Friday, September 30, 2011

The Great Author


I am empty now
no pages written
blank
You promised to write my story
and so I wait for Your hand
I know what I would like to write
how I'd want my life to go
but only You know my ending
only You can make it all work out right

so I surrender to the Great Author
come guide me with Your hand
remind me with what's written
that indeed You have a plan.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sowing in Tears


I've placed my tears like seeds in the dirt
Lord are You still counting my pain?
My memories are causing a flood to overcome
all that I've been hoping in vain

You Promised and heard
Have sent me Your Word
Now Lord please show me You're there

Come count them again
Like the hairs on my head
Grow Beauty to replace it instead

© 2011 Inspired by Grace

"Those who sow in tears
shall reap in joy.
He who cotinually goes forth weaping,
bearing seed for the sowing,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him."

Psalm 126:5,6

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Problem with Pain

You never thought when you experience loss that anything could ever amount to that pain. But Oh No. don't look upon it as a finality. As long as we keep living we will see a bigger pit, a smoke rising, and the endless flow of tears. The earth is full of it. It passes, ebbs, and conquers the weak and innocent. It is unavoidable, unquenchable, and as real as the air in our lungs. The price we pay for living is just that...it is that we live. We feel, we hurt, we cry. It cannot be separated from our being...our existence. The only way-the only Hope is Jesus. He claims, reclaims and conquers. The world is no longer His, but OH, how our hearts can be. Oh how our lives can be. So what of this earth? We are what matters anyway. We have to chose to look beyond the blockers *atan puts in our way...THE REAL ONES...pain. The REAL kind of PAIN that doesn't ever go away. The ones we carry inside us forever. The ones that confuse us and keep us awake at night. The ones that will never be satisfied with how many "why's" it is asked. We have to somehow pull ourselves away from the path these things try to push us to. We have to chose Jesus. He is the only thing that makes sense. And this IS the war my friends. THIS is the TRUE battle. It is real. It is what keeps people from God. I believe nothing can keep someone away from God better than pain from sorrow. NOTHING. Not doubt, hatred, or even jealousy. All these can be dealt with and overcome because it is a result of bitterness and selfishness. But it is the pain that is so deep that only being with God could ever Justify it that blocks people from God's Love. Knowing God's Truth doesn't eliminate pain or sorrow (another blog soon to come). Saying "God is Good" and it being true doesn't somehow miraculously get rid of our hurt. It is a complete act of Faith. Only choosing Truth, not even FEELING it emotionally, can be a weapon. Perhaps that's why Jesus quotes scripture when tempted. He could only state Truth because what he felt was real. But it PROVES the Power of scripture nevertheless. With merely quoting scripture (not necessarily even feeling Holy at the time) *atan flees!!! This is my weapon. I will chose to Believe Jesus. I Believe You. I Believe You care. You cry with me and desire for me to concentrate on eternity not be swallowed in the temporary. Show me how. Let my eyes be open to this treasure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Influence

CAUTION******************************************************************************
PLEASE BE AWARE THIS BLOG CONTAINS A TOPIC OF HIGHLY MATURE MATTERS IN THE LORD. PLEASE USE CAUTION AND PRAYER AS YOU LISTEN TO THE VIDEO BELOW. I ADVISE TO PRAY FOR GOD TO OPEN YOUR EYES AND PLACE PROTECTION AROUND YOUR HEART AND MIND AS YOU WATCH. I DO NOT ADVISE YOUNG CHILDREN TO SEE. THIS IS THE FIRST VIDEO OF A LONG SERIES THAT YOU CAN FIND ON YOUTUBE.COM. THE SERIES IS CALLED THE SATANIC CULT BEHIND THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. MAY GOD GUIDE AND BLESS YOU AS YOU CHOSE WHAT YOU ALLOW INTO YOUR MINDS AND HEARTS.


"I am your friend

"I will be there when you're bored

I will be there when you're tempted

I will always be near to decide what you need

I will tell you to follow your desires, why else would we have them?

I will tell you all the bad in the world and make you glad that you are not like them

I will define tolerance, religion, and pride

I will help you decide what you truly believe

I will bring people together

I will help guide you

I will speak truth

I will show you so many things you wont be able to get enough of me

I will use music to help release your inner self

I will help you discover who you truly are

I will help you think so you don't have to do it for yourself

I am never hard to reach

I am easy to get lost in when you are tired

I will lull you to sleep

I will help make the party even better

I will allow you to be yourself

Who am I? The Media"


Friday, September 16, 2011

A Night with Shampa Rice

Shampa Rice spoke at church this week! She is so sweet. She has a wonderful gift of Loving in Christ's Name. And how much more should we learn and sharpen ourselves from people who actually LIVE their Faith? From the age of 12 she lived in Calcutta right across the street from Mother Theresa's headquarters. It was the impact of the poverty and the Love being shown my Mother Theresa that influenced Shampa's heart. She too wanted to Love the poor, heart broken, and lonely. This is exactly what she spoke about that night she joined us...it was about Loving others. She didn't talk about gaining or asking God for Power, or to claim our authority in Jesus,, she didn't speak about how to plant churches, heal the sick, or have the right combination of godly living techniques to make God do what we think He should do.

She taught Revelation 2:5. "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works." And what was our first works and the greatest commandment? It is LOVE and living for Christ with a passion. The concept of seeking God's Love and Loving others with that Love given to us is truly the point of life. There is nothing stronger or more eternal than Love. I believe it is the only thing worth all our struggles and one of the main targets of the enemy. But it is impossible to Love on our own strength. We have to look into the Face of Love, God Himself, to help us know how to Love.

Here are some neat points Shampa made:

* His Love will come out even if we don't feel spiritual.
* God's Love will always over rule our feelings. Even if we miss the opportunity.
* You don't have to pray for power...His Love IS power!!!
* Christ will recognize us because of His Love in us.
* Shampa told us about a story about a man she heard of who went into a coma. He instantly was with Jesus and he looked around and saw a multitude of people. He saw Jesus going up to each person and asking the same question to each...."Did you learn to Love?"
* We (mankind) are capable of doing so many bad things...murder, rape, steal...on our own accord, but the one thing we need help with is to Love.
* His Love will always make room for HOPE to come in.
* WE ARE ONLY CALLED TO LOVE. Not judge, not fix people, not change people, just Love.
* She said we should not be concerned at all about church planting. Many people asked her to speak about church planting and she has no idea what to say. All of her churches have come about simply by Living the Bible....LIVING IN LOVE. Everything else just happened as a result of this. They never set out to build churches, only to Love.

So what is Shampa's unique secret weapon besides the Bible and Loving you may ask? It is hugging! People line up for hours just to get a hug from her. It may sound so silly, but God has given her a gift of being His arms around the hurting, lost, and broken, and the neat thing is that it is real. You can feel God's Love when you hug her. She is the ONLY and I mean O-N-L-Y person besides me that I would let hug my husband for that long without busting out my karate chop moves.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Went Home

You were here
imprinted upon my soul
like a stamp, brand, tattoo
So many months dreaming
of your arrival
it's where you were supposed to be
but you never came home

Can you pray enough?
Beg, plead or barter?
No one could bare it for me
I was alone
but you were there
2 hearts beating
mine and yours
but again, you never came home

It was a dream
no, a nightmare
one you want to wake up from, but can't
I wanted to save you
I was running but could never reach you in time
I wanted to grab you close to me, bring you home
but you never did come home

Shock, grief, anger
black, burial, tombstone
you left me alone
I miss you, I love you
Death robbed me of joy
But where, sweet child did you go?
You whispered and told me
"Mommy I went home."

A Photo

Went on a small photo adventure this morning and this was my favorite. The flower was not in the best place in relation to the blue door as I wanted it to be. It would have been so neat to get a shot a little closer with those two colors accenting each other, but I couldn't manipulate the bush without hurting it and I had a cute little cat that I officially named Shiloh literally trying to rub and purr me to oblivion on my heals!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review

I am completely shocked about the insight given me over 6 years ago when I wrote this blog called "Live to Tell." I am so glad the Lord has kept my heart close to Him and was even preparing me long ago to stand firm in His Promises and Truth through trials and attacks.

http://inspiredbygrace.blogspot.com/2005/05/live-to-tell.html

Blessings by Laura Story



Laura wrote this song when her husband Martin was going through the affects of having a brain tumor.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Truth and Wisdom

Solomon asked God for Wisdom. I pondered this and wondered why he didn't ask for Truth. But the Holy Spirit helped me realize that you can have and know Truth but its no guarantee that Wisdom will follow. In other words you can know Truth but it's a matter of Wisdom that allows you to LIVE IT, not just KNOW IT. Solomon was very right and mature in his request. He didn't just want to know the Truth in his head, he wanted the understanding to interpret the Truth that he may comprehend it and therefore have Wisdom. I long for this as well. I truly want to LIVE what I know. I want it to be so much intertwined with who I am that I don't have to think about and choose to act in Truth, but that it would be who I am. I have a very long way to go, but I will keep seeking. God says He gives Wisdom freely to those who ask (James 1:5). I ask You God for Wisdom and for understanding to lead and guide me.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Update

I start writing my thoughts and how I am doing a lot on this blog and never end up publishing it. It feels so strange trying to describe my heart right now. I used to be so good at writing my thoughts and feelings and lately it seems nearly impossible. I have plenty going on inside, but trying to translate that into coherent words is difficult. I feel unable to do justice to my heart. I could write "I miss Josiah" but it will never be enough. All of my longings and sadness's will never bring him back or change anything. It is not the first time I have walked through terrible sorrow. And honestly I don't want to "wake up" 3 years from now with this time wasted in depression. I know where he is and I believe heaven is reality, and our life here is only a breath. I know I will never be able to explain why or be OK with any of our losses and so I want to keep living. I want to love the hurting and encourage those who feel overcome to keep going. I want to remind everyone that life is a battle and most of that happens in your mind. The fact is my loss with Josiah is not like my loss with Natalie. I have lost 5 children. FIVE CHILDREN. And every time my heart has loved and rejoiced in their life. But something happens along the way. You either succumb to the sadness or you figure out WHO and WHY you are. I can't mourn the same way because I know too much. I really know it and it has made a difference. I sometimes feel guilty that I am not crippled with sadness. I wondered for a while if it was based upon the fact that I know the reality of the battle or if it was a symptom of shock and trauma. I even worry that all the hardship I have gone through created some sort of callous and I am numb. But I remembered King David. In 2 Samuel 12:14-22 it says:

"After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."


I must keep going and honor God with my life. I don't want to live angry or mad, although there are moments when I am, which you wouldn't want to witness. But in those times I allow myself to be upset and I even tell God. There is a mass confusion that happens in traumatic sorrow. It feels like panic. It will desire to swallow you and if you don't get ahold of of it, you will drown. Because I walked through an INTENSE degree of this when we lost Natalie Grace, I didn't want to loose myself again in that blackness. So my prayer and focus lately has been to truly seek the Lord and take Him at His Word. If He says He is there for me...then He is there. If He says we should not mourn as without any Hope...then I will not mourn without Hope. If He says the greatest commandment is Love and to Love others...than I will Love others. I am searching for Truths in His Word. Not just the coffee cup Truths, but the gems and treasures that takes a searcher to discover. One INCREDIBLE verse I found that brings a smile to my face every time is Ecclesiastes 3:14:

"I KNOW THAT WHATEVER GOD DOES, IT SHALL BE FOREVER."

If you know someone who has experienced the loss of an unborn baby, share this verse with them. It will affirm that God has VICTORY and that tiny life IS FOREVER!

Beyond my heart, I am feeling THE BEST I have ever felt in a long time. I was very sick after we had Josiah. They pumped up my prednisone and I swelled so violently fast that I felt like I was being crushed. I had numerous visits to the ER where I felt like I couldn't breathe. What people who don't know about the evil-blessing of prednisone is that when you gain weight from this drug, you literally have to lose it as though you were sitting on the couch for 5 months eating brownie sundaes for every meal. This was the worst part. It took months and a lot of hard work to get my body healthy again. But in the midst of it I gained so much strength back that it passed my former abilities. I am now running about 6 miles a week, walking every morning with Gracey, sleeping (PRAISE JESUS), eating better, and able to sustain the day without getting as tired. If I could somehow show you what this looked like before and now!!! At one point I was so worried about my weight. I didn't even recognize myself in the mirror. My concentration was on loosing the weight. It frustrated me and caused a lot of insecurity. But one day I felt like the Lord told me to "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." This verse is used for so many illustrations but God told me that my goal should not be to look good or loose weight. It should be about seeking Him during my walks and exercise. So I began to get up and resume my prayer walks. And when I started being encouraged by seeking Him, I became more active and slowly it transformed my heart and my body. Again, I don't know if I can relay how huge and deep this was.

Gracey and I are still involved with the PETS team. One recent visit brought tears to my eyes. We walked up to the Pediatric unit and approached the hallway to the patient rooms. As we made our way down the hall Gracey was practically pulling me into a room. She has never done anything like this before. Finally we were allowed to enter the room and a boy was laying on the bed. He had had an emergency operation the day before and was told by his doctors he needed to try and walk, but he refused because the pain. Gracey got on his bed and snuggled by his side instantly. It was as if they were long lost friends. After a little while we asked him if he wouldn't mind helping take Gracey down the hallway because she needed a walk. To not let Gracey down, he consented. Gracey even got him to swallow a pill!!! With much pain and bravery, he made his way off the bed and grabbed Gracey's leash. They slowly rounded the nurses station as Gracey walked slowly 2 steps ahead of him and then would look back to make sure he was ok. It went on like this the entire way and back. Gracey was very concerned and her alertness to his emotions was AMAZING to see. He reached his bed with agitated pain, but Gracey snuggled right back there with him and they talked. I left that day and cried with happiness that I was able to see something like that unfold. It was an honor.

Gracey is good. She turned 7! (see previous post). She has had no problems with liver. She is on some great food that continues to help.

Bryan began his doctorate studies! He is attending Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, CA. I am so proud of him. It will be a long road but the goal is worth it. I believe his call is to teach at a collegiate level and in order to do this he has to have a doctorate degree. We were praying about moving to CA and are still waiting for the Lord to create a way if it is His will. We have visited several times and feel if the Lord calls us there, He needs to completely assure us and create a way for this to happen. His classes are only a few days a month so for now he will be commuting. We are praying for endurance and focus for this season for him. He knows that knowledge is only a tool and wants to use it to glorify God.

Phase 2 is coming long wonderfully. I would say that within the month it should be done. These photos are a before and after of the outside. Together we got up the other day at 6:30am and worked to finish the siding until 2pm. I am so amazed at how different it looks. Bryan is the BEST builder I know. I can't even believe he has done all this. If you notice to the back there is a space in the old photo. Bryan literally BUILT on a closet for the inside and a replacement tool shed. It is so neat.


We are contracted with a wonderful adoption agency. We were actually contracted with them before we knew God would bless us with Josiah. We took a brief break during that time, but now we are excited to continue this journey. We were actually blessed to visit the campus when we were in CA last month. It was INCREDIBLE. I felt so affirmed and happy to finally get to meet all the people who have been walking close to us during this process. When our adoption failed several years ago, we began to watch Lifetime Adoptions agency. We closely talked with them, checked their site, and even emailed over 20 couples who have used them. We prayed and felt like this was the agency for us. They are a ministry for the Lord whose goal really really is to help Birth Moms and families in adoption. So we have been waiting over a year and are pleased to be moving forward with this journey. I have not worried about it, felt anxiety over the timing, or been frustrated with the process. I feel like I am ready for this, but again, I know the Lord is working and it is not by my will but His. Please continue to pray for us for our child(ren). I know we are meant to be parents and THERE WILL BE A DAY WHERE WE WILL REJOICE.

This has turned out to be a novel!!! God I give you glory for the victories unseen, for the Truth that goes beyond my emotions, and for Your Love. Guide my life. Let my Joy be found IN You.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday Gracey


You have loved me even when I could not love myself
You have offered a hug and lick at my most hardest moments
You have been a shadow, ran ahead to encourage me on, and walked beside me as my friend
Your tail has spoken volumes of joy and happiness (Oh to be able to translate it's wags!)
You're always there to share a meal, warm my lap and bark at any intruder
You're ready to go as soon as I wake
and ready to sleep snuggled by my side
I can't imagine my life without you Gracey
and so today I celebrate the gift that you are because
You have shown me a piece of heaven on this earth

Monday, September 05, 2011

Love

It is not that we all don't have excuses to hate (death, pain, illness, hardship, struggle) and not care...oh wow...do we ever! It is so EASY today to have a reason to hurt and then to hate in return. Why do you think Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12? Loving is hard in our world, and it will get harder. The only way I know I can effectively love is by using the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide me. If I were to love by how I define it, I am sure my emotions and experiences would affect how and who I love. The time is coming where we will have to use the love God gives us to love others. We wont be able to love others upon our own power and will.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

& 5th



We give Traditional gifts every year. This year was wood. I made Bryan a cross with pictures from every anniversary past (the ones previously posted!). He gave me a beautiful mirror framed with wood.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Happy 5th Anniversary

Happy 5th Anniversary!



Our Wedding Day:

Today "I do"


Tomorrows Promises finally alive


I've walked in hope


trusting in life, God's Love through you




1st Anniversary:


You've taken my heart


Walked with patience by my side


Believing in my best


and forgiving my failures



2nd Year Anniversary


All our Hopes now intertwined


without the same we are neither


Together, none apart


Forever and Loved


3rd Year Anniversary:


Past and Future stands still for one day


It's more than we could know


yet so close to God's heart


It's something rare and sought for


4th Year Anniversary:


Its a jewel, a treasure


I've never known before in my life


I've been Blessed, chosen and given a gift


You are a piece of God's Love in this world


I love you Bryan, Forever.


Olivia