Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let me tell you a little something about Grace

Grace Churh that is! Finding a church is not always easy. Fred and I found this to be be true when we moved to Texas in 2009 right after getting married. We had been visiting churches seeking fellowship, the gospel and solid expository bible teaching which was hard to come by in a bible belt state. We had to cross off many churches after reading their about me section online and so we kept searching.

Fred was working at Outback Steakhouse at the time when a kind family he wasn't even serving randomly invited him to church, Grace Church! They didn't even know that he had been looking for a church either! We thought, there must be something good going on there if their members are inviting complete strangers! So we visited!

At that time they were meeting in the cafeteria of an elementary school. It was kind of a culture shock at first having come from a mega church and what was more shocking was the love and welcome we received. Strangers introduced themselves, the pastor, Craig Cabaniss, who we didn't know yet was the main pastor came to say hi.

We learned that this was church plant that began in 2005. Families had faithfully left their home state and moved to Frisco to start this church. We met people from all different sates, even California! We weren't the only In-N-Out, beach and mountain lovers in town!

That day we heard truth. We heard the word of God being taught straightforward. No sugar coats, just plain gospel truth! We saw people that were faithful to the Lords calling and had also left their friends behind to start this church.

We visited another church or two but the love and community of Grace had truly captivated us so we came back and decided to stay. Having left behind all our close friends in California we were desiring to build new friendships so we quickly plugged into a care group.

This was probably the best decision we made as newlyweds in a new state plugging in with a group of believers. We joined the Mayfield care group, they and the others in the group were such a blessing in our lives! Being the first out of our group of friends from California to get married we didn't have married friends nevertheless friends with children!

I learned in this group what godly marriages looked like, what women submitting to their husbands meant and how moms are supposed to love their children.

To this day I am thankful for that time of transition in our lives. What we thought was a move to Texas for better job opportunities we now know the Lord had something special for Fred and I here. We had a community of believers carrying for us and I truly believe the Lord was teaching me how to to be a mom even back then as I got to see how these faithful women cared and loved their children, it was all new to me and it made me look forward to it! Fred and I experienced a spiritual growth there and the Lord used Grace church for that.

He continues to use Grace church in our lives now after being there more than 4 years.

Not too long ago Fred and I had a really bad month financially. That was the month we had no insurance and Luke fractured his leg and we had to pay for his medical bills out of pocket. We were to the point where we were going to have to use our credit card to make it through the month. As we sat in despair of our finances we decided to take a walk to get our minds off things. We checked the mailbox and in it was a benevolence check from Grace church that not only covered Luke's medical bills but also was exactly the amount we needed to help us get through the month!

I had never experienced that kind of grace.

It was one of the biggest miraculous in our lives. We never asked for it but the Lord knew we desperately needed it and used Grace church to bless us. Tears and tears poured down from our eyes on that walk as we felt so loved and taken care of by the Lord and our church.

There are truly special miraculous things happening at Grace. The Lord is truly at work there, He has great plans for it too!

There was land DONATED to Grace in the center of Frisco Square in one of the fastest growing cities in Dallas. The groundbreaking for the building has just begun. I'm so blessed to be a part of this church and see how the Lord is working through it to preach the gospel, to bless marriages, and bring believers together.

My children are now being blessed there. I'm already seeing God at work in Luke's life. The other day we told him "lets pray" and he clasped his little hands together, we didn't teach him that, usually we hold hands to pray and although it's a little thing it was so wonderful to see that he is already being taught by the wonderful volunteers that are there faithfully serving and teaching. I'm excited to see both my boys grow and learn about God at Grace and one day soon move to this beautiful building God is providing!

Follow them on instagram! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

From Baby to Toddler: 18 Month Luke

My sweet Luke is about to be 18 months, that's a year and a half! My, oh, my, it has been an unforgettable eventful 18 months! I can sincerely say that I'm amazed by him everyday. His silly personality, his cool dance moves, the new things he learns everyday and even that mean squinty face he makes when he's mad, I'm completely in love with every ounce of that child.
  • His favorite toys are anything that he can smack around, spatulas are a big hit, swords, spoons, light sabers, plastic bats, paper towel rolls, he always has one of those in his hand. He recently got into cars and loves those too, little hot wheels, big trucks, he's a fan! 
  • Luke's a talking machine! Cracks me up every time I hear him say his little words followed by a bunch of gibberish! He can clearly say: "eat," "mama," "go," "agua," "shoes," and  my favorite is his "Ah man" when something goes wrong! He says Mah= More, teese=cheese, mil= milk. He also signs: help, more, eat and all done but he started that pretty early on and has been doing it less and less since he's gotten more verbal but his Help and Eat sign he still uses a lot.
  • He's a my little "helper." He'll help me in the laundry room by taking clothes out of the dryer even when I'm trying to load it he'll want to take them out! He throws away diapers and pretty much anything I tell him to put in the trash. He'll also grab the broom and "sweep" the floor!
  • He's got good hygiene! Loves baths, as soon as I say bath time he'll get a big smile on his face and run to the bathroom! He loves to brush his "teesh," like all day. If we're in the bathroom he'll point to the sink and then stick his finger in his mouth and say "teesh, teesh."
  • Favorite snacks are nutrigrain bars, fruit squeeze's, bananas, yogurt raisins, cheese sticks and crackers. He eats 90% of anything I offer. The other 10% is squishy or juicy tart fruit he's not a fan! 
  • He loves to sing and dance. In the car he'll bob his head around to the music and swing his little arms and legs to the beat. When he tries to sing he'll even adjust his pitch according to the song. Through out the day he'll sing his "Ohh Reee ohh"song or his Katy Perry's eye of the tiger  chorus  part,  "oh, oh, oh, oh, ohh."
  • If you make him mad... Oh you'll know! He gets his mean face on, wrinkles his forehead and starts mumbling who knows what under his breath. Sometimes he'll run and hide behind the curtains or finds a wall to hide behind of. It's hard to keep a straight face with this silly kid! Sometimes I have to walk out of the room and just laugh! 
  • Thank God he's outgrowing the hitting us on the face because we have zero tolerance for that, it's never ok to hit, we really had to lay down the law with that one and discipline the little guy and he's gotten better about it. His anger issues have encouraged Fred and I to pray for his little heart, practice positive reinforcement and discipline with love.
  • He loves his baby brother and his puppy! Every time Noah starts to whine Luke will say, "Uh-oh!" and rush to Noah. He loves to hug gnarly and chase him around the house.
  • Love going out. As soon as he sees me getting ready he'll start saying, "Go, go..." and he'll want to grab the diaper bag and he goes to the front door or the garage door. We like to go for walks, the park, library and the mall.
  • He's kind of obsessed with "uh-cles" right now. He knows and recognizes circles every where, tiny, big ones, on the ground, on the ceiling he'll point them out and say "Uh-cle!" He even drew uh-cles on our walls and bathroom door the other day! Lets just say all crayons are hidden now! 
I can't believe six months from now I'll have a 2 year old! I love you Luke, every ounce of you, every smile, every fit, every milestone and everything in between you make me the happiest proudest mama!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One a Week Goal

That's the goal this year with this blog, one post a week.

I love having a blog it's an outlet for my soul. I'm not the chattiest most outgoing person, I'm an introvert and I'm finally coming to terms with the fact. I used to beat up myself for it after many social gathering feeling like I was probably the most awkward person there, feeling like I wish I could have spoken more, made more connections, been a little more cheerful. But thats not me.

I love that person that can confidently be in a room full of people on their own and naturally strike up a conversation. They are my favorite people and ironically the people I'm drawn to and feel the most comfortable around. They can talk and talk and I'm a a great listener, I'm then able to get comfortable enough to open up. I love one on one conversations or small groups, big parties are kinda terrifying!

I hope I can be that confident person someday.

But for now I'm thankful to the Lord that he is freeing me from my fears and insecurities. I'm shy, quiet, not very outspoken in large crowds but thats the way the Lord made me and it's ok. Being an introvert doesn't mean I'm weird like I used to believe, it just means that I can better express myself in different forms, not just verbally.

Which brings me back to my goal. Since I feel most comfortable communicating and expressing myself through writing I want to do more of it. I never get much feedback from people on their thoughts on my blog but there's a few that have personally reached out to me and expressed to me how the Lord has used this to speak to them. I want the Lord to continue to use me, my favorite moments, my fears, struggles, accomplishments and everything in between to let his name be glorified.

I'm excited to see the Lord at work here and just grateful that in years to come I will be able to look back and see where the Lord had me at certain time. I continually go back and read my first post ever in 2011 when Fred and I had started the emotionally painful process of trying to conceive after two miscarriages, fast forward to 2014 and here I am with 2 beautiful sons! I praise the Lord for this journey he's put me in, and so I invite you to share with me, Where He Leads Me!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Fred and I decided to come up with our 2014 Resolutions together. I feel pretty good about the outcome of my 2013 resolutions except that I didn't get a tattoo! Lol! They were pretty innocent and silly now looking back. This year I wanted to make resolutions that mattered and would draw us closer to the Lord, each other, our family and our friends. Heres what we came up with:
  1. Love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength- We want to live for him daily and surrender our selves to him by being in constant prayer and staying in the word.
  2. Stay healthy, watch what we take in- Not only what we eat but what we take in with our eyes and ears as well. What we listen to and what we watch effects our spiritual health. 
  3. Invest in our relationship- Invest time and energy on each other. Make date night a priority and keep the passion alive!
  4. Love others- By being hospitable and making the effort to build and deepen relationships.
  5. Have family time- Bible reading, going for walks, the park, having adventures and building traditions and memories as a family. 
I'm pretty happy with them! But maybe I will be able to get my tattoo this year? Nothing crazy just a teeny tiny something! We'll see! Here's us at our friends NYE bash. We had a blast ringing in the New Year! Hope 2014 is full of blessings for you!