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"

Thursday, June 26, 2008





click Jamaican pictures continued">here for a link to some more snapshots from our trip..I think I am about done sorting through trip pictures, unless there are some good ones on the camera yet!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

We got married!!! Jamaica style....

These are just a few of many snapshots of our beautiful Jamaican wedding. We met a newlywed couple from Chicago and they were nice enough to snap some pictures for us and did a nice job. We are looking forward to the professional pictures that we view tommorrow. I attempted a web album, but unfortunately it didn't check back later, I may try to haul my laptop down to the lobby again if I have time. We are very busy. Soon we will be snorkeling, sight seeing, scuba diving, and climbing a waterfall. But mostly we are having a great time being together! We have scheduled a photo shoot tonight on the beach, and I am very excited about beach pics in my dress.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ankle bracelets and toenail polish

A few weeks ago, someone gave the an idea that the girls could make me a bracelet or something to take on my trip. James and leave in less than 4 hours for the airport for our flight to Jamaica. We decided that a destination wedding that was just for the two of us was for the best. We are kinda eloping..which is cool, but everyone knows about it! Anyway, we have been very busy getting ready to leave, and making some changes involving putting two full lives and households together. Paige and Peyton have been great with the whole thing, but I bought all the stuff to make some "beachy" ankle bracelets that we could make. This got put off until just hours ago. Thankfully, Brittany, Lauran and Brookelyn were on hand to help out (I didnt do much at all, really). Thanks Brittany!! Anyway, all 4 girls and I got new anklets to wear out of it. The girls and I plan to wear ours while we are away, so that we can be reminded of how important they are to me, and to the new life we are starting! Mommy is going to miss you guys! Thanks for hanging in there with me through some rough times.


Posted by Picasa

a day with the the nail salon




Posted by Picasa

swim team

I am so far behind on blogging, but I wanted to throw a few pictures from the most recent activities. Here are a few of the MANY pictures Jamie took at the swim meet. There is a web album, but unfortunately mine is in a foreign language for some reason, and I couldn't post it!




Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Broken on the Back Row

Click here for a link to the review of this book.

My mother loaned me this book awhile back, and now that I am sitting in the sun at the pool (when it decides to shine and not rain) I have (made) a little time to read. I finished this book last night. This is a great story about God's love, grace and forgiveness. I won't lie, there were several things in the book that didn't sit well with me. But this is a great read. She is real, open about her mistakes, and how God used them for good.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Paige's pressure Peyton

Miracle of the Moment

I lifted this from a recent blog posting of my friend Matt Harmless, please visit his blog for some beautiful coverage of the tragedy in the Chapman family. This reminded me of how important it is not too look back too much, or to even look ahead too much, but to live right now, and be thankful to God for what we have in our lives. This is pretty easy for me just now as I listen to my girls play together nearby, but generally I am not so great at accepting God's grace for today. In a counseling session (premarital, but counseling is great for pretty much anyone) today, we discussed the word "grace." I remember a time in my life when claiming God's grace for that exact moment was about all I could handle. If I tried to look ahead, or "what if" over the past, life was intolerable. Please take time to read Steven Curtis Chapman's "miracle of the moment."

Miracle of the Moment

It’s time for letting go
All of our “if onlys”
‘Cause we don’t have a time machine

And even if we did
Would we really want to use it
Would we really want to go change everything

‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment

There’s only One who knows
What’s really out there waiting
And all the moments yet to be
And all we need to know
Is He’s out there waiting
To Him the future’s history

And He has given us a treasure called right now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment

And if it brings you tears
Then taste them as they fall
Let them soften your heart

And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go
Let it go, yeah
You gotta let it go

And listen to your heartbeat

And breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment

And breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment

Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, June 05, 2008

deep grief

I read this today and was totally affected by it. In was thinking about the joy in my life today compared to the pain in the past. This week reminded me that while there continues to be pain, the "deep grief" no longer plagues me. I am very thankful for what God has placed in my life. As I read through this devotion, I thought of many friends and acquaintances for whom this story might be very close to home. The fact remains that most of us, at some time in our lives, will experience "deep grief" over some life event. Over the past week or so, every time I have heard Steven Curtis Chapman's new song, "Cinderella," I have been reminded of the sadness that is out there right now for people. It also reminds me to cherish my children every day.
June 5, 2008

Deep Grief
Lysa TerKeurst

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."
Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

Sometimes when we lose things it causes a temporary panic that rises and falls in a mini-tidal wave fashion. Like earlier this year when I lost my camera with all our ski vacation pictures on it. The panic escalated, crested with some hand wringing and mind racing, and then slowly ebbed away.

But sometimes a loss cuts into your heart so viciously that it forever redefines who you are and how you think. It's what I call "deep grief." The kind that strains against everything you've ever believed. So much so you wonder how the promises that seemed so real on those thin Bible pages yesterday, could possibly stand up under the weight of enormous sadness today.

I once stood at the side of a casket too small to accept. Pink roses draped everywhere. And I watched my mom as she lay across the casket, refusing to let go. How could she let go? Part of her heart laid within, so quiet and so still.

I stood paralyzed. Just days ago we were doing everyday things and assuming that all of our lives stretched before us in spans of many, many years. And then suddenly it all stopped. In the flurry of funeral plans and memorial services we all operated on automatic. People were everywhere. Soft chatter filled in the gaps that our stunned silence could not. And enough food was brought in to feed the whole neighborhood.

But eventually people went back to their own lives. The soft chatter dissipated. The food stopped coming. And we were forced to carry on. Only we had deep grief wrapped about us that made our throats feel strangled and our feet stuck in mud.

I remember I tried to go to McDonalds to order a happy meal. But I couldn't. I sat in the drive-through with the speaker spouting words at me I couldn't process. She kept asking if she could take my order.

Yeah, I had an order. Take away my bloodshot eyes. Take away my desire to hurt the doctors that couldn't save my sister. Take away my anger toward God. And then take away my guilt for being the one that lived. I'll take all that with no onions and extra ketchup, please.

I drove away sobbing. How dare they offer happy meals. No one should be happy today. Or tomorrow. Or next year.

This is the reality of deep grief. Even when you love God and believe in His promises. Even when you know without a doubt that you will see your loved one again. Even when you know hope is still there.

It takes time.

It takes wading through an ocean of tears.

It takes finding a possession of your loved one that you thought was lost, and realizing God did that just to comfort you. It takes discovering one day that the sun still shines. It takes being caught off-guard when you catch yourself smiling... only to realize it's okay.

It takes prayer. It takes making the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective. It takes telling people to please not avoid saying her name - you want to hear it, over and over again.

Then one day you take off the blanket of deep grief. You fold it neatly and tuck it away. You no longer hate it or resist it. For underneath it, wondrous things have happened. Things that could have only come about when Divine hope intersected with a broken world.

And finally you can see years stretching before you once again. You look up, blow a kiss, wipe a tear and find it's still possible to dance.

In light of their own recent loss, may we all keep the family of Steven Curtis and Marybeth Chapman in our prayers for all the time it will take them to shed their deep grief and discover their dance again.

Dear Lord, Thank you for assuring us that your principles and promises hold true even when life seems to betray us. We praise You that Your love reaches to any depth we find ourselves in. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst's blog today to read about how to help a friend that is grieving.

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Who Holds the Key To Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Is there someone in your life who is grieving right now? Visit my blog today for suggestions on how to help. Commit to reaching out to them this week.

Death is a reality of life. So, how can you live more intentionally each day with those you love?

Power Verse:
2 Corinthians 1:2-4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (NIV)

© 2008 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


Monday, June 02, 2008

a look back..

yes I know that I have already blogged several times tonight..but bear with me. After blogging, took a walk down blogging memory lane, and I came accross this post. I was struck by how timely it is for me. I feel like I am facing a huge giant right now, and I want so badly to "get it right." Unfortunately, me and my big mouth get in the way alot, after I trip over my ego and hurt feelings. I can only pray that I can "give grace to those who give me grief."

grace? forgiveness?
I am moving ahead in the bok "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado. By chapter 3, he has already talked about how David took his eyes off the Lord when he was running for his life, and some of the things that transpired from that. Some very interesting thoughts, you should read the book. But then he got into how David had, not one, but three opportunities to kill Saul. He was running for his life after 6 attempts were made to end it, all by Saul. David prayed for Saul. He showed him grace. "It's one thing to give grace to friends, but to give grace to those who give us grief? Could you? Given a few uninterrupted moments with the Darth Vader of your days, could you imitate David?" Job 5:2 tells us that "Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple."

"Vengeance fixes your attention at life's ugliest moments...Will rehearsing and reliving your hurts make you a better person? By no means, it will destroy you." (Lucado)
How is this possible? David accomplished it by looking at Saul as God did. After all, he was "God's annointed king." "David didn't applaud Saul's behavior; he just acknowledged Saul's proprietor-God. David filtered is view of Saul through the grid of heaven. The king still belonged to God, and that gave David hope." Again, this gave me chills. Did David honestly have HOPE for Saul? Acccording to Lucado, God would say '"What he did was unthinkable, unaceeptable, inexcusable, but I'm not finished yet."' I am SO glad that God isn't finished yet.
One last quote from Lucado says, "Your enemies still figure into God's plan. Their pulse is proof. GOd hasn't given up on them. They may be out of God's will, but not out of His reach. You honor God when you see them, not as His failures, but as His projects."
Ok, I was wrong, here is another quote. "To forgive is to move on, not to think about the offense anymore. You don't excuse him, endorse her or embrace them. You just route thougths about them through heaven. You see your enemy as God's child and revenge as God's job....We, like Saul, have been given grace. We, like David, can freely give it."

// posted by Sandy @ 1/27/2007 06:35:00 AM 1 comments
Friday, January

Engagement announcement

Most of you that know me know that I am getting married in a few weeks. We are getting married in Jamaica on June 20. There have been plenty of changes going on around here as we girls plan to have James move in. Furniture is being moved around, boxes gone through. Lots of stuff is being thrown away. James and I, together with the girls and our families, are excited about the upcoming wedding. I feel completely blessed to have James and his family in our lives. We finish up marriage counseling this week after many weeks of attending. It has been an interesting way to learn more about each other, and to prepare for our future. We are thankful for the many friends and family who have prayed for us. I only ask one thing..DON'T STOP!!

flower planting



the girls and I hit Walmart and picked out some flowers that promised to love full sun, and don't mind when you are a bit skimpy on the water (sometimes I forget, ok?). Anyway, we will see how these turn out. The girls helped me clear weeds out of the flower bed, then we planted until it was way too dark to plant! I love working with the girls. They are so helpful, and take pride in doing a good job. I never heard one word of complaint that I was putting them to work. The girls were thrilled with the new gardening gloves that they got to pick out. Everyone is off to bed now after a long and busy day..
Posted by Picasa

First day at the pool


first thing this morning, ready for swim team practice

Peyton taking a snack break

Nathan LOVED it!

posing for the cameras
Posted by Picasa