A blog about the reality of God's presence, love and involvement in everyday occurrences. This is a record of my journey towards discovery. I often share thoughts on femininity, scripture, motherhood, creativity and ministry.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

These are the Moments

There are unforgettable moments. Those that happen whether or not we are looking. They seem to be out of our control.

There are others we choose to see. Those are the moments you look around the room and realize life is surreal. You are pulled back like an out of body experience to see it.

And others happen if we allow them. You wonder off the path to walk through the tall grass and trees to see the stream. It was beautiful before. The air was crisp and the sun setting. But there isn't much more amazing than sitting in a place you've never been before. Leaves crumbling under your feet and water streaming over the rocks. The trees are encompassing, tall and leafless. It's a warm winter day in KY.

These are the kind of moments I sense God. These are the moments I realize my life doesn't go on because I am making it go. It's not my successes or failures. It's Him causing my heart to beat inside my chest. He is the creator and the one who sustains. I can find rest in Him. In the quiet, in the stillness, in the unknown, He found me. I pause and allow Him to make Himself known. My life is much richer this way.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finally

I was diagnosed with diabetes during my first pregnancy nearly 6 years ago. It never left. Since then, I've believed. I've believed that God is the God of miracles. I like to believe in crazy supernatural experiences. The Bible is full of them and I just know in my heart those encounters can still happen. I've proclaimed it. I've been bold to announce it and then disappointed more than once.

In my heart, I believed that if only I could have experienced a healing myself, then people would be more likely to believe it can happen. That maybe I could pray with others and see them healed too! Once I thought I was healed, it built my faith so much that I prayed for a girl I barely knew that her unborn baby would be healed of his malformations. One week later I found out her baby was seriously healed and that I was NOT.

It has been an ocean of waves these past 6 years. One moment I believe and the next I accept my sickness like it is my burden to carry. Like it was the one downfall in my extremely blessed life. Often I thought, others have to deal with so much more than diabetes. At least this was treatable. I can deal with this, even if it is forever. Recently, I finally stopped proclaiming it. I finally accepted it.

I don't know why God decided to heal me now. After all this time, He decided it was right. After all my believing, He waited until my faith was the weakest. I think in my circumstance, He waited until I needed it most. He knew there would come a day that I needed to know His power again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Estella's Birth Story



Dear Estella,

This is the story of your birth.

There were a few days I had been sensing you were going to come any moment. Since my water had broken with your brothers, I was fully expecting to feel that same sensation. You sat in my womb like a boulder, being the hardest of all three to carry. It had grown difficult to walk and my nights were sleepless.

On Oct 14th at 2am, I dreamt my water had broken and I could feel the trickling in my sleep. I awoke thinking “Oh yeah, that is exactly what it feels like!” As I lie there, I quickly realized there was truth to my dream. Very lightly I noticed the same sensation. I sat up and said to your daddy, “I think my water broke.” I got up and walked to the bathroom. A full five minutes later, I realized your dad was still in bed! I went and grabbed him and insisted I was serious! I guess the third time around didn’t call for much commotion. We called our friends to come stay with your brothers. I took a bath, finished packing and picked up the whole house before heading to Baptist Hospital.

The week prior to your birth, I cried out to God. There was a list of request. At the top of the list was peace. I had experienced a serious supernatural peace during my kidney stone surgery while pregnant with you. I wanted that again for this cesarean. From the moment my water broke, my heart rate never increased. I felt sure, that the moment in time had been chosen by God Himself. He knew I would have surgery for the third time. He knew the doctors and staff available. He knew the time. And I knew, because of Him, I was going to be perfectly wonderful. Even Stephanie who had come to stay with your brothers said, “I can’t believe you are so calm.”

In everything, from the beginning to the end, there was God. I saw my request fulfilled one by one. There were silly ones and those were also answered. My surgeon was out of town and my prenatal records were not at the hospital. The doctor on call was a brand new, younger than me, beautiful surgeon. Her curled strawberry blond hair and flawless makeup did not inspire me to believe she could, in any way, be a good surgeon. This was my third baby and third time with the doctor on call whom I had never met. I do believe God got a laugh out of that one. How ironic. For a moment, I thought, this cannot be happening. Then, at the last moment, because of staffing issues, the hospitalist, a well known 30 year veteran of OBGYN, came to assist her. Can it get better than that? He practically did the whole surgery.

I laughed and talked to the staff the whole procedure, counting the moments until I heard your cry. We all guessed what color your hair would be. Daddy has always done so well holding my hand and talking me through the cesareans. He had the camera and video ready to capture you! It all seemed so surreal - like the past 9 months had all been a dream and that this moment in time was too good to be true. I was really about to be a mother of three, a mother to a baby girl! They said, “She is almost here.” Then, at 8:01am, I heard your cry and you were wrapped up and handed right to me! Your eyes wide open and your skin pressed against my face, I held you and cried. You were nothing like I had expected. Your dark hair and dark complexion caught me off guard. You were absolutely perfect and dainty. Your round face and tucked in bottom lip looked so familiar. You look so much like your older brother, Roman! I could not believe your hair! My baby girl had more hair than either of the boys. Perfect for bows!!! When it was wet, it was kinky – like it may be curly someday. I watched them clean you up next to me and watched your daddy take picture after picture of you. You were wonderful. Your cry was more like a squeal in a girlish high pitched way, much different that your brothers. Your features were all much smaller than your brothers yet you were the perfect size. I was use to seeing huge feet and long toes at the end of those skinny legs. This time, it was tiny feet and hands I saw. Dainty is the word. All part of being a girl I assume.

The next few days in the hospital went just as easy and peaceful and the delivery. I couldn’t get over how little pain I had the entire time. All those normal things, unflattering things, that happen when you have a baby were happening in very minimal proportions. It was all so easy this time. I could have left the hospital the day I had you. It was by far the easiest delivery and recovery out of all three.

You were perfect in every way, born at 37 weeks gestation, 6 pounds and 11 ounces, 19 inches long. Your brothers came to the hospital to visit you the next day. I have never seen two boys so infatuated. Jude said “Mommy, I knew that baby sister was going to come out of your tummy.” They both said “Awe” 100 times while petting you and holding your hand. They fought over who would hold you first. Since the day they first encountered you, that hasn’t changed. They take care of you. They love you beyond words.

Estella Rose Malynn Huff. Your mommy, daddy and brothers, Roman and Jude, love you. We welcome you into our family. We’ve all anticipated your arrival and now that you are here, we could not be more impressed with who you are. We are thankful that God has given you to us!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Day in the Lives of Two Brothers

A depiction of one normal day in the lives of two brothers before the arrival of their sister, Estella.

video

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Relinquish

I continue striving to relinquish each moment to Him as the day approaches of my daughter's birth. I've removed everything I can from my life except the necessities. I sense Him in these moments and He sometimes finds a way to reach my awareness. There is not a part of me that is not entwined with His will, design and power. However, there are days I cannot consider this. I find myself lost in the misery of late pregnancy. I am so very thankful and realize the ignorance of my complaining. I want to endure with a smile on my face, appreciating the honor of carrying my third child. But, I haven't slept more than one continuous hour in over a month. I have not completed a single night's rest without waking because of choking, gasping for air and pain due to acid reflux. The daily vomiting has returned and I want to sleep all day every day. Nothing appeals to me. There is not one activity I want to participate in. I'm hyper emotional.

I'm tired, to say the least.

I'm aware that none of this will matter one bit once I'm holding her in my arms. All memory of the suffering will be gone and I will be overwhelmed, once again, by the love of God.

I've also heard of the deaths of three people we know this week and others who are very sick. My heart hurts for these friends who hurt much more deeply than I. I think to myself, once the baby is here, once I return to consciousness, I want to change things. Is it possible to strip our lives down to what He wants for us? Is it possible stop everything else, to make our lives completely His?

In a moment when God recently found my attention, He ministered to me through this song. It's simple words hold so much meaning......

This is not the end. This is not the end of this. We will open our eyes wide, wider.
This is not our last. This is not our last breath. We will open our mouths wide, wider.
And you know you'll be alright. And you know you'll be alright.
This is not the end. This is not the end of us.
We will shine like the stars. Bright, brighter.
Gungor

Although my life is richly blessed, there is more to my life than this. May the charades end. I want God to open my eyes wider to what He wants me to see. There is much more to this than how blessed I can become, how right I am or how talented I can become. Who cares?

May the days ahead be filled with the anticipation of this baby girl who kicks me from the inside now as I write. Her presence has already altered my way of thinking, even now before her birth. Her spirit has drawn me closer to our mutual creator. He tends to us now as a Sheppard tending to flock. There is a moment in time, very soon, chosen for her entrance and presentation to us.





Friday, September 2, 2011

Not for One Second

When a doctor tells you that he needs to do an MRI to look for a brain tumor, it is humbling.
When you are lying there listening to the machine roar, praying to God everything is okay, it is humbling.
When the Spirit of God brings back all the scripture you've ever read about comfort and refuge, it is humbling.
When you have peace, it is humbling.
When your husband is stronger than you, it is humbling.
When you can't walk to the bathroom, it is humbling.
When the hospital staff remembers you from the last time, it is humbling.
When your family and friends stop everything to help you, it is humbling.
When your children miss you, it is humbling.
When people clean your house and make you food, it is humbling.
When you are in intense debilitating pain, it is humbling.
When you feel your baby girl move inside you, it is humbling.
When you realize that not everyone in the world gets the honor of carrying a child, it is humbling.
When you see a baby and hear its coos, knowing yours is coming soon, it is humbling.
When your children make "Get Well" cards and send them to the hospital, it is humbling.
When there is relief, it is humbling.
When everything is okay, it is humbling.
When you realize you just have to trust, it is humbling.
When no one knows why except Him, it is humbling.
If it was a mosquito, I'm thankful it was me and not my children in my yard that evening.
If it was for any other reason, I'm thankful to God that He knows better than me and that He rescued me.
He has never left me, not for one moment, not for one second in time and He never will.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Man Healed at Bethesda

1 John 5:1-15

Amazingly, there was a pool that brought healing to the sick, blind, lame and paralyzed in Bethesda. At a certain time, an angel would come down and stir the water. When, the water was stirred, the first person into the water would be healed.

Jesus found a man by the water. This man had been sick for 38 years! Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be made well?" He replied, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."

Jesuss said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."

The man had not even known that this man was Jesus himself until later. Jesus revealed Himself to the man again later where he said, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

I have heard this story told many times. The emphasis is always on the fact that Jesus healed or even that He did it on the Sabbath. The Jews that surrounded the man insulted him for taking up his bed and walking on the Sabbath.

I saw something completely different today in the story that I had not seen before. Obviously, there were others around this man. He was not alone. After his healing, Jesus dissappeared, and the man got up!! What happened next here? The Jews lectured the man on NOT being healed on the Sabbath.

All this time, this man had been waiting there by the water. He waited and waited after 38 years of his infirmity. Everytime he would try to pull himself into the pool, others would jump in first. The Bible says that "a great multitude" waited there for the stirring of the water. No one ever helped this poor man into the water. EVERYONE ignored him trying to get there before him. Day in and day out, one after another, people passed him.

Maybe the key here wasn't getting into the water. Maybe it was the man's patience. Maybe it was his devotion to the hope that Jesus would come and help him. MAYBE THE KEY WAS ABOUT HELPING SOMEONE ELSE GET INTO THE POOL.

Jesus noticed him. Jesus knew no one else would.

My heart is broken. How many times have I walked right past someone waiting for help. All they need is a hand to get into the water. They just need my words of encouragment or my money or my time. All the while, I'm thinking about my own healing. I have a whole list of needs that I'm busy thinking about. Who doesn't have a list? I've been pursuing God for years on certain issues and I seem to never be the first one into water to receive my healing after the angle stirs that water. But, maybe it is not about the water. Maybe it is all about helping the person next to me be the first. Maybe it is about placing others before myself.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

6 Months Pregnant with my Girl

I Wish I Could Marry you Mommy


Roman told me today "I wish I could marry you Mommy but Daddy already did." He said, "But, I can pretend," and we proceeded to reenact my recent sister's wedding. Only this time, Roman was walking me down the aisle.

This melted my heart but it also made me think about our wedding. When I married David, I knew I was in love. I knew that all I wanted was every minute with him and a lifetime of shared dreams. I knew that I was a girl head over hills for a boy that had swept her off her feet. I knew that he was a gift from God and made just for me.

But, looking back, there were many things I did not know.

I did not know the man and father he would become. I did not know the way he would love me or the way he would take care of me when I needed it most. I had no concept of the richness to come in my life because of him and his faithfullness to Jesus Christ, to me and our children. I had no way of understanding the deep love he would have for our children and the way would protect us. I didn't know that I would never doubt his devotion to us and his honesty. Such loyality and honorability is rare and I am beyond grateful.

Girl Girl Girl


On Friday, May 27th, at 3:30pm, my whole world changed. It has literally been turned upside down, in an amazing way, and I'm not sure what to think or how feel about it! I haven't stopped crying or smiling since that time yesterday.

We squeezed the whole family in a tiny ultrasound room. I wasn't nervous or even phased much by what was happening. You see, 3 weeks prior, at my 14 week ultrasound, the tech and I both agreed it definitely looked like a boy. I was good with a boy, excited even! So, yesterday, I was more excited about my family getting to see this baby for the first time than anything. I was talking and talking and she had to interupt me to say, "Okay, are you ready?" I said "yeah" and kept talking. Then, I heard "There is definitely some internal plumbing there!" Normally, I would get that joke right off the bat. But, I just sat there and looked at the screen, confused..... David immediately started crying. Note: this is the first time he has ever cried at an ultrasound. The Dr. looked at me, knowing I was momentarily lost. She finally clarified, "It's a girl!" I started screaming, I think. I can just rememeber saying "What!!!!" over and over again. I'm sure you could here me in the hallway. Then, I cried - a lot. Laughed and Cried. Laughed and Cried.

I can't explain what I am feeling inside. It's more of astonishment. I am utterly thrilled and now this pregnancy looks completely different. I am so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside my tummy! I am amazed by God and His goodness.

I found these baby clothes, in the pictures, in my attic. My mom gave them to me a couple years ago but I never dreamed I would be able to use them! They were mine when I was a baby. I love theDaddy's Girl one!!

We are so happy to be welcoming Baby GIRL Huff into our family

Baby Girl


I am 6 months pregnant with you! My tummy seems to be quite a bit bigger with you than with your brothers. I have felt really great with you. Well, all except for the kidney stone I suffered from last week.

After 3 hospital trips and 6 nights in the hospital it was finally determined that I had a kidney stone. It completely blocked my right kidney for 6 days until I had surgery to remove the stone. I’m so sorry you had to go through so much. I cried, worried and prayed a lot! You received a lot of medicine and radiation which I was not happy about. I feel confident that God protected you through everything. He has never failed me and I know He will never fail you. Now, I’m home and better, and hoping the rest of this pregnancy is a breeze so I can do everything I need to do to prepare for you. And so you will be safe.

Your room is almost ready. I’m using an old quilt I’ve had for 9 years. I’m so excited to get to use it for my girl! The walls are pink and I sewed a chair cover and bed skirt to go with your bedding. The bedding is all vintage cream to match the old quilt. I also refinished an old chandelier. I painted it cream, roughed it up a bit and hung jewels from it. I am beyond thrilled that you are a girl and that you are just who you are. Although, it is still hard to believe that you are a girl. It’s almost too good to be true.

I’ve been trying to name you for weeks. I have though thousands of names over and over. I am really stressing naming you!! With the boys, it was much easier. I have a list of names but I want to KNOW! I want you to have a sophisticated, not too trendy, timeless, beautiful name. I want it to have a wonderful meaning to represent who you really are. I want you to always be proud of you name. If only, I knew you already, then maybe it would be easier to name you!

I love you already. I love that you respond to our voices and to our touch. You are stretching from one side of my tummy all the way to the other already! Just a few more months to go until we see you. Try your best to stay inside as long as you can so you can be all ready to come out in our world as healthy as can be!!

Jude 2


You are 2! I look down at your hands and legs and feet and am surprised each time at how big you are. Yet, you still a baby and you wouldn’t have it any other way! If you could just spend all your time with Mommy, your blanket & paci and a couple small action figures, all would be perfect!

When you wake up, you need time to lie around and wake up! Your brother’s eyes pop open and he is ready to run a marathon. You find this annoying. Roman wants so much to play with you when you wake up and you get mad! You want peace and quiet and him not picking on you. 20 minutes later you are ready to go. You really enjoy your sleep and require more of it than Roman ever did.

You haven’t seemed to be affected by the “terrible 2’s” and I’m not sure you will. You are calm but assertive. You know what you like and what you want to do and don’t really want anyone telling you otherwise – unless it’s me! You don’t mind to listen to me or Daddy. You just don’t want your overly eager brother trying to change your mind. I’m glad you can stand your ground! That is a good thing.

Your favorite thing to do is wrestle with Daddy on the living room rug. You love playing with Daddy. You say “Daddy, play with me.” He plays much better than me!

I was recently in the hospital with a kidney stone for a week and you got to stay at home with Gran Gran. Once I got home, you told me for over a week how glad you were that I was feeling better. You would touch my cheek and say “I’m so glad you are feeling better Mommy.” Then, you say every night “I hope you don’t have to leave again.”

You have a baby sister on the way!! You like helping me pick out names and repeating them back to me. Also, the way you say “Girl or Girel” is super cute.

We recently went to water park for a weekend get-a-way. You really surprised us!! We have always said you had no fear if it was something you wanted to do. You wanted to do everything your brother was afraid to do – even go down one of the largest water slides with Daddy. After doing it once, you didn’t want to do it again. But, your mind was set to do it once. When we were in the pool you wanted to just jump right out of my arms and swim on your own!

I love you being 2! The stories you tell me are hilarious. You are starting to try and tell jokes and be funny. Your little language is adorable. When you get excited about something lately you’ve been saying “It’s the best in my life!” or “the greatest ever in my whole life!”

You pretty much are never fearful. You just want to do your own thing at your own pace. Your mood determines a lot about how you act. Good mood equals a lot of fun and a more easy going attitude. Quiet mood equals a leave me alone I’m doing my own thing attitude. They are each about 50/50!

You come out of your shell once you have time to relax and settle in a situation. Yesterday, at the park with the youth group, you jumped right in, ran around, and played ball with everyone. You were the star of the show because you’ve grown familiar with them all. But, you are not the child to smile and wave at every stranger that pays attention to you. You pretty much loose expression and become silent when strangers talk to you.

You obey well and listen to instruction and warnings. I don’t have to worry about you doing much of anything without asking if it is okay first. But – if you are told “no” you are fully capable of crying and whining for an endless amount of time to let us know of your disproval. Other times you are good with just saying “okay” though. I like those times!

I think you are going to be a great BIG brother. I seem to be getting excited about taking care of the baby girl. You are very nurturing, calm, and peaceful. I have a feeling she is really going to love you as well! You are getting excited about bathing and feeding her. I am sure you don’t fully understand the extent to which you will have to share me though! Right now, you can pretty much persuade Roman out of the spot right next to me just about any time. This sweet girl may be changing things up a little! Or maybe you will be being to share me if you’re involved in her care. We will see!

I love you sweet baby boy!

Mommy

Roman 5


I remember when I was 5. I felt so big. I remember things I learned and friends I made. I remember thinking about which boy was cute in my class and which of the girls didn’t like me.

I can’t believe you are 5 years old! I’m seeing you work through your emotions and test us like nobody’s business. You are one strong willed child if there ever was one! You are always a challenge us and keeping us on our toes. But, you are my sweet boy. I love you more than I knew I could love anyone.

I love to hear your stories and watch your brilliance. You are full of fear but always embracing situations to the fullest once your fear is relieved. You “think” so much about things that you analyze every situation imagining what could possibly go wrong. You are quickly learning that often we miss out on really great things when we are scared.

When you are with your friends, you are much more carefree. You jump right in and lead the pack! You are full of life and laughter. You are extremely thoughtful and loving. Maybe we “baby” you too much, becoming crutches. Most of your friends have been in daycare all their lives and you have not. I believe this makes a difference. I love to see that carefree side of you!! You are so much happier!

You like things to be done your way. You are so interested in stories and your surroundings. I could tell you a story about a silly worm and you would listen intently then retell the story to someone else! I love that about you.

You tried t-ball this season and turns out you did not like it! The practices where you got to play casually with Daddy and friends on the field were fun but once games started, you were over the competition. So much for rules! You want to run and play! I don’t blame you. We didn’t like it either. You keep saying you want to play tennis so we may give that a try next. VBS was a different story. You LOVED it! Busy Busy Busy is what you like! You want to dance and sing and eat and play and that is exactly what you got to do.

You graduated from your preschool program and now your brother is starting next month. You will be starting Kindergarten at home with me. Plus – you are taking a day of fun classes at a local tutorial. You love learning and will be easy to teach!

We recently went to a waterpark for a small weekend get-a-way. It took you 2 days to build up enough courage to stand under the huge water tank that dumps on your head but your finally did!! It was a big deal and after a lot of thought you decided it would be worthwhile! You also loved the pool and learning to swim.

Mommy was recently in the hospital with a kidney stone and Gran Gran was able to come stay with you and Jude. You came to visit and hugged on me every time. You were so thoughtful and loving letting me know I was missed (even though you were secretly having the BEST time with Gran Gran!)

You have a baby sister on the way!! It took you a few weeks to adjust to the idea once we found out it was a girl. You would cry at church if someone asked about her. You even said “Mommy, who will take care of the baby since you already have two boys to take care of?” You were concerned about me and also what changes a baby girl would bring. You seem to be doing much better with the idea!

You continue to say you want to be a pastor when you grow up so you can be with Daddy a lot. Favorite thing to do is wrestle with Daddy on the living room rug (And play the Nintendo DS you got for your birthday.)

You and Jude are sharing a room now to prepare for the baby girl. You LOVED the idea. I think he makes you feel safer. Only problem is you hate sleep and Jude loves it. So, you do a lot of interrupting of his sleep. But, you try to sneak out and not wake him….. Sometimes you are successful.

You are funny. I love listening to your stories about your own little experiences. You have good humor. You build up your stories to make sure I understand how great they are by saying things like “you’re not going to believe this” and “it was the great thing in my life!” You NEVER stop talking. And that is no exaggeration!! You sure have a lot to say!

I am proud of you my big 5 year old but you will always be my sweet baby boy!

Mommy

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby #3

The moment Jude was born, I said "This is not our last." This was a big statement considering that neither David or I knew if we wanted another child. I was unsure because of pregnancy complications. But, every milestone we reached with Jude, my heart cried out for another. Breastfeeding, sleeping through the night, diapers - all things I would normally celebrate the end of. Not this time. God changed my heart and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt another child belonged to us. Our family was not complete and there was someone I loved that I had not yet known.

There were two things holding me back. 1. David did not necessarily want another. 2. Fear of pregnancy.

I prayed that God would reveal to David that this was right and change his heart if it was meant to be. I didn't want to persuade him. I wanted it to happen naturally. Just days after my conversation with God, David walked in the door with a story to tell me. He had been to the hospital to visit a family who had just had their 6th child. He had said to the mother, "6 children! Wow!" She responded with something like this, "You know, children are the only thing you can take to Heaven with you. They are with you eternally. Every other possession is worthless." He proceeded to tell me that this had changed his heart and the next words out of his mouth were God's answer. He said, "If you want to have another baby, I'm okay with it. It's your choice." That doesn't seem that profound I know! But, it was to me. I had not pressed the issue with him. This statement came from no where as far as he was concerned. He had not known of my private conversations with God. I want to add here that in no way to do I think children are our "possessions." They ultimately belong to God. But, they are great blessings bestowed upon us from our Heavenly father.

Then, there was the fear. Somewhere deep inside my heart, a deep fear had taken root. I imagined all the terrible tragedies that could happen with multiple cesareans. Some of my close friends and acquaintances were experiencing miscarriages and even deaths of their unborn. I was talking to a good friend on the phone who moved to CA last year. I was telling her of my fears. I said to her, "I have 3 healthy children. What are the chances I would have another?" She told me something I had always known but I needed to hear it in that moment. She talked about 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love." She was exactly right. I had been considering my fear as a sign that God wanted me to not have another child. As she discussed this scripture and the reality of how God works, I realized how ridiculous my thoughts on this were. After that day, God began to fill my heart with peace and trust.

Last summer, I encountered a family that made a big impact on me. There were 3 teenage brothers who loved Jesus with all their hearts. They were leaders. They played music together and worshiped Jesus. They were so respectful and kind to others. After being away from their mom for only 4 days, I heard the 17 year old say, "I can't wait to see Mom!" Ever since that day, I felt God change my mind and heart about what I wanted my family to look like. It was no longer about the dream American family. It was about the children that God had purposed for us.

One day I said to David, I think I might be ready. Then, I was pregnant before I even decided for sure if I was ready or not!

I don't believe in coincidence. I believe God orchestrates every moment. If we are listening, He talks with us. He gives of glimpses of what is destined. He comforts us. He leads us.

I am carrying a baby that has been alive for 4 months. But, God imagined this baby before it was conceived. He knew who this baby was going to be and when it would be born before I thought of he or she. I couldn't pray for the sex that I thought I may have wanted. I couldn't change God's mind. I can only let Him melt my heart with the love that has bestowed upon me. I think God has been showing me along the way many secrets about this baby. I feel like I know him or her already. I have imagined the personality and even secretly a name. On the 27th of May, I may find out I've been wrong all along about the sex. God might have a big surprise in store for me! Either way, I am thrilled and in love with this little one growing inside of me. My fears have disappeared. I am trusting and feeling more peaceful than I did even with the first two pregnancies.

It's a beautiful day today. 75 degrees and sunny. My boys are playing in the yard and happy. I'm sitting outside soaking in the love of God in His nature and the love of my boys. Already today, I have been showered with homemade cards that say, "I LUV U MOM," flowers and pictures of rainbows!

More to come on our unborn after the 27th! I can't wait to share all the things God has been showing me about #3!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Provision


EASTER. God's provision, mercy and love are remarkable.

Yesterday was a very discouraging day. Mainly because of myself. I don't like confrontation. I don't handle it well. Some people can let things roll of their backs, I cannot. Some people look for trouble. I run from it. Some people search for most hurtful words they can find. Their words dart at you like a double edged sword. Thank you Jesus for your shield of protection. His love and mercy cover me, not letting meaningless slander penetrate the surface. There is no other God like mine! He is the one the supplies all my needs and pours His love over me.

Psalm 120:6-7 "My soul has dwelt too long with the one who hates peace. I am for peace. But when I speak, they are for war."

Once again, I am thankful. My life is full of greatness, given by God alone. Today, on such a special day of fulfillment through the resurrection, I am reminded of His perspective. It's hard at times, to lift your eyes above discouragement. But, when you finally do, it's amazing. It's like climbing and climbing the tallest mountain, then finally reaching the top to see things your never knew existed. An entirely new and amazing horizon. When you get there, the possibilities are endless. All your fears melt away. Then, you realize your worries, cares & concerns can be lifted and handed over to the one who carries it all. His love is indescribable and in His presence nothing else matters.

My children and my husband are my greatest blessings. My sweet Jude turned 2 in March. I love the newfound conversations I am having with him. I'm really getting to know him on different level as his personality comes alive through communication. The responses I get from him are sometimes unexpected because he is so incredibly different than Roman. His humor is entertaining. He has been playing little tricks on me and telling jokes. He is very observant and cautious. But, one thing hasn't changed. His LOVES his mommy! Anytime he comes close with that pacifier and blanket saying"but mommy, hold me" its irresistible! Roman will be starting Kindergarden at home in the fall while Jude will be starting pre-school one day a week. Roman will take one day of tutorials a week at a local academy then we will study the rest at home every day. He will get to participate in field trips and activities through Aaron's Academy. Roman will also be playing T-ball this summer and starting a musical instrument lesson in the fall! He is so incredibly smart and I am so proud of him! He is writing and reading already and eager to start school! Roman & Jude are best friends! They are so close and play so well together. I am so thankful they are the ages they are and that they get to grow up together! They are now sharing a room and I never knew this could be so great! They LOVE being together at night. Going to bed and waking up in the same room makes life an adventure for them! They plan and scheme. I love it. Sometimes when they wake up early together, one will whisper over to other to come jump in bed! Then, they lay still and whisper until 7 (which is when they are allowed to get out of bed.) Being together has calmed fears and strengthened the brotherhood between them!

I am also thankful for the 3rd little one growing inside of me! I am 12 weeks pregnant. It truly does not seem real. I'm hoping in the next few weeks we will find out if it is a boy or girl! Since I'm having ultrasounds every 2 weeks we will hopefully get to find out early! How blessed am I to have the honor of a 3rd child! I've known since Jude's birth, there was a 3rd that belonged to our family. God eased my concerns and confirmed the timing. Before we even realized what was happening, I was pregnant! Dear baby growing inside my tummy, I love you more than words can say and I am honored to be your mother! We can't wait to bring you into our family!

David is graduating from seminary in May! I am so proud of him for all the hard work that he has invested in this over the past year. Seminary was something we felt God leading us towards. Then, within a few days, God provided the entire tuition. This is truly amazing! Now, as the end is approaching I am thankful for God's provision over the last year and also anticipation His future for us!

Commenting

Due to some unwanted and negative commentary in response to my blog, I will review all comments before they are posted publicly.

I didn't realize so many people from my past were keeping such a close eye on me! Although your placement of value on my thoughts and opinions, enough to read my post in such detail, is flattering, I do not appreciate negativity.

So, if you want to comment, I would love it! I love the encouraging and positive feedback from my sweet friends and family. But, if you don't like it, don't read it! And your comments will be ignored.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Valiant 3/7/11

Last session, this group of girls had some sincere questions about sharing their faith. They knew people at school who were atheist and had family members as well that did not believe in Jesus. We worked through scenarios on ways to show love and kindness to these people in our lives. Over the past two weeks, two of these girls had stepped out and accomplished things they never thought they could do! One witnessed at school and the other wrote a beautiful letter to an uncle who doesn't believe.

Tonight, our session started with these stories of braveness. All these girls, once again, crammed around a table, loaded with questions. There sat my prepared discussion on the table in front of me. Not once did I even reference it. The intensity in the eyes of each of these girls was obvious. They sat at the edge of their seats with thoughts, experiences and ideas of their own.

Here was a list of some of the questions tonight. Can you believe in more than one religion at a time? What about the people who have never heard about Jesus? What would you suggest for someone who wants to believe in Jesus but constantly doubts they are saved? What is the rapture? Is it okay to learn about other religions? Do you only have to believe in Jesus or is there something else you have to do to go to Heaven?

These girls are serious. This group is not just about hanging out and drinking coffee. They are absorbing and making the most of this opportunity. They are growing and experimenting with the reality of Jesus Christ. The girls involved in this group will be forever influenced by being a part of it.

They are learning each session how to get close to God. They have professed their belief in Him with their mouths and believe it with their hearts. Now they are learning something new. They are learning of an intimacy with Him that creates a sureness. There is a deeper place. A place with Jesus where we can completely rely on Him. We can let go of all our concerns, fears, and worries. He can be trusted. When we make ourselves vulnerable to Him, He is able to minister over us and heal us. He is able to actually speak to us and guide us. God is spiritual and desiring to connect with each of us. There is much more to Christianity than a confession of faith and going to Heaven. He wants to be in control of our lives right now, while we live on Earth too. These girls are seeing that first hand. They are praying and seeing results from week to week.

My heart is deeply grateful for this opportunity. Each of us have a chance to create a group of influence. You all are surrounded with opportunity to do so. Find your place. Step out and sacrifice some of your time for God. There is nothing more rewarding than this.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Huff Update

The past 4 months have been quite a whirlwind. Our St. Andrews oasis in Florida in October began it all. A private beach with blue knee deep water as far as you could see. Then, in November, we consumed the views of the Appalachian mountains. We slept on top of a smoky mountain and sank into the forest during the day. There is nothing more indulging that sitting beneath the umbrella of a tree at a stream side. Thanksgiving lead to Christmas and everything in between.

We welcomed the new year with the city of Indianapolis - a very spontaneous overnighter. We had only one change of clothes but nothing clean. We had to shop for clothes to wear the next day! It was 75 degrees. We pulled up to Marriott and took their last room. I had to keep sending David down to the gift shop to get us all snacks and charge it to our room. The city was amazing that night. People were everywhere anticipating the new year. We walked the streets with the crowd. The historic detail of the city and the artistic flair was intriguing. We pushed our queens together to make one gigantic bed in the middle of our hotel room. The boys loved every minute of it! We woke up early the next morning and shopped at Circle Centre before heading home.

Now, here we are in the middle of a snowstorm (a TN version.) Me and the boys haven't left the house for days. It feels like a continuation of the holidays. The boys have been out sledding and watching the snow fall from our windows. God truly spoils us!

Roman is 4 1/2 years old. He seems so big lately. When I pick him up his legs hang down past my knees. I watched him play football in the living room this week with no shirt and jersey paints on. He cute little torso reminded me of a teenager! I could almost envision him as one! Mommies first little baby growing so fast! This week I watched him get his brother almost completely dressed and then, on another day, make them both plates of food for lunch. He was praying tonight and he prayed "Dear God - please help everyone in the world stay healthy, all the way to heaven, to the mountains, and to the beach, everyone." He is so compassionate and thoughtful. He also asked me this week what it would feel like to die. Those are some deep thoughts for a 4 year old! But, we've been talking a little about going to heaven so his little mind had really been working. He is so imaginative and energetic!

Jude is 22 months old. He is pretty much potty trained! Still wearing diapers at night but during the day he runs around in cute little undies. He is so proud of himself! He also has hit a growth spurt. He has gotten taller and slimmed up quit a bit. One thing I've learned about him - he can't watch tv and do anything else. When he is into a show, he is in the zone:) He is speaking in sentences! He is really coming out of his shell and we are seeing his personality come alive! He loves pretending to fall down and trick you. He can really sit down and concentrate on things longer than Roman did at his age. He love anything small he can hold in his hand. He will carry one toy around for hours never loosing grip. One day, he slept with a tiny penguin my mom bought him. He went to bed with it in his hand and woke up still holding it. He loves pretending to take care of his toys. He takes Batman to the potty and feeds him milk. This boy loves to show LOVE. He hugs and kisses and says "I love you." He looks at me with those big beautiful eyes and I devour every minute of it!

Jude's favorite Christmas toys: little people house, mickey mouse clubhouse, small dog that barks and walk when you push buttons, radio flyer ride-on, elmo & cookie monster play sets,

Roman's favorite Christmas toys: star wars light saber, star wars lego book, remote-control robot, radio flyer scooter, star wars leapfrog game, play mobile pirate set, blow-up boxing gloves

I watched the boys play together quite a bit this week. They are 2 years and 8 months apart. I know that they will forever be friends. I thought about my sister and how I would do anything in the world for her. It makes me happy that they also have each other.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Want Healing?

This is a truly beautiful Psalm. It spoke to me on the deepest level.

Psalm 41

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.

4 I said, “LORD, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
5 My enemies speak evil of me:
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies;
His heart gathers iniquity to itself;
When he goes out, he tells it.

7 All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt.
8 “An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.

10 But You, O LORD, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever.

13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

David and I have had a lot of discussion lately about healing. I have been studying and seeking God on this issue for months. I believe I was healed of Scleroderma last year. I want to be healed of diabetes. I have seen others healed. But, I have seen many not healed.

The Bible is full of scripture regarding healing. It promises healing and gives numerous examples of it. It says that we may encounter sickness and trouble but that it will only be temporary. The beautiful scripture above states that the Lord will preserve us and keep us alive!

My studies of the Word of God are leading me to believe that our prosperity and healing are related to a condition of heart. David ask me this week, "So do you believe our works bring about our healing?" That is the Christian terminology for asking if I think we earn our healing. I do not believe we can earn our healing or prosperity here on Earth. But, I do think the true intentions written on our hearts are somehow related to our prosperity. Proverbs and Psalms are laced with scriptures regarding God healing and protecting the righteous man on Earth. I understand that our treasures are built up in Heaven, and that is our ultimate goal. But, I believe that our lives here on Earth, right now, are also important to God.

The righteous man is spoken of thousands of times. The Bible says that it is the righteous or the meek the reap these advantages. It gives example after example of how a righteous man thinks and reacts. The above scriptures are talking about "he who considers the poor." The Psalm states that "the Lord will strengthen him on his sickbed." When I say prosperity, I'm not saying all the righteous are going to be rich either! I mean things like health, peace of mind, and happiness! Our lives do not come without trial. But I have a God who brings hope, who is my refuge! He brings me through, end of sentence.

My point is not really about why we have the sickness or trouble to begin with. I believe some are related to our sins but others are not. We encounter trouble because of the world we live in. But, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I do believe in an advantage. I believe I know a God who wants to cause the trouble to be temporary. He wants to show His power and bring us through. But, how and when does God do this? Why are some healed and others not?

I know that these things are in God's hands and that we will never understand everything. But, He has given us His word to go to. It tells us that a righteous man is delivered and healed. It tells us that the meek will have abundant peace. So, I'm listening to God and studying His word. I am examining myself as we begin the new year.

We seem to take pride in the fact that we can stand up for ourselves and be outspoken. We are proud of what we have and what we have accomplished. God seems to be calling us to loose the selfishness and realize what this is all truly about. One thing I know, I will never have enough according to this world. My kids will never get to do enough! I will never measure up. So, today, I stop trying. I'm filing away all my failures. God seems to be all about preferring others and paying attention to the needs around me. The best that I can do is forget about anything else and start showing my boys how its done:)

I am vowing this year to change the condition of my heart. Not only to seek healing, but to become that which God has called of me. I'm going to stop comparing and wondering what others think. We all do it! I want to be kind and gentle and love those around me who need it! I want my intentions to always be pure and my thoughts to stay grounded.