Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Part 3

Hannah was born in July 2006 and my life changed forever. That little girl was born to save my life and for that, I will always be grateful to her and my God for her! I know every mother thinks their child is special, but there is truly something different about mine.


I changed for that little girl, and I haven't looked back.
She was about 2 when we started attending church again, and honestly, I did it to please my mom.
I remember listening to the preacher in awe.... and one thing caught my ear..
He started to tell a story about these three stray dogs that he and his wife took in and how they depended on him as their "master" 

I don't remember the rest of the story because as soon as he said that I started having a personal conversation with God.... and it became very overwhelming.

The next year I felt like I was really growing in my relationship with God, and I really felt He was helping me be a better mother and caregiver. Even though my husband and I had a good relationship, I knew it could be better. I just didn't know how

I was baptized May 17, 2009 and it truly was the most spiritual moment of my life. I heard a woman speak one time about how she felt like she was being scrubbed clean from the inside out, and I can totally agree with her!

What my relationship with the Lord has done for me is beyond words. I've come to learn that God doesn't use our lives before salvation to show His might. He uses us before and after salvation to show just how awesome, how powerful, how forgiving, how mighty He is.

College was great and it wasn't too much of a struggle because I took it all in stride. 
Even though I was still in college, Hannah was four I felt called to have more children so we started trying for another. In March 2010 we found out we were pregnant with our second, but 8 weeks later we miscarried. 

Still to this day I can't describe the physical pain it caused me. I was so confused because I couldn't understand why God would do this to me... Why would he take a child from me? He knew how badly I wanted another child. He knew how long I had prayed for that baby.

I found such comfort in my Lord. He used that baby to bring me closer to some amazing women and allowed us to be an encouragement to each other. I will never know why that baby was taken, but it fills my heart with joy to know that he/she never had to know the sadness of this world. That precious baby is at home with our real father. 

We kept trying and in July 2010 we were expecting again! Praise God! 

During fall of 2010 I was pregnant, student teaching, taking care of a husband and four year old, when my grandfather fell terribly ill. My precious granddaddy had always had heart trouble, but he shown his brighter than anyone I knew! 

In March 2011 baby Maddie was born! she was so teeny I was scared she would have to go to NICU, but once again it was just an opportunity for God to show His awesome power through such a little baby. She's still teeny, but has the biggest, most amazing personality of any other child her age.


Six weeks later, I graduated from Troy University with my degree in Elementary Education. 

I still haven't found a teaching job yet, but I have full confidence that my Lord will provide in His timing. It's really hard most days because I wasn't made to be a stay at home mom. I was meant to TEACH! I was meant to ENCOURAGE! 

Shouldn't I be able to encourage my family first? Shouldn't I be able to support my family first? If I can't act out my love for my family how can I do that for someone else's child?

In July 2012 my precious granddaddy passed away. I stumbled upon the Duggar show where Jim Bob's dad passed away and I called my husband in tears asking "Do you think God is trying to prepare me?" The morning he passed was such a glorious morning. I woke up about 4 and went for a walk in the rain. If you know me, then you know I don't exercise... I just had one of those FEEELINGS (in my Dave Ramsey voice)

Oh the rain, what a cleansing rain. I was at such a peace that morning. We mourn for the earthly loss of his presence and I pray for Nana everyday who lost her best friend and husband of 56 years. 

I have witnessed just as much pain before and after I accepted Jesus into my life, but there is no question that I am different person because of His love. There is no question that I see things differently.

Because I have a love like no other for Jesus, it's so much easier to forgive. It's so much easier to love. it's so much easier to serve, because He has transformed me. My husband and I will be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary in January 2013 and he is my earthly rock. He has always worked so hard to provide for this family so I could continue my education and stay at home with the girls. He truly loves me unconditionally and supports every adventure I want to be a part of. We still have our moments and we aren't perfect. Jesus was the only perfect person to walk this earth. But because we want to set a good example for our children and because we want our marriage to work, we put Him first. There is still ungratefulness in our marriage (at times), on both sides, but we made a commitment to each other before we even made our vows, before we were ever Christians, that we would never get divorced. It can be so frustrating trying to reason with a person who has a different mindset from you, but that's where patience and forgiveness can really help and heal a marriage. We have the same goals for our family, but the petty day to day decisions can get in the way. We have a long way to go, but I am so proud of how far we've come. I know that sounds hokey, but he married into my hokey-ness. so its alright. This man is such a huge part of my testimony because he saved me. If it weren't for him I wouldn't have my children, who bring me so much joy! All he expects of me is to love him unconditionally, fill his belly at dinner, and keep his house clean. I know that sounds so old fashioned, but I will gratefully support and encourage him for the rest of my life. After putting up with me for so long he deserves it. He serves people all day long (he's in law enforcement) so I know it makes him feel special to be served when he gets home. 

A man from our church is starting a college and 20 somethings worship service and I am so proud to be a part of that. I know that I have a much different college experience from everyone else, but the passed year or so my heart has felt led to inspire, encourage, and love this age group because I know how hard this season of life can be. If someone had been there for me when I was younger and truly made me feel like I wasn't damaged goods, then things might be a little different today. But then again, everything happens for a reason, don't they? ;)

Thank you so much for reading about my entire journey!! I know it was a long one! I pray my testimony can encourage you today and fill you with hope :)

Have an amazing day!
-Whitney

Thirsty Thursday: Part 2


At the age of 16 I had three knotches under my belt and I started to spiral
I had no respect for my mother for leaving my father
I had no respect for her cheating
I had no respect for her talking bad about my dad
I had no respect for my dad not being there
but I did have respect for him taking a job out of state to provide for me sister and me

My mother and I got into a fight one night and I became so enraged that I threw a remote at her head

I was booked and spent about 3 hours in solitary
instead of going to jail I was sent to anger management

Even though I was smoking marijuana and partying I wasn't into alcohol. It just wasn't my thing.

I got into a really bad car accident one night while racing a boy down the street. I had a couple bumps and bruises but was basically unscathed.
This was the first time I felt like God was real because it could have been a lot more serious.
but my partying went to another level when I was introduced to cocaine. I didn't really like it, but I wanted to feel numb 
My pot smoking, alcohol drinking boyfriend drew the line there and broke up with me that very next night.

After that I fell into a really deep depression... like the not eating, sleeping all the time, in my room all night, screaming, crying fits you only see in the movies. I remember one night my boss sent me home because I was so hysterical over the situation.


I started counseling and stopped doing drugs, and once again things started looking up.

We all know that didn't last long.

Started hanging out with a girl from school over Spring Break and went to a college party where I met my NEXT boyfriend, and he introduced me to alcohol, but that didn't last long because he was verbally abusive towards me

Went off to college, and did well the first few months, but I still allowed myself to be used by so many men....

In October of my freshman year I ran into an old boyfriend (the one that would be my future husband) and he made me realize how I was living was going to ruin me. 

I stopped partying, I stopped drinking, I stopped drugging and I thought things were looking up, I felt normal again.

My boyfriend and I started dating again that month and around Thanksgiving that year found out we were pregnant.

My entire life I wanted someone to love me uncondtionally, I wanted someone to love me for all my faults so of course I was over the moon because that child was going to finally fill the void. 

We decided to do the right thing and got married in January 2006, the holiest day there was. 

So there I was, married and pregnant... and a sophmore in college. 
yeah, that meshed well together.... =/

read part 3 here

Thirsty Thursdays: Part 1

You're probably thinking "Why does she always refer to alcohol on her blog? Isn't she a Christian?"
Ha, well yes, my friend, I am a Christian and I do in fact strongly dislike alcohol.
But, I love idioms too (does that fit here?)
I'm limited in my vocabulary skills, sorry.

I found this girl after goofing around on the computer and was completely blessed by her testimony.
Since I plan on sharing mine this fall it wouldn't hurt to shoot for a dry run.
So here we go, buckle up. It's ugly


Had a great childhood until my parent's divorce. I was seven and my sister was four.
Mom says dad had to "go away", but still, to this day, no one will talk about it.
I felt so unlovable, I felt abandoned
My mom would bad mouth my dad to me. At the time, I was too young to really understand what was going on. But as an adult, how could you do that to a child? What was going on in your mind that convinced you it was okay to burden a child with adult situations?
She soon started dating a man who would later become my step dad. My dad was still "away" and they were both still married, even her boyfriend was still married. 

Before my family broke apart we were involved in a teeny little southern Baptist church, but after the divorce, my mom was guilted into leaving. So I've always been hesitant to get back into church. I felt back then, and sometimes still today think there is too much judgment in the church.   

Elementary school was hard for me, socially. Every other weekend was spent at my grandparents house, and since I never knew where I was going to be, I couldn't go to sleepovers, or birthday parties. Holidays were spent traveling instead of actually getting to enjoy that holiday with my family.

 junior high was even worse. I did make one friend however that later introduced me to marijuana in ninth grade. Finally, for that moment I didn't have to think about my family problems, I could just relax and be free. Through this friend I met a boy and lost my virginity at the age of 14. He broke up with me two weeks later.

(wow, this is a lot harder than I thought)

In tenth grade, we went our separate ways and I was in a school where I met a lot of good people. I started dating a boy who wouldn't allow any of my previous behavior into his life. He was such an encouragement to me and soon my partying days were over. I still wasn't in church, but we would attend youth group on Wednesday nights along with a lot of other kids from our school. I really thought things were looking up. I still had some misgivings about this church and the students attending, because they seemed so fake, but I was learning about Jesus and I was adding dimension to my life, so I was happy. 


About a year and a half into our relationship, we had run our course. He started dating another girl and I started hanging around my old friends again. My friends introduced me to another boy (my future husband) and two weeks into our relationship we were saying I love you, and it got serious.... quick. I was screaming for attention, and I was willing to take whatever kind of attention I could get. 



I had so much anger inside me and I couldn't really understand why. I just knew it was there.


read part 2 here

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #6


This week I am linking up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom! It's always so fun to see what other Mamas are doin' on their Mondays! Here's a glimpse of my Monday! 

The Weather:::
tis a bit chilly this morning, and I love it! 64 Fahrenheit and it's not supposed to get above 81 so I'm a happy girl. sunny skies all day!!  


On my reading pile:::
I really wish I could think of something to replace this section with because, come on, I don't read.... sad, I know :( 


On my tv:::
the eldest doesn't have school today due to report card day so I probably won't be watching much of anything.


On the menu for this week:::
Monday - sketti and rolls
Tuesday - chicken bacon sandwiches onion rings and white peas
Wednesday - meatloaf, mashed taters, and broccoli
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - patty melts, homemade fries, broccoli
Saturday - lemon chicken, rice, and green beans
Sunday - crock pot chicken spaghetti and salad


On my to do list:::
pay bills
laundry
pick up bathrooms
pick up kitchen
make beds
phone calls 
report card meeting

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
still workin on that ole' blanket. I don't think I've touched it in two weeks


Homemaking Tips:::
this isn't really a homemaking tip, but if you aren't sleeping (like me) then try melatonin as a sleep aid. I just haven't been able to get to the store yet.

On my Camera:::
I call this masterpiece "pure shock" lol
she has my heart :)


Looking around the house:::
Jake Saves Bucky is on the big girl!
dishwasher is goin'. 
kitchen desperately needs to be tidied.
  
On my prayer list:::
Awaken Montgomery starts Oct. 5 and I can't wait! 


Bible verse, Devotional:::
I'm stealing this from a previous post because I love it so much!

 Genesis 22:15-18  Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven.  “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name thatI will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants[a] beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Love God Greatly


I have been unbelievably blessed this evening. Even though I’ve already posted something today I feel incredibly led to share this with you.

Since kindergarten recognition, Hannah has prompted we start a family bible reading time, every night.
Hannah started this.
Hannah wanted this.

Because the baby goes to bed so soon after dinner, some nights it’s just easier to read to Hannah right before bed.

We’ve read one chapter a night since we started, at this rate it will take us a year to finish the entire Bible.

Tonight’s chapter, Genesis 22… Where Abraham’s faith is tested.

Genesis 22:2-3 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about.

I don’t see anywhere in those verses where it says Abraham questioned God. Nowhere does it say that God gave Abraham a reason. He just simply obeyed.

Genesis 22:9-10  When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.  And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.

Not only did Abraham obey God, he did exactly what was asked of him.. Not what he THOUGHT God wanted him to do… It doesn’t say anywhere in this verse that Abraham hesitated either.

And this is my most favorite of all:
Genesis 22:15-18  Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven.  “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that. I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants[a] beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”

Because Abraham obeyed without question, or hesitation, he was blessed. How many times do you see a blessing because of your obedience? We are told throughout our journey as Christians that we must wait for God’s timing. God’s timing is perfect. His ways are perfect. To have faith in God is to have faith in his timing. God didn’t say “Because you have obeyed me I will give you all the earthly riches in the land”. He didn’t say “I will give you all the women, drugs, lust, power, money, intelligence”. He simply said “Because you have obeyed, I will give you the desires of your heart”. This is my absolute my favorite verse out of tonight’s chapter because our hearts desires are so simple. For me it’s to be a godly woman – WHATEVER it takes. (as soon as I wrote that I heard a small voice just whisper one word, “patience”)

It speaks so deeply to me that a father could sacrifice his ONLY child. I know that if I were in Abraham’s situation, I most certainly would have disobeyed God. I’ve already lost one child, I sacrificed that child unwillingly for the kingdom of God. I couldn't imagine losing another, especially by my own hand. But our miscarriage made me stronger, it made me a better mother, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend because I was able to empathize with other women on a much deeper level. It’s added so much depth to my testimony, and what my faith in God has brought me through. Not faith in my money, or my husband (even though I have tremendous faith in him), or anything with worldly value. Then and only then did I realize that God truly giveth and and He taketh away. I guess a thought along those lines is what crossed Abraham's mind. A peace beyond measure.

To know that Abraham was about to take the life of his only child must have been terrifying for him, but he obeyed anyway.

How many times do we obey God without question?
How many times DO we question when we are called to obey?

What blessed me this evening was the discussion after our reading.

My child gets it, y’all.
She understands obedience
She is pretty good about not whining when asked to do homework
Or turning off the tv for dinner
Or bedtime
Naptime is another story
She doesn’t whine about our dinner menu (because she knows if she does her Friday night menu is out the window)

She does these things because she’s been taught that if she obeys there will be reward. Not necessarily at the end of the week, or at the end of the month, but she knows it’s coming. Whether its intrinsically or extrinsically motivated isn’t a concern to me right now.

The Lord spoke to me this evening, and as usual, it was a simple message. Obey and be blessed.

Don’t you love a simple message?

Until next time,
Love God Greatly!


thursday throwback




This is my thursday throwback picture
two years ago I was somewhere around 12 weeks pregnant
boy, do I miss those pregnant days


yes, Im in the hubbies undies
yes, I'm in our old house with the yucky nasty doors and lanolium floors :(

baby fever's hit me hard here lately, ladies
I know it'll happen in the Lord's timing
but is it selfish of me to want His timing to be right now?

-Whitney

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

what are you up to today?



Today's weather is so nice.
August in Alabama is the hottest month of the year.
September/October can't seem to make up their minds.
One day its sweltering and the next its chilly in the mornin' and you get to open the windas in the afternoon
and that's what I've chosen to do today.. Open my back door and raise the windas :)
raise? rise? We'll go with raise!

I've got tons to do, but you know me... they won't happen til I'm ready for them to happen. Then I'll hate myself for procrastinating. Happens everyday. When will I learn?

make the beds
fold laundry
meal plan
put dishes away
patiently wait for the iPhone update
(I know I'm not the only one haha)

I'm excited for tonight's dinner. I switched some dinners around because I left something out and I don't feel like going to the store for ONE item. It can wait. Sloppy joes (my favorite childhood sandwich), P-Dubs Mexican Rice Casserole, and green beans just to have a veg, even though we ALL know vegetables don't get along with sloppy joes.

Things We'll do tonight as a Fam-Jam!
go on a walk
watch Jake and the Neverland pirates
try really really hard to work on my blanket

It's the little things in life that make this 'stay at home mom' thing all worth it.
What are you up to today? Errands? dinner out? Church?

I leave you today with my favorite picture of my love and me, just because I can!

Leave a comment!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #5



The Weather:::
its about 84 right now but with partly cloudy skies. it's supposed to rain off and on today. 

Awesomeness of the Week:::
I ordered these spice jars last week and they should be arriving soon. I can't wait to put them to good use

On my tv:::
Unusual Suspects
Money Saving Meals with Sandra Lee (crock pot edition)
Days of our Lives
Dr. Phil


On the menu for this week:::
Monday -  sketti and salad
Tuesday - crock pot cubed steak mashed taters and broccoli (I actually use cube stew instead of cubed steak)
Wednesday - hot chicken casserole and salad
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - dinner out
Saturday - fish sticks, mac n cheese, broccoli (can you tell my 6 year old chose this menu)
Sunday - stroganoff for lunch, sloppy joes, mexican rice and green beans for dinner

On my to do list:::
Laundry, clean bathrooms, make ranch dressing, make SOS Mix
  
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
same ole blanket 


Homemaking Tips:::
I caught sight of this whilst watching Paula Deen earlier.... when making a multi layer cake, spoon a small amount in each of the pans and once each pan has one dollop. Continue until batter is gone. I'm glad I finally found this because one layer is always a bit bigger than the other. I don't know why I never thought about this before :(

Looking around the house:::
Our mountain of laundry is staring me in the face, but I'm ignoring it. The baby's asleep and so is the lab. I'm hungry, very hungry and all I can think about is spaghetti, but that's supposed to be for dinner once again :(


From the camera:::
Now here's a first.  I haven't taken many pictures this week, so I have none to share today.  Bummer!  
  
On my prayer list:::
Awaken Montgomery is on my mind today. We start our ministry soon... I just pray this is where God wants me. My hubby has a career choice to make today. I just pray this choice will glorify Him. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

Exodus 4:10-12

Who knew the Bible could be so straight forward?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #4


The Weather:::
This kind of weather almost never happens in September y'all! its 79 degrees with 51% humidity!! I can't even express my happiness right now. Too bad we have a little one getting over her allergies :(

On my reading pile:::
Does my blog list count?

On my tv:::
dreadful news... only because I'm waiting for my story to come on ;)

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - sketti and salad
Tuesday - bass (caught by the hubby) hushpuppies and white peas
Wednesday - baked tacos and Mexican Rice
Thursday - crock pot ribs fries green beans and corn
Friday - father-in-laws birthday dinner
Saturday - pancakes sausage and eggs

On my to do list:::
Laundry
bathrooms
pay bills

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
been working on this blanket for YEARS. YEARS I tell you (I had to get this picture from JoAnn's website because I'm not finished with it yet, but once it's finished it's going to look soooo good :) Get the pattern here !!




Homemaking Tips:::
If you're like me then you love a clean home, but you hate to clean. Schedule a room a day. For me, bathrooms are cleaned on Monday, bedrooms on Tuesday, Wednesday is kitchen day (organizing, meal planning, and cleaning appliances - especially the refrigerator) running errands on Thursday, yardwork is Friday (because the hubby is home) Saturday is dusting and floors (vacuuming and mopping - but because of our doggie I actually vacuum every other day) Sunday is for rest. This way your whole house always looks clean and you don't have to spend all day doing it. A load of laundry is washed everyday, dishes are done everyday, and you need to tidy up everyday. 

Looking around the house:::
Living room is tidy because the toddler is asleep, the first grader is in my crochet chair watching a movie on the nook, news on the tv. I could pick up the kitchen a little bit, but that can wait.

From the camera:::
So proud of our new furniture, but I'm more proud of my hubby for providing this beautiful home for us!



  
On my prayer list:::
Praying for my Nana. This weekend was hard on her. Friday was two months since the passing of my grandfather and Saturday would have been his 81st birthday. 
Praying for Hubby and me. Yesterday we started teaching Sunday school and I'm a bit nervous. Being responsible for teaching children in a classroom setting is one thing, but being responsible for teaching children about the most amazing Love Story, EVER, is a bit overwhelming.
Awaken Montgomery starts this Friday! I'm so excited to share my testimony with this college group! I pray I can share the Lord's message by sharing my college experience and what I've come to learn what God wants from us as college students (did that make sense to anyone else but me? ha!)

Bible verse, Devotional:::

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23 NLT