Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pullin' Weeds

Several people have asked me about my book. My hopes were to have my book published by October 1; and at this time I don't know that I am going to make that deadline. We have had just so much thrown at us...

I would appreciate your prayers about the publishing of my book. I will keep you updated when I get close.

We are under a Tropical Storm Warning from Gustav. It's been mostly cloudy today, some wind and drizzles here and there. Chris got the generator running today to make sure it was ready, just in case. Nothing else going on, just unpacking boxes and finding places for stuff.

Be Blessed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What's My Passion?

For nearly 2 1/2 months my life has been chaos. It started in June when my doctor diagnosed me with Depression. Me, depression I asked? How could it be? My walk with the Lord was closer and more intimate than it had ever been! I was at a great place in my life, at first I felt this was a faith issue. I struggled with that more than anything. I came to realize that depression is not a faith issue at all. It really is a chemical imbalance in your brain! Depression isn't like the commercials either, at least not until you get on medication! The medication whirlwind drove me crazy. I was a basket case, mood swings, exhaustion, sleepless nights, I could go on and on. In the meantime, all the trials with Christopher were going on and shortly after, if you've read my blog at all, you know he was put on medication as well. That first was a nightmare of emotions and heartache! During this time we were approached by my mother-in-law about moving in to her house while she moved out to down-size. In just four weeks we packed her house, cleaned her house, painted her house, all the while trying to get our bodies adjusted to medications, packed our house in order to prepare to move and cleaned the old house in order to hopefully leave it in better condition than when we moved in....whew! Just typing it all out and re-thinking it is exhausting!

In all the chaos, I came to realize that I had lost my passion for Christ. Not only for Christ, but, I've missed five or six MEW meetings, I missed several weeks of Church and Sunday School, I missed two weeks of work, one from being sick with a migraine and one because I was so overwhelmed with "to-do's" that I couldn't get it all done if I worked.

My quiet time with the Lord became a wake up and go thing. No wonder my days became chaotic! At one point I even make a stupid comment, "Oh if I was high all this chaos wouldn't bother me!" My brother-in-law quickly put me in check. I regretted saying that from the moment it came out of my mouth. I wouldn't want to give up 10 years of sobriety for what seems to be a "quick fix" over emotions. The fact is, if I had continued my quiet times, more than likely the chaos would have never affected me.

After coming to this realization I attempted a quiet time. I opened my Bible and what usually speaks and flows right through to my heart was like a foreign language. Nothing on the pages seemed to make any since. I prayed, "Lord, just help me." A few days later He sent a devotional to me through the Proverbs 31 devotionals. Great daily devotions by the way for any women interested! The title that day, which I hadn't read is weeks, but something was just nudging me so hard that day to stop and read (I now know it was the Holy Spirit) was on being overwhelmed. Oh how it spoke to my heart and comforted me.

I want my passion to always be Christ and Christ alone. I don't want my "to-do" list to overtake or get in the way of that. Today, I am having to constantly re-direct my thoughts and focus to Him. In my exhaustion and hopes of finishing cleaning the old place, I have to just rest in Him, and put Him first. Then, and only then will my passion for other ministries be filled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Real Quick

Christopher had his speech eval this morning. Did great on language and sentences; unfortunately couldn't understand. His speech is on a less than two year old level. His sister is nearly three and we can understand her better than him. Much stress this morning.

Late for work.

More later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blessed Beyond Measure

Once again we were blessed today. Two friends from Sunday School came over and helped me unpack and arrange furniture and grocery shopped for me. I'm thankful for my friends tonight.

Chris worked very hard today in the yard. He put in our goldfish pond; planted flowers and plants and just absolutely outdid himself. I know he is tired and he over did for the day; but I do appreciate all his hard work. He does it all for me and for that I am thankful. As soon as I find my camera, I'll take a picture and post it.

Kids are sleeping and my bed is calling my name.

I go back to work tomorrow after missing the last two. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Christopher has his speech evaluation tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. He seems to be doing well on his medications and in school. He started riding the bus Monday, which is a blessing for us.

Have a great one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We Are Back On-Line!

WE HAVE FINALLY COMPLETED OUR MOVE!!! Hallelujah, Amen and Praise the Lord! I never would have dreamed I could be this pooped! We just found out this morning our email account was disconnected by Cox in error. We didn't know this until this morning because they also disconnected our Internet service in error. I wish they'd disconnect the part of my service that sends me a bill every month! To say the least, every email that has been sent to me during the last four days was returned.

I was dreading our move Saturday with the anticipating rain and wind from Tropical Storm Fay. Turned out to be nothing at all. Had planned on taking pictures, but couldn't find the little thing that goes in the camera to take the's packed in a box...go figure:)

My husband and I were blessed beyond measure this past week. My mother-in-law said it best, and I don't have my Bible in front of me to give you the scripture, but she said there is a verse in James, she thinks, that tells us we must be doers of the Word and not just hearers. She then went on to say that Linda King who spent 11 hours over here painting, then came back the next day to fix a door and crack in the wall, and then she and her husband came by Saturday to bring lunch to the work crew that helped us moved...they were doers of the Word! Not only them, but Saturday we had four guys and a girl show up to help load a UHAUL truck. I don't know all their names, but one was Joe M (something), he is the Basketball Coach at Tate High school, and the girl was Ashley Mock. It would have taken us beyond all day to do what the five of them did in a matter of hours. They too, were "doers of the Word." We were blessed.

We have boxes galore to unpack. Went to the old house today to try cleaning up and take down fans, clean up the yard and did I mention clean the house? I didn't realize was a slob I was until we moved and I didn't realize how many walls my kids had colored on and I didn't realize all the dust that collects under and around furniture and did I mention dog hair? OH MY GOODNESS! It was and still is an absolute mess and I mean, a mess! I'll go back tomorrow to finish up and Chris will cut the grass. We should then be completely out.

Christopher is now riding the bus to school and back home. The bus ride is much shorter this year than last year, which is a good thing. Last year he was on the bus for an hour plus, this year, maybe thirty minutes.

Christopher seems to be doing really well with his medications. Saturday was a tough day with the move and he was very confused.

Kaitlyn does not like having her own room! She's always been with her big brother and misses him. It's cute though. Sometimes he lets her in, and other times not. The good thing is they have a play room now where they can come together and play and when things get heated, they can go to their separate corners, so to speak.

Kayla has her room looking good. She wants polka dots on the wall...I think polka dots and stripes would look good but she says not.

Can't wait to get things back to "normal."

Be blessed!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hodge Podge...

I can't believe it, I got more "straight through" sleep last night than I have in many, many weeks. I don't remember going to bed, only that I didn't see Kayla last night. I can only assume I fell asleep on the couch and Chris sent me to bed when he got home from getting Kayla from work? Nonetheless I slept until a little after three this morning, giving me six hours of sleep! I can't believe how rested I feel! Instead of lying in bed tossing and turning, got up, ate some cereal and now doing the coffee thing. Started getting my boxes in order as today is my last packing day and my house is a wreck. I've neglected my home trying to get our "new" home ready for us. I wish there were more of me!

We are watching Fay. I keep praying she will slow down, giving us a chance to get moved without rain. My gut is telling me to suck it up and move today, ready or not, just so we aren't stuck in it tomorrow. Even if it's just going to be a rain maker, which is what it looks like, who wants to move a house full of furniture in the pouring down rain?! Nobody with any sense if you ask me.

For the last week I've been going round and round with our insurance company, Walgreen's and our doctor's office. I had to pay for Christopher's medication two weeks ago because our insurance has to have pre-authorization. In the meantime, the doctor prescribed an extended release for Christopher. It's been one week, still don't have it. In fact, as of yesterday, no one knew what I was talking about and still claim to have not received a fax from the doctor's office or Walgreen's! This week we've had to teach Christopher how to swallow a pill in order to take the extended release tablet. In the process, there have been several spit out and thrown away. I cringe at that because each pill cost a dollar, and that was the generic. We are down to three pills and have to have yet another prescription filled. In order to keep him on the medication, I will have to either pay $113 for the extended release or get the generic of the non-extended release which is $15. My pocket book sure knows which one I can do, buy my heart knows which one my son needs. It's been very frustrating dealing with this on top of everything else. I understand insurance companies have to have policies, but you would think they would have someone working for them with a brain to know when someone is desperately trying to help their child. There is nothing more frustrating for a mother to know there's help out there, but can't get it because it's not affordable.

Well, my coffee is now lukewarm...time for a hot fresh cup and back to packing. Looking back over the last few weeks, I've kind of been lukewarm in my walk with the Lord. I'll be glad when I can get through this "hunkering down" mode!

Unhooking computer today. Will send pictures out of the move in the rain after the computer is back up, which by the way, we are still on Kayla's computer. I've lost all my email Tammy, Carol, Roger...send me your email address at my cox email address so I can get in touch with you guys after the move.

God Bless.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

As Good As It's Gonna Get

Well, I've been at Lucie's every day for I don't know how many days now; actually it's not Lucie's anymore, it's our new place. I did not succeed with the plan I had made; however, if not for a sister-in-law giving of her time and a friend from Sunday School, I wouldn't have gotten as much done as I did. Last night after finishing cleaning, I stayed and painted. Got two coats on Kayla's walls and the green was still shining through. This morning got the third coat on. Linda started on the trim. I was able to paint and trim on the hallway that I had done last night and completed Christopher's room. The master bedroom is not painted at all. Huge disappointment. Julie painted the trim for me in the living room and the doors. I also got some of the kitchen trim done and pantry door. Still much painting to do, but I just can't get it done. I still have to finish packing.

Kayla has to work tonight and on my way home from getting Christopher from school I had a flat tire.

My mom will be here tomorrow to take some boxes. Chris is going to empty the shed tomorrow and move the stuff over as we are expecting rain Saturday afternoon from Fay. I hope we are able to get everything loaded and unloaded from the UHAUL by 1:30 Saturday which is when the rain is supposed to reach Pensacola.

I am plum exhausted. Christopher is doing good by the way. We did find out he is having reactions to milk products. He's had milk at school two days this week and both days (one of which is today) he has screamed and wined and thrown fits. No more milk for him. Fortunately he likes Chocolate Almond Milk:)

Probably won't be able to post for a couple of days. We have to have our computer at the new house for hook up tomorrow afternoon.

Very grateful today for the help I had.

God Bless.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We have finished moving all Lucie's stuff out! Got all but one double window cleaned, floors cleaned, walls and baseboards cleaned, utility room emptied and cleaned (thanks honey) and the spare storage room emptied and cleaned (thanks again honey!). All that is left for cleaning is the kitchen and bathroom and we hope to start prepping for painting tomorrow in order to finish painting on Thursday! Whew! Seems like it is all coming together, but boy will I be glad when this week is over!

Kayla has her room all set up in her head and is ready to paint, Kaitlyn's room is last on the list to be painted as it's a "girlie teal" already, Christopher's is getting painted, mine and Chris' room is getting painted and the hallway....whew, I'm pooped already!

Keeping a watchful eye on Fay. Hoping it turns far enough north that we aren't in rain all weekend trying to move.

Christopher had another good day today at school; still don't have the extended release...

Be Blessed.

Forgot...Great First Day of School

I forgot to mention how well Christopher did yesterday with his first day of school! He had his first dose of medication at 6:45 a.m. as we were walking out the door for school. I had to take him his second dose at 9:45 because I didn't know we had to have a doctor's release for the school to give him the medication...nonetheless, I expected him to want to leave when I got there to give him his meds...

I couldn't have been more wrong! Christopher participated! He used great manners, he shared, he played...I am so proud of him! Every day the teacher sends home a report of what they ate, if they slept, basically they tell us everything about what our kids do for the day (which is a good thing, could you imagine how many conversations she would have every day with all the adults questioning about their kids?!) Anyway, he just had a great day and that thrilled me. Last year through the entire year he had maybe four or five "perfect" marks, and to start the school year off with perfect marks... we are thrilled!

After school I took him to Memaw's house (the one we are moving in to) because he hasn't seen it empty and he wanted to see Memaw's new house. He had a ball! He got on his tricycle and pedaled down the street (we are on a quiet cul-de-sac) to Memaw's and played and played.

I am so thankful for a great first day. It definitely sets the tone for him wanting to go back and it just shows the Lord hears our prayers!

Thanks to everyone that has been praying for my little man, and for us! For several weeks I have had to just "hunker down" in my faith. I've had to temporarily set aside my service in ministry because my family is my first ministry. The last week in particular I could see the whirl wind all around, and satan was definitely attacking our family on the home front, but somehow, miraculously, and with no sleep for the last three weeks, I was OK. The pain in my heart didn't surface, the anger in my heart didn't surface (well, maybe once); but I can honestly say I knew the Lord was working overtime in my heart. It was amazing!

Hopefully Christopher's time release medication will be available this afternoon so I won't have to take him medication again tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for the family; pray for all our teachers out there. They have one of the toughest jobs there is.


Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School and Still Moving Memaw!

Today was Christopher's first day of school. My little man is one handsome fella! My mom bought him some new school clothes (thanks Mom!) to help us out. We stopped for a butter biscuit for Christopher at Hardee's on our way to school.

We are still moving Memaw into her house. We made huge progress today! Both Chris and I were dressed for moving....I sure didn't realize how dirty I was! I'm glad my son is still too young to be embarrassed by his "mom."
We have two storage rooms to clean out tomorrow and start cleaning tomorrow as well. We are tired, but it will all be worth it.

Daddy and Christopher at Hardee's.

Mommy and Christopher at Hardee's.

That's a big biscuit!

Daddy and Christopher at School.

Mommy and Christopher.

I love you mommy.

He's so big.

I can never get these pictures to lay out right and since I am still on my daughter's computer since ours is shot, and her patience is running thin, so please excuse the layout.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Brother's and My Sisters

Tonight Olive is celebrating 15 years of ministry for The Most Excellent Way. Any one's whose life has been affected by this ministry is encouraged to attend and sit in the choir loft. We are supposed to be there at 5:15. I found out this morning we are singing. All I can say is if you hear something that sounds like a dead cow mooing, that would be me!

I am so grateful for The Most Excellent Way. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired when I started going to TMEW. I had lied so much I didn't know the truth anymore. The people in those rooms accepted me right where I was. In Mark 3, starting in verse 31, the Bible says, "Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." In verse 33 Jesus asks, "Who are my mother and brothers?" Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

I am so grateful for the men and women of this ministry who have carried me, walked with me, encouraged me and loved me. Not only did they do this for me, they have done this for my Kayla as well. She will be sitting in the choir loft with me tonight as well. This ministry was used to give her a mom. She has been touched by this ministry in many, many ways, to include others who filled roles needed in her life.

In the big scheme of things, with all life's trials and such, we are truly blessed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Movin', movin', movin' down the river....

Kayla says I'm weird, but you know the song...rollin, rollin, rollin down the river...well, we are moving Lucie today. Actually, we started yesterday with moving boxes and stuff. My husband was there at 7:30 this morning. My mom is coming over around noon to watch the kids so I can go and help. It's going to be a crazy next few weeks with trying to get all her stuff out in order for us to clean, paint and move in.

Christopher had a good day yesterday. I don't think I fully understand all this ADHD stuff, medications and behavior. I am fortunate to have friends who have "been there and done that" and have medical background that are teaching me.

Our computer is out of wack again. I'm on my daughters. She thinks it's "her" computer and how dare I use Anyway, not sure how long it will be before I can give another update on the move....will try not to invade my 16 year olds space too much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

ADHD...side affects or learned behavior

I got Lucie's new house cleaned yesterday. We didn't even get to start moving any of her small stuff because my son is just having major fits of rage and it just makes everyone nervous, especially when I'm not around. Since he's been on the medication he has been more attached to me than ever. When I leave his sight he wants to know where I am and if he can't get to me, like yesterday, he freaks out. I don't know what the solution is. I don't know if the medication is doing what it is supposed to be doing and he has learned this "behavior" he is showing now and doesn't know how to stop it or if the medication is just causing his little body to "freak out" and he doesn't know what to do but cry for mommy. I don't think I've ever felt more helpless than I do now.
My only hope, is knowing the Lord is in control and He will see us through.
Be Blessed today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Self Control

I had to leave work early yesterday. I woke up with a horrible headache, which turned into a migraine. I knew when I woke up, before I even lifted my head up off the pillow that I had it. I had to go get my groceries for cooking at Pine Summit and had to get started until they could find someone to relieve me. Fortunately I had Kayla there to help me and her boyfriend, Justin came to help also! That was a huge help as I could barely stand more less bend over and pick up those heavy pots! I came home, drank some herbal tea, took two Aleve, iced down my neck and spine and stayed in bed for several hours, with my daughter's sunglasses on! I'm sure I looked like a fruit cake...but hey, it worked. I've never gotten over a migraine so quick, but by dinner time I could get out of the bed and turn my head without dying in pain. Not only that, I got the longest, continuous sleep last night I've had in many weeks! I woke up at 4 a.m. pretty rested.

Our Pastor challenges us to read a Proverbs a day, simply because there is one for every day of the week. I can't say I do that every day, but when I do, nine times out of ten, it's directed right to me. Today was no different. I might have talked about this before, it does seem familiar. I know it's a devotional in my book, so maybe that's why it seems familiar, but it's how the Lord spoke to my heart today, so here goes.

Several, several months ago, maybe even close to a year ago now, I was so overwhelmed with Christopher I grabbed him by his arms and yelled at him, "YOU HAVE TO GET CONTROL OF YOURSELF CHRISTOPHER!" Instantly, the Lord spoke to me, "How can you teach Christopher self control when you yourself don't have self control." He didn't yell at me though like I had Christopher, He was loving and gentle. I put my son down and started praying for self control for myself, so that I could teach Christopher how to have self control. Now, I'd like to sit here and tell you I have conquered it, but then we'd be talking about lying instead of self control:)

Throughout today's Proverb, the words wise, integrity, knowledge, and kind is mentioned over and over. But, that's not what caught my attention. In verse 29 of Chapter 14, the Bible says, "A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness." Next to that verse I had written, "breathe, focus, help us Lord." For some reason I didn't date that little "prayer," but I know it was about my parenting skills towards Christopher.

I don't know if you watch the SuperNanny show, but at our house, it is just about a weekly thing. Last night was no exception. Last night's show had a child with ADHD in the family. This lady had a total of seven children (God Bless her)! What we were able to see is how the parents reaction fed into the child's tantrum's and rages. What we saw was a child getting blamed for things he didn't necessarily do because "he has issues." Oh how often that happens to Christopher. What the Lord is showing me, as a parent, is before I react, to breathe, focus, and pray for that clarity, not just for the day, but for every situation. When I start screaming and yelling, not only am I not walking in the Holy Spirit, but I am feeding into whatever is going on in the situation. When I remain calm, and sometimes just walk away from the situation, Christopher calms down, he's then able to come to me for the love and comfort he needs from me, and I don't have to apologize for losing my temper or asking forgiveness from the Lord! Hallelujah!

We are still working with medications with Christopher. We gave him another half dose yesterday morning, not a good thing, but then gave him the whole dose the doctor actually prescribed (for the middle of the day dose) and he did really good.

We are working very hard at not leaving the other two children out of the equation. We have been playing more games with Kayla than we have in years. It's been fun to laugh with her again. I rely on her so much that at times, I don't think it's fair to her. I thank the Lord for her daily, and many times over. I couldn't be as good of a mom as I am today if it weren't for her. She is a very special young lady.

Kaitlyn is so used to her brother's abuse that we see now she is becoming the instigator! Christopher isn't so rough with her on this medication, seems he is talking to her more instead of hitting (which is a good thing:), but Kaitlyn does seem to be trying to instigate things more...of course, that could be because we have been focusing on Christopher and his meds so much more.

In the big scheme of things, we are doing the best we can. Learning as we go and doing the best we can. I'm so glad GRACE isn't based on "the best we can!"

Be blessed this day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Results of Ritalin

Well, I don't know how to take the day. This morning was absolutely fabulous! I didn't know my life could be so nice! Christopher and Kaitlyn interacted wonderfully. Christopher didn't scream and yell, he even reasoned with her telling her that "the blue car is mine and the other one is yours." I'm telling you, he was a different child...until this afternoon. I gave him the second dose and I'm talking Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde! We were at Memaw's packing and he was crying, screaming, throwing fits, throwing stuff...I just don't get it.

I gave Christopher half a dose this morning and half a dose this afternoon. My thoughts were that I'd rather build up than go down if he had too much medication. He still didn't slow down enough to take a nap; he just wouldn't quit. We'll give him the full dose tomorrow. I'll be cooking all day, so Chris will have him solo. I'd appreciate your prayers for both of them, for Christopher so he doesn't get frustrated and for Chris, well, so he doesn't get frustrated!

I was reviewing some of my notes for my devotional and came across something in one of my Bibles that I hadn't seen in a while. In the Nelson Study Bible (NKJV), there is a section giving the description of the Christian Life. There is so much information I can't type it all, but here is a run down of them:

Who we are, in Christ....

Soldiers (2 Tim 2:3 & 4), Farmers (2 Tim 2:6), Athletes (2 Tim 2:5), Workers (2 Tim 2:15), Vessels (2 Tim 2:20 & 21), Fishers of men (Matt 4:19), Salt (Matt 5:13), Light (Matt 5:14 - 16), Branches (John 15:5), Stewards (I Cor 4: 1 & 2), Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), Living stones (I Pet 2:5), Priests (I Pet 2:5, 9, 10), Sojourners (I Pet 2:11)!


I can do all things, through Christ who strengthen me!

Comfort Zones

Just a quick note, still packing and "going through stuff." A friend of mine called me yesterday and said, "I'm down the street from your house, I have lunch, how long before you are home?" I thought I would die. My house is a mess. While I do pretty good letting people in and sharing about my life, letting people into my home is a huge struggle for me. I used to keep an immaculate house, then after getting married and having two more babies, somewhere I just lost control and I can't keep up. I guess I just don't measure up to my own expectations.

My friend was a huge help to me. We went through and packed most of the kids activities; packed all Kayla's home school supplies and schoolwork, took down curtains AND she took 40 minutes to read to the kids. While everything she did was great, her taking the kids to read to them was huge for me!

We'll be at Memaw's this afternoon helping her pack some of her stuff. There's a lot going on with two families packing and moving. I'm high strung and sure I am stressing everyone out. I'll be glad when all this is over with!

Christopher is going to be getting his first dose of medication today. Please continue to pray for him and us. Will keep you posted regarding this.


Monday, August 11, 2008

ADHD and Ritalin

Christopher met with the child psychologist today. He interacted with Christopher for close to an hour. He looked at me and said, "Is he always like this? He hasn't stopped since he got in here." My comment to him was, "Oh this is great behavior today! I was afraid you were going to say nothing is wrong with him because he is being so good!" Christopher has officially been diagnosed with ADHD. He does not have OCD. The reason for him wanting blue towels or blue sheets is simply his preference. He is opinionated and knows what he wants. The problem he has is impulsive and hyperactive and a short attention span. His little brain has no control over emotions or other words, he has no conception of consequences.

The doctor has prescribed Ritalin. He and I discussed this in depth. I shared with him my concerns. He listened and did not sweep them under the rug. He is starting him on the lowest dose; however gave me signs to look for if he were to have a reaction. He said we might have to cut the pill in half to give him less of a dose. I've been praying about this all day and felt the Lord's guidance on starting him on a half dose instead of a whole. Miraculously when Chris got home, he asked me the same thing! Confirmation for me for the dosage part.

I've researched this medication. I have friends that have had children on this medication. Some have experienced positive results, other negative. I honestly don't know what to do for him. Do I give him this medication that could make him better but with side affects, or maybe he will have no side affects; or do I give him this medication that could make his anxiety and anger worse? Oh my heart hurts.

MTV Models

WEAR3 mentioned on their news this morning that MTV is doing a new reality show. They are looking for girls ages 17 to something to cast in this new show. They are casting at Pensacola Beach today. If my Kayla new about it, she would be there now. Fortunately for me, she is only 16. Kayla wants to model so bad it hurts. She is a beautiful young lady, both on the inside and on the out.

My Granny used to have a saying, "Pretty is as pretty does" and "Beauty is only skin deep." As a teenager I never really understood that, even as a young adult. By the worlds standards we are taught we have to look a certain way in order to succeed. I lived in that bondage for years. Growing up I was physically attractive, even into my adult years, but my insides were just plain stinky. Today, as I struggle with my weight and aging, and as much as I wish I still had the outward beauty I had of yesteryear, I know how beautiful I am on the "inside" and how that makes all the difference in the world.

Success is measured by crazy standards in the world today. It's very easy to get side tracked. It's very easy to get jealous and be envious of what others have too. The Bible says not to envy evil men or to not be jealous over sinners. For me that means I can't compare what I have or don't have to what other's have or don't have. That doesn't necessarily mean monetarily either, it could mean physically.... T.V. advertisements and magazines tell us tall, thin and beautiful is the way to be and if you aren't, it's OK to alter your physical body to get what you want. I'm not saying all surgeries are wrong, some weight loss surgeries are necessary for obvious health reasons, but what I am saying is what happened to "pretty is as pretty does" and "beauty is only skin deep?"

When I am gone from this physical realm on earth, I don't want to be remembered for a physically beautiful person, but for a person whose heart was good...who loved Jesus with all my heart, who shared that love with others, who cared for other people...after all, my physical body will be lying in a box somewhere rotten and stinky! Hmmmm...something to think about I think.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

At Memaw's...

We went to my mother-in-law's today. We are going to be moving into her house in a few weeks. She is
down-sizing and moving a few doors down. Uncle Craig was cutting the grass. He took Christopher for a ride on the riding lawnmower. To say the least, Christopher had a blast! He loves his Uncle Craig, but the lawnmower runs a close second to that:) Kaitlyn was her typical prissy self. There's a picture of her sitting on a rock. It really is a great picture of her.

Once we got home, she let her "hair down" and got in the kiddie pool. This next picture is priceless...she got in with her pull up on....lets just say it's a heavy load!


I love to garden. We planted a nice garden this year. We ate green beans, squash and zucchini, a tomato or two, couple bell peppers, two strawberries and the grand finale' is a watermelon! The soil at our house isn't that good and we tried to add stuff, but overall, as in most cases, we worked much harder than the fruit/vegetables produced. In its (the garden's) defense though, in the last two months, it hasn't gotten much attention from me. I've had many health issues and have done all I can do to keep my home on the inside functioning.

Overall, it has been a good time for me. It was during my gardening that the Lord gave me the title of my devotional book. Gardening is definitely good for the soul!

We planted watermelon for the first time this year. I had no idea how much those vines grew! They overtook almost the entire garden! After watching the vines grow and grow, we finally had our first watermelon. We watched it regularly, took pictures from it's baby stage and just giggled over it. I kept getting asked, is it ripe yet...I kept telling people, "I don't even know how to tell if it's ripe or not!" All I knew is that is sure did sound like it was ready, but I still didn't pick it. My husband brought it in last night. I put it in the fridge and it split down the middle. I now know it was ready when I thought it was two days ago:) Lesson learned. When I finished cutting the watermelon open, the house was filled with the most wonderful sweet smell. We wrapped it and placed it in the refrigerator to enjoy as an afternoon treat today. Chris said there are three more watermelons out there. None of those are ready. We move the end of this month, I sure hope they are ready by then! I'll attach a picture of the watermelon this afternoon. It's so pretty:)

Not picking the watermelon when it was ready kind of reminds me of my walk with the Lord. How many times has the Lord tried to send me through a new door in my life that I "just wasn't sure about" and hesitated or didn't even go through. Did I miss a blessing because of fear in "producing fruit" so to speak? Or even worse, did I miss out on blessing someone else with the sweet aroma of Jesus because of me not walking through a door....oh may it never be so.

Oh Lord, give me courage to open and walk through every door you would have me walk through. Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Be Still My's a long one:)

I have countless stories where the Lord has provided for me and for my family in the last ten years. Some of the stories I've written about in my book, some I will blog about at another time. For now, a new story.

Part of my "melt down" yesterday was because I felt like a complete failure as a mother because I cannot financially provide for all that is being asked for us to do for Christopher...child psychiatrist, speech therapy three times a week, possible medications...that on top of an already strapped income and an enormous list of medications already being taken in the family due to diabetes, stress, depression and was just more than I could handle.

In the mist of my heartache is when I called my Pastor's wife. As I mentioned yesterday she helped me to refocus. One thing I kept hearing her say was "the Lord will provide if that's what He wants Christopher to have." She said that over and over and over. Now, in my heart I already knew this and still know that, but my mind just overwhelmed with what was on paper. Her advice was "lets pray about this today. Take the kids outside and let them play and get dirty. I did that. A few times I tried taking back my worries, but every time I just said, "nope, not gonna deal with you today." It worked! I had the most restful afternoon I've had in over six months. In fact, my son who never slows down, laid down with me and took a nap! In the midst of the storm, I could rest...reminds me of the Bible story where Jesus was sleeping on the boat and the waves were crashing all around....hhhmmm....kind of just confirms who really is in charge. How comforting.

I was up three or four hours last night with my two year old. My husband let me sleep until his ride was here; he even had my coffee ready for me! I had not intended to even put a post up this morning, until I logged on to my computer. Strangely enough there was a notice from my bank. We started getting child support for the first time ever for Kayla about a year ago. We have some neighbors that we caught going through our mail so we started having the checks direct deposited into our bank account. We sometimes go for weeks without any, and then will get three or four checks in one week. The last few weeks we have actually gotten them pretty regular, so to have a notice this morning from my bank surprised me as we received a deposit on Tuesday already. I checked the bank, there was a $600 deposit made by direct deposit! It came from Child Support Enforcement. Now, I don't know why, I don't know how, I cannot explain it, other than the mighty hand of God! The first thing I thought of was Ms. Liz's words yesterday, "He will provide." The second thing I thought of was how unfaithful I've been in the last two weeks. Instead of paying our tithes we've been paying for medical bills and medications. We hadn't missed tithes in quite a while; and as I mentioned earlier have seen the hand of God many, many times, so why did I start doubting and try to handle things on my own? I can't answer those questions, but what I can say is that when we are faithless, He is faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)

I don't know how far that $600 is going to take us, but I can stand this morning knowing I have a Father in Heaven who knows my needs before I do, who love me more than I can imagine, and loves my children more than I (can you imagine that?!) and wants to provide for me and my husband and my children.

I don't know where you are with your tithing. I'd like to encourage you to give it a try. I hope there aren't any times you waiver as I have the last two weeks. When I was challenged to write my first tithe check I was a single mother living on welfare. In fact, I started tithing before I was baptised! When I wrote my first check I literally saw spots before my eyes and got sick. I was that scared. A few days later my electric bill was mysteriously paid and an envelope was placed on my desk that said, "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's to the fair you go!" I couldn't afford to take my daughter to the fair (we love the fair!), no one knew that, but the Lord knew. He not only provides for our needs, but He provides for our wants.

Thank you Lord for believing in me when I don't, for not giving up on me when I doubt you, and for providing me for when I have no faith. Amen.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I guess all the emotions, fears and appointments that I have been trying to deal with over Christopher just finally maxed me out. The kids have been fighting and screaming all morning long. They were both horrible at the doctor's office this morning after Christopher's hearing tests...horrible. The ride home was a night mare and then when we got home Christopher starting bullying his sister. Trying to stay calm and maintain sanity along with digesting all the information given to me today about Christopher's speech and hearing was just more than I could handle. I had a melt down. It was a good one too.

While we received great news about Christopher's hearing (he passed both ears but will need to be rechecked in six months because he wasn't 100% in all areas) we received some not so good news on his speech.

He was not evaluated on his speech this morning, but the person doing his hearing screenings says he is "waaaay behind" on his speech. I explained to her that he has speech therapy at school; but that it hasn't been consistent because they don't have enough teachers and that he hasn't been getting it over the summer. Her words to me were, "speech therapy at school does very little if no good because they are usually in groups of four or five." She nailed it. Christopher's group size was like seven. He met none of the goals that were set for him last year in school. Christopher's speech is being re-evaluated...waiting on a script from the doc to make the appointment. Until then, the therapist wants Christopher to have speech therapy at least two times a week, but prefers three times a week, one on one. The co-pay for each visit is $20. Our insurance company will not pay for speech therapy across the board. It's done on a case by case basis.

To say the least I have had a very emotional morning. I am blessed to have a Pastor's wife that I can talk to. She helped me to evaluate, kind of got me focused. I've contacted a friend of mine at church. We are going to schedule a time to have some of the lady prayer warriors put their arms around my son and pray over him.

Something that just came to my mind; a sweet lady from Pine Summit gave me a scripture last night for me to share with Christopher. It is Psalm 56:3. I think the Lord might have intended it for me to bring it to mind for this very says, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." Thank you Lord for knowing what I needed before I even knew.

The kids have finished their lunch and Caillou (their favorite show on WSRE) is nearly over. We are going outside to play in the "muud" as Christopher calls it. My kids love to get muddy...what they really like is when mommy gets muddy with them!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just Thoughts....

Christopher's hearing tests are tomorrow (Thursday). For some crazy reason I didn't write down the time in my calendar...go figure. I have no idea what time the appointment is, but I have this gut "feeling" it's at 8:00 a.m. Not a good thing since I am pretty sure I was supposed to register him in advance. I'll start calling at 7 and see what I can find out. I don't know what's wrong with me and why I seem to be slacking in my motherly responsibilities. Just can't seem to pull it together lately.
Will let you know the outcome of his hearing tests. Also, I met with the pediatric psychologist on Monday. Went well and Christopher sees him on this coming Monday.

Kayla is riding with Justin more and more. Seems she is having more freedom to do "things" lately. I like that she is having more of her time, but also miss her not being home. Compared to "most" kids though, she is home a lot. We do keep close tabs, but are trying to loosen those apron strings and let those wings we've given her soar. Sometimes I'd like to clip those suckers back!

Kaitlyn was a pill tonight! I became so filled with rage I lost it. For 2 1/2 hours we kept putting her in bed! She thinks it's a game...almost every night we go through this. I spanked, I yelled, I cried, I threw temper tantrums (yes, I set a great example...), I was just so tired after a long day of cooking that all I wanted to do was sit down and not think....that didn't happen until 30 minutes ago...long day. The entire time I was fighting this two year old strong willed child, I kept thinking, "A gentle answer turns away wrath..." and while I knew this, I wouldn't surrender to it. In the end, the flesh won and guilt then took over. In my heart, did I spank her too much...I think I did, did I spank her too hard...I think I did...did I yell and scare her...yes I did. I thought she was finally asleep and went to kneel at her bed; she was still awake. It was then that I had to tell my two year old (baby) that I was sorry for spanking in anger, that I love her and had to ask her to forgive me. In her sweet little voice she said, "I fowgive yew mommee." (I didn't type it wrong, that's how she really said it.) She then put her one arm around my neck (she was holding her doggie with the other) and pulled me to her and hugged me. Another night....out of the mouth of a's moments like that, that make me want to be a better mom, to not let satan get a foothold in our home. I hope and pray I don't quench the Holy Spirit the next time the ugly head of anger comes lurking.

It's been a long time since I was filled with so much anger...I don't know what happened or how it crept in, but it did. I can't sleep now because it bothers me so that I didn't see it coming. I don't want my kids to obey me because they fear me, I want them to obey me because they have so much love for me that they just automatically respect me. Does that make since? Am I living in a fairy tale? Don't get me wrong, I think some fear of your parents is good, sorta like the fear I have of the Father in Heaven....but tonight, I was pushing the limits.

Thank you Lord for forgiveness, for grace, for mercy....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Never Ceases To Amaze Me!

I just had the most precious conversation with my three year old son, Christopher. He is very afraid of the dark. It hasn't always been this way, so I don't know what has brought this on at this time of his life. It might be going along with every thing else going on in his little life right now, but regardless, we are dealing with it. We have a low voltage lamp on in their room. We leave the hallway light on for him until he falls asleep. We have night lights on throughout the house because he wakes up throughout the night regularly. We read a book each night, do our prayers and then sing a "Doodle" song that my mom taught them when they were baby babies. It's cute.... both Kaitlyn and Christopher love to be sung "the Doodle song" before they go to bed. Tonight was no different, except Christopher wanted me to sing the "Jesus" song (Jesus Loves Me) first. He then tried telling me about Jesus having holes in him from people and that the cross was on the roof (It wasn't until a few minutes ago I realized that he is talking about the cross on top of our church...) He then told me he wants Jesus there with him because he is scared. I explained to him that Jesus is in Heaven, but that He is here with us, that His Spirit is here in us. He then said, "but I can't talk if He's in my mouth!" I had to laugh, but assured him that Jesus loved him and that Jesus is here with us. Christopher then said, "But He doesn't know where we are." Well then I got to tell him that the Bible says that Jesus knows the number of hairs on your head and on my head AND that Jesus has named all the stars in the sky! So if Jesus knows how many hairs are on your head, then He knows where you are Christopher. Oh he had the most precious and indescribable smile on his face....I think he realized just how important he is to Jesus! I am just blown away.....out of the mouth of babes. I was blessed tonight with being able to share Jesus with my son, whom with no fault of his own..exhausts me. It really is worth all the sweat, all the tears, all the praying, all the counting to 10, all the deep breaths, the sleepless's worth it all.

Thank You Lord!

Kayla and I have been packing this morning. We have a big job ahead of us. While Kayla was packing some of her stuff, she came across a picture, a picture we've been looking for. It is a picture of Eddie and Kayla. Eddie took Kayla to the Father/Daughter Banquet at Olive one year. I have no clue what year it was, but it has blessed our hearts this morning to come across this picture. Eddie holds a very special place in our hearts. We miss you Eddie.


Really don't have much to share right now; still focusing on Eddie, praying for his family. While life is crazy now, the one thing I do know is I can rest in the Lord. I don't have to put on a face for Him, don't have to say, "Life is fine." He already knows, He just wants to hear it from me. I'm grateful for His grace this morning and that His love for me is more than I can comprehend.

My oldest daughter and I went to the viewing last night for Eddie. It seemed like a Most Excellent Way reunion. Eddie would have been humbled to know so many came to pay their respects and show their love.

For those visiting this blog looking for Eddie's testimony, scroll down a little.

Also, a friend of mine has started an "Eddie Echarri Memoirs" blog. The link is under "My links." Please share and pass the link to that blog so we can hear from others whose lives have been touched by Eddie.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Arrangements for Eddie Echarri

Name: Eddie Echarri
Date: Sat, Aug 2, 2008
Olive Family Info: Shawn Echarri
Relationship: Spouse
Sunday School: 8ADULTS/8860 Adult 4 Browning
Shawn, No SS listed
Minister: Dr. Ted Traylor
Visitation: Mon, 8/4, 5:30-8pm, Faith Chapel North
Funeral: Tue, 8/5, 2pm Olive Baptist Church Worship Center
Interment: Gonzalez United Methodist Church

My Band-Aid

We find out today what steps will be taken to help Christopher.

The viewing is tonight for Eddie. Funeral tomorrow.

I spoke with a friend yesterday; she reminded me of Psalm 147:3, "He is the healer of the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

That was my first visual the Lord gave me at the beach when I was on a prayer walk. It was a nasty dirty band-aid that I didn't dare touch, but it symbolized the condition of my heart and that He would heal it. As years have passed, He has been faithful to heal. He's my great big band-aid!

I am grateful for His promises that I can cling to.

Be Blessed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eddie's Testimony

This is an old article, but thought you would enjoy reading it.

Pensacola, Florida Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Eddie was an altar boy in the Catholic Church before being dismissed for getting drunk on stolen parish wine. By the age of 15, he was a school drop-out, stealing cars and selling drugs, which led to a $400-a-day drug habit.Eddie sold drugs for the Gotti crime family. He nearly lost his life in a shootout with the New York City Police when he jumped out a third story window to avoid capture, landing hard on the street - his lumbar vertebrae was broken in five places and both ankles fractured. Eddie has served time in Attica and Sing Sing for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug dealing. During his last prison term, he began calling a friend in Pensacola who invited Eddie to stay with him and his family, but Eddie would have to stop using drugs and cursing because they were born-again Christians. Eddie was a little leery of his friend's "fanatical beliefs."Upon his release, Eddie returned to his $400-a-day heroine habit. Then a drunk driver killed his young niece, and he decided to move far away from the heartaches and temptations of the New York City streets. He accepted his friend's offer. Eddie determined to kick the heroin habit by going "cold turkey" - he didn't sleep for 13 days. In pain and despair, he called out to God, he read his friend's Bible, and he went to church. Six months later he committed his life to Christ.

One day, as God was dealing with his past failures, Eddie read Matthew 12:43-45: "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.'"Eddie realized willpower and eight detox programs had not conquered his 15-year battle with drugs. The void in his life (his "empty house") was filled by drug demons, which progressively made his life more miserable. He began filling the void with God's Word and attended Olive Baptist Church's new The Most Excellent Way meeting. In turn, God began to remove his anger, his bitterness and his craving for drugs. A few months later, a couple from church paid Eddie's airfare to a The Most Excellent Way workshop in California. Eddie says the conference changed his life. He saw how God could use his life experiences and past failures to help others. Under Eddie's leadership, The Most Excellent Way program quickly grew from four people to more than 60, and expanded to other churches. There is a The Most Excellent Way meeting every day of the week in churches throughout Pensacola, and the only One who can conquer an empty lifestyle has filled the hearts of many addicts and alcoholics. Eddie has been the Director of Community Ministries at Olive for two years, ministering to addicts and to inmates in local jails - leading them to Jesus Christ. Eddie is The Most Excellent Way Area Director for the Southeastern United States. Glory to God!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Healer

We've been praying for healing of Eddie Echarri. I was selfishly praying for a physical healing; but the Lord has seen it fit to give him eternal healing. Around 4:30 this afternoon, Eddie was called home.

Eddie will forever be missed. He has left a legacy that will live on forever because of the thousand of lives he has touched all in the name of Jesus.

Please continue to pray for his wife, Shawn, his sisters and mother.

Best Intentions

Today I learned the best intentions aren't always best. I don't know if that makes since to anyone or not, but it applies to me.

Eddie Echarri is still hanging on. For four days Eddie has been in Hospice Care. For three of those four days they've been saying he could go any minute. Eddie is a stubborn goat but man I love and miss him already! It seems the last few days have been an extreme roller coaster ride of emotions, but....a sweet, sweet lady named Ms. Marjorie told me something the other day that has stuck with me and that I've been able to pass on. I hope, in whatever case it may be, that it will comfort you as it has me. She said, "No one knows the last life that Eddie is suppose to touch. No nurses know, nobody. Until that last life is touched, the Lord won't call him home. Eddie's job on earth will end when he has touched that last life." that deep or what?! Isn't that comforting?! Eddie will not leave this earth until he has done what he came on earth to do! Hallelujah! I can rest that in death, He is still in control. Amen.

Site Meter Problem

Our blogs have been down. The site meter we use is having some problems not allowing access to our blogs. I've removed it from mine temporarily. Chris is at a softball tournament today, so he hasn't removed it from his two blogs.

Blogspot is also having some problems with labeling blogs as spam....

My two year old just brought me all the "stuff" out of my wallet; everything in my purse is now on the floor:)

Have a great day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today is mine and Chris' 5 year anniversary! Whew! We have really been through it in these five years. We've had three pregnancies, one of which was a tubal. We've moved several times, had career changes, yelled and cried and loved a whole lot. Chris is my best friend. I can't imagine my life without him. I had prayed and prayed for a man to love me for me, for every bump and pimple and fat roll on my body. He gave me that person in Chris. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't tell me he loves me and how beautiful he thinks I am.

Chris has loved Kayla as his own since before we were even married. He made a vow during the wedding ceremony to Kayla that he would love her and aggravate her...he's kept his word!

If you read Chris' blog, this is the picture he was talking about. I was in the Bride's Room a wreck and sweating and stressing, he was sitting back reading a book! I couldn't beleive it. I don't know why he looks so mean in this picture, I guess it was because his reading was being interupted? Either that or he just didn't want his picture taken...?

A few more pictures follow:


Pastor Traylor, Chris, Me, David Adams