Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gabriel Jonathan

One week and two days before my due date, God decided to surprise us with the birth of our 4th child! It started as a normal morning with the Lillian wake up call at 5:30am, Bible reading, prayer, Jamey's appearance around 6am, little play time, breakfast, Reuben waking up at 7am and getting ready for my weekly doctor's appointment. School had to be by-passed since the appointment was scheduled for 8:45.

Jim and I left the house just after 8 to go to my appointment. With this pregnancy I have had contractions here and there for weeks so I thought nothing of the fact that I had a couple of contractions during the morning and on the way to the office (which is thankfully connected to the hospital). I signed in and sat to wait to be called back. I was so tired and was just trying to stay awake. I remember thinking I hope they call me back soon and then had a contraction that caused my water to break. That I was not expecting. Jim told the people at the front desk. They got towels and a wheel chair and whisked me down to labor and delivery. I went to triage first (I have never done that before so it was odd) to get admitted and checked out. Though I was not contracting regularly I was around 4cm. They soon moved me over to my designated labor and delivery room and the waiting began. Thankfully my body responded and began to contract regularly after an hour or so. God gave me strength and thankfully held off very intense contractions until the end. Because of my water being broken I was not able to move around as much as I would have liked in the hospital setting, but I was able to move around in the bed to help bring the baby down. Praise the Lord, I did not need anything to augment my labor. It took a little while, but by God's grace my body did what God designed it to do. Around 1:30 I felt the rest of the water break and the baby moved into place. I knew it would not be long.
I am very blessed that when that happens it is quick and at 2:07 pm the baby made it's way into the world. I looked down and Jim said, "It's a boy!" "It's a boy," I responded laughing. I could not believe I had another boy. I really thought this one was a girl based on my pregnancy, though I had had some doubts. But a boy he is and a beautiful one. He weighed in at 7 lbs 11oz and is 19 inches tall. We quickly began kangaroo care and it was wonderful. I love having my baby on me.

I was having trouble seeing his face and I wanted to look at him since we were still not settled on a name. He soon was acting hungry so I got him situated to eat and got a good look at him. We pulled out the boy name list and started working our way through it. After looking at him we realized our current top choice did not fit him. We got it narrowed down to a couple and decided on Gabriel which means God is my strength, the same meaning of our other top choice, but Gabriel fit him much better. The meaning is dear to me as that truly has been my theme in this pregnancy. I have struggled a lot with not being physically strong enough to do the things I needed to for my family during the pregnancy. But God has given me strength. God has given me the grace I needed to do what I can and to learn not to feel like a failure when I had limitations. God truly has been my strength. Jonathan is after Jim's brother, which also means Gift of God. This baby, like all babies, really are gifts from God and we are so blessed to have another child. And so we welcome Gabriel Jonathan to our family.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessings

761. Being able to turn on TV shows for the kids so I could sleep a little longer
762. My mom getting Thanksgiving lunch figured out even though it was at my house
763. Thanksgiving lunch as a family
764. Reuben starting to hold hands when we pray
765. Yummy food!
766. Beautiful weather
767. Jim having a job (even though he had to work on Thanksgiving)
768. Jamey being entertained for hours with stickers
769. Talking Bible and theology as a family
770. Being able to encourage and challenge
771. All sleeping until 6:30
772. Having kids who are good eaters
773. Going to Homerun Burgers
774. Getting some black Friday deals at CVS
775. CVS taking responsibility for something that may or may not have been their fault
776. PIZZA!!!!
777. Lillian putting herself to bed by choice
778. Reuben's laughter and clapping
779. Movie night at home
780. Pumpkin cake and cool whip
781. Watching Jim and the kids play
782. Journaling
783. Realizing I have done more on my to do list before baby than I thought
784. Having more books to choose from and read
785. Reading
786. Swagbucks
787. Getting caught up on email
788. Getting pictures uploaded and posted
789. All three kids cooperating for a picture
790. Going to bed early
791. Feeling awake when woken up at 5:30
792. Lillian helping me get out of the bed
793. A reminder of God's heart for His people
794. Taking a nap
795. Getting meals planned and shopping lists made
796. Movie with the kids
797. Evening with the hubby at home
798. Really good price on Rosetta Stone
799. Encouraging blog posts
800. Learning that we are not so alone

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. For me it is a time to relax, spend time with family and eat amazing food. It is still all these things, but as God has been growing my heart I have realized how much I do have to be thankful for. I have been posting blessings when I get the chance so I'm not going to go back and list out things I am thankful for, but I wanted to reflect on the things I have learned as I walk with the Lord and share what I am most thankful for.

In the past 6 months in particular I have learned a great deal about God, the Bible, His ways and how He sees me. I struggle a lot with what I am suppose to do for God. I tend to think I have to do things a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way, etc. But in the last few months I have been shown and taught the Gospel in many different ways that have helped me to realize and understand that there is nothing I am suppose to do or have to do. Jesus did all the work for me on the cross. He took all of my sin and shame upon His body when He died and left it in the grave when He arose three days later. Apart from Christ I am nothing and I can do no good. There is no way for me to please God. But in Christ I can do the will of the Father. I am covered by the blood of Jesus and there is no work for me to do. But because of the work Christ has done in me, I desire to do good works for God. God has given us good works to do, not to earn or secure our salvation, but to bring Him glory, which is our aim. The more I learn the more I see what I am to do at this stage of my life and in the place God has put me so that I can bring Him glory. But it is only because of His work that this is possible.

This is what I am most thankful for this year and I pray that it never stops.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting Caught Up Before Thanksgiving

721. Church
722. New Sojourn Music! (Check out the new album here
723. Being reminded that I cannot earn my salvation and Jesus died so I can live a life beyond sin and death
724. Mexican food
725. Finding out all of the Emers are coming in December!
726. Movie afternoon (since the kids decided not to nap)
727. Finding good deals at CVS
728. Relaxing Sunday
729. Beautiful weather
730. Getting grocery store and CVS run done at the same time
731. Free Cookies!!!!!
732. Laughs and giggles
733. 3 kids napping
734. Getting some cleaning done
735. A fun evening with the kids
736. Becca getting home early
737. Finding out Becca's class was canceled for Wednesday night
738. Reaching Swagbuck goals
739. Banana split ice cream
740. Early sleep
741. Playgroup
742. "Meeting" a new mom
743. Getting to spend time with sisters while our kids play
744. Family lunch on a Tuesday
745. Jim finished Greek for the semester!
746. Getting more stuff done
747. Going to the pool for a few minutes
748. Talking to a sister about birthing classes and finding more information to help educate women about birth
749. Meeting Mrs. Sills and Molly (very encouraging)
750. Getting done in the pool early
751. Community group dinner
752. Encouraging brothers and sisters
753. Organizing the office
754. Going through clothes
755. Getting some cleaning done
756. Seeing Dawn after 2 1/2 weeks
757. Encouraging conversation
758. Family getting here safely
759. Planning family pictures for December
760. Laughs, hugs and play

Saturday, November 17, 2012


681. Having the option of educational videos when needed
682. Given unplanned time to write
683. Kids laughs
684. Watching Jamey figure out how to make things
685. Seeing the kids imagination come alive
686. Lillian's singing
687. Time to read
688. Staying healthy
689. Kids going to bed early without complaint
690. Early bedtime
691. Getting needed emails done
692. Learning more about priorities
693. Getting registered for SWI classes next semester
694. All taking an early nap
695. Being able to visit sister Kara
696. Small water aerobics class
697. Getting to meet and talk to another sister
698. Getting two sandwiches for the price of one!
699. A great last night of Amos class
700. Being challenged to know God's Word better
701. Kids sleeping until 6!
702. Getting some extra needed sleep
703. Hanging out with my kids
704. Yummy food
705. Kids wanting me
706. Reuben loving on Jim
707. Getting some of my book typed up
708. Kids going to bed without fight
709. Going to CVS and Rite Aid
710. Treats
711. Kids sleeping until 6 again!
712. Skyping with Brit, Brendon and Kylee to wish Brendon Happy Birthday!
713. Feeling really good this morning! (is this a good sign?)
714. Having a great time of prayer and Bible reading
715. Learning more of the Torah
716. Writing Group
717. Panera breakfast
718. Kids napping for 4 hours!
719. Catching up on TV shows
720. Relaxing evening as a family

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Amos: An Ordinary Man with an Extraordinary Message

I just took this class in SWI with Dr. T.J Betts, author of the supplemental text with the title above. Recently God has given me a passion for studying the Old Testament, and it was a privilege to sit under this teacher and learn more about Amos. Though it is a Minor Prophet and only 9 chapters long, there is a lot of information and much to be learned from this book. The commentary helped in understanding the text and the context of Amos. The questions at the end of each chapter also guided me in thinking in depth about God, His nature, and what He teaches us today. In this study, God opened my eyes to see how this applies to His Word as a whole and points to Christ. It was quite convicting and I hope and pray God will continue to work on my heart as I study the Bible and learn it better.

I encourage everyone to read Amos, and if you are looking for a commentary I highly recommend this book to read along side or to do in a group Bible study.

In the course of the class we had some challenging thoughts and questions that I would like to share.

God is patient, but His patience has a limit.
Are we trifling with God's patience?

God judges the pagan nations based on what they know. God judges Israel based on what they know, and they know the truth of God's Word and have His law.

How can we bless the nations for God's glory when we are not blessing each other.

Have we been faithful to the Gospel by word and deed?

Where is your security?

Those who reject the Lord are dead.

Does your future truly hold what you think it holds?
Am I truly living for Christ? Is that my heart?
Is your worship of the Lord truly worship of the Lord?
Why do we do what we do? For ourselves or for Christ?

God is against the pride of humanity.

What does it mean to be humble?

A "whoa is me" attitude is looking at ourselves too much and is false humility.
Humility is complete dependence on God.
Confidence comes from our relationship with Christ and who we are in Him.

If there were really a famine of God's Word, how much would we miss it?
How long would you last on what you know of God's Word right now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reading to Write

When I returned from the writing retreat I was so on fire for my writing. I am still strongly desiring to write, the passion is still there. But as life as continued to get more exhausting and I have written what I planned to write I have gotten discouraged and will go days without writing. I may write in my journal and I can usually manage to do that most days, but my book is a struggle. This is frustrating as my goal is to be finished with it by March and I will be adding a new family member in the middle of that time.

So Thursday afternoon as I sat in my kids room I decided instead of writing I would read a book I borrowed from the library and it was like a breath of fresh air. Do not ask me why, but it helped me to relax and the next couple of days I was able to work on my book, even though I am not sure of the next specific steps I was able to plug through. I have limited hours in the day right now it feels as I am requiring more sleep currently and have 3 kids and a husband to care for as well as a house to run to the best of my capability. But I am realizing that reading helps to inspire writing and I need to do both more in the midst of preparing my home for baby number 4.

661. Having a family fun day
662. Getting needed emails written
663. Watching the kids play together on the playground
664. Jamey wanting to help Reuben
665. Talking through my next classes with Jim
666. Target!
667. Relaxing in the afternoon
668. TV shows
669. Playing games
670. Watching the kids play horse for each other
671. Church!
672. Catching up with Kristen
673. Brothers and Sister we can connect with and love on even when we do not get to talk often
674. Kids resting
675. Getting to read some
676. Laughing with my family
677. Laughing with my kids
678. The honesty of children
679. More time with the family
680. Kids in bed early
681. Jim letting me sleep until 8!
682. Still getting school done
683. Lillian comforting Reuben when he was upset
684. Reuben allowing Lillian to comfort him and hugging her
685. Grocery store without kids
686. Sticking to the list!
687. Quiet afternoon
688. Taking a hot shower just because
689. Teacher's tournament on Jeopardy
670. Going to bed early
671. Everybody sleeping until 7:30!
672. Another lazy day at home
673. Getting lots of laundry done
674. Taking a nap (even if by accident)
675. Prayer time at Sojourn
676. Meeting another worker and connecting with her
677. New brother at Community Group
678. Knowing Satan is threatened by what God's people are doing
679. The Holy Spirit sustaining me in all things
680. God's faithfulness

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Baby is a Coming

If Mama "neediness" is a sign of a baby coming, this baby should be born next week. The last couple of weeks the need of and cling to me has increased greatly, especially of Jamey and Lillian. In fact, my 3 1/2 year old has reverted back to about 18 months! He is always whining, wants me to be everywhere with him and "needs" me to help him eat. It's insane. Some of Lillian's antics I associate with being 2, but she picks the strangest things she needs help with but then thinks she can do things she cannot. Reuben has moments of clinginess, but he is more attached to Daddy at the moment, which is nice so I am only wrestling with 2. I do love it when he wants to snuggle though.

So anyone familiar with kids regressing prior to delivery?

641. Kids wanting to snuggle
642. Hearing Jamey sing Bible verses in the back seat
643. Jamey and Lillian asking to listen to Bible verse songs (can learn a lot from this)
644. Reuben clapping while we sing
645. Excitement about school
646. Reuben being in school and enjoying it
647. Jamey and Lillian saying Scripture and learning character definitions
648. Continuing to learn about God as I study Amos
649. Meeting new people at water aerobics
650. Seeing parallels to Israel and myself (not in a good way but eye opening)
651. Catching up with Ashley Wells (love this girl and her story)
652. Being awake to greet Jim
653. MOMStogether!
654. Meeting a former worker in Russia
655. Getting an afternoon nap
656. All 3 kids napping
657. Making holiday plans with the family
658. Having family come to us this year
659. Kids in bed on time with little fight
660. Getting to sleep early

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


601. Hearing from a brother from England on Sunday morning
602. Learning about the warning of judgement being a blessing
603. Lazy Sunday afternoon
604. Being able to keep the kids up to help get them back on schedule
605. Kids going to bed without any fight or getting up half a dozen times!
606. Going to bed at 7:30!
607. Feeling sort of rested after the time change
608. Kids begging to do school
609. Getting done with morning routine including school by 8:15
610. Growing in meal planning
611. Going to the grocery store without kids
612. Kids being excited to see us
613. A cuddly Jamey
614. Jamey and Lillian "reading" their Bible and knowing that John 14:6 is in the Bible
615. Watching Jamey and Lillian "journal"
616. Jamey loving to journal
617. Reuben's playful spirit and laughter
618. All 3 kids taking a nap
619. Jim being off from work
620. Getting to watch some TV shows
621. Women's prayer- great time of prayer and fellowship
622. Living in a nation that can vote
623. Living in a nation that where I am free to serve God as He leads
624. Becca not having class and going to playgroup with us
625. Catching up with sisters I have not seen in a while
626. All 3 kids napping again!
627. Being able to journal and write
628. Getting a little down/rest time
629. Going to prayer time at Sojourn
630. Talking to one of the interns interested in going overseas
631. Community Group
632. Going to bed before 10
633. More eagerness to learn from the kids
634. Going to the store to get fun stuff for little money!
635. Making lunch!
636. The kids eating up their tilapia, sweet potatoes and broccoli
637. Lillian serenading us with "Jesus Loves Me" (signs included) and the ABCs
638. Jamey cheering Lillian on
639. Lillian being everyones cheerleader
640. Strength to endure even in fatigue

Saturday, November 3, 2012

3 Days of Blessings

571. Getting things done
572. Making cookies with the kids
573. Learning to make cookies from scratch
574. The cookies turning out yummy
575. Talking with sisters at water aerobics
576. Being there to help a sister who passed out
577. Teachers who speak truth into your life
578. Being reminded that it is only by God's grace that I can fight sin
579. Talking with sisters after class
580. Free ebooks and great deals
581. 8 Ladies at women's prayer!
582. Wonderful time of worship, prayer, fellowship and snacks
583. Seeing God answer prayer
584. Jamey making us laugh with his funny sayings
585. Seeing a friend at McDonald's we have not seen in a while
586. Watching a few new TV shows
587. Nice family evening
588. Teaching the kids to play Risk
589. Kids having a decent attitude about staying up to prepare for time change
590. Women's Conference at Sojourn
591. Seeing many sisters at the conference
592. Having lunch with Rachel and Melanie
593. Melanie treating us to lunch
594. Sitting under Biblical teaching on Biblical womanhood
595. God teaching me more about Biblical womanhood
596. Watching Jamey and Lillian "take turns"
597. The kids wanting to sit sit me and snuggle
598. Hearing Jamey make connections
599. Hearing Lillian make connections
600. Just talking with my kids

Friday, November 2, 2012

Jamey Quotes

Jim put Reuben on his head and said "Do you like my hat?"
Jamey: "It's not a hat, it's a shlapa!" (Russian for hat)

Jamey singing "He is the Truth, the Life, the Way" repeating
Me: "Who are you singing about?"
Jamey: "Jesus is the Truth"

In the back of the car today: "I want to go to Moldova and Russia"

Walking to playgroup this week: "I want to go to earth"

His imagination coming out- He says regularly that he is Lillian, a Monkey, Cow, Horse-Duck (from one of his toys), Mr. Incredible, Jafar, Prince Ali, Lion King, Wart Hog, and many many others

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Women's Prayer

I cannot believe we have reached the last 2 times of women's prayer for 2012. With the baby coming in December and the holiday season we will not be meeting at the beginning of December. It has been a  great year getting to know our workers and learning more about prayer. I hope that God will continue to grow me in this area and will also grow others.

So Sojourner Women come join us for out last meeting of 2012 to pray for those serving the Lord in other countries!
This Friday- November 2 at 10 am
Next Monday- November 5 at 7 pm

At my house (please email for address at

We will be praying as well as preparing Christmas cards for our workers
Feel free to bring a holiday treat to share!

Hoping to see many for this great time of worship, service and fellowship!