Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello and Thank You Giveaway

Hi y'all! It has been too long. It has been too long since I've updated and too long since I've been able to visit you and keep up with your blogs. I am sorry! Hugs?? We got back from our Great Roadtrip of 2011, which I still have so much to blog about!! So. much.! to. blog.! ... about.

Our house is now on the market. Six days, six showings. (Including one last night from a repeat!) On the market with three, sweet, energetic, mobile, fun little ones. :) You can feel free to send me virtual hugs, condolences, and chocolate! (dark chocolate... because it is healthy you know) ;)

And I have just needed the time and mainly energy to spend on the family that God has so graciously blessed me with. Oh I love them.

I just worry about y'all. That you'll take my absence on your blogs personally. 'Tis nothing personal at all. It's not you. It's me. ;) And new followers and those who've commented too, thank you so much. I look forward to coming to "see" you!

So while I am getting another post ready, here is a giveaway! I have been meaning to do this just for fun giveaway since before Littlest was born, I am not kidding. So I am doing it now to say thank you. I really appreciate your blog and twitter friendships.

So here is the giveaway gift of chocolate prize! You could keep it and make one chocolate recipe every day for the next 100 days! ;), or use it for a gift, or a coffee table book to make your house guests drool, the possibilities are endless.

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To Enter:

Just leave a comment saying that you still love me, I mean, just leave a comment because I love YOU. And if you feel so inclined, you can tell the people what your favorite kind or form of chocolate is. Just for fun. :) And if you don't want to enter to win, for some un-chocolate loving reason, but you still want to leave some love, feel free to just say hello. I love hellos. :)

This chocolate loving thank you giveaway will close on September 8th at midnight EST.

Hugs!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This Present Darkness...

This is the first time since BabyBoy's pregnancy and birth, 4 years ago, that Hubby and I have felt directly under attack. Our thoughts, hijacked. Made to play games with us. Made to lose our focus to worry and stress.

And then, with the news of complications during BabyBoy's pregs and birth, I don't even think we were feeling directly attacked, mainly just, why. Until we let it all go to Him.

It was starting to get me down. I felt like I could just cry thinking about all of the possibilities that I/we had to consider, attempt to figure out, and *do*. From worry, the unknown, the energy it took to work it out ourselves. (We always trust God, but so often we still try to control.) Random thoughts and worries of bad things that could happen to the ones I love, deeply.

This past week, as I was dwelling on the weight of decisions, circumstances, my long to do list before we could do anything else to "fix it," or had one of those sad thoughts, I felt a nudge. I stopped, was quiet, and felt it again. I remembered, vaguely, someone's words about how certain thoughts, bad, sad thoughts of things that *could* happen, don't have to happen. The devil and his demons are planting those thoughts to distract us. I felt that nudge from God that those thoughts were not from Him.

How do I know these little nudges, like those from a wet little puppy nose telling you she want some lovin', because I could not have come out of those thoughts on my own (and I am a type A control freak, so if I am admitting that, God is at work ;-)). He nudged me enough to remind me of the words from His scriptures...

John 14:12-14 - Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, & they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Pray them away, in Jesus' name. Each time I have had "those" thoughts recently, felt His nudge, stiff-armed the thoughts immediately, and prayed in His HOLY name, I instantly felt better. Instantly.

Hubby and I had the most incredible conversation last night. Let me preface this by saying we are truly best friends. Cheesy you may say, but 'tis the truth. We talk about everything. We fill each other in on everything. (unless prompted by confidentiality of an accountability partner) Our constant attempt is to stay on the same page. We believe it also makes a marriage strong. Firmly, believe. (Newlyweds Forever! Our motto. It is even engraved on the watch I gave Hubby for our 8 year anni this June) Back to the good part. God led us to a beautiful, intimate, conversation.

I told Hubby I have been feeling attacked lately, in my thoughts. After listening to me with an intent and sympathetic face, he told me he has felt under attack too.

It was a little surreal. And it was God that led us to that conversation.

We have both been stressed about some circumstances lately and this past week has been the strongest for both of us.

He proceeded to tell me that each time he has thoughts about every scenario regarding this situation (besides it being on his mind pretty constantly for months now), he has also felt his thoughts hijacked. Feelings of, while still *trusting* God, worry, thoughts of doubt, not wanting to give up control, because he couldn't give the biggest things on his mind, protecting his family. Even though God is the ultimate protector. It is hard for men to give it all to Him sometimes too, especially when it has to do with the safety of their family. He continued that each time has has felt these thoughts taking over, he has gone through each area, one by one, and prayed, in Jesus' name, for those thoughts to leave immediately.

Exactly, almost word for word how I have been praying. Chills. Woo. God is working.

Ephesians 6:12 - For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We had the most amazing discussion. Encouraging each other in His name, His truths, love, and protection. We prayed for each other, our family, protection over all of us and our hearts, for His angels to fight the battles around our house, family, and each other. Just like Frank Peretti illustrates through the words of his books This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness.

My tears kept lightening as we were praying. It was a very exhilarating and freeing moment. We know that we do not have to fight battles ourselves. And what a wonderful thing, because boy it is exhausting trying to do it. We've tried. (with our type A selves ;))

Though we still feel some pressure with the situation, we know that whichever choice we choose, God will be with us. We've always known that, but we were brought back down to that place again.

And in the words of my profound, discerning hubby, the devil doesn't have to take everything away, but distract us just enough to take our focus away from living for Him, seeing someone who needs help, an opportunity to serve. So true.

Our goal is to make every decision with God in mind. Our lives are His and we want Him to put us where He wants us. We trust. We know we can't do it on our own. That doesn't make us weak... actually, it does, and we're ok with that, we know that we are weak without Him. He is the creator of the universe. Whoa, humbling. We know that because of many reasons. If you want to know, I will be happy to share them with you.

We feel in control of our thoughts and the situation again, by giving up control. To Him. Freeing. Comforting. Peaceful.

I have been praying a lot for Hubby and for wisdom for us to do what He wants. We said we'd pray separately and come back to together with our thoughts and leadings. But praying together again is just what God ordered for us last night. He knows. I am so thankful for such an amazing husband. He is such a wonderful leader. Of our home, our marriage, our family, work and all. I am so proud to be his wifey.

We would still appreciate any prayers you would send up for us, while we are praying for wisdom from Him, for discernment on what we should do. Our decision lies in whether or not to put our house on the market soon and move. It will not be a cross country move but is still a big decision for *many* reasons. Ultimately, we want to do God's work. Clear eyes, full hearts... ;)

Joshua 1: 7-9 - Our family verses
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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{little blurry but Beach, July 2011}

Newlyweds Forever! Strong, in God, together.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We're Home!

We did it! We went on our family roadtrip adventure across the US of A!

For 3 1/2 weeks. Over 5,000 miles (you read that right! ;) We had to get an oil change before we left AZ ;)). We stayed and visited fam and friends in 9 states and Hubby had business trips in two. Our longest driving day was 15.75 hours! Our #1 destination was to visit my Aunt, Dad (he had just visited here :)), and fam in Arizona. And we were so blessed that we did it, were able to do it, and I can tell you that our close little fam of 5 really bonded even more throughout our trip!

We got home Tuesday around 1:30pm and as I tweeted today, we still have not brought our suitcases in from the car, haha! So, when the boys and I ran a couple errands today :) (while Littlest napped and Hubby worked from home), I donned a tennis skirt and old shirt from my closet, ha! It is really comfy!! And was clean ;). And so excited it is non-maternity and fits ok again, although it does have an elastic waist ;-)...

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These three little people did such a great job. There was a little fussing here or there. Times I was 'bout to lose my patience. Times we were all ready to get out of the car. But everyone really did a fantastic job; in the car, sleeping at each location, better than I anticipated, and they are good (strong-willed :)) babies.

And these sweet little people reached a new height of friendship. The boys have always been great with HM but there was a new spark by the end of the trip and is now. One of BabyBoy's new loves is making his baby sister laugh. And oh my it puts the biggest smile on our faces too. He played with her and made her laugh and smile SO much in the car. And Little too! If Littlest started fussing, BabyBoy would say, "It's ok, HM, it's ok," and Little would look over to her and chime, "K, k, Ma-may, k, k, Ma-may." Beyond sweetness.

This is how they sit, all three across the 2nd row of our Pilot (you can spot Littlest in her mirror on the left :)).

And we love it.

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I hope y'all are doing great! I have so much to blog and so much to catch up on with you! "See" you and "talk" to you soon!! :)

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