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!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Re Post: Birthday Wishes and Blogging Anniversary

primping for mommy's wedding

Today is my middle child's 8th birthday and marks the date I created my blog 2 years ago. We were working through some trying times in our lives as mother and daughter and for me writing and blogging is what gave me a sense of calm and refuge in the midst of the calamity of trying to find a place for both of us to fit in this place called life.

I wanted to pay her a special tribute her as she has been eagerly awaiting this day and constantly reminding everyone of the impending months, weeks, days, and hours until her birthday. She is my constant comedienne, and always puts a new spin on the phrase "out of the mouths of babes". The fridge and the walls can always count on her for creative art decor and we are constantly scouring spaces for new artwork. Her life ambition: To be an art teacher. I thank God for her and the growth that has taken place in her life and our relationship in just the past year most of all I thank God that he has blessed her to finally feel secure and loved completely by a mommy and daddy and her bond with Mark is as if it were created from her beginning.

As I sit today and just reflect on how last year I started blogging the day after her birthday and how far we have come in our life, how richly God has blessed us, and how unsuspectingly he created new chapters in our lives I am truly amazed. It is so moving

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boy Do I Love That Man!!!!

Oh yes I do and to prove it I'm gonna give that man another baby! Yes, I will. Sooner than later, like June sooner.

We've been mighty busy over here in the Thomas house, blending and mixing and forgetting that we have an almost six-month old! Never in a million years would I have ever guessed that I would be that woman who has a baby and gets pregnant like right after and in the same year!

No, I didn't know but God did. He knew that my friend Terry was praying for me to remain home and grow in my most important role ever, (here's to you Terry) God does answer prayers!

All jokes aside, we are beyond elated and so far I am feeling great! Please keep us in your prayers that this will be a smoother pregnancy and that I will have the strength to balance both little baby and big baby as we start this new journey. I'm not really sure how far along we are but will keep you all posted once we have an ultrasound.

Stay blessed and encouraged!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marriage, Merging and Football

photo by art.com
In my transition from an single mother to where I am now in my life as a`wife, I have learned a ton and one thing, the most important lesson that I have learned over the past year or so is that the sooner you transfer your power over to your husband the smoother things will flow in your marriage.

For years I held the title of CEO, COO, CFO and President of the Board of Directors in my little enterprise of a family and once I merged with my husband, I immediately gave up my power and titles.....or so I thought :). I was ( still am and struggle) with just being plain old bossy, not in a disrespectful way but in that gentle nudging way that I soon learned was borderline nagging, I also learned quickly that my husband married a wife and not his mother. I had to step back and see that although in ceremony and in theory I had relinquished my headship, in practice I was still performing ghost.

The good thing is, that I am married to a patient, laid back, and funny man who would often ( and still does) crack jokes at me when I am sounding like an old crow and yes ladies we can sound like old crows. The other good thing is that my husband realized that I had to be mommy and daddy and always responsible for every little thing for years and that our 6month courtship and few months of marriage was not going to dissipate those instincts that I had came to know as survival skills. What we did was first we prayed and fasted together that God would teach us how to merge our independent enterprises into one, we sat down and we figured out how and what worked best for our family on the natural side of life as Mark took over. We basically went in knowing that both spiritually and naturally this was going to be a learning and teaching moment but yet we resolved to go through this God's way with love and temperance, patience, and long suffering.

We also didn't set high expectations of each others roles outside of what God required. I knew automatically that I would have to submit to Mark's leadership, and while it was not a struggle at all, I had to learn how to sit patiently without tapping my fingers or chewing my nails and let him make the decisions that I was so used to making, the positive is that he never makes a decision without either consulting me or informing my why he did and actually he is a little more detailed in that area than I am. He always wants to be open with me and is motto is that you are my help meet, how can you know how to help me if you don't know what I plan on doing?? For me it makes it easier and I learned how to trust him fully without being tempted to add my two cents because we learned and are learning how to work together.

Most of you know that my husband is an ex football player, he is always in coach mode, he relates that way, we have this thing where we meet and things we discuss are plays. I have learned football talk and as crazy as it sounds it is funny to see him all amped up in coach mode, so it is easier for me to understand him because he is passionately expressing himself in his comfort zone ( now please know that this isn't his only language just his favorite LOL).

He is the head coach and I am the assistant, he the quarter back and I the receiver together our aim is to make touchdowns and win against the enemy and his defense. He plays many roles, and so do I. He's the head coach, offense and defense. I am offense , defence and his cheerleader and there are times we have to call an audible, a few times we've had a flag or two on a play but as long as we practice together and I keep him in my line of sight and not drop the ball we are good. He throws, I catch, he blocks, I run, WE SCORE. Our goal is simple play hard, play fair, have fun with as few flags, penalties and loss yards as possible. We know it's going to happen and when it does trust me God will throw a flag quickly but because we have him as our Official, we know we can get it together and regain those loss yards and come back stronger for it.

I will leave by saying this, if you are having trouble transferring your power to your husband then I can only suggest you turn your heart to God more and ask him to help you, even if your husband doesn't measure up in your eyes. Ask God to show you how to be a help meet to him. Every president needs a VP, every coach needs and assistant and while the one in the shadows may be the wisest and stronger just remember that if you transfer your wisdom and your strength it can only help the one in charge. It helps because unlike business or football you are not in competition with each other and if you are then again you need to turn your heart to God and pray that he will help you not him/her loose that competitive frame of mind. If you are a single parent thinking about marriage or on the road to marriage or even married your children must see togetherness.

If you are or were a single mom then your children need to see your heart turned towards submission. Its a beautiful thing, its a challenge only if you make it. If you remember that you are married and committed to God and trust him completely you will be able to loose that mistrust and smoothly transition into loving and honoring your husband in his God given role as the head.

Marriage is like the church, we are workers together with God and it can't survive on anything more or less than that. Be blessed and stay encouraged!
2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Fear of the "Real" Factor

As I typed this post that I posted on Friday, a great part of me wondered it I were being too real. If I were exposing too much of my struggles and journey. I wondered heavily if I were casting darkness on my light of faith that I strive to shine each and every day of my life.

I have read many a post where women are admonished for telling too much business, and sure I have internally admonished quite a few myself because the tone was a little bit more than I thought it should have been, but lately I have had to step back and evaluate my thoughts on keeping things real in blog land.

I believe we have this notion of "proper-ness" that we will expose our homeschooling schedules, our menus, our daily trips to and from, our coupon deals, recipes, political views, spiritual journey's frugality,biblical views and opinions and yet we come to a screeching halt when we feel we are getting too close to the line of our marital struggles we stop. Why is that? Why do we equate sharing the struggles of our marriages with airing our dirty laundry and I am not talking about the nitty gritty details or arguments, I speak of the learning curves, the I rode the wave and lived to tell about it stories. I'm talking about the marital triumphs and how they were attained. Oh, I know we can speak loudly about overcoming feminism, or learning to be church mouse quiet or super submissive but what are we quiet about? What are we submitting to? I also know that its much easier to tell a reading audience not to look at me for marital advice but to look to God and the bible, but how do I know God isn't sending someone to learn from my story or how do you know He isn't using yours to help me?

As I read the Bible, I read countless stories especially in the OT that seem like a dramatic mini series or a script for a soap opera. God exposed the good the bad and the ugly. He left it on record for us to glean and learn his lessons some generations to come. Each and every story in the bible is a testimony for the person written. Some show the awesome power of God, some show struggles in faith, others disobedience and the recompense of that individual's reward, and the fact of the matter is that it's there, written, on record for all the world to read . Think about it, do you really think Potipher's wife wanted everyone to know that she was a seductress and lied on the man of God? How about Hannah, do you think that she wanted us to know that she was barren and jealous of her husbands other wife or that she was insecure? What about Sarah? Do you really think she would be excited at the fact that for centuries to come everyone would know that she doubted God and laughed at his promise? Maybe, or maybe not but it is there in plain old black and white in hundreds of translations thousands of years later.

Now, I don't believe that we should give any testimony of our lives current or past that isn't useful for edification, encouragement, or teaching. I also don't believe that blogs should be a means to an end of belaboring all of our frustrations of our day to day lives. I most certainly don't believe that blogs should be a vehicle to blast our husbands, wives, and children or other blogs for that matter however, if encouraging another married couple that they can make it through the storms is your hearts intent and its okay with God and your husband then I say go for it.

Now please don't think for once that I am saying a person should just always "tell their business" marriage is sacred and the goings on between a husband and wife is private but I think it's okay to ask if on my journey through this world is there anything in my life that I can use to help someone walk with me. With the high rate of divorce in the church, and the lack of access to good counsel for some people would it hurt me tremendously if that person who googled "how to stay quiet when my husband is fussing about me burning dinner" learns from my story? Just a thought. Stay blessed and encouraged.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Marriage: Seasoning,Blending, & Timing

edited to add: some of my post may be in bullet format but it is because blogger will not space my paragraphs out. thanks

There is a reason why the bible tells us to let our speech be seasoned with grace. God knew that for women we can easily relate to seasoning things. As we prepare meals and test out recipes all the ingredients, seasonings, and the like have to be measured out perfectly. If we are off even by a little pinch or smidgen we know it as soon as we taste it, even if those eating never can ever tell the difference. I am learning that marriage is of the same fundamentals. The blending together of two lives, two ways of thinking, two pasts, two different walks with God, mixed with every day life, children, and surprise ambushes from the enemy and if we are off just a pinch with the seasoning of our words and thoughts it can be tasted, even if others can't taste it, we know individually.

Many of you who read my blog can remember me and my life as SingeMomForGod. Many of you remember my journey as a single mother praying for God's will to be done in my life in relation to my desire for marriage. While all is well with us, I won't sugar coat that entering into year two has definitely been a refining pot for us both. We met an older gentleman shortly after our anniversary who told us " Year 2 and 42 are the hardest" He chuckled, walked away and left us scoffing at him. We are a power team, Bonnie and Clyde for God, Ride or Die all the way...

It only seemed that a week later the devil took our scoffing and started throwing some curve balls and strong hits to the chin. We both woke up one day different, looking at each other like who is this person. Discussions started, then heated debates, then firm, discussions, then feelings started getting hurt, ego's bruised, and "ways" started settling in. I write this not to put my business out there or to say that I have a bad marriage, because I don't. I write this as the Lord leads me to "keep it real" to all those who look at my story as a fairytale ending I have fairy tale moments but still live in the real world.

I know I am taking the long road to get to my title point but just walk with me because I think I am on to something here. Contrary to popular belief, I do sometimes wish we would have waited before starting a family. I wish we would have waited not to see if we were going to work out, because BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND GOD ONLY WE ARE WORKING AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK OUT, but I do believe we threw everything in the bowl and pressed blend a little quickly for ME and sometimes things blend smoothly, and some days if the lid is off we have the batter of our life flying all over the place.

  • For ME, I can look back and see how I needed an adjustment period. I needed that time to get used to being married, at home, and blending a family. I needed time to really see if I had concrete foundation in wifely submission and husband headship. I needed time to get used to not being in charge of everything. I needed time to learn my home and its needs as before I never really spent much time in it. For me as much as I love my baby and wouldn't trade her for the world I can see how waiting a few months would have been helpful. Notice I said for me. Again, I am still on this long path to my point so let me step it up a pace.

  • I strongly believe now that once you have been on your own for a while, especially being a single parent who has year and and year out been indoctrinated by feminism that marriage will require an extra measure of patience and long suffering. I also believe that God will provide you the measure that you need, but again time in the word, meditation and prayer is the key to getting that from Him.

  • Blending families is a huge task. It's not just you and yours, its you ,yours, his, yall's and the other parents. There are mannerisms, and pet peeves you have to get used to, there are the "I've always done or seen things done this way" that are added to the mix, there are more than a million little openings for flesh to creep in and distort words, and looks and silences. Now think of all the things I have mentioned and add hormones, pregnancy, birth, more hormones, sleepless nights, and all the other duties that come with an addition to the family and it just makes things a little more lumpy sometimes.

  • I know I may sound negative and while I am very content and happy being married, I am just keeping it real. I am saying the things that real people deal with and some Christians(and non) think should be kept silent and covered up.The reality is that its a challenge but an attainable and beautiful challenge. It takes dedication and consecration before God. It takes tears and fears and prayers. It is not at all impossible, in fact it is very possible to be happy, but it takes time. It takes time to get to know a person whom you have only had a courtship with, it takes time to learn their wants needs and desires, it takes time to nurture your relationship, it takes time to make your children feel included and safe in this new life of theirs, it takes time for them to get used to a new daddy or mommy, it takes time for the spouses child to feel welcome and included, it takes time to build a co-parenting relationship, point blank when your life changes even if for the better it takes time to get used to it.

  • I am not advising anyone else to wait on having kids because that is between you and your spouse or fiance' and God, but I would advise anyone who is single, engaged, or in a courtship to really take out time to inventory your walk with God. Talk to your future spouse about their needs and desires for a home, pay attention to the mannerisms, ask those tough questions, fast and pray for God to consecrate you in those areas he knows you are the weaker to your spouses strength. I would advise every woman to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Prepare yourself mentally for the fact that once you marry there may be a baby in the very near future. Prepare financially. Most importantly take time to go before God with your intended to see what His recipe is for your marriage and make sure you have the the correct ingredients

mark and I on our honeymoon
I will close with saying this, the things I noted above may be the real everyday things that Mark and I go through, some days are better than others but our good days far, far,exceed our not so good days. Our love for God is what knits our hearts and souls together. Our faith in our marriage is what keeps us laughing at our arguments and disagreements. We are sold out to each other. We are one flesh and as I told him the other day, we share one heart and if one of us leaves we both die, we need each other to make it not just on this earth but eternally because we made a vow to God and He isn't too keen on vow breaking now is he?
Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dreary Days & Schedule Changes

Yesterday and today have been rainy, dull and dreary days. In my mind I figured I would make the most of them by tackling some overdue home projects. I figured since I hate driving and getting out in the rain what better excuse to organize photo albums and the like. Sounds good right???

Apparently not to a certain teething, gassy, stopped up and fussy 5 month old. Her schedule includes lying on the couch snuggled with her momma and sreaming profusely if I even think of leaving her side. Graci has decided to spend her rainy day being clingy and comforted. I won't lie I was a little frustrated. I did let her cry for a while as I tackled basic chores but then I thought Wow! I am blessed to be able to switch gears mid day or to even not turn gears on at all. I could be at work dreading the traffic knowing I have to rush to daycare, then home, then start dinner all while psuedo comforting someone who didn't ask to be teething or sick and who only wants the comfort of my smell, my heart beat and my snuggle.

So for now I am cuddled up on the couch with my little one while the smell of fresh bread fills the air. I will get up just in the nick of time to reheat the ginormous pot of chicken noodle soup for her sisters who are crossing the street in the rain, the pot that I made yesterday not knowing how my schedule would change today. It will also be ready by the time my beloved walks through the door ready to switch places as his baby girl has him wrapped around her finger.

I am not going to feel bad, or buy into the speech I hear so often; that I am spoiling my child who has only been in this world five short months. I am blessed because I am what fills her days, hours and minutes with happiness.

I don't know how much longer I have to relish this or when I am going back to work but I know that I am and I have to and until then I will enjoy working for my mini boss & co. the hugs, smiles and kisses are worth all their weight in gold! I am so blessed!
Be blessed and stay encouraged!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget that on this day eight years ago Americans were clinging to each other in the hopes of healing from the aftershocks of a hellish nightmare.

Fast forward two presidential elections, a recession, a housing and healthcare crisis later and we are more divided than ever or so it seems for my generation.

I am quite sure that patriotism will be at an all time high today, Washington will stop the perverbial backstabbing and bickering and play nice. Everyone will love America and those who gave the greatest sacrifice will be honored once more.

Tomorrow however, will be business as usual. The hate that was packed away for the sake of today will be resurrected and once again be spewed on cable news networks and the airwaves, bi partisan dispise will fill internet blogs and news editorials. Mud slinging will continue to be blinding as the stench of political corruption will once again fill the air.

Let's not forget that our troops will continue to be sitting ducks in a war that allegedly validates this country's resolve from that hellish nightmare eight years ago that we have yet to awaken from....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Humble Bloggy Opinion the HealthCare Reform Bru- Ha -Ha

It is my heart felt and fundamental belief that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.
Unless you have lost someone due to lack of health insurance because they didn't get proper treatment or diagnosis timely or had to witness someone not taking medication properly because they can't afford monthly prescriptions or someone who looses it all just to maintain health only to get sick again due to the stress of debt, then you will never understand.
Thankfully my nephew had his last round of chemotherapy a few weeks ago and his cancer is no more. He just celebrated his 8th birthday a week ago as an 8 year old should but my sister is still reeling financially from everything. Thank God they live in Memphis and St. Jude's was right there but the medicine was astronomically high and while we went through red tape with TriCare and TennCare it really made me think about this health care crisis and the behind the scenes madness.
At that time we really didn't care whose taxes or generous gifts helped towards his cancer treatment all we wanted was a little boy to have the opportunity to enjoy little boyhood.
I sit and I listen to all the partisan debate and mud slinging and town hall bru ha ha's and I think about the mother or father who has lost a job, can't afford COBRA and now has a sick kid, or wife or husband. What do we do? Do we tell them to pull themselves up the Good Old American Way??? Do we sit back and say see I told you this would happen if you voted for Obama??
Did Jesus give the woman with an issue of blood a political lecture? What about the Centurian? Did he stop to debate about that which was rendered unto Cesar? No He did not, He simply gave what he had to help those who came to him.
I don't know how I really feel politically about healthcare reform, but as a Christian I simply feel that no one should be denied the opportunity to be healed. Maybe this is God's way of turning our hearts and faith back to him, after all He made us right?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Am Worth Much More Than They

Today as school was dismissing I sat on my porch to soak up this wonderful almost fall weather and to rock the baby to sleep. While I was rocking The Graci asleep sleep I felt led to take a moment to soak in my surroundings. I meditated while watching the birds and the plants around me and marveled at how neither are worried about food or staying green and preparing on cue for the change of seasons and basically just doing what plants and birds do without question or hesitation. I just sat and rocked soaking up why my Father tells me to look at them how they function in his kingdom.
As I meditated more and more I couldn't stop smiling at the fact that I am worth more to Him than they are and to know that He will take care of me too is just plain old awesome!
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:26

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life's Good!

Hot Springs, AR in all it's natural and peaceful

I know, I know....I have been away for a long while, and honestly its been on purpose and for what I felt was a good reason. This month marks a year that I have been home and I just really needed some time to adjust and reflect on my stewardship of this calling. That coupled with my lack of Internet, financial challenges, family needs, and an overwhelming bout of writer's block, I just decided to take some downtime from writing online all together. Did it help, yes.... I feel I have a renewed sense of focus and stronger mental and spiritual stability, but my postings will still be kinda sparse until we get Internet back in our home.

Through all of the above though, life has been good... I was blessed to be able to spend the first full summer in almost 9 years with my children. We did absolutely nothing adventurous, we just how do I say it... Chilled! I feel blessed to be able to have the experience of watching Miss. Graci grow into the 4month old that she is today, and to be able to watch all of my children bond together is awesome. I will admit there were many days when I have been absolutely stir-crazy and extremely overwhelmed, but I wouldn't trade it for the world especially when I know that there is a possibility that it may be short lived. Yes, there is a huge possibility that I may be returning back into the workforce. I have enjoyed my time at home, but right now for me and my husband, me returning to work is a matter of necessity and I am okay with that.

I could go on and on, but I am visiting my parents for a brief while and soon will be leaving to return home before that wonderful husband of mine gets off his 12hr shift after working a grueling 14hr shift yesterday. I miss my husband, so if returning to work means I get to see him more then hey, it is what it is. God knows. Before I leave, I will leave you with a few snapshots into our summer! Until next time, stay blessed and encouraged!

me spending a wonderful weekend at Chigaco's Navy Pier

after attending the wedding of a friend.

Mark and his graci-bear

A bright eyed graci @ 1 am waiting for her papa bear

Those goofy big sisters.....

And the lil sister, she has the biggest eyes!:)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Satan Mad at Me??

My pastor made a comment in sermon on Sunday that has really stuck with me.... He was preaching out of Nehemiah (Chapters 1-4) and his desire to rebuild the wall. When he got to the part about Sanballat being "wroth" at Nehemia's work, he asked : " how angry is satan with you over the work you are doing for God?" (paraphrasing here some)
I've been thinking a bunch about that lately. Is what I'm doing in my life and light God has given me actually angering the enemy OR am I making him happy by making his job easier to lead a soul away from Christ? Is he laughing at me as I openly bring a reproach upon the gospel by making a mockery of being a Christian by biting and devouring other Christians over the doctorine that is supposed to unite us?? Am I helping him confuse non believers about the foundation of salvation by adding my own convictions that aren't black and white scripture?? Lord pray not! I pray that my life and works for you throw satan into a big old tizzy of a temper tandrum!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still Alive

I am still alive and well; busy but well. We have had a few milestones in our home over the past week or so. On Sunday, the hubs and I celebrated our first year anniversary. People told us that the first year would be challenging and it was.... I never planned on getting married and six weeks later loosing my job, getting pregnant, and being so sick that I was forced to embrace the new job title as full time homemaker. Not housewife, but homemaker and yes in my humble opinion there is a difference. A housewife in the mainstream definition sits at home and is kept. A homemaker, makes a home and keeps it. Needless to say, I love my new job.

Our first year flew by rather fast I may say. And while we may have had financial and lifestyle challenges, I am blessedly excited to report that the Mr. and I, faced no huge marital challenges. Oh, we had our blended family challenges, our two people with very different habits now living together challenges, but as we both stuck to our committment of putting God first in our marriage, treating each other right was not a challenge at all. Being submissive to my husband after years of being a very sucessful career woman, independent single mother was a breeze. Why? Because I obey my God, and I learned that if you obey God in all that you do or say, loving the spouse he created for you is a skip in the park.

Graci just turned two months, and boy is she something. I don't have pics to post yet as I am on a time crunch, but lets just say that I am enjoying all the slobbery, toothless, smiles and giggles I can get. I so hate I missed these memorable events with my other girls, but after each nap she is doing something new!

Friday I celebrate my 34th birthday, and Saturday my Sydnee celebrates her 10th. As we speak we are getting ready for a sleepover, and to prepare for our family, birthday, anniversary, and Father's Day celebration this weekend at my parents. The Thomas Clan, is alive and well. We are thriving. We are learning, We are going through. We are exceedingly, abundantly blessed above all that we could ever think or hope for. Keep us in your prayers and as my life slows down, I hope to post more!

On a different and sad note, I found out that my 7 year old nephew DeSean who is (as shameful as it is, is my favorite as he and my Erin are two months apart and were raised as brother and sister), has been diagnosed with Leukemia. We don't have the results of the bone marrow biopsy yet and as we speak he is at St. Jude's in Memphis TN, awaiting results to see if his white blood cells have responded positively to medication he was given to strengthen his immune system. Please keep him and my sister in your prayers as they go through this trying time. I have claimed by faith that he is healed and no form of aggressive chemotherapy will be needed. The thought of this precious boy being sick is disheartning, but I pray that God reveal himself to my sister and her family and most of all to him and his precious soul. I feel that this will be a breakthrough for him and his very own special relationship with a God that he know about some, but not a lot. Pray for me as I help teach and minister him in trusting in a big old God that he can't see, but knows that he's up there somewhere! :)

Love and Prayers

Friday, May 8, 2009


In the business of my new life as a brand new mommy, I didn't realize how fast time flies! Today Miss Graci ( with an "i" now, I just found out this is a cooler way to shorten her name) has turned a month old. Time has flown so quickly that I actually had to sit down for quite a while today and think of milestones. As I reflected I remembered that we had this sonogram taken about a month or so before she was born and it is so funny to see how her habits and personality formed in the womb have transitioned over to her life in this brand new world of hers. I can't wait until she starts cooing and gurgling. I really can't wait until she smiles and reaches for me. Right now, I am in love with her gazing at me. It confirms the bond we share as mother and daughter. I know undoubtedly that she recognizes me. She knows who I am. She feels loved, safe, and secure. I am mommy and right now, I am her favorite thing on this earth ( next to milk of course!).

This first picture was taken at around 33 weeks, and we joked about how much she slept like a little princess, even on the sonogram video, we could not get her whole face because she kept her arm up in as if she were just soooo tired!Imagine how tickled we are every time we catch her sleeping now, just as she had been the whole time she was snuggled inside my belly! Its amazing how they don't really change much from being a developing little person, to being a real live "born baby" as her big sister calls it.I will say that I have created a diva! She loves to be hugged and snuggled, which leaves my days pretty much centered around her. I hate to used the term "spoiled rotten" but I have spoiled her rotten. We have got to break this holding habit, because it doesn't really marry well with taking care of the home now does it? But for now, I will just soak in the new-ness as I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be at home with her, all to myself. I will admit that it does get frustrating when I have something to do, and she falls asleep in my arms and when I lie her down it never fails seconds later I hear her cry, I pick her up and of course the crying ceases. All in all, I think about how great of a gift it is that being in my arms is enough to soothe her. That attachment to me, while sometimes can drive me a little crazy, it is a beautiful thing.
As you can see, her shirt says Hug me:

So i oblige with love and kisses!

Happy Mother's Day to you all. I hope you have the most wonderful weekend! Stay Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

God's Blessings During Colic, Thrush and Baby Transition

This picture pretty much has summed up my nights and early mornings over the last week or so. Out of nowhere it seems that Gracie developed a touch of colic, and a horrid case of oral thrush. When I say horrid, I mean horrid and it seems to have came out of nowhere and rapidly developed over the weekend. Needless to say she was one unhappy,tired, and irritable little baby. I think the worse feeling in the world, is the inability to comfort your newborn baby, or any of your children rather, but it's something about a itty bitty baby that just melts your heart when they can't be comforted. I learned however, that there is light at the end of that tunnel. I learned ( what I already knew, but I guess forgot??) that God feels the same way about us. It isn't until we allow him to comfort us that we and our itty bitty babies are comforted. I learned that (I could easily try out for American Idol just as long as tryouts are held while I am in the shower) my itty bitty baby thinks I have a wonderful voice, and my non American Idol voice soothes her. I also learned that along with Gripe Water, the best invention in the world is this thing right here:
My beloved Moby Wrap. It is by far one of the best investments that I have made thus far. Who knew that a long piece of fabric would bring me so much peace and comfort. Thanks ladies for recommending it to me! My other favorite thing would be the yard sale steal I got this weekend on this right here:
A Medela breast pump! May I add that it came with all that you see here and then some, did I say for a steal? Did I also mention that it was practically new? All I had to do was some very heavy sterilizing and it works just fine. I posted before the baby was born that I wanted one of these. We couldn't afford one, but a friend of mine, who just loves perusing garages sales in gated communities went to a neighborhood sale on Sat and she called me about this and when she mentioned the price, lets just say I dropped all and went out in the rain to pick this baby up. Now my dear husband won't feel left out of the feeding process. And he can do more than this:

Did I mention this is why we need the Moby!

All in all it has been a tedious couple of weeks, but God has seen us through it. I am learning how to spread out more to my whole family and not have it be just about me and the baby. I will admit, this has been rather trying for me. But in crying out to God and his faithfulness to teach and train me, we are weathering this transition quite well. (mother and baby graphic taken from art.com)

Psalm 73:1Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just My Humble Opinion

I have been out of sorts lately. Honestly I just haven't felt the desire to blog. Kinda like Civilla, I feel like taking a break, but I also feel that if I do, then I am letting some spirit, some principality run me off. I am not the most controversial person. Actually I am better than I used to be. My good friend Terry posted a very interesting post over the past couple of days, and once again I wasn't 100% sold out on the topic at hand. Not her fault though I don't think she did either. ( lol) Don't get me wrong, the topic was interesting, almost convincing but there is a part of me that just can't wrap my noggin around the notion that this country is going to turn to the persecution of Christians anytime soon. Do we have some waywardness and corruption going on? Yep, sure do. Should we be surprised and appalled? I don't think so. Especially when Scripture tells us that there is "no new thing under the sun". Immorality, homosexuality, lewdness, lasciviousness, all those things that we blog about now, are the same things that are written in the bible. It's not new. I guess I don't understand the concept of becoming outraged and up in arms over something that is just re-dressed history.

My focus is Lord help me navigate through this mess with the right spirit. Help me go through this life and not be sold out to this world. Help me remain to be a peculiar people. Help me continue to be the salt and light of this lost and dying world. Help me to reach out and entertain angels unaware. Help me prepare for your return wisely and not miss you because I am slumbering and sleeping. Help me to keep my lamp full of oil and to keep a plenteous supply of oil needed to re-fuel. Help me to love honor and obey my husband, help me to love and teach my children they way YOU will have me to,help me to love my neighbor. Help me to always want to feed and clothe those who need it, help me to visit the sick and needy, help me Lord to take up my cross daily and follow you.

Teach me how to leave my burdens at the foot of the cross at your feet and to walk through this life with out a worry as the flowers and fowls who toil and spin not, yet you clothe and feed them daily. Help me not to rely on man, but to remember that the kings heart is in your hand and as the rivers you will turn it whatsoever way you want. Help me not to fear those who have rule over me, because I know that you allow all things to work together for my good. Help me to remember that nothing happens on this earth, in this world, in this lifetime, and in my life without your permission

Friday, April 24, 2009

Back On Track- Somewhat

Well it has been a couple of weeks since my last post, and hopefully I have a good excuse being that the new addition to our family has pretty much consumed all of our time. Also the hubs was on paternity leave for about 3 weeks and I really wanted to spend time with him, that coupled with the fact that we are still moving into our new home and out of our apartment has made for a very busy transition. Thank God for honoring my prayer along the lines of having the house somewhat ready so that the baby never had to spend a single night in the apartment. We have been moving slowly but are in no rush.

Life after baby has been can we say an huge adjustment. Gracie turned 2wks on Wed and as of Monday she weighed 8.15lbs which means she is gaining almost a pound a week. She is getting bigger and starting to develop into her own little unique persona. I really must admit that I did not remember the joy that a newborn baby can bring, plus I am learning that I am addicted to new baby smell. The girls are super excited and it's all I can do to contain them and not have them overstimulate little sister. Nursing is starting to become more bearable, although we have yet to form any type of sleep pattern. For now Mark and I are basically doing the Newborn Zombie Shuffle which I hope wears down before he returns to work next week.

About Miss Gracie's big debut. Unfortunately I have no exciting birth story to share. Basically I checked in the hospital at 4am that morning, my drip was started about 5am, I had strong contractions, but they were no stronger really than the ones I had been dealing with the past few weeks leading up to her birth. Mark and I slept until about 9 am, which we really really needed. My doctor came in around 9:30 and broke my water, my mom and Mark went down stairs to move our car and while they were out, the Anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural. Well I sent Mark to Sonic on an ice run thinking that he would be right back and not miss any action, but by the time he returned I was hooked to my epidural drip and on my way back to sleep. Around 1:30 pm I was awakened by the nurse to check my dilation, and I was between 6 and 7 cm. An hour later, I felt the urge to push, even though I really couldn't feel anything, something was telling me to push. I informed the nurse who was just as caught of guard as I was, she immediately transformed my room, the nursery staff came up, and I just so happened to be the lucky patient for a nursing class on L&D Clinical Rotation so the next 30 minutes or so ended up being a class in childbirth with me as the student volunteer. Mind you , these students attend Nursing School at the college that my husband works and they
recognized him! Talk about bashfulness going out the window.

Gracie was born at 3:10 pm, just as the bell was ringing to dismiss her big sisters from school. At first i felt a little guilty, I didn't have this huge super exciting birthing story, my labor and birth were painless in the end. To me it seemed like the perfect ending to a rather trying beginning and middle. Thanks so much for all of your emails, comments and prayers! Have a wonderful and blessed weekend from our family to yours!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome Home Gracielyn

Gracie or Gracie'Lyn( in southern accent :)

I just thought I would take a quick break while baby Gracielyn (affectionally called Gracie or Gracie' lyn with an affectionate southern drawl) is bonding with big sis. I so thank God for the age gap, as I was in desperatate need for a babysitter so I could take indulgent shower while Mark is running errands! I though I would just post a little photo of our sweet yet feisty addition to the family. She is holding her own and let me say her appetite is one that rivals her father's. I am going through that time of pre-let down and will be praising the heavens when milk happens! Hopefully I will have a moment to share the details of her delivery with you next week and post more picture. Enjoy your Resurrection Weekend and remember that Jesus and his sacrifice for us, enduring the humiliation and dying on the cross for us is why we have to always remain humble and ever knowing that we are so undeserving for all that he sacrificed for us!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lil Miss Thomas

Gracielyn Jacquelyn Ann Thomas mde her long awaited debut today at 3:10 pm weighing 7 lbs 12oz and 19.5 inches long.

I must say that my labor and delivery today was the most easy and effortless day of the entire 9 months. I give Him all the glory and praise for that.
I am posting via moble blogger and can't figure out how to upload pics from my phone, but hope to post pics as soon as we can once we have made it home which may be tomorrow or Friday am. Thank you all for the prayers and support. I must go now I have a beautiful little one lying on my chest and I plan to spend all night inhaling the wonderful aroma of new baby smell! Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged!


Today is the day or so I pray... I have been admitted in the hospital! We checked in about 4 am so that they could start my drip around 5am. Although its something I really didn't want my hubs and I decided that due to my slow labor and the physical exhaustion I am experiencing that to plan her arrival would be beneficial for all of us.
My mom was here all last week waiting on her and is back this week to help with mu older girls. I feel so much more relaxed and less anxious as I know that my older girls have someone there to focus on them solely. This was actually the best decision for us all.
Contractions have started intensifying as I type so I will go now to pray and focus so that I can at least try and get through another hour or so before I start calling for pain intervention. So far I have been able to relax and nap, I'm going to see if I can try again! Keep us in your prayers and hopefully by afternoon I will post with an announcement!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thomas Family Update

me and my big old belly!

Still no Lil Miss :( but as we type, I am in labor. I am hoping the contractions speed up and intensify to make me dilate just one more centimeter, just one! I am almost in my 39th week and after thinking that she would have been here, I am learning that her personality is one that she will move at her own pace and to the beat of her own music. So I am learning to be patient and also learning how to tolerate pain and discomfort with the right spirit.

On a better note though, the Lord has truly blessed us tremendously in the most unexpected way, not only are we preparing for Lil Miss, we are also moving into a lease home at the same time. We were planning to move out of our apartment this summer, but the Lord opened doors for us that we were never expecting with this opportunity not only that He has given us favor with our current landlord and his family there seems to be a genuine relationship and bridge building process occurring between our family. Our goal is to be moved in with the major things so that Lil Miss, doesn't have to ever grace the grounds of our apartment complex. Things here have been getting worse, our nice little family friendly complex has changed over the past few months with new management who is more lenient with allowing people to move in. What was once a very family friendly complex has turned into fraternity row, and my children have been exposed to things that children should never see. Now they have space, and a yard, and their own rooms. Through this move we have been able to minister and show them how we are stepping out on faith with this move, and how God is blessing us by setting things in an order which aligns with what we prayed for to the letter. This move has increased their faith and I can see them deepening their own relationship with God.

To see them so excited is very emotional, also this is an emotional time for me and my dh. Since leaving home at 18 I have either lived in a dormitory, military barracks, my parents home, or apartments. Same with Mark, this will be our first home and it is beautiful to share this dream with him, to start this new chapter of our lives together and to provide our children with the dream of stability and childhood innocence that a home brings.

I hope to have good news to post soon regarding the Lil Miss. Keep us in your prayers as I am nearing the end stretch and running low on patience, cheerfulness, and energy and frighting the urge to be consumed by irritability, low tolerance, and impatience. God has been faithful though, to step in and give the boost and increase when I need it. I know He will get me through this delivery and move, I know that he is the God of all grace and He loves me enough to continuously bestow an unlimited supply of it whenever I call upon him and request it. He will do the same for all of us if only we think to ask. Be Blessed and Encouraged! Until next time....

Friday, March 20, 2009


Okay, there is still no news on Lil Miss, and let me tell you she is going to be a child of her own mind. One moment she wants to be here, contractions are steady, consistent and they get very close to the 5 minute mark, then they just stop. As soon as I get ready to grab my stuff, start to make phone calls for the girls its like a big old prank she just goes into super chill mode for a few hours.
Nighttime is becoming a very difficult time for me as I can't sleep. Its her most active and I do mean active time and I feel every single thought of a movement. I guess its one of the downfalls of only gaining baby weight and being all belly. I wish I had just a few more pounds on me just for cushions sake. So I end up sleeping most of the day and am awake at night and while at first it was cool, its really not as fun anymore because the hubs is usually in hibernation mode and I'm up in full night owl mode so our sleep rythm is off and I really miss our sleep rythm, I am such a light sleeper now that any sound, light or movement wakes me up. I usually just lie on the couch as to not wake him with my constant tossing and turning plus I found that the couch is firmer and easier to fall asleep on.
But all in all I think it will be over soon, like this weekend soon. YAY
My next topic would be one of advice solicitation. Since the hubs is now working a 2nd, he isn't the bright and enegetic man he used to be in the am LOL, I am a struggling insomniac and guess what my other two are milking us for all its worth. Morning time has become let's say off kilter a bit. I tried the alarm clock like right next to their bed, we do the laying everything out the night before but we still battle this morning "dragging around" mode. I just can't seem to light a fire under them and then everything becomes all chaotic with me fussing and lecturing and getting upset. This won't work once the baby comes so what do I do?? How do I incorporate a desire for am responsiblity for them. At 9 & 7 am I expecting too much?? Advice please?

Monday, March 9, 2009

At A Snail's Pace

Well my friends there is some little person who is dying to meet me, but she wants to drop in a little too soon.
That's right, Lil Miss Thomas has decided that she wants to start her journey into our lives right now, however at 35 weeks we're not quite ready for her yet.

I started what I swore was horrible back labor this weekend and yesterday while in church my contractions started strongly and consistently. Later yesterday afternoon we figured it may be a good idea just to check and see if it was truly contractions or Braxton Hicks, problem was that I was an hour and a half away from home visiting my parents. On the way back they subsided a bit and I thought well I'll just tough it out a bit until tomorrow and just go see my OB but after talking to a few older wiser women I heeded the advice and drug my family to the labor and delivery ward thinking this is gonna be a qiuck in and out visit.
In and out yes, quick visit no. Turns out contractions were real and I've dialated almost 3 cm. Baby girl is so active and fiesty that my uterus and belly are just soooo sensitive and tender to her slightest movement.
Needless to say, we all decided that it would be best to stop the contractions, stay off my feet, monitor fetal movements and contractions until I am in my 37th week.
So for the next couple weeks I will have to move at a snails pace around here. I have so much to do but I am sure that God will give me the wisdom and grace to do it. Until next time, Stay blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Repost & Reflections: The Simple Things & Blessings.

I wrote this post a few weeks into my pregnancy and my coming home. For whatever reason this morning the Lord led me to go back through some of my older posts and I can now see why. He nneded to show me how far I have come, how much I have grown, and how He blessed me to make it thus
far. I thank Him for all that he has done!

Repost :9/21/08
Lately I seem to have been on an emotional rollercoster during what I percieve as a rather discomforting pregnancy. One day I feel happy and a few moments later I feel hopeless and it was during my tears that I realized how misguided I have allowed myself to become.

Surely I am not the first woman to feel physically ambushed, and I can't be the first woman who had an unexpected detour professionally, and I can't possibly be the first woman to fight for her faith that God will keep her family financially stable on one income.
As I sat and thought of this, my tears dried and an overwhwelming since of shame and thankfulness came over me. Shamefulness for taking my eyes off God and placing them on the here and now of my situation and thankfulness for the here and now of my current situation. I have a wonderful loving husband who showers me with attention and holds me up when I am weak in my mind, body, and spirit. To have this man created by God for me to minister to me and build me up spiritually, to step up for me with our children, and who picks up my slack around the house when I can't is a blessing within itself.
To have our needs met and our dollars stretched in this failing economy is nothing short of a miracle as God truly knows our finances. I truly have a fishes and loaves testimony! To have both my children leave home each day and return without a care in the world, basking in the innocence of childhood is worth a thousand praises.
I had to be reminded that although my life may not be this ideal picture that I painted, it is wonderfully, beautifully and wholly created by the One who deserves all the Glory, Honor, and Praise.
- Stay Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nesting, Resting & Snuggling In The Comforts Of My Home

This has been a very busy yet slow and eventful week for me and my family. I mentioned in my last post that I couldn't wait to get home and boy am I glad to be here.
Friday evening started off rather off course due to the fact when I picked the girls up from after care, Sydnee was asleep on the couch with a burning fever. Poor child did not want to call me at work so she tried to tough it out at school and aftercare. She ended up having the flu and to top it off we got hit with rain /sleet on Friday and snow storm coupled with a power outage Saturday into early morning Sunday only for Sunday to be beautiful and sunny with no traces of snow!!
I thank God for giving me the vision on Saturday to stock up on fruit and cereal because the power went out as I was cooking dinner. It was cold but we just bundled up and went to sleep early.
Monday Mark and I got to spend the day together as his truck was being repaired. We normally don't get to eat lunch but we got a chance to use our Quizno's coupons and enjoy lunch after my OB appt. I am officially in the last lap as I pre-registered and we took a tour of the labor and delivery and recovery ward. It was refreshing to know that the staff agreed with me and my desire not to be "chained" to my bed during the entire labor. Monday evening I guess my nesting instinct kicked into overdrive as I totally re-vamped my kitchen into the wee hours of the morning.

Tuesday it hit me, and I did nothing but recouperate. LOL Today I managed to bake by hand(I am missing my breadmaker paddle) 3 loaves of white /wheat bread, 2 loaves of french baquettes, 1/2 dozen of homemade biscuit to freeze sausage and biscuit sandwiches for the girls for breakfast, a peach cobbler, deer stew, and beef strips with green beans, gravy and rice. Pasta salad and tuna fish for Mark's lunch diet thingy he's on and fruit salad. Needless to say I have been quite the Suzy homemaker today. The best part is that I feel so refreshed and as if I just had the most theraputic day. Now I just need to get some rest!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Back To The Home Front!!

Lil Miss Thomas @ 33wks

Many of you know that I went back to work through a small temporary assignment. While I had a great time being around other people and knowing that I was contributing to our household expenses helping my husband while we get settled back on our feet, I can say with gladness that today is my last day and I am ready to go home.

Before I ever had the opportunity to stay at home, I was constantly on the go as a single mamma, career woman. My house really had no order, and it was simply a house. I desired a home. When I first became pregnant and had to come home, it was an adjustment for me because it was clearly say it wasn't anything I was used to or familiar with. I wrote in these posts here and here that I just felt frustrated and out of touch. Secretly I longed to go back to work. I was used to making money and I hated to see my husband carry an unexpectedly large burden knowing we were unprepared. So imagine my satisfaction when I got a call to be a receptionist for 6 weeks at a state agency. It was easy so it seemed.

Well then my whole scheduled changed. Instead of getting the girls up and out and returning home after maybe a restless night to catch up on rest, or setting a schedule to have dinner done by the time my family came home; my days became more or less a mad dash to get everyone out the door so that I could make a 30 minute commute to work.

My evenings would end up being tiresome from just being stuck in traffic, trying to run home at least by 6pm, start dinner, have devotion, homework time, pack stuff for the next day, and then off to bed to do it all over. I started to see that I was out of sync from my former working days.

When my hubs picked up a second job, it became being a single mom all over again. Laundry was piling up, dinner ended up being quick and less homemade, more like cereal or quick throw together in a hurry meals. And mornings were just stressful.

I say all this to make this one point. I miss being at home. I now understand so much what my presence means. We need order and momma aint been around to provide it. So with all that being said I have learned so much and I can't wait until I can retreat to the sanctuary of my little humble abode!

Oh yeah, I mentioned in Monday's post that we had video of the sonogram. I think I got it posted, it may or may not work. I wish they could show these at every abortion clinic across the world, maybe then confused young women would change their minds. It's kinda long but you can watch at your own risk.

Have a wonderful weekend. I am off to try Shelia's chore chart from To Love Honor and Vacuum!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From My Husband's Point of View

Yesterday morning while reading my comments on my post concerning our baby girl, we received what at the moment seemed as a scathing comment . I along with my husband was floored that we even came across as being ungrateful about our baby girl and he was going to post a comment that I later asked him to allow me to use today as a post. However, as the day wore on and as I had time to really sit and reflect on why I was still allowing it to bother me, I realized something. I realized that my anger was unjustified, and unwarranted. Not because I shouldn't care about what people say about me or my blog,especially when I don't know who they are or can't defend myself to them as we all so like to do, but because I am a person who doesn't like to be mis-interpreted or misunderstood. My only desire is that I want to always display the love of Christ. I am growing in my walk with him. I am young in my experience with him, and as I display the child-like characteristics that he instructs me too, I will always be ever learning and humble about my lack of knowledge during my walk with him. And although I "don't have to" I feel led to explain to the many who could have misread my post as uncaring or unselfish, and I thank the Anonymous commenter for speaking her peace and giving me a chance to reflect on how I express my heart as I always want to express it in a manner that glorifies God. I didn't mean to say so much, because I am now going to post my husbands thoughts on our unselfish desire to have a son.

To The Anonymous Reader from Mr. Thomas
The Bible states that in all thy getting get an understanding; so I personally feel lead to explain some things in “Love” so that others will be able understand the desire that we have as a family and still have. I am a husband first and the faithful loving father of 4 beautiful young girls who have a very special place in my heart. One of my desires as a Saved man of God is to some day bring up a young man in the Lord.

A little about my testimony, my mother and father were told that my dad could not have children do to health reasons. But due to their faith in God I am here today. Even after that, my mother almost died to have me because I was almost 10 lbs and breech and the doctors told her that one of us would die, but again through her faith in God's miracle we both made it and I am here today. I am the only son that my father had; and it was a miracle of God that I was born, so my outlook on pregnancy and the life of a new born is not that of selfishness, or ungratefulness as I am a walking miracle. Our motive and desire as a family was not selfish or ungrateful; my family was very excited when we found out that we were expecting. The tears of joy came down our faces because we understood the love that we will be able to render to our child and we conceived on the very first try.

Believe me ,I understand that not all children are born healthy mentally or physically do to reason of many circumstances, As I said before my parent’s were told that my dad could not father children, but my older brother from a previous marriage was born with a birth defect, he died as a teen due to his heart defect, after being told he wouldn’t make it past 2yrs old, so trust me when I say I understand the beauty and preciousness of life. Also because I have worked as a Mental Health Professional for over 7 years; helping many who are mentally & physically challenged I know and understand to be grateful for the blessings of a healthy child.

My desire for a son is special to me, why? It’s a blessing to see a man father his son in general and become active in his son’s life, but it becomes more touching to me when you see a man raise his son in the fear of God and the love of God. Often times I picture myself playing catch with my son, or taking him fishing and going to a football ,or baseball game leaving him lasting memories that will have a lasting impact on his life. I desire to give my son those things that I didn’t have as a child.
I have mentored many young men and little boys and I would occasionally asked them who would they like to be when they grow up and many would mention a star athlete or a star musical singer, but rarely do I hear “Dad” which I find so distressing, so for me to have the opportunity to ask God about having a son for His behalf, regarding myself as his faithful, humble servant isn’t so selfish; a man desiring a son is blessing from God.
To have that desire, and then get your hopes up because you know God promised you this, only to find out that it’s not time for you yet is somewhat disappointing on the immediate front, but to know that God will grant me the desires of my heart in HIS time is precious because God loves His children enough allows me the ability to cast down the disappointment and cling to the joy of knowing that God blessed me to have the miracle of having a child at all. So if we seemed ungrateful for our tears ( which only lasted a few seconds) please forgive us. It was not our intentions to display a spirit of ungratefulness to God's blessings, but our human side got the better of us for a brief moment. Thank you for your honesty and God Bless You!!! Mark Thomas

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Few Good Deals

Today is I-Hop's annual National Pancake Day and in usual fashion they are giving away a free short stack of pancakes to everyone from 7am-10pm. We did this last year and the girls loved it. There was no need to order any side items because they were full from the "grown up " pancakes. All they ask is that you consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network or other local charity. Being that Children's Miracle Network, and St. Jude are my two favorite charities I jump at the chance to support, also I don't have to cook tonight and since Mark will be at work the girls and I get to go out for some mommy daughter bonding time. Did I mention that they LOVE pancakes! LOL! You can find out more about this one day only deal here.

Also, I snagged huge deals at the Goody's Store Closing Sale this weekend. I didn't purchase anything off of the shelves ( the deals weren't as good as they could have been), but I did snag a good deal on a bunch of usable return items. They had a "make an offer sale" and I got an entire large shopping bag of items for only 2$! They are selling everything, hangers, mesh shopping bags, display cases, shelves even their store cleaning equipment ( or at least the store in my area was). This Friday is their last day and I heard through the grapevine that they will have the liquidators in the store and they will be marking items left down to 95% off after 4pm. So if you have a Goody's in your area and think its worth a shot to see if the mark-downs will actually be reflective of a store that is going out of business and wants to sell everything rather than take a loss, then go on by Friday and see what Goody's has to offer.
Crystal over at Money Saving Mom posted this yesterday about Quiznos is giving away a free sub sandwich to the first one million people who register here. From what I was able to determine, you should be able to sign up every adult in your home to receive a free sub sandwich coupon. I signed the hubs and I up and we both got a coupon delivered to our inbox for a free sub. This will make for a really nice lunch date treat.

Have a wonderful day and stay blessed and encouraged!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Miss Thomas Is Now A Reality!

lil miss thomas first pic

Today I had the luxury of taking advantage of a really cool study at the University School/Hospital where I used to work. Basically they strapped monitors on my belly and put this non-evasive instrument on my belly above baby's head and for 20 minutes or so played these sounds that only baby can hear. The test measures brain wave activity and the baby's response to the noises and then responses to complete silence. Cool thing is I have it on video in 4D and I must say I am amazed by the marvels of modern medicine. The even more cool thing was that before we started the testing, the nurses and I had a fun time with the 3D ultra sound machine. The baby cooperated so well that they asked me if they keep going because they very rarely get to practice on a mother who's baby is fully cooperative. That was the coolest thing in the world to me. I am so used to the regular black and white ultrasounds where I have to nod and guess I know what they are showing me, all the while praying that I could figure out what blots are what and what lines are who. So we found out for sure undeniably that we have a beautiful baby girl on the way. And I'm not just showing a mother's prejudice she is beautiful.

I think having this experience today really made her feel real. Not that she didn't before, but to have already seen her and to see her in action moving, twisting, yawning, smiling, putting her foot in her mouth, and even pouting was just surreal. I often wonder what's going on in my belly as she is quite active, now all I have to do is pop in a video and watch her in action. I can't wait to show the girls, this will be over the top for them and I can already see how much she looks like her dad. I only posted on pic but I have two rolls of sonogram pictures, I just snapped a picture of one of my favorites I may try to scan a couple tonight to see if they come out better. I wish I could post some of the video, but it is read only and I can't share it or download it but I can most certainly enjoy it. She already weighs about 5.5lbs and we still have a few more weeks to go!

On a different note, my temporary assignment ends on Friday and honestly I can't wait to return home. I was talking to Mark today and told him that I can tell the balance and order of our home is off. I have so much I want to do to create a sanctuary of peace and organization. Right now chaos and disorganization seem to be taking over. I can tell that the chemistry is off, even though I was sick most of the time there was more balance there than it is now. I have been reading these series of posts by my good friend Lylah. I just love her posts on The Simple Home and Creating a Sanctuary. It has been helpful to me to have that reminder that my sanctuary starts from inside my heart and spirit and for me to make an honest effort and commitment to keep my spirit focused on God's idea for my home's heart and center.

Remember to stay blessed and encouraged. Until next time!

Friday, February 20, 2009

But Only By His Grace Am I Alive Today!

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

Today my friends, I am happy to declare the goodness of God's miracles as today my children could have been motherless and my husband a widower, but God saw fit to shelter me and provide me with traveling grace and mercy. I give him all the Glory, Honor, & Praise.
If I could tell you the one thing that is on my mind, it is that I will always ask God to help me never to take leaving home for granted. To stop and still me in our daily morning rush and routine to always remember to say the I love yous. To not stress so much about the undoing's when I walk out of the door. To not stress so much about the "little details" of my kids that at the end of the day seem minute.
God spared me from what could have been a very terrible car accident. My front tire blew this morning ( but didn't blow) while I was driving on the expressway, in the fast lane at at over 70mph. He allowed it to happen on a day when the city schools were closed thus resulting in clearer traffic and no traffic jams. He allowed me to be able to cross over three lanes of traffic and exit off the ramp at a slow speed with out having to depend on the niceness of other drives to let me through, the lanes were empty, there were no 18wheelers. He blessed that a friendly police officer saw me while I was at the gas station talking to my husband, he sent him over my way to put air in my tire and follow me to the nearest Wal-Mart Tire Lube Express which was less than a mile away. He allowed me to drive on a tire that was not drivable in man's eyes. He allowed me to declare his goodness as a blessing and not a stroke of luck to those I encountered. He showed his face to those who couldn't understand how my tire could blow out, but not blow out as normal under the driving conditions. He left people in awe to scratch their heads and agree with me that it was nothing but a miracle of God. I thank Him for using me in that way.

As I sit and type this, all types of thoughts are racing through my mind. My baby is still a little excited and moving in full force in my belly. My husband has peace of mind as he rushed from work to come take care of me. He feels blessed beyond measure and His first thought was to stop and pray to praise God in the parking lot once he saw me and the tire. But my thoughts go deeper than that. Right now, the cereal bowls that were left on the counter don't seem as important. The fact that my daughter wanted to wear ankle socks vs stockings in the 40 degree weather is so irrelevant to me right now. The grape juice spill that is in the bottom of the fridge waiting on me to make an example out of whoever spilled it is laughable. Whether I am carrying a boy or girl is so petty. The fact that my husband loaded the dishwasher last night but didn't start it is a peon excuse for me to be agitated. The fact that I can't sleep when he snores seems ridiculous because now that's all I want to hear. The last conversation with my father last night still rings in my ear " What ever you do baby, stay saved" The only thing I can think of right now as I sit here crying and typing is to follow his advice.

Nothing else really matters. It doesn't matter if I clip coupons, or home school, or have a bunch of babies, or only one more babies, or wear skirts, or pants, or have perfected Titus 2, or read a bunch of books, or taught my kids how to bake, or sew, or make tea everyday or can argue the scriptures up one wall and down the next. All that matters in that one instant, in that one vapor, is this: Is my salvation strong, is it true, has it been in vain, have I glorified you or myself, when this is all over will I see your face?? So ladies I say all this to leave this point. Life is short, it is unpredictable, and as much as we know not to take it for granted, the truth is we do. We get so caught up in our lives, and out opinions, and our quest to be the best we can be, that we need to remember that God's approval is all we need. And we need to make darn sure we have it before we waste precious, irretrievable time, doing what we think is right in His eyes, but really isn't of importance to Him. If we miss heaven, we've missed it all!
Stay Blessed and Encouraged!