Monday, November 01, 2010

for matt

"So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. But they seemed like only a few days to him because his love for her was so great." ~Genesis 29:20

after seven years of marriage to an amazing man, this verse about sums it up...this verse describes the kind of love that every girl prays for, and i am blessed because i know that kind of love...the Lord knew exactly what i needed in a partner, and gave me more than i could have even known to ask husband works so hard to keep our little family strong...he is strong and he is gentle...he is faithful and he is kind...he asks for guidance and peace from our Heavenly Father and he stands as a shield in front of us against the attacks and lies of satan...he stays exhausted and he works tirelessly to support us...he is an incredible father and sometimes he has to also be mother...he keeps life going on when I am not there and he makes sure that we have time together each day, no matter how far away i may be...he leads our family towards the God that he lives his life to follow...and while I doubt it only feels like days to him, he never complains, and he loves me the way that he promised to love me 7 years ago: as Christ loves His church, willing to lay down his own life...he continues all of this, long after "acquiring" me...i am definitely his; not going anywhere...and i am so thankful for the promise of knowing he isn't going anywhere either, no matter what we may doubt that our boys will grow up knowing what love really looks like... i just pray that God can restore my health, along with my ability to be the godly wife that God calls me to be, that I want to be, and that my sweet husband deserves. I am truly blessed with such a sacred love.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a new favorite anthem

Loving this song right now...we sang it this weekend at church and it gets alot of plays on my ipod, especially in these last few months.

What glorious things we have to look forward to when we put our hope in the Lord! And what a comfort to know that, even amidst the worst trials and lies that this life and satan have to offer, our Savior is already holding us. As we have gone through my latest flare up and another 3 month hospitalization, we have still been so blessed because we could feel that we were truly held by our Heavenly Father. We have also felt the support of all of you who have held us up in prayer when we felt we couldn't go on.
We truly know what it means to be a loving community of faith, and by a Heavenly Father who doesn't just promise us peace in knowing that we will be in His arms someday in Heaven, but that He holds us right here and right now.

"You Hold Me Now"

On the day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace

All my fears swept away
In the light of Your embrace
Where Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

No weeping No hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness No sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now, You hold me now

In this life I would stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there's a greater day
There's a hope that never fades

Where Your name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your name
I'm believing for the day

Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

No weeping No hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness No sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now, You hold me now

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name 

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

No weeping No hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness No sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now, You hold me now

No weeping No hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness No sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now, You hold me now

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am home from the hospital. I have had one of the hardest weeks of my life...but I got to put my boys to bed last night, got to lie down with my husband and slept through the night for the first time in 3 months, and this morning I got to hold my Jack's hand and walk him into kindergarten....we have a long road ahead...but we are finally, as we should be, all in one place...and able to walk it together

Friday, August 13, 2010

christmas in august and a giveaway

awesome giveaway over at Holiday with Matthew Mead...enter to win and order your copy of the magazine while you're at it! i can't wait to get mine in the mail!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

arms of love

i think my heart just broke into a million pieces. 

after matt and the boys visited, and it was time for them to go, i walked them to the stairs. i gave them their squeezes and smooches, turned around and started back towards my room. 

then i heard some yelling from the stairwell and little feet running behind me. and i heard a little voice saying, "mommy, mommy", his eyes already wet and red with tears.
it was my sweet jack jack. i stopped and turned around to hug him and he just flew into my arms and held on so tightly, just sobbing for almost 10 minutes, saying, "mommy please come home. i miss you. i want to stay with you. i am sad when you are not at home. i love you. i want us all to go home" it was like something out of a wasn't like he was throwing a fit over having to leave, he was literally had a look of desperation as he ran towards me and when i swooped him up he was just flooded with emotion. my sweet, tenderhearted jack. we just sat in the hallway outside the stairwell, because jack was holding on with a grip that said he was not going anywhere for a while. 
after a few minutes sam came and curled up in my lap with jack and patted his bubba's leg. sam had already asked me his nightly question that breaks my heart. it's always the same from his precious little munchkin voice saying, :"mommy, you come wif us tonight?" oh i wish i could say YES! jack did not want to let go. like i said, he had a serious grip on me and he was literally sobbing. i just began praying over him and his breathing slowed down and he was able to relax. but then matt had to carry him down the stairwell and the sobbing began again. when matt put him in the car, he just had to stay there and hold him a little more.
it was so precious and devastating all at once. i hate all of this for them. two little boys shouldn't have to be so familiar with all this suffering. i do already see God building in them a level of compassion that can only come from experiences like this, but that doesn't make it any easier when you have your babies in your lap crying saying they just want you to come home. jack is just getting to that age where he knows this is not just the norm for everyone and he worries more when he sees me get sick. he just has a tender heart...much like his amazing daddy. matt bears the weight of all of this, and i don't know how he does it. but he is fighting for our little family everyday.
they are on my heart and mind all day everyday. i spend the whole day looking forward to hearing those little feet running down the hall towards my room. i miss them so much, i ache for them. i long to be home with my babies so they can get cuddles anytime, and never have to say, "mommy please come home"

makes me think of a song i have loved for a long time, about the arms i am running into right about now...

I sing a simple song of love
To my Savior, to my Jesus.
I'm grateful for the things You've done,
My loving Savior, my precious Jesus.

My heart is glad that You've called me Your own.
There's no place I'd rather be than

In Your arms of love,
In Your arms of love.
Holding me still, holding me near,
In Your arms of love.

yeah, so i think it's now my eyes that are all red and wet and puffy from tears...all 3 of those boys sure do have a big hold on this heart of mine...oh, for more days like this...

Monday, July 19, 2010

to my SFOC

7 years ago, today, a young girl said these words...

I, Christine, take you Matt to be my husband.
I pledge to you my love
in the presence of our family, our friends, and our God.
I promise to be yours and yours alone,
and to love you as Christ loves his church.
I promise to celebrate with you in times of joy,
and to comfort you in times of sorrow.
I promise to love you faithfully; to honor and cherish you-In sickness and in health; in good times and bad.
I promise to be your best friend; to pray with you and for you, and to hold your hand
as we help each other get to Heaven.
Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
This is my promise for as long as we both shall live.

7 years ago today...we made promises to stand beside one another through anything, and we had no idea what that would mean, even in our young marriage. I am so thankful to have the greatest partner; so selfless and devoted, and perfectly suited for me. Matt, you make me feel so loved everyday. On July 19, 2003 I thought I couldn't love you more, but I was so very wrong. Each day, I fall more in love with the man that you are and the man you are becoming. The road hasn't been easy, but the Lord has continued to provide for us and show us His grace at every turn. You have been such a wonderful leader, faithful to follow His call and to lead our family in His ways. You are so selfless and devoted to our little family. You posses such strength and yet have such a tender heart. And you have shown that you believe that our family is worth fighting for, and that you will do anything you need to do in order to keep us on the path we are meant to be on, and to protect us from the destruction that Satan would like to see.
We have seen sickness and health, we have seen good times and bad, and I have no doubt that we will face many more trials. But I am truly confident and at peace knowing that I am traveling on this journey with you beside me. We have lived in six different homes, we have graduated college, we have seen jobs come and go. You have stood beside my hospital bed, holding my hand, as we welcomed two precious souls into the world. I can't even describe the joy and pride that I feel when I watch you as a father. It is something that God truly designed you to be, and you are teaching Jack and Sam every day what it is to be God's man. Watching you be a father to our boys only makes me fall in love with you more.
Thank you for loving me, for putting up with me, for understanding me (or at least pretending to). Seven years doesn't seem that long, and yet I feel like you have always been with me. From the days before we had met when you led your school in prayers for a girl you didn't even know; not knowing that she would someday be your wife, to the nights now that I listen to you pray over our sons, our marriage and our family...I am more in love with you than I have ever been, more thankful for you with each breath, and more excited to watch the future unfold in God's perfect timing for our little family. And just as in the words of Ruth that we spoke in our vows, there is nowhere that I would rather be in any situation than beside you.

I remember the verse that we claimed on our wedding day, and I continue to pray it over each day of our lives together...
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ~Romans 15:5,6

The words that I sang right before I walked down the aisle were true then, and are true each day of my life with you...
"My Jesus, I love thee. I know thou art mine. For thee, all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious redeemer; my Savior art thou. If ever I loved thee, My Jesus tis' now."

You are faithful, you are kind, you are honest, you are gentle, you are courageous, you are talented, you make me laugh (and everyone else), you are a wonderful father, you are handsome, you are strong, you are selfless, you are understanding, you are loving, you are are the love of my life.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

getting back home

i have this recurring dream, and i have had it many times during this five week hospitalization. while details change here and there, ultimately, it is always the same. someone or something (not exactly sure who or what) has taken me away from matt and the boys, and the entire dream is about me trying desperately to get back to them. it is one of those dreams that is so vivid that it almost seems real; so exhausting and heartwrenching that i am more tired when i wake up than when i fell asleep. but the one good thing is that the dream always ends the same way...i am back with my family, where i belong.

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize the symbolism that my subconscious is creating for me. and, unlike in the dream, i know good and well who it is that wants to tear my family apart with this illness. but that is not going to happen. because no matter how exhausting and heartwrenching this journey...i can rest easy knowing that i
will get back to where i belong.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

on father's day

to my father: oh how we miss you and wish for just one more day with you...but we take great comfort in knowing that the mark you left on our lives remains and that you are now receiving your reward from the Heavenly Father you lived your life for.

to the father of my babies: you were born to be a daddy and i continue to fall in love with you more as i watch you fulfill that sacred calling...thank you for believing that this family is worth fighting for.

to my father-in-love: thank you for always loving me as if i were your own, for raising the man i love to be the father he is today, and for being a hero to the two future daddies in my house.

every blessing in my life comes from my Heavenly Father, and i cling to the promise that He will never leave me fatherless

"I will not leave you fatherless; I will come to you." ~John 14:18

Friday, April 30, 2010

needing these words of truth tonight

i have a heavy heart tonight...i am so very thankful that we serve a God who is big enough for our doubts and fears; a God who wants to hear from His hurting children, who wants us to pour it all out...all of our brokenness, our ugliness, our anger...a God who wants to hold us as we weep; as we try to understand...and in the darkness, He can be praised...

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." ~Isaiah 26:3

"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." ~Romans 8:6

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." ~Lamentations 3:22-26

"I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly." ~Madeleine L'Engle

"Don't tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is." ~unknown

"For those with faith, no explanation is necessary. For those without, no explanation is possible." –Thomas Aquinas

"Faith which does not doubt is dead faith." ~Miguel de Unamuno

"I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind. " ~Saint Bernard

"Doubt isn't the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith." ~Paul Tillich

"Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe." ~Augustine

"Sometimes God doesn't tell us His plan because we wouldn't believe it anyway." ~Carlton Pearson

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

"We often think of great faith as something that happens spontaneously so that we can be used for a miracle or healing. However, the greatest faith of all, and the most effective, is to live day by day trusting Him. It is trusting Him so much that we look at every problem as an opportunity to see His work in our life." ~Rick Joyner

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time." ~Oswald Chambers

"Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God." ~Thomas A. Kempis

"It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand." ~Madeleine L'Engle

"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother." ~Kahlil Gibran

"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." ~J.R.R. Tolkien

"Faith makes things possible, not easy." ~unknown

"Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death." ~unknown

"There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds."

"He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." ~Psalm 62:6

"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." ~1 Peter 5:7

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~Matthew 11:28

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." ~Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

back in business...

In the classic words of Conway Twitty...

"Hello darlin'...nice to see's been a long time"

It certainly has been awhile...I feel as though I have neglected my original home here on the world wide web...little brothers "facebook" and "twitter" have kind of stolen focus from big brother "blogger" in the last year or so. Not to mention those two human children who require and deserve most of my time and attention...I've still been "mommy-ing", but mumbling...yeah, not so much.

Don't get me wrong...I didn't just turn my back completely. I'm not downright cruel. I still read lots of blogs faithfully. I didn't leave the blogosphere altogether, but I certainly haven't kept up my end of the relationship. I haven't even commented on any of the blogs I read, which makes me one of those creepy blog stalkers who knows way too many details about the lives of total strangers without sharing anything of myself. So, I am determined to climb out from the shadows and navigate the blogs openly once again.

This blog has always been special to me. A place to recall and record memories...celebrate the beauty of ordinary days...and share the hopes and dreams that I have for our little family. I just can't stand by and let poor big brother fear that he has been cast off into that dark abyss that is inhabited by the likes of *gasp* "myspace"...YIKES!

So...alas, I have returned to prove my love and loyalty to this little online journal, started almost six years ago by a new mommy just wanting somewhere to share all the thoughts and feelings that I have swirling around in my head and heart. As much as I do enjoy facebook and twitter and the ability to connect just can't really capture everything with 140 characters or less. That's where blogger still has the market cornered... it's the perfect venue for combining depth and mindless rambling! Quirky randomness, fun pics and videos, and precious letters that my sweet children can read when they are older and I am long's all welcome here...and I'm glad to be back!

I am trying not to feel that ridiculous pressure that comes from that elusive "place" that is blogland...the pressure that i felt as a rookie blogger...the pressure to say something that is, all at once, genius, profound and hilarious. I've done it long enough to know that on the days when the pearls of wisdom are lacking there is always an adorable picture of my beautiful babies, an inspiring quote or scripture to share, a trendy product to endorse, an awkward story about bodily functions(never lacking in this household of three males and a mommy who can't keep solid foods down!), a funny youtube video, a recipe to share...and did i mention pictures of cute kids?

Yes, there is always plenty of material to choose from. And certainly, in the last year, we have continued to ride the rollercoaster that is our life. There has been lots going on while, at the same time, nothing has changed. I have lots of catching up to do...there has been overwhelming pain in losing my daddy, overwhelming frustration with our ongoing struggle with my disease and hospitalizations. I just got home 2 weeks ago from 3 months back in the hospital...yeah, i missed Christmas and yeah, that was miserable...actually, i didn't just miss Christmas...technically, I MISSED WINTER! And yet, there has also been the constant...overwhelming blessing in the love we feel from our Heavenly Father as He guides us and guards us and places people in our lives to hold us up when we can't take one more step. I have a husband who is the rock of this family and continues to lead us through this valley. He takes on so much and does it without complaint. I truly do fall in love with him over and over again as I witness his bravery, strength, devotion and selfless spirit...besides the fact that he is just darn HANDSOME! We have two precious boys who have had to learn some of the hard lessons of life that a 5 and 2 year old should not even know about. And yet, we also see the Lord preparing their hearts for service and compassion as they grow up witnessing His mercy in very tangible ways. I know that, while I would never wish these circumstances for them so young, they are being molded already into people who will truly understand suffering, longing and the necessity for a Savior in this fallen world. I still don't know how to navigate this world without my daddy in it...but at the same time I feel such comfort in knowing that my biggest prayer warrior is at the right hand of the Lord, receiving His reward and interceding on our behalf down here. There has been so much grief. But praises be that, while we grieve, we do not grieve as the world those who have no hope. And oh, we grieve. We grieve for the kind of "boring" normalcy that is so often taken for granted...we grieve for the days and months and years that these circumstances have taken from our lives...we grieve for the prospect that this may be a thorn we are asked to bear for the duration of this life. But, more than that, we hope. Oh...Do We HOPE! We hope for the ultimate healing that we truly believe God can give in this lifetime if that is His will...we hope for the incredible future that we know He has in store for us, even amidst these struggles...and we hope and long for our home in Heaven in such a real way, where all of this pain and suffering will be a distant memory...and where I can hug my sweet daddy again. We are learning to pray for healing in a new way...we pray for and believe He can bring physical healing...and we KNOW that He can bring spiritual healing, no matter what the physical circumstance. We pray with EXPECTATION! We are learning to truly claim the power of the Holy Spirit that already lives within us. The power to rebuke Satan and his lies...the power to endure this darkness, whether that is for a short time or for the rest of this lifetime...the power to overcome and to have a full life on this earth as we anxiously await our perfectly redeemed life in Heaven. We have this hope because we serve a MIGHTY GOD! He is Jehovah Raphae. He is our healer. And He will never leave us...even (and especially) on the days when we are downright angry because we can't see Him. He desires and deserves our praise...and there is such freedom and comfort in knowing that He is praised through our brokenness. He is praised in our thankfulness and He is praised in our openness about our angers and doubts and fears. He is praised because His power is made perfect in our weakness. There are many many days that are so overwhelmingly dark...days when I feel cheated and weary and just don't think I can bear anything more...days when I desperately crave the energy to be a wife and mother...days when I don't know what to pray or even want to pray. I know in my mind, and believe in my heart, that our joy is going to be even greater when we reach the mountaintop because we have spent so many days down in the valley. And oh, I really do hate this valley. But while we are here in that valley I have witnessed the truth spoken in Isaiah 45:3 where we are told, "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." There is much to be learned where we are at, while we wait for where we so badly want to be...and we would be foolish to ignore that. WE WANT HEALING. But, our hope is not in the idol of health...our HOPE is in the GOD OF HEALING.

So...there we go...I guess we're back in business...this mommy is officially back to mumbling.

It always blew my mind that people would actually want to read anything that I had to say but, amazingly, they did! I will, most likely, have to regain that following since I went dark for so long. But even if no one reads, there is still something fun and empowering about feeling like you have a voice...and that maybe, if you can keep the delicate balance between sentiment, humor, and pictures of cute children...someone will listen!

Oh yeah, here ya go...cute kids!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

done hibernating's true...after 83 days of hospitalization...or maybe i should call it hibernation, since i missed the whole winter...either way...I AM own soft, warm beloved internet access...and a little family four is put back together again...nothing better than knowing that we are all four laying our heads down to sleep under the same roof tonight