Wednesday, August 27, 2008

St. Louis or Bust!!

Today is the start of "moving day". The packers should be here any minute and we'll be en route to St. Louis on Friday. Bella is already there....she started school yesterday and told me that it was "awesome"! So all is looking well. Mart and she are settled, as much as possible, as they could be - without cable - LOL!

And we will be there soon - - - so I will be out of commission for a week or so, but hopefully up quicker than I think!!

Take care and "talk" soon!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dandelions

I had to share a thought that Bella had. At first I wasn't sure what she was getting at, but then she explained and I loved it.

Our conversation:

Bella - "Dandelions are a good representitive of a baptism Mom."

Me - "why is that?"

Bella - "Well, they start out Gold like God's love for all of us is Golden. And then they grow to be these changed creatures with that love and eventually are blown to scatter around the world and spread and share God's love and word."

Me - yet again, speechless!!! Isn't she magnificent!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bella's Baptism


It was a truly beautiful day. The day started and Bella was immediately excited. She was wearing the cross necklace my mother had given her as a gift the night before and was thrilled that today was her day. She hugged me at one point and said, "I can't believe I'm going to be baptized today." I just smiled and said, that I couldn't either, but I was so proud.

On our way to church at 4PM, Bella began to get really nervous.
She was so quiet in the car, just playing with her necklace that when I asked how she was there were tears in her eyes. We talked about it and than began to tease her to help ease her mind. By the time we actually got to church I think she was relieved to be there. We walked into the Sanctuary, which in our church is enormous, we found seats quickly, got Soph settled in her room and went out to the foyer to
meet family. Before long the service began, as I sat waiting for Bella I began to tear up, just thinking about the step she was taking, how far she had come, and how much faith, at even just 10, she has. Before long she and Marty came out with the others that were being baptized, dressed in white and in the baptismal. She had a huge smile on her face and looked so ready. Marty, on the other hand, looked so nervous. I know that he was thrilled to be able to baptize his daughter. Having accepted Christ himself recently and undergone a baptism by immersion himself he
knew exactly what this meant. Our church is one that fully believes in the parental support of children and faith and encouraged him to fully participate. He held back tears as he struggled a bit to get the words out but he did. I know the thoughts that raced through his mind; just months ago, he might not have even been there, let lone been given the privilege of baptising his own child.
In a flash Bella went under and came out of the water beaming. She immediately developed tears in her eyes and was so overwhelmed with emotion the rest of the day.
We have been gifted a child that from day one has been a blessing to us. She is more than I imagined and I am so grateful that the Good Lord has entrusted me with such a precious gem. Bella, your Dad and I are so proud of your decision and know you have been waiting so long for this. I would love to say that the road will be smooth and free of bumps, but you know better than that. There will be challenging times dear girl and moments that will challenge the core of you, but it is my biggest hope for you that you enable God to guide you. That you turn you eyes upward, cast all your cares and walk with peace and grace even through the hottest of fires. If there was ever a spirit that I knew could do it, it's you beautiful girl ~ YOU!

~Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.~Romans 6:4
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Personality

Bella has a habit of teasing me.....wonder where she gets it? Anyway, she will occassionally jokingly refer to me as "woman". That said, here is a conversation my 3 year old and I had last night.....mind you in Sophie speak (aka, "still not entirely clear")

Me - "Sophie Grace, you need to get ready to take a bath soon."

SG - "a bath?"

Me - "yes, a bath!"

SG - "'kay! But I not go to bed yet, Woman!"

Me - speechless!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Me......

There is again, much change in my life.....and so I thought I would just include a note I sent out to my prayer group this week....it pretty much sums it up!

~Hi all! I have been so behind on this this week, and for that I apologize. I hope this finds each of you well. It seems that as the summer closes more and more things are happening for each of us, but I s'pose that is normal. I have been struggling this week with just what to say. I knew what I wanted to cover, but have been looking for the words. So bare with me!

For starters I wanted to share that the girls and I will be moving soon. We are going to St. Louis. Yes that is where Marty is. We already have a house there and are looking for someone to take over our property here, so I am expecting that to happen any day now. Some of you know the circumstances of my life over these past years, at least with regards to my relationship. I have always been open and willing share, for the most part, because I believe we go through things so that others may learn from them as well...they are not just for us to keep, but to share. That said, this decision did not come easy to me. In fact, it was first revealed to me as far back as May and I have fought it to some degree since. I didn't decide to follow this path until about three weeks ago. And let me just say that God has clearly revealed to me that this is to be. As I have always said of my circumstances I do not know what is to come and I will not waste anytime trying to figure it out...God has proven time and time again that when I do that, I am always wrong. When I first came to Louisville I knew that the Lord was telling me to leave my husband, but I also knew that he was not telling me to divorce him. So I waited and waited. Until one day in late winter I took it into my own hands and decided I was "done" waiting. Not long after that things sped up for me. Before long I was faced with a situation I never imagined. Albeit incredibly wonderful and uplifting I was overwhelmed. So I turned as much of my energy as I could to focusing on what God needed from me. What was it he was asking me to see in this?

Most of you know that I am someone who came to Christ in the midst of difficulty many years ago and did the work on my own. Since, I have done all that I could to remain on the path that I believe He wrote for me. I have seen Him every step of the way; in the loss of my father, serious financial concerns, job loss, problematic pregnancies, the near loss of a child (twice) and so on. Each area of my life I have looked at as an opportunity to draw closer to God, so it was only natural that I do the same this time. Although I admit, because of some of the rawness in my emotions, I pulled back more than I care to say. I began to ask, for the first time in a long time, "why" - "why should I do this?", "why now", "what could you possibly want me to do this for?". But I noticed as I began to question more, I began to get more and more angry. There were times over the past 3 months that I purposely asked those near to me to avoid me - I wanted only to hear from God and I was convinced that wasn't going to happen with so many voices coming at me otherwise.

In March, Marty had, what he has termed an encounter. This brought him so close to God that as he speaks of it, he often cries and he has not been the same. I was not convinced at first and did everything over the months to find out just how I could determine if this change was real change. And every person in ministry I spoke with reaffirmed the same things. Amazingly enough all things I was seeing in Marty. But I chose to not take part in his journey. I wanted to be certain that his journey was about him and God and that it was not there for me, because of me. I needed to know that he wasn't doing this so that I would come back.

In these months, I have seen my husband lead ALANON groups, I have seen him baptised by immersion, I have listened to him speak at his church about his changes...and for the first time in the 16 years that I have known him I have seen him take responsibility. Recently a friend asked him, in front of me, "so, you've really changed?" - he answered quickly, "no - I've been exchanged" He believes that God showed him so much mercy that he performed a spiritual surgery on his soul....he removed all the anger, the aggression, the jealousies, the stress, the pain - took him back to a child and allowed him to become new.

Over this year I have had great pleasure taking part of a ministry that deals with crisis, in several areas, but one is marriage. I know that it wasn't ironic and at first I was so frustrated, but I believed I was were I was to be, so to speak. In that time, I have learned even more than I thought possible. I have always had a great deal of compassion for my husband, for his life growing up, for what he endured....sometimes to a fault. But I learned how truly difficult that is for some to overcome. Yes there are those that do easily, but genetic makeup is all different, so it proves more diffucult for others. After 23 years burried Marty has been able to forgive his father, after nearly 40 years as his mother he was able to "let go" in the most loving and responsible way I have witnessed to her on our recent trip.

So after all my rambling, many of you do not agree with my choice. Friends and family alike, but that is okay. I don't expect you to. This is my path and I refuse to vary off of it. For those of you who have been so critical of Marty, he is no different than you or someone you know and love. Remember John 8:7 "...if any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.." God weighs all our sins equally. They are all sin. And as God loves him so shall I. And I do, in abundant ways.

As I mentioned, this decision has been difficult on me. There are days that I am overwhelmed with much emotion, but I always remember there is a plan - Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I know God is holding me and I know that he will work great wonders for me and hopefully through me. I assure you that I am not weak, that I am strong in faith and perseverance. I KNOW what I am doing and do not worry about the future. Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

My mind is on the big prize and if believing in marriage, in my marriage, is such a part of that, then sign me up - as a great song asks, "who told us we would be rescued, what has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares, we're asking why this happens, to those of us who have died to live, it's unfair." No one ever said choosing to be a christian would make everything easier, on the contrary, choices which seem so easy for society challenge us near daily now and I just want to be found standing in the midst. It's not entirely about what I WANT, but it is about what I am called to do, and saving this marriage is part of that. And I assure you I know with great clarity that this is the road I am to choose. So do not worry, do not fear for my family, just loves us, all of us and know that all will always be well. I know there is still so much work ahead, I know this is just the beginning, but I also know great things will come.

A wonderful friend shared a study on Esther with me (Thanks MT). I was already familiar with her, but have never studied the book. The timing couldn't have been better.....it helped to remind me, as I have been time and time again, God calls us to do things that do not make sense, that are not logical.

In closing I want to share a verse that was revealed to me in so much prayer over this, Nehemiah 2:5 "...If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city of Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it." God believes in rebuilding, He believes in this...I know it with my whole heart and no matter what the future holds, I will not regret doing what God calls me to do.....but I would always regret not doing it.

Love to you all! And as always, thinking of each of you!!

B

Vacation

Finally I am getting around to putting something down. My mind has been in other places. Mart met the girls and I in Louisville and we all drove up to New York together to spend time with his family. Only two of them had met Soph so it was nice to be a part of her seeing 87 year old Papa for the first time among the others. Our neice Sarah, who just turned 11, is such a surprise. She is so sweet and wonderful, but now towering over everyone....it's not a good feeling...she is 5'9", so she has two inches on me and I'm not liking it one bit. It's hard to believe she is only 7 months older than my Bella. They are such good kids and every time they are together, get along wonderfully.

We had a great time, so instead of writing about it, I thought I would just put it in pictures.















Monday, August 4, 2008

Back tracking a bit!


Before I put anything about our recent vacation I want to do a small ode to my 14 year old Nephew, Chandler. He is a terrific kid; smart, athletic, great heart.....we have had the pleasure of watching him, as well as my other nephew Griffin, play ball this year - each season a new sport. Right before we left for our trip we went to his final baseball game. He has been with this team since about 1st grade they have done very well together and alot of the boys also play soccer with him. Anyway, at his new high school he will not be trying out for baseball so this was truly his last game....at least for now....and I am so proud to report that they won! AND it was the city championship!!! So they are the new city champs!!! I am so proud of him!!! Way to go Chandler!

Also to add, he tried out for the soccer team with his new school. It was a long shot because it is an all boy's private school that tends to get many many athletic kids and with only 20 spots on the team and more than 40 boys trying out he made it. He worked so hard and I couldn't be more proud. It was great when I found out, he sent me a text while he was in the meeting with the coaches to let me know that he made it!!! Yay! Can't wait to watch the first game later this month!