Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back - Yes. Will I continue? - Not sure.

That's right, I am back. Something prompted me to return to my blog. It's like a roller coaster for me. I go through periods of wanting to write and keep up a blog and then I hit a busy time and just let it go. It has been almost 2 years since I have looked at or written on this blog. I spent some time today reading what I wrote because, honestly, I had forgotten. All I can say is wow! It was great seeing and reading about the kids. It was awesome in getting a glimpse at what was going on in my life. You know, like where I had been and what I was doing. I had somewhat forgotten about a couple of those details and stories. I guess that is why some people have a blog. So, I guess the question now is - Will I continue and or keep up with this blog? I don't know. Will I try? Yes. Will I get distracted? More than likely. If I fall off "the band wagon" will I get back on again and say sorry for not keeping up? Probably. But hey, I am only human!

So...where to start? In the last 2 years - We have made a home where the military sent us. My husband has been deployed 2 times. We added a 5th child to our happy family.  I have gained a nephew. I have witnessed my brother marry a beautiful woman. We got a dog. I went from homeschooling 2 children to 3 children. My 5 year old son has broken his ankle & his arm. I have made new and wonderful friends. I have been reacquainted with old friends. I learned how to can jam. I have successfully taken my children into an art museum and not had them break anything. :)
My family & I have had our ups and our downs. But most importantly we are living each and everyday to its fullest! I look forward to what God has in store for us next. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Snapshot

We colored!

We used M&Ms

We baked!

We dressed in green!

On Friday's blog post I told you our home was going green for Mitochondrial Awareness Week, and we did just that. I thought I would share some of the snapshots I got from that day. It was fun and we learned a lot.

I also learned that I do not use my camera near enough to capture even the littlest of things. So my goal is to get back in the habit of taking more pictures because the lesson I learned is things can change in the blink of an eye and the only real thing we have is THIS moment because once the moment is gone is doesn't come back.

Live for today, for this very minute because only God knows and controls our very last minute on this earth.

Thank you Lord for the blessings in my life and the ability to recognize those blessings.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Going Green

Our household is going green today...and I don't mean saving the environment...more like saving human lives.

I had never heard of Mitochondrial Disease until I met a precious little girl who just happened to go to the same church as myself. She is full of smiles and personality! You would never know that something like this disease had any effect on her or her personality. However, after learning more about this disease I was blown away...there is so much this little girl has to endure. What made it even more striking to me was what her parents had to do to help their little girl survive. Yet through it all, their ups and their downs, their joys and their trials they are full of hope, full of love, and never stop leaning on God. Such a testimony through this wonderful family. I am humbled at the thought that anything that I have ever been through is nothing compared to what they go through every day. I am still learning more and more about this disease, especially this week. It is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. We are all going GREEN and learning some lessons in the process. My children have even gotten involved in wanting to do something to raise awareness. Today, in our home we are all going to wear green and we are going to make stickers to wear! We have already gone green on facebook. I have come across some coloring pages that the kids will color and we will talk about what this disease is and what we can do about it as part of their homeschool lessons! We will also be baking some cookies with green M&Ms! Yum!

So what is this disease I speak of?

Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common.

Diseases of the mitochondria appear to cause the most damage to cells of the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems.

Depending on which cells are affected, symptoms may include loss of motor control, muscle weakness and pain, gastro-intestinal disorders and swallowing difficulties, poor growth, cardiac disease, liver disease, diabetes, respiratory complications, seizures, visual/hearing problems, lactic acidosis, developmental delays and susceptibility to infection.

Now that you know what can you do to learn more and how can you help?

~First check out the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Website and GET INFORMED!

~Then if that doesn't work, check out the website for the little girl that I mentioned and maybe, by the Grace of God your heart will get stirred and you will want to know more

~GO GREEN! Not just this week but everyday!

Thank You! Hope everyone has a blessed day and a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mercy, Forgiveness, Submission, Obedience, Revival

Thank You Lord...for your mercy and steadfast love! Thank you for knowing the depths of my heart. For loving me enough to stir my heart when I haven't even realized I had drifted. For reviving me again and again when I didn't deserve it.

I was reminded yesterday and this morning in my everyday dealings with my children and in my quiet time with the Lord that I am in need of reminders. No it's not an age thing but a human nature thing. In raising my children I find that what do I expect from my children?

Submission and obedience.

I expect my children to submit to my authority over them because I am the parent. I expect their obedience because I am the parent. I expect it every time but do I get it? NO! Of course anyone who knows anything about raising children knows that submission and obedience doesn't come naturally and it is not something that you ever stop learning.
Isn't the same with our relationship with our Heavenly Father? We are His children and doesn't he want submission and obedience to His authority from us? YES!

How can I expect my children to do these two things when there are times when their own mother (ME) is not submitting her life to God and being obedient? I am constantly telling my 2 older children how their 2 younger siblings are watching their every move and behavior and how they set the example. "Monkey see, Monkey do!" I always hear myself saying to them. So why do I always get surprised when my children are disobedient? Shouldn't I be setting the example? Aren't I the monkey? (And no I am not referencing the theory of evolution here so please don't read to much into that.) Aren't I supposed to be submitting and obeying God instead of following the ways of the world?

Well Thankfully I serve a forgiving and merciful God. He knows my heart. He knows my struggles. He hears my prayers. He reveals to me my weaknesses. He never forsakes me. He doesn't see a lost cause. And thankfully He has given me the ability to show all these qualities to my children if I submit and obey God.

1 Samuel 15:22-25 - Samuel said, "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king." Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the Lord and your words, because I have feared the people and listened to their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the Lord."

Hebrews 13:17 - Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.

Deuteronomy 30:10-11 - ...if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. "For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach."

So the lesson for me today, is that I need to remember who it is that I am to be submitting to and obeying. Then I can come to expect my children to do the same. I am the example; I am the steward to my children to show them who God is so that they to may become followers of Christ. My disclaimer - Now I know my children will not allows submit and obey me because we live in a sinful fallen world, just as the Lord and I both know that I will make my own mistakes and will not allows submit and obey His commandments...BUT that doesn't mean that God doesn't require complete and constant obedience. He does and He disciplines and forgives. So knowing this will I stop requiring this of my children? No. Because God loves me enough to call me one of his own and to call, convict, compel, change and even discipline me when necessary.

Once again, it is time for the reviving of my heart now that I have recognized the spiritual drift that has occurred in me.

Psalm 85:6-9 - Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

I am looking forward to hearing and learning more of what God has for me as I walk through the book of Hosea!

Thank you Lord for the revelation you have given to me today and loving me enough to show me the areas in my life that need your help and correction. Thank you for awakening my heart to you Lord. Thank you for showing me the sin in my own life. I pray that you give me a revived hunger for Your Word. I pray for all those who struggle the same way I do. Thank you for the hope and love you have shown me. Let me be an encouragement to others and just another example of how you constantly extend mercy, love and forgiveness to all. I also pray for my future stumbles, because I know there will be more. Thank you for the cross that I may be forgiven when I didn't deserve it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Learning through the Storms and Trials

For the past 7 years, God blessed Wayne and I with a home, children, a church, and a "family." It is highly unusual for a military family like ours to get to stay in a place longer than 3 years. But we did...we got the opportunity to stay in Beaufort and to God I am grateful. When Wayne and I moved to Beaufort we had a bubbly 18 month old daughter and had only been married for 2 1/2 short years. We were young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. There were so many opportunities for us to get things wrong, but by God's grace he aligned everything just so. Before we came to Beaufort we prayed for a home, we prayed for a church home, and we prayed for every little detail in our lives. God put people in our paths who could of steered us wrong but didn't...unsaved people were watching out for us...for instance...our realtor told us straight up everything we needed to know about buying and owning a home; our mortgage broker who gave us sound financial advice instead of just trying to get whatever money out of us he could, and so on...Looking back I am so thankful that God handles the smallest of details...You would think that after all this time I would have already learned that lesson...but God is constantly reminding me and teaching me and yes even disciplining me...

I can honestly say that when we sold the house in April, I was thankful that God lined everything up the way he did...I was looking forward to what God had in store for us next...but somewhere after that I lost own personal set back...

I began to focus on what I had in Beaufort and how I no longer had it...

1) We had a great place we called home and now had no home that Wayne and I could call our own - he is living on the ship and the kids and I are staying at my folks...

2)We had a great church home who fed us
God's word (meat not milk) - and now I am doing my best to find us a temporary church home until we move to Norfolk in August, so I don't feel connected/or an active participant to the church we have been attending

3)We were a family...Now since Wayne is living on the ship which is now currently deployed I feel like our family is incomplete

4)We had like-minded support - Don't get me wrong we have lots of support here, just not the support and "family" we had in Beaufort...(I miss yall by the way!)

5) My list could go on and on....

SO what changed...was it God?...

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God loves us and has still provided for us through it all...The Lesson I Have Learned

1) I still have a roof over my head
2)I still have the ability to go to church freely
3)I still have a family even with Wayne away...God needs my husband on that deployment for some reason I may never know and God will use him as he sees fit
4)I have support, be thankful for that, but also that support I had in Beaufort is still there and thanks to wonderful technology I can still keep in touch.

So what has wasn't was ME...

I was so wrapped up in the changes and how it affected me and the kids and my life that I stopped seeking God and his council. In that last sentenced I just typed I used words that refernced "me" 4 times. I had put myself ahead of God and it was no wonder I felt so lost.

See - 2 Timothy 3

So today I am thankful to God for the convictions He has given me...for not giving up on me...for blessing me even when I don't see it...and for being a forgiving and merciful God. I thank God for the trials in my life, for bringing me through those trials, and for the trials I know will come.

Thank you God for the home you have made available for us in Norfolk. Thank you God for seeing us through the trials. Thank you God for Wayne. Thank you God for our children. Thank you God for our family and "family." Thank you God for those who pray for us. Thank you God for being a big and awesome God who handles the smallest of details.

Thank you just doesn't seem enough does it?

Colossians 3:15-16
Let peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all widson teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

My prayers for the day -

Lord, watch over my husband while he is on deployment. Help him keep his mind on You and the mission at hand. Don't let his focus get distracted by things that are not of You.

Lord, watch over our marriage while the Navy keeps us apart. Help us to endure the seperation and to keep our focus on You.

Lord, watch over our family while Wayne is away. Keep us strong and let us be a support to Wayne.

Lord, watch over the kids and protect their hearts. Help them to understand that we are going through changes like the deployment and a move. Help them adjust.

Lord, help me as I manage our home while Wayne is away. Give me patience, peace, understanding, and wisdom as we go through this time of transition and change.

Lord, help Wayne and I to not loose focus on You and the plans You have made for us.

Lord, I also pray that you watch over our "family" in Beaufort. We know of so many who are going through trials of their own who need You and Your mercy, healing, comfort, grace, and love.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

We need your help...

The 3rd Annual Help Cure
Ana Maria Fundraiser
to benefit Heroes on Horseback
Featuring: Vessel of Honour & Soul
May 8, 2010 from 11AM-3PM
@ the Hwy 21 Drive-In

and if you can't make it...
Please consider donating to Help Ana Help Heroes. Donations can be made online or at Wachovia Banks nation wide. The Wachovia business account is the Ana Maria Bennett Fund a Special Needs Trust.
Check it out for more information

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cha- Cha- Cha- Cha-Changes

I say it every has been awhile since I have posted but my reason this time is all the CHANGES our little family is embarking on...

We are moving...after 7 wonderful years here in SC the Navy has decided it is time for us to leave. Our next duty station is....

USS Iwo Jima (ship on the left)

Okay well it's my husbands next duty station and we are just along for the ride!
It makes me sad and happy all at the same time. I know God has a plan and a purpose for our family but I dislike having to leave behind such wonderful friends and our wonderful church. Even though I was not born or raised in SC, it is my home now. 3 out 4 of our children were born here. This is what they and I know. I am excited to see what God has in store for us at our next "home" but I will deeply miss SC and all those I have come to know and love. So with that said, Here is my short and sweet post saying Goodbye to SC and all that came with it...Thank you for everything!

My prayer is that God will continue to bless our "family" here in SC and the church. I pray that our move will go smoothly and that the children will adjust easily. I pray that as we move we continually seek God's guidance and will as we make decisions. I also pray for the people that God puts in our path on our new journey. I pray that God helps lead us to a new church home where His Word is taught so that we might serve Him. Amen.

Signing off for a little while so that the computer can get packed :(