A Marriage After His Heart

My journey and life unscripted as I transition from the role of a single mom living for God to a newlywed trying my best at blending and expanding my family, all while pursing a marriage after God and my husband's heart. Join us on this journey!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I too as my friend Terry did, am moving over to more cleaner pastures. I have just imported my blog over at Wordpress in hopes that I can escape the infectious spam that invades my blog daily.

The name is still the same so just click here to join me!

My Good, Bad & Ugly Self

I, am a realist.... I believe the only way you can address a problem is to admit you have one. I believe that life is full of teaching moments which can be categorized into three faucets....The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. This is my fundamental belief, it's my mission statement, it's my mantra.

I have been absent from blog land for a long while. My hiatus was intentional. Some of it was because I battled depression during certain seasons and I just didn't want to bore the world with endless "woe is me" writing. I had several Edgar Allen Poe "Tale Tale Heart moments". I went on a dark and twisty places within my carnal nature and attempted open heart surgery and to dismember the selfish person who I thought was dead only to find out I was not.

Don't get me wrong,there were some good times, plenty of them and many more than the dark times during my absence, but by that time I'd lost my zeal for writing. Juggling the priorities of babies and tweens somewhat threw my writing off it's organizational orbit. When I did write I would go back and find awful grammatical errors. Then blogger allowed all these spam comments that seemingly overtook my blog like cancer , toss in the fact that my selfish ego took a bruising when spammed comments overtook reader comments voila' I just became very pridefully and selfishly indifferent to my blog.

But God with his all loving, heart pricking, soul tenderizing, chastening self decided to deal with me on my talent I was hiding in the ground. The talent I was not investing in for his glory, the one I was becoming a horrible steward with. I tried to crawl back into written expression via Facebook, but it's not the same. I still use it for a platform, but I miss blogging. I had to remember that I write for God first, my husband second, me third and everyone else falls in line accordingly.

I have tons of things to write about mainly the journey of my marriage. We passed the year two mark and are on our way to year three. It has been the sweetest most painstaking experiences I have yet to endure. I don't say endure lightly either. Marriage is an endurance sport. It's not a sprint, it's not a leisurely stroll, it is a marathon. One does not wake up one day and run the Boston Marathon trust me, and I learned that marriage is the same. I have had to undergo rigorous training, pushing myself way beyond limits my mind and heart wanted to go. I have realized things about myself that I thought were dead, and God has often reminded me of the list of "giver uppers" I swore to if only he blessed me with a husband!

Don't get me wrong, I am completely, utterly, absolutely, overly in love with my Mark. I love that dude's dirty drawers ( as we say down here in the south), but loving him correctly, in lockstep with God's word, and loving him more than I love Jamala has been a work wrought within me! I thought things would just fall automatically, but you really learn what true love is when you love beyond your selfishness when you are forced to love beyond what you feel is fair and reasonable. Marriage is truly defined when you truly sit down and ponder on what the "for better of a person, and for worse of a person" really means.

I have and still am learning that even though we are one, we still both have an individual nature that if left unattended will result in a Pushmi -pullyu . Remember that animal character from the Dr. Doolittle series? When one tried to go left the other went right, or when one tried to go north, the other went south? Yep, this is exactly the type of animal Jamala was fighting against becoming. And it's easy to turn into a Pushmi-pullyu when you allow the little things to distract you from the word of God, from your vows, from those sweet promises you made to each other while honeymooning, from the duties you have been given as stewards of a family.

My strained gnats like (submission, obedience, love, and patience with one another) was at times overshadowed by the swallowed camels (like bills, unplanned babies, exhaustion, feeling pulled in upteenthousand directions coupled with expected husband/wife marital duties, and my sometimes really hidden desire for equality and balance in the marital hierarchy); and all the while the elephant/camel in the room was ignored. I simply did not want to admit that I was given a place, a lane to stay in and I simply at times was not in it. Oh I wasn't openly toe to toe arguing with my husband, no none of that, but was I perfoming my duties with a willing, cheerful heart? Was I outwardly honoring him while inwardly feeling very unappreciated and jealous of his God given role and honor? The answer is yes, at times I found myself behaving on the inside like a jealous child.
Yep, I am openly admitting that this has been my journey. I have found myself at times walking the same path that I said I would never travel. Instead of the small narrow way, I often times found myself off path, not quite on the broad way, but off that path that is "tight but right".
I thank God for giving me a loving, patient husband. I thank God for introducing me to a handful of Godly women that keep me grounded even when I had to cringe when reading about my "almost" behavior through their writing. I thank Him for a community of women who hold up the banner of Godliness, and of the true ways of a Godly wife. I have so much more to say but I will save my experiences for another post but for now I will leave you with this just dessert. It's a picture of Tabron Reese, who is such a sweet, quiet, baby who is also her daddy's mirror. She fills our days with gummy smiles and deep belly giggles. We are truly blessed!

a mobile phone pic of Tabron's first smiles

Graci at her Otolarynologist appointment after her surgery
Pushmi-pullyu image taken from this internet site.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My disjointed thoughts on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque

This post (title included) in it's entirety was written by a college classmate of mine and posted as a note on his Facebook page. I have nothing to add but his words sum up my feelings about this particular issue. As many know I normally don't get involved with politics and while most of my blogging buddies are very anti-Obama administration I still support him as the Commander in Chief even though I am not always happy with every decsion he has made. But this time he is right to support the very beliefs this country were built on. And without futher adoo I am posting my friend Henry's blog post.

My disjointed thoughts on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.....by Henry Brooks IV on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 9:32pm.

I never have claimed to be a biblical scholar nor have I ever played the role of learned political historian. You will probably never see me on MSNBC, CBS, or FOX News giving "expert" analysis of the difference between Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews or the similarities between Suni and Shiite Muslims. That's not my field and I would end up looking like a complete idiot if the questions moved anywhere past the surface of any discussion on theology. Luckily, I understand my limitations and try (very hard) not to step into that area with my $0.02 lest someone make intellectual change out of me. In this way, I am much like a majority of Americans...I can quote enough scriptures from the King James Bible and sing enough hymns to look like I attended Sunday School as a youth and quote enough from the U.S. Constitution to show you that I watched the ABC network every Saturday morning so I wouldn't miss Schoolhouse Rock.

Now that I've laid out my qualifications (which are minimal), I want to express my thoughts on a topic that's been scraping the chalkboard of mid-term election politics for the last week or so: The Ground Zero Mosque.

First, let's get some facts. Contrary to the popular title being given to it, this project is neither a mosque nor is it even at Ground Zero. A group of American citizens has decided to go into a dying part of lower Mannhattah, purchase a building in disrepair, demolish it and build a cultural center. This center will be open to all people and will have a swimming pool, gym, culinary school, library, 500 seat auditorium, and host childrens services, programs, and exhibitions. The group happens to be Muslim. There will be a mosque. There will also be a September 11th memorial.

What's wrong with that? Sounds like a good idea, huh? Build a community center for all to enjoy, create some jobs, clean up a dying area of the city, possibly spark other businesses to open in the area...this is a GREAT idea, right? Ok, here is where things get a little tricky. The Cultural Center will be built roughly 2 blocks from Ground Zero and this is obviously causing people serious emotional damage. The question is, why?

Many of those in objection to the cultural center claim that it is being built too close to the place where radical Muslim extremists flew 2 planes into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. They say that building the center, which will include a mosque, so close dishonors the memory of those who lost their lives on that day and in that spot.

This is where I get confused.

Is my hearing bad or are these people saying that being a Muslim means you are so closely associated with terrorists that you SHOULD want to forfiet your rights as a citizen so that our feelings dont' get hurt and we can keep holding on to our religious bigotry.

I get confused because I don't understand how we, as freedom loving, flag waving, liberty huggin', rights totin' Americans, can allow ourselves to make the blanket association and accusation that all Muslims are terrorists. Now, some of you will take offense at that statement and if I cared I might apologize but since I don't care...STAND OFFENDED. If two weeks ago you were thanking our troops for fighting for our freedoms and today you are saying that all Muslims are terrorists and EVEN...then you just dropped your pants and took a huge dump on the American Flag. Yeah, you did.

You see, freedom ain't free, righteousness ain't always comfortable and protecting a just society is hard work.

As Americans we have a responsibility to stand up for the rule of law that protects each of us. The fact that we don't agree with someone's stance doesn't give us the right to fight against their right to have and express that opinion. We should smack the taste out of the mouth of anyone that stifles dissent. Dissent is what makes this country great. Dissent is what keeps our U.S. Constitution living. Dissent is what gives us the right to express our opinions, argue, scream, and shout at each other and then go enjoy a low-fat mocha latte together once we decide to agree to disagree. It doesn't mean that we wont fight tomorrow. It doesn't mean that we are enemies. It only means that we disagree and thank God that we live in a country where we can have an open discussion about our differences without worrying about being tossed in jail or killed. That's freedom.

We must fight to protect this right. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Siek, Hindi, or even Muslim. You don't have the right to write off an entire religion because of its crazies. No one should write off Christianity or be afraid of Christians because of the acts of some radical Christian extremists. As a matter of fact, we (Chrisitans) tend to qualify such statements with the caveat, "...but they aren't really Christians. Not if they would do that." Why can't we accept that Muslims feel the same way about their crazies?

Build the Center. Open it to all who visit the area. Run a shuttle to the Ground Zero monument so that people can understand the true meaning of Islam. Our founding fathers understood it and they wrote about it. Ben Franklin (remember him?) wrote that

"even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service." -Benjamin Franklin

Since I'm a brotha and we are talking about reconciliation and peace you know I couldn't leave you without a Martin Luther King, Jr quote so here it goes:

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

So to those who are afraid of the center becoming a training ground for radical muslims I ask if this center scares you? If so, why? Are you afriad of Muslims or are you afraid of the unknown? Whatever your answer, I suggest you visit an Islamic center and learn a little more. To those who would ask if this center is "politic" or a good move I would counsel them to look past the current pain or political climate and seek the answer in the long term. Do you hate Muslims or do you hate Hate? To those who ask is it right I would tell them to stand on that which gives us the right to even ask that question...the Constitution of the United States of America.

I'll close with a quote from George Bernard Shaw about Liberty

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." - George Bernard Shaw

Liberty does mean responsibility. Sometimes you have to do what you NEED to do in order to do what you want to do. We NEED to protect free speech, promote cultural exchanges, promote peace and understanding amongst fellow citizens of different races, religions, and beliefs. But if you want to continue to spew hatred and fan
the flames of discord over the center, feel free. You have that right.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What A Difference A Couple of Years Makes


Added To This

Which was multiplied by this

Equals a Happy 2yr Anniversary!!!!
I thank God that after the wedding dust settled, He blessed me to still have a loving marriage, after the honeymoon when I am not cute all the time, I still have the comfort of staying on his mind, after the gifts were unwrapped and put away, God blessed us with the gift of family and after all the disagreements, misunderstandings, hard times, good times and all, We still have God!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Introduing Miss Tabron Reese Thomas

My sincerest apologies for posting pictures so late of our newest addition to the Thomas family, but as you can imagine, life for me has been a little hectic.

Our fifth daughter Tabron Reese Thomas was born Sunday May 16th after many weeks of trying to keep her in the oven until she was as close to full term as possible. She was born at 36.5 weeks at 7lbs 15oz and 19 3/4 inches long. A little bit more than big sis who was born at 38 weeks. Her first name pronounced (Taybren) is my mother's maiden name, I have always loved the name Reese and we just wanted her to have a uniqueness about her.

I had a bit of a difficult time carrying her during the last trimester. At about 33 weeks I developed a yeast infection that was in my blood stream and caused me to have the symptoms of a pregnancy related disorder called
cholestasis of pregnancy and after running blood work my there were now bile salts in my blood and my liver was fine but I did have an overgrowth of yeast in my system that was causing me tons of problems.

Chocolate drop and Mercy

I actually started dilating at 33 weeks and was given steroid shots for the baby's lungs in case I delivered pre-term. I spent the next three weeks in and out the hospital getting shots to stop my contractions which which were consistent but not strong enough to make me dilate past the 2cm I was currently at but as we all know things change with babies and once we made it to 36weeks and I started feeling better and moving around more things changed. The funny part is the Monday before she was born I had an OB appointment and scheduled her birth for 6/4 since she was actually due 6/9, but that Thursday night I started contracting again, the next day I got up for work thinking that I really needed to make this my last day and prepare just in case. On the way out the door I ran to the rest room only to find that I was loosing part of my plug, I went into work and the contractions intensified. I called my mom to make plans to come after work and pick up the girls and later that night we went to the hospital. Sure enough I dilated from 2cm to 4cm. Again, I was sedated and given drugs to stop my labor as the Peds doc and my doc wanted to try as much as they could to push things back to 37 weeks.

Grace and Mercy as they are nicknamed

Saturday morning we were sent home, I was sedated and slept for most of the day. Mark was scheduled to work an overnight 7p-7a shift so I sent him to work thinking I could really use the alone time to sleep and relax which is what I did since I was still in and out from the relaxants. I woke up though in the early hours Sunday morning with stronger contractions and by the time Mark made it home I was in true labor... I decided to take a bath to dull the pain because I honestly did not want to go back to the hospital. I took the meds given to control the contractions and thought I will just sleep again but as I got out of the tub and started to get dressed my water broke. At that time we just got into packing mode and headed to the hospital which at that time about 11 am.

Once we got checked in I tried my hardest to breath through the contractions but having experienced the intense pain of a dry labor and delivery and not having a high threshold for pain, I opted for an epidural. By that time Mark was exhausted so we napped and around 5:30 I started feeling the urge to push, the nurse checked, she was crowning and before we knew it she was born at 5:56 pm. We had a relatively easy birth. The hard part came afterwards. As soon as I delivered her, I felt the urge to cough and I couldn't stop coughing and I couldn't catch my breath. I got really hot and started spiking a fever a few moments later I slipped out of conscienceless and didn't come to until about 9 pm, I was given antibiotics and had chest x-rays taken but the doctors couldn't find a cause for me getting so ill. I chalked it up to God's immediate healing powers and finally about 11 pm once my fever broke I was able to hold my precious baby.

Tabron @ 6days old

We are at home and settling in right now. My mom has left and Mark has returned to work so its just me and my baby girls and yes Graci is having a tough time adjusting and she is very competitive for my attention but we are making it taking things one day at a time! Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes on Terry's blog! I have two babies that are asleep so I am going to try for a quick nap. Until next time, stay blessed and encouraged!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Graci!

Has it been a year already! It sure doesn't seem like it, but alas it has and today my funny, curious, smart, and precious little girl has turned the big 1!!!!!. It has been a roller coaster year for us both but we have forged through it the two of us. We survived enrolling in daycare last month, and now we have so many new challenges ahead such as weaning, discipline, and most of all getting ready for the new baby.

She has changed my life and taught me things I thought I already knew. She has come in and taken this family by storm... She was and is our breath of fresh air, our comedienne, and keeps us all on our toes. Hopefully one day we can figure out a way to get daddy and sister's unwrapped from around her pinkie fingers. Until then we will continue to dance to the beat of her drum !
Below are a few pictures from our Spring Break trip to The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

My Loves!

Look Sydnee!!!

Graci not sharing pizza w daddy!

Thomas Family

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turning New Pages

Well I guess it's been no secret that I disappeared from the center of the blogosphere. Yes, I still perused my favorite friends and left a comment or two, but I really haven't done much writing lately. Honestly, after I stepped away I found it just too hard to return, it also didn't help that my blog has been taken over by an enormous amount of SPAM and crazy anonymous comments and the the thought of going in and deleting those comments daily was just draining so, I guess I got a little lazy or my priorities shifted, either way I just didn't feel bitten by the blog post bug.

There have been a few changes in my life though. We found out that baby number 4 is another girl, and I have returned back into the workforce full-time in order to relieve my husband of the gigantic financial burden he was carrying. I have learned so much during my time off and I believe even more about myself since I have stepped away from blogland.

While I wholeheartedly agree that my being at home was the ABSOLUTE BEST thing for my family, I have to be sensible in seeing that my return to home was unplanned and unexpected a month after my brand-new marriage. A marriage into which I entered well into my adult years with a nice sum of debt. That debt combined with my husbands debt just did not seem to want to disappear because I came home, even though it was best for me. Another thing I learned is that an overworked, stressed, husband who makes a decision to temporarily forgo attending church which was a huge outlet for him in order to work to support his family does not make for the easiest of circumstances.
The head of my heart and home slowly depleting himself of the spiritual nutrition so that he could provide for his family just seemed like too much of a sacrifice for this help meet to sit back and watch. So I prayed for God to show his will and he did just that by opening a door for me to have a job that would provide enough for me to work to help pay off debt. We feel that it is better for me to work now, save money, pay down debt and work toward a goal of returning home in a couple of years permanently and with God's grace I know we can do it.

With that being said, this has been the hardest transition for me. Don't believe me, just ask my good friend Terry who immediately stopped and prayed with me when I called today from my desk in tears because my beloved baby has the worst case of separation anxiety I have ever seen. Our bond is being tested and she is not handling it well. Since last week she has basically cried all day every moment that she is not asleep. It has is almost unbearable and if having to listen to your baby scream and cry over the phone was a torture tactic well lets just say I would tell all secrets known. I am praying that God comforts my baby, that he wraps his arms around her and comforts her the way I normally do. For now she refuses to eat, take a bottle or play, she screams and cries unless she is being held or rocked by the staff....

I reject all statements that my baby is spoiled, she is just used to the security of her mom. She has been home with me the entire 11 months of her life. I am all she knows, we have a routine, she spent her days happily following me from room to room, exploring, learning, knowing that her needs physical and emotional were going to be met. I do not apologize for that and I am grateful for that miracle of time that I never experienced with my other children. I love them all equally, but never have I been able to fully enjoy the power of the mother-child bond until Graci.

With all that I will close, I am glad to be able to pick up and express myself in the outlet of blogging again. I don't know how frequent my return will be, but today this bawling working momma received a much needed reprieve.. If you think about us say a prayer for Graci and me during this time. I know its for a season and she will be fine but it's always nice to have that moment when you just know someone said a prayer for you! Stay blessed and encouraged!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti: Yele Haiti

I guess it is no shock that I have been missing in action for a few months, and have been very quiet lately. Its something that was a shock to me, but much needed. I really had to sit back and take time to come to terms with the direction my life was heading and to come to peace with where I am at this point in my life. I found that I lost my zeal for writing, and really just felt I was at a crossroad of being happy and being overwhelmed with being at home, struggling financially, having an infant and trying to make it through another pregnancy, but I have come to terms, I have peace and I am happy to say that I have found rest, and while I planned a blog return,that is not what prompted me to blog today.

I still follow all of my favorite blogs, and Crystal over at Money Saving Mom wrote this post today and I just had to show my face for this cause. I am sure that we have all heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and I am confident that as believers we have all been called and moved to pray and to help this country. My family and I are no different and while I continuously received texts and Facebook updates on how to donate, I took my time to research and pray which way we wanted to contribute financially. This may come to a shock to some but we have decided to donate to the Yele Hati Foundation which is musician Wyclef Jean's foundation. And while we no longer listen to his music, his foundation is one that has been around since before the earthquake and as a Haitian immigrant he is always spearheading projects for his native country. I find that very noble and feel what better way to help than to donate to a foundation that has personal ties to this impoverished country.

This has been a touching week for us because while things are very tight here in our household, we still are blessed way beyond measure. I only hope that the people of Haiti find help quickly and that they are comforted by our heavenly Father during this difficult time, but still we are donating half of our grocery money for this week to the Yele Haiti Foundation. I plan to link this post to Money Saving Mom and Crystal and her husband will also donate $10 for each post that tells what they have done for Haiti relief and they plan to match other donations to a charity she has named on her blog. You can get the details here.

I will return with more family updates and plans for my blog as there will be major changes happening here. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful and blessed weekend!