Tuesday, May 28, 2013

~*Testimony Tuesday- May 27th*~

If you would like to share your testimony please contact me {here}!

Today's testimony is shared by a woman I greatly admire. She is filled with strength and the Holy Spirit. While we never "chat" online I pray for every request she shares and rejoice in all her blessings.

Haven's Testimony:

This is the short version to my testimony- I married my best friend and love of my life Tim Bailey in 1994. We moved to Louisville, Ky so he could attended seminary from 1994-1999. He graduated and took his first pastorate in a town outside of Savannah Ga. We had dreamed about having a large family but it was determined that I could not conceive. God had other plans. We adopted 3 wonderful blessings- Dylan, Christopher and William in 2000- Then in 2004 we adopted my little angel Caitlyn. In that same year we were called to serve at a church in Ware Shoals, Sc. We had only been there for 4 months when Tim drowned while saving 2 of our children. It has been a challenge to be a widowed mom of 4 children but God has blessed us. We have a variety of pets. A Catholoho Leopard dog, Balto, a Shih tzu, Ashley, and a puppy from her (Ashley's) 2nd liter, Allie, born March 19- Tim's b-day. I am active in my church. I also Homeschool my children- which is a blessing and a challenge!

Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

~*Happy Birthday J.J.*~

It has been such an honor to parent this amazing this young man! He went and turned ten on me!

J.J. has a HUGE heart. 
He adores his siblings...especially the little ones.
J.J. in red holding Donosaur
His love language is service. 
His favorite sports are soccer and basketball.
 
The 103* Day of Basketball!
His best friend is his sister.

The one person in life he likes to pick on the most is the same sister! 

He is a joy to be around and he is my right hand man around here!

I cannot believe this young man is 10...wow!!!

Love you J.J., you are such an amazing blessing!

Ephesians 1:3
 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.        

Monday, May 13, 2013

~*Testimony Tuesday- May 13th*~

 If you would like to share your testimony please contact me {here}.

This weeks Testimony is shared by my sweet friend, Lorraine. She has been our biggest prayer warrior, friend and supporter throughout this long adoption journey! Seeing my children snuggled up in the afghan she made for us makes the whole thing come full circle. That blanket was prayed over for the many hours it took her to make and they are literally surrounded, now, by her words and the warmth of her heart!


Lorraine Szontagh's Testimony: 


I grew up having heard about God and the importance of going to church on Sunday. I attended Catholic school and church but did not know God. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade I was very curious. I asked one of the teachers why Jesus had to die on a cross. I remember exactly what she told me, "To open the gates of heaven." I had no clue of what that meant and was too embarrassed to ask any other questions, but that question and semi-answer stayed with me and bothered me. I had so many questions but no answers were coming. I remember thinking maybe i needed to find a religion that would answer my questions. Fast forward to high school. When I was a senior, I took a World Religions Class. That really piqued my curiosity. For Lent that year, I decided to read the New Testament. I also enlisted in the Navy.
 
Reading the New Testament was interesting. I didn't really understand much other than the stories about the life of Jesus. I kept at it though. At the same time, I got an assignment in my religions class to write a report about a religion other than my own. My best friends went to a Baptist church. I figured that would do so I went there a few times to do research. I got a feeling that there was something happening there that I needed. Also, time to ship out with the Navy was rapidly approaching. I have struggled with panic attacks all of my life. As it was getting closer to time to leave, my panic was getting worse. At that time, I had no idea what it was, I just figured I was "crazy".
But crazy or not, I knew there was no way I could survive this. I started praying. I told God that if He was real, He needed to get me out of this impossible situation - one cannot just un-enlist. Well, God used my temper. My dad told me to clean the cat's litter box and I stamped my foot and yelled at him; I stamped my foot right down a flight of stairs and messed up my ankle. When i reported that to the Navy office along with the fact that it was healing very slowly, they told me that due to the fact that I was a female, they would have to discharge me. If I had been a male, they would have put me into a holding company. Impossible situation taken care of!

Slowly I came to a saving knowledge of Christ. I learned not only about Him but learned to know Him. I realized my need of a Savior.
I wish I could say that I have never doubted again, but I am weak. I am a human! In June 2001, I miscarried for the second, possibly third time. I was devastated. One Sunday, I was sitting home alone while my family was at church. I was trying to pray. I was trying to read the Bible. I couldn't feel anything but pain and loneliness and emptiness. WHY??

God showed me something that I need to keep remembering. In John chapter 11, I read the account of Jesus raising his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. Jesus knew Lazarus was ill and he DELIBERATELY took His time going and LET Lazarus die. He was going to go there and raise him and He knew it. When He arrived, He met with the family and friends and saw their pain and I believe, a bit of anger; certainly a lot of not understanding why. At that point, knowing fully what He was going to do, Jesus wept. He did not weep because Lazarus was dead, I believe He wept because His friends were so so sad and confused. He wept, because He felt their pain. In the same way, He knows how we feel, how we hurt.

God allows things to happen; things we don't always like or understand, but He is not unfeeling in it. I believe He still hurts when we do.

 Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

~*Motivation Monday*~

How was your Mother's Day? Did you eat way too much food? 
In my last post {on Friday} I gave you the previous weeks total mileage...

And this past week I ran/walked 9 miles!

I lost a total of 6.5lbs!

 
That's what I call my fat...fluff. Its on its way OUT and GONE!

What is your plan for the week?

~*Bloglovin*~


I've switched to Bloglovin and I gots to tell yas I'm lovin' it!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

~*Ode to Iced Coffee*~

Ode to Iced Coffee
(By: Jolene O'Dell)

 
Your dark roasty richness
Frothy milky goodness

Icy mound of sweetness
Topped with sweet chocolatness
Sipped down to nothingness!
  
Can I get an *amen*? 





  

Monday, May 6, 2013

~*Testimony Tuesday- May 7th*~

I told ya'll {HERE} that the Lord had put upon my heart to feature testimony's from my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

If you would like to be featured there are several ways we can make that happen. 

  • Leave it in the comment and I will feature it in the future.
  • Send me a private message {here}. 
  • Leave the link to your own website/blog with your testimony. 
I have two to feature today!
The first was left anonymously so if you wrote it and want your name attached please contact me! The second testimony shared is by a sweet friend of ours whom I have not seen in eons!

Testimony 1 by Anonymous
I was baptized as an infant and we attended church when I was young. I’ve always walked the line and been the “good girl”, but have been back and forth between church. I’ve always believed things happened for a reason and been a believer, although maybe not a strong Christian. I’ve never really had a “come to Jesus” moment, I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. There have been many times in my life, however, where looking back I feel God was nudging me and preparing me for his plan. I’ve learned to listen to his voice when I hear it. I’ve learned to try to find the hope in every situation and that sometimes struggles lead to better opportunities and better ways to serve God.

My first job was at a place where many people were not believers. Many of them were brought up in the church, but for whatever reason turned their backs on God and were angry at their upbringing. I never really fit there. I don’t drink. I like to spend time with my husband and family, and make it a priority over everything else. I also believe in what the Bible says and in Creation. I believed honky and cracker are just as bad as the “n” word and called one of my coworkers out on it one day when I was VERY pregnant, tired of the double standard, and a little braver than I normally am. I believe all workers should be hired on merit not by race or gender. I was ridiculed for all those things. The woman who was supposed to be my mentor once told me that she always thought I was “a little right wing nutty” probably for all of those things. I never really spoke up about my beliefs except for maybe 2 instances during the 3 years I was there. I guess my actions made her think this, maybe I should be proud I don't know.


When a coworker who shared opposite beliefs as me became my boss, my troubles began. Now my reviews, which were always excellent before, were subpar and fabricated. I was at risk for losing my job. I continued to do what I felt was right and live the way I believed was right. I struggled emotionally, but I knew I had support from my family and husband. I later realize I also had support from God. My coworkers, who I thought were friends, never showed up for me, but only said how impressed they were with my grace. This was probably my lowest point in my adult life so far. I came to an agreement with my employer and left my position. How humiliating! I still feel that the main reason for my struggles there is because of my beliefs, not because of my job performance. In the end, right before I left, my boss admitted that he thought I was good at my job, but that this wasn’t the place for me.


My husband and I agreed to let me stay home with our child, although I did send out a couple of choice job applications. A couple months later, I received a phone call for a part-time job I didn’t apply for. We decided to try it. If I didn't apply for this job and they are calling me, maybe God wanted me to be there. I started working part-time at this new job where most of my coworkers shared the same beliefs as me. I finally found a place where I fit. Soon after my husband started working nearby, and our life changed for the better. We really feel we are where we need to be. Even though I soon became a victim of budget cuts, I still believe I am now where I’m supposed to be. I’m home with my children, and close to family.


I would just like to forget what happened at my first job, but when I think back on it, after the nausea passes, I realize it has made me stronger, it has made me look to my faith more. I need to trust God and his plan. I need to stick to what I am still learning in church and in my Bible. It is not always easy, but it is the truth and it is preparation for those times when we face struggles and people who no longer believe. I never thought of myself as “right wing nutty” and I still don’t, but I do hope that how I handled a very difficult situation showed something to those around me and made them think. I hope God is proud of how I handled myself, and I look forward to learning more about his plan for me.


Testimony 2 by Jen McConnon

My childhood was pretty average. Grew up in church, did okay in school, was too shy to be too bad. Separation from God comes in many different forms.

Pursuit. When I was 16, I chose to be baptized. Nothing much changed in my life. Enter your theology. Two years later, my youngest sister, who was 10 at the time, had health problems requiring brain surgery. I didn’t know if God was real anymore, and if He was, I wasn’t speaking to Him.


In my early twenties I was married. “Becoming one” did not come naturally. Then I was pregnant – desperately aware that I was powerless, the world did not spin around me, and I did not have what I wanted to offer my family. Hoping to fill my need, I returned to church and God met me there. He blessed me with a wonderful church family who encouraged and nurtured me.

Sanctification. I began to live my life like I had a Lord. As the Lord drew us to Him, my husband and I were also drawn together. My Savior strengthened our marriage. As the Lord showed me how much He loved me, I also could love those around me. As He spoke to me, I have learned to hear His voice. As He has displayed His power, I have learned I need not fear. As He has shown me His relentless love and mercy in my life, I have been convicted to let go of shy and trade it in for a boldness to share the joy my Lord has blessed me with. I’m working on it ….. we’re working on it ☺ Jen McConnon

 

   
  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

~*34 Never Looked So Good*~

We hung out here on my Burp-Day...as my dad calls it.

We ate here afterward and we didn't even know this little tid-bit! 
Plus, two of our kiddos are in the Birthday Club so their meals were free, also!

 I created a new birthday tradition...paying it forward! I saw this solitary elderly gentleman in the farthest corner of the restaurant...a quick shot to the bathrooms (hence my reason for passing by him with a gaggle of girlies).  I told my husband my idea (covering this gentlemans tab) since he was heading to the john with a herd of "hims" and he loved the idea. The first waitress he caught on that side of the joint happened to be this gentlemans server! She brought us his bill when he was done...sure enjoyed doing that and I'm planning to do it every year!

Now I have the song, "Oh Happy Day", going through my meager mind! Singing off key with my kiddos and having them think I'm nutsSuccess! They already think I am! 

  Genesis 30:13a
Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.”

(Enjoy the pictures)

This is exactly how our day went...Sunshine was anything but Sunshiney and J.J. was very moody, yet, everyone else had a grand time!

  Peanut doing what she does best...being goofy!






 Now for my own little animals!

Don't mind mister moody....he cheers up!


He loves babies! Can you tell?
My wonderful husband! (And he's HOT, too!)

But I can't take the hillbilly anywhere!
 Seriously, though, the strap broke on his Chaco's and it pained him greatly to walk in them.

Twas a good birthday for this chica!