The one and only true remedy for sleepless nights. Proven 100% effective.

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Losing Precious Time

My head hit the pillow at 8:24pm and I was sure to fall asleep instantly since I could hardly keep my eyes open since 5:30. Of course by 8:27 my eyes were wide open and my mind was going a thousand miles a minute.

What time does Stiles need to get to practice in the morning?

Did I brush my teeth?

Should I get up and pee now or chance it and try to make it until the morning?

I need to set a dentist appointment for our oldest daughter. Oh dang that reminds me, two of the triplets failed their vision test and need to go get an eye exam at the ophthalmologist. How are we going to pay for that?

How are we going to pay our mortgage, our bills, our child support, buy our groceries, buy the kids clothes, pay for gas?

Our fourth fundraiser packet just came home in the kids back packs. It’s school pictures time. Stiles needs a band shirt, a volleyball shirt, a student council shirt and a safety team shirt. How are we going to swing that.

I wonder if everyone can see my grey hairs? How much is it to color my hair? Should I just get one of those at home box colors?

How much does a tummy tuck cost these days?

I snap out of it and remind myself that I have to get up at 5:00am and need to shut down my brain and get some sleep. I take a peek at the clock. DANG IT! Did I really just lay here for 3 hours and worry about what I have to face tomorrow. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

I have to pee. I should have done it three hours ago.

Back to bed. Glance a the clock again. Serious, I now am four hours away from my alarm going off.

I finally crash.

After what seems like a few short minutes my alarm starts beeping. I cussed at it.

After thirty minutes of snoozing, I fell out of bed to face my day.

The Rising Of The Sun

Much to my surprise the sun came up. The weather was amazing. I stayed home with my daughters and we did crafts. My mom treated us to lunch. We took a walk. We went to church. We all attacked dad and fake karate chopped him. I pretended to be a blind monster and chased the girls around the house. I even got a little work in and paid a bill or two. We all went to sleep with tummies full of food and souls full of faith.

My sleepless dark night of fear was a waste of my time. God remained faithful to me with the rising of His Son.

He tells us flat-out not to worry. He’s got this covered. If He tells us that this is true then why do we do it anyway. Check out one of the most comforting verses.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-28

Take a look at that last line again. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” .

Wasting Time

What a fool I was for wasting three hours of precious sleep time worrying about how I was going to provide. How my husband was going to provide.

Why didn’t I just remind myself that He provides. He takes care of me. He sent His son to walk before me.
I haven’t just lost sleep in my dark hours, I’ve lost days, weeks, months, years.

I’ve spent far too much time stuck in the dark, wondering what was going to happen to me. Wondering how I was going to make it. Stressing about who I was going to become. If I was ever going to amount to anything.

What an idiot.

I Have a Hero

I have a Savior! I have a Redeemer. I have a Caregiver, a Father, a Shepard and a King to walk me through my darkest hour. All I need to do is be still and have faith.

Are you losing sleep wondering what to do and how to do it? Are you losing days stressing about how you will provide? Are you losing years stuck in your darkest hour?

Be still. Have faith. Say prayers. Do not be anxious. Rest.

God’s got this.

Let’s Pray

“Faithful Father thank you for always providing for our needs. Help us to rest in You and have faith that you will take care of us. Let us not be anxious. Take away our fears and light our darkest hours. When we lay in bed at night losing sleep over things that we are afraid to face, gently remind us that You have already gone before us and have already taken care of it. In Jesus name, amen”.

I’m passing on the hair color and rocking the greys with confidence. My insurances will cover the doctors appointments. Our refrigerator is full of food. The bills are paid, not necessarily on time but paid none the less. Most important, my kids are happy and healthy and my marriage has never been better. I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.

A story of courage, faith and grace in the face of cancer. Channel’s story of bravely living God’s plan for her life.

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I took a deep breath in and exhaled as strong as I could and for as long as my lungs would allow. I watched the virtual candle flicker on the screen as she released her breath into the machine attached to the computer. I desperately wanted the air in my lungs to make up for what her’s had somehow come to lack.

Running track had become difficult for her and gymnastics wore her out so here we were trying to find a reason for the pounding in her chest. As the doctor spoke to me I found myself making long and labored efforts to fill my body with oxygen. It’s strange how our bodies react to what is mentally weighing on us.

At that moment I would have traded my lungs for hers. Give her mine, they work perfectly. I’ll take hers. She’s was only 13 and deserved the good set.

Jordan’s mom and dad weren’t able to take her to the doctor that day so I gladly volunteered. That day would be the first time I would meet her mom. She and I met and talked about the diagnosis of chronic asthma then went over every pill and every inhaler that had been prescribed in her child’s name. We respectfully looked each other in the eyes and carefully went over every detail. I talked while she took notes.

That’s how I met Channel, sitting in the kitchen discussing her daughter’s diagnosis.

Now, over 11 years later, that sweet girl  and her mother are facing another diagnosis and finding themselves taking deep breaths in an effort to understand how they got here and what comes next.

Radiation 10-2014

I want to share Channel’s story with you and ask you to take a minute to pray for her, her family and all the medical staff that will care for her. On Monday she will learn the results fo her latest scans and what she is up against. The prayer is always for miraculous healing but they’d settle for no new spots or growth in the current ones. She is a wife to Tommy and a mommy to Jordan, Weston, Korbyn and Tatum. She’s a daughter and a sister. She is the child of the One True King. Please join us in prayer today and continue to pray for this family.

her babes 9-29-14

First chemo treatment after relapse

On October 18th, 2013 Channel was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma and has since faced things in her life that she never expected.

Her story is one of amazing faith and a true testament of someone who is bravely facing God’s plan for her life. I have no idea how I would face what she has had to face medically and mentally but I hope that I would somehow find as much faith as she has and be an example to everyone who knows her and many that have never met her. Through this Channel has touch lives of people that she has never met and shown a courage that people strive for. She hasn’t hidden her fears but has taken great efforts to put her faith first. No one wants to go through what she has and will physically go through but she knows these things are ultimately temporary and that God gave her this test so that she would have a testimony. Channel is facing her test and telling her testimony so that others can find strength in their trials. She is letting God use her the way He planned and instead of rejecting Him and being angry, she is giving thanks and courageously following His plan.

Channel shaved

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Here’s Channel’s story told through the eyes of that 13-year-old little girl who is now a 24-year-old amazing woman, daughter and sister.

Jordan takes deep breath in and exhales as strong as she can and for as long as her lungs will allow. She faces the doctors and diagnosis while embracing her mother’s hand in her own. She desperately wants the air in her lungs to make up for what her mom’s have somehow come to lack. At this moment Jordan would trade her lungs for her moms. She’ll take hers. Give her mine, she thinks, they work perfectly.  She’s the mom and needs the good set.

Shaved -Jordan Channel

Channel’s story through her daughter: My mom was sick off and on the beginning of 2013, she would feel bad then get a little better. She had gone on a trip to Costa Rica with Tommy mid July and had a blast! Shortly after this trip she started feeling bad again. Things just started going way down hill and doctors could not figure it out.

All of her Doctors were doing what they could to figure out what was wrong and one of the things that was done was a spinal tap – my mom got the headache from the procedure and went into the ER to have a blood patch done. While she was waiting for her blood patch one of the nurses came in and did a chest x-ray, we thought that was procedure and didn’t think of it. The results came back and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics and we went on our way. During the next two weeks she was extremely sick – she saw another doctor that convinced us this was a fungus in her lungs (this included being in the hospital 7 days) so again she was on meds but this time it was worse.
During that time she lost 20 lbs, fainted at one point that put bruises all down her body and felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest.

That is when she ended up back in the ER – that night a few things happened. One of her nurses recognized her and told us after she had left the ER last time they realized an error on their part – the chest x-ray that was done was not ordered for her but for another patient in the ER. This was no error – God knew exactly what he was doing! Thank you nurse for making an “error”! Major GOD WINK! Of course the nurses and ER doctor wanted to admit her into the hospital but she argued that she wasn’t staying unless someone would figure out what was wrong with her. She was so tired of being in the hospital with no real results, so that is exactly what they did.

She was introduced to Dr. Ulmer, her oncologist, and his team who have been such a blessing – we all are so sure that Dr. Ulmer is exactly who God picked for my mom. And by the next day, October 18th, 2013 she was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma. The diagnoses was the most terrifying thing I had ever heard in my life. My mom has never smoked a day in her life – HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??????? We were so happy to hear her PET scan came back and that the cancer was only in her lungs! She went on to have half her lung removed on November 1, 2013, and then chemo started. All went as well as I think it could have being this Is the first time ive ever seen someone go through this.

Fast forward to March 2014 and she was officially IN REMISSION!! She went to her 3 month check up and HALLELUJIA she was still in remission. It was when Dr Ulmer called on September 18th after her 6 month check up that our world came crashing down once again – but worse. This time not only was the cancer back in her lungs but it had spread to her brain. WHY? WHY? WHY? Luckily, surgery was an option. We met her surgeon Dr. Bogaev who is absolutely amazing and two days later she had surgery to remove the two largest tumors located at the front of her brain. There are two more spots, one on the back of her brain and one at the top. She had one week of cyberknife radiation for the spot on her lung and one week for the two spots on her brain as well as the “bed” where the tumors had been that were removed. She is getting chemo once every three weeks for 4-6 months and then will be put on a ‘maintenance chemo’ regimen. Mama C completely secluded herself from everyone when she found out it had spread to her brain. She just knew she was going to die and she didn’t want to be around anyone. Thankfully, she has come out of that funk and has been more social and inviting to all of her friends and family. So far she has had two treatments of chemo – this makes her sick for about a week but then she has two weeks of feeling a little better! (so thankful for this) The radiation made her bald in certain spots which meant she ended up shaving her head.

Jordan’s heart: This is extremely hard, overwhelming, sad, confusing, hurtful to me. I feel so sad and mad and I do not understand any of it. The hardest part is watching her fight through this. I see how much she is struggling and it completely breaks my heart. I hate seeing my mom like this and I hate wondering every day how much more time I have with her. The selfish side of me wants her here forever. I want her to be here when I get engaged and when I get married and I want my kids to have a Cici. I want that for me but I also want that for her so bad!!! I think this is so unfair and I want someone to give me an explanation!!!!!! I have had my moments of being mad at God but I’ve truly put my trust in Him. I believe that He has a purpose around this and I believe that He will not only get her through this but me and everyone else too. My biggest prayer is that my mom be present. I want her to be able to spend time with us kids without thinking about everything else that’s going on. It is so hard to be in this situation without thinking about the word CANCER in every single thing you do. ITS DISGUSTING. I also pray that this helps people get through their struggles. When you write about things I may not be going through or have gone through that exact thing but it helps me!!!

prayer group before surgery

Channel has chosen to live her life with purpose. She does her best to teach the rest of us to love while we can, forgive while we can, hug our family while we can and to carry out God’s will for our lives with courage and faith. Even in her weakest moments she continues to remind us how worthy and brave we all are and encourages people to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy at her gym aMAZEn Boot Camp.  Today we can honor her by facing each day with grace and mercy for others, love everyone and forgive everything.

In Channels words,

“Love you all big! Muah!”

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New Research Shows That Autism Is Contagious.

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It only took 8 months but she’s finally playing with her baby brother. He adores her.

It seems like every other day a new study on autism comes out. Some are outrageous and weird, others kind of makes sense and are less desperate than most but for the most part I think we’re just grasping at straws trying to figure out the mystery behind the diagnoses.

I’ve been doing an intense study on autism for the past 8 years. I didn’t realize that I was doing the study, it just happened. I wish I had charts and graphs to show you what I’ve learned but there’s a few problems with that.
1- I’m lazy and that seems like a lot of work.
2 – I don’t think you can accurately chart a humans behavior and be consistent and precise.
3- I’ve never written a single thing down that I’ve learned in my research.

I’m going to just have to spout this off by memory and through pictures.

Through my research I’ve come to discover that autism is contagious. Wait, before you run out and get a hazmat suit lets hang out just a bit longer and talk about this. If you don’t have someone with autism within, let’s say half a mile then you should be safe for the time being.

One of our triplet daughters has autism. We’ve known it since she was only months old but she was officially diagnosed at age 3. It wasn’t a surprise and there was no denial from our family. We accepted it and embraced it.

Shortly after her diagnosis I started to notice a change in our family. Even though we had known she was “different” for a few years, we now had an official name and could explain to her why her mind saw things differently than the rest of us. It lessened the anxiety for all of us but mostly for our daughter. She began to accept herself, her thoughts and her actions that she previously couldn’t understand. We became more relaxed and we all became a little more open and unfiltered.

This is when my research became intense and the results are mind-blowing.

Autism is contagious!

“Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”
Our little 8 month old son erupts in laughter at his sister’s obsessive word that’s going on nonstop in her head, through her mouth and out into the car on the way home from school. She can’t stop saying waffle and he can’t stop laughing. Everyone in the car is smiling ear to ear. Two more kids chime in, “Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”. Giggles are coming from every corner of the car, myself included. I want to pull over and watch but I keep my eyes on the road and enjoy the noise coming from the back of the car. I think to myself that before I knew she honestly couldn’t stop saying the word I would have freaked out. “STOP SAYING IT!” would have been what was yelled in the car previous to her diagnosis but now I get it. Everyone in the car gets it. It’s awesome. We’ve all become a little autistic with her and instead of letting the obsessive saying of the word freak us out, we all join in. “Waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle, waffle!”. No longer is it like fingernails on a chalkboard but more like listening to Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace.

I’m not a fan of McDonalds, never have been but they are clever and sneaky and often win. I think we all know that kids only want to go there for one reason, toys. Our daughter use to lose it when we passed a McDonald and didn’t stop. When I say lose it I mean absolutely go into another world all together, lose the light in her eyes and almost hyperventilate. I found myself taking the long way home just to avoid passing one. Once we realized that she honestly couldn’t help it, we started to accept and enjoy it. I don’t mean that we enjoyed the freak outs, we enjoyed the toy mind games that McDonalds plays with us. We, well our daughter and her sisters, check every so often to see what the next toy is that will be shoved in a box next to “food”. I will make an excuse to buy it. And I will. I’ll cave to the meal or I’ll drive through to just buy the toy. Pre-diagnosis I would have stood my ground but now I get it. It’s the obsession of the year. A picture of the toy plays over and over in her head. She sees it when she tries to sleep and she see it when she’s awake. She can’t erase the image from her mind until it is satisfied. This too shall pass but until then the whole family will obsess over the next carrot on a stick that McDonald’s uses to pull us into the abyss.

My family stopped caring, not about people or feelings but about thoughts and judgment. When we go out in public and our daughter is wearing mix matched clothes, two different socks (one knee-high the other ankle), a glove (just one)  and her hair hasn’t been brushed in so long that she now has dreadlocks, we over look the stares.
When she’s dissecting her meal and eating it in her normal ritual, we no longer question her or try to convince her to eat it the way everyone else does. A few of us actually try it her way, maybe she’s on to something, maybe it taste better that way.

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We’ve all gone mad!

We’ve thrown out any definition of normal and realize that we’re all a little strange. We’re all different and on some level we’ve all become a little autistic or maybe we’ve always been this way and our daughter’s diagnosis just showed us how cool it can be.

Autism is contagious.

You can’t get it from airborne germs or by the exchange of bodily fluids. You won’t get it from touching an autistic person or using the same fork they used. It’s not going to latch on to your child at daycare and get carried home.

You can get it by loving someone with autism. You will get it from spending time with them and opening your eyes and heart to the way they see the world. It will latch on to your heart and change everything about you.

Once you’ve caught it life will never be the same. There’s no cure and you won’t search for one. The symptoms creep up on you and the effects hit like a little league player up to bat in the world series.

A quirk becomes a personality trait.
A word becomes a story.
An obsession becomes tradition.
A fashion flub becomes runway material.

It will make your heart melt. It will steal your kisses and rob you of your hugs.
It will open your eyes to a wonderful new world.
It will make you questions everything previously known as normal.
It will make you drive through McDonald’s while yelling “waffle, waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle,waffle!”

Autism is contagious. Once you’ve caught it you will never be the same and won’t ever want to be who you were before you got it.

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This is what autism looks like. She’s beautiful and kind. SHe’s compassionate and loving but most of all she’s absolutely hilarious.

Fearing The Broken Speaker

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*repost*

We have a pretty amazing attraction in our city. If you’re from San Antonio,Tx you’ve more than likely been there.We can boast about the Alamo, Seaworld, Fiesta Texas, The River Walk, SPURS and so much more but there’s a hidden gem tucked away that only locals know the road to by heart.

Kiddie Park (kiddiepark.com) is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country and every single child in San Antonio and most adults that grew up here have been invited to a birthday party there or had their own birthday party there.

You won’t find big fancy rides, games with prizes or concession stands full of novelties. You’ll find a simple park on a few acres that consists of the original rides that found their way there in 1925.

Our children now go to parties with their classmates at the same place I went to parties with my classmates. That makes me happy.

I took the triplets to a birthday party there a couple of weekends ago and I’m not sure who was more excited, them or me. (It was me by a long shot).

The birthday girl was from Bella’s class but her mom let all the triplets come. That doesn’t always happen for us so we were pretty excited to spend the day at Kiddie Park all together.

The second we got there the kids were off. Several little 6 year olds were making a mad dash to get on any and every ride. I was just trying to keep up. After a few rides they all made their way to the school bus. It’s a miniature school bus attached to some tracks that slowly makes its way in a huge circle.

Simple enough.

I watched all the kids pile in and noticed that Justin, my autistic daughter, was in the back and her face had a worried look. I assumed it was because of the tight space filled with lots of kids. I was blocked behind the fence that keeps everyone out of the area of the ride so I yelled at Justin’s sisters to check on her.

It’s didn’t work, they both said she was fine but at this point she had her ears covered and I knew the melt down was only a few seconds away.

Then came the scream of terror and cry of desperation.

I pushed through the gate like a bull coming out of the pen and ran to rescue my little girl. She wouldn’t take her hands off of her ears and kept saying “the buzzer doesn’t like me, the buzzer doesn’t like me. I need to go home!”

I hadn’t noticed the bright red speaker that was mounted on a pole in the center of the ride.

I explained to the ride operator what was happening and asked if the speaker was going to make a noise. He assured me that nothing was going to come out of the speaker because it was broken.

I knelt down next to my daughter and calmly explained that nothing was going to come out of the speaker but she couldn’t understand it. She was so upset about it that she couldn’t accept that nothing bad was going to happen. To her the speaker meant a noise that was going to hurt her ears.

We had to go to the other side of the park and skip the rides in that area.
My little girl missed out on half the park because of a speaker that was broken and no threat to her at all. She couldn’t even trust that I was going to take care of her if the buzzer went off and ended up missing out on some pretty great moments.

We miss so much in our lives waiting for the buzzer to sound.
We lose sleep wondering if it’s really broken.
We own anxiety because we can’t fully trust in the One who will protect us.

The speaker might not ever make a noise.

I wonder what we’re missing when we waste our time worrying about what might happen. We’re staying away from half of the park because of a speaker that we aren’t even sure is ever going to make a sound.

What are we missing by not fully living in the moment?

I’m afraid that my little girl is going to get made fun of because she isn’t like the other kids, you know the “normal” ones, and I spend a great deal of time thinking about how I can prevent it.

I’m worried that we will find financial ruin because of unexpected expenses that we never planned on having in our lives but are forced to deal with. I get anxiety about it and stress about what it will do to us.

I’m concerned about my teenager who is in middle school and facing peer pressure that she has never seen before. I want to protect her and take away any fears she might face.

I’ve been exhausted due to many sleepless nights.
I’ve had stomach aches caused by worry.
I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and tried to cry out my stress.
I’ve let my mouth ruin moments because of harbored bitterness.

Not a single one of the things that worry me have ever happened.

The speaker has never made a sound.

I’ve wasted half the theme park trying to avoid the noise that doesn’t exist.

Today I’m putting full faith in the One who is here to protect me. Whatever happens tomorrow is part of God’s plan and I won’t waste today worried about it.

I want to experience the whole theme park and I won’t let the fear of the speaker make me miss out.

Are you going to live in the moments or let the fear of tomorrow steal the beauty of today?

Let’s Pray

Loving Father show us today and the beauty that it holds. Help us love today and all the hidden blessings that we are overlooking. Remind us that tomorrow is already taken care of and all we need to do today is follow Your son. Take away the fears and anxieties so that we don’t miss a moment of the things that you have given us today. In Jesus name, amen.

When all the kids ran to get cake and ice cream I stayed behind with Justin to go on a ride that she had been waiting in line for. When we finally made it back to the party table the cake was all gone. I almost started crying, I didn’t want my little girl to feel left out or start completely freaking out. I immediately worried. My other daughter saw what was going on, got up from the table and handed her plate with cake and ice cream on it to Justin. My fear was intercepted by the loving bond and compassion of my little girls.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

A few months ago my husband and I prayed that God would change our lives in a way that would reflect Him and His will. We wanted to give up whatever we needed to in order to be able to spend as much time with our kids as possible. We wanted to be the biggest influence in their lives and their most present spiritual leaders.

Time with our children is far more valuable than anything we could ever buy them and is something we can never get back once it’s gone.

We both agreed to surrender to His will no matter what we had to face.

I ended up quitting my pretty decent paying job with amazing benefits and my husband arranged his job to be able to work strictly from home so he could take care of our baby boy. We prayed that God would lead me to a job that allowed me to be with our girls as much as possible and that offered our family insurance.

God gave me a job at our triplets school in a school district that offers great benefits.
I took it.

But as I sat in the meeting room in the central office building on Tuesday, waiting for orientation to start, I began to panic.

Did we make the right choice?
Are we going to be able to make it financially?
Do my kids even want me at their school every day?
Will I miss out on my little baby boy?
Did I just make a huge mistake?

As I was doubting myself the director of human recourse walked in.
I recognized her right away.

Our triplets go to school at the same elementary school that I went to and our oldest daughter goes to the same middle school I went to. I am very familiar with the schools, our school district and many of the teachers.

The human resources director was my cheerleading instructor my freshman year in high school.

Was this a sign from God that this was His will and the path He wants me on?
I need more God.
Give me something more obvious.
Slap me in the face with a sign, a big sign.
Ease my trouble mind.

And that’s when she lifted her coffee mug and took a sip.

A blue mug that read
Stop, Collaborate and Listen.

There it was.
That was my sign.
He slapped me right in the face with it.

I’m a pretty huge Vanilla Ice fan. Old school, shaved eyebrow, parachute pants wearing Vanilla Ice. Bleach blonde flat top, Ice Ice Baby, smooth dancing, beat stealing Vanilla Ice.

Vanilla Ice, who just so happened to be extremely popular my freshman year in highschool. Vanilla Ice, who most of you will probably have to google just to find out who he is.
Vanilla Ice, who’s obvious and well know lyrics were painted on the mug in the hands of my freshman teacher who just happen to be introducing me to the job that would allow me to be present in my daughters lives even while they were off at school and allow me to be off summer and holidays with them.

It was my reminder from God that His plan for me started a long time ago and He has been putting the right people and the right opportunities in my path since I had a path to follow.

I was not in that room by accident.
The position at my girl school did not randomly become available.
My husband wasn’t able to change things around and work from home because of luck.

This was God’s plan all along.
Long before I even knew that I would be a mommy and wife.
Long before I needed a new job.
Long before I tried out for cheerleading
Long before Vanilla Ice ever took the stage.

God had this plan for me as He knitted me together in my mother’s womb with His very own strong and gentle hands.

When we surrender to God’s will for us the reward is immeasurable.
When we set our fears aside and trust in the One who created us our lives will be richer than a Ghirardelli chocolate bar.

God’s plan is good even when it seems a little scary.

Will you surrender to His plan today our will you try to remain in control and gain the things that you want instead of the things that He wants for you?

This week as been full of blessings reminding me that we have made the right decision.

On Tuesday as I walked out the door for work our teenager yelled at me from her room “I’m proud of you!”.

On Wednesday when I woke my 7 year old triplets by singing “who wants to go to work with mommy” one of them shot out of bed and said “this is the best day of my life!”.

And yesterday as I walked around the cafeteria doing lunch duty during the triplets lunch period one of them raised their hand for me to come over. When I got to her she looked me in the eyes, gave me a thumbs up and said “you’re doing a great job mom.”.

Thank you God.

These are the little people who make surrendering to Him an easy decision.

 

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For You

My prayer for you today.

Father please help us to remember that those who have hurt us and sinned against us are just as worthy of Your love as we are. Remind us that they are also worthy of our love and show us how to give that love to them. We are forgiven by the blood of Your son and so are they. Free us today. Free us from anything that stands between us and You so that we can accept Your amazing grace and love with pure and loving hearts. Free us of the chains that have held us captive in our head and heart so that we can be closer to You. Thank you for Your son and what His death on the cross means in our lives. In Jesus sweet and precious name, Amen.

Push My Glasses Up.

trips bday

When they wheeled me in to the room my body was shaking so hard that it might have registered on the Richter scale. I was terrified.

There were three incubators with three nurses at each one. My doctor and his brother, who is also a doctor, stood by the bed and each had two nurses shadowing their every move.

The anesthesiologist stood ready to impale me with her sword. Okay that’s a little exaggerated but I promise that’s what it looked like from where I was.

The room was a sneaky cat, a peanut butter cheeseburger and alien away from a Twilight Zone episode.

I took a deep breath and tried to compose myself but the thought of them cutting me open and pulling three 5 1/2 lb babies from the safety of my body was more than I could take.

Within minutes I was numb. The nurse said “Did you know that he already started?” I snapped back at her “I don’t want to know what’s going on!”

Yikes lady.

In the middle for the chaos of two doctors trying to safely deliver our triplets, my doctor peeked over the blue sheet, looked at me and said “Hey Candice, push my glasses up on my face, they’re falling down.”

This crazy old doctor delivered me, our oldest daughter and was in the middle of delivering our triplets so I trusted him completely but seriously…fix your glasses in the middle of my c-section?? He’s lost it!

A nurse hurried over and tried to do it for him but he pulled back and said “I want Candice to fix my glasses for me.”

Reluctantly I raised my hand to his face and gave a little shove on his glasses. He smiled, began to whistled and went back to pulling babies from my trembling body.

He just wanted me to pause, take a minute to realize he was in complete control and to trust that he was going to take care of me and our babies. He wanted to assure me that even in this crazy moment I was okay and when it was all over he would put me back together and my life would be better and more fulfilled than when he started to take me apart.

It only took him 4 minutes from the time her got the first one out to the time he got the last one out. His whistling started up again as he began to stitch me up.

We enter times in our lives that make our body tremble and we fear what is head of us. We can’t have peace in the moment because we are too worried about what might happen. We look around at the chaos that surrounds us and we’re sure that we will never make it out alive.

We snap at those who are trying to help, we push away the healing hands.
Our fear consumes us and our faith leaves us.

If we could just stop in those moments, peek over the curtain we have carefully put up to separate us from the One who is there to protect us ,we would be able to stay calm in the storm.

God doesn’t leave us in the in the middle of the mess. He takes us apart so that He can change us, change our lives and put us back together even better than we were before.

If we can remain faithful while He is reconstructing us we will be rewarded in ways that we could never imagine.

If you are in the eye of the storm peek over the curtain and see that your Father is busy at work making sure that you are safe and that your life will reflect His good works.

Let’s Pray

Faithful Father thank you for never leaving us and carrying us in our times of need. Help us to remain calm and safe as you work in our lives. When we are trembling in fear gently place your hand on our hearts and remind us that You are a loving Father, our Protector, our Redeemer. Let us rest in You. In Jesus name, amen.

We just celebrated our triplets 7th birthday this weekend. They were covered in love by our family and friends. My husband and I talked about how crazy and blessed our lives have been since they were born but many many times over the last 7 years, in the middle of the chaos we have had to turn to the other one, smile and say “Hey Honey, push my glasses up on my face, they’re falling down.”

Chicken What?

mouse 1

Last week as I softly woke each girl up to get ready for school I gently peeled back Myleigh’s comforter to discover that she was covered in spots.

After completely freaking out that we had been invaded with fleas or mosquitoes or some killer flying insect that was feeding on my child, we realized that she had the chicken pox.

I thought the chicken pox went extinct back in the 80’s but apparently they still quietly linger around searching out small little victims.

My poor little girl looked like she had been in a paintball gun war… and lost.

We crossed our fingers and said our prayers that the two other triplets, who share everything with her, would not fall victim as well. We also prayed that mommy, daddy, sissy and baby would be safe and pox free through all of it.

We won.
Pox lost.

While all the other girls went to school my husband and I stayed home to take care of our little girl who was covered in whelps. We bathed her in oatmeal, covered her in calamine lotion and gave her the chicken pox medicine handed out by the doctor.

She thanked us each time.

If it had to happen to one of our children then we would have picked her. Sad to say but she is the most passive, kind-hearted child I have ever known and never complained once.

As a matter of fact, she gave thanks and praised God the entire time.

After my sister, her Tia, dropped off a bag of goodies for her she turned to me and said “Mommy, thank you for Tia.”.
When we bathed her in oatmeal she said “Thank you for taking care of me.”
When we covered her in calamine lotion she said “Thank you for getting your hands messy so that I don’t itch.”
When she got a get well package in the mail from her grandma she said “This is the best day of my life.”

It started to pour down rain while we were stuck at home and she asked me to go sit on our porch and watch the rain, one of our favorite things to do. As we were sitting there, her covered in bumps and me as tired as they come, she looked out to our yard and said “Mommy, can’t you just see the beauty.”

I could see it, not in the rain but in the heart of my child.

What if we could give praise through the pox?
What if we could give thanks through the pain?
What if we could see the cure and not the diagnosis?
What if we could apologize for someones dirty hands while we get relief?
What if we could sit covered in our sores, sitting in the pouring rain and say “Can’t you just see the beauty?”.

Today I’m going to use Myleigh’s eyes to see the world. I’m going to use her heart to communicate with others. I’m going to use her smile to face my troubles.

Today I will give praise through the pain and see the beauty in the rain.

Let’s Pray

Merciful Father thank you for the beauty behind the pain. Show us how to keep our eyes focused on you and all the blessings that are poured over us daily. Give us Your eyes. In Jesus name, amen.

The only time Myleigh ever complained is when she missed her sisters. Several times throughout the day she would ask if it was time to pick them up. It made me extremely thankful that even though she has spent ever moment of her life with them since conception, she stills wants to be right next to them every day.

17 Again

17

Repost in honor of mine and my husbands baptism anniversary today September 12th. Happy Anniversary to the one God sent to me.

On our first anniversary my husband came home with a new tattoo. It was the number 17 with our wedding bands and initials wrapped around it. It was placed over his heart.

That might have been a sign that he was here for good.

The number 17 is our “number”. Some people have songs, we have a number.

When we first started dating we acted like 17-year-old kids and joked about it all the time. It stuck and now everything is the number 17 for us.

Then real life hit us.

This weekend we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.

We celebrate two anniversary each year. Our wedding and our baptism together. Each one is just as special to us as the other.

We celebrate our wedding anniversary for obvious reasons but there is no delusion that it has been smooth sailing. If a marriage can go through something, we’ve been through it.

We’ve been thrown in the mud. Completely torn apart. Crushed under the rubble. Betrayed. Poor. Tired. Sad. Scared.

The devil has attacked us from all sides. He disguised himself in many shapes and forms and slithered around our house for years. He would stop at nothing and no one to try to hurt us.

He succeeded many times.

But those things are yesterday, not today.

He hurt us but he did not break us.

And that’s why we celebrate our baptism together.

It was our stand against the devil.
It was us reminding the devil who we belonged to.
It was us putting God first, always.
It was us rebuilding our marriage on the solid foundation that is our Savior.

If He is for us then who can stand against us.

In the last 7 years I have learned that God does make all things new. I learned that you have to forgive everything, not just the things you want to.
I found the strength to stand up for my family and protect us with everything that I have.
I realized that you don’t walk away from broken things, you stay and fix them.
Most of all I learned that God has to be the foundation of any relationship.

Out of the storm God gave us a new life together. And while we will never be perfect, I’d say we are pretty good. Our days are full of smiles. We go through each day reminding ourselves where we’ve been and how we got to the other side. We have forgiven each other and forgiven ourselves. Not a single moment of it would be possible without the Great Redeemer.

We are forgiven.
Our marriage is forgiven and renewed.
Our life is made whole again.
Nothing will ever stand against us or between us.
We have smiles. Laughter. Giggles. Hugs. Kisses. Bedtime Stories. Late night Snuggles.

We are 17 again.

All things are made new again by our Father.

If you’re standing looking at something that seems to have no repair, be still.

I know that God can do the impossible. I knew it the day that my husband and I threw our hands in the air and decided on a divorce.
God had different plans and He worked on our heart without us even realizing it.

We prayed.
We begged.
We bargained.
We gave it to Him.

When you are standing in the moment of despair it seems impossible. It seems hopeless.

It’s not.

“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. ” Ephesians 3:20

Anything.
Anything.
Anything.

He can do ANYTHING.

Don’t lose your heart. Don’t give up hope. Pray. Talk to your Father. He is listening and gently working on your heart the way that He did on mine.

I promise.

You can be 17 again.

Let’s Pray

Merciful Father some of us have a burden so heaven on our hearts we feel like we will be crushed beneath it. Please gently remove it from us and carry it for us. Take away the anxiety that we have from the unknown, it is sometimes too much for us to handle. We know that you work for the good in all of those who believe in You and we take rest in that. Please help us to keep our eyes focused on You and to plant our feet firmly on Your foundations. In Jesus name, amen.