Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Day I Was Saved Over a Bag of Chips

A bracelet Kate got me after I received 
Jesus Christ as my personal Savior

Kate is not only my best friend, but she is someone who inspires me. I'd have some really deep conversations with her about faith once her mother passed. Kate's faith was so admirable, that I wanted to know more it. Kate's mother was not only her mentor in life, but her spiritual mentor.

One day while I was talking about God with Kate, I told her I believe in God, but I never heard him. This made me sad, because I really wanted to feel like God and I could talk, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hear anything.

Kate asked, "Do you remember when you said the prayer?" Wait, what prayer? 

Kate went further into speaking about things. And although I tried to listen, I felt like my mind kept wandering. I was a believer, but why wouldn't I remember this? She started talking about how her her mom was saved; her mom had a dream that she was going to go to hell, and then that's when she turned to God. 

Then I started wandering was I saved? Well... I was baptized. Doesn't that count?  I have always believed in God. Did I read his word though? No. Did I talk to him much? No. Did I listen for him? No, not really.

After I got off the phone. I prayed. I prayed hard hoping that I would hear God. I wanted to hear him and get to know him better.

Kate then emailed me with some of the most encouraging words:


"I'm so excited for u and the journey God is taking you on. We can pray anytime, I prayed for u guys again today. I will continue to. The prayer is your personal acceptance of Jesus into your heart, baptism usually comes later when you are ready. Baptism is the public proclamation of your faith and the decision you made to accept Christ. So it's def something you should do when u feel led to and ready to make that proclamation. I am so excited for you! I talked with Steven about it again bc he couldn't remember saying it ever either, he said my mom told him if he didn't remember saying it then he probably never did. He also said that after he prayed it he knew he never had bc he realized he couldn't have ever forgotten an experience like that. I thought that was really awesome, hopefully encourages you too! Love u!"

As the days progressed, I prayed more. I wanted to see, hear, and listen to things differently than I have had before. So I kept praying.

One day I noticed that I was noticing things that I've never really paid attention to before. Things were different. Usually I focused on the negative things in life, but I saw such sweet things right in front of me. I praised God for letting me encounter these little things and for seeing more hope in the world. 

Soon I even felt like I started to pray differently. Like my prayers weren't just "watch over my friends and family" it was more in depth. This is one time I know my prayers started changing.

After feeling different about my faith and wanting to continue to grow with God, I wanted to say the prayer with Kate. Yet, about every time it was going to happen, something just got in the way. {Either one of us had to get off the phone, someone came to the door, etc..}. Something just didn't allow me to say the prayer. 

On top of that, I felt like it had to be perfect; including the day of the week, time, the weather, etc{I'm laughing as I type this, ha}. I guess I thought that was because it was a day I was going to remember forever and it needed to be the perfect day. How silly. But then one day it hit me. It doesn't matter what day it was, as long as my whole heart was completely devoted. So again I prayed making sure to see if I was honestly and truly ready; hoping there would be a sign that I was ready.

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..
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One night I had a dream that I was at a gas station about to check out. At the register, there was a man dressed in cloth robes, speaking to the gentleman in front of me while I was waiting in line. I heard my name being called. I was confused because it seemed like it was him calling my name {as a matter of fact, he acted like he gave me a sense like he was waiting for me}, but at the same time it wasn't like he was calling my name. My name kept getting called (I guess I can describe it kind of like a loud speaker}, but although I heard it as clear as day it seemed as if no one else heard the loud speaker, or was even aware of what was going on. I must have looked pretty confused because as I approached the register to check out,  the gentleman at the register told me that I needed something else. He got out from behind the counter, and lead me to a next aisle over.


For some reason, I felt like I needed to follow him. He just happened to lead me to the potato chip aisle {which is kind of odd because in real life I never seek out potato chips at the store/gas station}. He then pointed to the chips that he wanted me to get/notice.


Saves.  "Saves" was the name of the potato chips. 

Okay... I wasn't sure what that meant and was probably more confused. 

He kept pointing to the word "Saves" and after a little bit I finally understood what it meant; I gasped, and he smiled. 

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..
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I immediately woke up from my dream and knew what happened; God was telling me that he wanted me to say the prayer and that he affirmed that I was ready. 


I laughed to myself because of course He would give me a dream that was so obvious to only me. If it had been a dream with hidden messages, than honestly, I don't think I would of understood what exactly was going on.

On Feb 19, 2014, I said the prayer with Kate. {Kate is my spiritual mentor and I have learned so much through her that I am so glad I was able to say it with her}.


Lord Jesus, I'm like everyone else - I can't make it through life on my own. I'm imperfect. I'm prone to sin. I have come to realize that there's nothing in the world I can do to make myself acceptable to You. But I know that You have loved me so much that You were willing to submit to the cross and die on my behalf. That's a grace so amazing I cannot understand it; I can only accept it. And I do. I accept Your free gift, and I know that from this moment on, I am saved. I am a child of God. And I give the rest of my life to serving You and experiencing the joy that only You can offer. Fill me now, dear Lord, and raise me to walk in the newness of life. I thank You and praise You! Amen.


There was a sudden rush of peace filling me up at that moment. It was like nothing else. And that perfect day that I thought I needed, even though it was nothing as I planned, it turned out to be just that: perfect.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Jax is a Heart Stealer

Have I told you that I had a really difficult time finding a cat after Archie passed? To be honest, I was really never a cat person before Archie. I thought they were cute, but was never really interested in them until Archie was placed in my arms where I instantly knew he was mine. Archie though, wasn't your regular cat, he was more like a dog. Once Archie passed, I had an emotional/difficult time and felt like my heart was just missing a piece. I looked at other cats, and couldn't find the one I wanted. I guess it was because I was looking for Archie.

When we went to go to look for cats in Tennessee, we went to a rescue that I found by searching online. There was cats everywhere. Little Jax (who was named Cat Rock) at the time was sitting on the counter. Trav went up immediately to him and started petting him, "What about him?" I wasn't sure because I didn't have that immediate bond, so I looked around the shelter. We were about to leave but Travis kept finding his way back to Cat Rock. They really loved him at the rescue and they were going to make him the office cat, and for some reason the words were said out of my mouth, "Okay, let's get him."



Jax with his first day at home
When we first got him home, I just wanted Cat Rock to be Archie. I didn't think that he needed to time to adjust to the dogs in the house {partly because he probably was never around dogs before, although I guess I just assumed that since he was at the shelter, he was around dogs}. Even with how much time he spent with the dogs, he never seemed as he was that happy in our home.

When I called the rescue they suggested that he was probably lonely because he had so many cats at the rescue to play with and that we should get a playmate. Jax perked up with once I brought Payson home, thankfully, because I debated if I should take Jax back to the rescue where he would be happier. Payson wasn't scared of the dogs, even though he was teeny tiny, and I think it showed Jax that there would be nothing to be scared of.




Slowly, Jax finally started feeling comfortable enough to sleep on top of me while I would lay on the couch. I think that's when we really started bonding. He would even start to purr! Since then, we have became like mother, like son.


The other day, I really missed him as he had to stay overnight at a vets office {he is okay}. But I really miss him. I think the people at the vet's office was annoyed as I dropped off Jax with a towel for him to lay on, a bed, special food to prevent urinary tract infections, and a bowel. I just wanted his  stay to be as comfortable as possible, even though he wasn't really home.

I thought about him the entire day after I dropped him off at the vets office and couldn't wait to call the vet once I got off of work to see how he was doing. All I got was, "He is doing good. You can pick him up after noon tomorrow."

I realized when I came home that I missed Jax peeking through the window where he waits for us to walk into the house.



I turned the fire place on, and he wasn't a running Jax to get a first row seat {or at least be by the fire} and purr endlessly.



There was no Jax to cuddle with me as we sat on the couch {most of the time he cuddles with you, he has to wrap his paw around you}




There was no entertainment of watching Jax run around with my hair tie around.

Or watching him play with the water dish in the kitchen without a care in the world.



And when I walked into the bathroom there was no Jax rushing to beat me hoping he could get to play in the sink water/shower water.



Or having Jax simply get into EVERYTHING.





I missed it all, so much. I'm so glad that my baby is home. 

For someone who I couldn't bond with at first, sure knew how to steal my heart. Our family wouldn't be the same without him.







Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love Stories

Picture taken by SJ2 Photography

I once heard that the way someone tells how they first met their spouse and fell in love shows how happy they are in their marriageI totally believe this.

When a couple tells the story of how they met and they look at each other, laugh, and even blush makes a heart skip a beat.  How could it not? Meeting the person you are going to be spending the rest of your life with should be the happiest moment/memories in your life. Your life is forever changed once you meet that person.

Good thing our love story is our favorite to tell.

Happy Valentines Day love :) So thankful to have you as my soul mate. Xoxoxoxo.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tickled Pink Shower

Our friends are expecting their first bundle of joy in the coming months! We are so excited for them {who doesn't love babies?!!). The wives got together and wanted to give Caroline a Tickled Pink Shower! :) One request was that we had a lot of games. :) 

We started the game, "Don't say baby" {which most of our necklaces were lost within minutes of walking in, ha}. Before grabbing something to eat, guests were able to guess when baby Anne would be born and her weight. They were also able to guess how many M&M's were in a bottle.



{Thanks LB for making the banner}


 

 
{Thank Heaven for Little Girls free printable found here}

 
{I'll love you Forever free printable found here}

Bringing Home Anne Margaret


After 10 (number) weeks of pregnancy, Caroline finally went into labor. It took 2 (number) hours of slimy (adjective) labor, but Caroline and Tyler finally had their poopy (adjective) girl. They were so excited to bring Anne Margaret home, they vomited (verb ending in -ed) all the way home. They were filled with so much kick (emotion) that they just burst out and said "help !"(exclamation). Their weird (adjective), pretty (adjective) baby girl kept them running (verb ending in -ing). Changing all those babies (plural noun) and feeding the baby every 7 (number) hours, it was all they could do to keep their hands (plural body part) open.


Every so often, they just had to stomped (verb) and admire their yellow (color) baby. They would shop (verb) into each other's toes (plural body part) and talk about this sleeping (adjective ending in -ing) time in their lives. Their days were filled with feet (plural noun) and very little snowing (verb), but they were very red (adjective) to be on this curly (adjective) journey into parenthood.


Tinkle in the Pot


Have you heard of this game? It is GREAT! It made us all laugh so much. It's a race, where everyone gets a coin to put in between their legs. They have to put a balloon and act like they are pregnant to make it difficult. Whoever successfully gets the coin in the "pot" first, wins a prize (you can also do it as a team if you'd like). If someone drops the coin, they have to start back at the beginning. 


 

















What Anne Will Look Like

This game you take a notecard and place it on your forehead and draw what the baby {Anne} will look like. Everyone got to see each others pictures, and the mom-to-be chose the winner. :)




Opening Gifts








Advice for baby Anne















We all had a wonderful time and were tickled pink that we were able to celebrate this special moment with Caroline and little Anne who is on her way! :)




Update: Everyone also guessed baby Anne's birthday and weight. No one got her birthday correct because Anne ended up being 2 weeks late, but Laura Beth was right on the money with Anne's weight!