september first...

is it really september first already?  it is hard to believe that summer is at it's end and fall is around the corner.  i have taken a few months off from blogging, mainly because i really have not had the time to keep up with it.  but i have missed it and as i get back into a routine i plan to make blogging part of it again.  this summer really threw me off, but it has been a great one. we have had lots going on at our house ~ lots to share and lots to tell!

i look forward to sharing more over the next few weeks.  God has really been on the move in our family and i feel extremely blessed!


be back soon...

it has been over a month since my last post, i think that is the longest time between posts. ever.

i have often thought of quitting this whole blog thing, since i have not been very good at it lately.

but i found after taking about a month off that i am really missing it. really i do.

i realized as i began writing this today that i celebrate three years of blogging this month. wow.

hopefully as i begin my fourth year of blogging i will be able to come back from this break refreshed and with lots of things to say.

i am sorry for an unannounced break and appreciate those of you who continue to read and continue to follow my blog!

so stay tuned as i plan to begin writing once again.  soon.

**** and excuse the way my blog is looking! it is under construction as i am working on a new look!***


on wings like eagles...

something you may or may not know about me is that i have a fear of heights.  i really don't like them.  it makes me sick to think about doing any kind of daring activity that would require being up high.  no way, never, would you catch me hang-gliding or jumping out of an airplane with a parachute for fun. also, i don't really think it is fun to climb up to the top of high places (towers, lighthouses, etc) and look down.  it would just make me sick. i am ok with flying in an airplane or riding on a roller coaster. i am not freaked out by that.  but the thought of being up high and looking around and seeing what is below or jumping from something that is high and falling to the ground is really scary to me.  in fact, i don't even like to watch a scene in a movie where the actor is doing that. yuck. makes me sick.

so i have found myself in this place in my life where i feel like i am being taken to new heights.  really high, really scary ones.  ones that are out of my comfortable place.  God has begun to use me in some different ways that i could never have thought of or imagined. ever.  so many of the things that He is placing in front of me, are really truly pretty scary for me.  they are so unfamiliar and they feel so out of my reach.  so high, too high for me.  and completely out of my comfort level.  i feel like these are things that are suppose to be for someone else and not for me.  honestly, i keep asking Him if He is sure that He has chosen the right person.  i think perhaps he is looking for someone else.  silly question. because He is God Almighty.  He doesn't make a mistake and He knows the plan He has.

every time i look around at the things in my life that are comfortable and instead of looking up at what He has planned for me, i know i am not doing what He has planned for me.  i am trying to stay where i am comfortable and do what i know how to do.  but, while in my comfort, i am being disobedient to what He is showing me and telling me.  i am trying to do what I want to do, because it is so much more comfortable.  but it is not what He has planned for me.

since i desire to follow His plan for my life, i have to put this fear of  these new heights aside.  i have to look up and rely on Him, the One who has given me these new levels to reach for.  the One who has chosen me, because He knows best. i am pushed out of my comfort zone and i trust in Him. i find my strength and my comfort in Him. 

 but those who hope in the LORD, will renew their strength.
       they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint.

isaiah 40:31


a few favorite things...

...from this special mother's day weekend!!

a special night celebrating a very special lady
a surprise visit from my sister for the weekend
a friday night dinner not cooked by me (carry out from pei-wei)
a beautiful and special bracelet from my husband
a day of shopping and eating sushi for lunch with my sister
an awesome worship experience and message at church
a morning to sleep in, arranged by my oldest son who took care of the little ones
a few handmade gifts from my sweet kiddos
a cookout with family
a visit to the hospital to see a sweet friend and her new baby

i hope that you each had a wonderful weekend filled with a few of your favorite things!
i hope you were celebrated well (if you are a mom)
and had a chance to celebrate your mother well!

it was a great weekend full of lots of great memories!
pictures may or may not follow soon :)

love & blessings,


sneak peek...

here is a sneak peek at atleast one of the things that is keeping me soooo busy these days....

it's not complete and definitely needs more work 
but i thought i would share one thing that is competing for my attention

check it out and then come back and leave me a comment and tell me what you think!


lots to catch up on...

ever really want to do something but time just rarely allows?
ever have so much to do that the "fun" things just get pushed aside?

that is how i feel about my blog these days!

i promise i will be back soon with lots of stuff to catch you up on!



quite the little girl...

last week, i took jaelyn to our pediatrician for her 18 month well check.
jaelyn is doing great!!!
what a blessing for a completely healthy and happy baby girl!

jaelyn is still a little peanut...
weighing in at 21 pounds (under the curve, guess it is like the 0%)
but now worries because she gained a pound since her 15 month check up!

and she measures 32 inches long (50-75%)

jordyn loves to dress her up!
excuse the wild hair - it was just one of those days!

jaelyn loves to talk on this old cell phone!
so sweet!
she is quite the talker, she says lots and lots of words.
and repeats everything too!!


i'm a doula...

the last several weeks have been quite an amazing journey. there have been a few bumps in the road and a few moments of completely being overwhelmed and full of doubt and fear. but throughout the journey God has been at work and showing me His will for me.

a few weeks ago, i told you that i was getting my certification to be a doula. so i thought i would tell you a little bit about where i am in the process and what has been going on in my life surrounding this big huge God led adventure.

i do not need to be certified to be a doula. so i am not waiting for my certification to "become a doula". God has given me this passion and desire for this field and i am claiming it. i am a doula! so i gladly and proudly accept the title of a doula!

part of my certification requires me to actually assist three families during their childbirth. that was the part that really scared me. i was really nervous how i would find clients who would hire me without my certification. but since it is part of God's plan. i have set it aside and let Him handle that part and when i did. when i accepted my title and claimed the role. He showed me that He will bring me the mothers and the clients that He wants me to support and encourage.

i have received confirmation after confirmation that this is God's will for me. it has been wild. you know when you pray about something and you ask for God to confirm it in a huge way like maybe a billboard. well, i feel like my confirmations have been even bigger than that. God has put so many different opportunities in my path. He has brought me so many connections and new friends already. and i just started pursuing this. but He has had this plan in the works for a long time, i just didn't know it!

i am so excited about my new journey!

since i haven't been so great about blogging lately and have a lot to write about, i will continue this in another post. for those of you who really don't care about reading about the doula stuff, i am working on a blog and website that in the future i will be putting the details there. but for now, this is part of my story and my life so i am sharing it here!


a day at the zoo....

on the last official day of spring break, jamil took the day off and we headed to the riverbanks zoo in columbia, sc {along with everyone else in the state of nc & sc} it never crossed my mind how busy it would be during the week of spring break. despite the crowd and managing four kids at the zoo, we had a great time! i remembered the camera but minus the media card, so we only had the internal memory with 21 pictures to take. oh well, here are a few pictures of the family at the zoo!

josh took this one.
this is where the super cool monkeys "hang"
but they were hiding and hard to get a good shot

a shot with me and the kids
right by the elephants, who were pretty stinky that day!
a fashion mishap: yes, i was wishing i had brought my
brown sling and not the black one, ooopss!

joshua showing jaelyn one of the animals,
i can not recall which one

my three big kids!

there is just something about palm trees that i love!

oh, look at the baby giraffe!
my very favorite animal that we saw!
love me some babies!

jamil & little buddy!

daddy & his girls as we are leaving the zoo!

what a great family day!!!


a piece of my story (part 2)...

this entry is the second part of a piece of my story and has a very exciting announcement at the end...

so, i continued to pray over the next few months. not sure exactly how God wanted to use me but know that i was willing to be used how He wanted to use me. it is really a scary feeling to know that God is doing a work in you but you can't really figure out exactly what it is. but i gave it all to Him.

i began a bible study in january and we are reading a joyce meyer book called a leader in the making. the women in this group all have a passion for other women and are in this study to find out how God wants to use them. this bible study and the reading that i have done has been instrumental me hearing from God over the past few months.

in the beginning of march, after watching a few shows which i love to watch about childbirth and babies, i started thinking about becoming a nurse midwife again. i began to pray specifically for God to show me if this is a dream that was mine or was it His. i clearly kept feeling Him telling me "no, not now". in my blog hopping i stumbled upon a few blogs that are written by nurses. and somewhere in that i found a blog written by a mother who was pregnant with her second baby and she had a few posts in there about being a doula. and i was intrigued. and i felt something stirring inside of me!

if you don't know what a doula is, basically it is a birth or labor assistant. she is someone who is hired to care for the mother during the her labor and birth. the word doula means "woman servant". traditionally, this role is given to friends and family members of the parents as a support system. with a doula, she is not only an encourager and supporter, but she is also educates and serves as an advocate for the parents. she is present at the labor and birth the entire time working with the father and any other support person in the delivery room to help the mother during this time regardless of whether she chooses to have interventions or a natural childbirth. a doula does not perform anything medical or give any medical advice.

i had researched this some time ago, but wasn't sure this was for me, i had bookmarked a few websites but felt i was really suppose to go in the direction of the medical field. so after visiting this blog, i went back and looked over the sites i had saved. i began doing research about being a doula and began praying. God quickly and clearly answered my prayers. i felt Him telling me that this is what he wanted me to pursue. things fell into place and i have begun my certification process to becoming a doula.

i am so excited about this new journey that i am on! it feels so great to have a direction and a place to put the passions i have. i can not wait to see how God works in this new journey. there is so much more that i want to share with you about this journey. i will be working on a series of posts that will share this journey. i am also gathering ideas for a new blog that is specifically on being a doula.

so there it is, my big exciting announcement!!! thanks for reading this piece of my story!

being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
philippians 1:6
many blessings ~


a piece of my story (part 1)...

several weeks ago, i wrote this post and i have been working on "my story". everyone has a story, and everyone's story is different. a few things have developed in my life and i wanted to share a piece of my story with you. i am posting it in two parts! so, here goes...

as a young girl, pre-teen age, i loved children. i started babysitting at like 11 years old or so. i babysat for a lot of different families. i would get so upset if i didn't have a babysitting job over a weekend. i loved it that much. i babysat all through middle school, high school and college. it was no surprise when i earned a degree in elementary education with a concentration on early childhood and became a teacher. i was only a teacher for two years when I was blessed with a child of my own. i quit my job as a teacher and happily became a stay at home mommy.

being a mom is when i developed a new love for babies and toddlers. with each baby i gave birth to, i became very passionate about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. i also became very passionate for for other women, especially those in the child-bearing and child-rearing season. after my second baby was born, i felt like God had placed a calling on my life to become a labor and delivery nurse and eventually a nurse midwife.

by the time i had my third baby, i was the coordinator of a mops (mothers of preschoolers) group and the passion i had for other young mothers was undeniable. the thought of another women going through their season as a mom without knowing Christ burdened me. i know that i couldn't be a mom without God being the center of my life. my passion was so strong to tell other moms about Him. God allowed me to minister to other mothers during this season of my life and through our mops group. that was one of the sweetest seasons of my life.

after my season with mops was over, i was heading into a new season of my life, to pursue a nursing degree. God had other plans for me. i attended nursing school for one semester and loved it! after that semester, it was made clear to me that it was not time to finish my degree. nothing fell into place, so i withdrew from school and put that dream on hold.

it was a few months later when i realized God's plan for me. that was when he blessed us with another positive pregnancy test and with our fourth baby, jaelyn. during this season of being pregnant and becoming a new mom once again, God began to teach me that my family is my first ministry. i took advantage of this time and began to get my life in balance and just focus on my family. i didn't lead any type of women's ministry, i didn't volunteer much at my church and i didn't do many things outside of my family. as much as i want to pursue my passion to minister to other moms, He wanted me to realize my family comes first.

shortly after jaelyn turned one, i felt the passion in me stirring again and wanted to pursue what exactly God had in store for me. my passion is two fold, because i am passionate about other women (women's ministry) but i am also passionate about pregnancy & childbirth. i began to pray about what how God wanted to use me. i also began to research nursing schools during this time, i also began to volunteer at my church as the nursery coordinator.

after praying and researching nursing schools, i got the big red stop sign from God and felt like it was not the right time to go back to school. it was made clear to me that the strenuous hours in school and clinicals was not going to fit into our family's lifestyle. so, i put it on hold and i continued to pray.

but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and all these things will be given to you as well
matthew 6:33

....the next piece of my story/part 2 will be posted tomorrow, come back and read it, i promise it will be posted and it has an exciting announcement in it!

many blessings ~


one and a half...

seriously, this momma can not believe that
her sweet baby girl is eighteen months old today.

one year ago

this year

jaelyn is growing and changing so much,
many days, i hear myself asking,
"where is my baby girl?"

it surely is bittersweet.

jaelyn is such a busy bee these days. she is all over the place and into just about everything that is in her sight and in her reach. i spend most of my days chasing after her!

and she spends most of her days trying to keep up with her big brothers and big sister. gone are the days when she would just sit and play.

as if three loud and vocal kiddos were not enough, we have been blessed with another talker!! yup, jaelyn talks so much and has a word for everything. it is super cute to hear her talking.

jaelyn has started climbing! she climbs up on the little chairs and loves to "sit-sit". we found her sitting in jordyn's loft bed, she climbed up the slide and made her way into the bed. crazy, i can not take my eyes off of her.

she is a pretty good eater and is a great sleeper. she is still taking two naps a day! it is crazy to think that when she was a "baby" she gave us such a run for our money and was so hard to get to sleep. now it is a piece of cake! we put her in her crib and she goes to sleep. honestly, sometimes i miss her getting up and rocking her. i can't believe i am saying that!

jaelyn is such a sweet baby girl!! we could not imagine our lives and our family without her. she is such a blessing and every day i could just eat her up!!


holy wonderful easter weekend...

wow, is about all i can say! we had a very busy but a wonderful easter weekend. i am going to put the events over the past weekend in one big post. i will try to keep it short and sweet!!

to start off our easter weekend, on friday evening we went next door to my in-laws house for a cook out. the kids had a great time playing with their cousins. we ate and the kids had an easter egg hunt.

my four kiddos with my nieces!

on saturday, we pretty much stayed around the house, getting ready for easter sunday, ironing clothes, baths, washing hair, etc. we also made some food for the next day and dyed easter eggs. one of my dear friends who now lives in georgia came in for the weekend so i got to spend a little bit of time with her in the afternoon. of course i did not take a picture.

the kids went to find the basket in our closet!

that evening, we gave the kids their easter basket. i think it was last year when i started this tradition, i load up a huge basket full of stuff the kids can use over spring break. it is a way to replenish toys and activities that we are out of and it keeps them busy over spring break. last year, i filled it with a lot of arts and craft type stuff. this year, i filled it with indoor and outdoor activities. it had play-dough, bubbles & wands, hula hoops, jump ropes, balls, painting activity, some candy, silly bandz, gum, water guns and a swing for outside for jaelyn, little people dolls for jaelyn, chapstick for jordyn. they loved it although i don't know how busy it will keep them throughout the week, because they played with most of it today already. the novelty may wear out soon, but let's hope not.

here's some of the goodies!

a quick shot of all four before we left for church
easter 2010

on sunday morning, we headed uptown to time warner arena where we had one huge church service. i was able to go to the service and just attend. we did not have a full blown ekidz, so i did not have to serve. which i missed serving, but enjoyed the little break. let me tell you, the service was amazing. i have never been so proud of my church and my pastor. the time and effort put into pulling off a service as big as this was so worth it. we had over 11,000 people in attendance and over 700 salvations made.

WOW!! i was so overwhelmed and so moved by what God did in that arena. God's presence was felt and known by so many in the large crowd. we had awesome music, videos, our students were on stage worshiping, thousands and thousands of items were donated to local charities and we had 50 people baptized. it was truly amazing. i could go on and on and probably will in another post all about elevation. but until then, we made the news several times. you can go here to watch a news clip on tv and you can go here to read an article in the newspaper.

after a little bit of nap time, we ate dinner with my parents and took a few shots of the kids before dinner. i never did get a great shot of the four of them let alone a family picture.

today, i am still in my pj's and trying to catch up after the busy and extremely emotionally exciting weekend. i hope to get a few things done and out of the way today, so that i can spend some time enjoying the spring break week with the kids! i also plan to spend the week taking some pictures of the kids as we go out and about and do some fun things, we have plans to get together with some friends and also take a trip somewhere fun on friday!!


easter week...

i promise i am still alive and i am doing ok! i know i have been very absent from blogging (writing, reading and commenting) as of late. i just don't know where the days have been going, they have been going much too fast for my liking. i feel like i blink and the day is half over and time for lunch. then i blink again and it is completely over and time for bed. if anyone has figured out the formula for slowing down the days yet, please let me know :)

so these days for me have been filled with the normal things a mom has to do everyday, which has included cleaning out closets and switching the wardrobes over to lighter spring clothing! yeah - i am so glad that spring is here! i am ready for some consistent warm days and let it just rain at night! it always seems that i buy clothes for the kids for the new season and then the weather goes back to the old season. but i think slowly but surely spring is coming to stay!

with easter just a few days away, can you believe it?, i will be busy this week putting the finishing touches on our easter outfits and getting stuff for the kids' easter baskets. we will be spending this week and easter weekend, egging the city of charlotte. our church, which meets at several campuses throughout a normal weekend, will be meeting all together for one big huge easter service. we will be having our worship experience at time warner arena (home of the bobcats basketball team) and we are expecting atleast 10,000 people to be in attendance! holy excitement! i can not wait to be a part of this awesome day!

i make no promises, (but surely hope) to blog again this week before easter! so, if i don't get back here before easter, i wish each of you a happy easter! i have been horrible at taking pictures lately, so i will be sure to do that this weekend so i can share how cute my kids are! i also have some exciting news to share but i am saving that for a post of it's own (nope, i am not pregnant, i know that was your first thought!).

until next time!

many blessings,


a new day...

the gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to Him.
ezra 8:22

last week i had one of those days. it was just one of those no good. horrible. bad days. you know we all have them. situations occur, you are tested on every level. you say things to the ones closest to you that you should not have said. your tone was wrong. you shed tears, you shake your head in disbelief. you get angry, impatient and mad. you take it out on everything and everyone in your path. it may not be throwing things or lashing out. we each have our own way of handling the our emotions.

i have a hard time keeping my emotions back, i can not hide how i feel especially with those that are closest to me. i was dealing with something that caused me so much pain and it had nothing to do with my family. but my kids got the worst of me that day and not the best. because i was shaken and broken and just couldn't get it together. and as hard as i tried i just could not shake it off.

the quality time didn't happen. i didn't talk nice. i just couldn't wait for bedtime. i just needed to be all by myself. in a quiet place to think, to breathe, to cry. deep inside, i knew i handled it wrong with my kids. i let my negative emotions get the best of me. but i hadn't the strength to handle it right. to suppress my emotions and be the mom i knew i should be. it is hard to admit but it is the truth.

not giving myself any kind of excuses, fully knowing it is an area of weakness for me, i tucked each of them into bed and whispered, "mommy is so sorry that i was impatient with you and that i yelled a lot today, but tomorrow when we wake up this will be behind us. this day will be over. and tomorrow will be a new day and we can start all over."

and only because of His grace.

but he said to me, "my grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 corinthians 12:9

consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials
of many kinds, because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance.

james 1:2


bye bye week, hello weekend!

i know it has been a week since my last post. this week has just been one of those really "off" kind of weeks for me. lots of ups and downs. and i must say that i am so glad it is friday! this morning, i am taking the little kids to the park! hopefully, i will remember my camera. we are going to meet some new friends there!

this last week started off with me being sick. i actually started with some kind of stomach bug, where i just felt queasy and achy and yucky on sunday, so i had to miss serving as the nursery coordinator, i just couldn't spread my germs to those sweet babies. it lasted a few days. i didn't have much of an appetite. so i think starting off the week being sick just threw the whole week off. i am feeling so much better now.

and of course this week was full of tests and challenges on top of me being sick. but through all of it i was able to really focus on God's desire in how i handled the things that came at me left and right. i was able to see that these road blocks were put in my way to throw me off course. but i will not allow it because He is my strength. i know that the plans God has for my life are from Him and i will persevere through the trials and overcome them! so, i have been able to put it all behind me and move ahead in the right direction towards Him.

so i am glad that this week is over and i am looking forward to a great weekend! we are starting it off with a date night to celebrate my hubby's birthday and then we plan to have lots of family time! which will include some spring time shopping! i am ready to change over the closets and get rid of the winter coats and sweaters! i am so excited that spring is upon us!!

happy weekend everyone!

many blessings ~



the anchor has sunk and the ship is just floating along. not really going forward and not really going backward. lots of stuff stirring inside and along the edges of the ship but no real direction or movement being made. lots of clutter being removed and scrubbing of the decks gives a fresh feel but still not going forward. a course not mapped out and not challenge to undertake. no sign of a storm to come and know the captain is in full control.


waiting is so hard for me. not hearing a direction or knowing a move to make. i like to be moving and doing, while God has been calling me to just be. while i have been waiting for a direction to take or a move to make, He has been working on me from the inside out. feeling like i was getting close to whatever He has planned, whatever that something "big" is i feel coming. i surrender all to Him as i learn to just be, knowing He is in control of this ship. wanting Him to fully use me to His glory i wait. and just as i am getting use to waiting, He gives me this direction*, stay busy doing the last thing I told you to do.* in obedience, but not by my design i focus on the last thing He has called me to do. for now. i am comforted that He is in control and that i gave it all to Him.

so where is your ship today, floating and waiting? cruising and doing? or sinking and shaken?

        I surrender all, I surrender all, 
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
humbly at his feet I bow,
worldly pleasures all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now.

i cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.
psalm 57:2

but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
2 corinthians 2:14

*taken from a leader in the making by joyce meyer



joshua got his first pair of glasses!
doesn't he look so smart?



it feels like yesterday when i loaded up josh and jordyn and headed out to run some last minute errands to get a few last minute "must haves". later that same night after being with a group of friends from church, i installed the infant seat in the back of the van. thinking i was ahead of the game, two weeks before my due date these things were done and the bags were pretty much packed for the hospital.
little did i know as i was checking off the remaining "to dos" baby #3 was ready to make his way into the world, even if i wasn't.

five years ago today, i gave birth to the sweetest baby boy ever. you can read the rest of his birth story here.

today jesiah celebrates his fifth birthday! last night we celebrated with a party and he had his first sleepover with two of his best buddies! today we had a family day, and he got to pick out a few gifts at his favorite store - target!

you are such a kind and sweet boy. mommy and daddy are so proud of the big boy you are becoming. you say the sweetest things that melt my heart. i love how you hold jaelyn's little hand when you are sitting next to her in the van. you have become such a great big brother to jaelyn. jesiah you are so bright and know so much at five years old. you have endless energy and are so busy. most days you play so well all by yourself. you love to dress up and pretend play. you are becoming so good at video games too! you are so laid back and so full of life. you are starting to really take an interest in learning and reading, which is perfect timing considering you will be heading off to kindergarten in august. mommy is going to miss you so much when you are in school, but we have so many months left until that day. i am just going to focus on loving you and teaching you all about God over the next few months. you are such a special little boy and God has such big plans for you, jesiah. you are such a blessing to our family. we love you so much! happy fifth birthday, little buddy!
love, mommy


almost five...

tomorrow, my "baby boy" jesiah will turn five years old!
can you believe it?
i can not!
he is not a baby, toddler or preschooler any more!
he is a big boy!
(insert happy sigh here)
he is such a blessing he is to me and our family.
jesiah is so full of life and i am so excited to celebrate his big day!!!

in honor of his birthday tomorrow, here is a look back at the last four years...

birth to one...

read birth story here




read birthday post here


read birthday post here

i shall return over the weekend with another post all about jesiah and
also some birthday pictures of his celebration!

until then, i am off to love on my four year old, because he is not officially five yet!

things that make me smile...

jaelyn's little voice
looking at jesiah's baby pictures
& thinking about the day he was born
watching tv on the couch with my hubby after a long day
getting a sweet comment on my blog or an encouraging text message from a friend
planning a baby shower for a friend
crossing something off of my to do list
going to church

so, what are you things that make you smile today?
focus one those thoughts and not the ones that don't.

Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10


read this instead...

today is one of those days where i just am at a loss for words, i have been for a few days. no worries, nothing is going on. everything is good! i just don't feel like "talking" that much. my twitter and facebook updates have been lacking too, not just my blog. i am busy this week planning and getting ready for jesiah's birthday. he will be five on saturday. i also have some other things i am working on for church.

while i was catching up on my blog reading, i read this and wanted to share it with you. ephesians 3:20 is the theme for my blog and one of my favorite verses ever. it is one of my pastor's too. so, since i don't have much to say today, read this! i promise it will give you such a great perspective and leave you very encouraged!


at the bottom of our dirty laundry...

i have been reading the book, a leader in the making by joyce meyer for a weekly bible study. we just finished up a few chapters on negative conditions of the heart. wow! there were twenty of them listed and i didn't realize how much junk can be in our hearts. junk that God certainly doesn't want there. junk that satan puts there to keep us from truly being who God is calling us to be.

the book focuses on the fact that we have to work on these negative heart conditions before God can use our leadership potential. regardless if you see yourself as a leader or not, it is important to find out what negative conditions of the heart you may possess so that you can live a life that fully worships God. some negative conditions that were described were a proud heart, a faint heart, a greedy, lustful heart and an unforgiving heart. i am realizing our hearts can be full of these negative things and we may not even know. and only God can reveal them to us if we ask.

the other day i was doing laundry. i had gotten way behind on it due to the stomach bug that hit us last week. it was really piled up. and i started thinking, i did a ton of laundry last week, why am i so behind? that is when i realized, i was only doing the stuff on top of the piles, the stuff that was the dirtiest. i was able to get that cleaned and put away. but the bottom of the piles never got washed, because i just couldn't get to it. the stuff on the top of the piles consumed me and i never got to the bottom. in fact, i had forgotten that we had some of those clothes. as i was digging my way to the bottom of the piles, i thought how much my dirty laundry piles are like our hearts.

we have these negative conditions of our hearts, the messy ones that are on top and we deal with and we get a handle on. we get a handle on those and think we are all set. but because we are always maintaining what is on the top, because just like dirty laundry it continues to pile up, we don't have time or we forget to work on what is on the bottom. so we have to dig really deep to get to the bottom of our heart and pull the things out that we haven't dealt with. just like the huge dirty laundry piles sitting on our laundry floor. they may not always be there, we may get caught up but before we know it those piles appear once again.

so, my encouragement to you to do on a very discouraging topic, is to dig deep. ask God to reveal to you the things that He wants you to work so that He can take you to the next level of where He is calling you to be.

for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 samuel 16:7


what's your story, morning glory*...

after writing this last week, it really got me to thinking about something that is missing on my blog. something that i look for when i visit new blogs. i want to know the blogger's story, their background. who they are. and i realized that i don't even have what i am looking for on my own blog.

when i end up on a new blog, sometimes i have no idea how i got there but when i do, before i read their most recent post, i like to know a little bit about them. it just helps identify with who they are. it's like reading a novel, you have to identify with the character to really get into their story and what they are sharing. and i like to be able to read their story easily, like by just clicking a link, and then i get a good review of who they are!

i have started working on this for my blog. a link that will share my story. i want new readers, or those of you who don't know my whole story, to know a little bit more about me. for those of you that know me pretty well, it may be a bit boring for you, because you know my story. it will be like one huge testimony to God and to how He has worked in my life and it will share about the trials and triumphs i have gone through.

my story, is a piece of writing that is in the working stages! i am excited about sharing it with you. i will let you know when it is done - no promises on a date! but soon!

so, how about you, do you share "your story" on your blog?

*i couldn't help but using lyrics from a song to entitle this post and so funny that i would use this title, seeing as how i am not at all a morning person!!


oh what a week...

phewwww....last week was a long week!

first, it is hard to believe that over valentine's weekend we were playing in snow and then this past weekend we were outside playing in 60 degree sunny beautiful weather. and now as i sit here and write this it is raining outside - yuck! i am so over this wet weather! i am reading for sunny days, with lots of rain at night!!!

if you remember, last weekend, jesiah had that yucky stomach bug,(you know the one that is going around way too much these days!) and then it spread through most of our family during the first part of last week....

yup, on sunday afternoon, jaelyn began running a fever and was feeling plain awful.

then, jordyn came home from school on monday and complained of a stomach ache and within an hour she started throwing up.

jaelyn's fever continued while jordyn missed school on tuesday and wednesday. i did take jaelyn to the doctor because she kept running a fever and had no other symptoms other than just feeling yucky and little appetite. i thought maybe it could be an ear infection. our doctor tested her for h1n1, which was negative and checked her ears and nothing. she must have had the same kind of virus, although she never threw up. which i am certainly not complaining about. somewhere in the midst of all of that, jamil got sick but it hit him hard and fast he was over it in like less than 12 hours! josh never got the stomach bug, he did have a little cough and cold but nothing stomach related and nothing that required much attention or missing school!! praise God!

and believe it or not, even after caring for a sick family, i never really got it!!! my stomach was a little off but i never threw up. i had one day where i didn't feel great but it could have been a mind over matter thing. seeing and cleaning up after everyone else can make you feel sick!! i was so scared that i would get it, but just kept telling myself that i wouldn't. and that is when i called in my prayer warriors to help me fight it off! and as they prayed for me, i kept praying and speaking health and wellness and i was able to fight it off! i am so thankful that i had people praying for me! one of them wrote this about fighting off sickness with the power of His healing! you should read it, it is good stuff! wow! the power of prayer and speaking truth amazes me

(one thing you have to know about me is that i have never had a stomach bug that resulted in throwing up. never. praise God!! which is so good because i hate to throw up! hate it! the handful of times that i threw up were because of morning sickness in my pregnancies!)

even though the start of the week was filled with sickness, we conquered that and were able to end the week by attending a super special, super fun birthday party for our pastor. and then we were able to go about our weekend as usual, with some family time and lots of time at church!!

so, as i sit here and type this, i am so glad God has healed our family and i am looking forward to a much different week!! i hope that you are having a good start to your week!


share your ministry...

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

no matter what your story, no matter where you are in life, i believe that each of us has our own ministry. we have people in our lives even if for a short season who we have touched by something we have said or something we have done. your ministry it is the purpose and the calling that God has placed on your life.

God uses each of us to minister to someone else. whether you have lived through a tragedy, gone through a trial, pastor a church, experienced a miracle, lead an organization, or are just a plain "old ordinary girl" who thinks you have nothing to share...

you have a story. therefore you have a ministry.

and for many of us we share our stories on our blogs. some bloggers have a huge following and some do not. it doesn't really matter the number. the point is you are sharing your ministry. you are doing what God asks of us.

this week over at kelly's korner she is highlighing "show us your ministry". if you have a blog and it tells your story, that is your ministry. God uses each of us and our blogs in a different way and to minister to different people.

here on my blog, i share a lot stories and pictures of our large family. i hope you will take a few minutes to check out my blog and learn a little bit about us! i also share in more meaningful posts how God is teaching me and using me. i share from my heart and believe in being transparent and real. but i also realize there is a line between being yourself and being "too personal". i always write my posts with the goal of leaving my readers encouraged! sometimes that is why i won't publish certain things, if i haven't figured out how to post it in a encouraging way, a lot of times i will wait until God shows me what that is. and if i still don't have an answer, i know if i just look to my bible, He will give me a scripture to share and then i can hit that "publish post" button!!

while i don't have a story that shares a journey of something really huge whether it be a trial or a triumph, i still have a story (and with four kids there are lots of them!). i believe that God will use my stories to minister to those that He intends for it too. i may not have a large number of readers and followers, but i believe that if what i write just touches one person than the goal of that writing was accomplished.

i am passionate about other women, especially expecting mothers and mothers of young children. i know God has placed that passion on my heart and i know my ministry is primarily to that group of women. that doesn't mean what i have to say won't apply to someone in a different category, because God will use us it lots of different ways that we don't expect! He knows no limits when it comes to sharing His power and glory!

i will continue in another post more specifics and an overall "about me" kind of post, so you will have to come back and check out part two of this post. that is where i will share a little more of "my story"

so, what is your ministry and what do you share on your blog!
link up to kelly's blog and share who you are and why you keep a blog!

thanks for stopping by, leave a comment and let me know you were here and pleaes come back again soon!


one week, one city and 5,000 volunteers...

there is no better way to celebrate elevation's four year anniversary and valentine's day than with love week! last week we celebrated the four year anniversary of our church in a huge way!
and this week it gets even better!

one word that can be used to totally describe our church is audacious! and what we are doing at elevation church this week through God and for our city is completely audacious.

this week we will be unleashing the power of 5,000 volunteer hours spread across our city to reach out and serve. the goal of this project is to have 5,000 volunteer hours logged. it is only tuesday day 3 of the project and we have logged over 3,000 hours already!

at elevation, we invest a large portion of our money back into the city of charlotte. we also invest a lot of time and energy serving with strategic community outreach partners. i volunteer regularly with one of them called safe journey, a program that helps teem moms stay in school. i enjoy every second of time i can put into giving back to this organization.

there are so many ways to get involved in community outreach and this week is a great way to get started. if you don't live in the charlotte area, i am sure there are plenty of ways to get involved in your city. you can go here to find out what we are doing to serve the city of charlotte. check it out and maybe it will inspire you to get involved and show some love in your city.

one way, i will be volunteering this week is by posting on twitter and facebook statistics about some of our community outreach partners. if you aren't already, follow me on twitter - dawnkmassey. or become my friend on facebook, so you can find out how important it is to get involved and spread some love!

you can listen to pastor steven's sermon here, it is all about love week! you don't want to miss this one!


little mommy...

jaelyn turned sixteen months old on february 6!
since it was not so long ago that i did a 15 month update,
i am going to share this sweet picture and little story!

at sixteen months old, jaelyn loves to carry around baby dolls and purses!
oh. my. it is so stinkin' cute.
she will say "bay-beee" and hold the doll and be super sweet with it!
it is so cute to see her acting like a little mommy.
she is a girl after my own heart.

a lot of people are telling me that she is looking more like me.
so what do you think?


clebrating valentine's weekend with...

.....some snow, so sick little boy, snow balls,
snow cream, yummy soup and seriously cute sugar cookies.

on friday night we had a date night and it started snowing while we were out! it started accumulating faster than we expected and too a long time to get home. but we arrived home safe and sound. thankful for God's protection around us!

we were catching up on some recorded tv and heard one of the kids in the bathroom. quickly we realized it was jesiah and he had thrown up several times. yuck. he only managed to make it to the toilet one time. so our date night ended with cleaning up, changing sheets and caring for our sick little boy. he continued to throw up every hour through the middle of the night. poor guy.

on saturday morning we woke up to several inches of beautiful white fluffy snow. i was so excited that we could have a family day in the snow. but before we could go out and play, josh and jamil headed off to their last basketball game and end of season party.

poor jesiah had to miss his last game. he was still feeling sick, but thankfully not throwing up!

when jamil and josh returned home we got ready to go outside and play in the "winter wonderland". by this time, the snow had begun to melt but we still had enough to be able to play.
jaelyn all bundled up to go out and play!
her first time in the snow!!!

had to make everyone pose for a picture before they went off to play!

mommy and jaelyn!
yes, i went outside this time!!

jaelyn loved being in the snow!!!

jordyn and i made a snowman
and then we decided two snowmen are always better than one....

huge snowball made by josh and jamil!

jamil & jaelyn!

huge snowball became a snowman and part of the family!

jesiah had fallen asleep on the couch before we went outside, so it was easy to sneak out without him. but, oh. my. it was so sad to have him miss this fun!! this is what he looked like while we were outside, seriously, i checked on him several times and this is what i would find...

out like a light!

we came inside and made some yummy homemad pasta e fagioli soup for dinner and made snow cream too! yummy!

jesiah was awake and he even ate some.
jordyn is feeding jaelyn snow cream! they love it!!

jamil headed off to church and we stayed at home not wanting to share jesiah's germs. jordyn and josh worked on their valentine's cards to take to school tomorrow.

and then we made some sugar cookies and decorated them!

jaelyn didn't decorate any cookies but she enjoyed eating them!

before the kids headed off to bed and before i crashed on the couch we watched a charlie brown valentine!!

today, we had to miss going to church, which we hated to do. we were all disappointed. it is elevation's four year anniversary and we are kicking off "love week". but i wanted to keep jesiah home, he was still not back to 100%. so we had some heart shaped pancakes for breakfasst and have been hanging around in our pjs. i spent the morning cleaning up around the house and worked on gathering paperwork to file our taxes tomorrow.

so how did you spend your valentine's weeken? was it as eventful as our? hope it was a great one and even more romantic than mine!