Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank You Cards

I had/have 12 thank you notes for Christmas presents. Only 12 but they are taking me forever. Like going on 5+ hours and I haven't addressed them yet. You'd think I'd be annoyed but it's just the new normal. With The Lords help that type of thing is not as frustrating anymore. Plus I have new toys (like a really cool label maker and an address stamp) to make the job a little easier. So, if you get a thank you card that looks like Elijah attached the labels and stamp, stuffed it, and folded it...yes, he did it. :) (He really did do the decorating.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What We've Been Up To

Yes. Two posts in one day!

More Posts

My resolution is to blog more. Even if I have nothing to say. :) it is not enjoyable anymore since the stroke, it's more of a task - a task that takes forever. But God has given me these platforms (both in allowing the stroke and the blog) and I need to use them. Barry and I made a deal too. For every 20 of my posts, he'll write one. Yea! Look out 2015. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


So it's been awhile. I have nothing profound. Just to share....

Ever since the stroke, I have had mild headaches. They have progressively gotten worse. I have recently had a CT of my head land they are thought to be tension headaches. They could also just be a result of the stroke. 

Tension. What is there to be stressed about? Haha.  I think they are made worse (caused?) by the way I have to hold my head/neck to read or look at my phone (there are muscles that are connected down through the shoulder) coupled with the increased tone and constant tremors. Nothing over the counter helps. Boo  

Every time I have a headache (which in the past couple months has been nearly constant) I think I am having another stroke (which is more likely due to the cavernous malformation). Talk about tension/stress. I have spent a LOT of time in prayer.

Join me in prayer that the cause of these headaches is found/confirmed and a treatment/solution is found!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Years?!?

Well it's been two years since my stroke. I honestly forgot about it until my mom reminded me on the way to therapy. I had been thinking about our court date anniversary and Elijah's Family Days (the day he left the orphanage and the day we were together as a family). I just totally let the day slip from my mind. 

I was going to write a nice post because it's been so long...instead I had to put Elijah back in bed FOURTEEN times. Not an easy feat in a wheelchair. I don't know what's going on. Now I'm so doped up on muscle relaxers and prescription pain relievers (tension headaches) that all I want is bed, so you still don't get much of a post. :)

I have thanked the Lord many times today (as I do every day) for saving me two years ago. Join me in thanking him and praying for my continued healing.

Just a cute one...

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Girlfriends In God

March 4, 2014
Patience Pays Off
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12, NIV)

Friend to Friend

Patience is not one of my greatest strengths. In fact, I tend to live each day with a schedule in mind - an agenda by which to live that day and several goals I need to meet before the day’s end.

God does have a sense of humor.

I can’t tell you how many times my schedule falls apart, the agenda is completely forgotten, and I have to move today’s goals to tomorrow’s list of things to do. I am learning that when God wants to build a certain quality in my life, He puts me in the opposite circumstance. For example, if God wants me to be more patient, He arranges the hours and minutes of my day in ways that demand patience.

What is patience? To be patient is to have the ability to endure, but it doesn’t stop there. Patience must also have the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate. In other words, patience is love persevering and love waiting. We are not only to be patient in the way we face difficult situations but in our relationships as well. That just about covers life, doesn’t it?

One of the most powerful Bible passages on patience and perseverance is found in the book of James. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” Do you want to be blessed? Stand firm in your trial. Do you want to be rewarded? Stand firm in that tough circumstance. Be patient – because patience really does pay off.

God promises blessings and rewards to those who persevere and stand firm in hard times, but the reason we can stand firm is because He loves us unconditionally and promises to walk with us through every dark moment life will bring.

Nothing touches our life that does not pass through God’s hand, with His permission.

Remember the Bible story of the man named Job? Job was a faithful servant of God, strong in his faith and unwavering in his obedience to God. Satan didn’t like it. In fact, he went to God and asked permission to test Job. I love that truth! The devil had to go to God like an errand boy in order to get permission to touch His child, Job. Satan was convinced that if Job lost everything God had given him - his health, his family, and his possessions - if Job lost everything, he would curse God and follow Satan. God told the serpent to give it his best shot, convinced that Job would persevere. Satan stripped Job of his health, his possessions, his wealth and his family – everything Job held dear. Job stood firm.

Every trial must come through His love but every trial has a purpose. Every pain has a purpose, every ordeal contains a seed of victory, and there is a promise for every problem you and I will ever face. The psalmist writes, “The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy” (Psalm 28:7).

Patience pays off in many ways, but one of the greatest rewards of patience is joy. Joy is a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Warren Wiersbe writes, “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps his eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat!” God will never let us face more than we can handle with His help. Hebrews 12:12 says it so well: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.” I have been there, done that and can relate to a weary heart and shaky legs. Can’t you?

An evangelist told the story of his friend who, during the depression, lost a job, a fortune, a wife and a home, but he held onto his faith because it was all he had left. One day, the man stopped to watch some men building a stone church. One of the workers was chiseling a triangular piece of rock. “What are you going to do with that?” asked the friend. The workman said, “Do you see that little opening way up there near the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here so that it will fit up there.” Tears filled the eyes of the broken man as he walked away. It seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain the trials of his life.” God is using the trials here on earth to refine and purify us. In Colossians 1:11, the apostle Paul writes, “God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient!”

No matter where you are today, where you have been, or what you are facing tomorrow, be patient, knowing your God will strengthen you to stand firm.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We have done A LOT since the stroke to accommodate this new life that we have (right now). This list is maybe to help someone else (and to remind me). (I have to actually go in to each room to remember). 

- Wheelchair bar by toilet, in Elijah's bathroom, and inside & outside shower
- took out bathroom mats
- installed push dispensers in our shower, Elijah's bathtub, and by my sink to dispense soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. 
- toilet chair
- grip strips in front of toilet and shower
- bought a permanent hair removal system
- bought a hair dryer hood
- bought an Instyler and Perfector for one handed hair styling
-  magnetic clasps for necklaces
- wear earrings with loop thingy (I don't know what they're called but the earrings without backs....)
- bought (well, it was a gift) a NuStep (kind of like a sitting Eliptical
- had a wheelchair ramp installed outside to the front door
- installed a low peep hole 
- have a Life Alert
- Crocs inside the house for traction 
- shop on Amazon since I can't drive
- bin by Elijah's bathtub with washcloths, his underwear, pajamas, bubbles, etc. 
- basket by front door with some of E's outdoor toys (because I can't get in garage where we store the others)
- bought a Roomba (I named him Carl) so I can vacuum 
- baby wipes on kitchen table to assist with clean up (so I don't have to go into kitchen and wet paper towels)
- a nice hand vacuum out and accessible to clean up after meals
- pill box (because it's hard to open bottles)
- stack of washcloths by bathroom sink to wash face (since I can't stand and do it)
- change clothes dryer door to other side to accommodate wheelchair in laundry room
- everything obviously down lower (in fridge, cabinets, closet, etc.)
- glasses instead of contacts because they're easier...transitions lenses so I don't have to keep up with or fool with sunglasses or clips
- flossers instead of using both hands for floss
- toothpaste with pop lid
- hooks in bathroom for earrings, etc
- new haircut that is easier to style one handed
- buy cans with pop tops, applesauce pouches with easy open lids, etc
-wear shoes with back strap (other sandals fall off my right foot)
- use straws (since I can't feel my right side I spill otherwise)
- change direction of some kitchen cabinets
- use disposable hot and cold cups with lids because left hand shakes
-use paper plates because a) I can't reach real ones and b) left hand shakes
- bought Corell dishes (for when Barry is home) to make it easier to load/unload dishwasher
- purse with cross shoulder strap 

Well, that list is not all-inclusive, but it's long. These things have slowly happened over the past 21ish months. It's not perfect, but these things help me function. (I even cooked dinner in the crock pot tonight!) We still are constantly thinking of things to make life easier. We have had to make a lot of accommodations looking over this list but I almost forget about it. It's life. :)

Monday, July 7, 2014


My quiet time this morning (I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study with a group of ladies called Children of the Day) was about God's love for us. She addresses each of us as "Sisters loved by God." Coincidence? No. 

"I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! (Jude 1:1-2 MSG)"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Identity Change

My identity has changed A LOT since the stroke. Some bad and some good. Some examples - I used to be very talkative, a perfectionist, I had a good job, I took care of myself - eating right, exercising, etc. I was very independent.  

Now, I keep more to myself because not everyone can understand me and I don't have the breath for a lot of talking. I can't be a perfectionist because there are some things I simply cannot do right now and those I can do (which is almost anything now) are far from perfect. I had to quit my job (I had planned on leaving when Elijah got here, but being forced to leave so suddenly makes it feel differently.) I have put on a lot of weight and there's nothing I can do about it (i still eat healthy, exercise on the NuStep/yoga/treadmill at therapy almost every day...I have even cut the ammount I eat in half.) I have to depend on others - to drive, water the outside flowers, etc. I am now a mother (see, they're not all negative. I can't walk on my own, see clearly, use my right hand normally, etc.  

But regardless of how I (or the world) see me, I am a child of God. God made me and loves me just the way I am. 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can We Really Trust God?

This is an excerpt from Girlfririends in God, "Can we really trust God?"...I like the story.

"A daughter was telling her mother how everything was going wrong. “I am failing Algebra. My boyfriend just broke up with me, and my best friend is moving away,” she wailed. Her mom listened patiently, and then asked, “I made a cake for dinner. Would you like a snack?” The girl grinned and said, “Sure, Mom. I love your cake.” The mom smiled and asked, “How about some cooking oil?” The daughter looked surprised at the offer and responded with a loud “Yuk!” The mom tried again, “How about a couple of raw eggs?” With a look of confusion, the daughter said, “Gross, Mom!” With a smile, the mother offered, “Would you like some flour or maybe a cup of baking soda?” The daughter responded, “Mom, all of those things are gross!” The mother cut a piece of cake and placed it on a plate with a fork. As she handed the delicious snack to her daughter, she explained, “Honey, all of those things seem bad when you think about eating them alone, but when they are put together in the right way, they make a delicious cake.”

God often works the same way. We sometimes wonder why He allows us to go through such difficult times, but when God puts those hard times together as only He can, they work out for our good. We just have to trust Him to do so."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hope Bible Verses

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24 NIV)

For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good. (Psalm 52:9 NIV)

Insert your name, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:7 NIV) 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NIV)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Adoption IS the blessing

Society often thinks that adoption is a second choice for infertile couples. That having a biological child is the ultimate blessing. But 
This little boy IS the ultimate blessing. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bible Verse

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finish What He's Started

Finish What He's Started

By:Steven Curtis Chapman

You take two steps forward and three steps back On a journey of a thousand miles
And you cry and you pray
But you know at this pace you never will arrive Well I know in your heart you believed from the start God had a purpose He knit you together for
But life has pulled at the seams
And you’re unraveling
And you can’t hold it together anymore

But God will,  He will finish what He started No thread will be left unwoven Nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished And God will finish what He’s begun

And it may feel like 40 long days in a hard driving rain Or 40 years in a dry desert sand
But when He’s finished we will SEE
A beautiful tapestry
And know that nothing has been wasted in the end

Oh, and God will, He will finish what He started No thread will be unwoven
Nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished
And God will finish what He’s begun

And we’ll stand as the ones completed. By the miracle of His love We’ll sing of His goodness and sing to His glory As we tell the story of how

God has, He has finished what He’s started Not a thread will be unwoven
And nothing will be left undone Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished And God will finish what He’s begun

I know that God will finish what He’s begun  

Friday, May 30, 2014


Sometimes God can receive more glory through our trials than He would in the good times. 

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

When our baby was found to have no heartbeat at 14 weeks I thought if God would give her a heartbeat again He would receive so much glory. We would tell everyone we met about it! NOW I know He received more glory not breathing life back into our baby. It took all of the bad (infertility, loss) for us to end up in Russia adopting a little boy with the exact same birthday as our due date would have been. God has received SO much glory through that whole story (every bit of it had God's touch) plus a wonderful little boy now has a home (side note: he has been a bigger blessing to us than we could ever be to him.)

Same thing with my cousin's situation, or Steven Curtis Chapman 's family (who lost their 5 year old). (I just mentioned people that have lost children but the same goes for any trial.) God was, and is, lifted up through their suffering. 

Caleb Chapman (Steven Curtis Chapman's son) has said that they've been given a "treasure", one that they'd never want, but a treasure none the less. 

It's the same with my current situation. As much as it hurts, I believe God is receiving more glory through this season of my life than He would have in a speedy recovery. He has given me a treasure, one that I would never ask for, but yet a treasure all the same. I found the following in my notes from a podcast:

"Our God is the Creator of all things. He is loving, good, and has a much bigger plan. Everything that happens will bring Him glory some way or another. My life is not about me. It's about Him. This story isn't about me."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Glorious Unfolding

Glorious Unfolding
By Steven Curtis Chapman

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart

‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

Watch it here: well I can't figure it out on my phone. Just look up the official music video on YouTube. It is powerful. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Neurologist Follow-Up

We went back to the neurologist in Birmingham and....well...nothing new really. He is not reccommemeding the Deep Brain Stimulator (our only medical option) because the risks (repeat stroke) do not outweigh the potential benefits (decrease in muscles tremors). Way  I said that backwards. You get what I mean. 

But...think about how much you use both arms and hands. I have a very difficult time doing any of those, for several reasons but primarily the muscle tremors are so bad that my shoulders, arms, hands, legs, etc. shake  I feel constant twitches all on my right side. 

We have another follow up in November. Again, please join me praying that these crazy things will just go away. And also for wisdom. 

I did get new wheels...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Brown's

Earlier this week my cousin, Ryann, was involved in a terrible car wreck that took the life of their 5 year old son, Micah, and critically injured two of his sisters, Who are still fighting for their lives. Micah's celebration ceremony is at 2p today, so please be in prayer for family and friends. 

I saw this article and wanted to share.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I am trying a new dosage of a medication and it is all I can do to keep my eyes open. Poor Elijah is having to entertain himself while I am curled up in a chair. :)

I am also (re)trying essential oils. Its all very confusing.  I'm praying something works.

Our Easter picture (Barry is working nights.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014



November 21, 2013
The Taste Berry
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

I will give thanks to Your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness, because Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your name (Psalm 138:2).

Friend to Friend

Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began every prayer with praise. One brutally cold Sunday, his people filed into the church, wondering what the preacher could possibly find to praise God for on such a miserable day. Alexander Whyte stood, bowed his head and prayed, “O Lord, we thank Thee that it is not always like this.”

Are there times when you don’t feel like praising God? Honestly, our feelings are irrelevant when it comes to praising God. Praise is not about us. Praise is all about God. Praise is a deliberate choice and a learned habit that produces contentment and an attitude of gratitude.

In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” In this verse, “learned” means to be “educated by experience” and the word “content” means, “contained.” Paul’s contentment was the result of the resources contained in his heart. In other words, Paul used his circumstances as tutors in the school of praise.

Paul learned how to give God praise even when he was beaten, ridiculed, in prison, and facing his own death. Paul’s attitude did not reflect his circumstances. Paul made a deliberate choice to praise God – no matter what. Why? Because Paul knew that even when he did not understand God’s process, he could trust God’s heart.

Let’s pretend for just a moment. Suppose I went to my local bank and tried to cash a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that when I presented that check to the teller, she would have burst out laughing. She knows what I have in my bank account. Now suppose Bill Gates walked into his bank and presented the teller with a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that the teller would not burst out laughing. In fact, she would promptly cash that check because she knows what Bill Gates has in his bank account.

When we come to Jesus Christ, all of His promises are credited to our spiritual account. And there is a money-back guarantee on every promise of God. That is why we can praise Him – no matter what.

Praise invites God to take up residence in the middle of whatever mess we are in.

Psalm 22:3 “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Praise produces trust in God and strengthens our faith.

Psalm 42:11 “But, O my soul, don't be discouraged. Don't be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God!”

In Africa, there is a fruit called the "taste berry" that literally changes a person's taste buds so that everything tastes sweet and pleasant. Sour fruit, even if eaten several hours after the taste berry, becomes sweet and delicious.

Praise is the "taste berry" for every Christian. Praise is more than emotions or spoken words. Praise is more than singing songs or lifting up hands in worship. True praise is the celebration of God, His power, His works, and His greatness. Praise is the fruit of a committed heart and the tool of a life completely surrendered to God.

When we are discouraged, praise reminds us that there is hope in God.

When we are afraid, praise reminds us that no matter what happens, God is with us.  

When we are lost, praise reminds us that God has already been where He is leading us.

When we are confused, praise reminds us that heaven is not in a panic.

Right now, girlfriend, lift up your head, and praise your God. He is with you and He is more than enough.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Questions" by Steven Curtis Chapman

I may have posted these lyrics before but they are very applicable right now too.
Who are You GodFor You are turning out to be
So much different than I imagined

And where are you God
Cuz I am finding life to be
So much harder than I had planned

Know that I am afraid
To ask these questions
But You know they are there

And if you know my heart
The way that I believe you do
You know that I believe in You
Still I have these questions

Like How could you God
How could You be so good and strong
And make a world that can be so painful

And where were you God
I know you had to be right there
I know you never turn your head

You know that I'm confused
By all this mystery
You know I get afraid
But if you know my heart
As completely as I trust you do
Oh you know that I trust in you

Is it true
that for every tear I cry
You cry a thousand more
Cuz you weep for those that weep

And are you, just holding yourself back
From crushing all the pain and evil in this world
For reasons we just can't understand for now
But isnt there a day of redemption coming
Redemption is coming

Quickly Lord, come quickly
Lord, come quickly

So who am I God
That you would raise me from the dust
To breathe your life and your love in me
You know that I believe

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Elijah pics

First dentist appoinent, some random ones and his 3rd birthday (Olympic theme...get it? He was born in Russia, the Olympics were in Russia, his party was during the Olympics...)

Also, thank you for the notes and emails after my "isolation" post. I wanted to bring awareness for not just me but many many people that struggle with the same thing but for different reasons. We all (and I mean me too) need to step out of our own little world and realize there are hurting people. The end. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014


I have held off writing this post because...well, you'll see. 

Right after the stroke there were cards galore, packages, visits, meals, etc. If you gave one of the above, THANK YOU. Every bit of it meant more than you'll ever know. But now...there is one person that continues to send cards (thank you!!) and one personn that is now coming by weekly (thank you!!). There are a few others that have visited, sent cards and made phone calls (thank you!!)

Now, before you think I'm ungrateful (one of the reasons I hesitated in writing this post), think about all the interaction you get with others. At work, at the grocery store, at Walmart, on the phone, with your neighbors when you get the mail...I don't have that. I'm not throwing a pity party, just telling it like it is. 

I am partaly to blame. Phone calls go both ways. But I can be hard to understand on the phone and I hate having to repeat myself. I am losing touch with people and it makes me sad. My mom is also close by and would gladly take us anywhere but that is not the way it should be. If that makes any sense  

I am SO grateful for Elijah. So grateful. But I am a very social person. This is probably the hardest part of the stroke. 

This is not a plea for visits, calls, cards, etc. (another reason why I hesitated in writing this post) Just keeping it real. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Last Chance

Well this is my last shot at muscle spasm medication. I have had terrible and constant muscle spasms and increased tone on my right side for almost a year, have seen three doctors, and tried 10+? medications. Because of where the damage occurred, medication is not thought to help, but we wanted to try. 

Our only other earthly chance at improving the tone at least, is something called Deep Brain Stimulation. Sounds fun doesn't it? There is a risk of stroke with this, so...  We have a followup appointment in I think May to discuss this option further.

For now we pray that this medication will work or, best case scenario,that God would divinely intervene and provide relief.  

I'll leave you with a cute one of my cutie who climbed into our bed with his bible on his own.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bible Verse...A good one..they're all good ones...

"Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7 (ESV)

Friday, January 31, 2014


I am a perfectionist. I mean, very anal, Type A, everything has to be perfect and in its place, perfectionist. That is one thing that is so hard about life right now.

I am having to get used to folding clothes sloppily, chipping dishes as I load the dishwasher, leaving a couple of crumbs on the table after meals, being ok with things out of place...the throw blanket (shudder) in a heap on the couch. Things, evrything, takes me a much much longer time now, and for a get things done now, never sit still, bustler...this is torture!!

But, not complaining. I am sloooowly but surely getting better and doing more. Yay! :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Here's a devotional from Girlfriends in God...

October 22, 2013

Standing Firm in the Storms of Life
Part 1
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love, and the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:6, NLT).

Friend to Friend

Just as storms in life are certain, so is the provision of God. Life can be messy, and bad things will happen. But every crisis and every storm is also an opportunity to trust God. He calls us to a heavenly perspective when facing challenging times. He calls us to see the storms of life as He sees them - opportunities for His power to be illustrated in human terms. What steps can we take to face the storms of life in a way that honors God?

Step one: Live a pure life.

2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT) “We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.”

The apostle Paul was certainly no stranger to storms. In his writings to the church at Corinth, Paul lists several actions we can take to survive and even thrive in those storms. Notice that purity is listed first. Paul is sending a clear message. Integrity and power for daily life are the result of a heart committed to purity. A clean heart unleashes the authority of God in us and through us. Impurity corrodes stability while purity generates a supernatural strength. It is that power and stability that keeps us from falling.

Psalm 51:10 (NASB) “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The Psalmist links a pure heart with a steadfast spirit. “Steadfast” literally means “fixed or unchanging” and defines the kind of strength that can only be found in a right relationship with God. Stability is essential when those blustery winds of life storms are raging. Some storms come to uncover that cherished sin we try so hard to bury. If we refuse to deal with sin in our life, God will urge us toward obedience by allowing the storms to come. But make no mistake - the purpose of the storm is always to purify – and then empower.

Second truth: Seek understanding.

2 Corinthians 6:6 NLT) “We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.”

Understanding is only as good as its place of origin. Human understanding is limited and tainted while Godly understanding is infinite and unspoiled. Our greatest lessons are learned in the fiercest storms. I know you have heard those words many times – but are they a living reality in your life?

A teacher was asked a question by one of his students who had come across Deuteronomy 6:6 that says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” The student asked, “Why does it say to put God’s commandments upon our hearts instead of in our hearts?” The wise teacher responded, “It is not within man’s power to deposit truth directly into his heart. All we can do is place truth on the surface of the heart so that when the heart breaks, it will fall in.”

Every circumstance that results in brokenness is designed to produce greater self-control and a fresh perspective. We can face every storm with confidence, knowing that God will redeem it for understanding.

Third truth: Learn to be patient.

2 Corinthians 6:6 (NLT) “We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience.”

I must confess that I am not the epitome of patience. I hate to wait – on anyone or anything – which may very well explain certain storms and trials in my life. James had the same problem, but a much better attitude.

James 1:2 (NIV) "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

I tend to consider it pure joy when I can escapetrials of many kinds, but James tells us that trials can and should be faced with patience and an attitude of joy. Not joy for the trials but joy in the trials. Don’t miss this vital truth. Joy is a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Joy is a chosen attitude, and understands that trials are not punishment.

Take a $5.00 bar of steel. If you cut that bar into ordinary horseshoes, it is worth about $10.00. That same $5.00 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350, but when cut into delicate springs for watches, that same $5.00 bar of steel is worth $250,000.

Trials are a test, a measurement of growth. Patience gives God permission to work. We go to great lengths to avoid trials and shelter ourselves from the storms of life. The result is spiritual immaturity.

God will not build our character without our cooperation, and He will not work in us without our permission. We must surrender, invite Him to work, and then, by faith, patiently embrace that work. Warren Wiersbe writes, “When God permits his children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.”

Let’s Pray

Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness in my life. Sometimes my motives are not pure and are so often self-serving. Right now, please cleanse my heart of all sin. Give me eyes to see the treasure buried at the heart of every trial and help me to choose joy - even when I don’t understand what You are doing in my life. Lord, let my life be an illustration of Your strength perfected in my weakness. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adoption is not always easy

Adoption is not easy. I just want to put that out there. Just so you don't think everything is peachy but keeping his confidentiality, let's just say there has been a nosebleed (mine) and a phone thrown in the toilet in anger (again mine)  to share a couple incidents. Now,  I love him more than words can describe, just wanted to share that it's not always easy. :) There are also plenty of hugs, kisses, "I love you mommy"'s...