Ephesians 3:16-18

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your
hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is (Ephesians 3:16-18).

Friday, May 31, 2013

Where has the time gone? And Welcome little Grant!

Landry turned six months old yesterday!  SIX! MONTHS!  Where has the time gone?  It has flown by!  She was so small when we brought her home! We realized how much she has grown when we went to meet the new baby of the block, Grant Austin!  We are totally in love!  I can't wait to watch all these babies grow up together.  We are already praying they will have a heart for God.

 This is Landry not long after she was born! 

 This is her six months later.  We do not allow her to blindfold herself often, but I caught her like this and had to capture the moment! Don't worry, THERE IS NO CHILD ABUSE GOING ON HERE!

 The day she turned six months old, she woke up with the sniffles.  She was such a little trooper the whole day.  We had to run errands and she didn't protest too much.


These are just a few recent pictures of Landry being silly and making us smile.  I think we will be entertained and rarely have dull moments.

Daddy caught her giggling after bath time. 

This was her first time out of the Bumbo and in the big girl seat!

 This is one of my favorite pictures!  It really captures who Landry is.  She is very animated! 

 We are trying to train her up to love our Alma Matter.  It is where Alan and I met.  If not for Louisiana Tech there may be no Landry!

 The day Landry turned six months old, we went to the hospital to welcome Grant into the world.  He was born May 29.  His mommy's birth story is amazing and I hope she is able to blog about it soon!
Welcome Grant Austin!

He gave me baby fever!

The beautiful family!  Papa Wade, Mommy Lissy, Princess Van, Brother, and Baby!  Grant is the baby for now, but I am sure before long another sweet one will be added to this family!  I thank God for this little big family!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The whole armor

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Be strong in the Lord.  When we are weak He is strong.  Satan's power has been destroyed.  He has no authority over God's children.  Yes, he would love to make us believe he has authority and convince us that we are worthless, but we are made new in Christ.  Our struggles are not against one another, but against satan's schemes.  We must be prepared for attacks at all time!

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with TRUTH, and  having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation , and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6: 12-17).

Truth and faith popped out at me as I read this passage.  The devil is the author of LIES, but God speaks TRUTH.  I have days that I am bombarded with lies and I will begin to believe they are true.  The difference is, the devil seeks to kill, steal, and destroy.  He wants us to believe we are worthless.  So easily, I forget to test the thoughts that bombard my mind.  Neil T. Anderson writes,
"Determine whether your feelings reflect thoughts of truth or error, and you will indentify their source,  Do you feel guilty, worthless, stupid, or inept?  That's a sorrow provoked by accusation because those feelings don't reflect truth.  Judicially, you are no longer guilty; you have been justified through your faith in Christ and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  You are not worthless; Jesus gave His life for you.  You are not stupid or inept; you have the mind of Christ, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. When you find lies lurking beneath your feelings of sorrow-especially if your feelings persisntently drive you into the ground-you are being falsely accused.  Even if you changed you wouldn't feel any better, because satan would then find something else to harass you about.  To diarm the sorrow of accusation you must submet yourself to God and resist the devil and his lies."
He also says, "But if you are sorrowful because your behavior doesn't reflect your true identity in Christ, that's the sorrow according to the will of God which is designed to produce repentance."  It is important for me to take each thought and determine if it is a sorrow that leads to death or repentance.

With all prayer and petition PRAY AT ALL TIMES in the Spirit, and with this in view be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18-19). 

To me, prayer is such a beautiful and wonderful weapon.  I am thankful to have friends and family that pray with me and for me.  Friends and family that I am able to pray with and for.  I do believe it is so important for the body to continue to lift one another up in prayer.  Often times, I have struggled with praying.  I have believed I was "bad" at it.  I am not sure that makes sense, but it was a real feeling to me.  I have felt to unworthy to pray.  I know this was not true and this thought was meant to cause "death," at least in a spiritual sense.  It has been easy for me to get so down, that I just would not pray at all.  In those moments when I felt as if I could not pray, I had others praying for me.  I love meeting new people and instantly feeling connected, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ.  I have a few blog friends which I have experienced this with.  We are connected through the strongest bond and we are able to pray for one another.  Thank God that satan has been defeated through the blood of the Almighty Lamb! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mommy Monday

OPINIONS, OPINIONS, OPINIONS!  Everyone has one and they are more than willing to give them to first time moms.  Some I love, some I hate, and some just make me cringe!  I am learning not to take them so personal.  The first few months of being a new mom, I took most advice as attacks.  I would honestly think, this person must not believe I am a good mom or they would not give so much advice.  I now believe most of the time people really are trying to help.  

Recently, I was given an opinion fact that I needed to hear.  I am having a difficult time getting Landry on a schedule.  She doesn't like napping, so whenever she falls asleep I just go with it.  I know life may run more smoothly for both of us if only I could get the child on a schedule.  Yesterday, someone pointed out that I would not be able to get Landry on a schedule until I got myself on one.  I hadn't realized how unscheduled my life had become, but since having a baby there is no structure at all in my life!  I have never been an extremely organized person, but before Landry daily chores were easy to manage.  I didn't work on Friday's, therefore I cleaned my house that day.  I picked up every day, but deep cleaning days were on Friday.  Now, I am lucky to pick up after myself and the baby.  Nine times out of ten, the hubs can forget about dinner being on the table when he gets home.  It is sad, but true!  I have neglected so much since having a baby.  By no means do we live in a pigsty and we definitely do not go hungry, but it would be nice to have at least three home-cooked meals a week.

Thankfully, I have a husband who does  not pressure me to be perfect.  I, however, do realize there is much truth to the statement, and I need a schedule for  my daily life.  I am not sure how I am going to make a plan of action.  Any ideas or opinions?  I have looked on a few blogs and gotten ideas from other stay at home moms.  I am hoping to report back soon saying, "I now have a schedule and it works!" Then maybe Landry will fall into a schedule as well!

What you talking bout mommy?  I don't need no stinkin schedule!

What is the best advice (mom or not) you have ever been given? Worst?

Friday, May 24, 2013

How did it happen?

Yesterday was a battle.  I woke up and was fine.  Out of no where an overwhelming sense of sadness washed over me.  I began to battle with thoughts like, "What do you do for God?" "You are not enough," and "The way you pray is not correct."  LIES, LIES, LIES!  I started to pray.  I admitted to God that I don't know if I am praying correctly, but I had to speak with Him.  I began to sing along with baby praises playing as I was trying to get Landry to sleep.  Once she woke up, we got dressed, and got out of the house.  The sadness left! I was so thankful that God allows us to take every thought captive.

After dinner the unexplainable happened!  Landry had been fussing most of the day, and by the way she was acting, I knew her gums were bothering her.  I decided to finally give her tylenol (I don't love giving medicine to her).  As I was giving it to her she began acting strange.  She wanted to cry, but no sound would come out.  She could not catch her breath!  With tears streaming down my face, I ran in the room with Alan.  We did not know what to do.  He hit her back trying to get anything to come out. Soon we noticed the tylenol was running out of her nose.  We used the nasal aspirator to suction some of the liquid out of her nose.  All the while, her eyes were rolling in the back of her head.  She could not keep her eyes open!  I called my aunt, who is a nurse, no answer.  I called my friends down the street, no answer.  We jumped in the car and drove to our friends house.  Thank God Wade and Melissa were home.  Wade is a nurse and that boy knows his stuff!  By the time we got there Landry was a different child.  I just remembered this morning that I prayed over Landry while we were in the car.  In .4 miles she was better.  That was only by the grace of God.  Wade put our mind at ease by listening to make sure nothing was in her lungs, and reassuring us that she was okay.  I am so thankful for Wade, Melissa, and their three children.  Grant, is actually not born yet, but his arrival will be any day now!  God willing, he and Landry will be able to begin kindergarden together! 
Wade, Lis, and new born Landry!  This is what doing life together is all about!
Did I mention, Wade is also a baby whisperer?  Landry LOVES Wade and Lis!
I haven't written about these next events, but when Landry was born she failed a new born screening.  We both had blood drawn and waited three weeks to find out the results!  It was a looonnnnggg three weeks!  In that time of waiting God led me to Habakkuk 3:16-19.  Through those verses He told me, "I am good, no matter what her test results show."  A peace washed over me.  Once the test results came in, we found out Landry was fine!  I have a carnitine deficiency that was detected through her newborn screening.  We will both see a specialist on Monday (only six months later).  

The third event that I ask myself, "How did it happen?" occurred when Landry was about ten weeks old.  She was sleeping through the night at the time, so when she woke up crying we thought she had a belly ache.  The day before she cried pretty much the whole day.  We had no idea what was wrong.  The next day we decided to give her a bath.  We would try anything and her bath always seemed to sooth her.  Once in the bath, Alan  noticed her little toe was red.  I thought it was just a fat little toe, until I took her out to put lotion on her.  She had a piece of hair wrapped tightly around her toe, which we learned was called toe tourniquet syndrome.  Thankfully, we were able to remove the hair using tweezers.  Our doctor told us that he has sent a baby to a surgeon for this same thing, and the surgeon cut the toe, hair and all!  Again, I do not believe we were able to remove the hair on our own, but God loosened it and allowed us to remove it.  

It is safe to say, in six months we have had strange things happen.  Things that show us, we are at the mercy of God.  Things that make us ask, "How did it happen?"  Through it all God is good.  He has shown His power time and time again.  We are able to do nothing on our own!  Why then do I still worry?  He has shown He is in control.  There will always be scary events that occur, and we cannot control, nor predict the future.  So why do I try to do all things on my own?        

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mothers day 2013

Last year on mothers day, I spent the day laying in a chair praying I would not puke.  I was sick and very thankful for that sickness.  This year was much better!!!!!  Saturday, my mom, Alan, Landry, and I met half way to celebrate!  It was an amazing day!

The food was delicious! I wish I had a picture of the potato stuffed with étouffée.  It was divine!

Landry doing what she loves, putting her foot in her mouth.

My mother-in-law gave me this beautiful bracelet with our names on it!

Baby bug looking cool!

Landry with Missy and Nana

My heart!

Landry liked the creepy stuffed parakeet. 

Saturday was such a fun day!  We ate great food, walked, relaxed, and shopped.  Alan was such a trooper.  He let us look in every shop and he did not complain the entire day.  I know he must have been thrilled to look at women and baby clothes, jewelry, and other trinkets!  Sunday we got all dolled up, went to church, had lunch with family, sang happy birthday to Uncle Chris, and ended the day at LC hanging out with friends! We had a long, but fun day!

I can't get enough kisses from her!

I just love my little family!  

Landry and Eden at church!  I love that these baby girls were born the same day!

Baby bug and Callie bug wearing Aunt Amber's sunglasses.

It was such a wonderful weekend!  Landry was in a great mood the entire weekend, which was a wonderful mothers day gift!  I almost forgot to mention, Alan bought me a red kitchen aid stand mixer for mothers day!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moms last day of radiation and brothers birthday!

May 9, 2013, was a wonderful day for my family! We celebrated my moms last day of radiation and my brothers birthday!  It was so wonderful that they occurred on the same day.  I still cannot believe my baby brother is 18 years old.  I remember the day I first saw him in the hospital like it was yesterday.

I thank God for these two!  My life is made sweeter because I share it with people like them! 

Where did the time go?  Also, I love that 80's or early 90's hair style Mom!

Our whole gang celebrating!

Landry and her sweet Daddy!  Or should I say, Alan and his mini me? 

Thank you God for my husband and child! 

 We love Uncle Chris!

Can you tell we are happy?  Well... Landry has no idea what's going on!

These girls scared Landry!

Alan gets credit for this picture!  I would not have done much better haha!  Chris liked it even though he looks a little scary!

I thank you for my mom and my brother.  Thank you for allowing the doctors to discover the cancer sooner than later.  I pray that her body would be completely healed and no cancer cells would have the ability to reoccur in her body!  I pray we would not forget to give thanks and praise to the Healer!  You are the one who has given us the technology and you are the one who has given wisdom to the doctors.  

As Chris begins this new chapter in his life, I pray you would give him a grateful heart, and equip him to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  I also pray that he would follow your will and be able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit.  I pray these things in the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mommy Monday!

One of my favorite bloggers, Emily, recently asked me to take a challenge.  She also updated my blog page and created me a new banner!  She is the best!  Back to the challenge.  I have been so busy with my newborn that I have not made time to blog.  Actually, the lack of blogging began before her arrival. I was so sick for nine months that I did not want to do anything, including watch t.v.  I wanted NO stimulation!  In some ways the lack of motivation has hung around.  All my energy is channelled towards nursing, pacifying a crying baby, playing with a happy baby, and when she is sleeping I want to rest or I need to clean.  We also like to get out of the house, even if it is down the road to Nanny's or Nana's house.  Anyway, the challenge was to blog about some of my struggles as a new mommy.  I MAY try to post on my blog each Monday about new challenges I have faced or exciting adventures.  I don't really know how to do link ups, but if there is anyone out there who reads my blog and would like to link up I will figure it out!  READY. SET. GO!!!!

Challenge number one:  The constant nursing!  Landry has ALWAYS had a big appetite!  She is the baby who nurses every two hours!  I thought I was about to get a break, but this week she wants to nurse constantly!  If her eyes are open then she wants the boob! We are just starting baby food so maybe I will catch a break.  I do fear that she will wean herself if I feed her baby food too often.  Sometimes she wants to nurse, because she uses me as a pacifier.  Nine times out of ten I give in!  I can only handle so much crying!  It took me over four months to let her cry it out and to be honest, I am still not great at letting her do that!

Challenge number two: The sometimes constant crying! I say sometimes, because we do have days that she only cries when she is hungry or sleepy.  The child fights her sleep so much in the day time.  I am also okay with the lack of naps, because (knock on wood) she sleeps like a champ at night!  She LOVES to be entertained and is always trying to figure things out!  Although she is extremely fussy, I would not trade her for any other baby.  She is exactly what Alan and I needed!  God always gives us what we need!  She is also  FUN and at times, is a little comedian!

Challenge number three: FEAR and GUILT!  Since becoming a mommy, fears have increased, as has the mommy guilt!  When people make suggestions, I take it as I am doing something wrong.  There have been many suggestions made, so it seems like I am doing a lot of things wrong!  I am beginning to realize these emotions are coming from my flesh and satan.  I have been reading a wonderful book called, "The Bondage Breaker."  It is revealing truths about God and who I am in Christ.  It has nothing to do with motherhood, but has everything to do with truth! Satan really wants to get us down.  He does not want us to feel worthy and would love nothing more than to use our children to paralyze us with FEAR and GUILT.  If we are consumed with worry, we will not be as effective in worshiping our Heavenly Father and accomplishing His will.

  Mom! This is YUCKY!!! Maybe I am too young for this stuff!  

I want to thank you for giving us Landry.  Thank you for using each moment in her life to teach me more about you and your goodness!  I am learning patience, which I never had before her.  Some days I want to crawl in a hole and not come out for an hour or more, but you always give me strength to make it through the day!  Thank you for ALL of Landry!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, May 17, 2013

PSALM 28:7 and Birth Story

Five months ago, God entrusted us with a sweet miracle.  I cannot believe I have waited five months to write the story of her birth.  I am not sure I can even remember all of the details, because it feels like a life time ago.

I will start by writing about fears prior to Landry's arrival and those I had going into the labor and delivery process.  It is no secret that I have a constant battle occurring in mind.  Looking back, it sounds silly to say, I was afraid I would not bond with my baby girl.  I was also afraid she would not like me.  These fears were straight from Satan, as was each and every other fear!  

I had an extreme fear of Labor and Delivery.  I have a LOW pain tolerance.  I have pain when I am just touched in certain areas. For example, different places on my legs will hurt if someone barely touches them.  I was so afraid of the labor and delivery, because I just knew I would pass out. The minute we arrived I asked for medicine to keep me calm, which they would not give me.

That morning many of my sweet friends sent verses and prayers for me to "hold onto" during the process.  Psalm 28:7 was the verse of the day for K-Love that morning.  I prayed that scripture throughout the day.  We arrived at the hospital at 6 a.m. and shortly after the pitocin was started.  The nurses encouraged me to get out of bed and walk, hoping Landry would come further down into the birth canal.  By the grace of God, my wimpy self was able to walk the halls of the hospital.  Once I was seven cm dilated the Doctor ordered my epidural.  Crazy me almost said come back later!  As I was about to say, "I don't need it now," I had a contraction.  MIND. CHANGED. IMMEDIATELY!  I am so glad I chose to have an epidural.  It did not hurt as bad as I thought it would and after the medicine kicked in I felt no pain anywhere!  I can't remember the exact time anymore, but not long after receiving the epidural I went from 7 cm to 10 cm and it was time to push!  Three pushes and that baby was out!  I know it doesn't normally happen this way, but on November 30, 2012, God had mercy on me.  He gave me strength that was definitely not my own.  Anyone who truly knows me can attest to that fact.

Also a random, but maybe interesting side note.... I held onto a wadded up paper towel throughout my labor and delivery.  I am not really sure why I had a wadded up paper towel in my hand, but it stayed with me for 8 hours.      

The hospital stay was as incredible as a hospital stay can be.  The nurses were great!  They took care of us and gave nursing tips.  Later in the day I became extremely lightheaded and I finally passed out.  I remember screaming for the nurse and at least three were surrounding me as I came to.  The doctor thought I may need a blood transfusion, but thankfully I did not.  One of the nurses suggested I get someone to bring me a steak.  My mother-in-law and husband brought me a steak kabob, sweet potato, and a roll.  I scarfed it down like I had never eaten before.  There was not a crumb left! I felt much better after I finally ate.

We were released from the hospital two days later and that is when the real journey began.  It has been the most difficult and rewarding times since she arrived!  Many tears and smiles have been shared.  We all learn new things each and every day.  Watching her as she learns new things is exciting!  She notices everything and watches things like a hawk!  I am more aware, now than ever, that new fears will arise every day and I need to ask myself, "Where is this fear coming from?"  I am still not great at dismissing fears, which is  sad considering God has shown his faithfulnesses time and time again.  I constantly find myself asking for forgiveness.  I am thankful to serve a forgiving God.

The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

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