Saturday, March 31, 2012

Party Decorations

First of all. I get to decorate tonight and get ready for Matthew's party tomorrow.
I love decorating.

Well, Mike and I ran out to get his decorations today and I was all ready to be all cute decorating like all the blog moms do. You know the style that looks like it should be in a magazine. So I told Mike it cannot be the tacky decorations. Well, according to Mike, "one year old birthday party's are supposed to be tacky." HaHa. So in order to save from a stupid, stupid debate, Matthews party decorations are borderline tacky, and I couldn't be any more excited.

So after I go get my shower with my glass of wine, it's time to have a blast baking and decking out our house for the boy to wake up to in the morning. AH! Tonight is going to be fun.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Snippets of Fun

The Boy is ONE!
I mean, life is being lived like he is ONE!
Here are a few shots to prove it.

Our Matthew is such a delight and is just a Joy to be around.
I feel so blessed I get to be around him all day.

So Much Fun

Yesterday was a BLAST. Seriously so much fun. I took Matthew to playgroup. And while he normally sits by my side the whole time, the bigger he gets the more he leaves me. He was crawling around, giggling, playing with stuff, dancing to the music, eating snacks. He had a blast. Then I had 4 other kids over and Matthew typically fusses the whole time when other children are over. But like I said, he is bigger now, and he was soooo happy they were here. He was poking his infant cousin, trying to hold hands with his friend Maddie, chasing his older cousin around while laughing, reading books to everyone, building towers. I mean, it was just a great time and all 5 kids just had fun and were so behaved. I loved it so much. After we put Matthew to bed Mike and I left to go out on a date. Oh. It was one of the best dates we have ever had. We really reconnected and it was just awesome.

Today I am meeting up with a friend to bring our kids swimming. I can't wait to see Matthew in his little swim trunks. Good Memories.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012



You are ONE today! ONE! Ive been a bit off today with such a mix of emotions. Growing up you will learn that your mom has a good amount of emotions. I hope that is a good thing for you. Today, you grew up before my very eyes. You figured out how to army crawl through the tube at the playground to make it up the incline, you will actually have a phone conversation (its so adorable), and when you hear your dads voice on the phone you get a big smile and say "DAAADDDYYYYY". You stacked five blocks on top of each other to make your own tower all by yourself, you did the sign for "milk", and i am almost certain that you said "i love you." You copied me twice in a row, but then just smiled every time I said it after that. You also have been trying to use silverware. You will hold the fork, I help you poke, and you put the food in your mouth all by yourself.  -- But more than all the little skills you are acquiring, I just love YOU Matthew. You just bring more sunshine to this sometimes very sad world. God is in that precious smile, and in those sweet hugs and kisses you so freely give out. It is just so strange for me to watch you grow up so fast. I remember when you first used your fingers to put food in your mouth and we could hardly believe it. And now you insist on having the bowl on your tray with fork in hand. It's so hard for me not to go in your room right now while you are sleeping and just pick you up and hold you. I'd do it but you hate getting woken up. I just want to hold you and kiss you and tell you over and over again that you are so loved. Even on those whiny one year old days or when you toss food on the floor, you are my baby. And you love so well. YOU ARE ONE! It just seems so old to me. And even though I am so sad that the time is going so fast, I am so excited for you to experience more new things in life.
I love you Matthew,

Just a few pictures of your day. Your big birthday day will be Sunday since dad was gone most of the day.  We can't wait to give you cake!

Bring It

"Our culture is mass producing narcissists. If you are not fighting it, you are doing it. Our selfishness is making us sick. We have social illness. Pride is the graveyard of effective believers. Insecurity is the psych ward. Its when your own mind turns in on you. And it's because we are so full or ourselves." -Beth Moore-

"Unsaved people might have fewer qualms with openly demonstrating jealousy or selfish ambition, but seasoned Christians are notorious for disguising them. Sometimes we dress us jealousy and call it discernment, and sometimes we stick a mask on selfish ambition and label it calling. " -Beth Moore-

I respect a bible teacher who doesn't try to dance around the truth. But she is the sweetest and a 100% grace oriented woman. Loving her bible study on the book of James. Last night I left speechless. God spoke through her so powerfully with so much truth that could not be denied that I just could hardly think of words. I just want to change.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Matthew is going to be ONE on Wednesday.  I never really was phased that it was actually going to happen till we started to write a list of things to get for his birthday. As the tears started flowing they haven't totally stopped and my heart has jumped a few sizes while all I can do is stare at my kid all day and cry and laugh and hug and kiss him. I am completely overwhelmed. For some reason he has been making me feel like it was the first time I ever met him in the hospital. And I have prayed for that moment back. I see him in new eyes and I cannot get enough. Mike and I are totally obsessed and it is only going to get harder, to slowly let him go. In one year it is amazing how much independence he gains and I have already had to let part of him go, to be his own person who is not dependent on mom for everything. As I was nursing him tonight I hoped it would last forever because I know it wont be long till he steps away from me and turns to a glass of milk instead.

Being Matthew's mom has far exceeded any life experience EVER. (not including marriage and Jesus) However, parenting is it's own category. It's moments that literally take your breath away. Like today, when I forgot to close the basement door ( I NEVER DO) and he almost walks himself down a flight of cement stairs. I know my husbands heart didn't slow down for a long time. It's moments like that, that make you stop and never want to miss another moment because you realize how much he has changed us.

It's moments like walking into his room when he wasn't napping and find that he had taken off his pants in his crib. I laughed so hard and prayed for a million more moments like that. Moments like last night, in the bath. I was playing with his little toes and crying thinking about how they won't be little forever. And he stood up, leaned over the bathtub, put his wet arms around my neck with his head on my shoulder and just loved me, with the biggest hug ever. seriously? There are no words to the love you can have for your child. I just feel like someone should pinch me because it feels like a dream. Having a child is better than travel, better than doing whatever I want on a friday night. I feel so wonderful having him in my life right now. and one day i will totally release him to the life God has planned for him as an adult, but for now, I will kiss those feet and nurse him, and try to enjoy every second of it all before it is gone. It is the one thing in life where I am not rushing forward to the next thing. Stay small Matthew, at least for a while. Your mom and daddy love you so much it hurts sometimes.

And I am soooo excited for him to have his FIRST birthday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Few Things I Love

Some pictures of things that I really like or are inspiring to me; minus tons of fun kid things that I could post. That might be its own category.
 This apron is everything i could dream of in an apron

 The prefect pair of socks

 My dream vehicle

 I'm in love with this tattoo. 
So Simple and it means so much.

 Africa mamas are so strong, graceful, and beautiful.

 White and yellow kitchens. Open, bright.
Yes please! 
Give me sunshine in my kitchen when it is raining.

 This bed, and the bedding itself. 
I would write a book in this bed.

 I'm on search for the perfect, white, beautiful nightgown.

 I love this sign.

 If I were ever to get a full body tattoo. 
This piece of art is extraordinary.

 I love the aged.
The perfect window.

Royal Family


 "When we accept Jesus in our lives it doesn't just mean we become church members and get to call ourselves a Christian. It means we LITERALLY become adopted into his family. We are literally part of the royal family of God, by His Grace. So we need to stop acting like Christians who think we earn his love by a check list of Do's and Dont's. Instead we need to start acting like his CHILDREN. We need to walk under the blessing because he is our Father and we are His children, and we now live under Grace and Blessing"

Church is so refreshing.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Talk

My husband and I like to talk about heaven sometimes and like to imagine what it will be like. I know it is beyond our human imagination, but we do know with what the bible says is that it will be one heck of an eternal good time. But here are a few things we think we are going to look forward .

ME: "do you think Jesus will let me decorate heaven?"


ME: "Ohmygosh. I am totally going to get a pretty white dress and wear yellow flowers in my hair. AH!"


MIKE: (while at outback) "I have no doubt that these cheese fries and ranch dressing will be at the feast prepared for us in heaven."

Thursday, March 22, 2012


So I am getting used to normal life noises around here. Working on it. I mostly lived in low traffic, quiet areas. Small, very quiet subdivisions, dead end streets, sleeping in basements, or mostly, living in the country. Now we have the very loud train down the street that runs ALL NIGHT LONG, or the constant loud cars and motorcycles going by the street behind us at midnight, and our houses are so close each other. And our neighbors, with every right, start their back porch project exactly at Matthews nap time every day. Sawing, hammering, whatever else. The noises never seem to bother or wake up Matthew or my husband, but I am sure not used to it. Yeah, we were in noisy places on the race, but I stuffed it in the back of my mind as temporary. I totally am thankful for where we live, it just might take getting used to for me. I wake up to everything, and I tense up a bit when the neighbors are hammering like crazy right near Matthew's window, just asking for him to wake him up from his one nap. It doesn't happen, but i would wake up, so why wouldn't I think so? I never thought of myself as a light sleeper. I grew up in a pretty loud and very active house, but I seem to be extra sensitive lately. Such is life. As my dad would say, "builds character."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Makes Me Better

A few things that have made me feel better already.

1. The fact that Mike gets home at 2:30pm from work. There was a point that I could hold nothing down and I felt so dehydrated because I couldn't even take the tiniest sip of water that I was feeling faint and could hardly hold Matthew without getting dizzy. Oh Thank you Jesus for the early day he works.

2. The flowers Mike bought me before our date yesterday. Oh and speaking of our date. We haven't had one since December just the two of us and we went and had so much fun. He planned it all. I love him.

3. popsicles. I couldn't keep anything down and I was too dehydrated feeling to even sleep. The second Mike got me a popsicle and I took a lick I felt 50% better already. It was insane.

4. Matthew seemed to catch on today. As he sat and stared it me very serious while I was having a moment in the bathroom he crawled over to me once I sat down with my head on my knees and pulled himself up, wrapped his arms around my shoulders and rested his head on me. He would just look up and stare at me very serious and then rest his head on another part of me. He has never come up to give me that many hugs in one day. It was amazing how compassionate he was being. Jesus is surely inside his child size heart.

5. and MICHAEL. I don't know how much anyone knows about him, but he is one of the most nurturing people I have ever met. He has been spending time with Matthew, straightening the sheets over me, commanding me to not do anything. Bringing me anything I need. Oh I am so thankful for him. I am having a moment of feeling better where I can concentrate on the computer and I had to just write about his amazing ways..

stomach bug

heading to the bathroom every 10-30 minutes with the stomach bug is never fun. but it is really not fun when you have a baby. atleast he is overall happy today.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Poem I Wrote

This is a dream ramble.

My heart is pretty tense right now. Not in a bad way. But tense with dreams.
You ever desire something so much that it feels like you can't breath?
I have been this way with the dreams that I do know God has put on my heart and they have fallen fresh on me. Maybe it is the weather change or maybe it is studying the book of James. But it is a good tension I think.

Im finding balance in life between service and rest. But one thing I thought last night is this. I know for 100% that I will be spending eternity with Jesus. In paradise. The ultimate retirement. And I know that at the end of my life I want to have given more than I took. In every way that God provides for me to do so. I know that at my age of retirement if I am still moving healthy, I still want to be sprinting the race of serving others for Christ. As my time opens up at that age I want to just give it all I got in service. Stick me in Africa when Im 70 or at the local homeless shelter in Detroit. Seriously.. Not because being "good" gets you into heaven, it is by Christ alone, but because what do I have to lose? These years of my life on earth are nothing compared to eternity in heaven, and honestly I don't want to spend my life trying to make my own utopia when it is freely waiting for me. There are people down here that need love dangit. =)

Sometimes these dreams get pretty crazy and I get antsy that I don't know how to make them happen. But when I start to take a thought seriously, I get scared. Really scared. Last night I was thinking about the idea of adoption and these were my thoughts. "What if I don't have the money? What if I can't show them enough love? What if it is hard on Matthew? What if people don't support it? What if Im not a good enough mom? What if I don't understand the child?"  But as I thought more about it, what it comes down to is this. "IT'S NOT ABOUT ME." Those fears are ridiculous. There are people out there that need even a person who is willing to even attempt to show them love. Even if they don't know what the heck they are doing. I mean, that is me with parenting. I have no idea what the heck I am doing but I am going to ask God how in the world to raise this boy.

Moving on. I know that God's timing with the dreams he has given me are different then mine. And even though, in imagination, I want to run a little orphanage out of my home, God knows when he is ready for me to do such a dream. I am working on a small goal right now to help out a Human Trafficking organization in the small way that I can. It doesn't feel like a lot to me. But like Mother Theresa says, "If you can't feed a million, feed one." And though I have my little family that is most definitely my calling, I know God is calling our family to a life of service in different ways than just shooting hoops inside our home. I will take one small oportunity as it comes, but I know this, God is faithful. And the desires he gives me brings joy. And he knows that. He doesn't give me dreams to bog me down, but to free me. Free me from my silly selfish self and to realize that he wants to trust me with great things. He wants to trust me with people. And that is a good Father right there. One who empowers me and encourages me.

I wrote this poem in a prayer journal at a church and my friend found it a few years back and sent it to me while I was on the race. I totally had no idea I wrote it and it made me realize how faithful he has been.  I highlighted what dreams God has fulfilled. He has fulfilled them in different capacities.
I included the whole email from my friend because she wrote so encouraging and sweet to me. This is what the body of Christ should be like to each other. 


Sweet friend,

I was going through the old 40 prayer journal this morning at work and came across one of your old entries from July 19, 2008. I know it was yours because you share how you were thankful that God saved Michael (your now-husband!!). Anyway, I wanted to pass along your entry to you in this email so you could be reminded of how faithful our amazing God is. God is giving you your dreams!!! Read:


I have so many dreams,
It wears me out.
I want to save the world,
But I don't know how.

My dreams become chaos in my mind.
I search for ways
to make it clear
and to find

Peace... knowing you saved the world.
That was Your call
Show me mine.
My dreams are so many,
I'm losing time.

I'm so scared
I'll give up
if I face opposition
Accomplish Your dreams
through me.

Oh God!
I'll do anything.
Give You everything.

My dreams are so many that I don't even know where to start. God, here are my desires. Make them stronger or take them away.

  • To live in Africa
  • To bring hope to and dance with street children
  • Live in a community of homeless
  • Start a church ministry in a slum
  • Never buy a house, and if I do, let people live there that need to.
  • Comfort the dying and the sick
  • I want to see Your miracles and see my pride taken away
  • Learn how to medically care for wounds and sores
  • I want to give all that I have and then more
  • I want to be in some of the most desperate situations in the world
  • I want to be in war and war-torn countries
  • Raise orphans
  • Minister to prostitutes
  • I want to feel what You feel

We serve an amazing God. How faithful is He that He planted these desires in your heart and brought a lot of them to fruition! I know that it's a God-thing that I came across that entry today, so I hope that it's an encouragement to you of God's all-encompassing love for you.

I love you! I'll write you an email soon - it made my heart SO HAPPY to talk to you last night.


Praise Jesus for what he has done. Only by him could he show so much Love through me. I am a mess sometimes. I am a broken person but he has chosen to use me. He chose me. Chose me to take part in his inheritance. He has chosen all of us. It is just up to us to take him up on his offer of a life of Grace. I feel so blessed. All Glory goes to Him.

Sunday Read

Almost done

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kingdom Dreamer: Aimee

This is Aimee. A dear friend. A very dear friend. We are new moms together and I am so blessed by her friendship. We all have a past and I asked Aimee if she would share her story. She has been so kind to do so. I don't think details of our testimonies before we are changed are always necessary to bless the readers or hearers, but Aimee tells her past in a way that truly points towards the new creation that she is. It is a bit lengthy, but I promise, you will be blessed by reading this.

This is a testimony of Gods love, grace and power to change lives. I pray it gives you hope and blesses you!

I come from a Christian family. I have been a believer in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior my whole life, but I have not always lived this way. My upbringing was a strong foundation but I think with life we all put other things before God some times. I know I did and definitely strayed from my faith when I did. For quite some time in junior high & high school, I had depression but did not know it yet. After I was out of college I did not realize what a strong hold the depression had taken on my life, although my fiancé knew something was very wrong. It was taking a toll on our relationship as I began to embrace the darker feelings I had been getting.

I was 22 when I broke up with the love of my life believing he could do better than me and shortly after I quit my job. I don’t know if I knew I was depressed at that point but I know there was a darkness I was in, that only kept getting darker. I had come to embrace it though. I believed the lies of the enemy, that if I accepted and embraced these strange feelings that I would be happier with myself and who I was becoming. That deception led me to a time of self-destruction.

After my break up I only became more depressed. I was sad that I threw away a good relationship, but felt like it was the only thing I could do. I was also out of work and after a month of not finding a job in my field I decided I would go to Toledo to strip. That was where my "ex" lived and I wanted to be closer to him any way. Once I told him I was stripping I was no longer welcome in that circle of friends any more and things only became more lonely for me. I quit driving an hour home and paying for hotel rooms to sleep because that was too expensive for me, a new stripper who still was not making much money.  I started sleeping in my van when I didn't have some one offer me a place to stay. Looking back on those years now I can remember the different degrees of dark, cold and loneliness as if I were going through a cave with multiple caverns going deeper into the earth.

Stripping soon became my escape; my drug! I used it to withdraw from the pain of my reality.  It was like I could exit the world by looking into the mirrors and just watch myself dance, zoned out to the music. I began to really love stripping. I did not realize it then, but I was doing the work of the enemy.  I am so thankful to now know that God can cause ALL things to work for his good!

I continued to struggle with depression, anxiety and panic attacks off and on for the next several years, even with antidepressants. I even had my antidepressants increased 3 times. At one point I realized how lonely I actually was and went back into depression. I began writing my depressive thoughts in a journal. My thoughts became cries to God because I knew not only was he the only one I wanted to listen, but I felt like he was the only one who really cared! Among my prayers I reminded my self that I would never commit suicide, while crying, because I knew that some day God would have something better for my life. I reminded myself that one day I would truly be happy. But the sadness was not gone yet, so I just sat alone and cried my tears to God.

In those 3 years I meet people who changed my opinions and my views of people over all. My eyes were opened to many things I never thought I would see. Were before, I would have passed judgment on a girl who you might think to be promiscuous, I now saw a young woman struggling in her life and crying out, in her spirit, for help. I saw drug addicts cry to the ones they loved because they were being given up on. I saw a prostitute alone in a room praying to God for a better life. I saw men who the world looked down on, now just looking for some one to love and care about them. I saw other men, who the world looked to as upstanding, now ready to degrade and exploit women. I saw many different forms of sexual exploitation, including human trafficking (although I did not know it was trafficking at the time). I believe God was using this terrible time in my life, to open my eyes to the spirit of his people who were suffering as well, and not be so quick to simply label them as whores (I hate that word now, but it is the word people use!) All that we see is the exterior. We forget this was a person made in the image of God, with a soul and spirit. These are the lost and hurting and there is a reason for there pain.

Of all the people who impacted me the most, it was a girl who was a prostitute that opened her doors to me after leaving her pimp from Detroit. I’ll call her Mia. Her life had aged her beyond her years. I thought she was in her 30s and was very surprised to find out she was only 23. She was my age! She was a drug addict and compulsive liar. I wanted to help her so bad, but I was hardly equipped & barely stable myself. I could tell so many stories about her and many others, but I would be close to writing a book to tell them all. My point is, as cold as my life was, these people touched me. My heart cried out for them! I had to move out of Mia’s house very quickly after only a few months for my own safety.

After 3 years I left stripping because the guy I was with wanted me to take another job opportunity. I would be able to make money comparable to stripping doing what I when to college for at an oil refinery that was offering me a position. I didn’t want to because I loved stripping but I did it for the guy.

I was now 25 and no longer dancing but things were not over yet. The relationship I was in was far from healthy. We broke up shortly after I started my new job. My depression stayed with me still, and actually increase quit a bit at the new job. Also the anxiety came back stronger do to the long hours and the high-risk nature of my new job. I didn't want to quit yet though because I thought I should give it at least a year. Six months after starting that job I met the man I later married who is truly amazing. He stuck with me as a friend through out all of my emotional struggles and problems with my job. We married and bought a house together after only a year.

My home life was so blessed! I know it was truly blessed by God but I could not say the same for my job. I struggled on a daily basis at work. I wanted to quit so many times but would not because I did not want to put the entire financial burden on my husband. And there were not a ton of jobs that paid what this one did. After more than 3 years at that place and dealing with a whole new batch of struggles in my life, I would find myself crying alone at work. I would even burst in to tears at home just because I thought about work. I could not take it any more! I had come up with a plan. I would go back to school for a new career and I would pay for it by stripping again! I hated my job more than anything and I needed to get out before I lost my mind, or worse... I only told my husband about my plan to strip again and he was not happy, but there was nothing he could do. My mind was made up!

I passed all the necessary requirements to get into the new specialized school I planned to go to except a final interview. The interview was the last step before I would quit my job, start school and begin to strip again at the age of 28. I had been working 96-104 hours a week for a few weeks so I was excited to leave it all behind. It was the midnight portion of my shift and the day before my final interview. I was talking to one of my coworkers, Doug, who I often complained to about how I could not handle the job. After several hours of waiting on-call in the shop I opened up, and told him I was going to quit. I almost had tears in my eyes and my voice cracked as I told him I struggled with depression and that I could not mentally handle a job of such high stress and high risk to my health and safety. I told him I just couldn’t handle it any more. I had to leave. I never told him where I was going or what I would do but I admitted to him I was struggling! I was so tired and needed to sleep, but before the conversation ended, Doug asked if he could pray for me! I told him I would really appreciate it!

He stood up, put his hand on my shoulder and began to pray. The words of his prayer caught my attention. It was like he knew more of what to pray for than I did. Could he read my mind? After the prayer I gave him half a smile, said thanks and went to find a quiet place to sleep before the bosses came in for the morning. I sat down in a chair in a dark room and thought about his prayer again, but still very determined to quit my job and go back to stripping. Only a second later I fell asleep.

I woke up about 5:00am feeling incredible peace. I do not mean it at all figuratively when I say I was truly a new person the moment my eyes opened! I knew I was different and I knew it was something God had done. My first couple thoughts were, "I am not going to strip and I am going to tell the dean of students in the interview today, I can not start school this semester". I was not stressed or worried or concerned with any thing. I just knew... I knew it was God with me, I knew he had changed my mind and my heart. I knew I was full of his love! I saw everything differently all of a sudden. I felt love for every one I worked with even the people who I previously could not stand. I suddenly saw stripping as something heart breaking. I saw that I was exploiting gifts that God had given me in doing that. But I had no shame or guilt because I new God loved me, forgave me and that’s why he did what he did for me. I knew he could use it for good and his purpose. I was only sad for all the people involved in strip clubs who did not yet know how it hurt them and saddened God. I wanted to show them GODS LOVE. I wanted every one to know what God had done for me and in only an instant! I was not scared of my job any more. I knew it was where God wanted me to be and I was ok with that. All these thoughts and I had not even left the room yet.

I still don’t totally understand how God did what He did. I never once thought about changing my mind. I just went to sleep and when I woke up, my mind was changed. Was He speaking to me in my sleep? Did He change my mind for me? I almost felt like it was as Saul to Paul type conversion because it happened so fast, with out even thinking about it. All I know is God put his foot down and put a stop to my ridiculous plan and instead gave me a new life! It will never stop amazing me!

That day I could not thank Doug enough for his prayer, but I don't think he understood the extent of the change that had taken place. My day was also filled with incredible peace and joy and a love that I know could only have come from God. It was a very happy day at work!

I attempted to listen to Christian radio on my way home that day but the station was very staticky. When I got home I looked up the song I thought was coming through. It was "Beautifull Beautiful". I played the song on my computer & tears flooded my eyes as I heard the words. I truly worshiped my savior, Jesus, for the 1st time. I played the song again filled with joy as I danced around my house thanking God for what he had done for me. I used to dance for the devil in darkness and despair, now I danced for Jesus with joy and freedom!

On my way to the interview I was not nervous at all and even happy with what I had to tell them because I knew it was Gods will for me! On my way home I worshiped and thanked God more and was baptized with the Holy Spirit, there in my car.

That day began a whole new journey in my life; a path that God had just for me. This was a new way filled with things beyond my understanding but filled with peace, joy and overflowing love!

I began journaling my prayers and the words God gave me but I wanted to use my old journal from all those years ago. I was writing in it for a while before I was ready to read any of the old entries from my stripping days. After some time I figured I would just look back to see how far my life had come. As I read, I found a prayer from one of the most sad and lonely times I was going through. This is what it read
" God, please help me to get through this hard time in my life. The past year has been crazy & I want you to be a part of my life again. Please bring positive influences back into my life. Please help me to make the right decisions. I have gone down a very rough path in my life & I want very badly to get back on track. I know if I have faith in you, you will show me the way. I love you Father in heaven. Thank you for the faith & hope that keeps me going."
As I read, I remembered gasping for breath from crying so hard at the time, but now I could only be thankful with tears of joy! I was 22 when I wrote that & 28 years old when I re-read it. It had been 6 years… and God answered my prayer. He still continues to answer that prayer in my life!

I pray this story gives you hope; hope in a God that answers when you call on him; hope is in Jesus. When you call, He WILL answer. God answers prayers; whether it is some thing you see right now or some thing you won't notice for years down the road. God is faithful! He does what he says! So never loose hope in any situation and never loose faith in him!

John16:24"...Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be complete"
I’m 30 years old now. It’s been 2 years since God gave me new life & He has only continued to bless me. He gave me peace at work. New people came to know Jesus at the refinery. My husband and I were blessed with a son and shortly after God gave us peace for me to stay home with my son. He brought amazing Christian brothers and sisters into my life. I also was able to answer the calling on my life in fighting local human trafficking.

One thing I realized after all that, was I could not begin to help women and girls who were struggling until I was healed myself and in relationship with Christ. After I was born again, God showed me that I couldn’t help before, because I was part of the problem myself. I saw nothing wrong with striping before and when God opened my eyes, I saw the true exploitation of it. My heart was so broken for all forms of sexual exploitation; I could not just stand by while it happened! I wasn’t ok with doing nothing while people believed the lies of the devil that were causing so much pain. I never stopped thinking about all the girls who opened my eyes before and now God has showed me even more. I was determined to use the bad that had happened in my life to help others, especially sex trafficking victims and women like Mia. I am now working with two different local Christian ministries to do just that. Many people have been called into ministry all around the world but I know my calling is right here in North West Ohio. I don’t believe I can do any good picking the speck out of any one else’s eye until the log is removed from my own. I just pray God continues to led me and many others as we work to help women and girls, who are lost and hurting, heal and bring the truth, light and love of Jesus to every one involved in sexual exploitation.

The peace and love of Jesus to all who read this!
I pray you have been blessed!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Out and About

It is really hard for Mike and I to sit still with this weather and with an active, and finally rested, happy boy. So before Mike went to work this afternoon and after we all slept in =), we headed to Royal Oak for the morning. I guess it didn't click that businesses don't get going as quickly as we do. So we just grabbed a little breakfast and walked around till the bookstore opened. We searched for parks with no success, but it was just nice to get out in the nice cool morning air.

Oh. And he took 5 steps this morning all by himself. mmmmhhhhmmm.

just hanging with daddy in royal oak

and yesterday after mike got home from work, matthew enjoyed sitting out on the porch after a nice long walk and watching daddy do some yard work.

spitting out his tongue.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Outside and the Longest Story Ever

Matthew and I may just be spending most of our days outside now that the weather is beyond perfect. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in the park when Mike got home and today we went to the park twice, sat outside on a blanket for some apples and reading, mike took matthew rollerblading with the running stroller while I ran. Matthew spent much time walking down the sidewalk holding onto the stroller. Man, that kid can walk FAR for not being able to walk on his own yet. He is one determined little man. To walk over half a block, pushing a stroller. He would stop and act tired, but the second we tried to pick him up, he'd stomp his feet, grunt, and keep walking. Sounds like his mama. DETERMINED. Or so my mom would say. Also, he could sit in the kid swing for HOURS. So the next really nice day, I'm bringing a lawn chair and a book and will push that swing till he wants to get out. Which seems like NEVER. Even after a good 45 minutes he still fusses the second we take him out. More than fuss really. Kinda throws a fit. When we were at the park yesterday, we were away from the swings and on a path practicing some walking. He eyed the swings in the far distance, got down to his crawling position, and bolted. Over the path, down the grass hill, through the running children, through the wood chips, to the swings. I couldn't believe it.

Now, my favorite. Today Matthew was bouncing in his exersaucer and out of nowhere the boy decides to tell Mike and I the longest story of his life so far. I mean, it was one of the most intense stories ever. Animated, loud, hands flailing. There was every emotion mixed in with his babble. Moments of stress, anger, relief, laughter, a few cries and a few giggles. He would stop and we would ask questions and he would go off again. His face would turn red, he even took a few water breaks. No joke. At one point he was so upset during his story that I went to go and pick him up, but he grunted and turned away from me, continuing his story till there seemed to be resolve. I mean, 20 minutes of non-stop chatter. It was hilarious. I was laughing so hard I had to turn away because he was being so serious. His hand motions, everything. What fun this is; however, it is 10:30 at night and he wont stop screaming even if we hold him. We think his muscles are very sore from walking sooo much or maybe the sun got to him too much? I don't know. If only he would keep his hat on. I sure hope we can figure him out soon poor guy.

Well goodnight. Tomorrow it calls for storms so we may read all day. Sweet Dreams!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Am A Student and A Poem

So I am really getting into studying the bible. Not just reading a verse and getting a fluffy feeling. I mean often it is real since the words are living. but I am studying. I am trying to learn the context and ask more questions to understand it better. There are so many gifted teachers of the word out there. And it is just amazing how the bible makes more sense when you can get down to the original language, the history, how people acted, rituals, what they would actually be feeling?  Right now I am doing a Beth Moore study on the Book of James and my goodness. I cannot even handle how much richer scripture becomes when you can learn more in depth of the people in the bible. Who they were, where they were from, how they knew Jesus, why they would say the things they are saying? I am learning how the bible completely connects from one verse to the next, from one side of the bible to the other. It is so much fun and when you learn lots of the ins and outs and the poetic language it it sooo impossible that anyone could have written this without being inspired by a perfect God. No way. It is just way to wildly beautiful and beyond any wisdom any man could have. I mean I don't even have a word to describe it. It for sure is the living word of God.

It is cool to find the original meaning of words in the bible. For example, in greek, there are multiple meanings for the word "love". In the English we just understand the word "love" in the bible. But if we look at the original word, we can learn what type of love was being talked about.

Well, one reason I just love to learn the translation from my English version to the original greek/hebrew, is that you find things like this.

 Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

The Greek word from which "workmanship" is derived, is "poema" or poem. So we are literally God's poems. What does it mean to me that I am God's poem?  That is a post for another day.

So sleep or go about your day knowing that YOU are God's poem!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kingdom Dreamer : Katie Meyler

I want to introduce a Kingdom Dreamer to you. She is a friend of mine. Her name is Katie. I met her years back and I don't have much contact with her now because she is all over, mostly in Africa. But she is the wildest person I have met in my entire life. Seriously, the wildest. I cannot even begin to explain what I mean by that, but if you want to meet someone who does not care a hint what people think about her, meet Katie. She will take her old life of her dad burning her skin with boiling water, her mom telling her she didn't want her, waking up next to her dead uncle and instead she will grow up to dance her heart out with the homeless person, take a transvestite into her home and clean his feet while he is sleeping. Live with a prostitute and shout prayers over her through the bathroom while the girl is in there doing drugs and crying. She will go around the country and speak to schools with a former child solider about their stories and making a change in the world. She will go to an open mic coffee shop and put name tags on everyone there and sing songs of joy, or say a spoken poem that sometimes uses intense language to get her point across. She will proclaim the Love of Jesus in high school while people throw mash potatoes in her face. She will live homeless and sleep on peoples couches to raise money to start an organization called

The last time I saw her, she and a former forced child solider from the Congo were sleeping at my parents house in Michigan to speak at a school there. We went to a coffee shop and people started to surround us as the boy told his story of his life in the Congo. Since then, she has started her own organization, and I don't have a written guest blog from her but if you watch this intense video of one of her spoken poems you may just get a glimpse into the heart and mind of kingdom dreamer, Katie Meyler.

(Just to make that video even better- She found her)

My New Nephew

The Great News is that my sister and her husband just had their third perfect baby because that is what they do. They really make beautiful babies. His name is Isaiah Timothy Thayer. Same middle name as Matthew. =) He is perfect and I love him so much.


Today was one of those days I did not have enough patience to match Matthew's day. I think i spoke too soon because this one nap a day thing is going terrible. I'm told the transition is hard, but what if I'm wrong that he is even cutting it? Either way, such is parenting, but because of this, Matthew is a disaster. Not his fault, I know i am sad when I am too tired. But I didn't know an 11 month old could throw tantrums  and demand to be held 95% of the day. If I would set him down, he would scream and still scream if I picked him back up for about 10 minutes just to let me know that was not ok. So I brought him outside after his one 45 minute nap and he screamed in the stroller, but was only happy if he stayed in the swing at the playground. But then he threw a fit when I took him out of the swing. THIS is why Im so strict with nap and bedtime. Anyways, on my way home, Mikes parents saw me pushing the stroller and holding Matthew. When we walked by their house, his mom was out there waiting for me and said she could tell that I looked stressed. Yuh think? I wear my heart on my sleeve as it is, but today was bad. I could have broke down in tears right then and there. So the two of them were my heroes today as they brought the two of us in their calm, clean house and gave me some coffee while Matthew relaxed with his Grandma and Papa and listened to Jimmy Buffet. Ha. Without that 2 or so hours of relaxation this afternoon I think I would have exploded. I can deal with cranky, but today was beyond cranky. My normally happy boy that hardly ever cries threw me for a loop today.  

Anyways, thanks Mom and Dad Murphy! 
You have no idea how much you turned my day around!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More Kids

Today was the most beautiful day. 60 degrees, skirt, flip flops. Just the perfect day to haul 3 kids around in my sister's mini van this morning to our playgroups and lunch while she is at home waiting for her husband and timing her contractions. Thats right. Baby number THREE is on the way for my sister. That means that a baby that kinda belongs to me (im the aunt) will be here soon and I don't have to push the sweet thing out. =) =) No, we are just sooo excited and I cannot wait to meet my new niece or nephew. I love the crazy days when I get to watch all three kids or my sister and I are hanging out. It is really my favorite days, having all the kids around. They are just all amazing human beings. Whiny sometimes, but still amazing. And here comes another.

Lots More Pictures

 Im pretty sure that right here Matthew had a low grade fever so we put him in the comfy chair with a book and Pooh. He couldn't nap comfortably so it was the only way we could get him to sit still and rest. And he was just fine by the next day. Whew!

 Just Playing

 I just love giving him apples. 
It is the cutest snack to watch him eat.
And he eats the whole thing.

 One of Matthew's favorite toys is his little basketball hoop.

 My favorite moments are when he reads his book with great enthusiasm. 

 Still going strong with the cloth diapering.

And these pictures are proof that he somehow he knows that that my phone is taking his picture. 
He holds the food up to it to show me.
He smiles extra big.
And as the last picture shows, he makes funny faces.
Wow, I just love this kid.