Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Enchanted Evening

Words can not properly express the joy that our family experienced this past weekend as my precious baby brother (who happens to be my only sibling) married an amazing Godly woman, Holly Allen.  Our family cried tears of joy and laughed all weekend.  We were surrounded by precious family and many dear friends.  I am thankful to The Lord for His plan for marriage and for His divine work in bringing together Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and Holly Fick.

Rehearsal Dinner

Me, Ryan, mom and dad
The Fick/Burton gang

Ryan with his grooms cake I made
Jim and our girls

me and mom
Cousin Chris and Beck
Bridesmaids (and my new buddies)

The Wedding Day

The beautiful bride and Baby Jaelynn

Jaelynn and "Gunk" (Jim)

The cutest DJ ever!!  My man, Jim

We danced all night! 
"Oh, Oh..Living on a Prayer"

I love my new sister-in-law...she's the BEST!

Off to the honeymoon....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Ultimate Thankful Thursday

On this last day of the 25 Days of Thanksgiving, I want to say how thankful I am for Jesus.  For His unconditional love for me.  I am thankful that I am not the person I use to be and I am thankful that He is still working in me to make me the person He wants me to become.  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:11-13

This is on of my favorite pictures.  A friend sent it to me through Facebook a while ago.  I do not know who the artist is but if you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit and even buy a print!  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkeys and Wedding Bells

Turkey, stuffing, and wedding cakes—OH MY!  In addition to Thanksgiving Day, our family is preparing for my brother’s wedding this weekend!  I am excited about all that is in store the next few days.  To keep it real, I can feel my gut growing larger by the minute thinking of all the gluttonous behavior that is about to happen.    I may go and buy one of these for the weekend (they are not just for pregnant women anymore—at least in my opinion).

All joking aside.  I LOVE the holiday season and all that comes with it each year.   I LOVE Christmas but Thanksgiving is precious too.  I do believe that every day we should be thankful for all The Lord has done for us and all His blessing.  Tomorrow is the ULTIMATE Thankful Thursday.   I am thankful that I start each Thanksgiving  with watching the parade.   In addition, I am very thankful  that my husband is no longer in the grocery retail business and is home with us each Thanksgiving Day.  I am also thankful that my mom cooks (and that I don’t have too!!).  I am thankful we are all healthy and alive this year.  

While keeping it real, I realize for some of my friends and many others, the holidays can be challenging.  Getting family together is not always a blessed time.  It can be a source of frustration and discouragement.   It can test our patience and at times, our faith.  My Bible reading this morning landed me at Romans 12.   I was especially convicted while reading these verses: 

 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

In the hustle and bustle of the next few days and weeks, I pray that I can live by these words.  I pray I can never lack in zeal while serving The Lord.  I want to be joyful and faithful in prayer and share God’s word to those who are in need.

I pray these words for you tomorrow while you gather family and friends near and far around you. 

Reflect Jesus to all in everything that you say and do!!  As I heard this morning,  “Live Each day as your last, because one day it will be!”

Let’s make the most of every day this holiday season!  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Wild Ones

photo and mug from Christianbook.com ww173557 

Wild women---I love them and am thankful for them!  

I was reading One In A Million by Priscilla Shirer last night and here is her explanation of “wild women”:

One of the most gracious things the Lord has done for me lately is to strategically place individuals in my life who have been there to hold my hand and to help me on my journey…….. I call them “wild women”-people who pray and believe, who ask and expect, who hear me out and set me straight!!

I am thankful for my friends.  My “wild women”.  I love them each so much.  They are all very different but are each amazing women that I adore and admire.  Real life buddies.  Not just someone you hit the  “accept” button for on Facebook.   I am thankful to be surrounded by an amazing and diverse group of ladies the Lord has put in my path through the years and the ones He has recently added to my life.   

My "wild women" vary in age, skin color, educational level, size, shape, economic background.  Some are moms others are not.  Some are retired while others are college-age.  Some fly by the seat of their pants, while others are way more organized than I ever wish to be!   They vary from  fashion divas to the ones that can’t match their shoes to their purse for the life of ‘em! 
   Teachers, nurses, home school moms, secretaries, retail workers, counselors, photographers, missionaries, soldiers, marketing experts, musicians....you name it—I think I have them in my life and I am all the better because of them.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls.  
 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Monday, November 22, 2010

My girl, my girl--talking about my girl!

Saturday’s Thanksgiving blog post was dedicated to my daughter, Jordyn, for her birthday.  Today I thought I would share about my oldest daughter, Amanda.  I am thankful for her!

Amanda is a miracle. As I have written before, I was 17 when I got pregnant with Amanda.  Being 17, in high school and frightened, my first response was to terminate the pregnancy.   I knew this was the wrong decision but I was so afraid and confused that I pressed forwarded and made an appointment for this termination to happen.  

 I am so thankful to this day that The Lord intervened with what I had planned.  I did not terminate the pregnancy but was encouraged by my amazing parents (when they found out about my situation) to choose life and have my baby.  They told me they would help me in any way they could.  They didn't reject me or turn me out.  They showed me unconditional love despite their heartbreak. I don't know where Amanda and I would be today if it had not been for The Lord and for the love and support of my parents.  (As I have written before, this was in the days before teen pregnancy was so “hip” and TV shows made teen moms superstars.   Yes, I am rolling my eye balls at this last statement.)

Amanda has always been a very strong-willed, high energy little girl.  She is the strong-willed kid that when placed on the potty during potty training—she would pull up her pants walk out of the bathroom, declare to me, “Do it myseffff” to which she would march “hersefff” back to the potty , pull down her pants and go “herseffff”. 

Amanda has always been a fantastic writer (unlike her mom) in addition to being very creative and artistic.  Her imagination always amazed me, especially the time she put a book (a very hard one at that) in her pants prior to me popping her butt.  She was in tears—from laughing --at mom who was hollering due to an aching hand.

Being a teen mom and also being a single mom for while, Amanda and I agree on the fact that we pretty much raised each other.  Considering the things we have gone through together, we think we turned out okay. 

She is a beautiful and amazing young woman, a fantastic wife and a super mommy.   I love her and am very proud of her. 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalms 32:8

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday's Random "Thanks"

  • I am thankful all my girls were at church with me this morning to worship.  (this is a bit blurry but it is all I have)

  • I am thankful for the Sign Language Choir that performed at church this morning.  (Thanks to my dear friend, Traci for leading this choir!)  Jaelynn enjoyed watching them perform.  (Mimi and Jaelynn were matching today!!)

  • I am thankful I was able to attend a performance by our local CYT group with Jordyn tonight.  The group did an outstanding performance.  "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is stuck in my head now...

  • I am thankful that we had a great birthday celebration last night for Jordyn's 18th

  • I am thankful for this amazing little slice of heaven (and, yes, Jim is making faces for the camera. He's so crazy!):

And the after shot:

  • I am thankful for the yummy tea I sampled last night at Teavana.  I normally do not like hot tea but this actually reminded me of tea that I had on a mission trip to Slovakia some years ago.  It was called Youthberry and is suppose to help with wrinkles---didn't work...guess I need to drink it on a regular basis?

  • I am thankful for an amazing Women's Bible Study class.  We talked about "Encouraging Our Husbands" this morning.  I am thankful that these ladies are honest enough to admit that marriage is not easy.  However, they care enough about their marriages and their relationship with The Lord to fight for their families with prayer and other practical encouragements for their men!!   

  • I am thankful for the physical strength that I needed to get through today!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday JoJo!!

I am so thankful that my baby girl is 18 today!!  Happy Birthday Jojo!  

Both of my girls are miracles in their own right.  Jordyn is my medical miracle.  I had severe endometriosis when I was younger.   My specialist told me it would be doubtful if I could conceive a second child.    Jim and I were thrilled when we learned I was pregnant and I immediately when to the doctor for a check-up.  My doctor confirmed what we knew, that I was indeed pregnant.  However, he gently placed his hand on my shoulder and said to me , " Please don't get your hopes up.  You probably will not carry this child full term."

The day of my doctor's appointment eighteen years ago, it was raining outside   When I left my doctor's office, I had a sense of peace despite the negative news that I was told.  I felt no worry, no fear.   I knew The Lord was with me and my baby to-be.  He even showed me in a very powerful "God-wink".  As I opened the door to walk outside from the office building, the clouds that were looming in the sky that morning slowly parted and a beam of sun light shone down from the sky onto me. The beam of sun light lasted for a split second before the clouds covered its brilliance.   I know to some this may sound like a case of insanity but I knew it was God speaking to me in only a way He can.   I knew from that day forward that He was my doctor.  He alone is Jehovah Rapha and this child belonged to Him. 

18 years ago today, I gave birth to a healthy, baby girl.  She is indeed a miracle from The Lord.  She is one of the most musically gifted people I know.  

She uses her musical talents for The Lord each week by leading our Praise and Worship team at church, among many other areas where she serves whole heartedly.  

Her heart and compassion for people overwhelms me.  

She is a beautiful, Godly young woman.

   I am excited to see what The Lord has in store for her future. 

 I admire her and look up to her more than she could know.

My precious daughter, you are one of my role models.  

I love you Jordyn!! I'm glad you are my fraughter (friend + daughter)!

Happy Birthday!!     

And, by the way Jojo, if you read this blog post, here is a word of wisdom from your mother that I hope you will treasure always:
"Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake."  ~ Unknown


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