Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Weekend

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. I was so busy I didn't have time to BLOG! :) HA! The weekend was great, a little hot, but ya know, it's practically summer! I mean, Memorial Day is the un-official beginning of summer...
Jeremy and I did lots of reminiscing this weekend...I am sure we hadn't planned on it, but it was still absolutely fun! Friday night was low key as we got some stuff done around the house, but once Saturday hit, it was off we go...
I have been trying to use up a gift card since Christmas and finally decided it was time. I also had a $10 card from Target, so those combined meant I was coming home with something pretty decent, as long as I found it at Target. :) David and I dropped Jeremy off at the golf superstore and David and I headed to Target. He graciously let me try on clothes, kindly eating his pretzels and telling me how "cutie" I was...we have created a monster by telling him how "cutie" he looks. But, now he tells me and Jeremy that, so it's absolutely funny! Anyway, I found a pair of dressy capri's and I got David a Braves outfit. We also had to buy a wedding present, which leads me into Saturday night...
We got a babysitter and attended the wedding celebration for Jason and Amy. It was a beautiful ceremony and the celebration afterwards was incredible. The food was so yummy and we had great company at our table. We danced...and all the ministers had to dance to the YMCA...that was a sight and even the deacons were gettin' their groove on. It was awesome and Jeremy and I reminisced greatly about our own wedding and marriage. I really would get married all over again, with the same dress, same set-up (maybe in the chapel...), either way, there isn't much I would change; unless of course, someone gave me like millions of dollars, then I might change a few things! :) HA!
Sunday we had church AM in which the choir sang a beautiful song and then Sunday PM we spent at our second of six prayer meetings on the unity and vision for our church. Good stuff and lots to think and pray about over the next few weeks.
Monday involved us sleeping in!!!! WOO HOO! David slept till 8AM! It's a good thing, since we headed to the Braves game at 1:00! That boy managed to stay awake for 12 hours with no nap...I am not sure if that's impressive or dangerous. Those last few hours he ran on adrenaline, for serious (That was for you Eric!). We had a great time at the game...David ran on SkyField and loved it and although it was hot, we managed to keep somewhat cool.
So, it's Tuesday. Back to work today... David and I took a field trip to the Public Utilities for our county since I had some paperwork to drop off there for work, so we both got to sleep in a little and then have some time together before I dropped him at school.
OH MY GOODNESS! I completely forgot the greatest part about the weekend. If you are still reading (my big fans), I got my haircut on Friday night. For those who have not walked this road with me, it's been 7 months since I last had my haircut. I went through losing most of it right after surgery (gallbladder) and it's been slow growing back. Friday night I was finally tired of it. So, I called and got an appointment with a girl who has NEVER cut my hair and I took a chance on her. She did great and brought my naturally curly hair back to LIFE! YEAH! I have so missed my curls. I was so very fond of them for so long and then they were gone, but now their back, and that was another thing we reminisced about this weekend. Also, we used to take Memorial Day Retreats to Sandestin and we were thinking about all the singles that were there enjoying themselves, and how we miss going there. Maybe Jeremy will take me there for my birthday next year...the small, yet BIG one.
I hope you had a great weekend and thought about the people who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Sunday morning was the most beautiful and moving song with vived pictures of our military serving and defending our nation.
God Bless-


Friday, May 26, 2006

I See Love...

The song "I see Love" by Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mercy Me , from the Passion of the Christ CD is...well...in a word, Incredible.
The Lord taught me long ago about viewing the cross as His incredible Love and Sacrifice for me, but nothing could put into words what I felt until I heard that song. Making the cross the center of what I believe is absolutely a necessity when viewing Christ. If I can stand in the middle of a storm and view the cross, the my heart is centered and focused in His will. When I can't see the cross, then I know my own strength is leading me and I need to get right with the Lord. It is impossible for me to view the cross and still view myself.
I don't think life was always like that...in fact, I know it wasn't. What changed? Or I guess the better question would be, who changed? I DID! God never changes (Hebrews 13:8), so I had to change! If I want to be more like Christ, doesn't that automatically call me to change? Unless of course, your near perfection, and I don't think you are, so yes, it should cause you to change and you should want to change. And why do I want to be more like Christ? Because the Bible tells me so? (yes, it does tell you so, but that's not my main reason); Because my pastor tells me I should? (Another great reason, but not my motivation); Because of my Love for Jesus Christ?...YES! And even more...His Great Love for ME! ME!? A sinner, condemned, unlcean, unrighteous, unholy, selfish...I could go on forever, but I think you get the point...ME! Karen! God's precious child! Now that is Love. It all goes back to His Love.
Enjoy the words to the song, and worship Him!
In Christ-

I See Love
by Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Mercy Me

Some see a teacher; Standing on a hill
Speaking words of wisdom
Some see a healer; Reaching out his hand
To give sight to a blind man
Some see a dreamer; Wasting his life
On what can never be
Some see a fool
Dying for his dreams

But I see love
I see love
Light of heaven breaking through
Well I see grace
I see God's face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you
I see love

Some see a prisoner; Alone before his judge
With no one to defend him
Some see a victim; Beaten and abused
With all the world against him
Some see a martyr; Carrying his cross
For what he believes
Some see a hero
Who set his people free (!!!)

Chorus again

With your last breath
I see love
Through your death
I see love
I see peace in the eyes of the king
I see hope in your suffering
I see a calm in the center of the storm
I see a Saviour

I see love
I see love
Light of heaven breaking through
I see grace
I see God's face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you
I see love
When I see you
I see heaven breaking through
See Gods face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you
When I see you
When I see you
I see love
I see love
When I see

Some see Him walking from an empty grave

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things I am doing this summer:
1...Going to a Braves game (hopefully more than one!)
2...Taking David to his first swim lessons
3...Celebrating 5 years of marriage to a wonderful man who has a heart like Christ!
4...Going to the Children's Museum in Atlanta
5...Taking a trip to St. Simon's with my co-workers
6...Celebrating Jeremy's BIG 3-0 Birthday! WOO HOO!
7...Celebrating my own Birthday (not quite as big...) just days after Jeremy's!
8...Catching up on some reading, since only repeats are on TV
9...Enjoying the long hours of sunshine
10...Going to the park with my family
11...Having a cookout at someone's house (we live in an apt with no grill!)
12...Shopping - it's the summer, I have to shop sometime.
13...Is it possible to think that I might be able to sleep in at some point?
Hope you have a great summer!!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

David's Eye

Yesterday we had David's second eye procedure and he came through it with flying colors. We had an 11:15 start time, and do you know that he didn't once ask for a fruit bar (his traditional breakfast)! Jeremy and I were amazed. He slept in, woke up in time to have a drink before the cut off time, and then was a dream baby before his procedure.
They gave him the anesthesia and an IV with pain medicine, since this procedure is a little more painful, although not bad. He had some minor bleeding from his nose and eye, and some from where the IV was, but all in all, it was good. He did wonderfully! He ate a great lunch, napped good and then slept all night.
If you know, we have recently had issues with him sleeping all night, so for Jeremy and I it was a peaceful one and we were so grateful.
He woke up chipper and ready to head off to school to see his friends...I know he missed them!
We rewarded his exceptional behavior with a milkshake from Sonic...his new favorite thing!

For those who were praying with us, thank you so much!
His eye already looks so much clearer and we are praying that continues.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Christian Working Mom

I am blessed to have been interviewed by Kimberly Chastain of Christian Working Mom for the May newsletter. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be interviewed by her and if you would like to read the article you can click HERE.
When the Lord lead me back to work in January, I had no idea the doors he would open to meet and chat with other Christian working moms. I could count on one hand how many of my girlfriends that worked full time and raised their children. Most all of my friends either stay at home or work part-time...so this was a new place that God was leading me into. I was scared and nervous that I would lose so many friends, not because I had chosen to return to work (or that God had chosen me to return to work) but that because of the lack of time to get together, it would push us further and further apart. I can say it has not been easy, but my friends have been tremendous in going out of their way to make time with me...I love them so much!
To God be the Glory!

In Christ-

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Monday, May 22, 2006

New-ness (is that even a word?)

Thank goodness for a new week! Last week was busy. Horribly busy at work...just non-stop phone ringing, non-stop people having issues and lots of griping. :) I was discussing with a co-worker this morning about how we had enough Mondays last week to last us a whole month, so today has got to be better than last week. So far so good, but ya know, people in the next time zone are arriving at work...so, who can really tell. I am glad to have the last week behind us and always grateful for the learning experience.
So, the weekend was great! David enjoyed a friend's Wiggles party and the two of us enjoyed looking at big boy beds together (nope, still haven't bought one...) and we also enjoyed playing in the park in Duluth Saturday afternoon. Jeremy took it easy since he wasn't feeling all that great and then was preparing to preach on Sunday at our friend's church in North Georgia. Grandma came on Sunday to take David and I to church and spend time with us...we had lots of fun, and Daddy went preaching. He said it was great and enjoyed it. (I knew he would....)
After church on Sunday I took dinner to friends of ours who recently had a baby...more new-ness... It's so awesome to see new mommies and daddies with their little blessing and nice to chat about all things little one. I was reminded of those first days and weeks with David as I was talking with them. They say you forget the bad stuff...yeah, you do, and you most definately treasure the great stuff.
Last night I joined in the first of six prayer meetings that we will have on Sunday nights. This is a "new" time in our church, and we need to gather together to pray for salvation, confession, and the life of our church. I went without Jeremy being there, so that was a huge step for me. It was an incredible time. The life, dynamics and structure of our church have been changing over the last few years and if we are going to be a church that is meeting the needs of the community, we need to be praying and asking God to open those doors and to show us His Will...His Ways...His Purposes, and adopt them in our lives. This is EXCITING!!!!!!! It's an exciting time in the life of this church. As we worshipped yesterday and the pastor gave his message, it was different. The music, the song, the words...they were moving. Moving people to worship the Lord. Moving them to an uncomfortable state. Moving them to prayerfully make decisions and choices that are beyond themselves.
Father, I pray that as we look to hear Your heart and Your desires, that You would grant the staff wisdom. Wisdom beyond themselves and take away all the hindrances the sit in front of them. Wipe the slate with Your merciful hand and call out those who need to find their first Love again; that is You, oh Jesus.
Give us passion for Your name...and Yours only.
In His Hands...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Scriptures you can't ignore:
(In no particular order...all scripture is from NASB)

1...Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

2...Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

3...2 Samuel 7:22 "...You are great , O Lord God, for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You..."

4...Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

5...Isaiah 42:8 "I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor my praise to graven images." I heard a great sermon by Louie Giglio years ago and still recall it to this day. 'I am the Lord, that is My name...which means, it's not YOUR name.'

6...Philippians 3:14 "I press on toward the goal for the prize fo the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

7...Job 42:2 Job responding to the Lord, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

8...Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men."

9...Psalm 25:5 "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvationl For You I wait all the day."

10...Isaiah 64:4b "...Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him."

11...Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

12...I John 4:18a "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..."

13...2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

A bit of my Heart

"A man's steps are established by the LORD, and He takes pleasure in his way."
My devotional this morning from the Journey by Lifway was about infertility and adoption. I must confess that my knowledge of these two things is by no means Grade A, top notch...in fact, it's more on the lines of less than beginner status. Three years ago when Jeremy and I prayed and asked the Lord about His timing on us having children, we had no idea of when the Lord would bless us with a child or even that He would ever...He hadn't made that promise to us and He hadn't not made that promise to us. But we trusted His plan. His purpose. His desire for us. And we "adopted" those desires, purposes, and plans to our lives. Just because we did that does not mean that we would automatically be granted a baby, although some people think that and others resent it.
Since we got pregnant with David in July '03, I have had the privelege of walking the road alongside many of my friends who have battled infertility and adoption. I call it a privelege because to call it anything else would be denying who God says He is and His calling on my life. See, during my pregnancy God called my husband and I to pray. Pray hard. Pray often. Pray steadily for a group of people. The four couples God laid on our hearts were battling the road of desiring a child, desiring God's best and those weren't lining up...or at least, it seemed that way at the time. Throughout that year, God rewarded our obedience to pray by blessing those families with pregnancy and throughout an 18 month span following our call to pray, God delivered a set of twin girls, a little girl, a little boy, and another little girl to each of those couples. I was amazed and astonished and even more than that, grateful. I was grateful that God gave them all their desires in His timing. I was grateful even more that I got to play a small role in it...not prideful, but grateful. I don't know what I would have missed had He not burdened my heart for them. I learned an even greater lesson too...while God is working through my life, He is also working in others. While my friends were walking that road and learning to trust in His great timing and not their own, I was learning to pray more. I was learning to hear God's heart. I was learning to turn over my friends to Jesus, and He will supply all their needs. (Needs....) Oh Lord, it's sooooo NOT about US, but ALL ABOUT YOU!

When we moved last August, I had no idea what kind of new door God would open up. The adoption door was it...I had only known one couple to adopt a baby EVER. In the first months of being in our new church, I met two incredible women that I am so excited to call my friends. A & G are truly incredible God-fearing women. One of them has two children, one natural, one adopted. She jokes that the adopted one looks more like her than her natural child, who favors her father. The other one looks so much like the parents, I never would have known she wasn't theirs naturally. Their stories are unique and breathtaking. G's story brought me to tears the night she shared just a part of it with me. God is truly amazing.
I recently have been able to watch three couples adopt babies, one from overseas, two locally in the states, and I tell you, I don't ever get tired of watching God do great things in the lives of His people.
My devotional story wrapped up by saying how the writer's adoptive parents taught her as she got older that "God had decided long before I was born who would give birth to me and who would raise me. So I learned at an early age that my adoption was part of God's plan for me."
Wow...perspective. That is some amazing perspective.
For those with the battles of these roads, my prayers are raised to the Father for you. My words cry out for you. My tears are in a bottle with your name on them.
I love you!

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David is scheduled for the second probing of his eye next week. Although we are sad we have to do it again, it was always in the back of our minds given how old he was the first time and being out of the window of the success rate. We do see some improvement in the eye, but we all (doctor and us) feel that there is still some blockage. We pray this will be remedied next week. Pray for my little man as he did so well the first time...we would like the same response from the surgery again. Pray also that we get a good surgery time.
More to come...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mommy's Weekend...

Mommy's weekend rocked! This was my third Mommy's Day, since David was 12 days old the first year. (I was the mom with the youngest baby!) And yes, you better believe I dressed him all up and brought him to church. I was still n the recovering phase from that C-section, but who cares...he was just too cute not to want to show off on my day. :) This mommy's day was cool...David was kind of all about me this weekend, and he is normally all about daddy, so I was trying to enjoy the fact that he wanted me to do everything for him. We had our second sleepover as a big huge crack of thunder and lightning scared him enough not to go back to sleep Saturday night. He ended up in the bed with us and I managed to sneak out to the couch. It's really not as bad as it sounds...it was all good. Although, I am wondering how in the world we will ever get him back to sleep when he has his big boy bed. I am prolonging that for as long as I can.
We spent time with my mom (aka Grandma!) on Saturday and had a nice lunch together. On Sunday, David and Jeremy came to give me my present-a gift certificate to the Spa! Oh yeah! I need a massage desperatly. My boys are awesome! We had a nice lunch Sunday and managed to get in a restaurant on Sunday night. It was enjoyable and it ranks high on the best weekends list for me! I hope that every mom out there enjoyed her Mommy's Day!
It's back to work today and I must admit, although my head is stuffed up, I am quite pleasant today. I have a ton of work to get done, but nothing I can't handle and knock out in a few days...at least, I think. :) I have been at this job for 5 months now and just when I think "I can handle this", they throw me for a loop. I love the people I work with though, they are wonderful believers in the Lord, so it's awesome to be surrounded by that while doing my job.
Only a few more weeks till school is out in the area, and I will be loving that because traffic will die down. YIPPIE! It will take us less time to get to school and work and I will be using that time for the better...spending it with my boys.
I signed David up for swim lessons! I am so excited! It's a Parent Assisted class for two weeks and he is going to love it. I have already taken him once to the pool this year and he wants to sit on the side and jump off...it's hilarious. He could do it for hours.
Well, it's time to start the day. I pray you have started it with Jesus.
Much love.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Blogging Chick?

If you are, clearly you should join the Blogging Chicks blogroll, just like I did.
I found it on Lauren's website and decided to join in. (Lauren's blog is cool!) I thought it would be awesome to be a blogging chick!

Come join the fun!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Karen

1...In July I will have been married 5 years to the man God gifted me with. Thank you Lord!

2...Last month we celebrated our son turning two and all that comes with that! Big boys toys, big boy bed (in a few weeks), big boy talks, big boy potty.

3...I like birthdays a LOT! This year that sweet husband of mine turns 30! Sounds like a celebration to me!

4...I like baseball A LOT! It's my all-time favorite sport, although I don't play it or softball. My sweet husband new so much about me that on our first date he took me to a baseball game! That was incredible and it's still the ultimate date.

5...My grandfather played baseball professionally in the 50's...do you think that's why I love baseball so much?

6...Girlfriends...every girl needs good girlfriends. The ones she can call when she is awake with a 4-day old who has their days and nights mixed up. The ones she can call when she is scared about having a c-section. The ones who help her breastfeed when no one else can. The ones she can call when she thinks she's having a meltdown and needs time away, particularly from the crying child. The ones who call her to ask her for advice on what to do with their screaming child! I have good, last-a-lifetime, get-in-your-face, loving, honest girlfriends.

7...My parents are divorced and are nice to each other. More than nice, really, they are sweet. It was weird at first, but now it's great.

8...I have a secret craving for cheesecake every month, but have never told anyone till now.

9...When my husband is away on a trip, which isn't very often, I sleep on his side of the bed.

10...I work outside the home. There are days I like it. There are days I don't, but none the less, I go to work. I like my co-workers, even if they do things differently than I. I contemplate my hard work, but every week when I get paid, I think, yep, that's why I go to work!

11...I am learning all about trees, plants and flowers at my job, so maybe one day when the Lord grants me a house or a place to plant and grow things, I might know a little something, other than how to kill it all. :)

12...I like to sing a lot! I sing in the car, shower, actually, I sing wherever. I make up silly songs with my son and my husband, but the most important singing I do is to the Lord.

13...It's my dad's number, 13. I feel it's luck changing with Thirteen Thursdays!

Link to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


I used to think I was the worst secret keeper...oh, I could keep good secrets about anyone - (disclaimer - high school, it's hard to keep secrets. Too much stuff going on; now seminary... seminary is the place you get to learn to keep great secrets! :) I consider myself NOW to be a better secret keeper about others, but I am still the world's worst secret keeper about myself! Isn't that odd? For instance, when I first found out I was pregnant (no, not now, back almost 3 years ago...I probably just gave my friend Michelle a big heart attack) I wanted to tell someone, just anyone, just one person. Well, some of you know whom I chose, I will not mention who it was to protect her and me. Once I told one person I thought I would be okay, but nope it didn't work like that. Now, that's a great thing to not keep secret (at least in my mind), but what happens when someone like me has a bad secret, like, oh, I dunno, haven't read my Bible in months (not happening currently, but has happened in the course of this marriage), not spending time with my husband, not honoring him, not nurturing my child, etc. Those are not good secrets to have and how quickly would I want to share those with others...uh, DUH! Not at all...but you know what...it's still evident in my life.
I read a devotional the other day and it sunk into my inner most depth of the woman I am. It was about a couple whose wife had shared a prayer request about her husband, not horrible, just an appointment he was having, and a lady in the group went up to her husband only to leave him with 20 minute earful of her family member who had the same issue. The husband was crushed, but the wife, even more so. She apologized and they were able to laugh it off, but some things aren't that easy. The marriage covenant you make with your husband or wife is an exclusive relationship. There are just certain things you talk about that no one else should know about, even your closest family members. I read this devotion on the eve of us leaving for the marriage retreat last weekend...I wish I could have copied that devotional and gave a copy of it to each of those ladies. It was that good.
I have known too many women who have not heeded the words from Proverbs 14:1:
"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
I hope that grabs you right where you are today. Do what the Lord considers wise in building your house. Some believe that's to stay at home with your kids, others believe it's to work when the Lord calls you to. Ask the Lord what He deems right in building your house. More importantly, ask the Lord what He deems in your life that is tearing your house down.
In Christ-

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Weekend

Jeremy and I left the baby with the grandparents and off to the mountains we headed. Jeremy's parents were the beneficiaries of David's love and excitement this weekend, and oh, David loves their doggie Bonnie. She is a sweet doggie with a big kisser. So, David always tells me, "no lickin', nonnie." It's cute. They taught him to tell her Time Out (and the hand motions that go with it) and that means Bonnie can't lick or kiss him when he is getting his diaper changed. :) HA! I have never laughed so hard watching him do that and they got the biggest giggles out of that. David was, of course, no trouble, goes to bed at a somewhat decent time, sleeps an hour later than normal, and never has a melt down for them...it's us, it's just me and Jeremy. It's obvious children are better when mom and dad aren't around, because let's face it, we are boring. :) Not really, I don't consider myself boring, but David probably gets tired of all the mundane-ness of mommy and daddy. So, for all those people out there who feel guilty leaving their child with others while taking a nice weekend away with your spouse, don't feel the least bit guilty. For all those working moms who feel even more guilty, after working a long week, and then leaving their child, don't feel the lest bit guilty about that either. If I have learned only one thing in our just-short-of-5 years being married, it's this...
Invest in Your Marriage!
When you do that, you are giving your child(ren) the second greatest gift from the Lord; salvation being the first.
We weren't alone at our mountain getaway this weekend...we were with several other couples for a retreat. I had the incredible opportunity to spend time with those that I do not normally get chunks of time with. It was priceless, honestly. We watched a video series from John Piper and it was awesome, and eye-opening, and full of thoughts. It's called When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. I would love to list out the 800 verses he gave us, but you can buy the DVD for a price that beats me sitting here typing them all in. :) Jeremy and I came away with some good thoughts and ideas. We had some couple time to discuss some questions that the leaders gave us and I can say for the first time since we have been married, we felt comfortable in our skin to answer them. We have had this one thing that when we argue and disagree and then are made to answer questions, it always comes up...this underlying tone in where we are in our marriage. Well, at the beginning of this year, we made some changes, and really feel the Lord using our diligence in a mighty way. I take comfort in the choices we have made and are making for the betterment of our family; the three of us.
So, back to the DVD and the topic of fighting for joy. I think a lot of Christians are familiar with being joyful in a circumstance, but these sessions dive in deeper (come on, it's Piper!) to really fighting for the joy, displaying His glory, fighting to see Christ in yourself and in others. Kudos to the Conner's for working so hard to put it all together...your love of the Savior is evident. Thanks for your years of service to the young marrieds. I pray for all the couples in that class that they may see God's work and be active in it. I love them!
So, we get back from the weekend and I think David grew 3 more inches and is talking even more. He says combo sentences that make me giggle like crazy and that kid made me dance on Monday night, even though I felt sick and had a huge headache. His sit and spin makes music (thanks Grandma) and he just likes pushing the button for the music and then dancing like a crazy noodle. My favorite part? When his daddy dances with him and I watch. Oh, it's a sight!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Birthday Party(ies)

David got two birthday parties, not because he was turning two, but because I love parties! No, seriously, he had one at school on his actual birthday and then had a big one at our house later that weekend. Here he is eating the cupcakes I made. (Karen, homemaker. :))
Grandpa and Cheryl came to visit! David loves them...and if you think David looks like me (his momma), then he must look like his grandpa. :) He got a big Tonka truck from grandpa! Included was an orange hard hat with his name on it...he looked like, hm, Bob the Builder?

There he is, enjoying that Bob the Builder cake and ice cream. He is 2!!!!!!!!!
I got a ton of pictures of all the kids that were here...it was incredible. I think whad like 10 kids here! It was nuts, but so awesome. David got lots of great gifts and he loves it all. He didn't sleep the first two nights, thinking of Bob and Thomas. :) All of his friends were such good kids and we got 8 little bottoms around the picnic table he got for his birthday last year! (Thanks Aunt She-She and Uncle Apple Juice "Bruce")
He made his Aunt Laura and Uncle Tim read to him, more than once, and even got to love on his cousin, Andrew. Also, he thinks his Aunt Katie rules...she got this cool dump truck for him...I love her!
The party was great, I was tired, but got some rest, and all in all...I think we are going to McDonald's next year. :) Hamburgers and Chicken Nuggets for EVERYONE! YIPPIE! (Crowd goes wild!) Can you imagine 10 3-year olds at your house? I think not.

David is 2 and growing well (according to his 2 yr well checkup) and tells me something new each day. God has given me this gift in the form of a child, and for that I am grateful, on my knees, grateful. I get this awesome task of telling him about Jesus, what's truly important in life, and helping him grow into the man God wants him to be. Thank you God...I won't ever fully understand why you chose me, but I am so joyful that you did.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


It's May! It's May! I don't know why I am thrilled it's May, but I guess I really can't believe that May is already here, and half of the year has almost flown by! Yesterday was my momma's birthday and although we were not able to spend it together, I think she had a nice day, aside from having to work...I think birthdays should be considered your own personal holiday and no one should have to work on their own birthday...I doubt that will ever pass.
Today, I come with a heavy, but joyful heart. God, and all that He encompasses (which is everything) and all the works that His hands do, He never ceases to amaze me, startle me, and stretch me. Just when I think I know exactly what He is going to do in a situation, His sovereignty and Love shine through and His grace washes over me and the circumstance. I am grieving today for my grandfather. It was five years ago today that the doctor's took him off the life support and he passed away. For the 6 days prior to this one, my family and I felt like we were in a bad movie. I will spare you the details of his accident, but it was a blow to my family to not have him here. The one thing my grandfather was so thrilled about was my wedding, and he missed it by less than 90 days. I was deeply saddened so much that a year later I had still not made peace with God about it. I didn't want to forgive the man who put my grandfather in that state. After much battling with God, these are the words He gave me...
"Karen-Am I not the Lord?"

Am I not the Lord?

Wow. "I give life and take it away as I (the Lord) see fit. My ways are not your ways (Isaiah 55:8), will you trust Me?" Oh, Lord, of course I will trust you! "No, Karen, will you TRUST me - all that is ME, all that surrounds ME, all that I AM." Oh, yes, Lord, yes...I will trust YOU. I learned a great and valuable lesson that week, the week of Easter 2002. Looking back over the last 5 years, I can see God's hand in the midst of that circumstance and all that followed after that. The care my grandmother receives is part of God's hand; the house Jeremy and I lived in and had David there, that was part of God's hand. Lord, I am thankful that YOUR ways are not my ways...my plans stink a lot of the time! Help me to adopt your ways as my ways; your heart as my heart, and your plans as my plans. I love you, Lord.

I also am grieving today for dear friends of ours who have just lost their baby. Her note of the details of her labor and how perfectly the child was formed (even at 20 weeks) was incredible and moving. Her words, the words that only the Lord Himself could give her, flowed from her like a fountain. This woman walks closely with Jesus and that is a testimony to everyone about the God that she knows intimately and believes in. My prayers are with you during this time. There are two songs to get me through the storms of life...may they encourage you and lift you up. The storms of life are different for everyone, and in times of our greatest need, I pray that I am able to look past myself and my own circumstances and bear the burden for others.

Praise You in this Storm, Casting Crowns - from the LifeSong CD
I'll Praise you in this storm/And I will lift my hands
You are who you are/No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried/You hold in your hand
You never left my side/And though my heart is torn
I will Praise You in this storm

He Will Carry Me, Mark Schultz - from the Album, Stories, and Songs CD
And even though I'm walking through the valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone and I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need
He will carry me
And even though I feel so lonely
Like I have never been before
You never said it would be easy
But You said You'd see me through the storm