Day 365

On July 3rd, 2012 I found out at a routine 20 week ultrasound that the baby we were expecting in November no longer had a heart beat.  I was scheduled to deliver him still born 3 days later.  3 days!  That meant I had 72 hours to carry around my lifeless baby.  I was dreading the delivery, but at the same time I hated being a walking grave.

72 hours is a lot of time to process.  Naturally, my mind tried to think of things that would ease the pain.  I tried to tell myself the whole thing was just a mistake.  I was never supposed to get pregnant.  It was just a little blip in the grand scheme of things.  I would move on pretending it never happened.  I would go into the delivery room and view it as a surgery to remove something in my body that no longer belonged, instead of the delivery of a child.  I didn’t want to think about the reality of the whole thing, because it was just too devastating.

We checked into a labor and delivery room on the evening of July 6th and there was no escaping the reality at that point.  This wasn’t just a surgery.  This was without a doubt going to be the hardest thing I had ever faced.  All of the things I had thought to myself to try to make this easier, weren’t helping, because they weren’t true.

I delivered Felix the next morning at 6:10 a.m.  Before we left the nurses brought us a pretty white box with mementos of the delivery.  His tiny footprints, a little certificate to let us know the time of delivery and his weight, and a measuring tape to show how long he was.  I hated leaving the hospital with just that little box.  I was supposed to leave with my baby boy.  The cut seemed to get deeper, the hurt seemed to grow stronger.  I was at a loss for what to tell myself to make me feel better, but God knew exactly what I needed to hear.

The next night before bed my husband Josh and I were talking with my mother in law about all that we were going through and the things we felt like God was sharing with us as we looked to Him for help.  In that conversation my husband said the words I needed to hear to release true peace, true healing, and true comfort into my spirit.  Two words that changed my life forever, “Felix mattered.”

I can’t even begin to explain the supernatural mending of that deep cut and the immediate pain relief I felt when those words left his mouth.  The whole thing hadn’t been just a mistake.  I was supposed to get pregnant.  I didn’t have to try to forget about it and move on as soon as possible.  God never intended the pregnancy to end the tragic way it did.  He had a great plan for Felix and even though we would never see him walk out that plan, we knew God could use us to pick up where he left off.  That was the truth.  The truth that set me free.  Felix wasn’t just a blip, he mattered, and I wouldn’t have to pretend that he didn’t ever again.

Tonight, as I wrap up 10kreasons, those two words ring truer than ever before.  Felix mattered, not only to me and my family, but to all of the lives that were touched by this blog.

He mattered to the mother who was mad and bitter toward God about losing her son until she came across 10kreasons and realized that God was not at all to blame for her loss.  He mattered to the people whose eyes were opened to the everyday goodness of God.  He mattered to the lady who needed an answer from God and got it when she read my post that day.  He mattered to the people who have found healing through thankfulness.  He mattered to the readers who had friends or family members that lost babies over the last year that were able to share hope with them by sharing a link to this site.  He mattered to everyone who decided to start their own thank you lists.  He mattered to anyone who read anything I’ve posted over the last 365 days that mattered to them.

He was only here for 20 weeks and never saw the light of day, but Felix mattered.  God used His life to make a difference in the lives of others and to bring Him glory.  God wants to use your life to do the same.  You are not a mistake, a blip, or someone that is just occupying space on the earth.

James 1:18 (NLT) He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

You are His prized possession and like Felix, YOU matter.

And now, through tears of joy, it’s time to write my last list.

  • 9,974.  Josh.  My husband of 10 years.  My biggest supporter, encourager and the first to read each one of my posts.
  • 9,975.  Gus.  My first born!  His passion, his fearlessness, his cute face, and his love make it easy to see God’s goodness every single day.
  • 9,976.  Beau.  My beautiful 2 year old daughter.  She is pure sweetness and exudes joy!  She made making my lists so easy.
  • 9,977.  Sunny. Every good and perfect gift comes from above.  I can’t wait to meet my 2nd daughter in December!
  • 9,978.  Felix.  He mattered.  He made a difference in my life and in the lives of countless others.
  • 9,979.  My mom.  I know she took the time to read every one of my posts and has been very encouraging from the start.
  • 9,980.  My dad.  He wanted me before I was born, just like my heavenly father.
  • 9,981.  My mother in law.  One of my greatest supporters!  She introduced so many ladies to my blog.
  • 9,982.  My father in law.  There weren’t too many times I talked to him on the phone over the last year that he didn’t tell me how proud he was of me and how much he loved reading what I was writing.
  • 9,983.  Courtney, Tosha, Zach, Becky, Mindy, and Brooke.  My sibling supporters!
  • 9,984.  My church, Gateway Frisco.  Love the people and love Pastor Robert.
  • 9,985.  My job.  I have the best bosses in the world, Ken & Trudi Blount, and being able to work from home and make my own schedule was a huge factor in finding time to write everyday.
  • 9,986.  My husband’s  job.  He gets paid to teach kids the word of God every weekend!
  • 9,987.  My Bible.  There is no other book on the planet like it and I’ve learned so much studying it over the last year.
  • 9,988.  My new perspective on the goodness of God.  He’s good in the little things and in the big things.  He’s good all of the time.
  • 9,989.  Everyone that has taken time to read the blog.  Friends, family, strangers.  Whoever you are, thank you for letting me share my journey with you.
  • 9,990.  As of today, 29,078 views of 10kreasons.wordpress.com.
  • 9,991.  The world wide web.  10kreasons has been in 59 countries over the last 365 days.
  • 9,992.  I learned that know matter how busy I am, if I make spending time with God a priority it will happen.
  • 9,993.  All of my posts and lists are out there forever.  I’m looking forward to going back to day one and rereading all that God showed me.
  • 9,994.  I discovered that I love to write!
  • 9,995.  10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  If that song had never been written, this blog would have never been written.
  • 9,996.  Facebook and Twitter.  I was able to share my story with so many people just through social media.
  • 9,997.  Wordpress.  My faithful blog host.
  • 9,998.  We are God’s prized possession.  Each one of us matter to Him.
  • 9,999.  I did it!!  I really did it!!  Such a bittersweet moment closing out something so near and dear to my heart, but I know it’s really just the beginning.
  • 10,000.  Jesus.  My very first list started with Him, so it’s only fitting that my very last list ends with Him.  He is the Alpha & Omega, the beginning and the end, and THE reason I was able to find 10,000 reasons!

Day 349

A young girl sitting in her 8th grade English class is gazing out the window while her teacher talks about subordinate clauses.  She is present in the classroom , but her mind is elsewhere.  She’s not hearing what her teacher is saying, instead she’s thinking about the smile her crush gave her at the bus stop a few hours ago.  Her teacher calls on her and asks her to give her an example of a relative pronoun and she can’t.  She is told to get her head out of the clouds.

To have one’s head in the clouds is generally frowned upon.  People, especially teachers, don’t like it when you aren’t aware of what is going on around you because you are somewhere else in your head.  It’s much better to be “down to earth” than it is to be “in the clouds”, at least according to the world’s definition of the two phrases.  These verses makes me think differently,

Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

According to that, the best place our heads could ever be is in the clouds!

Our physical bodies live in the world, but our minds should be set on things above.  We have been assigned to this classroom, but it’s okay for us to gaze out the window and think about the things of heaven and tune out the things of the earth.  In a spiritual sense we don’t want to be “down to earth” people.  We don’t want to live at the level that the fallen world lives at, we want our heads to be in the clouds with our risen savior.

We shouldn’t ignore the things that are happening around us- abortion, sex trafficking, violence, racism, sickness, and loads of other messed up stuff, but our minds should not be fixed on those things.  Our minds should be fixed on the One who sits at the right hand of God and the fact that He redeemed us from the curse of the law when He went to the cross and hung there for us.  He didn’t redeem us from the curse so we would sit around and be consumed by it’s effects.  It’s overwhelming to watch the 6:00 news and see all of the wickedness that takes place around us everyday, but if we set our sights on Jesus, we can walk in peace.

How can you set your sights on Jesus?  Read His word instead of the newspaper when you wake up.  Load your phone with podcasts from your favorite churches and listen to message on the way to work.  Listen to praise and worship more than you listen to sports radio or Carrie Underwood.  Spend more time talking to Him than checking your Facebook.  Go to bed reading more of His word instead of watching re runs of “King Of The Hill.”  It’s simple really, just value Him and things that draw you closer to Him more than you value the things of the world.

Isaiah 55:9 (VOICE) My thoughts and My ways are above and beyond you, just as heaven is far from your reach here on earth.

Take time today and everyday to get your head in the clouds.  Focus more on the things of heaven than you do on the things of earth, because as you know, earth will not be your assigned classroom forever!

  1. I have been raised to new life with Christ.
  2. I’m encouraged to have my head in the clouds and my sights set on Jesus.
  3. I am redeemed from the curse of the law.
  4. Earth will not be my assigned classroom forever.
  5. It’s easier than it has ever been before to have praise and worship, your bible, and church messages with you to read/listen to wherever you go.
  6. My husband gave me the idea for this blog… and God gave the idea to him while he was running a few days ago.
  7. Lazy and relaxing Saturday morning.
  8. Josh picked up more fruit for us and washed it all… and I didn’t even have to ask about either.
  9. Josh voluntarily unloaded the dishwasher and loaded it back up with all the dishes that I had piled in the sink.
  10. I stayed in my pajamas until 5 minutes before time to leave for church this afternoon.
  11. I got to listen to a great message from Trinity Fellowship in Amarillo while I did my make up.
  12. Gateway’s North Fort Worth campus got to be in their new building for the first time tonight.
  13. Sweet worship at Gateway Frisco tonight.
  14. Love seeing the kids dressed in their “church” clothes every weekend.
  15. Dave Ramsey really encouraged me to start saving more seriously for retirement and the kid’s college during his message tonight.
  16. Pastor Robert returns next weekend!
  17. Chicken bacon ranch pasta waiting on us in the crock pot when we got home from church.
  18. Left over pudding and an Oreo from the boy’s worms and dirt for my after dinner snack.
  19. Beau and Gus playing hot wheels together before bed.  Lots of “vrooming” coming from upstairs.
  20. Beau running around in just her little panties.
  21. Gus was excited about spinach pizza for lunch and side salad for dinner!  I’m glad he likes his veggies!
  22. Josh just finished Ken Burn’s War documentary and was saying he wished my grandpa was still alive to he could ask him about his time at a tail gunner in the war.  I remembered my mom gave me a DVD of an interview he did a few years before he died about his time serving.  So we watched it tonight.
  23. So sweet to hear his voice.
  24. He enlisted for the war on his 18th birthday.
  25. He talked several times in the video through tears about how God protected him while he was there.
  26. God did protect him!  And I’m hear because of that!
  27. He had on a classic Grandpa Wagner outfit for the interview.  Little cardigan and button up shirt.  Adorable.

Day 341

I found out I was pregnant with my fourth little gift from God the day after my 28th birthday, April 5, 2013.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. knowing that in just a few hours I would be waiting 3 minutes to see if the little stick I peed on had one line or two.  I was so hoping for two.  I laid there for a little while trying to fall back asleep, but to no avail.  I shot out of bed at about 5:15 and went to take my test.  My husband Josh knew I was testing so he rolled out of bed, not knowing for sure what time it was.  When he walked into the bathroom I had about one more minute left before it was time to check the results, so we waited together.  And then after 60 long seconds we walked over to the sink, looked down at the test sitting on the counter, and we saw two pretty pink lines.  It was such a sweet moment.  We hugged, I cried, we rejoiced and thanked God for blessing us with another child.

We were in Tulsa staying at my in-laws house when we found out and were headed back to Tulsa that morning.  The four hour drive back to our home in Texas, was filled with lots of excitement and anticipation.  It such a joyful day.  That night I climbed into bed and my joy turned into concern.  Less than a year earlier we had to deliver our son Felix stillborn.  I was spiritually prepared going into the pregnancy process after seeking God and getting the go ahead from Him and I also felt like I had a definite advantage over the enemy and the lies that he would try to torture me with.  I was armed with specific scriptures God had given me and I was ready to start every day declaring God’s promises and sending the devil squirming away, but I hadn’t thought about my dreams until I laid my head down on my pillow that night.

I didn’t want the devil to be able to come against me while I was sleeping.  I didn’t want to experience any nightmares or wake up feeling afraid, so I did what I felt God was leading me to do.  I said a short prayer and asked God to give me sweet sleep.  I prayed Psalm 4:8, a Psalm I’ve prayed over my kids many a time, In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. And I went to sleep.

Well, that night I had a dream.  And it was the exact opposite of a nightmare.  I dreamed that I was sitting on the couch in our living room with a big tummy and Josh and the kids were sitting around me with their hands on it feeling the new baby’s kicks.  It was so real.  I woke up overwhelmed with the sweetness of my God.  He not only protected my mind from bad dreams, but he gave me a wonderful one.

I never felt Felix kick.  We delivered him at 20 weeks, but the doctor said he probably passed away at about 17 weeks.  That dream meant so much to me.  It was more confirmation from The Lord that what happened with Felix would not happen to this baby.  I am 18 weeks pregnant as of yesterday and last night I felt Sunny Joone kick.  Not a little flutter, that I thought might be her, but big movements that I knew without a doubt were her.

It made me think of the dream God gave me 3 months ago.  He had set me up with so many precious promises while preparing for this pregnancy and then He confirmed those promises with a sweet dream.

“Confirmation is God’s memorably creative way of repeating something He’s already told you.” – Pastor Preston Morrison.

We serve a creative God who loves to confirm His written word is memorable ways.  Seek confirmation!  It will help you get through moments when you begin to doubt if you are doing what God has called you to do.

  1. April 5, 2013.
  2. Josh and I got to find out our happy news at the exact same time.
  3. All of the promises God had in His word for me about getting pregnant again.
  4. In peace I lie down and sleep, for the Lord keeps me safe.
  5. The Lord has kept dreams away and the very night I prayed over my dreams He gave me a sweet one!
  6. Confirmation.  It’s pretty awesome getting confirmation in memorable and creative way and having it to reference back to when you begin to doubt.
  7. My friend JJ being pregnant was another confirmation from God, because before either of us got pregnant I felt like He told me she would get pregnant before me and she did… 3 weeks before me.
  8. The fact that my due date is just a few weeks before Christmas… more confirmation.  The Christmas card I saw a few days after we lost Felix with me and Josh and the kids huddled around a newborn baby will be our Christmas card this year!
  9. Noah Was Crazy.  Great message by Pastor Preston Morrison.
  10. I’m not too far off from sitting on the couch surrounded by my family and having them feel Sunny kick.  She’s moving around as I type this.
  11. Got Sunny her first pair of PJs today at Target.
  12. Despicable Me 2 at the big show today with the fam.  I totally enjoyed myself.
  13. Just enough light from the big screen to be able to see the kid’s faces while they were watching the movie.  They both loved it.
  14. Beau’s minion impression while she was going potty after the moving.  She had it down pretty good.
  15. Cheaper tickets when you see the first showing of the day.
  16. Beau let me hold her sweet little hand through the movie.
  17. Got lots of work done this afternoon for KBM.
  18. Got to grocery shop alone!  Josh and the kids came with me, but he took them to look at toys while I was getting everything on my list.
  19. So awesome having Josh to load and unload the groceries in the 103 degree heat!
  20. Gus wore his red Ninja Turtle Mask to the grocery store and didn’t take it off until we came back home and he went outside to swim.
  21. Josh put all the groceries away while I made dinner.
  22. Fridge and pantry are full!
  23. Yummy black bean burritos for dinner.  Everyone asked for seconds!
  24. Listening to Josh read to the kids.  He did bath time and bed time stories for me tonight.
  25. Finding a stuffed animal of Beau’s tucked in in every room upstairs.  She’s a good little mamma.
  26. Date night at home with Josh.
  27. Thought we lost one of Gus’ DS games this afternoon, but he had just left it at Nana’s.  He was so relieved.

Day 300

The city or town that you were raised in always holds a special place in your heart.  I was born in Tulsa Oklahoma.  I met my husband in Tulsa.  I got married in Tulsa.  I had my first son in Tulsa.  The first house we owned was in Tulsa.  We moved to North Dallas about three and half years ago, but to me, Tulsa will always be home.  If I were to find out one day that Tulsa wasn’t doing so great and it might be wiped off the face of the earth in a few years, it would be heartbreaking.

When Nehemiah received news of the condition of Jerusalem, the land that was promised to God’s people, he was heartbroken.  He resided in Persia, but his heart was in Jerusalem.  He knew the city was important to God, so it was important to Him.  It grieved him to hear that her walls had been broken down and her gates destroyed by fire.  He sat down and mourned for Jerusalem for about an hour and then he went on his way, realizing he was just one man and there was no way he could do anything to help the city that he loved.

No, actually he sat down and wept and mourned for DAYS!  He fasted and prayed constantly before the God of Heaven.  During that time, God was doing something in his heart, something that would change Jerusalem forever.  The days Nehemiah spent mourning were crucial to the assignment God would give him to rebuild the walls.

When heartbreaking things happen we tend to want to get over them as soon as possible, but whenever we force ourselves to “dry up” and get over it instead of taking the proper amount of time to mourn, we may miss out on God doing something life changing in our hearts.

It’s okay to mourn and it’s okay to mourn for more than a day… Nehemiah mourned for DAYS, but he didn’t just cry and feel sorry for God’s favorite city, He cried and He prayed.  He had very real conversations with the Lord.  He didn’t mourn alone, He mourned with God and God showed him how he could help.

What would the world look like if people actually took time to mourn with God instead of trying to get over grief asap?  What would the world look like if we all slowed down and let God work on our hearts about the things that sadden us?  What if we all grieved like Nehemiah grieved?

You are just one person same as Nehemiah was just one person, but God can use you to influence more lives than you can imagine.

I grieved with God for about a month after the loss of our son Felix, and during that month God began to speak to me about writing this blog.  I was nervous about it.  I didn’t even mention it to my husband Josh, because I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to do it.  One night while he was out of town I decided to sit down and write and just see what happened… my first post seemed to magically come together.  I knew it was exactly what God had been asking me to do, so the next morning I shared it on Facebook.  300 days later and I can’t believe all that God has done through me.  23,000 views, countless e-mails from women who have lost babies that have been encouraged by it and a desire in my heart to share it with even more people in the form of a book.

It was while I was grieving God stirred my heart to write.  Don’t rush to get out grief instead grieve with God and let him do something great in you.

Any great work of God begins with God doing a great work in somebody. – David Guzik

  1. God doesn’t expect you to get over your grief a.s.a.p.
  2. If you mourn with God He  can do something great in your heart.
  3. He turns mourning into dancing.
  4. One person can influence many persons.
  5. I grieved with God and during that process He gave me the idea for 10kreasons.
  6. 300 days of writing and learning and going deeper with God.
  7. Over 23,000 views on 10kreasons.
  8. The women who have taken time to e-mail me their stories and let me know that they are being ministered to by the blog.
  9. T-town!  Tulsa will always have a special place in my heart.
  10. Bills paid.
  11. Yummy leftover pizza from Mellow Mushroom.
  12. Beau brought me her kid’s Bible and let me read the whole thing to her this morning.
  13. Beau’s so cute with her flower clips in her hair.
  14. Gus has been very responsible with his Nintendo D.S.  He always puts it back in it’s spot when he is finished playing and makes sure it’s being charged for the next day.
  15. Kids are old enough that I can put on a show for them, tell them not to answer the door, and go take a shower.
  16. Worship tonight at Gateway Frisco was so powerful.  Happy to have Amber back!
  17. Pastor Robert is back!!!  So glad he’s feeling better!
  18. Awesome message on honoring and loving the physical body that God has given us.
  19. Pastor Robert is not prideful.  He shared so openly about the things God has been dealing with him about and I know what he shared will help many people.
  20. Lots of people getting baptized in the rain tonight!
  21. Yummy green chile chicken enchilada casserole tonight for dinner.
  22. Beau asked for seconds!
  23. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but Beau seems to be getting cuter every single day.  She is such a perfect little girl.
  24. My sweet friend Julie is celebrating her birthday today.  Awesome mom, wife, friend, and follower of Christ.  The kind of person that challenges you every time you get around her.
  25. Online shopping!
  26. Finally found some cute maternity dresses for church.
  27. A few minutes after I tucked Gus in I heard him crying I went to check on him and when I asked him why he was crying he said, “I never want to grow up.  I want to be a little boy forever so I can always live with you and dad.”  I told him he’s welcome to stay with us for as long as he wants!  Sweet boy!

Day 286

This morning I found out that one of my best friends from high school lost her sister to cancer yesterday.  She was only 39 years old.  I found myself thinking about her precious parents, her two young sons, and my friend who loved her big sister dearly all throughout the day.  My heart was heavy for them.

When you hear about a tragedy like that it’s hard to let it leave your thoughts.  I was getting ready for church tonight and thinking about it again when I heard God clearly tell me that thinking about the hurting family was not going to do them an ounce of good.  He told me to stop thinking about them and start praying for them.

I did.  I began to pray that God would pour His love out on them.  That He would flood their hearts with peace.  That they would be overwhelmed with His goodness.  That the Holy Spirit would comfort her sons who are far too young to not need their mamma anymore.  That God would turn the families mourning into dancing.

As I was praying a tangible power come over me.  I wondered where that power was coming from and God immediately reminded me of this verse.

Matthew 18:19-20 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

God showed me that there were other people on earth praying the same things for the same family and even though I was in my bathroom in Texas and the other people praying were somewhere miles away, because we were agreeing in the name of Jesus, He was in the midst of us.  His power was present.

In the ancient Greek the word “agree” literary means “to symphonize.”  My prayers and the prayers of the other people praying were coming together and creating a symphony masterpiece.

It reminded me of those times at church where the praise and worship leader and the musicians back off and suddenly you can hear the whole congregation singing the same song.  Hearing all of the voices together is so much more powerful than just hearing my own voice.

When we found out we were going to have to deliver our son stillborn last July it was difficult to pray for the first 24 hours.  I wanted to, but could not get words to break through the tears.  Thank God for the people all around the earth that were agreeing in Jesus’ name that God would be with us and comfort us and heal our broken hearts.  Those prayers mattered.  It was nice to know people were “thinking” of us, but it was even nicer to know people were praying for us.  We could tell God was answering those prayers!  We felt the peace and comfort our family and friends were composing with their symphonized prayers.

When for heart is hurting for someone, lift up your voice and let it join in agreement with the other voices that are praying for that someone.

Deuteronomy 32:30 tells us that on our own we can chase 1,000 but when we add another person we can put 10,000 to flight!  There is POWER in agreement.  Don’t just send your thoughts toward people who are hurting, send your prayers!

  1. 2 can put 10,000 to flight.
  2. Where 2 or more are gathered in Jesus’ name He is there!
  3. When we agree concerning anything we ask in Jesus’ name He will do it.
  4. Keisha.  She was a beautiful person inside and out and I’m glad I had the opportunity to know her.
  5. The Williams family.  Sweet, sweet family that made me feel absolutely loved every time I was around them growing up.
  6. Carlisha’s statement on FB about the loss of her sister- God is still good!  Indeed He is and He will walk them through this difficult time.
  7. The people who were “symphonizing” on mine and Josh’s behalf when we lost Felix last year.
  8. Got an early start back to Texas today.  On the road by 7:15.
  9. Safe drive home.
  10. More good talks with Josh.
  11. Praying with Josh.  Symphonizing with him is pretty awesome.
  12. Our kids really are such great little travelers!  They are so easy.
  13. There’s no place like home.
  14. Had time to unpack everything and wash and dry my hair before church tonight.
  15. God will interrupt your thoughts if He wants to talk to you about something.
  16. Me and Gus did our first real Leggo project.  65 pieces later and we had ourselves a Donkey Kong race car from Mario Kart.
  17. Beau’s little black eyes are finally cleared up.  Her skin is so sweet and perfect.
  18. Made it to the 4:00 service tonight at church.
  19. Klaus Kuehn leading worship.  Anointed from start to finish.
  20. Remembering that Jesus paid it all during communion tonight.
  21. Pastor Jimmy Evans teaching on how to change your mind about insecurity.  He is such a great teacher.  Loved the message.
  22. Mashed potatoes from KFC.  They are fantastic and you know it.
  23. Papa sent us home with a big watermelon from Sam’s.
  24. After a very busy day it was nice to sit on the couch and watch some TV with Josh.
  25. Seeing trailers for the movies that Josh & I will go see on our trip to Santa Barbara.  Got me even more excited.
  26. There is a little baby the size of a prune living inside of me!
  27. Air conditioner!

Day 273

After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress formed a protection unit for the President of the United States called the Secret Service.  Every President, Vice President, high profile presidential candidates, immediate family members of the Presidential family, and former Presidents are constantly being guarded by members of the Secret Service.

When you see a group of guys in black coats with sunglasses on surrounding a car, you know someone valuable is sitting inside of it.  Our President and Vice President our important to our nation.  They are our leaders and because they are so important the Secret Service goes to great lengths to keep them safe.  The men chosen to protect the President would give their lives for him if they had to.  They would make themselves human shields if necessary, they would fight with everything in them to protect who they had been assigned to protect.

In Jude 1:3 we are given our own secret service mission.  Here it is from the Message,

I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.

Jude is begging us to earnestly contend for the faith that was given to us once and for all by the saints… our Christian faith!  The faith that all Christians have because of the truths found in the gospel- our foundation, God’s Holy and perfect word!

Now more than ever the truth of God’s word is being challenged. We have to fight for it.  We have to protect it, like the secret service protects the President.

Our society is filled with people practicing Egonovism.  “The term “Egonovism” comes from the latin “ego,” meaning self, and “novo” to make new, rewrite, or invent. An Egonovist is an individual who develops his or her own personal religions system and borrows ideas from established religions that they’re familiar with. Many Egonovists self-identify as being members of other religions.” (Urban Dictionary)

People want to make up their own “truths” and follow their own religious ideas.  That doesn’t work, because the Christian faith is the only truth and when it was given through the saints who wrote the Bible via the Holy Spirit, it was not to be added to, changed, or twisted to fit your lifestyle.  It was given once and for all, no upgrades necessary, no editing needed.

In 2003 the Barna Research Group determined that only FOUR percent of American teenagers are “Bible Believing” Christians.  Sure, tons of teenagers claim to be Christians, but they are “Christians” based on their own ideas of Christianity instead of one based on God’s Word… probably because most of them have not been taught God’s word.

If you want your future teenagers, current teenagers, or whoever is living under your roof to be “Bible Believing” Christians, you must take Jude’s challenge very seriously.  You must protect and fight for your Christian faith with everything in you.  This assignment can’t be taken lightly. It’s got to be your top priority.  This world does not need any more “Egonovists”  it needs more Christ followers.

The enemy is out there waiting for you to let down your guard.  He’s waiting for the opportunity to assassinate the truth of God’s word.  He’s got school books, professors, television show, friends, and all sorts of tools out there he can use to accomplish His mission.  We must contend!  Me must fight with everything in us to make sure our faith gets passed down to the next generation.  I challenge you to go to great lengths in your home to protect what is precious- the basis of our Christian faith, the truth of God’s word, and the fact that it was given once and for all.

  1. The gift of our Christian faith that was given to us through God’s word.
  2. God’s word is absolute truth.
  3. God’s word is complete.  It needs no editing, it needs no upgrades.
  4. When we take our assignment to contend for God’s word seriously we will raise kids who believe that Jesus is the way the TRUTH and the life.
  5. Feeling so challenged in the book of Jude this morning.
  6. Beautiful morning.  White fluffy clouds scattered across the bright blue sky!
  7. I get to serve in Amazing Kids every weekend!
  8. Gus could sing every word of the new praise song he is learning in his class this month.
  9. Beau told me she learned about Daniel and the lions Den.
  10. “Joker is kind of creepy, ok?” – Beau to Gus this morning when he was reading super hero books to her.  Cracked me up hearing their awesome conversation!
  11. Gus said our new baby is going to be the cutest baby in town.  He’s so excited about being a big brother again.
  12. Good napping this Sunday afternoon.
  13. Cinco De Mayo at the best mexican restaurant on the planet… Taco Bueno!
  14. 39 years ago today Josh Hall was born!  My husbands best friend, Gus’ favorite Pastor, & Beau’s first crush!  Good guy that Josh Hall!
  15. Night of Worship tonight at Gateway Frisco!
  16. The awesome elementary team that served tonight so the preschool team could be apart of the worship night.
  17. Got to sit by Josh at church!
  18. Ben & Elisa Haake and the entire worship team.  We are so blessed to have such anointed singers and musicians.
  19. I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves!!
  20. Seeing Josh worship.  Nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to worship.
  21. “He’s got me!”  Amen and amen!
  22. When God uses you to pray the perfect prayer over someone and you just get to be his mouthpiece.
  23. Psalm 139.  Wow!  Felt like Pastor Ben read that just for me.
  24. Beau was heart broken because she couldn’t keep dancing in the lobby after church.
  25. Thanks to my niece Courtney I realized I had the wrong date entered on my “days until” app for our trip to Santa Barbara.  Instead of 80 something days, there is only 56!  Whoo hoo!
  26. Tax appraisal said our house has gone up $20,000 in value since last year!
  27. Got to show Josh the next neighborhood I want to live in.  Fun driving around and dreaming.

Day 266

I have four sisters and two brothers.  I was number six, right in-between the two boys, who both happened to love baseball, so as a kid I loved baseball.  I went to all of my little brother’s games, we played it in the back yard all summer, we broke several windows, and we watched the movie “The Sandlot” so many times I’m sure we could recite it to you, if you were interested.

One of my favorite scenes from that movie is when Squints Palledorous, who can not swim, jumps into the deep end of the community pool.  He puts his life on the line in hopes for some mouth to mouth resuscitation from the most beautiful lifeguard he’s every laid eyes on, Wendy Peffercorn.  His brilliant plan worked.  “He kissed a woman. And he had kissed her long and good.”

Yesterday at church Pastor Tim Ross read this scripture.  It’s God talking to Moses’ relatives about His special relationship with Moses.

Numbers 12:8 I speak with him face to faceEven plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”

The words “face to face” in Hebrew are actually the words “mouth to mouth.”

God spoke to Moses mouth to mouth.  They communicated in a free, friendly, and familiar manner.  God spoke to Moses the same way I speak to my husband Josh, who is also my very best friend.  I don’t have a messenger that I use to take messages back and forth to him, I don’t speak in riddles or paint him pictures to try to get him to guess what I am trying to say, I simply open my mouth and say what I want to say and when he wants to communicate with me, he opens his mouth and says what he wants to say.  That is what our prayer life should look like!

From time to time people go through spiritually “dry” seasons.  They feel like the fire inside that used to burn out of control for God has been tamed, or even put out.  They feel spiritually dead.  When that happens it’s time to jump into the deep end of prayer.. to lay everything else aside and go deeper with God, so you can experience “mouth to mouth” resuscitation.

Jesus wants to breath life into your spirit with the words from His mouth and He wants you to speak to Him in the same free, friendly, and familiar manner in which Moses spoke to Him.

People who have everyday mouth to mouth moments with God don’t go through dry seasons, because it’s in those mouth to mouth moments where their spirits are refreshed and renewed.  If you want more of God dedicate more time to prayer… more time to talk to God and more time to be talked to by God.

  1. We can have mouth to mouth moments with God everyday!
  2. God speaks clearly to his sons and daughters.
  3. I am a friend of God… so we can talk like friends.
  4. I am ready to go deeper in my relationship with God through prayer!
  5. Set A Fire.  Great prayer, great song.
  6. My baseball playing brothers.
  7. “The Sandlot”
  8. The summer we tried to make our own Sandlot team.  Wasn’t very successful, but we had fun.
  9. Creative Writer.  Software my dad bought us when we were kids and where I cut my writing teeth.
  10. Had a great group of 5 year olds at church this morning!
  11. The family that drove all the way from Melissa was back this week and said their 5 year old daughter had been looking forward to coming to church all week long.
  12. We have such a great team working in Amazing Kids.  I loved watching Miss Kristine in the hall making every preschooler that walked past feel special.
  13. Leftover pizza for lunch.
  14. America’s Funniest Home Videos… a Sunday afternoon family favorite.
  15. Sunday afternoon nap.
  16. Sharing a grapefruit with Peep!
  17. Perfect weather for grilling out this evening.
  18. Josh made some delicious grilled zucchini and squash to go with our burgers.
  19. Gus & Beau had a blast playing outside on their swing set.  They laughed themselves into oblivion.
  20. Day old peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  Oh my… those are good!
  21. More church wide baptisms today!
  22. Awesome picture of Devin Lemons baptizing his son.  So glad someone captured such a powerful moment!
  23. Gus’ long hair in his new Rangers hat.  I can’t get over it!
  24. Tangerine popsicles
  25. “What About Bob?” movie night.
  26. Beau made two new friends at church this weekend.  Cayden & Rachel.  I like the fact that she can communicate with me like such a big girl these days!
  27. Made the last preschool tuition payment for the school year.

Day 265

In Matthew 17 Jesus and His disciples arrive in Capernaum.  As soon as they arrive the tax collectors find Peter and ask him if Jesus pays his taxes.  Peter tell them that He does, but he’s  perplexed by their question because Jesus was under no obligation to pay taxes in Capernaum.

Jesus must have known that Peter was asked about His tax payment history so He explained to him that even though they weren’t required to pay, they were going to do it anyway.  He didn’t want to offend anyone or cause anyone to stumble.

I’m sure Peter thought it was a noble idea, but he wasn’t prepared to pay and the tax collectors did not accept Visa.

Jesus had a plan.

Matthew 17:27 (AMP)  …go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself. 

This is classic Jesus.  He tells Peter who is a commercial fisherman that fishes with nets, to go down to the sea and catch a fish… not with a net, but with a fishing pole.  The first fish caught was supposed to have a coin in it’s mouth which would be the exact amount needed for Peter & Jesus to pay their taxes.  This must have sounded absurd to Peter, but he took Jesus at His word.

Jesus could have just pulled the coin out from behind his ear, but he wanted to give Peter a chance to exercise his faith.  He gave Peter simple instructions, bizarre, but simple instructions, Peter followed them, and it happened just as Jesus said it would.

I’m sure as Peter was trying to find his old fishing pole he was thinking to himself, “This is nuts… but, Jesus has been on a role lately … I guess it can’t hurt to try… yeah, this is nuts!”

It didn’t make sense, but Peter decided to trust, instead of reasoning his way out of blessing.  He dropped his line in and the first fish that he hooked had a coin in it’s mouth.  What are the chances of that?  Without God, like 1 million to 1.  With God, it’s not a chance, it’s an absolute certainty.

Think about the detail that went into that faith project.

Jesus had to make a silver coin or spot one at the bottom of the sea that was the exact amount needed, lead the fish to the coin, have the fish put the coin in it’s mouth, time the fish’s swimming so it would be right where it needed to be when Peter’s hook dropped, and keep the other fish away from the hook.

Everything lined up perfectly.  Peter’s need was met according to the riches and glory of Jesus, because He obeyed!

You may be used to fishing with a net, but if Jesus asks you to fish with a hook, obey.  His word can not miss!  He has a detailed faith project that we wants you to be apart of, don’t reason your way out of blessing, trust and obey and let him astound you with His riches and glory!

  1. Jesus gives us the chance to exercise our faith.  He doesn’t just drop things in our laps, because He cares about us and wants us to grow and mature. 
  2. All of our needs are met according to His riches and glory.
  3. All of the behind the scene details that happen while God is blessing us.
  4. The word of God can not miss!
  5. Captain Crunch.  I know it’s of no of value whatsoever, but it’s a good splurge.
  6. Love my new makeup and makeup brushes.  I actually enjoyed putting make up on this morning!
  7. Beau read quietly in her room while I got read and Gus read quietly in his room.
  8. Josh’s cute hair cut!
  9. Josh’s face is clean shaved!
  10. Taught Gus how to play squares.  I remember when my dad taught me to play… I think it was at El Chico’s.
  11. Tortilla soup for lunch.
  12. Beau planned a trip to the Zoo for us… it’s happening this Monday.  She’s very persuasive.
  13. Bills paid.
  14. Josh vacuumed for me, without me asking him too.
  15. Awesome praise and worship.  I would be totally fine if we did “Love Came Down” every weekend.
  16. Pastor Tim Ross absolutely brought it tonight.  His message on Moses was fantastic!
  17. The Old Testament and the New Testament high five each other!  So cool to hear Moses’ story in the Old Testament and then finish with his story in the New Testament.
  18. There’s always more of God for us to want and more of God for us to get.
  19. Hotdogs for the kids after church and lots of people getting baptized in water!
  20. Beautiful night for outdoor baptisms.
  21. Papa John’s Draft Deal.
  22. Game night with the Cochrans!
  23. Girls beat the boys at Cranium!
  24. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
  25. Got to see the cutest video of my niece Ava laughing hysterically at her daddy.  So sweet!!
  26. New Evian commercial.  These are Gus’ favorites.  They get him every time.
  27. 265 blogs down, 100 to go!!  Wow, what a great 265 days God has blessed me with!

Day 262

Psalm 100:4 (AMP) Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

I’ve known Psalm 100:4 for as long as I can remember, but a few months ago I learned something new about it from my Pastor, Robert Morris.  Found in that one verse are four of the seven Hebrew words for worship.  Here’s how it breaks down in the Hebrew:

Enter into his gates with a thanksgiving choir and into his courts singing praises be thankful by extending your hands to him and bless him by bowing before His name.  

I have expressed my worship to God by singing with a choir of thankful people at church.  I have expressed my worship to God by singing praises all alone.  I have expressed my worship to God by lifting my hands to Him, but up until a few months ago I had never expressed my worship to Him by bowing before His name.

I have never been apart of a church where people would get on the their knees and worship the Lord, until we became apart of Gateway three years ago.  I still remember the first worship event I ever attended… people were kneeling- even the singers on stage.  I figured maybe that was just because it was a women’s event and women are just natural worshippers, but then Pastor Robert came to the Frisco campus for a regular Sunday service…. during worship I glanced over in his direction and couldn’t find him.  It was because he was down on his knees bowing before the Lord.

I never thought it was weird or flaky, in fact, I thought it was awesome, but it just wasn’t my worship style.  I would rather stand and lift my hands than bow.  It would be getting out of my comfort zone for sure.  So I went about my standard ways of worship until one night I found myself so overwhelmed by His goodness I knew there was no other way of expressing it other than to kneel before Him.  I talked myself out of it a few times during the first time we sang through the chorus, but I got my flesh to shut up long enough that by the second chorus I was bowing before His name.  I felt something break that night… it was like this little pride wall I had built up came crashing down.  There was no place I would have rather been that night then on my knees before my King.

I don’t know why I waited 27 years to express my worship in such a humbling way, but I’m thankful I didn’t wait 50 or 60 years, or until this scripture comes to pass

Romans 14:11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”

Your knees will hit the ground as you bow to God along with all of the other knees in the world on the day of judgement.  Do you want that to be the first time you bow before the God that you owe everything to?  I don’t think so!

He could have said, as I live, every hand shall clap for me or every foot will stomp for me, or every arm will be raised to me, or every body will dance for me, but he didn’t.  He said every knee shall bow to Me.  Why did He choose bowing over a great applause?  I believe it’s because bowing is the most humbling of all the different types of worship.

If you’ve never expressed your worship by bowing before the Lord, I just want to encourage you to lay down your pride and go for it.  God will be so very blessed as you bless His name in such an honoring way.

1 Peter 5:5 Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

  1. Pastor Robert’s great teaching on how to worship and express love to God. 
  2. He practices what he preaches.
  3. I shut my flesh up, laid down my pride and worshipped God on my knees.
  4. He gives grace to the humble.
  5. Someday every knee will bow!  And every tongue will confess!
  6. Revelation Song. What I was singing when I became so overwhelmed with His goodness.
  7. Gus is now in charge of getting Beau up every morning… they are so cute coming down stairs together with their little sleepy heads of hair.
  8. Finally got a play date in with the the Collin’s girls!
  9. Enjoyed getting to really talk with my friend Briana.
  10. The kids all had fun playing together!  Gus and Beau were already planning the next play date on the way home.
  11. Beau took an extra long nap.
  12. Spent the afternoon with Batman… who looked an awful lot like Gus.  He let me take some awesome pictures of him for the Gotham Post.
  13. I woke up from my nap to Beau laughing hysterically at a Pooh Bear short.  She has never laughed at a TV show like that before.  It was a fun way to wake up.
  14. Gus, who is not a fan of the grocery store, did not complain one time when I told him I forgot the pineapple for dinner and we had to make a trip to Kroger.
  15. I found a quarter in my purse when we were checking out so I got to reward him with a gum ball.
  16. Grilled pineapple.
  17. Josh cooked the caribbean jerk chicken for dinner perfectly.
  18. Jasmine rice.  My new favorite rice.  How is it so much better than minute rice?
  19. The chicken was too spicy for the kids, but they were more than satisfied with pineapple and turkey meat.  Easy enough.
  20. It warmed up quite a bit this afternoon!
  21. Watching the kids play hide and seek in the front yard.  Those two are pure joy.
  22. Finished the data entry project I’ve been trying to finish for a week.
  23. Skinna-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink.  Beau’s eyes were so big when I sang this to her before bed tonight.  She asked for an encore.
  24. Nothing to do tonight but watch some T.V.
  25. Even though American Idol has been pretty awful this year Josh has stuck it out with me.
  26. The word God gave me at the beginning of the year that he reminded me of today.
  27. Josh laughs at my jokes… even the corny ones about historical figures.

Day 261

A few months ago my nephew Justin and his wife Courtney came to visit us.  They are big “Duck Dynasty” fans, so they wanted to watch a few episodes one night while they were here.  At that point, I had only seen one show and didn’t like it very much, but I decided to oblige them and watched three episodes with them.  I was hooked.  We started recording it and it’s my new favorite show.  I know I’m a little late discovering the greatness of the Robertson family, but at least I’ve discovered it.

After watching all 32 episodes on my DVR, I’ve found myself talking like the Robertson family.  I was telling my husband a story the other day and I could feel myself delivering it like Jase delivers his interviews.  I was teaching my two year old how to say “Happy, Happy, Happy” like Phil yesterday at lunch.  And never again will I refer to a hot donut as just a donut, it’s gotta be a “flaming hot donut.”

Their way of speaking and their mannerisms tend to transfer over to anyone who invests any time watching the show.  My father in law says “hey” a lot more than he used to and “Jack” is going to the be the most popular name in the world soon thanks to Si.  They are a rather contagious bunch of bearded men.

Anytime a person is a fan of someone, they study that someone and they usually end up talking or acting like them.  My son Gus is a HUGE “Wreck It Ralph” fan and he’s constantly quoting lines from the movie to me.  When I was a teenager I was Leonardo DiCaprio’s number one fan and since he talked out of the side of his mouth, I started talking out of the side of my mouth.  You imitate what you study.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (AMP) Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).

Paul wanted the Corinthian church to imitate him, because he was imitating Jesus.  He knew they needed an example and he was more than happy to be one for them.  He knew if they studied him, his mannerisms, his expressions, they way he talked, the way he worshipped and the way he treated other people that they would start to pattern their lives after him, which would be patterning their lives after Jesus.  If someone were to study you, to watch hours of your life unfold on television and then start imitating you, would they be imitating Jesus too?

You may not have your own television show, but you do have your own audience.  I have two little fans that watch me every single day for hours at time.  They are patterning their selves after me, following my example, and if I’m patterning myself after Jesus, then that means they are too!

We need to be devotees of each and every word in the teachings of Jesus.  We need to know, believe, remember, and apply His words.  We need to study Him.  We need to spend so much time with Him that we start to act like Him… we pick up on all of His ways.  The way He talks, the way He sees, the way He handles conflict, the way He relates to His father, the way He cares for people, the way He does everything.

Jesus is also a rather contagious bearded man… study Him so you can imitate Him.  You won’t regret it. That’s a fact JACK!

  1. You can’t go wrong imitating Jesus. 
  2. God blessed me with my own precious little audience.
  3. When we pattern ourselves after Jesus our audience will pattern themselves after Jesus.
  4. Justin & Courtney made me give Duck Dynasty a second chance.
  5. Gus’ “Wreck It Ralph” quotes.  That kid is funny.
  6. Grocery shopping with my favorite little grocery store helper, Beau!
  7. Fridge and pantry are full.
  8. After almost 10 years of being married I finally own a set of mixing bowls!  How did I go this long without them.
  9. My new non-stick pan.
  10. Indoor picnic with Chic-fi-a.
  11. Truett Cathy found a way to make chicken, bread, and pickles heavenly.
  12. Got a powerful power nap in this afternoon.
  13. My house is clean!
  14. Taco bar night.
  15. Fresh tortillas from Kroger.
  16. Josh is always so good to help me get the kitchen all cleaned up after dinner.
  17. The way Beau has started using the phrase, “O.K.?”  Makes me smile every time.
  18. Disney Scene It game night.  Beau let me hold her in my lap the whole time AND the girls won!  Whoo!
  19. Relaxing bath.
  20. When blowdrying my hair I sound almost as good as the girl who sings “Oceans” when I sing “Oceans.”
  21. Zion makes blow drying my hair for 30 minutes enjoyable.
  22. Gateway Church is celebrating it’s 13th year as a church!  I love my church!
  23. In just 13 years Gateway has 5 campuses across the metroplex and 1 church plant in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  24. Gateway grew fast, but it grew healthy.
  25. Found Gus some Pac man bandaids at the dollar spot.  He was pumped!  It’s the little things.
  26. Gus was snuggled up so tightly with his Lotso Huggin’ Bear and Carl the dog when I went to give him a kiss.  Those are some of the luckiest stuffed animals in the world.
  27. Beau’s pretty little mouth.  I love watching her sleep.