Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I love this Psalm. It accurately depicts how I feel much of the time. Tonight, I have plans to celebrate a good friend's birthday, and to have a nice evening out. So before I leave, I am taking to time to "cast my cares upon God" once again. All cares, sorrow and worry is safest at the foot of the cross.

Psalm 55

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 at the voice of the enemy,
at the stares of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering upon me
and revile me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death assail me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest-
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert; Selah

8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm."
9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me,
I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
as we walked with the throng at the house of God.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the grave, [b]
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear them and afflict them— Selah
men who never change their ways
and have no fear of God.

20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His speech is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
23 But you, O God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of corruption;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The birthday part 2

Peyton and Paige's 7th birthday turned out to be a beautiful day. I had pretty much figured it would be difficult at best, but God decided it was time for some joy. The party went very well, and the Baptism was a beautiful reminder to me of all that God is doing in my life. Being given the responsibility for these two little new believers is an awesome gift from God. I know that God has plans for them, but it is blessed to be a part of that plan. This is a great picture of the principle of stewardship. Just like money, God given us children, and He expects us to "use" then wisely, to His glory. However, just like money, they don't really belong to us. I am learning this principle right now with money, as well as with my daughters. So while parenting is an awesome responsibility, is is freeing to keep in mind that they are God's children. My girls have made their own personal professions of faith. They are interested in the spiritual well beings of others, and they truly wish to know God more. Most of the time, I feel like my best course of action is to step aside, and just "be still" and watch God at work.

Anyway, they are seven now. Please pray for us this week. There are some difficult events this week that need to be thoroughly covered in prayer. I believe that God is quite actively at work. Also, P & P and I leave Thursday (along with Charity and her boys) to head to South Carolina. 4 kids and 2 women for 10 hours, should make for some fun stories to blog about!

Click here for the link to the album containing most of the days pics.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This was true then...and it is true today

Because He lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives,
All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives,
All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Looking back....

Friday, February 25, 2000. It was an eventful day. I awoke early in to morning, already hospitalized for over 2 weeks, to my water breaking. I was one day shy of the 28th week of my pregnancy. Labor did not begin, so the doctor ordered antibiotics and suspended my right to get up to the bedside commode (pretty much my only out of bed activity). We spent the day waiting, unsure how long we could maintain the pregnancy. Later in the evening, all the visitors had gone home, and Brad and I were watching TV. Apparently the other baby decided to pop her balloon also, because another bag of water broke. From this point, labor began and birth became inevitable. Unfortunately, I think I was the only person who was recognizing this! The steadily worsening pain and pressure was being attributed to increased pressure on my bladder because contractions were simply not registering on the monitors. However, Baby A (aka Peyton) was becoming increasingly insistent on joining us. Finally, a different nurse took a look and quickly realized that we were about to have a new person in the room, and not one prepared to breath on her own! So things went quickly from there. Thankfully, some nice anestheologist (all pregnant women love this type of doctor ;) knocked me completely out. I don't remember anything else from that day, but Brad told me there were a ton of people in the operating room, none of which was him (funny, but that was absolutely fine with him).

Paige Elizabeth~born Feb 25, 2000 at 11:10 pm. She weighed 2 pounds and 5 1/2 ounces and was 14 1/2 inches long. bottom photo

Peyton Amanda~born Feb 25, 2000 at 11:09 pm. She weighed 2 pounds and 6 1/2 ounces and was 15 inches long. top photo

middle photo six weeks down the road. This is the first time that we were all together as a family. This was such a blessing, and a huge relief. Paige was still on oxygen (on Brad's chest). This was one of his first times to hold her, because she hadn't been off the ventilator more than a day or so. She was still very tiny, so to hold her meant holding her skin to skin to maintain her body temperature. Peyton, in my arms, had reached the weight where she could be held dressed and wrapped in a blanket. She was still learning to eat. Paige had yet to have her first bottle, but she took to it much quicker in the coming weeks. They were still SO small, but had come so far. This was our 3rd and final NICU. We moved one more time a few days later to the peds unit, were we spent the last few weeks in the hospital getting to know our babies, while they got strong enough to come home. Paige had spent 3 weeks the week after her birth at another hospital to receive specialized care for a hole in her esophogus. Both girls ended up at another facility in the city of their birth for insurance reasons. Care of these tiny patients is very specialized, and we are grateful and thankful to God for the people that He allows the skill to work with those newborns who come into this world sick or way too early. I am also thankful that the God who brought these babies into my life, and allowed them to be well and whole, is still interested in their well being. Even when I am tempted (every day) to worry about their futures, I can accept God's sovereignty and His Grace. I can look back on these days and remember his promise. "He who hath begun a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" Phil 1:6

Friday, February 23, 2007

Birthday Fun part 1

Click here for the link to the web album showing all the pictures I took today. I will probably add the pictures that Jamie and Brittany took to the web album as the pictures come to me. Go to the album entitled "Birthday fun part 1" for the pictures

Peyton in her new shades with her new doll from Manda and Olivia
Gotta love the shades!

I just had to sneak in this one! Amanda, Steph, Charity and I at the Blue Kangaroo

ear piercing!

After a bit of apprehension, Paige finally got her ears pierced. Since this was a relatively painless procedure (thanks to Emla cream), she paved the way for Peyton to get it done without batting an eyelash!
me and Paige, showing off her new amethyst earings
Peyton showing off her new amethyst earings

After the piercing, Jamie, Steph, Elijah, Peyton, Isaiah, Paige and I ate at Garfields.
We then headed to Uncle Gary's (aka, Coach Tidwell) last home b-ball game
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Paige's artwork

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Peyton's artwork

They are Here!

As soon as the car stopped at his grandparents' house, Sam was up on a snow bank in their driveway. The temps hit about 50 degrees yesterday, so even though it was getting later, it wasn't all that cold. So here, NO ONE is wearing a coat (Charity was freaked out) and they are all standing on top of a snow bank that is almost as tall as they are. I guess those South Carolina boys were glad to see a bit of Illinois winter!

Sam, Paige, Peyton and Josiah
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Scenes from the car

Yesterday, P & P and I went to the airport to get Charity, Sam and Josiah. I gave the girls my camera to play with, I have posted the shots that aren't very blurry, or of a strangers' house or car. Then I managed to take some blind shots of them (while driving) when I became aware that they were strangely silent. I know they are almost 7, but they haven't outgrown sleeping in the car!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New International Version)

9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10That is why, for Christ's sake,
I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Monday, February 19, 2007

God's sovereignty

Sunday School yesterday began a discussion about the sovereignty of God. We are studying Ecclesiates, and this is the theme of chapter 6. This is also a subject I have been heavily seeking God about understanding. I am currently reading "When God Weeps" by Joni Erickson Tada and Steven Estes. The most recent chapters that I am reading have really helped me in beginning to understand God and His sovereignty. God's sovereignty, as defined in our SS class, is God being all _________ (fill in the blank knowing, powerful, etc) and God being in "absolute control of the universe at all times." This started the beginning of a discussion on what this means for us. How does this change how we see God and how we respond to Him. Ultimately, does this mean that we can sin, be out of His will, yet still be part of His plan, all the while retaining our our free will to choose right from wrong? While this is one of God's great mysteries, I believe the answer is yes. Tada and Estes clearly agree. They cite various places in scripture where God was clearly in charge. In the book of Job we see that Satan had to have God's permission in order to attack Job. God didn't do it, but He did allow it. And furthur, God is grieved over our sin. He is saddened by how we hurt each other. People that sin do not escape responsibility and discipline even though God allowed it in the first place. Psalm 33:10 tells us that "the Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever. " This comforts me. I can claim this verse and be sure that there is absolulety nothing that can happen to me, or my children, that God isn't allowing, and for our greater good. God knew what would happen in each of our lives before the foundation of the world. Ezekial 20 tells us in verse 26 that God allowed the sin of the Jewish people so that they would be "filled with horror so they would know that I am God." I can only pray that my sin will be used by God to help me hate sin and love God more. Even though we all make our own choices to do right and wrong, those choices are ordained by God. This is a tough concept, but if we allow it to be, it can be a comforting one. "every sorrow we taste will one day prove to be the best possible thing that could have happened. We will thank God endlessly in heaven for the trials he sent us here. This is not DisneyLand-it is truth." This truth about God not only takes the need for worry away, but it frees us up to be forgiving and not forsake bitterness to those who cause us pain. Just as Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery. Despite to difficult path and the pain he endured, what his brothers meant for evil, God meant for good. (Gen 50:20).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our God Reigns

On the way home last night from work, I was praying for God's direction and for some feeling of peace. I have been reading "When God Weeps" by Joni Erickson Tada . This book, so far, has talked about how we can expect to suffer, and why. It has been a difficult book so far to digest and understand. I have been having occasions lately where I feel the need to "defend" the Lord. This morning, I decided it was too quiet around here, so I started some music off my computer. The song below was the first one that I heard. It reminded me that "every creature will know" and God doesn't need me to defend Him!
Our God Reigns
So much holy
So divine
Yours and so much mine
By the morning
Light is thine
Perfect by design
Mighty to men
Light of the earth
Sending the son
To echo his worth
Breaker of sin
Winner of souls
Every creature will know

Our God Reigns
Over the Heavens
Over the earth
Our God reigns
Praise His name
All still standing
All that was,
all that remains
Our God reigns(He reigns)

In devotion
To His bride
Standing by her side
Mighty to men
Light of the earth
Sending the son
To echo his worth
Breaker of sin
Winner of souls
Every creature will know
© 2006 New Spring (a div. of Brentwood-Benson, dba Music.
this song can be found at

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Old friends are gold...

OK, I know that I am risking life and limb when I present these pictures. However, Charity's coming visit (and maybe an odd coping mechanism) has prompted me to bring out the old photo boxes! I scanned anther bundle this morning. click here to see some more picures from years gone by. By the way, I still have MANY more pictures.

Amanda, Steph, Sandy and Charity August 1993 in Georgia
Steph,Char, Manda, san Stone Mountain, Georgia
Steph, San, Char, Manda- TGI Friday's- summer 1996

Char, Steph, Manda, Sandy-The Thornsbrough house, New Years Eve 1998
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Friday, February 16, 2007

My first movie review!

click on picture to go to Movie website

This afternoon, Peyton, Paige, Lauren and I hit the theaters for the opening of "The Bridge to Terabithia." The girls had been talking about the movie for the past few weeks, so I began to watch the ads for it, and I thought it looked pretty good. I was right! The girls watched, mesmerized, even though I am sure much of the story soared right over their heads. I would describe this movie as "My Girl" meets "Narnia." The movie was boasts some pretty impressive acting from a few very yound actors. While the school bully's that were portrayed were pretty extreme, their existence paralleled to the fantasy world portrayed in Terabithia was excellent. I also appreciated how one of the worst bullies was shown for her weaknesses, and allowed to redeem herself in the end.

There was a scene in which the lead characters, Jess and Leslie were riding in the back of a truck after attending church with Jess's family. Leslie obviously had no church background, but she saw the "beauty" in the story of Jesus. Jess and his sister were trying to explain Christianity to her, and they described how anyone who doesn't believe the Bible is "damned to hell." Leslie sweetly said that she didn't believe that God was "going around damning people to hell." She felt He would be too busy running the world. Peyton, who was sitting down from me by 3 seats leaned down and said, "She's wrong." Hmm, out of the mouth of babes! We have taught our children that people go to hell because of sin and God actually rescues and saves people from hell. Even so, Peyton picked up on the wrong thinking portrayed by this character in the movie.
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Peyton almost 2 1/2 with her beloved baby doll and her thumb!
Paige napped in the pack and play. I knew it was time for something different when she pulled the floor
off the pack and play up and fell asleep under it. Here she snoozes with her blankie, which looks
much better in this picture than it does right now!
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That first summer...

With the birthday fast approaching, I am posting some pictures from the first year

Paige and Peyton~Happy 4th of July!
Peyton Paige
Peyton with Brad and Paige with Gary after a softball game
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Old pictures on display..

Paige in Daddy's hat, Peyton got his coat~almost 3 yrs old
Peyton with attitude
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

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This has become one of my favorite songs to listen to in the car. It is a great worship song. The kids and I sing along. It is just a reminder that I need to praise God for the gift of salvation every day. This should be more important than presenting my requests. I love how it starts out. I don't know what God's plans are, but I do know that what He has already done for me.
My Savior, My God
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save: this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior Loves, my Savior lives
My Savior’s always there for me
My God: He was, my God: He is
My God is always gonna be
Yes, living, dying: let me bring
My strength, my solace from the spring:That He who lives to be my king
Once died to be my Savior
repeat chorus
Written by: Aaron Shust/Dorothy Greenwell
This song can be found at

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snowed in...or not??

click on image to go to Web album

Mom and Dad braved the snow to get to us today. Quite literally, in fact. The county only clears my road so far. You can see behind them a small path consisting of only the tracks the neighbor made this morning. Dad was fearful that he would get stuck, making getting home next to impossible, so they parked back at the mailboxes. I looked out the window in time to see Mom kinda fall over in the snow. What a sight! Here they are in a place that isn't so deep. We got my Ford Expedition out of the garage while they were here, and that thing ROCKS! Dad moved it up and down the driveway a few times, and took it to my snowy road. So when they were ready to leave, I drove them back to where they were parked. I couldn't believe how well the roads were cleared up to that point. Apparently, the 4 families that live beyond the mailboxes are totally on their own! Seems a bit strange, since I know I pay a ton in property taxes! Anyway, for the first time in the 4 years that I have had my Expedition, I know that I was completely relying on the 4wd.
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