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11.21.2011

Blessings.

I meant to get this posted before Thanksgiving... but in the midst of holiday insanity, I didn't. Obviously. However, I think that any time of year is a great time to praise God for His continual goodness!

Where do I start? God has blessed me in so many ways this past year. Some unexpected surprises, some blessings in disguise, some painful lessons -- but blessings nonetheless. So I thought I would recount some of them. Not all of them... pretty sure that would be the never-ending blog post and I would end up boring everyone to death because I would probably try to find a blessing in Randy's X-box being stolen... but that's another story. When I'm ready to throw in the towel (or the diaper), I'm going to go back and read this. I am!

Healing.  Right after my junior year at college, I got really sick with some stomach issues. College? Stress? Probably will never know. Without going into too much detail, I was basically nauseated all day every day. It was like permanent morning sickness, except worse -- it didn't pass after 12 weeks and it most certainly didn't come with a sweet newborn. The word miserable pretty much covers it. The first year of our marriage, Randy and I prayed and sought the Lord daily for healing, yet I continued to feel worse. But I'm not here to tell you about all the aches and pains because there are a ton of people out there that have way more issues than I ever had. What I do want to say is, in the past year, God has touched my body and given me healing. I still have occasional moments where I feel sick, but it is nothing compared to what I had. I don't know if having a baby contributed to it, but this I do know: God has graciously given me healing!

Friends. This one could take a while, so I'm not going to say a lot. But I am especially thankful for those who have prayed for me, encouraged me, and been true friends in the midst of my crazy life. It's rare to have those few friends that you can connect with and talk to about anything in the world... but God has been good to give them to me. You know who you are! :)

My mom. Hard to believe it's been over five years since she was diagnosed with her brain tumor. After her most recent gamma knife radiation treatment, she had an MRI and found that the tumor has shrunk. Not a lot, but it's gotten smaller! Earlier this year, I was thinking, Why would God choose her? She's amazing. Why couldn't He choose someone else? And then it hit me. God chose her because He knew it would glorify Him most. Through all of this, my mom has had the grace to trust the Lord and His purpose. Yes, I know there have been times where that hasn't been easy, but she has shown others how truly sweet it is to trust in Jesus! I am so thankful for her friendship... outside of Randy, she's my best friend. Love her so much.

My family. Couldn't make it without six incredible siblings and two wonderful parents. They've seen me at my worst... and loved me. I think, anyway. I hope. Right, guys? In all seriousness... they are some of my greatest earthly blessings!

Direction. Randy and I prayed for a year and a half for the door to open if God wanted us to be in the military. We asked for specific things, and He answered very specifically. For a year and a half, at least, the answer was "not yet." And then He opened the door in a clear, gracious way. It's been a crazy journey, but we're so thankful. Praise His name alone!

Provision. Ever have those days where you really don't think you're going to make it to the next paycheck? No, you really don't think it's going to happen. Ha. When I quit work after having Landon, I had several of them. I never cease to be amazed at how God always provides. He has never, ever failed us. He said he wouldn't, and He has been true to His word.

Landon. Wow. I still can't believe I'm a mom. It's been almost a year since the doctor placed that darling little baby in my arms. Ever since I was young, I knew that's ultimately what I wanted to be: a mommy. Never thought it would happen as soon as it did, but God saw fit to bless me in that way, and I am forever grateful. I don't think a day goes by where he doesn't make me laugh (and lately, he's been laughing back at me -- I pretend it's because I'm funny). God has given me a sweet, precious, healthy baby boy to cherish and disciple, and I am so, so grateful for that privilege.

Randy. God gave me Randy at the most unexpected of times. To say I am thankful for him would be an understatement. I absolutely love marriage. What girl doesn't want to be with their best friend every day? Do we have ups and downs? Well... I could pretend we're both perfect and say no... but that wouldn't be true. My stubbornness always throws perfection out. ;) Something I am incredibly thankful for is Randy's devotion to our family. Yes, God has called him to the Marine Corps, and that is his job, but before that comes his family. I have never for one second felt that he values the Marines more than us, and I am so thankful to the Lord for that. He's given me a man who loves God with all his heart and desires to put His desires above his own, an incredibly sweet husband, and an amazing daddy.

Grace. I guess that pretty much sums everything up. Free and unmerited favor of God. I don't deserve health, amazing friends and family, a sweet baby, a best friend for a husband. What I do deserve is hell. But Jesus, in His infinite love and kindness, has given me the greatest blessing of all time: He rescued me from my sin and Satan's grasp and covered me in His righteousness. And then He blessed me with all these "other things"! I think Psalm 103:1-5 is the best summary of praise I could give to God for what He's done in my life this past year.


Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name,
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.








11.08.2011

This & That

Well, it’s about time I posted. I’ve had a lot of stuff running through my head, but finding the time to get that on to my blog has been a bit trickier. But a couple of updates on life for now:

Landon...

  • is almost ten months! How did that happen?! This definitely is the most fun stage we’ve experienced. He has so much personality -- which actually kinda scares me! 
  • is completely obsessed with his pacifier. As a toy. He talks to it, blows raspberries at it, and carries it around as long as possible. Quite ridiculous.
  • is into absolutely everything. The higher he gets, the worse it gets. He broke the head off one of Randy’s soccer trophies. Thankfully, it was from highschool. Randy forgave him. 
  • is beginning to realize what “no” means. He used to giggle when I told him no, but in the last month or two, he has begun to look at me very seriously and contemplate whether or not to go back to the outlet. Of course, he still does at times, but he’s getting better at moving away from things when I tell him no. 
  • loves all kinds of food, but especially bread, cheese, and yogurt. We’re doing lots of experimenting. I’m not a by-the-book kind of mom, so I won’t tell you all the things he’s tried. I will just say this: do NOT EVER start feeding your child the whipped cream off a Starbucks frap in public and expect him to be sidetracked by water in his sippy cup. Fail. 
  • LOVES books. In the last month or so, he’s really started to enjoy reading and actually sit still for it (and that’s about the only thing he will sit still for!). 
  • is crazy about bathtime. He’d sit in there for hours if I let him. However, it’s getting a bit tricky because he’s now crawling all over the bath tub and trying to put his fingers down the drain and “catch” the water and all kinds of stuff.

                                          Love this sweet little face

Reminded daily how blessed I am to be a mom. I remember people telling me that kids get in the way of things and slow you down. Sure they do. But how can I complain? He is a precious, precious gift from God.

 Randy is doing well at The Basic School. He’s definitely ready to move on and start flight training next spring, but TBS is a rite of passage! He graduates at the beginning of March, and hopefully we’ll be moving to Pensacola around then. We went to the Marine Ball on Saturday, and it was fabulous. Met lots of people and so excited to meet another Marine wife who is a mom AND a believer! God is so good. The filet mignon was quite delish. Randy and I actually went dancing and loved every minute of it -- although, I will say, Randy is definitely far more a natural than I am! Glad none of my (lack of) dancing skills were on camera. At least, I hope they weren’t. We didn't get a lot of pictures overall, but below is one of my favorites.

I’ve been busy with work and the little guy, but definitely have had time for fun. I went down south last weekend to spend some time with family and friends. Got to surprise my mom and little brothers, which was SO much fun. Landon warmed right up and was spoiled to death (including lots of Fudgesicle licks, courtesy of Pop-Pop). Now we’re back to the daily grind. Until Thanksgiving. Can I just say that I love this time of year?!

                        Mom and me the day I left - love her so much!

Randy and I have been talking lately about how easy it is to miss out on the present because we’re so focused on what’s next. The military lifestyle naturally means change -- and soon. But if we are constantly thinking about the next big step, we’ll miss out on the “everyday” moments we have. We sang “The Pow’r of the Cross” at church on Sunday, and words from the last stanza really stuck out to me: “Life is mine to live, won by your selfless love.”

The power of the gospel means that I can live fully right now. Forget the possibility of moving across the United States or the world in the next few years. Instead, because of all Jesus has done for me, I can focus on giving, loving, enjoying, and growing -- today.

Until next time (which may be a while -- you never know with me)...


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