Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jeremiah

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you."
Jeremiah 29:13

"I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?"
Jeremiah 31:16

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3

Praise the Lord for wanting us close to Him, for wanting to be found by our hearts! All we have to do is ask!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gracey Update

Please pray for Gracey. She has been sick now for nearly 2 months. We noticed lethargic tiredness and no desire to play, and drinking very little water and little urinating back in August and had her checked out. The vet said her Liver Enzymes (ALT) were elevated meaning something was irritating her Liver. We assumed it was either a food we had given her or an allergy and treated it for this for a while, but her levels, particularly her Liver Levels are still significantly elevated. All other counts are normal which shows that it is specific to the Liver. She has had a little more energy and times where she seems herself, but there are also days like yesterday where she barely does anything. She tires easily and if picked up the wrong way yelps in pain. We have not been able to participate much in PETS at the hospital and we miss it so much. Our next plan of action is to have her fast on Monday-Tuesday and bring her to the vet and do a test where they draw blood before she eats and then again 2 hours after she eats. You can only imagine how sad I will be that day without her! After this test, we may have to get an ultrasound to see if there is possibly a shunt in her Liver that could be correctable by surgery. All we know so far is that something is specifically wrong with her Liver that most likely is congenital.

You all know how special Gracey is and we ask that you send prayers up for her to get better and/or that we will find out what is wrong and able to do something to help her.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Journey Home

New Mexico was a good 10 hour drive. On the way home we decided to adventure whenever we saw an opportunity to! I had my camera ready and stopped several times to capture what we saw! Gracey actually was more of a tour guide than anything. She was very wilderness-weenie. Look at her go!

This is my absolute favorite photo of that day. I wish I could get it bigger on my site to show all the detail and shadow affects. Gracey was hiding in the cleft of the rock...she is our little Rock badger! I loved the clouds and deep shadows and texture captured here. As you can tell in the next photo, Gracey was pumped and ready to embrace our adventure in the mountains! She is SO cute! She was born for this!

A family shot with mountains behind us. We actually were pulled over on the side of the interstate, set up the stand and just went for it with the timer hoping no big 16-wheeler would ruin the photo.

This is also one of my favorites because the deep blue and clouds in the sky. Bryan was standing on top of the guard rail next to the 3 lane interstate! He is so brave...or he has a very demanding photographer wife who REALLY wanted the shot! He is so sweet to me and willing to pose or even put his life in danger! LOL! But it was worth it, the photo came out beautifully.

Olivia vs. Wild!!! I was being silly and Bryan captured me pretending to be a lioness in the bush! My new camera has a very fast shutter speed so this was basically a 1-2 second move and he caught it! LOL! I'm very sneaky...aren't I? You know you would be terrified if you saw this in the wild! You'd run screaming!!! LOL!

We drove by the biggest pumpkin patch I had ever seen. The sun was setting and it almost looked as though there were thousands and thousands of gold balls everywhere. I was able to see it at the exact point of sunlight to show the golden glow. It lasted about 5 minutes and I couldn't believe we just happened to drive by at that moment! The owner was harvesting and allowed us to take some photos. It reminded me of a conversation I had with Ana days before about this season and the significance of harvesting and how Biblically it symbolizes God's Love for us and His people.

I Praise God for all His Beauty on this earth within people who ask Him in their hearts and with scenic views of splendor. I know it could only reflect a mere taste of what heaven will be like and it creates joy in my heart to even think about it.

New Mexico

We were SO blessed to visit our friends in New Mexico last week for 5 days. I did not want to leave! Of course the area we stayed in was VERY beautiful with weather just perfect for walks in the day and snuggling at night, we ate at some very yummy restaurants and were serenaded!, and the huge mountains were seen everywhere and even turned pink at sunset for only about 5 minutes! God totally did it for me, right? LOL! But I will tell you all this does not slightly even compared to the amount of joy and love I felt by being around Ana and Tim and their family. The Lord is so Amazing in that they were the two people standing next to us the day we got married and our friendship has grown. They have constantly believed in us and have poured out their love for us during some very bad times in our journey and reminded us of the Lord's promises and protection. Ana is a beautiful person who really exemplifies the Lord. To be around them lifted my spirits and allowed me to seek the Lord in a deeper way as I watched their family grow and love. It was a wonderful trip and I hope we get to see them again soon. We talked about going up again when the baby is due in February! Their daughter, Elliana, is such a breath of fresh air who just made me smile and laugh and sit in Awe of how Loving our God is and how the Love of a child to God reveals so many treasures about God's Character.

These first two pictures are the boys jumping! We all laughed SO hard after we took them and saw their faces in the photo! I LOVE it!!!! LOL!!! It was super cold when we took these at sunset on the mountain so you can tell we were cold and trying to keep warm!

Blessings and prayers for Elliana's baby sister! Ana is due in the beginning of February....Bryan insists on the 8th...he is not partial to HIS birthday or anything!?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday


Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear,
Kevin,
Audriana Rose,
Angela,
and Ivan
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Wow, October 20th is a special day!
I love you all!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Those Will Come

I know this post is long, but I pray in Jesus Name you will find the time to read it.

I despise “evangelists” that are wolves in sheep clothing. The worst part about one I saw last night on the news was that it was completely obvious he was a fake. Something comes over me when I see this, it is like a mother watching her child trying to be tricked and deceived, my defenses go up and I begin to pray instantly out loud with truth in attack back. I shouted scripture last night so loud Gracey even thought I was angry and ran to take cover. It wasn’t anger, but the absolute disgust that someone could think they are so worthy.

The news interviewed Benny Hinn who claims to heal people. In this “One time Exclusive Interview” he sat there boastful, arrogant, and obviously relishing in the fact he was getting publicity. When asked about him healing people he responds, “I heal people because I have the Holy Spirit in me.” Stop, right there! No, no, no…there is no “I” to healing. If he were true and cautious to submit to the Holy Spirit that he could be so blessed to heal someone in Jesus’ name, there would never be an “I” in what happens. It is not “I heal people.” It is ALL the Lord and any and all honor should be given to Him. But there was no glory really being given to Jesus. He took all the glory for himself. I consider believing he really feels like he thinks what he is doing is the Lord, but I feel like satan is doing to him exactly what he is doing to others. God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” He whispers lies to other people obeying something, but who knows who actually is speaking. This man carelessly talked of his wealth and how he has a lot of money and likes staying at the best hotels and wearing the best clothing. Why would you waste the opportunity to speak about the True Healer by talking about your wealth? I tell you just even looking at him just sets off an alarm inside of my spirit.

Don’t you think if you were of the Lord purely to give glory that EVERY word you spoke on national television would desire to be of the Lord in reverent fear? Wouldn’t you pray the Lord would give you the right words to declare His glory? Wouldn’t you shake with joy or apprehension at the ability to be like Paul and stand before people to show how amazing the Lord is and what Jesus can do for your heart not what you can do if you come to a session by buying a ticket or give money to my ministry? Wouldn’t you pray on your knees fervently for wisdom? Wouldn’t all you do in the interview be something to point to Jesus!? Wouldn’t you use the opportunity to tell the world Jesus heals? That He heals you now, that He desires your heart and can show you His Love?

In the end times Jesus tells us to be on guard against those who will try and deceive us into exchanging the truth for a lie. I believe we are in those times and should really pray and read the Word so we can discern. The more I see things like this, the more I want to read the Bible and pray and seek God because if I don’t then I worry I will become a sucker for something that may seem like truth, but not. We do so many things to help our lives and our families, but we don’t even realize what a huge spiritual battle is going on around us. In order to know what Truth is we have to seek it and implant it in our hearts and minds because it is so easy not to these days. It happens slowly and over time. We compromise so much and don’t even realize how far away we really are.

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5

"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
1 Timothy 4:1,2

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders…”
2 Thessalonians 2:9

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:12

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Whether it is a commercial, a show, or a movie I have begun to expose lies and ask God to keep showing me wisdom so I may discern through so many people who try to lead us astray by pride, recognition and power for themselves rather than giving glory to Jesus. I turn off shows or movies, and even forbid myself to watch some shows I like because the morals and what they stand for is something I am just not willing to compromise any longer. It is just not worth it to me anymore. God says, “train yourself to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:7b). We must purposefully seek Truth and live it day to day.

In a world where so many people are suffering and seeking hope, the ability for someone to take advantage of this causes me to desire Jesus more and more.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homecoming 2009


This weekend was HSU and ACU's Homecoming, so Bryan and I shared events and had a blast. Summer came into town and stayed with us and I seriously didn't want her to leave! We went to Homecoming chapel and watched the confetti and balloons fall at the end, walked around campus and saw the new buildings and worship-ful art pieces, watched HSU play a great game of football and win!!!! (I never knew I liked football until then !), played a little Wii, and then went to the musical. It was the best ACU musical I've ever seen. I laughed the entire time!. I wish all our friends could have made it as well, but it was so much fun to be with Summer and remember all the good times we had at ACU. We talked about our dorm, going to chapel, and sitting in the same section all 4 years, we sat in the quiet rooms and talked, went to Chapel on the Hill and remembered our Youth and Family Ministry chapels there, and of course Summer bought some ACU gear! Ahhh, the good old days! I am so blessed to have wonderful memories of ACU.


Our senior year some friends and I went and just took silly photos around campus and this was one of the ones Summer and I laughed about as we looked through my old albums. We just had to "kinda" reenact it! We look exactly the same as we did in college, don't we???? LOL! I know, I don't at all. Ahhhh, the memories!


Gracey and I walk at ACU a lot and one of her favorite things to do is get a drink from the sink in the girls bathroom! She literally runs into the building straight to the door, leaps up (with complete faith I will catch her) and then waits for me to cup the water in my hand and she drinks. I never really have my camera with me when I go but since we were here for Homecoming stuff I figured I would get a photo of her. Also, Gracey seems to be doing a little better. We tried an herb called Milk Thistle and it seems to be repairing her liver. We will go for another test next week. She has a lot more energy, goes for walks, and plays now, which is a HUGE change. And besides, what kind of post would this be without Gracey?

At the Musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie." It was fantastic!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So Funny

Two of my favorite TV commercials. I really don't watch a lot of TV though so I am surprised I even end up watching these funny ones!



Fields of Faith

Fields of Faith is a youth led worship service that takes place on a football field. It begins with Middle and High School students asking friends to join them to seek the Lord. Many churches join together, recruit volunteers, form a worship band and put together an incredible night. In 2007 I was able to do photography for them and again this year I was blessed with all access to take photos for the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Atheletes). Bryan was trained to do pastoring and volunteered to help with the response from the students at the end. I wish you could see how amazing this time was. Hundreds of kids came down to accept the Lord or recommit their lives to Him. I simply buzzed around the massive arena with my 100 pound camera in tow, all my lenses, and snapped away. By the end of the night I was content and tired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Cow For Bryan

I had this silly commercial stuck in my head the other night and I told (well tried to act it out with the voices...I know real cute huh?) Bryan and he said he has never seen it so I post this for him! LOL.

Adventures With the Mejia Girls

We were able to watch our friends cute little girls, MaeLeigh and Audriana, the other day so Dad and Mom could go on a date! I knew exactly where to bring them and couldn't wait! Every year around this time you will see a post about the Butterfly Migration! Some people say they go south for the winter, but I know the truth...they come right by my house to say hello to me and bring me joy! I wanted MaeLeigh to see them because it is so beautiful! Bryan and I told her it was going to be a surprise where we were going and finally we made it there and she was so delighted. Little Audriana's eyes were wide open and she just looked at all the butterflies flying everywhere. She even was brave enough to touch one! These two little girls are very special to us. They came with their Mom to the Walk for Lupus and have been wonderful friends to us. Jennifer is expecting another precious baby! Please pray for them as her husband will be deployed soon. I can't imagine how hard that must be for all of them.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Quest

Beautiful stubbornness
ask questions
Rebuttal
Argue
Try to figure it out my way
I contemplate
Play devils advocate
and untimidly stand up
It is not pride or conceit
It's growth and putting myself out of my comfort zone
out of comfort, clear the board
erase it
then replace what you thought you know with what you now really know
always changing
big revelations
not just a reading of the text book
memorizing the answers and scoring 100%
it's frustration, humiliation
but deeper into life
where the real questions are
where the real realities of life exists
I'm not afraid
I want to know what I know
And know it unwaveringly

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Gentle Whisper

“The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”


1 Kings 19:11,12

Piercing thunder explodes upon quietness
All ears become subject to ringing
and no one can make out the voices
or noises around them
In a way the temporary deafness creates a slowness, creeping, slow motioned existence
Things that are loudest come to me as whispers in a bright solaced space
Where a needle pin dropping would sound like a bullet shooting past my head
It is unbelievable
What?
The voice of God
His attempt to communicate with His people
Us.
But that is not even His voice
It is a fraction of His promenade to communicate something important
The winds pick up strongly now
Almost instantly they attack whoever stands in the way of their commandment to lift and blow
They obey the King
He communicates to them
Surely God will kill us for seeing Him (Genesis, 32:30, Judges 13:22)
Tell Him to have Mercy on us
And He will

God's glory stirs our earth. But does it stir our hearts like He does in the Bible when He speaks to Elijah? He had all the ability to squash anyone He chose to, but in the end His choice of final communication was a whisper.

Oh, Praise God! This says so much about God's Love for us! When someone whispers it means several amazing things about God's relationship with us:

1. Whispering means you are close to that person. In order to whisper to someone else you can’t be far away from them, it has to happen closely. It has to happen IN someone’s comfort zone and for that to be ok, it means these people are close to each other and are friends, brothers, sisters! God considers us close to Him!

2. In order to whisper to someone, one had to be on guard to listen purposefully with full focus to hear what is being said because it is quieter than normal talking. A whisper is meant to be listened to with INTENT to hear what is being said. One has to make it a point to lean in, focus on what is being said so they can hear it. And they do that because they want to and it is significant enough to concentrate on. Our complete attention must be given to hear a whisper, otherwise we wont hear it at all. God calls us to hear AND KNOW His voice so we may follow him.

“The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

John 10:3-5

3. Whispering is an adoring comforting way to communicate. It is not harsh, mean, or provoking. It intimately and loving calls and draws one into the Speaker because it feels safe. It shows submissiveness and trust (and that trust can be given). Whispering shows that God believes in us because He knows we will desire to hear Him, close off the noise of the world and follow Him.

See God Lovingly seeks us and longs for a pure close relationship with us!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Happy 6th Angel Day Natalie Grace

Today is Natalie Grace's 6th Angel Day birthday. I can't believe it! We made the most beautiful bouquet with pink flowers and 6 pink butterflies. It was so ministering to work on this together with Bryan and remember Natalie and her life before we traveled to bring it to her grave. I miss her more than words could say, but I also had emotions that I never thought I would in that I really feel like life is so temporary and looking forward to heaven with her is more valuable than a lifetime with her here on earth. I am not saying that I accept her death as something positive or good (and I don't think I ever will), but I need to begin living the way I believe, and if that is that life here is a mere reflection of a more abundant life in heaven then I am ok with this and even excited at the reality of eternity with her and what it will be like. I may not be ok with this a day, or hour, or even minutes from now, but if it is truth, then it is truth. I know I cannot change anything, even if I was mad for years, and even if I did perhaps things would not be as wonderful as I expect it would be with her here. There is so much in my life that I cannot control, terrible things, but they are chances I have to believe God is God. I am still learning, struggling, doubting, and crying over the things I believed I "had," but having God is more important. I don't understand all of this, but I want to have faith enough that I don't have to know anymore. And I believe that will come.

For anyone who has lost a baby to miscarry, stillbirth, sickness, or failed adoption, my heart goes out to you today in sorrow, but I ask for you to believe again with me that our God reigns in Glory. Your babies are not "lost" or gone, but as Bryan said today, everyone who lives still lives because they made a difference to us and our lives no matter how long they were a part of us living on earth in our wombs or breathing or how long ago they lived, the fact is, they still lived and that cannot change. I ask you to help remind me and others you know who have experienced such grief that God is Good and Loving and even when our emotions do not agree, that the Truth still remains. We cannot get through such times without each other and I know I need that in my life. Also, let's remind each other that our story is not over. If you are alive, we are alive for a reason and it is not done. We don't know what will happen tomorrow or the next day. And sometimes I thank God for that! I don't know if I can handle it anymore! LOL! But I Praise God for who He is and how He has shown me His Love throughout Natalie's life and death. I am honored He would reveal Himself to me in that way.


Natalie,

Wow! You would have been so spunky and outgoing! Hard to keep up with, creative, beautiful, sensitive and caring. I sometimes get blown away just imaging what I would have to keep up with if you were here. You would make me laugh and cry, think happy thoughts and want to rip my hair out! You had the potential to be so many wonderful things that would have made a beautiful impact on the world. But God chose for you to have a different type of impact...a ministry you probably wont ever really understand. You would have not been perfect by any means, but I know you would have been something to behold at 6 years old! I will never forget you and how beautiful you were.

I Love you SO much, my little sweet princess!

Mommy