Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back and Looking Forward

This past year has been one full of change! For the most part of January and February I don't really remember much. I was on pain meds and slept alot! William turned 4 in February and we celebrated with a family party at home. He loves Dinosaurs and so he had a Dino cake. March and April brought new life around with the tulips popping up. Along with April brought the news that I had BENT my titanium rods and would need further surgery. After my doctor got over the shock of the rods bending and never having a patient do this before! May brought a busy month. I think every May is busy! We celebrated Lily's birthday before our trip to Walt Disney World. She had a fun time in her class and the kids all flew on an airplane for the first time. It was a special time to spend with family and friends at Disney and Sea World. Josh stayed behind to be with his Grandmother who was recovering from a stroke. June brought the close of another school year for the kids. The boys had a trip to Build-a-Bear and the Children's Museum with their preschool. Lily ended the 2nd grade. June also brought the news that we would be moving in a 3 week time span. Not alot of time to pack or say good-byes but everything made it! June also brought the news that I would have to have surgery again on my back. We attended our Districts first ever POWER RALLY at IWU with some friends from church. This was a blessed time of fellowship with others and gave us the opportunity to fellowship with our new congregation. July we celebrated the 4th of July in Fowler and moved the 5th to Grant City! We enjoyed the town parade and our own little fireworks. Moving was a very trust growing event for me. We have always rented a moving truck. This time the church said they had enough people with pick up trucks to move us! Imagine seeing all your earthly possessions piled HIGH on the back of pick up trucks, tied down with rope going on a 2 hour trip! It was TRUST and God's hand of protection that it all made it in one piece on the truck!!!! At the end of July we went to Beaver Island, MI! If you ever get the chance you should go! My high school freshman Biology teacher talked about Beaver Island ALOT and I remembered it after all these years and it sure was worthy of TALKING about!!!!!! It is a 2 hour boat ride to Beaver Island, the Island has one paved road and the rest are gravel. The beaches are powder white with the water clear and blue as the Caribbean! It is relaxing and you are on Island time!
In August we got Lily and Timmy registered for school, 3rd and Kindergarten. We are blessed with a small school. I also took a semester of classes at Ivy Tech. After much deliberation about giving in, I finally agreed that I would not be able to purse nursing as a career with Stainless Steal Rods in my back. I am still interested in the health care field and continue to work towards a job in that field. August also brought with it celebration with family and friends as Josh was ORDAINED in the Wesleyan church! This was a huge accomplishment and my Uncle John came out along with my grandma, mom and dad. It was a wonderful time! September was filled with busyness and Lily starting piano with Sandi Patty's mom, Carolyn! Tuesdays are a highlight of my week. I smile the whole time Lily is at lessons. October brought the celebration of 10 years of marriage for Josh and I. Not always the perfect marriage but God has gotten us through! We spent time doing things as a family as I had my second back surgery at the end of October. Not knowing if I would be in a wheelchair or what. The Lord brought me through the surgery and recovery amazingly with little to no pain. My dad and Grandma came out the day before my surgery and surprised us. The kids got spoiled by Grandpa the day of my surgery and I was grateful for that! November brought us a time of thanksgiving and gratefulness for all the Lord has done. December brought a warm Christmas and new traditions. Josh graduate with his Masters in Ministry and spoke on behalf of the student's at commencement. We went to the Indy Zoo for the Christmas Lights and enjoyed that! We had a wonderful Christmas and time celebrating Timmy's 6th birthday! Whew...I am tired just writing this! If you made it too the end with no pictures in this are AMAZING!!!!!

This next year brings with it excitement and wonder. I am hoping to work towards full contentment in the people around me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Today was a blessed day! I was excited that Christmas was on Sunday this year! It was a wonderful time of singing and joining my family and a few others celebrating Christ's birth in his home. The kids were up at 6:30a.m. today and spent an hour or so opening gifts. I love that they get into giving each other a gift and watching them open it! It is such neat thing to watch with Joy on their face! We played with the new toys for a short while, then got dressed and went to church. While there were a few in church the spirit of Joy and Thankfullness was strong! We came home where Josh yes, JOSH helped in the kitchen getting ready for Christmas dinner! I think having him in the kitchen HELPING me prepare a big meal was so romantiac! LOVED IT!!!!! We ate, and after eating way too much William and I took a nap as Josh visited with a few clients from his job and then took them back home. We LOVE having people over for meals with us! After nap time, I got up and spent the rest of the day putting together Lego Sets and Trio sets! They are time consuming but fun. It has been a neat time of putting the Lego's together for me as there have been many improvments since my brother and I had Lego's! They sure have come along way! I hope that you and your family had a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Timmy YOU ARE 6!!!!!

I remember it just as you were born yesterday! The night before you were born we had gone to Mommy's favorite little resturant called Kecly's. Mommy had Prime Rib!! Yummy!!! Well, it was yummy until I had gotten sick and could not eat or drink anything after midnight! We got up the next day ready to head to the hospital at 10a.m. We arrived and got checked in. We got to go back into the OR early and you were born with a flood of water all over everyone at 11:57 a.m. Dr. Rebelsky said "It's a BOY!" Daddy did not believe her until he saw it! He was very excited to have his FIRST SON!!!!! We stayed in the hospital until after church on Christmas day. You were such a good baby. You had a hard go of life in the begining but are doing amazingly well now! You are aspiring to be a "Race Car" driver! You enjoy reading about racing and maybe in the next year you will get to go to your first NASCAR race!! I am very excited for you! I love watching you grow! You are 110% all boy! You love to chase your sister around and gross her out! I know she really enjoys it even though she screams the whole time! You are in all day kindergarten and doing great! As a matter of fact today for the first time you colored IN the lines! Your teacher and I were very impressed with that!!!! I Love You!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jennifer's Person of the Year!

As I was listening to the radio while driving this past week. KLOVE's DJ was talking about the person who was on the cover of the TIME magazine Person of the Year issue and asked who would be YOUR person of the year. If your still following me YEAH!!!!!

As we go through different seasons of life I think that there will be different people who qualify as the "Person of the Year" in our lives. As I think about that "Person of the Year" for me my mind races of people who have touched my life, challenged me, streched me out like Silly Putty, encouraged me, and have been there for me during the HIGH's and LOW's over the past year. Yes, there is my Heavenly Father who knew ever detail of my life before it happened, there is my earthly father, there is my husband, my kids and on and on. These are all people deserving of this honor. This year though for me the person who has been there and listened to me cry when I was scared, laughed with me, ran through Disney World with me EVERY DAY we were there, sat with Josh while I was in the OR for 8 hours the first time last year and 12 hours this time, the person who spent countless hours driving me to and from Indy for doctors appointments when I could not drive, the person who helped pack and move our lives to the other side of the state in a short 4 weeks, the person who I am honored and blessed to call FRIEND is KIM GODBEY!!!!!! Thank you for being the older sister I never had. Thank you for listening and being there over the phone or in person. Thank you for YOU!!!!!! I am going to try to high light other people in my life over these next few days too! Blessed INDEED I am!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When all else fails....

Use William to get the clothes out of the washer that you CAN NOT reach by putting him in the washer! He thought it was great fun and helped me out! I have lost my "Grabber" that allows me to pick up stuff w/o bending over. I am in LOVE with this little guy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful for this person!

Grandma Trish! Josh's mom! We have not always had the best of times but she has been very very helpful during this season of life and I am very appreciative for her! Without her I would not have clean clothes, dishes or house! My kids love their Grandma Trish and I am grateful for her!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

As we are in the full midst of the season of Thanksgiving these are some things I am thankful for!

1) God's Grace- I am thankful for the underserving 2nd chance at a lot of things in life!

2) God's Mercy- I am so underserving!

3) For a doctor who is not afraid to ask around for opinions on my back.

4) For a brand new straight beautiful back with NO PAIN!

5) To be home for Thanksgiving! I missed my kids alot and was a source of alot of tears!!!

6) I am grateful for my dad! He is AMAZING!!! He and my 95 year old grandma drove all the way out to Indiana the day before my surgery to see me and spend all day Friday with the kids! He also spoils us in lots of ways too!

7) I am grateful my husband has a job that provides warmth, a roof over our head and money for food and gas!

8) I am grateful for all of our health! I very grateful that Timmy is with us! He says the most sweet and sincere prayers at meal time!

9) I am grateful for the opppotuities we have been given this year such as an amazing trip to Flordia and Beaver Island!

10) I am thankful for WOF!!! I have been blessed each I have gone and continue to be blessed by social networking with the speakers!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

If Yesterday is History than why.......

Do we let it affect us now? As I have talked to friends, the common factor is well that was what I grew up in so that is why I do this now. I am guilty of this too! I have a very hard time spanking my children because as a child that was overly used for punishment. I remember it but did not feel loved because of it. I need to work on finding another way to displine them that is out of love but not hurtful. Just to make them think! I think it is interesting. We do love to go back and remember the good times which is great! I love to do that too but no one wants to go and trace back those bad times to why we do something a certain way today. I admit it is harder to face those hurts head one rather than shove them deep down and try to put them out of my mind. One of the things that I struggle with on a daily basis is that I tell my husband that I am going to the store for only a few items but really I know I will be spending more but if I tell him the truth than I won't get to go. This is from growing up and not being able to spend the money I earned on things I want. Yes, I need to work on communicating this with my husband and YES this will be a HUGE turning point for us. I am working on but it's hard to let that old way go!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Camp Adventure Homecoming!

So....these past few days I have posted some old camp pictures my facebook page. It is amazing what pictures do to people and the thoughts they trigger. Fun! Over the past few hours a few friends I met at Camp Adventure Terra and John Barlow...have been talking about having a "Homecoming"! Wouldn't that be neat to get together and laugh about the past and remember the times in life when we were reaching out to the next generation. We are now reaching our children at the moment as we raise them. But I think it's neat how people relate to a moment in time. A moment that may have brought happiness despite what was going on around them at home. A moment that brought them closer to Christ. A moment that challenged them to "Dive" deeper into their relationship with Christ and trusting him fully and completely. If you have ever been to camp before you know that amazing feeling and experience you get. You are on that mountain top away from all the worries and care of home! Away from all the bad news on t.v. You are in the presences of the almighty God! It is an amazing experience and time. A time that marked me and my relationship with Christ. Think about those times in your life. When I was at Camp I was able to be free. It was a safe environment where we could be crazy and the kids would follow along. It was a time where the worship was what I imagine heaven to be like. It was a time when I was challenged to over come my fears. I am thankful for the times I had at Camp Adventure.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What do Pastors do?

Good Morning! This past weekend I went to a concert where one of the artist sings as it works into her families schedule as her husband is a pastor. As I watched her tell people that she was content and was where she needed to be now in life it was surprising to see people's reaction! I don't think people realize that there is alot more than meets the eye in ministry than just getting up Sunday morning and preaching! :) I know before I my hubby became a pastor I thought oh it is so easy he will just preach on Sunday morning's and that is it! Boy oh Boy was I WRONG!!! Being married to a pastor is sort of like being married to a doctor. You are on call ALL the time! Well, expect for when your on vacation but even then you may get an emergency call. Our husband's prepare for their sermon, spending time in prayer, prepare for and attend lots of meetings to keep the church running and growing. They are available to people for prayer, to listen, to carry others burdens, to marry to bury. I know my husband spends alot of time at the hospitals when loved ones are in the hospital because he know's how important that is to the family of having the presences of a pastor there. He also helps out people who are contemplating suicide. He has walked through lots of valleys with people in the community and some of our own. We have gone back for funerals because we knew that we were needed. Yes, there are times you feel as you are alone and no one understands. This is a calling not a job! I will touch on bitterness amongst pastors wives in my next post. In the mean time lift your pastor and family up in prayer....they have alot going on! :) more than just Sundays! ;)

over 1,000

So, I have not been on my blog lately but noticed that I had over 1,000 visitors!!!!! Who are ya'll and where are ya'll from??? Glad you stop by to read! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three Chairs

Our family is spending some much needed time of rest and relaxation on Beaver Island. We attended church on Sunday at the Island's Christian church. During the summer they have pastors who are on vacation bring the message. The pastor who shared the message really hit hard on the nail to me where I am at. Then just like God would do I am reading a book by Patsy Clairmont that I have been trying to read for quite some time now. And she hit on the same point too! I have never read the popular book "The Prayer of Jabaz" but on Sunday the pastor was sharing from this book on the Three Chairs. What Chair are you at today? The Chairs are 1) The first generation.....fired up, God does, gives sacrificially, dedication

2) The second generation...goes to church, goes through the motions but no passion

3) The third generation...does not first!

As I sat and listened to the pastor really hit home that I have been in the 2nd chair for awhile. Whatever I can do that is convient and is comfortable but not what will stretch me and challenge me. I want to work towards getting to the the first chair. I have been there before and I want to be there again! How about you?


Life is full of change. This past June we experience a quick change but a major one for us. Josh had gone to the doctor for a check up on his tumor, it was not growing but had potential to again. The doc had told Josh that he would be unable to stay where he was and continue to recover due to the mold in the church building. So, the second week of June Josh resigned from the church in Fowler to seek out other opportunities. We had 3 weeks to pack our earthly posseisons, find a new church, and move! That is alot in a short amount of time! We were able to find a new church closer to Indy! We HATED to leave Fowler as the people have been amaing to us and we could not have asked for more. The house we loved and we were loved! But God had bigger things in store for us! We went and preached at Grant City Wesleyan Church in Shirley, IN. They accepted us and we moved July 5th. Moving was an experience in and of itself. I had NEVER moved without a moving truck! The day came, the crew with trucks and trailers showed up around 9a.m., and things were getting loaded. I remember at one point looking out our bedroom window thinking they are going to drive 2 hours with the truck loaded to the hilt and nothing will fall off!!!! It all made it to Grant City in one piece! Talk about trust! It was mountain of boxes! They were joking around they could just not tie everything down and let me loose a few pictures or toys. HAHA!!! That did not work! It was once again a perfect picture of the body of Christ coming together to help us out! We had people from Fowler, Grant City Wesleyan, Muncie Church and Cicero Church. It was AMAZING!!! I love seeing the body of Christ come together like that! Tuesday we moved I was in bed and Josh was trying to plug some things in and he heard a POP! He had torn his rotar cuff. OUCH!!!!! He mentioned it on Facebook and two ladies from Cicero came down and helped us unpack! That was even more amazing!!!! We are getting settled and ready for the kids to start school. It has been a quick move. Yes, there have been times of tears and sadness but God is great and HE is greater than we are!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

People in life

Today has been a full day! I am blessed by the friendships I have! Today was filled with appoitments but in between those appoitments I stopped and spent time with 2 of my friends! One I met at school about 1 1/2 ago. We laugh alot and talk about life. The time together is good! Then I met with another friend who was my pastor's wife while I was growing up. It was good to talk to her and catch up on life. I love talking to people about ministry, how to do it better, resources and how are we doing on this journey we call life.
Which brings me to my next thought. I am changing what I am going to school for. After my back surgery I was hopeful to go into nursing but the stress it would cause in my house and for me is not worth it. So, I am now looking at what I am good at and my passions are and seeing where that takes me! I am very excited to look at careers at a now 32 year old who has lived life some. It is interesting how at 18 you just now beyond a shadow of a doubt what you want to do and that you are not going to do what your parents want you to do! at 32 I am revaluating life's goals and careers for me. You are older and wiser. As I was listening to Dave Ramsey this week he was talking about the 4 different types of people in life. There are those who are the Lions-those are the leaders, lets do it NOW! The otters which is ME!, we are the care free, would rather party than work! This is why I do not do well in bible study groups because I want to talk and not do the study! :), the beavers love DETAILS....which I do not like! Tell me the big picture and it will some how fall into place! :) Then there is the golden retriver they are the calm, even keel person who is easy going and easy to get along with. I laughed while listening to Dave describe these different personalities because I am such an Otter to the EXTREME!!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding

I am not sure if you are like me but I am over the Royal Wedding! I am glad that they are married and wish them a happy life together! But this did get me thinking! Wouldn't it be AWESOME if the thousands upon thousands that watched THE Royal Wedding on t.v. or in person took the invitation to Christ's royal wedding where we are called to be his bride and he our bride groom! That gives me chills just thinking about it! Now is the time to stay excited over Christ's Royal Wedding!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Every Where I Go!

This week's topic on the WOF blog hop is.....Do you have "other" mother's or are you one? I am one to the kids that come over and play at my home. Many times in the summer kids will end up at our house. There are days I LOVE it and days that it's chaotic and hectic! I enjoy it and am learning to embrace this roll as I look at the children as a blessing from him. Some may get fed only from my home that day. I may be the only listening adult ear they have to talk with. I am working on being open and receptive to these little ones that come to our home.
The title of my blog is Every Where I Go because throughout my life I have had many people who have had the mother influence on me and those who have been my mom when my biological mom was not around. We had Grandma Wanda who we would spend time with while mom was working, we had momma Shirley who loved on us as her own, there has been Mama Beth and Grandma Dottie, Deb and even my Aunt. So, many Godly women who have had a huge influence in my life. Women who have come along side me and loved on me when I was unlovable. Women who have stood in the gap and gave me guidance and direction. Perspective that I needed not always what I wanted to hear but what was spoken in love. I am grateful for these women who have been in my life. I will continue to be grateful for those who allow me to come over and cry, share a cup of coffee with and laugh with. So, who is influencing you or who are you influencing?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Children's Musuem

Yesterday I went with the preschool on a field trip to Indy. We went to Build-A-Bear workshop and the children's musuem. Both were a fun time! The Children's musuem had a special exhibit for Easter. Well known pictures made out of Jelly Belly Beans. It was very neat! Here are a few pictures to share with you! :)


Yesterday Marilyn Meberg asked Have you ever felt Abandoned and how did you deal with that emotion? Have you ever felt all alone in a room full of people or in a crowd? I know I have! I know I have felt abandoned by everyone around. The good news is Christ does not leave nor forsake us! I know this but some times having the head knowledge is not enough for the heart. We have to believe it! How do you do that? I struggle with loneliness all the time! It's a tough emotion that the enemy loves to play with!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Steven Curtis Chapman - Speechless


My doctor had just seen my x-ray's 5 mins. before he came into to talk to me. He didn't have a lot to say expect I was a first for him as a patient! He had NEVER had a patient BEND their titanium rods! He said that I have defied all technology he has and so he was going to be using me as a "research" project to see what he could do with my back. Dr. Khairi is going to be confering with his colleagues around the country including the top kyphosis doctor in the U.S. in California which he worked under for a year to see if any of them have ideas or suggestions. And to see if any of them have seen a patient bend their rods. I am not in alot of pain. He said that my back started off at 109 degrees on Sep. 17th and after surgery was tightened to 62 degrees. 2 months later I was at a 70 degree angle. Then Thursday I was at an 85 degree angle. The rods are to keep my back straight but they did not do that. He said it has to do with my biological make up of the bones and NOT WITH ANYTHING I HAVE DONE! So, I am just going to continue to work on my posture and wait to see what he can do in the mean time.

The Story of Your Life on the Big Screen

This week at WOF Shelia is talking about the Story of Your Life being played out on the big screen. I am still wrapping my mind around the fact that God is CRAZY, MADLY in LOVE with ME!!!!! and YOU too!!! He know's EVERYTHING we have ever done or thought. Yet he STILL loves us!!! I Love that about God! He is the ONLY one who will LOVE us unconditionally! How AMAZING is that?!!! So, the story of my life would be played out as a Drama. And I am not really sure who I would want to play myself out? I am not big into who people are in the Movie world. I know that there would be a lot of high points along with a lot of low points along the way. How about you? I am thankful that the the God of the Universe LOVES ME no matter what I have done or thought. He still loves me and all I have to do is ask him to forgive any wrong's and they are washed away by his blood! Thank You Jesus!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am Celebrating...

The Women of Faith team has a blog hop on Friday's and I thought I would join. So..last weeks question was what are you celebrating?

I am celebrating today! I am thankful that I have 3 beautiful children, I can have my windows open, I can walk and breath and my husband has been healed! You see just not too long ago in life there was a time when I looked around and it seemed as though I could not see the things in life to celebrate. I was living in a parsonage with windows that were painted shut or had not screens. Thus I am soooooo amazingly thankful for today a house with windows that OPEN and I can hear the laughter of children outside and the breeze blowing through my windows. I choose to celebrate my 3 beautiful children even the one who is tired and cranky at the moment. A little over 5 years ago one of my children was very fragile and had just spent a time on life support facing a heart surgery. Today he is a healthy and very funny 5 year old. He is so loving and kind but 110% all boy too! I am blessed with a beautiful daughter and another beautiful son. I am thankful that I have come through a major 10 hour surgery and have been given a new life to breathe in the fresh air. Last spring it was a struggle to run let alone keep on with such compressed lungs. Today I rejoice in the ability to walk, laugh and rejoice with my family and friends. I am thankful that my husband has had the healing hand of God touch his body fully and completly. Just a few weeks ago we were dealing with day to day living for him as he had a large mass on his right lung and was taken some very toxic medication to disolve of the tumor. He was a meeting and was HEALED in the name of Jesus!!! The doctor even confirmed this for us this past week! I am choosing to celebrate and rejoice what the Lord has done today. Not what could have, should have would have been but what HAS been and IS being!!! Find something to REJOICE in today!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Honor Academy

God has a way of working things out for HIS GOOD! A few many years 1999-2001 I felt that God was leading me to go the Teen Mania Honor Academy. I applied and got accepted. I was very excited about this opportunity and was working on getting support for my year. I ended up meeting Josh and we ended up in Iowa. For the past 11 years I have been haunted by not going. I have felt shame and guilt. I have found out some things about Teen Mania and yes I know it's one sided but I am so grateful that I did not end up going. As I have read through a blog by a former Alumni she states that they basically run you ragged so you have to depend upon the Lord for strength. I believe the TM has some amazing opportunities but the method that is used may not be the best. I remember very clearly one of the interns who was my advisor telling how AMAZING ESOAL was and I was so excited to go that I could hardley wait! I knew it was a weekend retreat and it was optional and that you were pushed to the point of physical exhaustion and forced to reley on God. I understand this and to some extent think that is a good thing for some people. But at the same time what is that teaching? What if you physically can not make it through? Does that make you a bad person? Have you sined? No, we are all weak and through Jesus Christ HE makes us STRONG! So, would I recommend the HA to my kids......well.....I would have them check out this website and make their own desicion. And yes, I fully understand and know that thousands of teenagers go through the HA and come out a better person. I also fully understand that many go into full time ministry. Again I am not questioning their knowledge of the bible and the way they teach it. I am questioning their method.


I woke up this morning singing this song. But how many times and I know I do this ALOT do I not put the past behind me? We all have a past but it is what we CHOOSE to do with it! Go and be GLAD for THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Do you offer God your Leftovers?

I am reading with a few others on Wednesday night Frances Chans book "Crazy Love". This past chapter gave us interesting and good discussion. As I have grown and matured I will never forget being a jr. high youth leader and the kids wanting to learn about Revelations. Judy do you remember that? It was cool because I got to learn too! And the even more amazing thing is I remember it!! In our series we talked about the 3 churches in Revelation and the one I clearly remember is the church of ladosia. Now I know I didn't spell the church correctly. But........the cool thing is I was able to use my knowledge about the church to help and challenge two guys in the class. You see many times as Christians we give God what we have "left". We don't give him everything we have! I am guilty of this especially if I am tired or don't want to do something. i.e. my husband signed me up for it! ;) But we as Christians need to giving God everything that we have weather it is in relationships, worship, ministry or in our own spiritual life. There are many more areas that we can give God 100% too. But how many times do we go into a situation and say "God I have this much time for....." or I am really tired so here is a quick prayer or the Purdue game is on. Can't that wait? We need to STOP doing this and saying God here I am. Use all of me. God does not want what we have "leftover". He wants ALLLLLL of us!!!!! How cool and AMAZING is it to know that the creator of the universe wants to know and have a personal relationship with you! I am in awe of that! I encourage you to check out Frances Chans book "Crazy Love". Good stuff!

The Enemy of Debit

Wowzers! I am such at a loss for words. For the past 4 weeks Josh and I have been attending the Dave Ramsey course and tonight I am totally broken. Let me share with you some key pieces to my past. Growing up I worked from the time I was 16 but did not have access to the funds easily. My mom did and I had to ask permission to use the funds that I had worked for. She was wanting me to be responsible but this kind of back fired. At the age of 18 I had a used car paid for, lived at home and had a great job. I fell into the trap of lies. Lies that you have to have credit to get a car, house, go on a trip amongst many other things. Around the age of 18, I had gotten a gas card to "build my credit" but boy oh boy did I fall and I fell hard into the mouth of debit. Credit card companies liked me because they made LOTS and LOTS of money on me! You see after the gas card, came a cell phone, after the cell phone came shopping at AE. You want an AE card so you can get xx% off. Sure why not I'll just pay it off at the end of the month. No problem. The mall and the bookstore became my Best Friend. I would received a Master Card, Visa, American Express along with the gas card and the AE card. I was loaded! I bought stuff to fill a void in my life that only could and can come from Jesus Christ. I would buy stuff before I went to work and would hide it in the car. I took friends out to eat. I bought clothes and shoes. I bought CD's. I have NOTHING to show for it now! My dad helped me out by giving me some money to pay the debits down. I no longer have the credit cards and all the credit cards are paid off but two. I tried debit "counseling" but did not make progress due to fees. It is by the amazing grace, mercy and love of my wonderful husband Josh and dad that I was able to get rid of those cards. My point I am getting at here is I learned a very easy lesson a very hard way! DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD!!!!!!!! No matter how GOOOODDDD the offer looks. You can pay CASH or use the DEBIT card!! I think of how I have nothing to show for it. I think of how much money I spent. I was living at home, car paid for, no other real expenses and I BLEW $15,000/yr plus some because I had Credit Cards and I was wanting to be accepted. My credit card/shopping addiction goes further into being like an alcoholic at a bar. I could not get enough of the adrenaline high that came from shopping. I have come a long way but still have a long way to go. With Dave Ramsey I CAN do this and God's help! I am making a choice to be more responsible in what I do with what God has given me. Cash HURTS...immediate! Credit FEELS GOOD! Use cash until it STINGS!!!! I am glad that I am saved by grace. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

from a brace to a Cast......

So, a few things to share this week. First of all last week I went to the place in Indy to get a new brace. Well, they have you take your shirt and pants off but you leave your undergarmets on. Then you put on a stocking type material with a place for your head and arms. Then the guy comes in and puts casting material around the area needed for the brace. You stand there for a few minutes while it sets. Today I went back down to Indy to get my new brace. It is alot more like a cast but I think I kind of like it better though too. The only thing is I have to layer it in between my clothes. Not fun! So, here is to hoping that by April I will be done with this brace.

The boys have been up in South Bend and I am ready for them to come home! I miss them but have enjoyed my time with Lily too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too much!

This past week has been filled with lots and lots of appoitments and things. I am tired. I am exhausted and my back hurts. All I want is a few hours to myself where I am not asked to do anything, my children are not screaming and I am not sleeping or running to an appoitment of some kind. Does a few hours like this exisit? Last week Monday Josh and I spent doing something we wanted to do together and then had Williams birthday celebration at home. Tuesday was filled with appoitments. I went to Indy to see my back doctor and get a new brace and quit physical therapy and then I met with my counsler. I was feeling pretty good so did not have a lot to talk about. Wednesday was a big day for Josh and I he went before the Distric Board of Ministry to get approval for his ordination in August. We were thrilled to have their blessing pending one more course! Wednesday was Faithweavers which the kids love going to and Stephanie Parker started a class for adults which I was really excited about! We are going through the Crazy Love book! It was fun being the introduction course. Thursday William had his 4 year check up with that we ran to the mall to get new shoes for the growing boy which is on the other side of town. Got groceries at Wal-Mart. Came home and Josh was not feeling well as he had not been all day. Mind you this is all still Thursday. Brought some groceries in but did not get them put away. I can not remember if we had something Thursday night or not. Friday was spent at home but I tried to do too much and even had a friend say hey, I am here I can help you. But I wanted to make the things for the pot luck by myself. Then we had the Dave Ramsey Course on Friday night. I am truley excited about this class but also beating the crap up out of myself for how foolish I was and have been in spending. So, today is Saturday and I slept in, we went out to lunch as a family which was nice then came home. Josh took a nap and I tried to make a few baby blankets. But did not succeed and got frustrated with myself. So, eventually the boys and I took a nap and now it's 8p.m. and the kids are wired and I am tired and frustrated!!!!!! Mainly because I am setting myself up for failer. I have not gotten my Beth Moore Bible Study done in 2 weeks. I have not been in 3 weeks and will go tomorrow no matter how much I have done because it's important for me to finish this weather it's done all the way or not. I am ready for spring too! The warmer weather today was nice. So, I am hopefully going to take some pain meds soon which my doctor wants me down to 3 total pills a day when I see him in April. I have not mentioned that I do have an AMAZING neighbor who takes great care of me! Her name is Peggy Karger and her husband Phil is a chef and every now and then they drop off food to our house and it is always made from scratch!!! So, when I got up this evening I found a nice big container of home made Salsa....YUMMY!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to William David Johnson!

I am so grateful we are blessed by you! We found out we were expecting you when Timmy was just 5 months old. We were surprised and scared. Timmy had just had heart surgery and so dealing with a new pregnancy and all of the what if's that go along with it was hard. We had lots of ultra sounds and you were a very healthy little guy! During my pregnancy we could not decided on a name for you. I really wanted William but daddy did not want you called Will. My grandpa Cobb passed away while I was pregnant with you and Daddy agreed that if you were a boy we could name you William after my grandpa Cobb. And two weeks later we found out that you were indeed a boy! I was so excited!!!!! You were scheduled to come on Feb. 16th but my body was tired of carrying you so I was in the hospital for pre-eclampsia and on Feb. 7th and on Feb. 8th the doctors decided it was time for you to come out. I think you by far were my easiest c-section of all! It was a fun party like atmosphere in the OR. Daddy arrived about 15mins before you were born. We lived about an hour away and when I was told I was having a c-section in an hour daddy was at the store in Grinnell. I told the doctor they had to wait until daddy could get there. So, they were able to get into the OR about 30 minutes after they had planned. You came out and the first thing I said was "WOW!!! He looks just like Grandpa Cobb!" And to this day you still do. Grandma Cobb found some old photos of when Grandpa graduated from high school and man you look so much like him! I am so grateful your in our life. You are funny, caring, ornery, loves to pray at meal time and at bed time, enjoying preschool and a charmer. It is going to be so much fun watching you grow up. You love to try new things! I love you William!!!! Happy Birthday!! Love, Mama!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

oh my aching back

Fear....does NOT come from the Lord but comes from the enemy! Today I feel like the cat above.....who needs a spine not me today! But I have mine mostly rods and screws. I am in pain. I have fear....yes I am a Christian and place my faith in God but there are times in life where I let fear and worry over come the peace that comes from Jesus Christ. Now I am doing just that! Ever since my last doctors appoitment I have been fearfull of what will happen at my next appoitment. Fearfull of another surgery. Fearfull of not doing what I should be or doing too much. I am not super women. I am only a human being who is a child of God and needs to take care of herself. Something I am not very good at doing. So, with that said please continue to life me up in prayer as I struggle with these very real fears and stresses.


So, yesterday I was very excited about the kids not having school. I still am to an extent but wish they would sleep more but I know in a few more years I'll be wanting them outside shoveling snow instead of sleeping until noon. So....I can't have my pie and eat it too! I am venting today mainly because I am frustrated and don't know how to express myself. I am tired! Last week was wonderful spending time with my dad and grandmother but I am truly exhausted even after 2 nights with 12 hours of sleep. My body is still working on healing and sleep is heavenly. Last night was a bit rough with 2 of 3 kids sleeping in bed with me. While I LOVE that I don't get a good nights sleep. Josh is grumpy with his meds keeping him up at all sorts of crazy hours. I am really proud of him though for making some huge progress on his classes he needs for ordination in August! So, all this mama wants is a litte bit of shut eye so I can have a fun afternoon with my kids! Is that too much to ask? I don't think so.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When it's cooollllldddd outside and we are blessed with no school......

This is what we do.............. we bundle up to stay warm,
we use our beach toys for snow toys,

we smile because we are having so much fun! Oh yeah and we are at home not in a hospital some where!

We ride our sleads down the slide and wear each other's scarves,

We learn to chop vegatables and cook,

Even the boys help make Chili!
And we

make love food for the birds! If I wear a bird though I would not be out in this weather. I would be in FLORDIA where it is much warmer!!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Timmy my heart Baby then and Timmy my Amazing Boy now!

My Timmy Boy Now!!!!! The cutest Joseph EVER!!!!!
My Christmas Baby Boy!

5 years ago Today I Became a Heart Mother

The Day I Became a Heart Mother

One day my world came crashing down,
I'll never be the same.
They told me that my child was sick.
I thought, "am I to blame"?
I don't think I can handle this.
I am really not that strong.
It seemed my heart was breaking.
I have loved him for so long.

I will not give up on this child.
I will listen to your advice.
I will give my child any chance.
No matter what the price.
I will learn all that I need to help my child thrive.
I'll even use that feeding tube.
My child must survive!

Will he need a lot of therapy?
Will he gain the needed weight?
Please God, help me do this.
I will accept our fate.

When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder.
How many parents would love that sound.
Tomorrow I will be kinder.
As another Angel earns his wings,
I run to my child's bed.
I watch him sleep for quite a while.
I bend down and kiss his head.
I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken.
I look to You wondering why?
Oh Lord, I just can't know your matter how I try.

And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day.
My mind says savor each moment he's here,
but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"!

From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed.
From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med.
From wondering, "will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands.
With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands.

For all who see that faded line.
I look to them and smile.
You see my child is loved so much.
I would face ANY trial.
That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart).
God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start).

A heart mom is always a heart mom.
Now wise beyond her years.
For those who have angels in heaven,
Our hearts share in all of your tears.

Every day I will try and remember,
I was chosen for him (and no other).
I will always embrace that beautiful day.......
When I became a "Heart Mother".

Our world was rocked this day! 5 years ago I will never forget my husband having the talk no parent should have to have with our family doctor that Timmy might not make it and we should baptism him right then. It was just Josh and I there nothing fancy or spectacular just two parents in a hospital room wanting to make sure their little boy was going to be with Jesus if need be. The Blank Children's Hospital transport Nurse Liz Cain came into the room and assessed Timmy. She got an i.v. in and some oxygen on him. It was so surreal leaving the hospital with people watching quietly as we left. That day we got up to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, IA and the admitting pediatrician said do you know your child has a heart defect? Um...NOOOO!!!!!!!!! So, as Josh and my family came we learned what his defects were/are and how they could be fixed we just had to wait for his lungs to heal from the R.S.V. I am thrilled to say today he is a healthy, happy, 110% BOY!!!!! I love him so stinking much and I am so glad that God gave him BACK to us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wal-Mart Cashier

How many of you go to a certain Wal-Mart because you have your favorite cashier? Or am I the only one? I have two
cashiers that are my FAVORITE and I can be right across the street from a Wal-Mart and drive to the one where I
know the cashiers. How many of you talk to your cashier and have a relationship with them? These two ladies I love seeing!
They know what has been happening in my life and they share with me! I love going to their check out lane. It doesn't take
much to brighten some one's day with a "Hi!" How are you? I challenge you to answer more than "great" when inside your
really upset, hurt or just got some bad news. There are those out there that care deeper than the surface.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ginny Owens :: If You Want Me To

Trials......what will you do with them?

Last night I was at the Methodist church's Wednesday night program and I was talking with our Bible Study leader about how everything that I have been through in life God has layed it on my heart to share with other's how we have over come many trials and made it through. Trials.....what does that word mean to you? To me Trials me going through something in life that is not "normal". Trials are times in our life that God uses to challenge us, mold us, shape us into their person HE wants us to be. As Ginny Owens puts it "God gives us Trials to make us stronger but it is what we CHOOSE to do with those trials." There have been many times in life where the path way has been unclear in my life. There are times we don't understand why we loose someone dear to us, or why our child is sick or why we have to have surgery at the "prime" time in our lives. I hope to be able share with you some of the trials that I have gone through.
From James 1:2-4 NIV "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking ANYTHING!" Wow!!!! And so I leave you with this song. "If You Want Me Too" By: Ginny Owens