Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mothers Day Portraits

Provrebs 31:28
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

Contact me or view my work...here

Saturday, April 23, 2011

birthday fun

Psalm 23:1
The LORD is my shepherd;I shall not want.

What a fun and crazy birthday month we had. Gavin had a small Nerf gun party at the park. Simple and pure fun. We then had a family party right after for both kids. Our kids were in heaven jumping from one loving embrace to the next. Sometimes I am amazed at Gods provision. Its a little thing here, a little thing there. Lately God meets my needs as they happen and his gifts of provision still amaze me. What fun. Thank you dear friends.
Matthew 7:11
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The author and finisher

My Creator, became my Savior & my Redeemer.
He made me so gently, so purposefully, and so perfectly.

Man fell in the garden. I was born a sinner.

My sin seperated us. And death was coming for me.

He made a way to me...even before I chose to come back.

He sent Jesus to take my place. And while He died...He thought about me, and He thought about you. And endured it, because He considered it joy to be reunited with me...with you...His child, His creation.

He rose again, conquering death and an infinitely holy God was holy enough to cover every sin ever commited.

My sin has been erased because of what He did for me TODAY...2,000 years ago.

I Celebrate. I rejoice. I thank Him. I praise Him.

He saved me! He saved me! Hosanna!! Hosanna!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breast Surgeon: Step 1

My sweet momma(you may spell it Mama...but I spell it Momma) had her long awaited appointment with the breast surgeon today. Her voice on the phone sounded exhausted. And because I'm her daughter...I know its partly physical but mostly emotional exhaustion. She hopes. She has always been hopeful as long as I've known her. Hopeful for my father. Hopeful for my sister. Hopeful in everything. But news is news. And hard news...exhausting.
So here is good news and bad. Allthough there really is no such thing when God is in control.

Good news: Out of 4 stages, 4 being the deadliest. She is in Stage 1.
Bad news: Out of 9 grades, 9 being the most aggressive/invasive. She is a 9.

She has a week of testing ahead of her...starting Monday. Please pray for endurance, peace, and 'good news'.
They estimate surgery to remove the cancer in 4-8 weeks.

Thank you dear friends for your incredible faithfulness in praying for my mom. Pleaes continue.

James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Big girl

My sweet little Grace.
I can't even write without smiling...picturing her wrinkled nose smile and bashful bowed head. My little girl, though small, makes an impact on any room she enters and on any heart that holds her.
She reaches for you... loves to be social, and loves a room full of girls. She wants to be in the middle, wants to be heard, will talk with you, play with you, reach for you.
She signs words like: More, All done, Eat, Milk, Please, Thank you, Beautiful, Hugs, Kisses...you know, all the important ones.
She says words like: Mama, Dada, Nana, Eh, UhUh...you know, all the important ones. :)
She can pull to stand, walk along the couch, but prefers to crawl fast.
She has the softest blonde hair and chubby little wrists.
She also has weak legs, a hole in the back of her throat, eczema, a g-tube, and silly little things like that.

Grace's life has always been an adventure. Its hard for me to write about. But, I must illuminate.
Taking care of Grace is a gift. Allthough, sometimes hard, a gift. It's something that God gives me stamina for.
Many of our days are full of yucky tubie stuff...throwing up because we pumped her food a little faster than her stomach could handle that day, a valve comes open and leaks all over the bed/couch/me...more laundry. We wake up again to find that the feeding we started last night had an error and she didn't actually get any food. She crys again unable to be consoled because of constipation. Another ear-ache/run to the dr./strand of anti-biotics. Anti-biotics means a diaper rash, and bleeding, but luckily no constipation for that week. 6 therapy sessions...translating to 3 days/week at the hospital. The valet's know us by name. We are on the VIP list and get free valet parking. Haha...who wants to be a VIP on the hospital parking list? ME! ME! haha I actually thank God for it everytime I pull in.

She is ALWAYS happy (unless her brother hits her or pulls her hair). She is always improving in her gross motor, fine motor, speech, and eating developments. What a gift. She laughs. She is funny. She dances from the waist up. She is so darn cute.
She is my daughter...my beautiful daughter.
She is my joy and I am so proud to be her momma.
Happy 2nd Birthday Gracie girl!!!!!

Romans 5
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am not ashamed

I know this post is going to make you uncomfortable.
We don't like to make eachother uncomfortable. We don't like consequence or bad news.
But I'm glad my mom's doctor wasn't afraid to tell her the truth, wasn't afraid to make her uncomfortable...because there is still time! There is still hope!

This life.
What is the point?
I must point to Him. I must.
I must declare the longing I have in my heart for His truth, for His reign. I'm ready. I'm eager.
However, I'm burdened. I must share. But I don't want to make you uncomfortable.

Josh & I were given a glorious date night...we loved it, but ...
What is the point of date night? If not for fellowship & love... I know, I know.
But here we are...looking at random books, filled with distractions and
nonsense...just people's attempts at making a point.
So, I invest... $, precious time...I buy in. Its easy.
I look at faces...busy people. Precious people. Souls. Souls Christ died for.
I know the point and I want to shout it. Why don't I? Why don't I?

The car ride home...I explain the cry of my heart, the longing of my soul, the dreams I have of Zion. Glorious dreams. The bible paints a picture(truth) more amazing than any sci-fi novel on those shelves.

I want to be there with The Almighty God. I want to watch Him reign on this soil, our soil...on a throne.
Ruling in PERFECT justice.
There is NO ONE LIKE OUR GOD. The Alpha The Omega, The Beginning and The End.
This is truth...this is REAL. This is the point.

And I don't know how, or fully why...but THIS TIME MATTERS.
He says it matters.
Colossians 4
3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Joshua 24:15
...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Today determines if we will celebrate His reign or mourn it. Regardless... HE WILL REIGN.

Micah 4:7
So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.

Here is a glimpse of my dream...

Revelation 21

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Choose Him today. Make Jesus your Lord of Lords. Today...right now. Live...live with me. He gives it freely, the price has already been paid. He died on the cross for your sins.
That is why I celebrate Easter. That is why I celebrate that beautiful display of love in death. He conquered death in my place. I have accepted the gift. Will you accept the gift and live FOREVER? The alternative is pain/torment forever. And hell is just as real as the heaven I long for. By doing nothing...you are choosing...death.

This is the point. This is the reason I was born...not to live a happy life in a home, married with 3 kids, and a fun job, or even suffer a tumor & cancer with my mom.
I was born to worship Him and to speak His story.
And I'm afraid...I'm shaking.
But He compels me. He compels me to write for you.
I refuse to be ashamed of the gospel.
I refuse...because if you didn't know. If you didn't know...and something happened to you...
This is real.
He is real.
He is the point.
I know this post is making you uncomfortable.
We don't like to make eachother uncomfortable, we don't like consequence, we don't like bad news.
But I'm glad my mom's doctor wasn't afraid to tell her the truth, wasn't afraid to make her uncomfortable when they dianosed her with both breast cancer and a brain tumor...because there is still time! There is still hope!!
There is time for healing. There is time for repentance, forgiveness, and life.

Pray with me...
Father, I thank you for Jesus' death and resurrection.
I am a sinner and need forgiveness from a Holy God.
Please forgive me.
Lead me.
Show me your way. Teach me through your word, the bible.
Holy Spirit come into my life.
Please, be the point of my life.
Thank you gracious God.

Come to Easter service with me! Seriously. I would love it.
These are pictures of Gavin at Vacation Bible School this week...unashamed. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

A new day

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Today feels lighter! He has led me through a dark couple weeks and today...light. A new day. The rain stopped, sun poured in, & new leaves unfolded on the branch outside my window.
I'm refreshed by rest and He fills me with hope again.

Yesterday, I wanted to bathe in self-pity. I mean bathe...roll around in it, lap it up...you know?...just yuk. I felt sorry for myself, I was frustrated, exhausted and honestly all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and sulk.
And I COULDN'T. haha. I couldn't because in His grace, He wouldn't let me.
I didn't realize it was His doing until the end of the day...and I just started laughing.
So here's how the day went:
I had a school photoshoot from 6:30-11:30am, then off to pick up the kids, followed by a quick pick up at my business partners house, who made me laugh...and brought me out of it for a minute. I then head home, the babies need to be changed and fed, & Gavin wants a 5 fifth meal at 1pm. :) Pheww. I finish getting the kids taken care of, I throw on too tight sweat pants and a t-shirt(inside out) and start picking up my messy house. There is a knock at the door and its my sweet and thoughtful neighbor dropping by for a visit. We have a great time talking and playing(my shirt still inside out, and my pants still too tight). She heads home and I throw some rice on for dinner, a quick bite & the doorbell rings...its another dear friend stopping by to pick-up snow chains. We chat and she encourages me & makes me smile, as always. Now its time to start the bedtime routine. The kids are all down, read to, tucked in and happy in bed. And, just then, my handsome husband comes home (late) and wants to talk. I'm tired Lord...so I vent my frustrations to Josh of how all I wanted to do, all day, was sulk and now your home!
We laugh...it feels good to laugh. He is so gentle and understanding.
We laugh at how God wouldn't let me sit in darkness and wouldn't let me slip into depression. He brought precious gifts...precious people to keep me occupied, speak life, and make me laugh...just until the darkness passed.
Is that what it looks like? Is that Him walking with me? Is that Him never leaving or forsaking me? I think so. :)

Jeremiah 31
9 They shall come with weeping,
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;

Psalm 142
1 I cry out to the LORD with my voice;
With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
7 The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

Deut. 31:8
And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you.
He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you;
do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul;

I'm done...no more sulking. Its a NEW DAY! I'm enjoying it, drinking it in and thankful for a God that NEVER leaves me, even when I turn and look favorably at darkness. He gently turns and nudges my gaze back...back into His light filled eyes. Amazing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

crawl away

Deuteronomy 7:9
“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

I'm weary and tired today. I want to crawl away. Pretend its not happening. I feel like I'm in emotional/spiritual bootcamp and I'm tired. My instructor is trying to get my eye contact, hold my gaze, and keep me going...for my own good. :) Or maybe He just wants to catch me on my way down.
God's word and laughter have been good medicine...and I'm hoping the nap I'm about to take is the cherry on top. :) But thats just me. And that's just today.
I'm sure my mom has a different story...full of hope and joy. :)

In hopes to keep all informed...

The news today is that my moms brain tumor is benign and they will try a
non-invasive radiation treatment to shrink or stunt tumor growth. Its a dedicated, daily-5 week treatment. This will hopefully put off surgery for a year or two. The brain surgeon at UCLA said most definitely the priority has shifted to the breast cancer. He feels the breast cancer must be treated, first, before they attempt anything for the brain tumor.
She is already experiencing some loss of function/feeling in her face from
the brain tumor. sigh... This makes me so sad.
If the loss of function gets worse, they will go in right away and remove the tumor.
Here is what we are praying for, of course if and only if it falls into God's will...
We are praying that she retains function, beats this breast
cancer, and that the radiation would work in shrinking the brain tumor.
Tuesday is her appointment with the breast surgeon.

Hang with us friends...it looks like a long road ahead.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

breast cancer & a brain tumor

My mom, after a routine mamogram...days after the news of a brain tumor, was told that she has a mass. Yesterday, a call...cancer...its breast cancer.

She didn't want to tell anyone until we knew for certain. Probably because...ITS CRAZY. Breast cancer and a tumor. That's impossible...right?
This is where I broke down...at a table full of unfolded laundry, tissues all over, my lifeline in hand, and dear friends praying. So, after they leave I snap a picture. This is what holy ground looks like.

She asks me to share...but I can't. I'm literally frozen.

After a long night of silence...In the morning I feel compelled to write.

I wake up and have a life filled, treasure in my inbox. This was her gift today... A letter, from God himself...written to her. Heavenly assurance, purpose for the fire, hope in the refining...to be more precious than gold, so precious in His hands. Beautiful, pure, holy. Praise wells up. Glory be His name.

1 Peter 1:3-7

A Heavenly Inheritance

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Please pray dear friends. Please pray. God is listening.

Friday, April 1, 2011

if you see me and I'm joyful

I am among other things a mom of a special needs child, and recently, the daughter of a mom with a brain tumor and breast cancer.

If you see me and I'm joyful...

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life;In Your presence is fullness of joy.

...I've been in His presence.

If you see me and I seem strong...

Nehemiah 8:10
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

...the Lord is my strength and my strong refuge.

If you see me and I'm broken...

Psalm 38: 8
8 I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

...I'm human.

Psalm 71:5-8
5 For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
6 By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.

7 I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.

I am, above all else, a daughter of the King.