Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mommy's Hand

While pulling some books and binders off of shelves today to pack for our move, I came across my binder from the Homemaking Class at MBC.  It was my favorite class to take, and we were allowed to specialize our binders however we wanted for this class (unlike the standard format for all other classes taken).  So I took advantage of it and made a scrapbook out of all the notes, poems, Bible verses, handouts, etc. that got passed out in class along with some other ones that I found on my own.  There is so much helpful information in this binder, and I am so excited to go through it again and put a lot of the stuff to good use now that we are moving into our own home!  I couldn't help but flip through it today and read some of the encouraging poems I had put in the front and also look through the Marriage and Children section that I had made.  I found a poem there that made me smile and truly speaks the thoughts of my heart right now...

Mommie's Hand
 ~Pauline S. Roach

Baby fingers cling to mine
As we climb the tall front stair;
Small folk find the steps too steep
Unless Mommie's hand is there.

Just the slightest touch will do -
Baby voices cry with glee
As each hard-won height is gained,
"Here us coming, Mommie!  See!"

How many paths their feet must climb,
Burning rock and sliding sand -
Dear God, let them never reach
In vain to find their Mommie's hand.

Strengthen my feet in the way
That leads them safely up to Thee;
Let me, going on before,
Hear them still, "We're coming!  See!"

 I pray that even now and through the years as Joanna grows and more children come along, that all of them will know I am always there for them, to help them, to lead them, and just to hold them.  I want them to know that they can always come to me.  May the Lord help me lead them in His path!


Monday, May 29, 2017


I had all good intentions of writing this post yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to.  So, I'm a day late, but that's ok :)

Yesterday marked our 18 month anniversary.  6 months ago we celebrated our 1st anniversary (it really feels like yesterday), and in another 6 months we will celebrate our 2nd anniversary.  The time has gone by so fast, we have made so many memories, and I have learned so much.

August 29th, 2015
Today, I randomly decided to watch our wedding video, and it brings back so many beautiful memories.  As I reflect on the things God had to do in my life and the situations He had to pull me out of in order to bring me to that point and to where I am today, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.  One word comes to mind: blessed.  I don't just say that as a cliche, as it sometimes seems to be used today, but I truly mean that. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Josh and I started courting on July 27th, 2015, and if you had asked me just a month prior if I thought I would be married to him - or to anyone for that matter - before the end of the year, I would have told you that you were crazy.  Having already been through a painful relationship experience during the first few months of the year, I didn't know what to think at that point.  Not really knowing how to move on from where I was, the Lord led me to pursue a lifelong goal I had had for obtaining my music degree.  I turned in my application and all necessary documents to Baptist College of Ministry, and things were rolling along quite well when the Lord brought Josh into my life to begin a courtship.  A few people knew that I had gone back to work again to save for school, had started the process of being accepted into the college, and was planning on my first semester being in September of 2016 after I had spent a year saving for tuition.  They didn't understand how I knew that beginning a courtship with Josh was God's will when I also said that going to school was God's will.  And at the time, I didn't understand it either.  But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Josh was the one for me, and that God's ways and thoughts were much higher than my own and that He had a purpose in every step He had led me to take.  It wasn't until just recently when a friend and I had been talking about it that I really began to understand why God had me do that.  Taking that step of faith in going to school showed me that I could trust God to lead in my life.  It gave me a goal to focus on instead of focusing on the trial I had been through, and it gave me the courage I needed to take the step of faith and say yes to my future hubby when he asked me to start courting.  Each little thing that God had me do and each goal that He had me focus my eyes on in that "transition" period was each a stepping stone that led me to HIS end goal of standing at the marriage altar with my amazing husband.  And because of the things that happened before God brought us together, blessed takes on new meaning for me.  Often I have thought on Isaiah 61:3 which says, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." I am so thankful that our God is a Master at bringing beauty out of ashes and healing wounds that from an earthly standpoint feel as if they will never close.  And because of that, I can say, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isaiah 61:10).  Truly, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time" (Ecc. 3:11a).  And it is so much more beautiful than I ever thought possible!

The Lord has blessed me with the most amazing hubby 💗  We have learned so much more about each other, grown so much deeper in our love for each other, done so many things together, gone on many adventures together, and so much more!  And we have only been married for 18 months :)  It has been wonderful!  And I am excited, because I know it will only continue to get better.  With God as our focus, I know we will continue to grow closer together, and that means a lot to me.  Josh is so patient, loving, understanding, caring, FUN, and so much more!  His laughter is the best and so contagious :)  I am forever grateful to the Lord for bringing us together!  I love you, Josh 💕  How beautiful!

How beautiful, the radiant bride, who waits for her groom with his light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give the fruit of pure lives so that others can live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful - is the body of Christ!

Both of us are thankful for all of you that had a part in our wedding day too.  Each of you are special to us, and we are thankful for the close friends and family that God has blessed our lives with, and we are thankful for every moment we get to spend with all of you when the Lord allows! 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hitting the Road Running!

Yep, I'm back to running.  Or should I say - attempting to be back to running.  I have been using a running app on my phone for the passed few weeks, and then I got sick of it because I have built up enough endurance to run longer and farther than they were letting me.  So that app went out the window. Lol!  Though I am nowhere near where I used to be (let's just say that the fact that I used to run 6 continuous miles feels like a dream), it feels good to be back at it.  I am close to the running for one mile mark and that makes me pretty happy - especially considering that running with a jogging stroller and carseat is no joke!   That thing catches wind like a sailboat.  Maybe it'll at least give me some muscles in my arms in the process 😂  How come no one ever warned me that it would also make you feel like you wanted to lay down on the sidewalk and take a nap mid-run?  But, it has hit the "enjoyable" realm for me once again.  It did take a few weeks to get there though :)

Yesterday was definitely beautiful weather, and I took advantage of it for an early morning 3-mile run/walk (1.5 miles running and 1.5 miles walking). 

Success is when your baby takes a nap while you are out...and still sleeps for another hour in her carseat when you get back 😉 LOL!

And this picture really has nothing to do with this post, but who can resist a smiley baby that was super happy post running nap :) ...

I hope you all have an awesome evening!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Joanna's Dedication

Every year on Mother's Day, our church holds a baby dedication service after the morning church service to dedicate the babies that have been born in the past year.  We were so thankful to be able to be a part this year with our precious little treasure.  It is our heart's greatest desire to raise her for Jesus!

Often little children want to be "just like Mommy and Daddy" when they grow up, which makes it even more important to set the right example.  Little eyes are watching us and learning from us, and one day, little feet will follow in our footsteps.  What example are we leaving behind?

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Prov. 22:6


Sweet Moments

This Momma was kinda sad that her baby graduated to her crib in her own room last night.  She slept with us for two or three weeks and has been in a pack n' play in our room ever since.  But knowing that we will be painting at our new house soon once we close, the pack n' play is going to get permanently moved over there for naps, so I figured we should try out the crib at night before I no longer had the bed option in case it didn't go over so well lol.  It was almost like my baby became a "big girl" overnight...

Joanna slept so well in her crib last night!  Even despite the fact that it was really bright in her room, thanks to a street light just outside the window lol.  But just after I finished my devotions this morning, I heard some happy baby noises coming from her room, and I went in to find this little sunbeam... (picture overload!  They were just too cute not to share :D)

She really likes the honey pot on her sheet lol :P
 And my apologies for the blurriness of the pictures...a little someone now does some kind of excited, flappy, chicken dance every time she smiles lol!  So getting a clear picture is getting a little difficult :) 


More Pictures from Minneapolis!

I wanted to share some more pictures from our little trip to Minneapolis last weekend.  Thank you, Grandma Lindsey :), for sending them to us!

Aunt Heidi and Grandpa Lindsey - and nice photo bomb, Stephen :D
She took a little snooze with Uncle Daniel and Aunt Heidi <3

"Uncle" Stephen even got in on the fun...
...along with "Uncle" Matthew :)
Daddy's Little Girl <3

Our little peanut enjoyed all the snuggles and love, and I know she will enjoy some more when we see you all again in a few weeks!! :)


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Three Months!

It's a few days late, but our little peanut turned three months on Sunday!  Three months already... It has gone by way too fast!

The Lord has taught me so much in these three months, and yet I still have so much more to learn.  Most importantly, He has taught me how much I have to rely on Him.  This little person is dependent on me 24/7, and it is not something I can do in my own strength.  There are days I have tried, and they haven't ended very well.  But the days that I make a conscious effort to put the Lord first in everything and seek Him for the help that I need, those days are more beautiful than I could ever imagine.  And then I am reminded that without my Savior, I can do nothing.  Every day is a learning process for me and will continue to be for the rest of my life.  I pray that the Lord will help me to continue to be faithful to seek His face daily through His Word, and cry out to Him in prayer for the wisdom that I need to train this little one for Him.  Every day I become more and more aware of how she watches my every move, and knowing that causes me to realize that she is going to live out what she sees.  I want my life to reflect Jesus to her, to be an example to her of how to live her life as a daughter of the King.  I fail in this area daily, but I am thankful that the Lord picks me up each time and lets me try again.  I want to be a Godly example to Joanna, and I never want to try to do anything in my own strength.  Not every day is an easy one, but every day is so worth it.  This treasure fills my heart with so much joy, and watching her grow and change every day is a blessing beyond words!  I look forward to the years to come of her and I growing together, learning together, and loving together.  I pray that the Lord would help me to be the Mommy that she needs <3  I look forward to teaching her about Jesus and pouring the love of God into her little heart.  And I'm thankful I can do so even now!  I want her to know the importance of putting God first, spending time in His Word daily, and going to Him in prayer.  Reading her a Proverb every morning has already become the time of day that I look forward to the most :)  It is my desire and prayer that she will come to know the Lord as her Savior at an early age!

And to all those new momma's out there in need of encouragement some days, don't lose heart.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and He will guide you!  And if you need an encouraging little book for mothers, I would recommend you to check out Prayers And Peanut Butter by Barbara Classen.  It is so down-to-earth and real, but so encouraging...and gives just the little boost you may need to regroup your thoughts and finish your day strong!  On the days that can be challenging, keep your eyes on the end goal :)  Don't let little bumps in the road drag you down - we all have moments like those, and we all have not-so-perfect days!  The important thing is to pray, pick yourself back up, and start again, making sure those kiddos know that you love them :)  And ya know what, the not-so-perfect days are often quickly forgotten because of the joy of the other days, so don't stay discouraged long!  God has given you an influence in your children's lives that only you can fulfill.  No one else can mold them in the way that God intended for you to do it.  So treasure that!  I never knew how fun and yet challenging motherhood could be all at the same time, but it is so worth it, and I am loving every minute of it.  I never knew how much love I could have for such a little person!  These days will pass - and are passing - so quickly.  Treasure every moment, and rock your children for as long as you can <3  The housework can wait :)  You will never regret being there for your baby!

Gather the children, Mother,
The little heads close to your knee
In the hush of the beautiful twilight,
And talk to them tenderly.
When the bright eyes grow tired and restless
And gaze at you wistfully
And the sweet lips beg for a story,
Then gather them close to your knee.

Not long will your little ones linger
So talk to them while you may.
A world may be better tomorrow
For the story you're telling today.
So tell them the story of Jesus,
For the child's heart is tender and true;
And not all the teachers and preachers
Can guide them, oh Mother, like you.

~Author Unknown


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Joanna's First Road Trip!

This past Thursday and Friday we had the blessing of driving to Minneapolis to meet up with Josh's family and some friends :)  It was Joanna's first time going on a road trip, and she did great!  This Momma was extremely thankful lol.

She didn't do too bad in the hotel, though the newness of it all was a bit of a distraction at first :)  After she woke up the first time in the middle of the night to eat, putting her back to bed in her own bed didn't exactly work, so she ended up coming to bed with us lol.  But hey, we all slept a whole lot better that way :)  At least someone was super happy Friday morning...

After breakfast we stopped at a thrift store and then headed to Ikea to meet up with everyone!

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate all of the facial expressions in this picture?...... LOL

Including Joanna's :P
 ...ok...that moment is over.  My face was the worst.  Ha!

After eating lunch at Ikea, we went to the Mall of America to ride the rides, and Grandma watched Joanna for us!  Thank you!!  :)

We had a blast spending time with all of you!  We miss you guys!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

This precious little girl gave me the name Mommy, and I am so blessed to be able to call her my daughter.  God has been so good to me, and it is my prayer that He will help me to raise her to be a Godly young woman who loves the Lord and desires to serve Him with her life!  I want my life to reflect Jesus to her.  How I look forward to the bond we will build and the memories we will make in the coming days, months, and years!  Mommy loves you, Joanna!  <3

In the heart of every mother is a place that God has made,
Where she can lay up precious treasures, of the kind that will not fade.

Precious memories of her children, gathered up mid daily cares,
And as she kneels before the Father, they're the subject of her prayers.

For she sees them ever changing, and their eyes are filled with dreams,
And when she kneels beside their beds at night how close the future seems.

The vision of a mother's heart,
Is to share with her children the love only Jesus can give.
The vision of a mother's heart,
Is to see them all walking with God every day that they live.

Oh, a mother needs a vision, yes she needs to see beyond,
The daily round of household duties, for those days are swiftly gone.

All the years will seem like moments when she turns around to see,
And will the ways she has spent her time matter in eternity?

She must fill their days with laughter, she must fill their eyes with love,
She must fill their hearts and minds with the knowledge from above.

It is the vision of a mother's heart,
Is to share with her children the love only Jesus can give.
The vision of a mother's heart,
Is to see them all walking with God every day that they live.
~The Vision of a Mother's Heart by Abigail Miller