Lavishly Loved

I'm a simple girl with a huge heart for God, family and friends.

Location: Michigan, United States

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Papa Turk

Today I had a doctor's appointment.

My dad watched Julian...

Their relationship is so cute...

I was gone much longer than I had anticipated & truthfully got a little worried about the "boys"...hee

When I got home, dad was surrounded with toys and Julian having the best much so that he even fell asleep with "Papa Turk"...

Thanks dad...Love you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mommy Grace

The current book I am reading is called Mommy Grace...below is the first paragraph of the book...

" My newborn son lay sleeping in my arms. The overwhelming responsibility of the new little life weighed heavily on me. What if I failed to be all that he needed in a mother? Would his emotional well-being suffer if I gave him too much attention? Too little attention? Would his physical health suffer if I didn't nurse him long enough? or if I ate the wrong foods? Would his spirituality suffer if I didn't have the answers to his questions? would I mess up his whole life just by not being a good enough mother? "...Dr. Shelia Schuller Coleman, Mommy Grace

Wow!...yeah...I am liking this book.

Had bit of a frustrating week at Julian's 18 month appointment, as far as what he should or shouldn't be doing right now. Doctor's have an incredible way of heaping guilt onto people...& for moms, we are already fighting guilt every day (at least I am)

Praise GOD for HIS Word, that HE gave me that morning...

Psalm 90 (New Living Translation)
1 Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!

2 Before the mountains were born,before you gave birth to the earth and the world,from beginning to end, you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying,"Return to dust, you mortals!"

4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,as brief as a few night hours.
5 You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
6 In the morning it blooms and flourishes,but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We wither beneath your anger;we are overwhelmed by your fury.
8 You spread out our sins before you-our secret sins-and you see them all.
9 We live our lives beneath your wrath,ending our years with a groan.
10 Seventy years are given to us!Some even live to eighty.But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;soon they disappear, and we fly away.

11 Who can comprehend the power of your anger?Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life,so that we may grow in wisdom.
13 O Lord, come back to us!How long will you delay?Take pity on your servants!

14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!Replace the evil years with good.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;let our children see your glory.
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.Yes, make our efforts successful!

And that is my prayer...GOD, LET OUR CHILDREN SEE YOUR GLORY!

Tears.... I have begun to blog again...I thought I would re-read some of my older ones.
It was fun to see all of the cool things God has done in my life (I was able to sing on a Worship CD in 2005!! very blessed to share that moment with such dear friends. And it was just featured on WMUZ this past good to hear everyone) went to Australia 2006 with Kristi, Jim, Paul & Jerree, went to see Beth Moore with Kristi several times, went to Missouri all by myself (like a big girl), the people I had great times with (my brother & sister in law, Aaron, Kristi, & so many others), and people that I had to say good bye too (Grandma Tina & Ed Horn)...

but the one thing that almost all of the blogs had in common was a phrase...

..."and the tears keep streaming down my face"...

GEEZ..what a buz kill...LOL...:)

So I am gonna do my best to not use that phrase this PART II of my season of blogging...
at least I'm gonna try...

Be well!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Morning...

I have been wanting to write about my son's love for Worship and for God...the morning of Easter Sunday...had to be one of the coolest stories ...

I have shared stories with my dear friends since he was about 5 months old...but never documented it...(Jennifer & Steve Cant have been with us at a worship service at church to witness his love of music & worship...) hee

Julian is now 19 months old...and I will finally share these cool God moments with all of you...

I must back up and say...that when I found out I was pregnant I began to pray for this baby. I prayed for protection, health (all of the things new parents pray for)...but I also
began to pray for some specific things...Most importantly that this baby would recognize the voice of God. Even in my tummy...that this baby would know God's voice even beyond mine.
I knew that I would fail this baby throughout his/her life...There was an email that inspired me to pray that for this baby... called The Smell of Rain...

I also prayed that this baby would love JESUS, love worship and would be a leader for the Kingdom of God.

NOW...God blessed me with a beautiful baby boy. However, he is the most strong willed, hot tempered, spirited, busy baby boy...I think I have ever witnessed.
( I actually had to wrestle with God that He didn't give me an easy going, melancholy baby....but that's a whole other blog) ha ha

But what did I pray for ??? I prayed for a leader...!!! (strong willed, spirited...yeah...I know...I did it to myself, right ? :)

Fast forward to about 5 months...I purchased the Hillsong KIDS DVD-Tell the World...I purchased it just to have kids singing worship music and for Julian to hear that...
**these are the days I miss my brother. We would sit around singing for hours. Just like we did growing up with our parents...I know that's where we got our love for music and for God.
I am even willing to start paying someone to come over to my house to play the guitar in front of Julian...:) ...We so appreciate our time with Aaron "True Dawg" Swanger...and how you pour your heart, soul, music and love for Jesus into you bro!

Okay...back to the Hillsong DVD...

Once I began to play the was just kind of background music.

However, there was 1 particular song that ALWAYS changed Julian's behavior. He would instantly stop whatever he was doing, close his eyes and was the coolest wasn't "just" music...

The song actually helped with his tummy time and sitting up...(some felt that it was just a coincidence)...then in his he would be busy, busy, busy...when the song would come on, he would stop, close his eyes, smile...and raised his hands...(Carrie B was the first to witness this)...tears...I still remember that so vividly...

I could be anywhere and start to sing the song and he would raise his hands. It became almost a novelty...and I didn't want it to be that way. I wanted him to realize (yes, even as a baby) how sacred this time was...

He is now picking out which DVD's to watch...he hasn't 'wanted' to watch Hillsong KIDS for quite a while... He is into The Wiggles and Mickey Mouse now...

BUT EASTER MORNING...( and I missed this because Steve & I had to go to different services because Julian had been so sick)...

Easter Morning...Julian had his milk and watched Mickey Mouse with Daddy...and then ran over to his DVD's...almost franticly searching for a specific one...finally he found it...HILLSONG KIDS...

Steve couldn't get the DVD in fast enough...then Julian takes the remote out of his hand and begins to fast forward the dvd to get to a specific song...

the song...

GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD...the 1 song that ALWAYS stood out for him...below are the lyrics..

God so loved the world
That He gave
God so loved the world
That he gave his only son

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

He's risen from the dead
He is risen

He's high and lifted up
Heaven and earth adore

He had Steve repeat it over and over and over...he danced, he jumped up and down and lifted his hands...the way WE as ADULTS should celebrate Easter...He is RISEN...(coincidence??? I think not) of all the days...?? Easter Sunday!!! I love it!!

God truly speaks to us...even to our children...and HE LOVES US...and HE IS Risen!!! We should be rejoicing!!!! attached is the video...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Days You Feel Like Running Away...

I have so much to say over these past several months...and alot from some things I experienced yesterday. So with swollen eyes from crying all night...I will try to convey some things...

Some people have hard times, very hard times in there life where they question God, they question what He allows to happen around them, to their loved ones, etc...However, I am not one of those people. Maybe it's because of how long I've known HIM, that I trust HIS heart, His character with my all that this heart of mine keeps to herself.

It's the people in my life that's harder to trust. But I am just one of those trustworthy people...I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt and still continually get hurt by them.

I have been struggling with some health issues, that has robbed me of energy and sometimes even happiness. (but not joy)

But I have had some huge questions of my future and what that looks like, for me and for Steve and I. Most days it's pretty overwhelming. I have been at several funerals in the past 3 months. Even though it is so hard to say good heart is overwhelmed with joy, because they are in HEAVEN, with JESUS! no more pain, no more betrayals, no more broken bodies, no more broken's living here on the earth that's hard.

But I am resolving to press on...I can't say it any better than the song below.

Yet Will I Praise

Let this be the only love song I write
Will You be the only love in my life ?
I asked You to draw me, I said I would run
So though I walk through the valley
Yet, will I trust

I asked you to call me, I said I would come
So though I go up the mountain
Yet will I run

And though my song be taken from me
Yet will I sing, yet will I praise YOU
And though the joy be taken from me
Yet will I laugh, yet will I shout on YOU

And though the light be hidden from me
Yet will I walk, yet will I run after YOU
And the though my heart be slain within me
Yet will I trust
Yet will I follow YOU

'Cause I know whatever YOU do
You do through the eyes of mercy
Oh, and nothing can be added to it
Nothing can be or taken away

There is a time for every purpose, under the heaven
So though my weeping may last for the night
Oh how your joy, it comes with the LIGHT...

Though my song be taken from me
Yet, will I sing, Yet will I praise YOU
Though my heart be slain within me
Yet will I trust
Yet will I follow after YOU

Psalm 30
Psalm 126:5-6

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You are a Child of MINE

I am so excited....
Some of you know, while others do not...I'm a new Auntie!!!
My brother and sister in law left Christmas morning (they had to be at the airport at 8 am Christmas morning) for China to pick up their new baby girl :) Her name is Adie...and I can't wait to get pictures, so I can show her off to all of you.

I have so much to share about Steven & Jani's faith walk over the years ( 7 miscarriages, and 5 adoptions that fell through at the very last second)...

...But there's more about my brother's story that recently, brings tears to my eyes.

I love adoption...I am reminded of God's love for each of us, that He adopts us as His children....their are so many parallels to learn from.

Ephesians 1:4-6 For he CHOSE us in Him, before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. He predestined us to be ADOPTED as HIS sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves..

The sacrifice, the cost, the unconditional love to adopt a baby and make them a part of your family...

As my brother and Jani were praying as to what to steps to take next, some one introduced them to "the special needs list"...

The are 2 categories in international adoptions.

List #1 are healthy babies.
List #2 are babies that have a special need... (a health problem of some kind, missing a limb, a cleft palette, etc...still each one are so precious!)

....the cost for babies on List #2 is less than babies on List #1...( I cringe to even type that)

...List #2 is usually full of babies that are never adopted, ....for numerous cost for these sick babies, is outrageous. People's insurance will not cover the types of surgeries that will give these babies are normal life...another reason that people don't adopt babies with "problems" is that Adoption is VERY to pay a Huge price for a baby that has a "special need"...most people inevitability select from List # 1....there is no judgment here, because God has a special family for each of these babies, with special brother is one of these families.

Recently, I heard a talk about Jesus feeding the Five Thousand. The speaker brought up something close to my heart. The speaker said..."isn't it funny that the disciples got upset with Jesus, when Jesus asks them to pick up the "left overs"..."the broken pieces"...the Disciples were like.."we just witnessed a huge miracle, why on earth would Jesus want us to pick up the crumbs, the left overs, lets just throw them out????"...Isn't that like us today (oh to have the mind of Christ)..but Jesus is different, He knows and sees the potential of the crumbs. That is how God the Father is...HE picks up the broken pieces, the crumbs of our lives...He restores...He doesn't throw us away, even though other people might have in the past...God doesn't...

God revealed to me through my brothers adoption of Adie (and her being on the List # 2-she has a cleft palette)...the same principle...

We are broken people, with broken lives. We might feel we are not attrative, or that we don't have anything to offer to people-and who would want us ?...BUT Christ picks us up, loves us unconditionally...tells us we are beautiful! No matter the HUGE cost... Christ paid the highest price of all...HIS LIFE...for all of matter what list we or anyone else my have us on...

My brother is flying 1,000 of miles to get his new baby girl...God sent Jesus from Heaven to Earth to give His life... to Lavish His Love on us, to call us His Daughter and Son...I John 3:1 (How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called children of God! and that is what we are!

and as my brother grabs sweet Adie into his arms, embraces her, lifts her up and twirls her around, (like only a daddy can do), ...saying "you are so beautiful, I love are MY daughter..."
God is saying that to you...whether you've had good parents, bad parents, or no parents at all...The Almighty God of the universe has adopted YOU into His family. He sent His son to die to YOU, and raised Him from the grave to show His love for YOU....YOU are a child of God..

...I pray that each you feel the embrace of our Abba (Daddy) Father...and know how Deep, how wide is His Love for you this New year!

Child of Mine-Mark Schultz
I've been hearing voices
Telling me that I could, Never be what I wanna be.
They're binding me with lies,
Haunting me at night,
And saying there's nothing to believe.
Somewhere in the quietness,
When I'm overcome with loneliness,
I hear You call my name.
And like a father You are near
And as I listen I can hear You say
You are a child of Mine
Born of My own design
And you bear the heart of life.
No matter where you go,Oh, you will always know
You have been made free in Christ.
You are a child of Mine
And so I listen as You tell me who I am
And who it is I'm gonna be.
And I hang on every word,
Knowing I have heard
I am Yours and I am free
But when I am alone at night
That is when I hear the lie
You'll never be enough
And though I'm giving into fear
If I listen I can hear You say
You are a child of Mine
Born of My own design
And you bear the heart of life.
No matter where you go,Oh, you will always know
You have been made free in Christ
You are a child of Mine

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Home for Christmas

It's wild and hard to explain what I am about to say...but for the last 10 years, I have missed 'Christmas'...

I didn't really know how to put into words, until this past weekend, when my friend Bonnie sang the Faith Hill song...

Where are you Christmas... the lyrics say this..

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you rememberThe one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go

My pastor said some of us, miss the Christmas we used to know...especially if you had good memories. That's it...that's how to describe it...!!!

When my brother & I were kids...My mom and dad decided that Christmas day was a day of rest! going back and forth to peoples one coming over...just my brother, mom, dad and I ...hanging out in comfy clothes,
watching a movie, playing Yatzee or Aggravation and having a good dinner & LOTs of dessert...paper plates for easy clean was just a simple day :)

.....They chose to see all of the other relatives on either Christmas Eve or on the 26th (which is when we would travel down to Kentucky to see my Grandma Tina)...

My memories are so funny. I was even telling my mom about them the other day.

I loved her Christmas tree. I would wrap up in a blanket, next to the heat vent and stare at it for hours. I couldn't wait for it to be dark enough to turn it on...hahaha (and it was a family tradition when we decorated it too...I remember the first time we decorated it without my brother (when he was gone away at college) my mom and I sniffled through ornaments that year...(I still well up with tears...silly, I know)

As we got older we began to open our presents at Midnight (Christmas Eve) would last for hours, (with either Elvis Presley's Christmas or Alabama's Christmas Records playing in the background) Grandma Tina (Rowe) started a tradition of selecting one present to hide in the house. However, the process to find the actual present was unique. You would wrap a present under the tree and leave a riddle...kind of like a treasure would run all over the house, riddle after riddle until AT LAST you would find your most treasured gift. (my brother and I have begun that tradition with his kids now :) My brother and I would read the Christmas story...and then would drive down to see Grandma Tina. I loved being down there at Christmas with her. I wished you could have known her...she was such a HOOT...her sense of humor was out of this world.

Fast forward......after I got married everything changed without question. It was nobody's fault but mine. Christmas day became Steve's family's day...All day to go from a quiet cozy day a house full of people was drastic for me..(still is...) My parents went to Kentucky to see Grandma Tina...but because of my new job, I was unable to ever join them to go to Kentucky.

My brother and I talk about it all of the time. Because Christmas now... is radically different from OUR traditions...and sometimes it just doesn't feel like Christmas....please don't misunderstand brother and I married into GREAT families, that we love & treasure with all of our hearts!
But my brother & fell right into "their" traditions. My mom & dad were just kind of left out there...invited and always welcome but it just isn't the same...sometimes we miss our quiet, intimate Christmas...we miss mom and dad, we miss each other...we miss Kentucky and Grandma Rowe.

I guess I always thought I would some day get back down to Kentucky for one last Christmas with her...

Pastor said..."it's time for you to make YOUR OWN traditions! Make it something special for YOUR household..!" that's what I am praying for...a new tradition for Steve and I ...and someday if we have have a family tradition...or to bring in some of my family traditions....maybe next year...

Below is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman...called Home for Christmas...this is for you Grandma Tina...I can't imagine how Celebrating Christmas with Jesus face to face must be, HOW Glorious!!!!!..I have tears and smiles just thinking about it...I love you.

Her house was where the family gather every Christmas eve
A feast was on the table and gifts were placed beneath the tree
Everything was picture perfect, Grandpa would laugh and say
That woman spends the whole year getting ready for this day

One year the leaves began to fall and her heath began to fade
We moved her to a place were they could watch her night and day
But she kept making place for Christmas from her little room
She told everyone, I'll miss you, but I'll be leaving soon

I'm going home for Christmas, and I'm going home to stay
I'm going home for Christmas and nothing's gonna keep me away
I'll be with the ones I love to celebrate the Savior's birth
This gift will be worth more to me than anything on earth
I'm going home, home for Christmas

All the leaves outside have fallen to be covered by the snow
The family comes with food and gifts, and Grandpa comes alone
There's a sadness in our silence as the Christmas story's read
And with tears, Grandpa reminds us of the words that Grandma said

I'm going home for Christmas, and I'm going home to stay
I'm going home for Christmas and nothing's gonna keep me away
I'll be with the ones I love to celebrate the Savior's birth
This gift will be worth more to me than anything on earth
I'm going home, home for Christmas

As we sing 'Joy to the World' I can't help thinking
Of the joy that's shining in her eyes right now
And though our hearts still ache, we know that as we celebrate
She's singing with the herald angels and heaven's glowing on her face

And now she's home for Christmas, and now she's home to stay
She's home for Christmas and nothing could've kept her away
She'll be face to face with Jesus, as we celebrate His birth
And this gift will be worth more to her than anything on earth
She's home, she's home for Christmas She is home She's home for Christmas

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fresh Fire

Proverbs 29:18 (Amplified Bible)
where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.

The last several months have been ....well, different for me. I don't know if it started when I kept getting sick back in August/September or after my grandma passed away and I began to fight insomnia...but as I said in previous blogs, I feel like a walking zombie. I feel numb and distant from God and others. (Funny sometimes how we feel this way, when things haven't gone the way WE want them too...)So I began to pray and seek God for an answer, a revelation, was there a sin I was not confessing to, what was He trying to teach me...anything...

Still nothing...silence. But I continued to press in...

I began to compare this year, with years see where I lost some of my fire. The first thing that God revealed to me, was how many "events" I have attended in the last several years, and have been blessed beyond measure. In 2005, Kristi and I drove to see Joyce Meyer, and Beth Moore. AND I went to Kansas City to see Beth Moore with my sister in law, and then was able to see attend her live broadcast at Calvary. But in 2006...there have been no "big conferences"...

I slowly began to realize how I had begun to rely on those events to keep me "UP"...pumped up in Christ. These events are designed to encourage all believers in the DAILY walk with Christ..But not live 100% off of what I walk away with, from a conference, a Great Communion Service or even a great weekend service. We can't base our walks with God on these services. They are there to encourage us to dig deeper with God.

Beth Moore gave an example of going to a Third World Country, and the missionary explaining that he had been trying to teach the people to plant their own crops to feed their families. However, these people are sooooooooooooooo starving for food, that they eat the seed that is given to them, instead of planting it. In turn they are starving AGAIN. I think that is what has happened to me. And it happens to alot of people with busy schedules...sometimes even busy with ministry stuff.

I heard a quote the other day that said, "if satan can't get you to quit ministry-he will get you to do TOO much of it-in order to burn out, get sick, etc"...

I Peter 5:8 be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

We let our lives get so out of balance. I let my life get out of balance, and when I do that...I lose purpose.

Ephesians 5 says, in verse 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

And then I heard a teaching on Moses.

This great man that was used by God. But he lost his fire and God had to replace him with someone with Fresh Faith and Fresh Fire and he missed the promised land. But when you think of Moses it's easy to empathize with him...wondering around a desert for 40 years with grumbling people. (wow, how this sounds like life today, doesn't it ?) God provides for his needs (manna from heaven and water from a rock) but when the desert season last a little bit longer than Moses wanted it to and needs water again-God instructs him to speak to the rock...but he whacked the rock instead.

How typical of humans to strike something out of frustration, especially when our desert season is longer than we would like....instead of speaking God's truth over the situation...

Proverbs 29:18 (Amplified Bible)where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people PERISH; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.

Do you know the Definition of the word Perish ?

to deteriorate
to be ruined
to be destroyed
to cause to die
to weaken
to make NUMB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I heard the word numb, I stopped in my tracks...

When we begin to lose our vision, we lose our fire and become numb... We begin to get sloppy about our obedience to God and we begin to make comprises.

I don't want to miss it like Moses did, I want to be obedient to what God has asked me to do...I begged God to refresh my soul, my spirit, my heart and mind...and my vision.

On opening night of our Glory of Christmas, God used the 2 guys that portray Jesus in our play... it didn't matter if they were acting or not...God used them to break my heart, to take my breath away...and totally minister to me. (Thanks Stewart and Mike)

During this holiday season, If you are struggling with being numb, distant, tired, whatever it may be....May I encourage you to look at the life of Christ and be refreshed...The STONE is rolled away...that resurrection power lives in us as Christians.

As the end of this year draws near, and 2007 approaches...I am praying for a fresh revelation, a fresh faith and a fresh fire!

Isaiah 43
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.