Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why My Heart Breaks For Hollywood

Sunday afternoon, the news broke me.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman died with a needle in his arm.

His interesting roles captivated many. So many in fact that I saw people in a simple state of shock that we had lost a true talent as I watched my facebook throughout the day. I can't say that I have a vast knowledge of all his roles, but the simple fact that I've seen many movies with him in it broke me just a little inside, once again, as another of our beloved celebrities lose their life.

Each and every time we lose a celebrity, I see people complain about the 'shock' that rings through the nation about one man or woman dying by their own actions many times, when people are dying every day by the thousands all around us. Yet, there is something inside of me that begs to plea difference. These people are just as stuck and lost as the rest of the hopeless. They are just doing it with more money.

My heart breaks for Hollywood. It really does. They have all the money and access to all the doctors and prescriptions and addictions they want. I can't ever bring myself to judge them for it. Addiction is a state of hopelessness. Fame is a state of hopelessness. And I don't envy any celebrity for what they have or endure by any means.

I totally get that we need to protect our families and ourselves from pouring garbage into our souls, so we make ourselves aware of what is going on with people to some degree so whatever infiltrates them doesn't get to us. I was blissfully unaware of this until last summer when my 7 year old daughter started singing "I want to see your peacock, cock, cock, cock" from backseat of our car on vacation. I quickly scrambled to update myself on finding pop music with more uplifting lyrics for my kids to listen to.
But the fact that Katy Perry (Katy Hudson) did some sort of witchcraft type performance at the Grammy's or that Justin Beiber just got arrested, when both were raised in Christian homes, does not shock me. It doesn't give me reason to blast them, to hate them, or to even shake my head.... with a tsk tsk tsk, they should know better.

It does give me reason, to cry, just a little for them.

Truth be told. I was one of the few people that owned a "Katy Hudson" cd in the early 2000's before anyone else even knew who she was.
And I can't help that think that no one going into 'stardom' has a great aspiration of becoming a drug addict, or getting caught with a hooker, or getting arrested, or losing their faith as they make their journey from being a 'no-one' to all their dreams coming true.

Suddenly, the talent that they have is noticed, and they have the promise of wealth. And which one of us can say that people noticing our talent would not feel promising...or finally being able to not have to live paycheck to paycheck doesn't sound like the perfect life?

Those of us who have families & spouses and different aspirations now that we are older and wiser, perhaps feel that we would know enough not to get sucked in to the fame game. But if we were 15, 16, 19, 20 years old, with nothing holding us back and the promise of everything we dreamed of was knocking at our doorstep, do we really think we would not jump at what seems to be "opportunity?"

This is why my heart breaks for Hollywood, Nashville, New York...whichever city represents whichever celebrity, because most of them have great aspirations to fill and instead wound up empty, sad, miserable, alone, addicted.. They have all the famous people around them, all the onlookers that admire or even idolize them and yet no one sees them for who they are, people hopeless, not just looking for another fix, but looking for peace of mind. Looking to find a way to numb the world they live in....
and I can't shake my head at them. None of us can cast a stone. And most of us have not been in their shoes. Most of us had not had the promise of everything we thought we wanted at the age of fifteen...but this somehow makes us lucky, doesn't it?

Because we find out much easier, much quicker that life can be fulfilled in the simple way it is, with our families and with our faith in God. We realize we can still be happy with making just a few thousand a month.
Before most celebrities are even adults or have experienced a great deal of 'normal' adult life like the rest of us do, they are in a world filled with wealth and drugs and women. What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? They lose themselves and they lose hope. And to them, THAT is normal life.
We are truly blessed.

None of us are exempt from temptation to hide, even in our own small paycheck to paycheck world. People we know, maybe even ourselves have given over to a fix of some kind, just to numb the pain. Imagine just for a moment the humiliation and demands of the whole world watching you and you slip in and out of marriages, rehabs, bad movies to good movies, criticism, bad photos, articles, lies....
and you have access and  have a way to hide. You have your guard up. You can act a little crazy and get the world to notice you, talk about how you need psychiatric help. Or you can smile for the camera, wow the world with your talent, and go to your room and stick a needle in your arm. Whichever it is, the temptation to hide behind something is great to us all, because we all are human.

The truth is, we shake our heads at a celebrity or even someone we know personally when they abuse their character or reputation, their bodies, their identity over and over again. We get tired or fed up with them not just changing, giving into temptation or addiction. And we give up on them. We talk about them. We get angry at them. We miss them. But do we pray? What would have happened if we prayed before we lost them? Do we ever empathize rather than shake our heads at them? No, this is not what they 'asked' for or what they dreamed of becoming...

On Sunday, I couldn't bring myself to say RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman, like so many others do. For all I know, he isn't resting in peace, as comforting as it sounds to all of us. I simply don't know. That is between him and God. But what I did do was pray for his family, and the people that his life and death affected. That somehow, God could take this great tragedy in their lives and reach in their hearts so they would look up, to Him for rest.

And I let myself ponder that brokeness for Hollywood just a little and challenged myself to pray for people I love watching on the big screen. Pray for the voices & talent who grace our radio speakers. Pray for those who shock the world with their seemingly misbehavior.
Because something is lacking. It's not just brain cells...or that they are not a few bricks short of a house. We want to make jokes or look down on them or talk about how selfish they are.
But loneliness and feeling lost and hopeless is no more of joke for someone with money than someone with out.
They may just be a few prayers short of Jesus.

Instead of just admiring someone's talent, let's pray. And instead scoffing at someone's downfalls or lack of talent, let's pray...If you don't pray for them, do you ever wonder who will?

Matthew 19:24
Mark 8:36

Friday, September 6, 2013

Character vs Reputation

I read this brilliant quote today on facebook and it spoke volumes to me.

I was the queen of getting my feelings hurt. And this week alone, I felt like I was spoon fed several opportunities to be offended at what people might think of me, of my "reputation."  In all honesty, my hearts cry is to remain humble. And in my heart of hearts, I want to be a balanced person of God's grace, his wisdom, and his love...and at the same time, I still want people know that I'm real and messy and fun and sarcastic. I'm not religious. I'm not fake. And I don't pretend to be better or worse than I am. I'm just me. And it hurts when it seems like people don't see that. It hurts when people see something they don't like. 
But that's me. That's how I roll.
I have to try my hardest not to let little things people may think about me bother me. At the same time, I've been working harder at not being a doormat, and not doing things just because people will or won't approve of me.

I want to be true to who I am. 
I want to be who God made me to be. 

It isn't always easy to defy the rules that will give you a generous reputation or to defy the art of people pleasing.
 But at the same time, there is something about standing up for yourself that helps define confidence in who God says you are. It defines character and loyalty and honesty within yourself and everyone around you. When I say standing up for yourself, I don't mean a haughty outward defiance to the world and those who hurt you, and I'm not talking about a giving yourself an ego boost or a "you deserve better" pep talk,  
I'm talking about developing true character, which somehow in contrast to pride and ego, brings about both humility and strength at the same time.
On the inside of you.

 All I know is I have to be happy with who I am. And I am happiest most when my allegiance is to Jesus.
I've found that I''m not always well liked because of it. Jesus comes before everything and everyone.
My relationship with him beats church, ministry, family, rules...everything. It sounds harsh, but if I have no relationship and intimacy with him, I don't feel like I'm much good in any of these other areas anyways.
If I'm in love with him, then I do so much better at everything I am doing in this life.

Don't you hate that when you know in you're heart how genuine you are, when you know how much you love people, how much you want to help others and love God....but someone else sees you differently?
It's hard. And it sort of breaks little pieces of you when it happens.

But what do you do then? 
I was taking a walk the other day and sort of chuckled to myself as I heard myself say, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." But I know that is so out of line. I am no better than any other person.
But it was funny, because that's sort of how I felt. It was honest. For a minute, anyways.

Truthfully though, I've had to ask God to show me if I'm wrong somewhere, if was out of line at some point of time. My first step is to get myself right before God, not right in someone else's eyes.  
I use the opportunity to grow in strength and to grow in character. I want to care more about who I am in the eyes of God, than what people think about me. And I want to be everything God says I am. 

Humility and forgiveness is key. It's not easy. I've drudged up the same hurts in my mind over and over and over again. And over and over and over again, God has taught me how to forgive and let go. I ask for his strength to let go of it...because sometimes, it can kill you slowly and it wants to suck the life out of you.
I've experience life suckage. In major ways.
And not only is forgiveness key, but something else I heard today that I should have known but haven't done a whole lot of to be honest, but praying for the person who hurt you. It can actually build more love in you for that person. This is humility and love in its truest form. Praying for those who have hurt you.

My prayer this weekend is that if you've been hurt in any way by someone, in the smallest of ways or the biggest, that you ask God for his grace and his strength to look that offender in the eye (at least in your heart) and love them with the biggest of loves. His.

  But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!   In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.   If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.   If you are kind only to your friends,  how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.   But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Practical Thoughts about The Daniel Fast

In my last post, I talked about how this year, I want to be uncomfortable. I want to break out of
my comfy cozy habits and do things that may be uncomfortable but better for me & my family.
Well, this certainly fits the occasion. Last Friday I started the Daniel Fast. Only then, I didn't 
know that's what it was called. I saw on facebook that my uncle and his church were doing a
 21 day fast  and for some reason I decided this was something I also wanted to do.  I'm not even 
sure exactly why, but I know that it's a new year and I want more. And that means getting rid of 
everything that is comfortable to me, including my food. Because I have never fasted before, 
I knew that I couldn't do a foodless fast, but rather cut out certain foods & possibly television that
was becoming more of an idol than they should be. Silly that food can be an idol, but when you 
turn to food or television as your relaxation or reward, rather than to the Lord, there may be
some things that need to be adjusted to allow more of God back in your life. 
This is the case with me.

I decided on the spot that Thursday Night I would cut two specific things, any foods or drinks other than water or fruits and vegetables...and any television show that had me addicted. In this case,
I had spent the previous 2 weeks making it through 4 seasons of Desperate Housewives. So 
this is my fast. I have never cut any food from my life ever. Ever. Even when dieting. I simply cut 
portions sizes, but soda generally is a must have for me daily. And I rarely eat fruits and veggies. Horrible, I know. Not that I don't like it, I just like pizza and subs and chicken better. 
So for me, this is truly a sacrifice to forsake my flesh, and replace it with being open to
 more prayer & time with God.

I will be completely honest with you and tell you how I am doing so far. On day one, I did well. But at night I gave in and ate one cookie. Day two, I did the same thing & had ranch dip with my carrots for dinner.  By night time I actually felt like I was having withdrawals, and then Sunday night (day 3) hit and I was shaking. Not kidding. But I stuck it out, prayed for grace and went to bed with some water. Since my first two days, I looked a little more into this 21 day fast and did find out it is called a Daniel Fast based on Daniel 10:3 where Daniel let nothing pleasant touch his mouth for 3 weeks. And on Daniel 10: 8-14 where he asked  to the king who was to feed him and 3 other men lavish meals, to only be fed vegetables and water for 10 days. The authorities feared that he would weaken, but in fact after 10 days looked stronger than the rest of the men.
I have finished 5 days of the fast and am now on day 6 and my body is functioning so much better already. I feel good. I don't feel withdrawals like I did 2 days ago. And this has nothing to do with why I started doing 
this, but I lost about 4lbs already. Red potatoes have become my new best friend, and I found out I am also allowed things like plain rice cakes, homemade salsa, homemade tomato based vegetable soup, natural peanut butter, brown rice with spices, plain oatmeal with cinnamon... 
as long as it doesn't have any additives in it and is made of only things that come from seeds.
Spices & vegetable/olive oils are allowed for some taste. I think the hardest part so far for me is no soda to wash down some of the more bland foods. Tortilla chips made with just corn, salt & oil are also a "questionable" ok, because the ingredients work, but you technically are supposed to give up fried food. 
So I guess that's a personal call on an individual part...

Let me say this...
In Matthew 6:16-18 the Bible says "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head & wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others buy by your Heavenly Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees you in secret, will reward you openly."
I feel that because the Daniel Fast is being done so corporately right now, I've seen it in the blog community and numerous church websites, I felt peace that sharing this part of my life was okay, 
because we lean on and encourage one another, not as to gain any sort of human reward, but as a 
simple way to share what is on my heart.
For those of you that have always wanted to fast, but have been nervous about it. let me reassure you,
once you get past those first 2-3 days, things seem a ton easier. I encourage you to try it, God knows
your heart and if you mess up like me, just keep on going. Any amount of cleaning things out of your life to make room for God is good...

And what a great time to start fresh...

oh...and ps... NO, I am not pregnant. I know these pictures and this shirt dress thingie give that 
illusion. I could hear the rumor mill before I even posted this ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Twenty Little Lives

Today I think of all the times my kids left for school and I didn't give them a 
hug or kiss before they left, didn't even say goodbye...
and then I think of all the parents that may have been in a rush Friday morning,
hurrying their kids along, maybe stopping a fight with a sibling, 
fussing over what they were wearing or rushing them to eat breakfast...
How many times have I done that?
Thinking that after school, they could hug them, take them to do pictures with Santa,
or perhaps next week they would be opening their Christmas gifts together, 
excited to see the precious excited smiles on their kids faces.
When I think of those surrounding children, the fear and the 'in your face' reality
that these tiny lives had to face, that most of us as adults have never had to face...
It's not something that can be ignored.
I wanted to prolong writing the inevitable in hopes I could come up with anything
that could make sense of the pain these families are facing this afternoon.
And we know that tragedy is a daily thing in our world and that lives are
lost daily and more than twenty were lost yesterday, 
but suddenly we can't close our eyes...
because it involved so may innocent precious little lives,
twenty little lives
We can get angry, we can cry, we can question, we can hug our kids more, 
tell them one more time that we love them...
and I have done all the above several times in the past 24 hours...

but the most important thing we can do right now is pray...

Hug your kids once more today
Tell your spouse once more that you love him or her
Stop doing the dishes for 5 minutes to tickle you son
Or laugh & play dress up with your daughter
Call your mom or dad up and maybe stop in for a visit
Have a family movie night
Make cookies together
Make right the wrongs
Forgive the offenses
Ask forgiveness from those you've hurt

Yes, do it all. Make sure the people you love know that you love them...
We never know what tomorrow holds.

But before you do 
and after you do,
keep praying for these precious families 
who didn't have that chance...
My heart & tears weep for these.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One Girl, Two Vlogs (Represent/Girl Behind The Blog)

$15 Forever 21 Giftcard & October Ad Space 

I'm a girl who loves to vlog. So a few months ago, when I was approached by Allison from
Sweatpants and High Heels to help her Co-Host a Vlog link up where we give our story 
of how knowing God has changed our lives in under 5 minutes...
As scary as this can be, I was all for it. So those of you here today for
Represent: Take One, welcome to the first vlog in this series...
I am so honored and glad that you have chosen to join us.
Us being Myself, Allison, AND ALSO the lovely Sarah from The Fontenot Four .
And I am so excited to watch your videos throughout the week!

But then I saw that Ashley from 5ohWifey announced her monthly Girl Behind the Blog to go live the same day, with her co-host being one of my favorite bloggers, Erin from Sweetness Itself.
So, how could I miss out on that? It's easy. I couldn't. I never do. So I did two vlogs =)

1) I did the Girl Behind the Vlog video like 12 times and I couldn't NOT cry for 
some reason. Finally I made it through this one with no tears.
2) However, in both videos, I sound weird. I have a lisp. I mean, I really don't,
but something is wrong with my camera, so I sound like I do... Sorry.
3) If you are still looking for tears, you may want to stick around to hear a little more into
my story ON my Represent vlog, because you may or may not see me get all choked up.
4) I never stick to the time limit as much as I try and as much as I edit. Ugh. Sorry.
Just sayin.

If you are here to link up with Represent, grab a button, follow each of the girls Allison and Sarah if you
get a chance, and link yourself up!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Relentless Love

It's Monday afternoon, 
I open up this blog post with absolutely nothing in particular to post or write about.
Although I am on a "blog break" I know that today I want to post something,
Something...anything... I don't know what. I'm just going to write.
Last night I lay awake on the sofa, trying for the life of me to fall asleep,
after being woken up (as usual) by my daughters climbing into my bed.
And I talked out loud to God, something to the effect of this~
God, I'm asking for your help. 
All those things that my mind wants to care about,
that really don't matter, 
help me to let go of them.
All those things that bother me for no reason at all,
 help me to give those things to you. 
Lord, I need to rely on YOUR peace and grace 
to make it through each day.
Help me to stop being such a freak.
(and I probably threw in a "I'm just sayin...")
I need you God. To help. 
Just help me.

Not a real intellectual prayer. It was your basic 
"Call on me in your day of trouble" prayer.
You know, the same one prayed by most people...
the only one prayed by most people.
Yet, whether or not we talk to Him every day,
or call on him ONLY when we are in trouble,
He is still there. Pursuing our love.
That's what he is all about. Love.
Relentless Love.

I'm at a point in my life where I feel pretty confident in my relationship 
with God. If you knew all those things buried deep inside of me that he has 
had to dig out over and over again, you would know my confidence 
does not come from my own "good behavior" or "good attitude."
But my confidence comes from knowing who HE is.
As much as I screw up over and over...where I used to back away from his mercy and love...
Instead I now fall into his grace to carry me through this next stretch of my life.
of my year, my week, my day...
His grace is sufficient for me, His strength is made perfect
in my weakness~2 Corinthians 12:9
That is what grace is all about. To HELP ME be strong, when I am weak.
Not only to take the rap for me. But to give me his strength when I need it.
I am so thankful that he has opened my eyes to this. 
It's become an amazing source of comfort
knowing I can never push him so far away where he doesn't want me anymore.
My confidence in his love for me is never shaken, no matter what I've done...
what attitude I've carried, nor how many times I've failed him.
His love still pursues ME. I can't believe it. It chases ME!!
Yet, at the same time, I can believe it , because that is who God is.
Relentless Love.

So many times in my past, I pulled away when life got "iffy" 
but in the back of my head,
or deep in my heart, he was chasing me down...
What he should have done was smack me across the face a few times,
grab me by the shirt and said "Julie!!! Listen Up Girl!! Hello Mcfly!! I'm here!!
Not to embarrass you, shame you! But to redeem you!!
Ask me for help!! Please, just ask."
He wants us to want his help.
He tells us to call on him, to knock, to seek, to ask him for anything....
It's the old "I want you to want me" scenario...
but as much as his Relentless Love pursues our love in return,
it's so that HE can help us. It's selfless.
That's what the cross was all about.
It was the ultimate example of a man pursuing his bride.
The "I will never give you up, bail on you, embarrass you...
I love you so much I would die for you" love.
And he did.

Today, I'm just thankful. Thankful that I truly believe from this point in my life
and on to the rest, I will always be fully assured in his Love.
And I know I can always go to him, and simply say 
"God. I need your help today. I screwed up. I have no will power. 
Gonna hafta rely on yours...mmmm..k?"
I had no intention today on writing a "christian-y, inpirational" type of post.
I opened this post up, like I said, and just told myself, 
I am going to start typing...we'll see what comes out.

Apparently I am not the only one that needs to hear this over and over again.
Somebody else needs a reminder that no matter what you've done or
gone through, God is grabbing you by the shirt and telling you "I'm here!! Hello!!"
He is still there pursuing your love with his Relentless Love.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Show of hands,
(and I want you to leave a comment if you actually raised your hand
KNOW what I am talking about...
who here HATES being a doormat?
Being a ladder for someone else to climb up as they 
weasel their way to their version of success?
Some peoples version of success is this weird messed up way trying
to make people feel beneath them, believe it or not.
I never really got that. Because for me, I feel better about me,
when I make people feel happy...
But some people actually enjoy making them feel silly, look stupid, embarrassed,
feel unloved...
Ever feel that way?
Are you thinking of someone right now who has made you feel that way?
Whether it's a verbally or physically abusive relationship,
a friend that takes advantage of your kindness,
a guy trying to take advantage of your body,
a boss that has to prove to himself and his staff that HE is in fact the boss
by making you look or feel like an idiot~
by under appreciating you or over analyzing you...
Whatever, the case 
BEING USED by someone else isn't the making for 
a fabulous day... or life for that matter.

When it comes down to it, it hurts. It hurts alot.
And its beyond frustrating!!!
And we have all been there. I know I have.
I gotta say, I think I am way too nice a pretty nice person.
When talking to people or deciding if I should or shouldn't do certain things,
I'm always thinking 'what would make THEM feel good or help THEM?'
I don't like to cause a lot of ruckus. It really isn't in my nature.
I can be sarcastic in a fun way, but I am definitely not feisty.
And so then, throughout life, I tend to feel like the doormat.
Not really because I am afraid to say no,
just because I put myself out there more often than not.
It's sort of a cross between being ultra willing to "do"...
and people just forgetting to say thank you, maybe???
I dont know..

I have absolutely NO problem with being there for people,
in fact I love it...
but sometimes it's a recipe for my own hurt feelings.
Because when people are using you for their own selfishness benefit
in some way, rather than appreciating you, it can wear on you...
Most times, I don't even think people realize they are doing it,
but indeed,
 there are also people who are downright willingly abusive in a sense.

But I am killing two birds with one stone in this post, because
lately, I find being USED as sort of a thrill.
In fact, I find it to be the most satisfying feeling, like ever!!
 because when you put yourself out thereto be used by God,
there is NOTHING on earth like it. I mean it!
In reality, every day I wake up and I say "God, I give this day to you, help me to accomplish
what needs to get done, be who you want me to be, touch who you want me to touch,
love people, say what you want me to say...and please for the love of YOU,
USE me in all the quirky, naive, fun, sarcastic, creative ways
that you placed in me. Because it's all YOU, Lord.

Everything that he is using in ME, is actually HIM!
Which I LOVE! It's not ME at all!
But it is. It is me telling him, Lord anything that is in me that
is not of you, lets get rid of it...but EVERYTHING in me that IS from you,
And it amazes me lately how much he does.
It really is the greatest high you can get,
and the greatest honor to be USED by God!!
For so long, I felt like all those people in the Bible, that said,
"But Lord, I'm just me, I can't talk, I'm too short, I'm too young, I'm getting too old..."
blah blah blah...
and he says, "No, I placed things inside of you and I need YOU to touch lives.
It's by MY power and strength, not yours!!"
So then I just finally gave in, and said, "Ok God, have at it! Use ME!"

Imagine all that is inside of you,
have you let yourself be USED by God to touch lives?
Try it, you will be amazed how much he needs You to be willing!
And suddenly all those times you felt hurt or taken advantage of by others
simply falls away in the light of being Used by the Creator of the Universe.

2 Timothy 2:21-
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, 
sanctified, meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work.

Ok, and now that I have your attention,
I thought I would try and be artistic and take a pic of me "holding" the USED title.
and obviously, it had to turn out with my enormous shadow 22 sizes bigger than me.
Trying to be cool just doesn't work for me.
Obviously not one of my talents =)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 years ago: Life After Loss

I have been trying to figure out what to say today, actually as I am typing this I am still trying to figure out exactly how to approach this. It was 10 years ago today that I gave birth to my first baby girl. I say gave birth hesitantly due to the fact that I was mid term (about 4  1/2 months) pregnant with her and of course she was still born.  In other words, I miscarried. I have a hard time really explaining what I went through, because I feel in no way can I compare it to a full term still birth, nor was it anything at all like a "typical" miscarriage, which I also had experienced a few months AFTER this first loss.
It has been, wow, 10 years since I have written anything about this experience and I don't like to stand still in that devastating season of my life, yet I never want to forget, because I want to be able to relate to other women, couples that are going through this every single day. The loss of a baby at any stage can be devastating...and still 10 years later I get choked up and teary eyed when that memory draws me back,  
yet God has brought me so far since then.
There are no words comparable to "I am sorry. I can't find a heartbeat"- 
then to be rushed over to ultrasound and to see your sweet little baby with zero life in her precious little body. I remember looking over at Jeff while I was laying there, with tears streaming down his face, and hearing him call his mom in the car afterwards, choking the words out, "the baby died." I remember sitting at my moms house with my parents and Jeff's parents afterwards, watching my sister walk in the door and telling her, "the baby died" then hearing her race to the bedroom sobbing just as hard as I had been earlier.
Later that day, I was to be induced, so we just waited around all day, waiting for the dreadful moment when I would "give birth" to our precious first born. When she finally was born, I looked at her, not knowing for sure "at that stage" if she was a girl, but was pretty sure...
the nurse rushed in and confirmed, yes in fact, she was a girl. We gave her the name we had originally planned on which was Naomi Renee. She was so tiny, just under 6 inches. But she had such precious little fingers and toes, nose, eyes, ears, mouth... we were even able to take home tiny little feet and hand prints. And I am thankful I was even able to hold her...
A few days later, we had a burial service for just us and a few close family and friends.
But, I kept in mind, that I would see her one day again. For to be absent from the body, meant she was present with the Lord.

The months following were heartbreaking months of questions as to why this happened, blaming myself, waking up in the middle of the night in tears, sleeplessness, obsessing over getting pregnant again, and studying relentlessly all the causes of pregnancy loss. It was draining. When I finally did get pregnant, I was terrified. I knew everything "in the book" that could go wrong, so I was just waiting for it to happen to me, again. 
The problem was, when Naomi died, they never found a reason. It just happened.
The next 9 weeks of my 2nd pregnancy were filled with pure fear and terror, and when I lost the 2nd pregnancy, I almost felt a sense of relief that I got that over with. It's weird, I know...but I felt like NOW I can really focus on believing that God's promises are true.. 
and I did.
 I set my heart on studying what God had to say about children, families and how children were intended to be a blessing to us, not a curse.  
Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infertility is definitely a curse. 
It can break us. I don't care what the doctors call it, what anyone calls it... It is heart wrenching.
 All our hopes and dreams are wrapped up in that precious little life and when it suddenly ends unexpectedly, it shatters us.
(for the record, I HATED when I lost my 2nd baby, and the ER nurse called it "products of conception"-give me a break, that was my baby.)
It took everything in me to take my stand in faith, that God would not fail me. 
And that children truly were 
"...a heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward-Psalms 127:3."  He was no respecter of persons... I kept believing this as I watched every friend and family member I knew get pregnant...and they would come to me, scared to tell me "I'm so sorry. I'm pregnant."All I could say was "Don't be sorry. I'm happy for you."
I know that feeling of noticing every single pregnant woman and baby and wondering why am I not pregnant yet??  But I also was (and still AM) very confident in the God I serve. I may question things, but I never question him... and I most definitely NEVER ever blame him.
To make a long long story short (haha I know it doesnt look that way...), but you can see by my pictures, I am here now 10 years later with my life full of children laughing, screaming, crying, fighting, loving, and snuggling. 
These 3 kids are my life. 
So many times, I get SOOOO stressed out, I can feel like I am going crazy (as any mom of 3 does), but I stop myself and remember what I went through to get to this point..and I become so thankful.. (that right now at this very moment as I type this I hear my 6 year old daughter is yelling "momma! momma! momma! momma!" over and over right in my ear, while my son is mocking her and laughing at her...
the tension is building!!! I better hurry,
 she just asked me "why don't you care about me, momma? you dont love me?"  (-because I am not paying attention.)
...such manipulation, she must know what I am writing about..haha

I will never ever forget Naomi Renee, AND our precious little baby #2 (who I have left for Jesus to name for me)... I always will visit the place where we buried her, but I will definitely remember how faithful God is and where he has brought me. 
How could I forget? These kids WILL NOT let me... 

Here is a family picture from Fall of  2009. With all these kids, I simply didn't have time to take a new one ;-)...not that I didnt try...
 Christmas of 2010

Thats the best I can do for now... time for a new family pic =)

Naomi's Song
( my brother was 16 years old when this happened. He wrote and recorded this song for me. I still cry when I listen to this.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

please pray for leila (& mommy too)

here is leila as my blond haired blue eyed native american beauty cutie patootie. i dont get it. the whole blonde hair, blue eyed child to 2 brown haired, brown eyed people, (me being native american) but i sure love it.

 Today I am writing to ask for your prayers... and maybe your encouragement if you have the time.  Tomorrow morning, my precious Leila will have an outpatient procedure & be put under anesthesia for a massive amount of dental work that has to be done. She has something called caries disease, which is basically just a rapid progressive form of tooth decay, so she didn't (nor did my other 2 kids) just get cavities from juice and cookies, but her front teeth completely crumbled to nothing and the rest of her mouth needs a lot of work as well. Because she is so little and the amount of time it will take, we have to do this in the hospital. 

I am asking you for your prayers... of course the first thing I heard when the dentist was talking to me about this was "of course, I have to tell you about the risks involved with anesthesia." So, I have been relying on tears a lot regarding this as opposed to the peace of God,  Yet I also know his peace will pass all understanding!  I NEED his peace, his comfort during this simple procedure, (yet a struggle for me...)
Wrap Me In Your Arms, Lord!

and MOST OF ALL, please pray for Leila's protection! Please. I sincerely am asking you... I know Jesus will never leave nor forsake any of us... even little Leila =)
When I found out I was pregnant with her, I actually cried because I was in such shock and wasn't really sure I wanted another baby... but this little girl is the light of my life.  She is sooo precious and silly and best of all, she LOVES to "NUGGLE" mommy...
 here are some precious pictures of her...
This was my chance to brag on my beautiful baby Leila.. or Lallies as we call her =)

as you can imagine, now that leila is 3 years old, these moments happen less and less.. so i am glad i captured these. dont get me wrong, they still have lovey moments, but they are tied equally with hitting, name calling and tattling...
i am pretty sure every baby has one of these phases. am i wrong, mommies? whats a baby without a mullet phase?

i dont know that LEILA was ever really into rock and roll, especially when she was 1yr, but this moment makes us want to believe its true.

doesnt every baby have a phase where they have a very unique smile?  i think all 3 of my kids did. it was usually the scrunchy nose smile, and if you didnt capture it in the 2 month period they did it, then you lost it forever. leila had that as a baby, but last fall she went through this "scrunch my face into my body into my hands" phase... and there's no other words that come into my mind when i see this photo, but benjamin button...
well, gee mom, i know i was cute when i was 7 months.. but look at me now!
the obsession phase. another one EVERY kid goes through. dora was a major one. the insanity of screams every time she would see a dora sticker or balloon or shirt or birthday card were crazy. one day i actually had a lady make a disgusted sound at leila when she got excited about a dora birthday card! sheesh, it wasnt like she was throwing a public temper tantrum, she was excited to see her bff, dora...  but more recently its minnie mouse. she loves her some minnie.. and when she saw minnie at disneyland, her eyes and heart (im sure) lit up immediately~ it was so special because she was the only kid with us on the trip.   Just mommy daddy, leila... and minnie!
sorry, i just needed a reason to put this up...
ok, mom...i will be a flower girl, but i'm not gonna be happy about it... we are missing a kid in the second pic, unfortunately, otherwise it would have made a perfect christmas card.
Thank YOU for your prayers!!!
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