This Is Why!

"I tell you the truth, whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me." Matthew 25:40

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can't Get Enough!

In the past week I have been to see the movie Soul Surfer two times...and I just can't seem to get enough of it! I wouldn't normally go to a movie more than once but it's actually on at the $3 movie if it were up to me I would go every day to see it! I've heard people say they are afraid to see this movie because it might be too depressing...well for me it couldn't be more uplifting! Iris and Asa even saw it with me the second time and they just loved it. When I was a little girl I remember going to see the movie about Joni Eareckson and I will never forget it. Now as an adult I read her devotionals every day...she is a huge inspiration. I hope taking my kids to see Soul Surfer will have the same affect on them as that movie did on me so many years ago.

I guess it's easy to sit back and watch the story about Bethany and think about how remarkable it is...but it might be a different story if it were my child going through such a tragic event.

It was so amazing to see how God used her and allowed this terrible thing to happen in her life and how she has overcome her disability and praises God for everything that has happened to her. It really makes you feel guilty for complaining about the small things that happen to us in our daily lives.

So many people ask why does God let bad things happen to good people. I use to ask the same question. The biggest tragedy in my life so far was losing my dad when I was 17. I was traumatized by the entire situation. I didn't understand why God would do that to our family and I spent a lot of time being angry with God. For years I was very self destructive and really didn't care about my life. After becoming a Christian and seeing that God allows bad things to happen only to draw us closer to makes any situation easier to handle. One of my favorite songs has a line in it that says "everything has to go through God's hands before it touches me" and I love that line. God hurts when we hurt...he doesn't want us to be sad or in pain and he sure doesn't cause it. But He is in control of everything that happens in our lives and if he feels that something bad needs to occur in our lives then I have to believe that he knows what he is doing and that he has a much bigger and better plan for us. So if we don't learn and grow from our pain then the whole point of why God let it happen is missed.

I pray every day that God's will be done in my life and I also pray this for Kelly and my children. This is an easy prayer to say but it is very difficult to truly want it answered. God's will may involve some things that we have to go through that we don't want to face. To think about my child being in pain and having to go through something like Bethany Hamilton did just breaks my heart. But I have to think about God's greater plan. I have to give everything up to Him and know that whatever happens in mine and my children's lives is only to bring us closer to Him...and in the end that is all that matters. There will always be disease, death, and terrible struggles that we must face in this life...but we have to remember that there is a life after this...the only life that really how we handle life here on this earth should be all about what we can do for our Lord.

If you haven't seen Soul Surfer yet I highly recommend will encourage you in so many ways!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Day!

Today Asa got baptized...and it was so sweet! He was very excited and we are so proud of him!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fun Week!

We are on such a schedule during the school year that during the summer I like to have NO schedule. I enjoy being on a's just the way I am...but I look forward to Summer Break when the kids can get a break from all of that. I try not to plan too many things for the kids to do away from home during the summer but they do enjoy having a couple of things planned. This year Asa got to do his first camp. He went to soccer camp in Chattanooga with his cousin Hank and they just had a great time. I picked them up everyday at lunch and we did some fun things together...Iris and Eden joined us too! Iris had basketball camp...this was her second year and she just loved it! After camps got out we went swimming, roller skating, and to the movies. We even had Hank over one night for a sleepover.

At the end of the week we also had a family reunion to go to at Cohutta was great getting to see so many relatives that I hardly ever get to see. All of the little cousins had so much fun together!

Asa even had a soccer tournament to play in on Saturday!

This has been a very "full" week...I'm kind of looking forward to next week when we can get a chance to rest!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

For Better, For Worse...For Richer, For Poorer

Today Kelly and I celebrate our 10th Anniversary. By no means have we ever been least not financially...but our circumstances have changed quite a bit since the day we got married. When couples get married we say our vows and of course we feel like we truly will love that person no matter what...but do we really believe we are going to face some of the issues that end up arising in our marriages?? When I met Kelly he had his own business and his own home and was very stable financially. I never thought money would be an issue in our marriage. Over the past 2 or 3 years since the economy has gone downhill it has had a big effect on the way that we live. It has been a real struggle...but I can say that I wouldn't change a thing. I recently read about God putting boundaries in our lives and whether we like those boundaries or not they are for our own good. Where spending money before required little each dollar spent has to be put into careful consideration. We know where every penny comes from and we know how fragile money is. Our situation now has made me look at life in a whole new way...a better way. What use to be important to me is now unimportant. God put these boundaries in our lives for a reason and I truly feel like it has made our marriage and our family stronger.

I thought Kelly and I would be going on some great trip together for our 10th anniversary and really be celebrating in a big way...but that just didn't get to happen this year. In the past that might have bothered me but not now. Kelly made plans to have the kids stay with his mom and we just had a nice dinner together and spent time alone talking. Kelly reminded me that our vows did say "for richer for poorer" and he thanked me for hanging in there with him through these tough times. I love him more today than I ever have and I know that we can make it through any long as God stays at the center of our marriage. What Kelly has given me in this marriage emotionally far outweighs any material thing! I couldn't have asked for a better husband and I love the person that he is.

God may never entrust Kelly and I with millions of dollars and we may have lots of struggles to come and that's okay...I enjoy the journey that Kelly and I get to share together everyday...good and bad... and I just hope that God continues to draw us closer to Him....whatever we have to go through.

I feel so blessed to have Kelly as my husband!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Most "Magical" Vacation Ever!

Well it's finally my favorite time of the year....Summer Break! I just love being with Iris and Asa all summer. We usually wait until the end of summer to take our vacation but this year we went right after school got out...and it was so wonderful! Kelly and I love to surprise our kids with vacations that they know nothing just makes the trip that much better. The two times we went to Disney World the kids had no idea where we were going until we pulled up to the entrance. Just looking at their faces light up like that just made me melt! Well this year was an extremely big surprise. Now that the kids are getting bigger it seems to get a little harder to keep secrets and plan surprise trips...especially with them both reading signs all along the interstate. A year and a half ago Kelly and I booked a Disney cruise without telling the kids. This has been the hardest secret to keep...especially for that long...but it was so worth it!

After Iris was born a friend gave us some great advice...."don't do Disney until they are 4 years old"...I must say that was some of the best advice I've ever gotten. When Iris turned 4 we surprised her by showing up at Disney and it was such an awesome trip. Asa was only 2 at the time so he stayed back home with grandparents. It just made sense to do it that way...Asa didn't know the difference and we were able to fully enjoy Disney with Iris. Then when Asa turned 4 we surprised them once again with a Disney trip....and it was even better. Asa and Iris were at the ages where they could do all of the same rides together and just really enjoy it! I couldn't even imagine maneuvering a stroller around Disney...or having to stop for at age 4 it really was such an easy trip! We were also told to wait and do a Disney cruise when the kids are at least that's what we did...and it turned out to be the perfect age!

We really got the kids good with the surprise cruise. The kids have been watching the video about the new Disney Dream for about two years. I got an email a year and a half ago about a special promotion for the cruise this June and we just couldn't pass it we booked it. The kids knew we were going to the beach but they had no idea what else was planned. First we went to Cocoa Beach for four days. We spent a day at the Ron Jon Resort...which the kids LOVED! I think they went down the water slide a thousand times! I even enjoyed that one! We also did the Kennedy Space Center...which was a lot of fun! On our last night at Cocoa we told the kids we were leaving to go home the next morning. So we packed up the car on that Friday morning and acted as though we were headed home. Little did they know that we had extra suitcases packed in the car for the second half of our trip. We took the kids to eat one last lunch at Port Canaveral before supposedly heading back to Dalton. While we were outside eating we just happened to notice the new Disney Dream boat docked at the port. Well that's all the kids talked about at lunch...but we still didn't let on what we had planned. We even talked about saving our money up so we might be able to go in the next couple of years. Kelly and I were just so excited and it was so hard not to just tell them right then. After lunch we said "let's drive over near the boat to see if we can get a picture close up" that's what we did. We pulled right up next to it and the kids got out and as we were pretending to just get a photo of them in front of the boat Kelly leans down(yes, this is all on video) and tells them that we are actually going on the cruise! The smiles on Iris and Asa's faces were the sweetest thing I have ever seen! They just kept hugging us and smiling and telling us "thank you"! It was truly a magical day!

The cruise was as wonderful as we expected. The ship was so beautiful! There was so much for them to do! They really enjoyed the Aquaduck waterslide...I even did it! One of their favorite things to do was go to the Oceaneer Club. Kelly and I were a little hesitant about leaving them but it was very safe and they just loved all of the activities they had for them to do. Kelly and I even got a little "alone" time in the adult pool...we weren't expecting that!

I highly recommend the Disney Dream...especially for kids ages 6 and up. There wasn't much for younger kids and the little ones that I did see didn't seem too happy. The days are extremely long and the nights are late so it's good for the older kids who can handle it. Also, the two pools are full of kids so your child should be a good swimmer...otherwise they won't get much swimming in. Iris and Asa were at the age that they could do everything on the cruise...otherwise they wouldn't of had much to do...and you just won't get your moneys worth.

We just had such a great trip...I only hope that we can pull off another surprise next year!