…..ALL the time.….And that, of course, is pretty much impossible. But I try my best.

Even when JD goes to the potty, I have to be happy. I’m back there wiping his bottom, and he says, “You so happy, Mom? You so happy??”

Ha! Well, that’s what we get for throwing such a party every time he went potty.

But what a great reminder. What a great reminder to take joy even in the time of small things. What a reminder! Be joyful even when you’re wiping up poo…

Are you so happy, Mom?

I don’t look so joyful at cross country meets. There are gnats y’all, and on this particular day it was 104 degrees. Not even exaggerating.  I just stand there with my kids, looking like this. Inviting, huh?

 

That’s the thing about joy. Being encouraged by other people is so uplifting, but when you walk around looking annoyed, who wants to talk to you? Well, usually nobody.

So we must somehow find a source for joy that does not depend on other people. It’s great to derive joy from your friends, but until you have friends, joy has to be found elsewhere.

I’ve been searching the scriptures for joyful ideas.

 

faith

This was a recent yard sale find that I was excited about. YES, GOD WILL!

 

We can take joy in the promises, provisions, and love of God.

Maybe find a place to sit outside or by a window and read God’s promises. Turn to the New Testament or Psalms when you are feeling down.

“I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.”   –Psalm 119:162

“Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”   –Isaiah 49:13

 

Are you so happy, Mom?

Nonna, enjoying time with her grandsons

“Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say,”The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.” They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.  “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”   –Isaiah 48:20-22

Remembering what God has already done keeps your faith and your joy strong.

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”  –Isaiah 12:2-3

“In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their season; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  –Acts 14:16-17

 

 

Are you so happy?

I can assure you that basketball brings Joshua great joy.

I wish I could send you all a clone of John David, my daily reminder to “just want you to be happy.” He’s so precious. It is hard to stay down when you share your day with one like him, but not all of you are up to taking care of a three-year-old right now. Take heart.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  –John 16:33

It’s true. There was Jesus, who they killed for our transgressions, and by his wounds we are  healed. We are forgiven, if we only ask to be. We are loved. He wants to take care of us.

“A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity…. I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.”            –Ecclesiastes 6:3

Some people may roll their eyes at the need for comfort and happiness, but I think that it’s important to try. As John David says, “I just want you be happy!!”

 

Are you so happy, Mom?

It did make me “so happy” to see JD make a friend at a cross country meet.

Are you so happy, Mom?

JD’s happy place. Do you have a happy place?

Thank you all so much for following my blog. It is a great encouragement to know that I have people, no matter how many times I move, I have people right here. Thank you!! You are a blessing to me. Have a joy-filled week!

 

A Place to Write Out Answered Prayers

 

Yesterday we sang this song at church:

It starts quiet and gets louder. That’s not my church, just one I found on You Tube. This song is powerful, and even more so when you are there in person, singing it with other believers.

I could not stop my tears while singing this song. I have this problem that once my water works start it feels impossible to turn them off!! All of a sudden, I lose all ability to be tough or cool. I become total mush. Does that happen to you? It’s embarrassing, but it’s healing, and sometimes you have no choice really.

So today, why don’t we take time to remember? Do we remember?

There was this movie called The War Room, which starred Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore even had a small role in it. In the movie, an elderly woman served as Priscilla Shirer’s mentor. She had something hanging on her wall that I’d never seen before: a list of answered prayers.

It was a powerful film. I hope you get a chance to watch the whole thing later, but for now, here’s a dramatic clip:

This movie was GOOD, but because it was Christian you didn’t hear about it much. Go digging for it on the internet. It’s well worth your time. I mean I saw it a YEAR ago, and I’m still remembering things I learned in this movie!

Amazon sells it for $10, or if you have Starz, you can watch it for free:

The other big thing that stuck with me was having a closet to go pray in. Here at my new house I finally have both a list and a closet to pray in, and I am loving that.

I even made a pretty list to write my lists of answered prayers on. In only 30 minutes, I filled up four of these sheets, so if you want to use this, you may want to print 5, not just one. Yep. I turned it into a free printable, so I can share it with you.
Free Printable for Answered Prayer ListEach list is the size of a sheet of copy paper. Click here to print it. : answeredprayerWord

I have a black and white printer, so mine didn’t have the pretty colors after all. Sad! But yours can so long as you have a color printer.

I feel like I’m living the longest answered prayer ever this year. My list was long, and I won’t bore you with my list, but I do want to share this one with you.

I want to tell you about my support system this year. The hardest months were November 2015-April 2016. It felt like my physical body was crumbling. There were days I limped around with hip pain, and no one could tell me why. I would toss and turn, and I could not sleep because of that obnoxious hip, but no one could fix it. But the worst part was the fevers, because they would zap my energy and leave me feeling useless. Oh! And then the heart problem started. Then when they told me it was v-tach, and I read about v-tach, I thought, “Oh, great. I’m dying? I could just die any night in my sleep?”

Since my doctors couldn’t figure out my hip problem, they labeled me as having “many somatic complaints,” and they sent me to a counselor. Nice. So basically, if you have a sickness that docs don’t know how to fix they decide you need counseling. And there are lots of problems doctors cannot fix.

Many women would fall back on family during times like these, but when you live on the other side of the country from your family, you’d better hope you’ve made some friends.

It felt like a recipe for depression, my friends.

But that wasn’t how it turned out. Sometimes God sends people who are the answers to our prayers. That’s what happened for me. I want to tell you about three people who were answers to my prayers.

analise

Analise, my substitute

Analise

I hired Analise to watch the boys each Friday while I went to my weekly doctor visits and tests at the cardiologist, the rheumatologist, the counselor, the physical therapist, and the chiropractor.

Ladies, don’t ever feel like you are “just a nanny.” Analise was 1000 times more than just a nanny. That is a noble calling. I could not have made it through this year without her, and she was a source of happiness for my boys who were having to cope with having a mom that was “always sick.” She was fun and energetic, but she was also mature enough to handle two boys who were supposed to be doing their schoolwork, along with two pre-schoolers.

Analise was a gift from God. She was the answer to my literal cry for help.

laura

My unofficial support group of friends: Every single one is a blessing. Laura is the one on the far right.

Laura

Laura was Daniel’s best friend’s mother. She had Daniel at her house about as much as I had him at mine, and I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t. I would also come home to little gifts from her all the time: bath fizzies, Bama cupcakes, and her signature sidewalk art.

Laura offered that touch that reminded me that I was still a person of value, even when I was sick and confused.

answered prayers

The incredible women in my home school support group. Paola is the second from the end on the right, on the sofa. Man, I miss these ladies!!

Paola

What you might not know about me is that I have this need to follow the rules and …..win. I like winning. That’s right. I too want to win and win biggly. (Hehe!) I crave success. So when I started failing, it was quite the avalanche of pride. Oh, what a humbling year it was.

I could not keep up as Joshua’s grammar/writing teacher. He had his computer program for math, but grammar was on me. But our grammar/writing tutoring sessions were every Monday afternoon. No matter how hard I tried, doctor appointments kept falling on Monday afternoon. And fevers. And just my general mess!

Fail. Fail. Fail. I felt like I was constantly failing. Joshua actually had to direct himself for most of his school work for most of that school year. I felt like I was setting him up for failure.

When we would make it on Monday afternoons, we’d be behind on assignments, because of me. Plus, JD’s entire day would be thrown off from the lack of nap at daycare, and Joshua would be in misery because he wasn’t getting much out of that class as unprepared as he was.

I didn’t have it in me to stay for Monday afternoons any longer. It took so much of my energy reserves to finish a Monday that I finally realized I could not keep it up.

We could handle the three-hour Monday morning tutoring sessions, but packing a lunch for all of us and staying for the afternoon became too much.

So it was with great humility that I wrote Paola (the Essentials tutor, Joshua’s teacher for the 2 hour afternoon session) a long note explaining why we had to drop Essentials with only five or so weeks left in the program.

And what I got from Paola was something I won’t forget. I’d back that woman up for any battle she may ever need help with. Paola gave me grace. 

She agreed that our course of action was best for us. She sympathized with all we were going through. She allowed Joshua to continue turning in his grammar charts to her, but she didn’t pressure us for anything at all. In fact, when the year was over, she congratulated me on persevering to the finish.

Have you ever known someone who gave you the exact encouragement that you needed and more? I felt like such a flake that whole semester because of all the “no’s” I was having to say. But Paola and the other CC moms accepted us right where we were in life.

It wasn’t just Paola that gave me support last school year. All of my fellow Classical Conversations moms were understanding and helpful. If only I could have brought my California friends with me to the South!

Sometimes God uses people to answer our prayers, and truly even to teach us what grace feels like. Grace, hope, and love. I hope that he will use me to bless others as greatly as my friends and family have blessed me.

What a year of answered prayers. I can’t wait to see what God does next. I want you to all know that I am doing much better now. Thank you so much for loving us through the hard times.

Be sure to get the printable and share what God has done in your life.

 

 

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