Monday, June 29, 2009

My kitchen... my husband...blogging about it!

Sometimes I post just to post. Like that Michaeal Jackson song needs to change. So I need a new post. My friend Jill has like 10 ideas in her head to blog about. I'm too tired, big and overwhelmed to think this week. So pardon me for the random funkiness of the postings. :)

I am nearing the end of this pregnancy. I am feeling more and more "NOT" able to do much other than drag my legs around the house and look at things. I have folded laundry, and sat on the couch looking at it trying to "will it" to the appropriate place. I just look at a nicely folded stack of towels and think to myself, man I really don't want to bend over to pick those up and carry them ALL THE WAY to the bathroom! So I don't. They just sit in the living room looking at me.

Working full time still and being pregnant and having the two kids with me is still a lot of work. I am trying to keep them occupied and give them a fun summer, while doing a good job in customer service at my work as well as keep myself as comfortable as possible while working and doing all of the above. My stomach gets in the way of my keyboard so it's difficult sometimes to think straight. Ya'll hear me cluckin?

Not to mention at the end of last week BK warned me of his impending toothache and that he could not get into the dentist until Tuesday. So, he is nursing himself with pain meds from the dentist/Tylenol to get him through until tomorrow. If you've ever had a toothache.. this is one of those that drop you to the floor and make you want to rip the tooth out yourself. He has been a trooper. So when the meds are kicked in and he feels well, he has really helped me this weekend. The other day I completely neglected cleaning any dish we had in the house. The kids were cleaning cups as they needed them, not to mention utensils and other kitchen items. The dishes were stacked ALL over the kitchen. I told Bill that I just have no motivateion to get those dishes done. And walked away defeated. I put the kiddos to bed and kissed BK goodnight. He was staying up so I thought I'd head to bed early. I woke up in the middle of the night at about 3:30am and could not sleep. I was dehydrated totally parched and made my nightly trip to the bathroom. I went downstairs to drink some water and eat some grapes and sit at the kitchen table. My kitchen was IMMACULATE! The floor was swept, every single dish was put away. I was blown away, and so thankful to my husband. He rocked it out. The next day I told him he does not understand how much "little" things like that fill my "love tank" and make me feel very loved by him. He needed to know. It was so cool.

We had a great weekend together as a family. We went to garage sales, we spent time with friends at a beautiful wedding, we went to church on Sunday, I taught a bunch of awesome 1-3rd graders. BK played softball on Sunday afternoon and we wrapped it up with dinner at Denny's after softball. Not to mention I got the kids a new sprinkler for outside when it gets hot today. I will post pics of that later.

Josie's nursery is coming along. We've bought her a dresser that can double as a changing table. I am putting up some curtains tonight and BK is going to hang her mirror and a couple other decorative items we've found. I found a lady on Craig's list who is selling a mobile and a couple other cute items... I am in the process of getting those for Josie.

Last thing to do is empty out her closet and figure out where to put all of the junk we have stored in there. Fix the closet doors and get her clothing organized. The grandma's are planning their arrival at our house in mid July and we have a "low key" but fun Fourth of July planned too.

In the meantime I pray, I praise God in the goodness of this life and I look forward to each new day. Hope you all have a great week! :) lv, jen

PS. This song is dedicated to my blog friend Cari... she's a mommy to a new little boy and it sounds like Rigg and Cari need some "Dance Party" music to "rock out" the day! Captain should join in too... old school Bon Jovi is awesome. :) Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

What am I worried about?

OK... as each day passes we get closer and closer to July 14th. The big C section day. The day we get to meet Josie and see her for the first time. The day our lives will change into a new season of normal and we get to experience the miracle of life again. What an amazing blessing. Totally awesome. Totally amazing. I am totally in love and I haven't even met her yet.

Isn't it weird that even in all this joy and excitement and anticipation and coolness I sit here and I worry? I worry about her health, about my other children and how they will react and how this birth is effecting their summer fun. I worry about my health and my belly and my healing. I worry about Bill and how he will adjust I worry about finances and how organized or unorganized my house is. I cry a lot. I cry about weird things. I worry because my ankles are swelling and that I am blowing my nose too much. I worry about my iron levels. Whew... no wonder I am exhausted!

Then I remember this verse:

Matthew 6:34

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

And I am reminded.... that the God who created this life inside of me, who created the universe who made my two other beautiful children, who has answered my prayers, who has picked me up when I was a puddle on the floor who drew me near to him right when I needed him most, who provided me with an awesome husband... that God of the universe has it all taken care of. That the only thing he requires is that I love Him back, focus on God and try my best to trust in what he has for me. When I think about that and focus on this moment he has given me... it all melts away.

Today in the midst of my worry Toby came over and said something like, " Mom, can I have a juice box." As I looked into his eyes and kissed his cheek, and told him he could go get himself a juice box... I felt my heart overflow in thankfulness for that one moment. Being present in the moment is something I am going to focus on. God does not want me to worry about the next moment. Just enjoy each moment I have and take them one by one.

So, join me in this a Mom who tries not to worry so much. Who trusts God. Who loves her family and her life and looks forward to each moment.

PS. Had to play some Micheal Jackson for today's blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Brothers... Pete Brad and Austin

I have posted lots about the family God has provided for me. But not much about the family I was born into. A major part of who I am and the person I grew up to be centers around me being the first born and the oldest of four children. My three younger siblings are all boys. Well, they were boys... now they are men. But I they are all amazing guys, totally different but totally cool in so many different ways.

The oldest of my three brothers is Pete. Pete is about 2 years younger than me and has a big wide heart. He has a hard outer shell but a soft gooey inside. I am proud of him for so many things. But mostly that he loves his family and that he is a great Dad and husband and he seeks to live his life pleasing the Lord. He and my son Tobias share a birthday. They also share the simple fact they are totally tough and burly on the outside but soft-hearted and love people.

Pete works as a "tree guy." Arborist if you will, he ran his own business when he lived in Durango and was known around town for all of the business he did Durango. He is a hard worker, he knows what he is doing and loves to be his own boss. When we were little we went through weird periods where we were not friends. We hung out together in the "neighborhood" riding our bikes to the pool, but we were at each other's throats a lot. He was my pesky brother, I was a bratty big sister. But today I cannot say enough how much I love him and how much he means to me. I hear his heart very clearly. I feel like sometimes he does not have to say a word and I can discern how he's doing. He can do anything he puts his mind to. He decides something and it's done. He's strong and capable. He's hard working and loving. He has an awesome family wife and two beautiful children. He rocks.

My brother Brad is the middle brother. When my Mom was pregnant with Brad I am not sure how old I was but I would get up in the middle of the night and get him and rock him until she got up out of bed to feed him. Brad and I were always close growing up. I would try to protect him from Pete. Not always successful, but I tried. He too is an amazing man and father. He loves his family and works so hard. He isn't quite as verbal and talkative as Pete and I, but his gifts are all internal. He is a total talent. Musically he has taught himself to play the piano, mandolin and guitar. He has so much raw musical talent, it's fun to watch. Brad is private and although we are close he keeps to himself. He loves the simple things in life and it's a joy to watch. He can play like a mad man but isn't too keen on doing it with an audience. He finds joy in playing his instruments and his music for his daughter Ari. His number one fan! He also works as "tree guy" he is a certified Arborist and loves what he does. He works in Durango and I am glad to have him and his family close to me. We don't get together as often as I would like to, but as he navigates his first child, I navigate my "brood" to be! We are working out how to make sure we get together more often. Brad's heart is awesome too. He is understanding, a great listener and is chill. I love that about him. I am proud to call him my brother:)

Finally, my youngest brother and another amazing story. We affectionately call him Zay Zay. Now that he is older he goes by Austin... growing up we called him A.J. a nickname he has forgone over the years. Zay Zay is how he said it when he was a baby... so that kind of stuck for me. Austin was born when I was 17 years old. When he would come visit me in college at 1 1/2 some people would ask me if he was my child. He is the apple of all of our eye. He has grown up almost as an only child because we are all so much older than he is. But he blows us all out of the water. He is a musical theatre major at NYU, he too plays the mandolin, guitar, harmonica and violin. He loves to act and is studying it in New York. He will be a junior this year and we are so excited the path his life has taken. Austin and I have some minor generational gaps. He and Grace are closer in age than Austin and I were... but even with our age difference I feel very close to him. I love him with all my heart and I know he loves me too. He thinks my "80's" tendencies and speech are funny. He is hysterical and can find humor in just about anything. When I go see him in productions and plays... I cry every time. I am so proud of the man he is becoming.

All three of these awesome dudes I am proud to call my brothers. I pray for them and love them very much. I ask God to pour himself into their lives. To show up for them, to guide them, to protect them and their families and friends. I pray specifically for their needs. I am a proud big sister and thank God for their influence and love in my life.

Are you looking for a miracle?

Last night grace and I were watching the movie Charlette's Web II. We were sitting on the couch. Toby had fallen asleep and we put him to bed. I let Grace stay up later than usual so she could finish out the movie and watch it with me. Sometimes it's just fun to hang out on the couch with her and watch.

I am not sure about anyone else, but lots of fingerprints, scratches and handling of DVD's by children usually messes them up pretty good. This DVD has been handled been on trips with us where the kids have managed to scratch it touch it and get their muddy little paws all over it. It's a little painful for me because I think they are a tad bit expensive in some cases.

Anyway, last night at the last part of the video, it got stuck. It just stood at one place in the movie.. frozen screen. I hit the fast forward button to get it past the scratch or food or whatever might be causing the glitch. The screen just sat there. Nothing. I was able to rewind it back to a part further back in the movie but when it go back to the same spot, it froze again. Grace was like... oh Mom... I really want to see the end of this (even though she had seen it like 50 times).

So I said this outloud. "Dear Jesus, please help us with this movie you know how much Grace wants to see the end, please fix it for us."

Immediately the video unstuck and played the rest of the movie. I looked at my daughter's face and a big HUGE smile came across it. She was so impressed with how Jesus just fixed that video for us. I said, "Did you see that Grace... wow Jesus must really have understood how much you wanted to see the rest of it" She said, "Yeah, He did."

I was thinking about that moment this this morning and wondered.... If you don't have faith in Jesus or God and the hope of Christ. Your bound to miss all of the miracles in life. I love moments like this... just thought I'd share!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The "Big Kids" and adding to the Kline Family

Grace and I were talking the other day about Josie. As we all prepare for this new bundle of joy... and hope and blessings I am seeing my "older kids" in a whole new way. I am remembering their births, remembering their birthdays, remembering that 5 and 7 years ago... they were my new precious bundles of joy. I was explaining to Grace how God just makes "more love" when there is a new baby. I had this impression that Grace would be the most excited about Josie. She is very excited this is true, but lately I think she is wrestling with excitement and questions and wondering... what is this going to mean in terms of being the "girl" in this family.
When I asked her about what she thought about Josie she said that she was kind of hoping the baby would be a boy... because then she could be the only girl in the family and she would get to have all the glittery things.... all the girly stuff.
But then she said, "But I'd rather have a girl... than no baby, I'm just glad God gave us this one." When I had my first miscarriage I think it bothered Grace more than I ever thought... her confidence was rocked a little bit. She understands the blessing of this baby and is willing to "share" her status as only daughter for the sake of the blessing of a new baby. I explain to her that she will be my "BIG GIRL" and Josie will be the "BABY". That Grace will have special things as the older sister and Josie will have special things because she is the youngest. We talked about how when Grace is 16 years old and Josie is 9 years old.. Grace will be able to drive her places. That she is going to learn from Grace and she will know the love of a sister.

Toby on the other hand, still wants nothing to do with the thought of us having a baby girl. When he says his prayers at night he is still asking God to send him a brother. My son is stubborn when he gets a thought in his head. He's not bending for anything. He is still excited to teach her not to put things in her mouth and teach her how to ride a bike and teach her not to throw toys and how to play baseball. When I can get him off the fact she is not going to be a boy... he tells me all the things he will teach her. But when we talk about gender. He's utterly bugged. :)

Billy is making me laugh a lot. I keep trying to explain to him how things are going to change around the home. We've both forgotten what it's like to have a baby in the house. We both have forgotten what "truly" sleepless feels like. We both have forgotten how much a baby relies on his/her parents. But we know it's coming. My husband is awesome. He gets teary eyed when he thinks about Josie and the blessing she will be to him and his heart. He has diabetes and really watches what he eats, but on Father's Day "treated" himself to some Mountain Dew. A treat for Daddy on Father's Day but also something he drinks when he's stressed. He sits in the nursery and ponders this family and our life. I am so excited to see what a great Dad he is going to be to three kids it may be tough at times, but we know it is only for a season and God will be in all of it.

As I pray about this pregnancy and this life inside of me, I have this sense that I am going to "learn" a lot. God is putting it on my heart that during this next season or phase in our lives we are going to "learn". I hope this learning phase means wisdom and a better understanding of parenting and being a family of five. I pray that this learning and this knowledge comes with an ability to take things in stride. I pray also that during this learning comes clarity and peace about who I am as a woman of God, wife, mother and friend.

As I've said in my profile. God has some big things in store for this family of ours. Josie is one of them and we can have a confidence it may be a "wild" ride, but it is going to be awesome and something we can look back on and be proud we did as a family. I am so proud to be a Mom and wife in this Kline family in Colorado. All I can do is get on my knees and thank God for all of his amazing blessings in this life.

PS. This song is awesome. I bought Billy this CD for Father's Day when Grace was really little. I absolutely love it. It is my Father's Day song for all Dads... it can apply to Father's and daughters and fathers and sons... it's a father's heart for his children. love it lots. I think God loves us like this. It's too cool.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another Faithbuilder - The Adoption Option

One of the biggest faithbuilders for me since we've moved here is one that has to do with an awesome little boy from China. This one has to do with the power of prayer and trusting God when he places the burden of praying for someone on our hearts.

Please note: I have always understood the power of prayer. But not like I have recently. I've prayed for things, people, circumstances and seen little things happen. I've felt peace, I've felt comfort that God was listening. I just had never experienced an amazing huge BIG prayer answered in a dramatic way. I think God likes variety and I'm glad he saved this faithbuilder for such a time as this...

My pastors Dwight and Linn were in the process of adopting a new baby boy named Isaiah from China. At this time in my walk with God, I was just starting to understand how much I liked to pray. How much I liked talking to God and how much I felt like he truly heard my prayers.

Pastor Linn and Dwight were in the process of adopting a special needs boy named Isaiah and they were waiting on the final approval from China saying they could go get this baby boy. If this adoption did not go through... Isaiah would spend the rest of his life in the orphanage. He was at a point in the "system" where if this adoption did not process. He would never have a Mom or a Dad or family. Pastor Linn put his picture up on the big screen at church.

About halfway through the adoption process, she told us that China had told them they could NOT adopt him because of some mix up with paperwork and an "offense" the Chinese Government felt from somewhere in the adoption process. Like medical records weren't revealed at the right time or place or something like that. She also told us that once China says NO... they never change their mind. I was heartbroken. They were heartbroken. We had all been praying for them. Rooting for them and excited to see Isaiah running around in the church with our kids. I wanted him out of that crib in China with no Mom or Dad and in the arms of this awesome family. I couldn't imagine him anywhere else.

I looked at this picture and felt this incredible "burden" to pray. Now when I say burden I don't mean sadness or that I was upset. I felt like there was no other option. It was like God gave me a to do list and on that to do list there was one thing. PRAY. DO IT NOW. Like it was so important to the heart of God... I had this great gift I could give and it was the power of prayer. This is also when I began to understand why I am obedient when God puts one thing on my to do list. :)

Dwight and Linn were persistent and also faithful. They knew God wanted them to have Isaiah as their own. They had prayed and prayed. God had done so many things to get them to this point. They decided to send the Chinese government a video of their family. A final plea to get them to change their minds on the ruling that Isaiah could be in their forever family.

I'll never forget one night, I was home, Billy was out of town and the kids were sleeping. I was reading Linn's blog and looking at Isaiah's picture and I got down on my knees and prayed and prayed. I cried and I prayed. I kept saying the same things over and over to God about Isaiah. I even got up in front of the church and asked our church to fast and pray together for this little boy. I've always felt bad for orphans, but never in my life did I feel like prayer was so important. It was something I could barely communicate into words. So I just kept praying and praying.

I am not sure how long after we prayed... and how long it was after they sent the video. But Linn and Dwight received a call from the Chinese Government later on telling them that "China had changed their mind." That Isaiah could come and live with them in their family. Linn and Dwight have adopted many kids, they know the process, they were told by all of the professionals in the adoption process that this does NOT happen. China does not change their mind... they do not like to to "save face". Stick to their decisions. I was so BLOWN away by God's faithfulness and answer to this prayer.. it deepened my faith. God changed their minds, God moved that mountain and God made it OK so Isaiah could run around in the church with my son Toby and be his friend. When I think about it today I am brought to tears.

When I see Isaiah running around in our church, he is a living breathing example to me of God's love for us. He plucked Isaiah out of China and put him here in Durango. He brought him to us, so we could impact his life. So he could learn to love with all of us. So he could have a family. A forever family and not live forever in an orphanage. So when you feel the urge or burden or get a thought to pray my friends... do it. Don't wait, listen to the still soft voice of God and step out. It is God calling you to a place where he can show himself true to you in your heart and he wants to answer those desires.

Peace to you today!

PS. I would play this song while I prayed. It was my song of worship to God and a message to Isaiah. Hold Fast little boy... help is on the way. He's come to save the day. God WILL and wants to answer your prayers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The scariest trip to Wal Mart EVER!

I have a story for you. It's not pretty, it's not fun, in fact, it could have played out a little bit like a horror film. A scary psychological thriller.

Yesterday I had the day off, I promised the kids we would go and pick out some water toys they could play with outside. Like some water guns, some water balloons and fun stuff for them to play with during the day. I struggle sometimes keeping them on a schedule as I work from home and they play together all summer. Having "fun items" mixed with crafty activities are a way I keep them off the TV and playing together.

My kids are pretty good in the store. Most of the time. As Toby gets older he seems to be my "shopaholic". He will wake up "thinking about" something he would like me to buy him. He has told me in the past... "Mom I just can't stop thinking about that Star Wars toy," or Mom I just can't stop thinking about that toy Kale had from McDonalds. He gets himself all fired up about one thing.

I had no idea he was primed and ready to have a shopaholic moment in Wal Mart. We ventured to the toy aisle, to look at the water guns. It baffles me that they can try to sell me a WATERGUN made out of plastic for $25.00? Seriously? Of course, this is the watergun Toby opted for. I was looking more at the waterguns that were two for $8.00 which still seemed expensive to me. When i was little we had the waterguns you could buy 100 in the bag for like $5.00. I'm sure they have them at Oriental trading company or something. But not my boy... he wants the massive soaker gun that lights up and pumps new water and shoots a steady stream.

I explained to Toby that the gun he wanted was too expensive. So we got this cool toy called a splash ball. YOu put a water balloon in it and they toss it back and forth with a timer on it. WHen the timer runs out he ball squeezes the balloon and pops it. It was reasonable and seemed like fun. He's also been begging me for bubbles and they are a cheap fun thing to do in the summer so I bought some bubbles. Grace picked out the waterguns that were less expensive. So we were off to find me now some flip flops.

As we passed the "action figure" aisle... Toby ran down it... and spotted an Optimus Prime helmet. Cost of said helmet. $45.00. (again... I gasp) Toby's eyes welled up, totally excited telling me all the reasons he LOVED it. Telling me he wanted it, telling me I should buy it. Here is the deal friends. I cannot even crouch down next to my son to explain to him or talk to him about the helmet. I am bent over at a 90 degree angle, barely able to breathe and with every word feeling like I am going to pass out. So my sentences were short, as was my patience and my ability to communicate to my 5 year old was hindered BIGTIME. So as I politely told him no, he BURST into wailing. Crying and yelling telling me he had to have it. He attached himself to a big pole in the middle of the aisle, when I held his arm, he pinched me and wacked my leg. Normally, I would have picked him up and put him in the cart... but I cannot lift him. So picture this, I am prying my son of the pole, asking him to stop wailing and begging him to come with me that we would put the Helmet on his birthday list... which he did not care. The wailing continued, I was able to get him off the pole and walking with me and my lopsided cart(don't even get me started on that). I drive into the main aisle and block a man coming from the other direction. Toby spins out of my hands starts pinching screaming and slapping my leg twirling and yelling. I did not even look at the man I was blocking. I was too embarrassed to look up. My prego belly bent at a 90 degree angle again... gasping and begging my son to stop and try to pull it together. At this point he kept saying, " I just can't stop crying."

So we pass by the video section and of course he wants to run in and try to play some kind of Mario brothers Wii game. I tell him no again and the wailing persists. It sounded and felt like with each aisle we passed, each step we took I was torturing my son from the inside out. (I think we need to get out more!) On our way up to the check out a Wal Mart employee stops in the aisle where I am trying to talk Toby down and says, "Can I help you with anything?" Her intentions were good but my patience was gone and I was about to launch the flip flops I was holding like a boomerang at her to communicate exactly how much help she could give me. Unless she had a roll of duct tape in her pocket she would not be able to help.

I had made a mental list of things I needed to get and at this point, I had forgotten like two or three things I needed. As I sat in the check out 5 people deep with my son telling me he would be good so he could get some light up sucker at the checkout. I just rested my head on my hand on the cart and started crying. Tears were flowing... they weren't stopping, I was sad for my son, I was sad I could not remember my last two items, I was sad that I could not pick my son up and control the situation, felt very disabled, tired and sad. As I continued to tell Toby no on all the things he wanted me to buy him... I just kept crying. When we got in the car I was able to strap my sweet son into his carseat. Look him in the eye and speak to him. It comforted me. He apologized, he cried and I cried some more.

Please note: my 7 year old daughter who normally is the one talking and chatting and shopping was as stunned as I was. She was silent the entire shopping trip. Until we were in the car and she said to me... Mom... do you think I could get a treat for "being good" in Wal Mart? I had to laugh... I told Grace that sometimes we are just good because that is how we are supposed to act. Not because we get something for being good.

I had to share my scary Wal Mart story. My big huge pregnant belly, hormones and exhaustion made this one trip that had to go down on paper. I love you my sweet Toby and I pray that someday you have a wonderful little boy who loves to shop as much as you do! :)

Love, Mommy

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Girlfriends who are Believing God...

I am reading this book called, Believing God by an awesome woman and author named Beth Moore. In this book she talks about not just Believing God but about Believing in the power of God. Believing all of the promises he tells us and living them out in our lives.

She speaks about a five statement pledge of faith that encompasses virtually everything Christians (we) are challenged to believe.

Those five statements are:

God is who He says He is.

God can do what He says He can do.

I am who God says I am.

I can do all things through Christ.

God's Word is alive and active in me.

If you are reading this. Please use these statements of encouragement to know that just believing in God is not all he has for us. He has so much more and is so much more than we give him credit for... find out what that means for you. And lead an awesome adventurous life!

Today I met with the girls in our book club. It is a monthly book club where we read a book in a month and get together to talk about it.

It astounds us all that usually the things and books we are read together knit perfectly into our lives and the things we are working through in our walk and our faith journey with God. I am have been attending this book club for three years with some of the coolest woman on the planet and by coolest, I mean women who want to please God with their lives.

Women who are honest and transparent, women who are vulnerable to one another with their hurts, their needs, their hearts. A group of women who have made me better just by knowing, learning and being friends with them. We laugh a lot, sometimes we cry sometimes we get so fired up about something we reveal to each other our true passions in life. We come to the talk sometimes after mornings of chaos with children and husbands... we come to the talk while walking through difficulties financially, we come to the talk with heavy hearts because we are walking through tough times in life and we come to the talk with exciting awesome news about how the great things that have happened too.

But the cool thing is that we can walk into our book club and know that as a group of women who truly care about each other God and each other's families. (not to mention we drink delicious coffee and eat yummy breakfast treats! :)

I am truly blessed and thankful for these women God put in my life. I am truly humbled that I "get to" know them and love them and their families. It is with great joy that I post this today because I am so proud to call all of them my friends.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The power of prayer... another faithbuilder

Well, I wrote a couple days ago about our van having transmission problems and trusting God in it. Bill and I were just having a conversation about how we are learning what COMPLETE surrender to God looks like. What does it look like to put your ENTIRE life in the hands of the Lord? I consider myself adventurous and spontaneous and I like surprises and anticipation of things. The more I consider surrendering my "everything" to God the more I realize that it is probably the most adventurous way to live. BK and I were talking about how easy it is for us to pray about our family, our physical and emotional problems... pray for other people. THe one thing we don't go to God on regularly is our finances. I believe God is so excited when we pray and speak to him about our needs, regardless of whether or not the prayer is answered we can please the Lord by just having the conversation with Him. And if there is one thing I want to do in this life is to be as pleasing to the Lord and walk with him in that journey.

Anyway, back to the van... this story is a faithbuilder for me. BK and I took our van to a mechanic to have some kind of C joints fixed. It was making knocking sounds when we turned the wheel right or left. This mechanic works on an rebuilds vehicles, so we considered him pretty knowledgeable in his field. We prayed about the problem and we had to pay out $300.00 total for parts and labor. We had planned to get this fixed before the baby came, so we were happy to get it completed.

After we picked it up Friday afternoon, I drove it into town. On my way into town it stopped working. I had the gears in drive I was pressing the gas and NOTHING was happening. I had slowed to a stop. When I shifted into park... it wouldn't even engage. It was making crazy noises. So my friend Jinny came to meet me and help me, and then these nice ladies saw my 8 month pregnant booty outside of my car and pushed me into a parking lot with Jinny, where I sat and waited for my husband. My husband called the mechanic and he told us to "check the fluid levels." That's it.

So we checked them. BK filled up the fluids and we still had no way to make the car move. In both our brains the transmission was shot... it was a flukey thing and we were going to have to shell out a couple thousand to fix the transmission problem or buy a new vehicle. (NOT GOOD)

We ended up having the car towed to the Honda dealership.. (we needed their expertise). They worked on Saturday's and could diagnose it and let us know what the problem may have been. Then we waited.... we prayed Friday night... we asked God to make this better, we prayed again on Saturday night and we prayed on Sunday night (after our Pastor Linn preached on Prayer Sunday morning! :). We prayed for what we wanted to happen with the van, we prayed for the mechanic who made the mistake, we prayed over our finances, we asked for God to meet us in every detail.

Praying specifically for things is something I am learning to do as well. God loves to answer our prayers... he adores it when we come to Him. So I was going to lay it all out. I told God, first let this not be a "wrecked transmission", and if it is, please provide us with a vehicle we can afford Lord. The money we have saved was for my maternity leave. You know what's in there, if there is something that can be fixed, please make sure we have the money to cover it. I know God is not an "order taker" but even just relying on him in prayer gave me peace no matter what the outcome. God is good.

Well, yesterday our prayers were answered. The mechanic from Honda called and told us that the passenger side C joint was not installed properly and that's what knocked it all out of wack. The mechanic also said that the transmission on the Honda was OK... and that we did not need a new transmission. Just a new C joint installed. So my first thought was... thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you that I don't have to buy a new vehicle or pay for an entirely new transmission. Then he told me they had to order a new part and that what the cost would be. Again another prayer answered.... it was an amount we could afford. It was money we had saved. Thank you Lord for answering our prayers.

So today we go pick up our van. We are now praying about the conversation we will have with the original mechanic. That it go well. That we give grace and mercy where needed and that he understand this financial scenario. Where normally I might worry about the conversation, play it out in my head... wonder what I can say to make him see how he needs to rectify the situation. I will simply pray. I will pray for Him. I will pray for his finances, I will pray for my husband who will be speaking to Him. And again I will ask my Almighty God to be with us in this situation.

This faithbuilder rocked my socks off. Thank you Lord for answering prayer. Thank you for your specific love and thank you that you are the best "listener" I know.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shower Time... with both kids

Grace went to a cool slumber/pool party with one of her friends from school. At the party. She recieved a goody bag that had a shower cap in it. She and TOby have been having a blast with this cap. It cracks me up how much kids love to wear costumes put things on their heads and act silly. My favorite part about kids.... actually! :)

So my kids are bath kids. They love to play in the bath, hang out in the bath, get cleaned up in the bath. It relaxes them before bed and it's always been part of our bedtime routine.

But somehow this showercap has super powers. It provided my son the courage he needed to try out the "shower" for the first time two days ago. Ever since he's taken this "first shower". He wants to take one every day. He wears the cap into the shower and takes it off once he gets in there.

Grace exclaimed as Toby came into the shower... " Toby I cannot believe how big you are getting! You used to be a little baby boy and now you are so big! I'm so proud of you!" She loves her brother so much. I think having this new baby is making her realize how her and Toby are older. She keeps referring to times long ago when she was six and five and three. :) That makes me giggle too. Oh and by the way, Toby added another word to his Tobias Dictionary. He was playing a video game and he called this robot looking thing he had to jump on a "Tember". Tembers are apparently Robots that you jump on and squish them.

Have an awesome week. Peace to you all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

B.I.G. and stuff....

OK... so my sister in law has been hounding me for weeks telling me I should post pictures of myself in my pregancy. I need more pictures of this pregancy and my big huge belly so later on we can show Josie how Mommy carried her... how her belly was so big and she was such a blessing to all of us.

I have 37 days left which are coming fast. BK and Kevin painted our old "office" that we are turning into a nursery. BK assembled the crib and I'm working on obtaining a dresser and some storage stuff for the nursery.

In the meantime we just picked out van up from the mechanic for a minor repair... I drove it maybe four miles and major bad things started to happen. No matter what gear I am in... the car does not move. Transmission work is expensive. There is a slight chance that if the mechanic did not do something correctly on the original repair, it could have effected what is up with our transmission. BK is talking to them tomorrow. So, with the nursery underway, our car at the mechanic instead of worrying and fretting about it all, we will pray. We will trust that God has our finances taken care of. We will trust that God knows the outcome already and because we have been praying so much about our finances lately, I'm pretty excited to see how God will work this circumstance in our life.

I have nothing to complain about. We started off today all traveling to church in my brother's 1987 Pontiac vehicle, it is a car that BK takes to work and we've been using until we can save enough to get him a truck. We spent the drive into church playing the "thankful game" where we just go around the car and tell each other what we are thankful for. My pastor and friend Linn taught it to us and this famlily plays it often. It reminds us all that we can be thankful even during times that would normally cause worry. We can be thankful because we are blessed in so many ways.

So, I post these pics of myself as a tribute to sister in law... in my bib overalls nonetheless. I think my ta tas are growing more than my belly... it actually makes me laugh a little bit. Enjoy! Peace!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My faithbuilder... I am thankful for these

I am going to start this blog by giving every single credit to what I am about to tell you to my faith, to the God who created me and to the love of Christ who died on the cross for me.

I am going to continue to tell you that if you are reading this blog and you have never pursued a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ the God who loves you and created is the day to start. Just sit your booty down right where you are, clasp your hands together, close your eyes, and very simply talk to God about what your struggling with, tell him your burdens and let him know you need him. You need Him now more than ever. Spritual health and the pursuit of understanding my spirit and my God has changed my life in miraculous unexplainable ways... Life is too short to let fear, confusion or the details mess with you. Give it a shot... I promise you... God will NOT let you down. He's been pursuing you your whole life. Just reach out to Him. He will meet you right where you are and watch what happens to your spirit... take it day by day and he will guide you. His promises, truths and love is real, tangible and so very important.

With that said, I am writing today to give an example of how God has touched my life, how He built my faith, a gentle step he took to draw me closer to his plan for my life. I am so grateful, thankful in awe and wanting everyone to know this awesome peace I have in my life because of my faith and my continued spiritual journey as I pray, understand and love God so much.

It is something I want to shout from the rooftops, I want to dance around in the city streets... I want people to know how much God loves them. I want them to not be afraid. To know God's promises for their lives. I want them to be free in knowing more about God. It's not religion guys, its about love and peace and the plan God had for you the moment you were born.

Here's a "faith builder" story... (I will continue to post these here and there throughout my blog)

One of the most pivotal moments in my life was when we first moved here I was skeptical about my new church. Everyone was SO in love with the Lord. It seemed to me that they all had lived their lives memorizing Bible verses, worshipping, had been taught very Christian principles. They loved their Bibles, they prayed a lot. I had a very strong spiritual pull in my life, but never had I done all of that. I felt a little clueless.

Well, I attended a women's retreat right when we started coming to the church. There were speakers, talks about God's specific love and stories shared as to how God had moved through some of these ladies lives.

I thought.. wow... they are SO lucky. I didn't think it would happen for me. I had done too many things God would not be happy with, I had not forgiven a lot of people, I was too angry, I didn't grow up doing the things they did. Later I learned that those thoughts were lies... lies that I believed... and moments later... in prayer I would find that out.

After the talk, they asked if anyone wanted to come up and get prayer for anything. They said if God is stirring your heart with something, come up and they would pray for us. I specifically remember God telling me to go up... telling me that "anger" I had was holding me back from what He had for me in my life. Bittnerness was something that had set itself in my heart and it was not something that he wanted for me.

I didn't like how I was not peaceful, or joyful or had little to no patience. I didn't want to snap at my husband and kids because of the anger that brewed so close to the surface of who I was. I spent a lot of my life being "tough". I would shut people out, use sarcasm, my wit, my personality to mask any hurt frustration or baggage I was carrying around. I was ALWAYS ok... didn't cry much, didn't even get sad much. But I was pretty good at angry and God wanted me to come before him so he could help me get rid of it.

I went up and asked for prayer. My friend Jill prayed for me. I remember she asked me what I needed prayer for and I told her that I was too angry. She didn't know me that well... so I began to just tell her it all. I told her that I didn't like how I would get angry at my husband and kids. She prayed hard. I had never had someone come before God with me and pray so much... asking God to help me asking for specific things for me. Asking God to release me from any anger I had... to love me right where I was. I remember it was a long prayer. I kept thinking to myself... where is she coming up with all these cool things to pray for me about? How does she know what I need? I barely know her!

Immediately I felt a peace come over me. I cried, my heart was lifted, my burdens were being carried away and I was touched by God. I cannot explain it physically, but that day God began something new inside of me that released me from so much of the "junk" I was carrying around. I am so thankful for Jill's faith and specific prayers. I am thankful that I took the step to ask for prayer. I am so thankful God was faithful to me. I found out I can count on a God who will touch me so immediately so specifically that it would change the course of my life. I walked out of that women's retreat with new eyes to see this God of mine. This "religion" stuff wasn't religion at all, it was powerful and can be lived out daily and it is exactly where I wanted to be. Building my spiritual muscles and meeting me right were I needed to be met. Because of a simple prayer... my faith was built.

This was a moment where I knew God was speaking to my heart. Please don't think that I don't ever struggle with anger at all from that point forward. It still rears it's ugly head. But as I walk with God it is less and less. I am being taught by the God who loves me that I am not that tough, that I am a woman who has a heart of compassion love and sensitivity and that those qualities are good and exactly what he wants for me. I am on a journey with God. I am not perfect. This is just one example of a powerful touch from the Lord. (I have more) And now when I feel like I need help in that area. I go straight to my Bible or just say a little prayer to ask God for guidance and He begins another new work in me. Freedom from anger... I am so thankful.