To That Mom.

To That Mom,

The one who is missing their mom.

The one who is missing their kids who are now in college.

Or the mom who just misses a child who was lost or a child that never came.

Maybe you are the mom who is over-worked from out of the home job.

Or are a single mom raising kids without any help.

The one who feel like a failure at the end of the day.

The one who collapses once the kids get into bed.

The mom who was up all night with a sick toddler.

Or the mom who was up off and on with a newborn.

Maybe you are pregnant for the first time or second or third and you are just exhausted.

You could be the mom who cares for little children all day long and craves for bedtime.

Or…maybe, just maybe…

You could be the mom who works a little harder,

finds joy,

sees improvements,

finds success even in failure…

But most of all you could be the mother who depends completely on Jesus.

Whoever you are mom, know that being the mom who completely leans on Jesus is the best you can always be.

This world will always suck you dry, but Jesus always fills up. And your children are a blessing from God…Don’t ever forget that!

Moms, I need to hear this myself most days. Being mommy to little kiddos is hard work! But we must persevere. Perspecitive changes everything!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Observing Lent

Hello readers,

This is a long post so please stick with me. I’ve been kinda quiet these last 2 months. There are several reasons for that. But I’m not going to go into that now. What I would like to do is let you know that I am going to be completely quiet for the next 40 days starting March 5th. From March 5th to Easter I will be observing Lent. I’m giving up social media. That means no blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

Since the fire, I have been learning a lot from my Savior. Basically my life has been picked apart. God has been cleansing me through and through. Over the last month I have been reading a book by Beth Moore called Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds. I’ve found a few of them to be weighing me down. Observing Lent will allow me to fully focus on God and to finish out this round of cleansing. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement – “you have to hit rock bottom to fully change.” Well, that’s what I feel like. It seems that God has taken my life turned it upside down and is shaking all the lies and darkness out. He’s truly taking me through a refining process to bring me closer to Him. As hard as it has been, I am grateful.

In Matthew 14:22-33, the account of Jesus walking on water is told. Peter had the courage to get out of the boat and walk towards Jesus when he was invited. But once he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around at the storm, he began to sink. Jesus did save him but then asked him- why did you doubt? In my situation, this opportunity of Lent is allowing me to keep my eyes on Jesus and not be distracted by the storm around me.

Thanks for listening! See you after Easter!

I am Yours, You are Mine!

Yesterday at church we learned a new song. It was so powerful I was literally in tears during the service. So I just wanted to share the song with my readers. This particular video has the words. I pray they wash over you as they washed over me.

This has become my prayer:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

An Update and A Big THANK YOU!!!

TheRefiningFire

How do we possibly thank everyone?

We are so incredible grateful for all the support we have received during our difficult season. We have put together a newsletter with updates as to what has been happening since the fire. As well as a video to thank everyone.

Click here to view the Walkup Newsletter

And here is the video we created -

We really do appreciate everything. Not a day goes by that we don’t remember to thank God for all we have.

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-32

19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

The Refining Fire – How Are You?

TheRefiningFire

“How are you?” This is the question I get most. And of course because our friends/family want to know how we are doing. I can answer that question today on December 3, 2013. And what I will say is It is well with my soul. I am doing well.

I’m walking through the process of grieving. However in the midst of the grieving, I’m finding joy in the little things. I’m thankful it’s Christmas because this took the pressure off me for decorating downstairs. I just flooded everything with Christmas decor. And it’s very warm now!

But, how am doing has a lot to do with the friends and family that surround me…

I have amazing friends. Friends that will search your Twitter and Facebook feed for pictures, print them, and then make personalized ornaments. Friends that will spend the last almost 2 months working to restore some non-replaceable items that were salvageable. Friends that still check in and see what we need. Friends that simply drop off needed items on our doorstep like kid’s medicine. Friends that think about us while hanging up their sentimental ornaments and then take the time to pray for us.

And then there’s family. They have been incredible as well. Family that searches all over eBay for a kit to make a homemade stocking that was lost. Family that helps us out by spending the day with their grandchildren. Family that prays, understands, and just loves us through this season.

For the last couple of weeks – everyday uncovers something else we lost. I am taking the time to grieve that item and find some way to replace it. Some things can’t be replaced. And that is ok. The memory can never be lost. So I thank God and try to move on.

God is so good. He is my true comforter. He is how I am walking through this.

Yesterday I read this in a new devotional I started and it really encourages me. I pray it encourages you as well:

“The great objective of this life is character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity. And gaining as much of the highest character possible is the purpose of our trials.” Austin Phelps

Just to sum things up. As I said before – I am well because it is well with my soul. Below are the lyrics of that song. I’m so grateful for a Savior who cares for lil’ ole me!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

when sorrows like sea billows roll;

whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

 

It is well with my soul,it is well, it is well with my soul.

 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

let this blest assurance control,

that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

 

It is well with my soul,it is well, it is well with my soul.

Ideas for Christmas Fun!

This week I thought it would be fun to share my list of Christmas ideas with you. Since my oldest, Finn, was really into Christmas for the first time last year I’m really ramping up the activities. Here is my list of things to do through the holiday season:

Christmas movie night
We all pick out an ornament that represents us
We go to Kinsey Farms to cut down our Christmas tree
Christmas cookie decorating
Tree decorating (cones)
Gingerbread train decoration
Candlelight bubble bath
Snowman pizza night
Christmas singing parade
Christmas craft night
Birthday cake for Jesus
Sleepover around the tree and read christmas stories
The minivan express (Polar Express)
Start a jar of funny sayings for 2013
Take Christmas treats to an elderly home
Make Christmas cards for a soldier
CiCi’s for dinner then ride around looking at lights
Take kids to dollar store to pick out gifts for each other
Take picture with Santa
Christmas breakfast as a family
Watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Christmas night before bed

The Refining Fire – The Church

TheRefiningFire

Through this whole process there has been one factor that has blown me away. And that is the church. And I don’t mean the building, the place, or anything like that. When I say the church – I mean the body of Christ. God has done some miraculous things through His people for us.

We are in a fully furnished rental house not because of anything we did. Friends are letting us borrow (and in some cases have) furniture to fill the house. The clothes I have on today were all given through a clothing drive. I’m able to take a few months off from working to focus on my family and logistics of dealing with the insurance company because people have given us money. These are just a few of the hundreds of examples of how God has provided for us.

I started a blessings journal because I didn’t want to forgot all the ways God has provided for us through the church. I know it will be a great resource to look back on and always remember how my faith was fully restored in people and in my God.

If you have been part of the church for us – thank you. Whether you’ve given money, meals, clothes, toiletries, baby supplies, furniture, etc – we are so grateful. Words can’t say enough. But thank you for being the hands and feet of our Savior. You have taken care of us. And we will forever be grateful to you and God!

This verse is always true – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NIV

No matter what you are going through, you can be confident in knowing that God will meet your needs. He knows what you need even when you aren’t sure. I have seen this with my own eyes.

The Refining Fire – The Ups and Downs

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Man, I am on an emotional roller coaster. I’m sure that’s normal. When asked how are you doing – my answer depends on when I’m asked. Today was no different.

It started with some great news. The kind of news that takes a load off your shoulders. Then I was given an anonymous gift that was just incredible. It’s very cool to see God so close to you. The way He uses other people is amazing!

Then the day got hectic with drop off, errands, phone calls, more decisions, etc. As the morning went on – I was sent a simple email with what I thought was unsalvageable items from our closets. Thinking it was simply a list, I opened the document. But to my surprise it was actual pictures of our unsalvagable items. Those pictures I wish I would have never seen.

Some of the items I had really been praying for them to be salvageable. Those items were things like Finn’s favorite stuffed animal – Big Al or the Selah’s newborn hat from Northside hospital. I know it seems like such silly things. But they were very special to me and my kids.

This process has shown me that I was much more attached to my personal belonging than I thought I was. My personal belongings, the sentimental items, and stuffed animals are really just comfort. Yet my true comfort and contentment should be fully coming from the Lord.

I am ever so grateful that I have an unfailing and unshakable Lord who cares for little ole me. What do people do without Jesus in these valleys of life?

God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

 You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23 MSG

The Refining Fire – Changed

TheRefiningFire

Since October 12, 2013 I am forever changed. My heart will always be marked.

When I hear the word fire I get chills.

When I smell smoke or see fire my stomach drops.

When I hear people complain about their stuff I fight off contentment.

When I hear people mention the church I smile because I know what being cared for by the church really means.

When I read God’s words I know he’s close and leading us.

My life will never be the same. I’m grieving but I’m grateful. And I can still say God is always good.

The Refining Fire – Part 2

TheRefiningFire

Ok I think it’s time for me to document what happened on October 12 and the days after. I can hardly believe it’s almost been a month. Time just continues ticking along even though I feel quite stuck.

October 12 was a fun Saturday. Finn graduated to the next belt in karate and we had a little family party at the house. Afterwards, I was working on getting the kids in their room for rest time and Greg was cleaning up outside. As I was fighting with Finn to get him upstairs I caught a glimpse of flames outside the window. I ran over and told Greg – “there’s a fire outside!” He immediately said “call 911 and get the kids out!” Finn was screaming as the flames were scary. Especially when we heard the window cracking in before we ran out. The only thing I had time to grab was the kids and my phone. No shoes, no other items…

The next several minutes lasted an eternity. As I waited 10 minutes for the Fire dept to get there I watched my precious house go up in flames. Minutes. It was minutes. When the fire dept got there a caring neighbor ushered me and the kids away. It wasn’t healthy for anyone to watch that.

I sat in shock waiting to hear whats happening. I don’t think I’ll ever get the smell out of my nose. 2 hrs later we take the kids to my parents house. Still in shock.

Greg and I then spend the next several days salvaging whatever we can from the house.

In those days the house soured inside and the smell was awful. We were able to salvage about 4 bins worth of stuff. I’m grateful we were able to salvage anything. Those items that we did get out our treasures now for sure!

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how the fire happened. It’s not something I want to keep talking about. So I will tell you here. It was caused by an ash from a fire pit we had. And yes the fire started outside.

Anyway – God was there through it all. And I’ll explain that on the next post. That’s all for now.

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