Archives For February 2014

Last week I was reminded of a dream I had a couple of years ago, and I want to share it with you in hopes that it will encourage you.

I was trying to cross a river by jumping from one rock to another. The water was high, and the current was very strong. I kept slipping and cutting my hands and knees, and I was crying because I felt like I was never going to get to the other side safely. Then, my perspective in the dream changed and I was looking at the scene as if from the view of a third person. I saw myself there, looking down at the rocks and the river and struggling to keep moving, but I also saw another figure–Jesus. He was directly in front of me, holding out his hand to help me. But I was too busy looking down at myself and my circumstances to even notice he was there.

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How often in life are we too focused on ourselves and the situations we are going through to even recognize the One who can give us strength and help us through it? I know I have been guilty of this on multiple occasions! It’s an easy thing to do, especially when life gets HARD.

I am thankful that I have the memory of this dream as a reminder for myself to always look up and keep my focus on Jesus. When I do that, I am filled with the hope, joy, and peace that only he can bring…and suddenly my circumstances don’t seem as bad.

“I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
- Isaiah 41:9-10

I Can Feel You by Bethel Music

The wind and waves surround me
And I’m tossed, feel like I’m drowning
I am tired, I am weak
I need You here with me

‘Cause I can feel the rising tide
But I don’t have the strength to fight
I feel clouded and confused
I need You here with me

In the chaos of the storm
I have drifted far, far away
But I call out Your name
Cause You are just a breath
A breath away

Then through the shadows
Your light appears
I’ve known You’re with me
But now it is clear
I can feel You, Jesus all around

Like sun on my skin
Warm to the touch
Here You surround me
I am held by love
I can feel You, Jesus all around

Now hope is rushing through my veins
With everything You’ve rearranged
I am peaceful, I am brave
When You’re here with me

All my questions find their answers here
When You come You change the atmosphere
I am focused, I am clear
When You’re here with me

There is nothing in this world
That will satisfy my soul like You do

Though the storm it rages
I won’t be moved, I won’t be shaken
I am anchored in You
I can feel You, Jesus all around

It’s so hard to believe that I am almost halfway through this pregnancy. Time is flying by so fast! I’ve had many people tell me that this pregnancy would go by much quicker than my first, and they are right! I guess that’s what happens when you have a fun, energetic toddler running around. :)

Gideon is now about 5.6 inches long from head to rump and weighs approximately 7 oz. It still amazes me how fast babies grow in the womb!

18 Weeks

As he is getting bigger, he is getting much stronger too! I feel his movements and his kicks all the time, which makes my heart happy. The other week, Jonathan was able to feel Gideon kick for the first time, and he’s felt him several times since then.

Liam has grown to love babies. When we are out and about, he’ll point and say “BABY!” And he is constantly bringing me his big brother books so that we can read about the baby. I know already that he is going to be the best big brother that Gideon could ever ask for.

Words cannot express how thankful I am for this baby. He could not be coming at a more perfect time! No matter what our family faces, we will always have each other, and I am forever grateful. My husband and my children are God’s greatest blessings to me. When I focus on those blessings, every other problem or difficult circumstance shrinks in comparison. God has blessed us so very much!

Cover Photo

Happy Birthday to my amazing husband, Jonathan!

Words cannot fully describe how much I love this man and how incredible he is, but I will never stop trying to express it.


Jonathan, I love that you…

  • …love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. This much is evident in everything that you do and say.
  • …love your family and make us a priority. We never feel like we are getting sloppy seconds.
  • …are so capable. I am convinced that you can do anything, and can do it with the greatest of excellence! If you’ve ever not known how to do something, you find out how.
  • …are so reliable. I know that I can always count on you. You are a man of your word, and you always follow through with your commitments.
  • …practice what you preach. I haven’t always seen this to be true in people, but you truly do this. You walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
  • …are truthful. I have never heard you speak a lie, and I never expect to.
  • …are honoring toward others. Even when we have been hurt by other people, you find ways to search for the gold in them. You ask God to help you see them the way that he does.
  • …are a hard worker. You strive for excellence in ALL you do, which is evident in all of your endeavors. You do not have a lazy bone in your body.
  • …are so funny. You never cease to make me laugh! :) It’s like we have our very own in-house comedian.
  • …have a true heart of worship. You are my absolute favorite worship leader. You never have a performance mentality. You always have a desire to lead others into the presence of God. You do this not only from the stage, but through the example of your life.
  • …have an amazing testimony. I love hearing all that God has brought you through. Your life story is inspiring, and it is exciting that it is still being written. You use all situations, whether good or bad, to bring glory to God.
  • …are so talented. I am amazed by how much talent and creativity is wrapped up into one person. You are not only gifted in one area, but many.
  • …are so fun to be around! You make even the most dull activities full of fun! This is one of the reasons I absolutely love having you around. Life is FUN with you!
  • …are an amazing husband. You have far surpassed any expectations I have ever had, and you continue to do so. Many people talk about how marriage is hard, but I think being married to you is absolutely amazing.
  • …are an incredible father. The way you love our son(s) helps me understand more the Father’s love for us. You love deeply and fully, holding nothing back. Seeing the way you care for our family melts my heart on a daily basis.
  • …are my favorite speaker! Every time you share about the message of Jesus, I am truly inspired. You bring the truth in love.
  • …are real. You are the most genuine person I know. You never put on a face or an act. You are secure in who you are in Christ, and you don’t try to be anything else.
  • …are loving. I read 1 Corinthians 13 and I see a description of you. You love God, me, our family, and others so well. I will never stop appreciating that about you.
  • …are humble. Even with all these amazing things about you, you are one of the most humble people I know. Whenever I compliment you, you always turn the conversation around to God and how good He is.

I could go on and on with many more things, but I will stop here for now. I have listed all of this to simply say, everything about you is awesome and I am so blessed to have you in my life! Life is an adventure with you, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things God has in store for our family.

I will end this post with one of our new favorite songs… :)

Some days are hard. There are many times when you may feel like giving up. Honestly, I’ve had numerous times like this myself. Probably too many to count. Moments when I just feel weak, tired, alone, and like I don’t have the strength to continue.


[Photo from Pinterest]

It is in those moments that I am reminded…I can’t do this. Not on my own. It is in those moments that I am reminded of my great need for God. And then I am thankful. Not thankful for the hard times, necessarily, but thankful that because of them, I am drawn closer to God. And that is right where I want to be. The cry of my heart is that I become so consistent that I remain completely dependent on Him, whether in the lowest valley or on the highest mountaintop. I never want to come to a place where I feel like I can do it on my own. That is a dangerous place to be. I always want to be 100% reliant on God.

This morning I woke up feeling defeated. Have you ever had one of those mornings? The day hasn’t even started yet, and you feel like you’ve already lost. That was me this morning. As soon as I opened my eyes, my mind was flooded with things I had to do, things I wasn’t doing well enough, negative comments that others had said about me, and negative thoughts I had about myself. Even the dreams I had in the night, as silly as they were, were of me failing. I realize this was an attack, it was spiritual. But boy, it is hard to press forward when your morning starts like that.

And then I spent some time with God, and everything I read and heard was a reminder that He is with me and here to help…

“Thank Me for this time of neediness, when you must depend on Me more than usual. Do not waste this opportunity by wishing it away. Trust that I know what I’m doing–that I can bring good out of everything you encounter, everything you endure.” Jesus Today by Sarah Young

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:31 NLT

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 NLT

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” - Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9 NLT

I am so thankful that God encourages us, right when we need it most. I share all of this with you today with hope that it encourages you too. I know that I’m not the only one who deals with discouragement and struggles with wanting to give up at times. We all have moments like those! And I’m sure today won’t be the last time I deal with this. The key is not to avoid these moments (because I don’t think that’s possible), but when they do come, to set our eyes on the One who gives us strength and to continue and persevere knowing He is by our side!

“Never give up! Never surrender!” – Galaxy Quest

Last Friday we had our 16 week OB appt. and we were so pleasantly surprised to find out the gender of our precious baby a few weeks early! (If you missed it, you can see the announcement here.)

Since finding out we’re having a boy, this has seemed even more real to me. We can now call him by name, Gideon. And we can talk to Liam about his little brother. I know that Liam is going to be an amazing big brother. They will be the best of friends!

Here is my 16-week baby bump photo…

16 Weeks copy

I have been feeling pretty great! I only get nauseous once in a while, and although I am still tired a lot, my energy has come back a little as well. I am happy and excited for all that God has in store for our family!

As far as cravings go, my new one is breakfast sandwiches. Last Thursday, ALL I could think about was a sausage, egg, and cheese on croissant. I thought that after I had eaten dinner, my craving would go away, but no. So, my sweet husband made it his mission to find me a breakfast sandwich at 8:00 at night. He searched high and low (because there aren’t many places that serve them after breakfast time), and brought one home for me. I love that man. We joke that food is one of my love languages…especially when I’m pregnant. :)

Here is a 16-week photo of our Gideon James…

16 Week Ultrasound

I cannot wait to kiss those little cheeks! It was so sweet, on the ultrasound it kept looking like he was waving at us. Melted my heart! And Liam kept pointing to the screen saying “Baby! Baby!” He is excited too!

I know that many of you have been praying with us during our pregnancy, and we so appreciate it. I am incredibly thankful that our baby is healthy and that everything has gone so smoothly this time. Thanks for joining us on this exciting journey!

We’re having a…BOY!

Announcement - Photo

SO excited to announce that we are having another boy! Liam will have a little brother (or “Baybee Bubba”, as he pronounces it right now), come July!

We went for our 16-week OB appt yesterday, and weren’t expecting to have an ultrasound (our “big” ultrasound is scheduled for a few weeks from now). But when our doctor came in, she rolled in the portable ultrasound machine and asked if we wanted a peek. Of course, we said, YES!

Our doctor told us, “Now, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to tell the gender right now.” But as soon as we saw our little one on the screen, it was very clear…he is a boy. :)

As I’ve mentioned before, we have felt very strongly from the beginning that this baby was a boy. So, it is wonderful to have our suspicions confirmed. We can now call him by his name!

Gideon James is the name we have chosen for our little guy. Gideon means “powerful warrior”, and we absolutely love the story of Gideon in the Bible. James is in honor of my Dad, my Pawpaw (my Dad’s dad), and Jonathan’s Grandpa. It’s a special family name that belongs to three mighty men of God.

Now that we know for sure that our precious baby is a boy and we can call him by name, this is feeling even more real. I thank God every day for blessing us with another healthy baby. And I am so excited that Liam will have a brother to play with and grow close to throughout the years (I already have images of them having light saber battles!). :) My heart couldn’t feel fuller or happier right now.

Next week I will share my 16-week baby bump photo as well as the ultrasound picture. But for now, we couldn’t wait to announce the gender. SO EXCITED!

Today marks the date of when our second child was due to be born. When approaching days like these, it is tempting to distract myself and push aside any thought of our losses. But there is such value in remembering.

Our baby’s life, though shortly lived in my womb, was a gift. Many might say that it’s existence was useless, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Although we didn’t get to hold our baby, or see it’s face, we were greatly impacted by it.

Losing two babies in miscarriage last year was not a good thing. I’m not thankful that it happened. But I am grateful that God helped us through it and kept his promise by bringing good from it. I am constantly amazed by how he’s able to do that. What a blessing!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

Because of last year and the season of loss and grief we went through, I now know God deeper than I ever have before. I now know what it is like to entirely lean on and depend on him, because I had no strength left in me to continue on my own. And since I’ve experienced that, I realize how important it is to live every day like that…in the valleys but also on the mountaintops. I always want to be consistent in my desperate need for Him. And because of that, I have been changed for the better.

We did not get to name our babies, because we never had the chance of finding out their gender. But I look forward to the day that we are all reunited in heaven as a family. I am thankful that they are in the best possible care. I am thankful that they will never know hurt or pain or heartache. I am thankful that if even for a moment, they were a part of my life here on earth, and will forever be a part of my heart.

And now, we have this new baby on the way, who is as healthy as ever. What a tremendous blessing! I do not understand why things happen the way they do, but I trust that God always has good in store for his children.

When I was still walking through that difficult season of grief and sadness, one of my dear friends gave me this necklace as a wonderful reminder of hope.

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It’s says, “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.”

When we are going through a hard time, it can be so easy to look back and be consumed with sorrow. Or to look around and be overcome with worry. But I want to always look up in faith to the One who is able to help me through it all.

I am happy to say that God has done a great work in me this past year. He has brought more healing and joy than I even knew was possible.

Whatever hurt or loss you may have experienced in your past, I pray that you will experience the same place of hope and joy that God has brought me to.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” – Psalms 30:11-12