Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pray...that is what has been pressing in on me more and more lately. I can't do it often enough...there is an urgency. It's not like I have to stop and get down on my knees...I just do it wherever I am at the moment. Nevertheless, I am praying...
1.praying for my husband: he has more than enough on his plate...counseling hurting people, making decisions and attending meeting regarding a new building, trying to find time and energy to study and prepare sermons, cleaning up/straightening the 567 time and time again, preparing for partnership for New City, Plant /Replant conference in January,not to mention taking up alot of slack that I have left due to my surgery around this house,etc.
2.praying for New City as we have families who are hurting, moving growing...there is SO much to pray for! We have volunteer needs constantly, praying for those who serve New City, MC groups...etc...
3. praying for my kids...a daughter who turns 15 next month, a son who is 12! and a 6 yr old who loves, loves his older siblings...
4. praying for my Mom
5. praying for close friends who are hurting...
6. praying for The Chandlers who are a young family facing a brain tumor,daily radiation and chemo...they have 3 very young children...and I know first hand how hard battling cancer is! My heart is with them constantly - it is a tough, tiring time! And it is by faith that they walk through this!
7. praying for so many others...

and moment by moment the list grows and changes...daily there are new ones that are added...

I can't be lazy about it

I am confident in God and His plans for each one.

Here is a bit of a post from a pastor's wife on prayer:
Pray: For it is fellowship with God
Pray:For it is a beckoning to join with God in accomplishing His eternal purposes
Pray:For it truly changes things.
Pray:For it is a means of confession and fighting sin.
Pray: For it is an act of humility.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So, it is Saturday and 11 days post-op. I feel pretty good, the walking I am enjoying when it is not raining. It was good to wake up with sun shining in the windows this morning. Christmas is a good time to have surgery so that the kids are out of school for a couple of weeks. But, I miss the shopping and browsing and party going. I am really not a good patient. Maybe because I am not very patient.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Here are all the "cousins" having Thanksgiving dinner they have grown up fast.
Mom, Grandmommy and me at Evening to Rejoice...

Ivey's last horseshow of the year @ Big Bear Farm, Pine Mtn, Ga...
She had a great day!

She worked really hard to prepare for the dressage part and the hard work paid off with a first place!! The pics are from the cross country course...

And in the morning I will be headed to the hospital bright and early to have the fusion on my back. I am a bit nervous, but ready. I am confident that I will feel so much better once this is done and I can't wait to be pain free.
Thank you to everybody who will be praying! I feel at peace.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs

Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness: Even when it hurts

Great article on being thankful by Sue Lutz...
I am thankful for so much...even though I am sad that I won't celebrate Thanksgiving with my Daddy this year, I am thankful that he is healed and that he will be celebrating the ultimate way!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Power of Words

SO, I had a GREAT week in Louisville with my hubby, the Maloys, The McConnells and the rest of the Acts 29 folks at the Ambition conference at Sojourn Church. I love spending time with Keith, love to see him enjoy the camaraderie of his fellow church planters, love the wives track, and the fellowship time at night. The only part I don't love is the tiredness after we get back home...long days and short nights of sleep. But the good SO outweighs the bad!

One of the ways we were blessed at the conference was with several great books! I got 4 new books free! One of them I took a quick glance at the other day and wanted to share some of what I read with you. Most of you who read this either have a spouse in ministry or have a pastor. I know from first hand experience how much pray is needed for and appreciated by your/our pastors.

The book is called The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor. "If God is a God of words, and if Jesus and his gospel are inseparable, then how should we - those who see to follow him - use our words?" - Look in Proverbs for great examples of godly and ungodly speech.
Then, I found this part just in the introduction by Mark Driscoll:
"Scripture specifies 4 functions of the way in which shepherds should relate to those inside and outside the church.
1. They are to feed the sheep.(Christians, the flock of Jesus the Good Shepherd)
2. Rebuke the swine (who claim to worship God but live unrepentant lives in filthy sin)
3. Shoot the wolves (heretics, false teachers, and anyone who ravages the flock and feasts on the sheep
4. Beat the dogs (who bark at God's people in an effort to control, intimidate, manipulate, use, abuse, terrify, harm, and devour them)."

"The people in the undershepherd's flock, in return, should pray for their pastor-shepherds, that God would give them: a discerning mind,
thick skin, a good sense of humor,
a tender heart,
a humble disposition,
a supportive family,
and evangelistic devotion. "

I was also reminded by Jani Ortlund this week that our tongues according to James 3 are a "restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless and curse." We must make a choice to "bridle our tongues" so that our every word praises God, instead of curses. Ephesians 4:29 says,"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, that is may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God..."

Be reminded of these words when you may be tempted to complain about church, the pastor or a multitude of things that don't satisfy you (or me). Or be reminded of these words when you are approached by someone who wants to tickle your ear with complaints about the pastor, church or music, have a choice - you can listen which may tempt you to pass this on later, or you can stop it right there with a kind word that redirects the sinful talk. (Once thing I have noticed over the years about people who complain...they are usually the ones who are not serving in the church. We need to guard ourselves and those around us, our church, from the evil gossip, complaints that can quickly divide and destroy a church and alot of people.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tis the Season, to Rethink the Season

I stole this post from Keith's blog...

Earlier this week I was checking out the Advent Conspiracy after hearing much about it and knowing almost nothing. The concept was nothing new, but some of the numbers were incredible... a solemn reminder of the consumerism of my culture - and of my own consumerism.
The Advent Conspiracy is about Christmas - and Christmas spending, but we are actually in the midst of a pre-Christmas holiday right now - Halloween. While Halloween numbers fall far short of Christmas numbers, a Time Magazine article estimates Halloween spending to be 6 BILLION dollars this year. Add to that the dollars spent on enormous Fall Festivals sponsored by churches and quite frankly the numbers are sickening.
Watch this video from the Advent Conspiracy and tell me what you think...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Concerning Halloween

Here is an article that I found on Keith's post and thought I would share it with you... I did not write this...

It has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out letters warning parents about the evils of Halloween, and it has become equally routine for me to be asked questions about this matter.

"Halloween" is simply a contraction for All Hallows’ Eve. The word "hallow" means "saint," in that "hallow" is just an alternative form of the word "holy" ("hallowed be Thy name"). All Saints’ Day is November 1. It is the celebration of the victory of the saints in union with Christ. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, and these were united and fixed on November 1 in the late 700s. The origin of All Saints Day and of All Saints Eve in Mediterranean Christianity had nothing to do with Celtic Druidism or the Church’s fight against Druidism (assuming there ever even was any such thing as Druidism, which is actually a myth concocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans.)

In the First Covenant, the war between God’s people and God’s enemies was fought on the human level against Egyptians, Assyrians, etc. With the coming of the New Covenant, however, we are told that our primary battle is against principalities and powers, against fallen angels who bind the hearts and minds of men in ignorance and fear. We are assured that through faith, prayer, and obedience, the saints will be victorious in our battle against these demonic forces. The Spirit assures us: "The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:20).

The Festival of All Saints reminds us that though Jesus has finished His work, we have not finished ours. He has struck the decisive blow, but we have the privilege of working in the mopping up operation. Thus, century by century the Christian faith has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, fear, and superstition. Though things look bad in the Western world today, this work continues to make progress in Asia and Africa and Latin America.
The Biblical day begins in the preceding evening, and thus in the Church calendar, the eve of a day is the actual beginning of the festive day. Christmas Eve is most familiar to us, but there is also the Vigil of Holy Saturday that precedes Easter Morn. Similarly, All Saints’ Eve precedes All Saints’ Day.

The concept, as dramatized in Christian custom, is quite simple: On October 31, the demonic realm tries one last time to achieve victory, but is banished by the joy of the Kingdom.
What is the means by which the demonic realm is vanquished? In a word: mockery. Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.
(The tradition of mocking Satan and defeating him through joy and laughter plays a large role in Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is a Halloween novel.)
The gargoyles that were placed on the churches of old had the same meaning. They symbolized the Church ridiculing the enemy. They stick out their tongues and make faces at those who would assault the Church. Gargoyles are not demonic; they are believers ridiculing the defeated demonic army.
Thus, the defeat of evil and of demonic powers is associated with Halloween. For this reason, Martin Luther posted his 95 challenges to the wicked practices of the Church to the bulletin board on the door of the Wittenberg chapel on Halloween. He picked his day with care, and ever since Halloween has also been Reformation Day.

Similarly, on All Hallows’ Eve (Hallow-Even – Hallow-E’en – Halloween), the custom arose of mocking the demonic realm by dressing children in costumes. Because the power of Satan has been broken once and for all, our children can mock him by dressing up like ghosts, goblins, and witches. The fact that we can dress our children this way shows our supreme confidence in the utter defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ – we have NO FEAR!

I don’t have the resources to check the historical origins of all Halloween customs, and doubtless they have varied from time to time and from Christian land to Christian land. "Trick or treat" doubtless originated simply enough: something fun for kids to do. Like anything else, this custom can be perverted, and there have been times when "tricking" involved really mean actions by teenagers and was banned from some localities.
We can hardly object, however, to children collecting candy from friends and neighbors. This might not mean much to us today, because we are so prosperous that we have candy whenever we want, but in earlier generations people were not so well o_, and obtaining some candy or other treats was something special. There is no reason to pour cold water on an innocent custom like this.

Similarly, the jack-o’-lantern’s origins are unknown. Hollowing out a gourd or some other vegetable, carving a face, and putting a lamp inside of it is something that no doubt has occurred quite independently to tens of thousands of ordinary people in hundreds of cultures worldwide over the centuries. Since people lit their homes with candles, decorating the candles and the candle-holders was a routine part of life designed to make the home pretty or interesting. Potatoes, turnips, beets, and any number of other items were used.
Wynn Parks writes of an incident he observed: "An English friend had managed to remove the skin of a tangerine in two intact halves. After carving eyes and nose in one hemisphere and a mouth in the other, he poured cooking oil over the pith sticking up in the lower half and lit the readymade wick. With its upper half on, the tangerine skin formed a miniature jack-o’-lantern. But my friend seemed puzzled that I should call it by that name. `What would I call it? Why a "tangerine head," I suppose.’" (Parks, "The Head of the Dead," The World & I, November 1994, p. 270.)
In the New World, people soon learned that pumpkins were admirably suited for this purpose. The jack-o’-lantern is nothing but a decoration; and the leftover pumpkin can be scraped again, roasted, and turned into pies and muffins.
In some cultures, what we call a jack-o’-lantern represented the face of a dead person, whose soul continued to have a presence in the fruit or vegetable used. But this has no particular relevance to Halloween customs. Did your mother tell you, while she carved the pumpkin, that this represented the head of a dead person and with his soul trapped inside? Of course not. Symbols and decorations, like words, mean different things in different cultures, in different languages, and in different periods of history. The only relevant question is what does it mean now, and nowadays it is only a decoration.
And even if some earlier generations did associate the jack-o’-lantern with a soul in a head, so what? They did not take it seriously. It was just part of the joking mockery of heathendom by Christian people.
This is a good place to note that many articles in books, magazines, and encyclopedias are written by secular humanists or even the pop-pagans of the so-called "New Age" movement. (An example is the article by Wynn Parks cited above.) These people actively suppress the Christian associations of historic customs, and try to magnify the pagan associations. They do this to try and make paganism acceptable and to downplay Christianity. Thus, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc., are said to have pagan origins. Not true.
Oddly, some fundamentalists have been influenced by these slanted views of history. These fundamentalists do not accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of Western history, American history, and science, but sometimes they do accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of the origins of Halloween and Christmas, the Christmas tree, etc. We can hope that in time these brethren will reexamine these matters as well. We ought not to let the pagans do our thinking for us.

Nowadays, children often dress up as superheroes, and the original Christian meaning of Halloween has been absorbed into popular culture. Also, with the present fad of "designer paganism" in the so-called New Age movement, some Christians are uneasy with dressing their children as spooks. So be it. But we should not forget that originally Halloween was a Christian custom, and there is no solid reason why Christians cannot enjoy it as such even today.

"He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh ridicules them" says Psalm 2. Let us join in His holy laughter, and mock the enemies of Christ on October 31.

Copyright © James B. Jordan 1989 - 2007

Thursday, October 22, 2009

God's provision

God has always provided for our needs, it is a daily thing as He promised. I love it when our children recognize this in our lives.
Yesterday morning I took Ivey to a sale at Kohl's to pick up some new clothes for her since she is growing like a weed and needed some fall/winter things. I knew it was a great sale and I even had my favorite - coupons to save more! We both love to see how much we save at the end of the bill. So, we enjoyed picking out some things and then her trying them on, showing me, us laughing at some of the funnies and then me waiting on her to make up her mind ( this is payback, I am sure). Then we went to check out and Ivey was a little hesitant because I didn't put any of the items back. I knew that they were all on sale and that what we were buying would take her through the end of the yr. We watched as the guy checked us out and I looked over at Ivey with tears in her eyes. Why was she tearing up? Because she was concerned that I was spending too much on her. The price total hit close to $200. We bought her 4 pr. of pants, a long shirt/dress, a pr of shoes, and 7 shirts ( I think) and after 2 separate discounts, we saved over $236 and only paid $136. I thought this was awesome...we got 14 items including shoes and paid less than $10 for each item. Praise God! But I was more amazed at Ivey's heart and her concern for spending too much $. She ended up with a smile as the total fell and then she couldn't wait to tell her Daddy how much we saved and how much we got. Then she modeled it all for him later. I hope as she grows up that she will be a frugal shopper and she is learning the cost of things and how to save/spend wisely. For those of you who think we spent too much, we did thrift store shop for all of her summer clothes this past yr and got her wardrobe pretty cheap there as well.

I am grateful that I don't have to take all my kids shopping like this. Thankfully, we have received clothes from family and friends for the boys! God is good!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Answered prayer and a decision to make

Good News! Keith's humerus is healing as it should and he will not need surgery! He will continue to wear the sling for 2 more weeks and then begin some passive therapy. Great praise!! Thank you for your prayers.

Another prayer request is a decision that I have to make regarding my surgery. I can either have an ALIF or an AxiaLIF. There are major differences in the two. The first requires a vascular surgeon to open my lower abdomen and move the vessels about so the surgeon can do the fusion. Hospital stay is longer and recovery is a bit longer as well. The surgeon has done a number of these and I am confident he can do mine well, also.

The AxiaLIF is a newer procedure that requires a 1 inch incision at the base of my tailbone, a 1-2 days stay in the hospital and a quicker recovery.

You may be thinking this is a no brainer...pick the easier one. But my questions that I get to ask in November many have you done of the newer procedure (as of earlier this yr, he hadn't done any but was going to another state to observe, etc.) (and I am sure he will have been trained in this before trying it on me!), what are the differences in long-term results, and a few other things. SO, I need God to guide me to make the right choice. I am confident that He knows the best one.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday! yea, I am so loving the weather. However it is sort of bittersweet with many thoughts of my Dad and his love of this time of year. Hay being cut, mums everywhere, pansy planting time and GA Bulldawg football.
Today I drove Ivey out to Mom's house. She was giving her first horse riding lesson to her cousin Cate. She was very excited about it, and the potential to make a little extra money. She has been praying for some kind of job that she could earn money to help her pay for the farrier and other horse expenses. I was tickled when she got the call from her cousins about this "job" opportunity. The horse ownership has been a great learning experience for Ivey, she is learning how expensive it is for one thing. She is also learning to save her money each month and knows ahead of time when she needs $ and how much she will need.
My Mom's anniversary was this past would have been their 48th! She seemed to be doing well, but she did share with me how hard it was when she went into their camper to get some things...Daddy's clothes, hats and many memories brought on a wave of tears. It made me cry thinking about how hard that must have been for her. She is incredibly strong, but I know this has taken every bit of her strength and without her faith, she would not make it. Her only love, her dearest and closest friend, her strength, lifelong mate, lover....
I miss him so much. Everytime I drive up to their house, the memories flood me and I go through those emotions of anger and grief.
Well, on a lighter note...I have so enjoyed my boys playing together this week out in the dirt. give them a box of motorcycles, some dirt and shovels and they will have a blast building a track and racing bikes. Robby also had the bright idea to ride Elijah's bigwheel down the long fast hill on one of our streets. Thankfully, injury free!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

okay...update on this never dull household. Did I mention that I visited the ER about 2 weeks ago on a Sunday morning for a VERY swollen lip and a staph a tetanus shot, 2 antibiotics and some pain med. before that...
I think I mentioned Robby hurt his ankle (possible growth plate fracture) in the fracture boot for 2 weeks, and now he is in an ankle brace and back to playing football with a limp. ahem..

Well, on Friday the boys went to ride dirtbikes and I am at home ALONE with a sleeping baby and I check facebook and find a picture of my hubby's face a little scratched up and bloody. He said something like " nothing broke, shoulder hurt, so they return home after loading the bikes and he cannot raise his arm at all. So, I talked him into letting me take him to the ortho urgent care and he is scheduled for an MRI day after tomorrow. He doesn't have anything broken and this is the same shoulder that he had surgery on when we lived in Eastman. So, they think it may be rotator cuff or some tendon tear. we will see...
Then I went to pick up Ivey from her trainers barn and the horse had stepped on her foot and it is swollen, black, purple and a nice shade of blue. Ouch!
Saturday we loaded up early and left at 6am for a horse show in Tyrone GA. Ivey took a spill when Cassie refused a jump during the warmup, she was okay except for a scraped elbow and a stomach filled with nervous butterflies. She returned to the class for the competition and ended up with a 3rd and 5th place. It was not the best show she has had, but she learned to persevere and hang in there...give it a try and be okay with the outcome. I love her trainer and how she handles Ivey, she was so encouraging after the fall and the difficult times during the jumping class. God is good and after a bad start, she was surprised to hear her name called out for 3rd place! You should have seen the smile on her face, it was beautiful!
We returned home exhausted about 9pm, soaking wet from the rain that held off until we started unloading horses and all of the tack.
Robby did play in his game Sat., but not as hard as he would have liked, since he hobbled around most of the time. They did get a win and so he was thrilled. Keith was hurting pretty bad after coaching the game and taking care of the boys...or they had to take care of him I think...Elijah helped put on deoderant and socks! LOL
Well, that's about the extent of our excitement. And dont even ask if Keith Watson is giving up riding his dirtbike, cause that ain't happenin'! he has TOO much fun on it when he doesn't get hurt. crazy boys...I guess we all just play too hard around here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Its Tuesday, i think, and I am a little blue cause my hubby is in Houston for the week. He is there for Acts 29 boot camp and I pray he will be refreshed and energized by the Word and by the friendships he has in the community of pastors.

It has been a bit crazy here between Robby's fracture at the growth plate on his ankle from a scrimmage game, to my swollen lip/staph infection/trip to the ER Sunday morning (thanks MOM) and then ELijahs random bloody nose. Not to mention I keep a 3 month old who hasn't been to the bathroom is like 4 days and was really cranky yesterday! I was blessed to have help all day from Mom and Grandmommy who LOVES, loves to hold those babies! It was good therapy for her since she lost one of her sisters this past weekend. My Grandmother is 84 and her sister was almost 93.

My lip is less swollen today thanks to 2 antibiotics and alot of drainage...gross. I hope Robby's ankle will heal quickly cause he is miserable sitting around all day and we want to see him play some FOOTBALL!!
This is Robby...5'5, 174 lbs! on his adult size dirtbike, and boy can he ride!. he scares me to death!!!

Elijah continues to make us laugh and apparently he also amuses his teachers on Sunday morning. I received an email from one of them this week telling me of his animations...
Keith and Amy,
Wanted to let you know that Wendy and I had Elijah's class this morning, and he kept us rolling. The lesson was the story of Creation. Wendy was explaining that plants would not grow if God had not created the sun. Elijah said, "People stop growing if they don't have birthday parties". Later I commented that it was really amazing that God created everything simply by speaking it into being. I was getting blank stares from all three boys and so I said, "That's pretty powerful isn't it? What if your mom told you to clean your room and all you had to do was walk in there and say 'Be clean!" and all your toys would put themselves away." Elijah said, "Oh, when I clean my room, I just hide everything under my bed." :) But my favorite (and Keith, you'll love this one...) was when we were getting ready to play a game at the end and Elijah said, "I get to go first cause I own this place!!!" We cracked up. What a wonderful kid! I'm sure he's a joy to you both.

He is such joy! I am also SO thankful that my 12 yr old son and my 6 yr old can play together for over an hour with their playmobil castles and knights!!
This is Elijah on his Honda!

And Ivey....she is growing up to be a beautiful young lady. She is 14! But still my little girl. I thank God everytime I see her in her room enjoying her American girl dolls, her Breyer horses and reading, reading, reading. She keeps me running to the library because she reads so much so quickly. I often wonder how many 14 yr olds still enjoy playing. She has such a knack for making things too. She took popsicle sticks and made horse stalls, ribbon and cross stitch yarn to make horse halters. Now she is making more ornate halters with beads and also for bracelets. I don't know where she gets that from, because I HATE crafts. (isn't that sad)

I love that she doesn't seem fazed by the injury on her arm...the obvious clue to a horrendous accident hits you in the face everytime you see her arm. She doesn't try and hide it anymore, like she did when it first happened. She is still afraid of the dogs in the yard, so she won't go there alone. But now she says...if that had not happened...I wouldn't have my horse, Cassie. And they are the best of friends. Ivey will get in the pen with Cassie and they play chase and jump jumps together (on foot). I love watching Cassie follow her around.

the blessing abounding are endless!

"look Mom, no hands!"
Last note- my MRI did show the need for the fusion on my back, but thankfully, just at one level. The date is somewhat set for Dec. 8th. So, I better get my shopping done early!
I really am going to post some Disney pics this week!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

an MRI

Well, yesterday Keith and I visited my orthopedic doctor again for a follow up on my back. I have not been to see him in a year, because I have been trying therapy. Well, it has been like a bandaid on a big sore that keeps opening up and never heals. I have tried to feel better and act like I don't have this problem, but I do. I want to be free of pain if there is a way. SO, he asked me if I was ready for surgery. I said, I think so.

Well, this morning I had an MRI done...boy, was it hard to lay in that machine with the really loud knocking and not much room to breath. I did make it through and will talk with the Dr. again next Wednesday about the results. As far as I know it is only L5-S1 that is causing me problems, and that is one thing they wanted to see. I have no cushion left between those 2 and the bone rubbing against bone causes the in and day out - pain! He did say that he had not seen someone my age with DDD this progressed. I guess I can thank genetics once again. :)

I am now in touch with the scheduler for surgery to get a date set in December. I would love to conquer this sooner (maybe) but with football games, horse shows and such for the next 3 months, it is best for the family to wait. It will be good to have the vacation from school then as well, so the kids won't get behind.

Oh the type of surgery he is talking about is called ALIF - Anterior Lumbar Fusion with cages. I have heard alot of good things about the doctor, his results, and I am trusting in the Lord to give us wisdom...that is why I wanted Keith to be with me at the appt. I think we both need to be on the same page.

I am scared to death....major surgery with months of being careful not to lift anything over a gallon of milk! Do you know how much a momma does in one day!?! It takes about 7 months for the fusion to be healed....yikes! But if the outcome is no pain, then I have to hope and pray this is the way to go! To imagine no pain...aahhh
I am not sure if you can make anything of this, but here is a shot of my spine from the side and the last black space before the curve(my sacrum) is where there should be a nice white block like there is between the other bones...but there is none! That is the suspect of this pain...more to come

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So, school has begun...a first grader, a 6th grader and a 9th grader! and I homeschool them all. yep! It is a busy day here...and 3 days a week I keep a little baby. So those are a few reasons why I don't blog much...not much extra time between that and keeping up with New City deposits, books and such...not to mention a little laundry and housework, walmart trips, guitar and riding lessons...gotta have time to ride and swim! yep, Mom got a pool put in and a beauty it is! My brother did it and he is awesome at his job!!!!!!! I will have to post pics. I also have some Disney pics...great trip, unforgettable memories for us as a family! I have new pics of the boys riding dirtbikes. Next will come football pics from Robby's game coming up on Sept 12th and then Ivey's horse show on the 26th!
Not to mention, keeping up with all the changes for New City. Keith goes to Houston in 3 weeks to assess church planters, we are looking at a new space for the church and 567.
I go to my back doctor tomorrow to discuss my ongoing back pain and yes, I am considering surgery...I am sure I will have an MRI or some other sort of test first to confirm his diagnosis.
Something else that keeps my mind occupied is the ongoing arrows thrown at my pastor/hubby...but he has decided not to wrestle with the pigs, as he put it...and neither will I...but don't go messing with my hubby's reputation cause you messin with me! And I get rather feisty when you try to bring my man down!
I will try, but won't promise to post new pics this week.
I have missed my bloggy friends though.

Monday, July 27, 2009

coming from Disney trip. But first I gotta catch up on my chores! I will tell ya this, it was AWESOME!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Does Your Life Reflect the Gospel?

You know how when you discover something, you want to run home and share it with someone??? Well, you are the lucky someone!
This week at New City we looked at Ephesians 4:25-31:

25Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27and do not give the devil an opportunity.
28He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice

I know I have heard this preached on before, but it was like a light was turned on and I was amazed at what these verses had to say to me/us. I wanted to share these thoughts with my friends, I think you will gain insight from them as well.

  • Verse 25 First thing is that Paul was talking to a community of us! So, started off telling them to put off falsehood, i.e.: quite being fake or intentionally deceiving. Speak the truth to your neighbor!

example: Has anyone in your community of believers ever asked you "How are you?" and you reply "Oh, I'm fine. If you are like most people, you lie and say you are fine when you should tell the truth and then hopefully that person would be gracious enough to stop and pray with you. How many opportunities are missed by our lying to one another. Aren't we supposed to be a family???We should be honest with our family!

  • Verse 26 Next, he addresses anger. There is a good anger and a bad anger. Jesus showed good anger when he went into the temple and told everyone to get out! Yes, he was ANGRY! Anger toward sin. The bad anger is what we have problems with: when someone has hurt us or wronged us, taken advantage of us. If you are filled with an unholy anger, don't let it turn to bitterness, hatred, hostility, which always leads to division. You know when someone is mad at what someone has done to them, they can start talking about it, and that has the opportunity to spread to others and eventually leads to division in the church family.
    We have got to deal with it before it does this....Satan would love to destroy the family!

  • Verse 28 Stealing...and you are probably thinking, I don't have a problem with that, but before you skip to the next point - think about it this way:

Don't spundge off of the church. Don't take advantage of people, of your family- we are not to take and take and take. We are to be a contributing member of the family (still talking church family), giving of time, money, etc.

It is also talking about working, taking care of yourself so that then you are able to help others in need.

  • V. 29 Unwholesome Speech:

Speech should edify, impart grace. Our words have great potential to either build up or destroy one another. So, give grace in your speech!

  • V. 30 Did you know that we grieve the Holy Spirit?!? When we live in these negatives, it grieves the Holy Spirit, it saddens the Holy Spirit.

  • V. 31 Get rid of these things...bitterness, rage, anger, etc. slander (talking negatively about people), put away hatred, clamor (yelling)....It is not godly, that is Not the way you are called to live. Put it away, throw it away!!!

  • V. 32 Be kind, compassionate, forgiving....just as God forgave you!

let's look at Jesus:
* there was no fake, falsehood - only truth!
*only righteous anger
* He came to serve, NOT to be served (think about how we use the church to serve our needs!)
* spoke and acted with grace
*kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving

So, when you find yourself wearing the old, we stop, take off the old and put on the new.

Everytime, as often as we find ourselves in the old, take it off and put on the new!

God, shape us into the image of Christ.

(Let me know what you think about this)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost a month! It has been a busy time trying to finish up school for the year. We are DONE! woohoo!!!!
One really excited thing that we have done this month is get new dirtbikes for the boys. Robby is now riding a YZ250F...that's a BIG bike! Elijah has a new Honda 50 and he "loves his baby".

The best thing is that Keith can also ride the Yamaha, so we are one happy bunch.

The other awesome thing is that Keith and I leave next Saturday for Vail! We are so excited to be attending the Acts29 pastors retreat again. We are going to hang out with New City church Denver on Sunday and then drive to Vail on Monday morning. I can't wait...neither can Keith!

The kids are not excited about it of course, but I am sure they will have a good week despite their Mom and Dad not being here. Our parents are taking turns keeping them for us. Here is a pic of the place we are staying.
It is such a refreshing time together as a couple and an encouraging time as a pastor/pastors wife.
Yesterday was a rough day for me emotionally. I was overwhelmed by memories of Daddy when I was out at Mom's house and once again I was struggling with him not being here anymore. Tough day, but I am thankful for great big hugs from my hubby and Robby. They are both very compassionate. love them so!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

from my heart

What a busy month of May! Life is never boring or dull, is it? School end is a few weeks away for us and I am looking forward to the summer!!

We actually are going to be able to take a trip to Orlando with Keith's family and the kids are SO excited. We knew they wanted to go to Disney, but we just figured it would never happen, so we never even talked about going. A church planter salary doesn't really allow for those extras...but God has blessed us through family to be able to take the trip.

For now, the kids and I are looking into curriculum for 2009 school year...Ivey will be in high school!! AGH!! And this may be my last year teaching Robby...yes, I have shed tears over this. He really wants to go to school and play football. This fall will be the last year he can play without being in school. Our hope is that he may can get some type of scholarship at some point.
But I will be teaching Elijah full time, so my schedule will not let up much. I am looking forward to it though!!

As much as I have missed keeping Harrison during the week, I have enjoyed the extra time I have to catch up on things around here. It also allows more time to spend out at Mom's. Ivey can ride and I can talk with her and Grandmommy. 

Mom is having a rough time.. some of it is dealing with paperwork stuff, most of it is dealing with grief. Folks, it is tough! I can't put into words how hard this is. It just stinks! Yes, I know..."he is much better off, he's in a better place" but that doesn't stop the grief, the tears, the heartache. It is very real and it consumes me. 
   There are nights when my mind will not leave me to rest. It now seems that I cannot go to sleep on my own. I lay there with my mind racing through the last day I saw Dad alive... well, actually he was struggling with death. I recall those last hours when he fought to breath. His chest rose and fell like mad. The noise coming from him sounded like a truck driving over a gravel road. It was the most disturbing noise I have ever listened to. We sat by his side, Mom in the bed with him, holding his hands, stroking his body, telling him it was okay to go, pleading with him to let go and we would be fine. All the while, I was thinking - "I WILL NOT BE FINE"! THIS IS NOT FAIR. I DON'T WANT MY FATHER TO DIE! DO YOU HEAR ME?! I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE! I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO. I WANT HIM TO BE FREE OF CANCER AND BE WITH ME. I CANNOT IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT HIS HUGS.
I miss him so,I long for just one more smile from him, that assurance that he loves me and tells me that I am really sweet. I miss giving him haircuts and spending  those special times with him. 
I am angry that the world just continues on when I want to scream," don't you know that my Daddy is gone! Don't you know how much I miss him! How "lucky" you are if you have today to talk to your Daddy and hug him and hear him tell you he loves you! 
And on that last day with him, after much fighting on his part, my brother turned to me and motioned to Daddy and said, "he's going." I turned to see him slow down and finally stop breathing. And for a split second, there was no sound, no motion. Then we jumped up to catch the fluid coming from his mouth, to clean him up and spend those last few minutes with him before they came to take him away.
 After he died and we called the funeral home...I could not go back in the room. I could not bear to see him lifeless. I knew in my heart that he was gone, that what was left was just his worn out shell. 
I just needed my husband hold me. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Post about New City and the River walk festival

Go Green! Regatta and River Walk Festival

One of the joys of planting New City Church is the amazing opportunities we have to be an influence in our city. I say with praise to God alone that I have never seen anything like this. I have never even heard of anything like this!

To raise awareness of the beautiful resource that we have in the Ocmulgee River as well as to raise awareness and support for our city's River Walk, today was the First Annual Go Green Regatta and River Walk Festival. As the event was coming together, New City had an opportunity to help out by lining up all of the music for the festival. We took it.
High Energy Systems provided an incredible sound set up for us that made life simple for all of our musicians and put out perfect sound along the River! We easily lined up musicians to cover 8 sets - every musician was GREAT! We used some of our own - Beth Hyde, and one of our New City Bands - the other 6 slots were old friends and several new friends we have met from the city! One Bad Catholic played, along with Jared Wright (pictured), Dan Darden, Anny Stanley, Getrude's Mojo, and Tripp Spears. A great day!
Thanks to all who served (Russell, Bryan, Rich, JD) and all who performed! You made today a great celebration, and a great day for us to be with and for our city!

Friday, May 1, 2009

catching up

Life has been running at an extremely fast pace lately. I find myself with a few minutes at the beginning of the day to check email and maybe facebook, and then I don't see the computer again for the rest of the day. With 2 older kids to share it with, I have to wait my turn!! haha

Grief is a difficult thing. The loss of my Daddy is the hardest thing I have faced in quite sometime. I have dealt with infertility, the loss of the ability to have more children, the loss of grandparents, but this is by far the hardest. Seeing my Mom cry is unbelievably difficult. There is nothing that I can do to take away her pain, ease her is up to God to walk her through this. He is the only One who can help her...really. It breaks my heart to see her without her mate. She misses him so. The hugs and kisses, that one person you love to talk to...he is gone.
It makes my own grief harder.

On another note, I am looking at what I will do with my time and energy now that Helen has had her baby girl and decided to stay at home fulltime with her 2 kiddos. This extra income helps us with braces payment and riding lessons and horse shows. Not sure what God will lead me to do...maybe piano lessons, finally. I'll let you know!

Robby is right in the middle of baseball season and we are having such a good time watching him play. This has been a much more joyful year...different park, different coaches...much better!

I guess I will have to finish later...Keith needs his computer!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Found this picture in my phone pics, I had forgotten that I had taken this one. Daddy had such a great time on this fishing trip and he was showing us one of his catches! What I wouldn't give for another hug and hand to hold from my Daddy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My little warrior

Our youngest has just grown up a little more....

keith and I have chosen with each of our kids to read, pray and lay down with them for awhile at bed time while they are young ones. I know there are parents who don't agree with that, but we chose to do this and have been greatly blessed.
Well, recently, we have been encouraging Elijah to do this on his own. We have found him asleep in his bed dressed in his full "armor" costume complete with sword. We take it off of him while he is sleeping and then the next night we find it back in his bed. One morning this week, he woke up and I told him how proud I was of him. He looked at me and said," Momma, I don't think I'll be needing my armor anymore!"

My little boy is growing up.
I wanted to post my Dad's obituary for anyone who didn't really know him. He was a fine Christian man with a faith that grew stronger during his battle with cancer. He was a valiant warrior and he taught my sons how to be one. He was a hard worker, a faithful husband and loving Daddy. Words cannot express how much he will be missed. To use a phrase from a Mercy Me song: "Never been more homesick than now!"

Macon-Lynn Ivey left the loving embrace of his family to enter into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on April 1, 2009. A worship service to celebrate his life will be held Friday, April 3, 2009 at 2:00PM at Mabel White Memorial Baptist Church in Macon, GA. The Reverend Keith Watson, the Reverend Joe McDaniel, and Duke and Judy Hicks will be officiating. Burial will be at Macon Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mr. Ivey was predeceased by his parents Richard P. Ivey and Ida Hartley Ivey and by an infant sister, his father-in-law, Lamar E. Tidwell, Sr. and two nieces, Sandy Peavy and Denise Bohannon.

Lynn was born in Macon and lived here all his life. He grew up farming and never lost his love for it. He attended Union Elementary School and graduated from Lanier Senior High School. He attended ABAC in Tifton and graduated from the University of Georgia. He was employed by Blue Bird Body Company in Fort Valley as Senior Purchasing Agent until he opened Ivey’s Country Gardens, a garden center serving Macon and the surrounding counties for 15 years. His love of flowers grew from watching his mother’s beautiful flower gardens fill their home place year round. He closed the garden center in 2004, moved to a small farm plot and began raising beef cattle and harvesting hay with one of his sons. Having spent so many hours on a tractor as a young boy in the fields of his father’s farm, Lynn was right at home.

One of Lynn’s greatest joys in the months before his death was fishing trips with his sons and close friends. He learned to love fishing from his mom and this was the one recreation he was able to enjoy until his last days.

Lynn was a member of Mabel White Memorial Baptist Church, serving in the past on the Deacon Board and miscellaneous committees. He was a member of the Faithbuilders Sunday School Class. The Deacons and Faithbuilders Sunday School Class are asked to sit as a group at the memorial service.

This cancer journey began Christmas 2006 and his Rock, Jesus Christ the Lord, comforted, sustained, healed to give him extra time with his family, and encouraged Lynn and his family constantly. God’s gracious peace along with opportunities to bless others through His love made this journey much easier. His family is grateful for the gift of a husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle who was loving, fun, who teased a lot and had a radiant smile. He blessed all who knew him with his courage and faith through this journey….all because of a God who blessed him.

Lynn is survived by his loving wife, Joyce Tidwell Ivey; his sons David L. Ivey, Jr. (Charla) and Jeff S. Ivey (Kasey) and by his daughter, Amy I. Watson (Keith). He is also survived by his loving mother-in-law, Ruth Tidwell. He is survived by his brother, Philip Ivey (Pat) and sister, Rose Turner (Clyde). His precious grandchildren surviving him are Jared Ivey, Devin Ivey, Ivey Watson, Robby Watson, Seth Ivey and Elijah Watson. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Lamar Tidwell, Jr. (Winnie) and numbers of nieces and nephews and other extended family.
The family will receive friends 6-8 PM Thursday, April 2, 2009, Harts Mortuary at the Cupola, on 6324 Peake Road. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to New City Church, 567 Cherry Street, Macon GA 31201 .
Keith did a wonderful job at the service. His words were just right. I loved the 3 songs sung and played: I Then Shall Live, I Will Rise, and Go Rest High Upon that Mountain.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daddy's pain has increased. So, we have increased the pain medicine. Mom is having a very difficult time watching him suffer. It is taking its toll on her nerves and emotionally.

Today is my big brother's 45th birthday! Happy Birthday David! Here he is taking a nap with Daddy...don't they look alike?!
Here is Dad and Ivey (about a month ago) working on his fishing tackle.
Cricket and Muffin taking a nap :)
Some of Dad's cattle

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just a quick update on Dad...not much change except a little violent behavior on his part. We believe it is due to results of his strokes and maybe lack of medication to calm him. We found out we were told the wrong amount to give him...1/5 the dose! Thanks for telling us!
We were also told by one of the nurses that another patient has held on for 21 days now with no food or drink. Wow. We know Dad is really strong as well, so this could go on for some time. Just praying for rest for Mom and my brother David who has to be there to help control Dad. (he is too much for me).
I just found out that they have diagnosed Dad with terminal agitation, see below:

Terminal Agitation: A Major Distressful Symptom in the Dying

Many families may be surprised when a terminally ill (and usually calm) family member becomes restless or even agitated. The depth of such restlessness or agitation varies from patient to patient. When moods change or personalities seem to change, family members may be completely bewildered and feel helpless: not knowing what to do. It is common knowledge that individuals who are experiencing even minor illnesses may demonstrate mood changes such as irritability, anger, depression and avoid communication with others. When a terminal illness not only initially strikes, but is now nearing the end, patients may experience profound mood changes. Such mood changes are often difficult for family members to "handle." Causes and treatments for restlessness and agitation are well-known among the palliative care professionals who work with the dying on a regular basis.
What is Terminal Restlessness or Agitation?
Those who work with the dying know this type of restlessness or agitation almost immediately. However, the public and patient's family may have no idea what is going on and often become quite alarmed at their loved one's condition. What does it look like? Although it varies somewhat in each patient, there are common themes that are seen over and over again.
Patients may be too weak to walk or stand, but they insist on getting up from the bed to the chair, or from the chair back to the bed. Whatever position they are in, they complain they are not comfortable and demand to change positions, even if pain is well managed. They may yell out using uncharacteristic language, sometimes angrily accusing others around them. They appear extremely agitated and may not be objective about their own condition. They may be hallucinating, having psychotic episodes and be totally "out of control." At these times, the patient's safety is seriously threatened.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Dad has taken a turn for the worse in the last week. He has had a series of strokes in the last weeks, some small and one not so small. The latest one happened last Wednesday and since then he has been bedridden, mostly in a deep sleep. He has only been awake for like 30 seconds or less and will say "hey" or "I love u" in a weak voice that is hard to understand. Hospice has taken over his care and keeps us informed as to how we can care for him and keep him comfortable as his health declines. I don't know the timetable for this, but we know he is preparing for a great homecoming in the near future. It is most difficult to see him like this and see Mom grieve over him. He has been her one love since she was 14. We just pray he will have little pain, and that
Mom will have rest and peace.
Keith took this picture early in the day, the Wed. that he had the stroke.

Here is Ivey enjoying alot of time with Cassie since we are out at Mom and Dad's every day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Heading to Birmingham today to spend some time with friends...hopefully it will be uneventful at Mom and Dad's while I am away. Dad is still not sleeping, so pray for Mom. Hopefully, she will get some answers back Wednesday!

Jaclyn and Zack, Dollars, and Kim....hope to see you there!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Update on Daddy:

He had a brain CT this past week...waiting on results, but they did schedule an MR for this week to take a closer look. (possible strokes or cancer??) We don't know anything for sure, just guesses by the doctor.
The Ct was done because we (especially Mom) have noticed changes in Daddy's behavior lately. Mom is exhausted physically and emotionally. Right now, they are at the lake with my brothers because Daddy wanted to go. Of course, now it is cold and raining...come back spring weather!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A recent conversation between Keith and Elijah

Elijah: "See the picture I drew for Momma!"
Keith: "Wow, this is great! Who are these people?"
Elijah: "This is me and this is Momma. I am giving her some flowers."
Keith: "Huh, well, is this me over here with the big spikey hair and one eye?"
Elijah: (laughing) "No, Daddy, that is a tree with a hole in it!"
Keith: "Well, where am I?"
Elijah: "Well, you're already dead."
Keith: (and me laughing) "Oh, so are those flowers for my grave?"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day!

Well, today is our "Gotcha Day".
We celebrate today, March 6th, because six yrs. ago Keith and I rushed to the hospital to meet our little Hispanic son for the first time.
I will never, EVER forget the few days before...March 3rd: getting the call that a baby boy had been born...all of the hurdles that had to be overcome. Yet, in the midst of all of the questions we felt a tremendous peace that the Lord was calling us to adopt this child no matter what obstacles stood before us.

I will never forget our Moms' staying at the house with Ivey and Robby, anxiously waiting for us to return.
I will never forget the excitement that hurried me into the hospital, into the room where we waited to sign the last papers and then see our baby boy.
I won't ever forget the nurse wheeling the little baby bed into the room and saying "here is your son! "
I will never forget that beautiful head FULL of jet black hair and brown skin. HE WAS BEAUTIFUL! I just cried as I held him. I couldn't believe it! Such a miracle! Our love for a child that I did not carry in my womb, but did carry in my heart for several years, was just a great as the love we had for our other two children!

I will never forget the kids rushing out to meet Elijah, our mothers right behind them so excited about the newest grandbaby.

I will never forget Kim Hill, Page Dollar, Michelle Little, Kristie Lawrence, and Lisa Knapp (and their families) all coming over that day to see him and rejoice with us.
I will never forget the love poured out to us from friends, family and fellow believers through cards, gifts for Elijah and gifts of money,and prayers that had been sent up for this adoption.

Such a glorious day! A day just as exciting as the day a mother goes into labor and gives birth to her child. Children ARE a gift from the Lord.

Elijah IS a gift from the Lord! Today we celebrate that gift!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's wrong my hubby asked when he saw my post and also read on my facebook that I was gloomy...

Well, it was a little gloomy with all of the rainy weather this past weekend, but I wasn't totally gloomy. As for the blog, I just was expressing what was on my heart - that life is tough! My life is not all rosy, and neither is yours if you are honest! But we get through by the grace of God!

I do at times get irritable because of this darn back pain! I am grumpy sometimes and then realize that the reason is because I am in pain. And pain can be downright depressing. Anyhoo, I am trying to work through that.

On a lighter note, we celebrated Elijah's birthday this past Sunday AND Tuesday! His Mama Nanny gave him a party at Build A Bear with a few friends. And would you believe the blessing of SNOW! We were in the middle of his party and there was a call for "PArty Break" to go outside and enjoy the HUGE snowflakes falling! Elijah's first time ever experiencing snow.

It was a great day of fun for him! Then on Tuesday, we gave him our gift (Gameboy SP) his response to it..."sweet!"

He also got a happy meal (his favorite) and went shopping at Bass Pro for a bow and arrow.

Friday is his "Gotcha Day", so we will post more about that this weekend.

Congratulations to Zack and Jaclyn on the birth of Eli...
and to the Dollar family in finding out they are having a healthy boy!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My thoughts

Ministry is hard... and tough ....

homeschooling is tough...

marriage takes work...

waking up to the fact you have a 14 yr old ALREADY is frightening...

doubts and fears can overtake you and try to drown you...

wanting to go back and relive those "having baby" days makes for emotional moments...

watching your precious Daddy fight the battle of cancer and hate being weak and sick...heartbreaking...

fighting flesh thoughts and doubts daily...having to remind myself of the gospel daily, over and over, and over...

yearning for eternity...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Here is a post from Proverbs 31 woman and I thought it was a great reminder that all women...even Christian women need this reminder!!

"Flee from sexual immorality." 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

A few years ago, I watched a friend get tangled up in an emotional affair. She was a strong Christian woman who loved her family but the attraction to this other man seemed unavoidable. She tried to talk herself out of it but her heart played tricks on her mind, and the justifications for letting things continue down this path soon led her to a very dangerous place. She was becoming emotionally attached to this other man.In a moment of desperation and fear, she confided in me what was going on. As she described how she got pulled into this place, I found myself being challenged by the realization of how subtly this had happened.

She hadn't planned on being emotionally attracted to this other man. As a matter of fact, she'd always prided herself on being a woman of strong conviction and had scoffed at the idea of ever being tempted to have an affair.It starts off simple enough - his comment that you mull over one too many times, a conversation in which you find a surprising connection, a glance that lingers just a second too long, or one of a thousand other interactions that seem innocent yet aren't.

These are the dangerous seeds that can easily sprout into an emotional affair.Some think it is a safe way to enjoy the lure of being attracted to someone other than your spouse without crossing any lines.

But God boldly and plainly says in 1 Corinthians 6:18, "Flee from sexual immorality." God doesn't say walk away from sexual immorality. No, He says to flee as if your very life is at stake! The time to prevent an emotional affair is before it ever starts. For me to rest on my spiritual laurels and think that it could never happen to me, made me a prideful, open target for Satan.

Jesus warned his disciples in Matthew 26:41,"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." The Life Application NIV Bible commentary says, "Jesus used Peter's drowsiness to warn him about the kinds of temptation he would soon face. The way to overcome temptation is to keep watch and pray. Watching means being aware of the possibilities of temptation, sensitive to the subtleties, spiritually equipped to fight it."

Watching: I now realize that I need to be aware that I am just as prone to this temptation as anyone. One of the best ways to be watchful is to be praying with and for my husband. We need to be open and honest about meeting each other's needs and investing wisely in our marriage. If we get into a rough place, we need to be willing to get help. I love the quote, "If you are busy rowing the boat, you won't have time to rock it." The more my husband and I are taking care of each other, the less attractive temptations will seem.

Sensitive to the Subtleties: I will have to be honest with myself that temptations do exist. When another man says or does something I wish my husband would say or do and doesn't, it can make me lessen my husband in my heart and build up this other man. This is a seed of poison. If watered and fed, this seed will sprout and spread and devastate. Seeds seem so small until you realize that within them they contain the potential to become huge. So, I will be steadfast to keep the fertile ground of my heart pure.

Spiritually Equipped: Philippians 4:8 reminds us, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (NIV). I must park my mind with the truth and the truth is I am married to an amazing man. He is not perfect and sometimes our marriage can be hard, but I made a commitment to Him in a covenant before God and there are no Biblical reasons in our marriage why we should ever part.

Therefore, I've made the decision not to part - in big ways or small.My friend did the wisest but hardest thing she could have done in telling me about her emotional affair. Not only did it help her to see she needed to flee and have someone else hold her accountable, but it also made me aware and alert to the dangers lurking in any kind of unhealthy emotional connection with another man.

Dear Lord, may I forever treasure my marriage and see it worthy to be protected. Help me to be a courageous woman who absolutely flees from any and every situation where there is even a hint of danger. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, my hubby surprised me on Saturday night with a little party. It was supposed to be some of our MC leaders coming over to watch supercross and hang out. But when I looked up from the TV, my hubby was coming with a cake! he hasn't ever done that before!! What a surprise! Then a few minutes later an old friend showed up to surprise me! What fun!! Thanks Keith, I enjoyed my surprise. The cake was double chocolate fudge cake...mmm!

Can't wait to see Jaclyn and Zack's little baby boy. He is being delivered by C-section today. (He is supposed to be over 9 1/2 lbs.)

Dad is still recovering from his infections and abscess, taking IV antibiotics 3x/daily. Mom is pretty exhausted these days from around the clock care.

Elijah turns 6 next week, and I can't believe it!

(the merrygoround is not even moving!)

Extra prayers this week for Keith as he is really busy...extra meetings for City watch, sermon prep, leading an MC group and the regular stuff as well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reflections from a 40 yr old!

What a busy week it has been...Daddy came home from the hospital on Wednesday night...late, through the rough weather in Atlanta. The kids and I went over earlier in the day and cleaned the house for Mom....well, the kids did the outside work and Grandmommy and I worked inside. (I'd rather be outdoors!)
Daddy is really weak, fighting infection and all...he receives IV antibiotics every 8 hours which Mom has to do, on top of everything else. She is a trooper! Dad is loving her giving him baths, washing his hair, I even helped him shave yesterday.
At 8am yesterday, I went to the physical therapist to get some help for my back. The looonngg trip to Raleigh did a number on it and I needed help getting back to normal. Thank you Mike!!

I am really enjoying running these days. I actually look forward to it! I feel so much better after I am done. I can't wait to do a few 5K's this year.

Keith took me out last night for my birthday. We went to Wild Wing for the first time and it was great. We met a friend there and he treated us to dinner. I had such a good time laughing and hanging out with Keith and Scott. I guess since Keith didn't pay for the date, he still owes me one!!
Today is the big 40 day...I really don't care about turning 40, I do love birthdays though!!

Tonight is SUPERCROSS in at 7:30!! We'll be watching!

5 things I love:
1) I LOVE dates with my hubby!!
2) I LOVE New City gatherings!
3) I LOVE laughing with Keith!
4) I LOVE going to the beach with my family!
5) I LOVE flowers and gardening!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We are still praying for Daddy...he is still in Atlanta in the hospital. He will have a colonoscopy on Wed. to rule out colon cancer, because of a bleeding issue. He still is running a low fever. The abscess is draining...good news. Mom has a broken tooth that is causing her face to swell, she did get antibiotics started yesterday...bless her heart, what more can she handle?! See why I ask for your continued prayers? She is the first to say, the only way she makes it each day is through answered prayer and God's grace.

It's tougher than I every imagined to watch my parents go through so much.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Click on this link to listen to an interview of Mark Driscoll with D.L. Hughley, it is short, so take the time to watch if you can!! You can read the blog first on this site and then at the bottom of the page you will see the interview. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wow, is it already Thursday night? It seems like I just posted yesterday!

Wanted to share a couple of things:

1) a funny: Elijah has been very concerned about something lately...he has come up to me and said," Momma, I'm a little worried about my first kiss when I get married." He has told Keith, "Daddy, I need to find someone to give me a little practice with my first kiss" and just yesterday, he told me, "Momma, I'm a little I have to kiss in front of all those people?" what a hoot!

2) Daddy is in the hospital with an abscess at the site of one of the places they did the chemo embolization on his liver. He has had a constant fever that tops 104 and just doesn't go down below 102. He hurts and is pretty weak. Mom is really tired after being up most nights with him as well. But now that he is getting treatment for it, hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.

3) I have been listening to a sermon series on Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll and have really learned alot. There are some baptist (SBC) people who are having a fit over what is being said in the pulpit. However, I think it is about time that a pastor taught on intimacy within marriage. Why should we only hear the perverted version by society?
Anyway, I just wanted to share something that has inspired me and encouraged me to love my husband the way God desires me to. I think we sometimes get so caught up in schedules, routines and kids that we forget our spouses. Remember when you would first see your hubby and love all over him, just kissing and enjoying being loved on. Remember how important planning dates were and "whispering sweet nothing" to them.?
I think we can grow stale in our relationship and just take it all for granted. We allow everything else to consume us and don't take time like we once did to show we care.
Well, we women like to know we are cared for, we like compliments and kisses...and I know our husbands do to. They like to know we love them more than we love our kids. I think are sometimes okay to pour our heart and soul into being mothers and forget that we were first a wife (in most cases:)).
I write this to encourage you and maybe challenge you. Maybe you are not like me and you are thinking, ("what a shame, Amy", "how could you neglect your hubby?"). I have always loved Keith, but I am striving to love him more. I want to be playing offense and not always defense. I want to reassure him that he is my beloved. To let him know I think he is hot, encourage him as he works out (and is losing more weight than me). I want him to know that he is a treasure, a gift from God and that I am loving him more each day. It is fun and it makes me happy. I know it makes him happy. I want him to desire to hurry home and be with me, in this safe haven called home where he is treasured and loved.
I know I will mess up, but I will continue to fill my mind with scripture and truth, pray for Keith, for our marriage to grow , for God to strengthen it everyday.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wow, what a week! Keith and I were in Raleigh NC from Tuesday until Saturday for an Acts 29 church Boot Camp where we were blessed to be assessors this year. We had such fun, learned so much, made new friends in the church planter world and drove over 988 miles!

Jennifer and Patrick rode with us, and Kelli and Todd came as well. Patrick is our Executive pastor ( as soon as he is through the elder process) and this conference was expecially beneficial to him. Todd and Kelli caught the vision of Acts 29 planters and a flame was fanned within them to join up with New City and see where God takes them! My heart is so full from so much and I really don't know how to share it.

Keith and I were refreshed, renewed and worn out! ha,ha It was so awesome spending time with the 2 couples who came with us, but we also saw old friends, and made new ones. It is great to share time with fellow church planting couples and also meet and pray with new , up and coming planters/wives. I saw much humility among the pastors and loved, loved the promotion of family and the gospel!
Snowing our first night in Raleigh

Me, Jennifer and John Fooshee deciding where to eat our first night there...we decided on Irish pub. (lamb stew, shepherds pie, and the most delicious salad ever!)
Our view from the room watching the snow come down.

Kelli (Keith's lil' sis) and Todd.
Leonce, Breanna and Eden Crump. An up and coming church planter family in Atlanta. This family has such passion for the gospel to explode in Atlanta! You can't tell from the pic, but this guy played in NFL and he is HUGE!
The Leach family from Florida and Jason from GA (church planters)
Nerida and Will Henderson going to plant in Australia!
Leslie Bond from NC...her husband did our assessment in 2007. She is a pastors wife, homeschooling Mom and mother of 3...a woman full of wisdom.
Keith and friends at the assessors appreciation dinner on Thursday night. This church was so beautiful!
I stood in the small balcony and took this picture. This is a really old chapel, but it is really cool! This was a fun, enjoyable evening with church planters from all across the southeast. We are SO blessed to be a part of Acts 29 network!
Hey...if there is anyone still out there reading this, let me know. If not, I am shutting down!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Well, Keith and I are gonna have some couple time for the next few days...whoohoo!

New City welcomes Tucker Jamison Versteeg to its membership!! Congratulations Sarah and Tyler on a healthy baby boy!! They waited until the birth to find out and it was fun guessing...I guessed a girl. I should have known better!

Sarah Kate is doing so much better! Thank you for your prayers! She is off the vent, out of sedation and being held by Mom again. They are moving to a regular room and may go home by this weekend. This has been a huge answer to prayers. She was one very sick little girl!! Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!

The kids and I watched the History channel yesterday and were very intrigued by the tattoo history. So, the older 2 spent the afternoon coloring tattoos all over the very willing Elijah. I'm tellin' ya, the boy has a thing for writing on his body.!

Daddy celebrated his 68th birthday by having a procedure in Atlanta done yesterday. He will hopefully come home today. He had some type of higher dose chemo implanted directly into the liver...long name that I can't remember.