Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Memory of Lucky

Last Saturday on September 15th we put our beloved dog Lucky down.  We got Lucky when we first moved to Murrieta 7 year ago.  I had just started teaching at Calvary Chapel Christian School and another teacher put out an email with a picture of this cute Jack Russel Terrier asking if anyone would like to have him.  I immediately called Andy and we told her that we would love to have him.  He has been the best dog we have ever had.  He absolutely loved us both right from the start.  We have been through multiple moves with him and he always adjusted easily.  With every child we brought into the home, he was at first suspicious but then very loving.  Our cat Sundae and him took a few weeks to get acquainted and became friends quickly after.  She would slide up to him and lick his fur.  He seriously would look at her like she was crazy but let her do it anyways. 

He was our scrappy dog.  He loved table scraps and any food the kids would drop for him.  When we lived in Temecula we hung out a lot at our neighbors house and he would come and eat all the scraps off their floor too!  Sometimes they would even call us and ask if Lucky could come over and clean their floor!  He got into chocolate more than once and thankfully never had an adverse reaction.  If there was any food out his little sniffer would find it and eat it. 

He hated and loved baths.  The actual bath he looked miserable but as soon as you dried him with the towel he would get this huge burst of energy and start running like a crazy dog! It was awesome!!  We would yell, "Go Lucky Go!" and he would take off.  The kids and all of us would fall over laughing. 

He also loved to roll around in dirt.  (which coincidentally led to more baths).  Over and over again he would show up at the back door covered in dirt and with this huge happy grin. 

He was our little guard dog.  Every time we would open the front door he would bark.  Anytime someone rang the bell he would bark.  It was annoying at times but I always appreciated that he was looking out for us.  He never ever bit anyone or was aggressive.  Many people were scared of his bark though. 

He slept in our bed for years.  He was so small that he would fit right between Andy and I.  In the early years he would even crawl under the covers all the way to the bottom of the bed and then halfway through the night he would crawl out panting because he was so hot.  It was funny because he'd do it all over again the next night.  In the past few years he started sleeping in the kids rooms on their beds.  They loved it of course. 

A few weeks ago Lucky started having trouble holding his urine.  Andy was putting him out sometimes three times a night.  Then he started peeing blood.  We took him to the Vet and they said it was either Bladder Cancer or Bladder Stones, both of which are life threatening.  We waited a little bit but he was getting weaker and weaker and bleeding more and more.  It was such a horrible time because we love him so much and didn't want to see him in pain but we knew we would miss him so much.  We made the decision to put him down and then bury him in my parents backyard (next to their cat Coal who had just a passed away a month ago, they were buddies too).  We got a really special little grave marker and said our goodbyes.  We will always miss Lucky.  I hope and pray he is now healthy and running around Heaven. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Just what I needed to hear

Just read this blog post and it was just what I needed to hear regarding yesterday's post.

Maybe it will encourage you too!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Disappointing God

I have been an emotional mess this week. I don't know what is going on with me.  There has been some stress at my husband's job and the transition of my daughter starting school but that is not what has me in tears.

I sometimes feel like I disappoint God.  Like a naughty child who can't seem to follow directions or see right from wrong, I feel like God is looking down at me saying, "oh, Jamie, not again."  I mess up a lot.  Sinful thoughts, sinful actions.  I want to honor God with my life but I find myself choosing to do the wrong things over and over.  I am stuck in a pattern of sin and struggling to get out of it.  I know I am not alone.  No one is perfect,  not even close.  When you accept God into your heart magic fairy dust does not fall on your head and prevent you from ever sinning again.  It is truly a daily and sometimes moment by moment decision to choose to do the right thing.

I have kids.  Three of them.  Sometimes they act like perfect little angels and sometimes like perfect little devils.  I love them when they are angels and I love them when they are devils. I try to help them stay on the angelic side but it is pretty much impossible to accomplish one hundred percent of the time.  I think that God loves me in a similar way.  His love for me is not dependent on how "good" I am.  Of course he wants me to choose the good things and act in a way that honors him but he doesn't love me any less when I mess up (even over and over again).

I get so tired of messing up though.  I am so thankful that He is more patient with me than I am with myself.  I  often find it is easier to accept God's forgiveness than it is to accept my own. I have to forgive myself too.  Will I ever be healed of my sins if I continue to be hard on myself?  I have to let it go, move forward, accept when I fall, pick myself up and move forward again.

Philippians 3:12-14 says, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ has made me His own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Forget what happened in the past.  When I ask for forgiveness I need to then forget that sin and change my focus.  Focus on what is ahead, a life without that sin.  Visualize it. Plan for it.  Move ahead without looking back, and then what God has planned will be made known.

Because God cares so much about us, I believe He can be disappointed with us.  But His love for us never changes, and for that I am very thankful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Journey begins

This week my Sunny Girl is going to be starting Kindergarten!  I am experiencing a mix of emotions.  I am so excited for her to learn new things, especially the joy of reading!!! There are so many fun adventures in books!  I'm also just happy to see her growing up and growing in her knowledge of God.  The Kindergarten she is going to is only a 1/2 day program thankfully so she won't be gone too long each day.  I really debated about putting her in public school versus homeschooling her.  If I didn't have Sporty Boy and Sweet Baby my definite choice would be to homeschool her.  I am a former teacher and I miss it so much some days but with 2 attention needing little one's I just don't have the time or energy to do it right now.  We are going to take it a year at a time in our school decisions for our kids.  This year I am going to supplement her public school education with a bible curriculum we can do at home to continue her character building and bible study.

Stepping out in faith is something God calls us to do often to keep our faith strong. It may be stepping out into the unknowns of public school or stepping out into the unknowns of homeschool but when you don't know what the future holds it takes faith to keep moving.

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." From "We Bought a Zoo" 

Today I went to see what class Sunny Girl is in and found out that the school put her into First Grade instead of kindergarten.  She is 6 years old so we debated whether to put her into K or 1st.  Last year she did Kindergarten the first semester and then PreK the second semester.  Instead of fighting it, we are going to go with it and see how she does.  If it turns out to be too difficult than I will pull her out of the school and homeschool her the rest of the year.  But she might do amazing, so we are going to give her that chance.   Once again stepping out in to the unknown.  God knew this was going to happen so let's see what His plans are going to be! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012


I did it, I prayed the prayer that I have been afraid to pray.  Anything.  I told God simply and plainly that my life is His to do anything He wants with and that I am open and willing to go anywhere and do anything He wants me to do.  I want my life to be His completely, surrendering all of my ideas of what I want for my life to Him so that He can write my story.  Of course my heart and mind are filled with wonder, what will God call me to do?  Anything is possible! It's both scary and exciting!

So this morning I woke up in anticipation, what part of my life is God going to want me to change first?  Adopt more kids?  Move? Do a type of ministry?  Reach out to someone in need? My heart is ready and bursting to see God move through my life and my family.  But instead of a bold new direction I felt God whisper something to me.  Stop complaining.  What was that Lord? Stop complaining.  Oh.....

It is true that I complain. A lot.  Probably more than I am even aware of.  This morning my baby boy woke me up at 5:30 and as I sat in the rocking chair I grumbled to myself about how tired I am, how I miss sleeping in, etc.  Later God convicted me. I should have been sitting there thanking God for this beautiful baby that I am blessed to be caring for instead of complaining about sleep.

It's not surprising when I think about it.  God is all about our character, our heart, our intentions.  He is going to have to start changing my heart before he starts changing my circumstances.

Phillipians 2:14 "Do all things without grumbling or questioning."  Let's take this one step at at time :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012


There is an old Steven Curtis Chapman song that sings "There is more to this life, than living and dying, trying to make it through the day..."  That song runs through my mind at least once a week.  It is a reminder to me that this life that I am living here is short, temporary, a breath.  It has gone by so fast already and I know it will continue to speed on.  I am consistently convicted by what I am doing with this life that God had given me.  Am I living it for Him, for His glory, or for myself and my own glory?

I am reading a really challenging book called "Anything" by Jennie Allen and I love and hate how much it is challenging me.  It sat on my coffee table for a month before I began reading because I just had a feeling it was going to push me out of my comfort zone.  Lately I have been way too comfortable in my Christian faith.  Just going through the motions.  I have been feeling that longing, that desire for something more.  I want Christ to feel alive in me, I want to feel like He is working in and through me.  More than anything, like a child wanting to make her daddy proud, I want God to be proud of me.  I want my life to count for something.  In the book she talks about living this life for that one moment, that first unforgettable moment, when you will see Jesus face to face.  That moment is coming.  It could be today or it could be in fifty years but it is coming.  I want to feel nothing but pure JOY and to know in my heart that I lived this life on earth that He gave me to honor Him.  The book is about opening up your heart and life to him in the most drastic way possible by saying Anything Lord.  That He can do ANYthing with your life, he can take anything, he can change anything, he can shape your life into Anything that He feels is best.  I have not yet prayed that prayer.  To be honest, I am just not there yet.  I sooo want to be but I am still holding on to many fears of the unknown that are crippling my trust.

Jennie says, "We press through the doubt and fears and we trust because God is trustworthy, and he know how life is best lived.  The more we jump and see our God come alive around us, the more we jump without fear--and the bigger the cliffs get."  The more you jump when God asks you to, the less scary that jump is and so then he will give you higher cliffs to jump, bigger challenges because He draws us close to him through these risks that we take.  With each page of this book I am getting more and more excited about God and what He wants to do in my life.  I hope to say Anything to Him soon.  Have any of you said Anything to him?? All I know is that to those that do, their lives are never the same.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How deep

How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away As wounds which mar the chosen One, Bring many sons to glory Behold the Man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, Call out among the scoffers It was my sin that left Him there Until it was accomplished His dying breath has brought me life I know that it is finished I will not boast in anything No gifts, no power, no wisdom But I will boast in Jesus Christ His death and resurrection Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer But this I know with all my heart His wounds have paid my ransom (REPEAT) This song gets me every time. It has been running through my head this morning. I have been having a tough time with my kids and just life in general. This song grounds me and reminds me to be humble, accept his forgiveness, and trust in his promises.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Good news

The blessings have been overflowing here lately! We are feeling so overwhelmed by God's exceedingly abundantly great work in our life. First bit of good news is that we now have a baby! Our soon to be adopted sons' birth mom had a baby a few weeks ago and we were blessed that the County chose to place him with us. He is a beautiful angelic little boy. I am so in love :). So far it is looking like his case will be moving to adoption as well so we are thrilled. Secondly my husband got a JOB today!!! Praise the Lord! We have been praying and waiting and hoping for this day for months. He starts this Monday and the job is perfectly suited to his gifts and abilities. We are pretty happy :) Romans 12:12 is a verse that God gave me the day we got our new son. It says "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.". These are the words that have gotten me through the last few weeks and will get me through the months to come. Did I mention that God is good? :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life is Hard

I have discovered over the years that life is very hard at times. This is one of those times. Again. My husband and I have moved seven times in the past eight years. He has had ten different jobs in those years as well. We have had eight years of infertility and two miraculous adoptions. It has been a rough, rocky road, with some fun turns but a lot of potholes that have left us clinging to our God for hope and perseverance. I still believe He has a plan for our family. Over the years I have often clung to my two favorite verses:

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will carry you through."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future."

We are in a place of trust once again. My husband started his own consulting company last fall and immediately acquired three great clients. We were doing better than ever. Than out of nowhere all three clients quit in March. We couldn't believe it. My husband has been relentlessly trying to find a job ever since. As most people are aware it is really tough out there. My consistent prayer has been for stability. Stability in a job, stability in our church home, stability in our home/location, just plain old stability. Stability is the one thing we have yet to experience in our marriage/family.

If you are reading this and could spare a prayer for us we would appreciate it. Also if you know of any job leads we would gladly love to hear about them as well. Right now we are completely open to anything.

I am just so thankful that our faith has remained stable after all this time. We know that God loves us and is working on things that we can't see. We want to be faithful to Him above all else. Because he has always been so faithful to us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This past weekend I went on a women's retreat with my church and it was amazing!  And now I definitely know why Satan didn't want me to go.

The first night there God blessed me to be able to help a 52 year old woman discover why she needed Jesus in her heart, and I got to witness her open up her heart and life to HIM!  She accepted Christ and almost immediately you could see the scales fall from her eyes and her heart fill with peace.  We laughed and cried and rejoiced! It was amazing. 

During the next two days God used me to share, console, bless, encourage, exhort, and love on about 7 other women.  He put me in the right  places at the right times and gave me the words to speak.  I felt God living and moving within me for the first time in months, maybe years, and it was awesome.  Usually people go on women's retreats to see what God wants to teach them.  God ended up bringing me on this trip to be there for others.  It felt so good to be used by Him, I felt like I was right where He wanted me to be. 

I want to feel like that everyday.  I want to live IN His presence.  I want to feel that my life is an act of worship, not just the songs I sing.  God really impressed it on my heart that I need to serve, I need to be aware of the needs of the people around me and do whatever I can to help meet those needs. 

Andy and I both have been going through a sort of spiritual transformation over the last few months.  It's like that verse Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared IN ADVANCE for us to do."  I feel like God is preparing us for something that he wants us to do as a family.  Whether that is a ministry, a mission, or church leadership, we don't know yet.  But our job right now is to allow God to work on us, shape us, mold us, so that we can be in the right place to be used by Him when that time comes. 

I am so glad I squashed all those fears over going on this retreat.  God is sooo good and I can't wait to see what else He has in store for our life :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Black, Gray, and White

The past month or so I have been praying about taking my faith to the next level.  The one area of my life that I haven't given over to God completely is the TV shows that I watch.  Every week at church I come away feeling like God wants to me to let go of this area of my life and let Him guide what I watch.  This past Sunday our pastor talked about not letting even a hint of immorality into your life, which includes laughing at coarse jokes.  Well, we all know that TV is chock full of coarse jokes.  Even some of the most innocent shows have parts of crude humor.  I have been talking to my husband about this and he agrees but is also struggling with completely letting go of some show that we have been watching for years.  It's like being in the middle of a book and having to put it down and not know the ending.  It's not exactly easy.  So we decided to put the shows we like into categories.  Black shows are the ones with very blatant sexual themes or characters that have anti-Christian beliefs.  Gray shows are the ones where the story line doesn't revolve around sin but there are small amounts of sexual content or violence in side stories within the show.  White shows are plainly just shows that we feel comfortable watching with our kids in the room.  We decided to completely remove the black shows, keep the gray shows only on the TV in our bedroom and the white shows on the TV in the family room.  It sounds easy enough but it is not.  It has been one week and we have already cheated and watched a few of the black shows.  The goal of course is to watch less TV, spend more time with my kids and husband,  read more books, and grow more in my walk with God.  I think most people's black, gray, and white lists might be different based on your struggles and what God lays on your heart.  I am sure you are wondering what is on our lists and I am happy to share a few.

Black shows:  Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family, Mike & Molly, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, 2 Broke Girls, anything on MTV.
Gray shows: Mentalist, Hart of Dixie, Pretty Little Liars, the Bachelor
White shows: American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race, HGTV, ESPN, Pioneer Woman, Once Upon a Time

There are a few more but I can't remember them now.  It is so easy in our lives to just let things slip in and have an influence over us without even realizing it.  Many of these shows seem so innocent but they really do impact the way you think and view the world.  I want to live a life that pleases God, and often time that will require sacrifice.  If I have to sacrifice a few TV shows to get there, it is definitely worth it.

Bargain Furniture Makeovers

So as you know I have recently gotten into upcycling old furniture pieces to make them more modern and fun!  Last weekend while my husband was painting the tallest wall in our house a beautiful blue I was doing some painting of my own.  Over the past few weeks I found a child size rocking chair and a "phone table" from the sixties at Goodwill and a garage sale.  I also found an awesome end table on the side of the road.  I sanded them and painted them and they are like new!  It is so fun to transform something unwanted and distressed into something beautiful! :)

Rocking Chair (before):
 Rocking Chair (after):
 Phone Table (before):
 Phone Table (after):
End table (before):  This is the only pic I took. It had green legs and a wood top.
End table (after):  
I absolutely am loving these little projects!  If you have an old piece of furniture, don't give up on it!! Give it a new coat of paint and you might just find it will become your favorite piece!! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

February, already?!

Hi friends,
I apologize for my absence from the blog world.  The Christmas season, although wonderful and full of blessed memories, was exhausting!  January has been my month of recuperating and figuring out what kind of year I hope 2012 to be.  More than anything I want this year to glorify God.  Our family started going to a new church at the end of last year and we have felt ourselves being challenged daily to consider how our actions, thoughts, motives, and hopes reflect God's will for our lives.  It's exciting and difficult at the same time.  Seeking God daily means being continuously accountable for your actions.  I have been struck lately with just how quickly this life is going to go by and how important it is to live every single day for HIM and not just myself.  At the end of each day I have been reflecting on what went well and what can be improved upon, it is a constant journey that will never end.  This week in particular I am potty training my 2 year old and PATIENCE is definitely the first thing on my to do list.   If you have ever potty trained a child, you know exactly what I mean.  And if you haven't, well, consider yourself blessed :)

In other news, I have been exploring the idea of opening up my own little etsy shop!  Over the last year I have really gotten into restoring old furniture and making it look vintage, shabby chic, or just colorful.  I have quite a few pieces I am working on now and will hopefully start selling in the next month or two.  I will put a link to my shop on here once I list them.  I'm also making and selling those Alphabet magnets I posted on here a while back so let me know if you are interested in a set.  I do all colors and they are SO cute :)  I will be selling those on my etsy shop too soon.

I hope that all of you are having a good beginning to 2012!!  Time sure does go by quickly!  Make the most of every opportunity and ask God each day what He has in store for you!  I will be back soon!

Many Blessings,