Welcome to our journey. The purpose of my blog is not only to journal our life experience, but also to share what God is doing in our lives. I do not claim to be an expert in parenting, marriage, or even the Bible. But I do have a heart to share my experiences and the true love that God has for each and every one of us. You can read our testimony by clicking on the top of the page. And if you'd like to know about the Homeless Ministry my husband started, you can click on the Homeless tab. I hope you will comment freely on my posts and in my community.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

You are Free To Be You, Mackenzie!

Dave just posted the song "Free To Be Me" by Francesca Battistelli on Facebook today for our daughter Mackenzie. He's so good at finding the perfect song. How perfect this song is right now! And I agree with dad that you kind of look like her too.  
Yes! At 20 years of age you're still looking for a dream. A war has already been waged for your destiny. I heard the Lord tell me years ago (when you were recovering from mono and going through all the cancer tests - praise the Lord you did not have cancer) that we were in a battle for your life (for your destiny) with satan. *I'm typing this through my tears as I never imagined the battle that would ensue. Since that very moment, we have been fighting on your behalf. But even before that and all along - a battle was being fought ON YOUR BEHALF BY YOUR WARRIOR, The LORD HIMSELF - (Just like Heather Cook was telling you in the video she made for you the other day).

A side note: The day your dad was ordained as a pastor in California, when you were in Florida with your cheer team, I was standing by myself in the atrium of a church waiting for dad when a young man looked at me from across the room (where there were probably 200 people standing) and walked right up to me and started to tell me what the Lord had spoken to him about you. This was someone who didn't know us. We didn't know anyone out there. He asked if I had a 15 yr old daughter and began sharing that you were going to go through some extremely difficult things (like walking through fire) and that during those times you would have favor and doors were going to be opened that would seem impossible. But in the end, the fire in your heart, the passion you had for God would be reignited, and God would have glory for all that you went through. This is the word that I truly believe came from the Lord and is the very thing that continues to give me peace through all the horrific things you've gone through in your short life.

Mackenzie, here's the thing. The battle has already been won. And YES, GOD has GREAT plans for you. His plan for you is that you would share your trials, your victories, your testimony, His hope and love. It's the ministry you're dreaming about at 20 years of age! Wow! And as Francesca says in this song, sometimes things don't come easy and you may doubt your destiny (today, tomorrow, or in the future). You may not be able to see at times, and you may want to think about the dents in your fenders (your past mistakes), and you may at times feel like you're not worthy or good enough BUT the Lord looks at your heart and He is saying that YOU HAVE ALL HE SEEKS. Just as you are! It's times like those that you dig deep and pull out the TRUTH that you know in your heart from God's Word.

The TRUTH is HE is FOR you! HE LOVES YOU! In moments of doubt turn to His Word and to the friends, family, and hundreds of people who are telling you "truths". You are a WARRIOR, a PRECIOUS daughter of the KING, you are a FAITH-filled woman OF GOD, you are COURAGEOUS, you are BRAVE, you are STRONG, you are AMAZING, you are LOVED BEYOND WORDS, you are BEAUTIFUL, and you have an AMAZING HEART! You will not only get through this but you will SOAR like an eagle. You ARE changing lives! You ARE bringing HOPE to others! The Lord already IS already using this for His good. You already have started THE ministry. You, our sweet daughter, just need to STEP INTO THAT DESTINY! Walk in it. Walk in HIS ways. You are free to be you! And we love you more than you'll ever know!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's been a long time

Hello blog!

I've missed you. It's time we reconnect. :) I love Facebook because it gives an outlet to share and to be engaged with people I don't get to see very often. Yet blogging is a place to share God's goodness and to be able to revisit and remember. It's a place I love to be. Life gets busy though and it falls down to the bottom of my priority list and then completely off my radar where I don't even think about it. It's similar to spending time reading my Bible. When I do it daily and then I miss a day, I keep thinking about it and how I need and WANT to get into the Word. If I let too many days go by without getting into the Word, I might go an entire day and not even think about it.

Much has happened over the past few years. I've actually written a few posts that I have saved as "drafts" and I hope to publish them one day. Today isn't the time to do that.

Our family has been through a lot. We've lost loved ones, battled (and continue to battle) illnesses, been in the valley of darkness, and we've been on the mountain tops. Through it all, God remains good. His goodness never ends. Even when things are hard. Even when times are tough. Even when I can't breath because the pain is unbearable...He is good. Through it ALL.

I have to thank Him for it all. I've learned to depend on His Word. He is my comforter. My everything. My all-in-all. Because He loves me and carries me, I'm thankful.

The following scripture is what continues to carry me through all circumstances. It is a scripture that requires action on our part and when we carry it out, we receive peace in return. I will tell you this works. It really does. So, no matter what you're going through, you can have peace.

Philippians 4:4-9
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Words that pop out at me:
ALWAYS be full of joy. Not just when things are good. You can be joyful even through the trial. It's a choice. You have to choose joy. Rejoice. Dance in the rain.

DON'T WORRY - because it won't change one single thing. 

INSTEAD PRAY - about everything. 

TELL GOD - about your needs, your fears, everything going on. Have ongoing conversation with him...all day long. Laugh with Him.

THANK HIM - for ALL things. For every circumstance you can be thankful. 

And THEN - this means that you have to do something and THEN it will happen.

FIX YOUR THOUGHTS - if you continue to think of the negatives, the problems, the wrongs, and all the bad things going on in your life, that is exactly where you'll be. Stuck in the problem. If you think of the good, the truth, and things worthy of praise, it will put you in a place of joy.

And then here's the kicker: KEEP PUTTING INTO PRACTICE - what you've learned. This means that it's not just a one and done thing. You need to keep doing these things, over and over again. What it does it to make it a habit, a way of life. Time and time again, I've been asked how I can continue to go through trials and yet keep functioning, keep smiling, keep working, and be filled with peace. This is how I do it. This is my secret weapon. I follow Scripture. I believe Scripture and all of the promises that come with it. And as it says, THEN the God of peace will be with you. 

And it's true. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I miss you

I sure miss this blog. I miss writing. It's always been an outlet for me. A place to get my thoughts out. A place to share my heart. A place to share God's faithfulness. I remember the day I started my blog. It was because I felt the Lord wanted me to share all of the things He was doing in our lives. I had been journaling for a while before I actually started this blog and it felt like it was stuff that was just too good to keep to myself. It's fun to go back and read My Testimony. Those were some trying days, months, years in our life. At times I thought they were "the worst" ever. Little did I know what was up ahead.

I still have posts that I've written but never actually posted. Stuff that's so personal I don't know if I should share it here, where everyone and anyone can read it. The main reason is because it's not just about me but it's personal for my children, my husband, or others in our family. It's their story too. So I will wait to see if one day (with their permission) I share those very personal posts. 

Why do I or why would I share personal posts? Because I know that when I read something that someone else is going through (whether it's a story in the Bible or a story from a friend) and I can see hope, it encourages me. To know that you are not alone brings comfort. To know that others are praying for you brings peace. Yes, I certainly pray for myself and others...all day long. But sometimes having others praying for me gives me more strength. And sometimes when I don't even know how to pray, others can stand in the gap and pray for me...on my behalf. I share because the Lord tells us to testify of His goodness. Not for myself but for His glory! So that long after I'm gone others will know what He did in my life. That others will remember.

Earlier this year at our team prayer meeting we had to share one word from the Lord. It was our word for the year. My word was GLORY. I realize that word wasn't just "for" me. It was for Him. Others will see God's glory when I share what He does. There would be no need for God's glory if all was well all the time. According to Dan Schaeffer, To “give glory to God” means to live and speak sincerely and from the heart about His amazing nature or deeds—in such a way that we seek to do justice to the reality of who He is. It’s what He deserves in all things, at all times. 

I miss you blog. And for those of you who continue to check often for posts, thanks. Every time I get a summary of weekly visits, I'm amazed that there are some who still visit. I hope that you can be encouraged by our story even if it's not the most recent. As our story continues to unfold, as part of HIS story, I pray that you would see God's glory in all that I say and do.

Psalm 1:8 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.

May you see His glory,

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July

I love this holiday!
There are several reasons but one is that it's a time to celebrate our wonderful country with family and friends. I love the hot weather, parades, barbecues, and of course...fireworks! This is the first time I've spent it with Mitchell in quite some time. He is usually at grandma and grandpa's cabin. Dave and I stay back because Mackenzie and/or Hailey have been in the parade.
Last year Mackenzie was recovering from mono and couldn't be in the parade. Hailey was in it with the girls scouts. This year Hailey and Mackenzie were in it together with the Apple Valley High School Cheer Team.

 Kenzie (Hailey is on her left in the white looking ahead)

 Dave and Mitchell...the water "boys" :)

Watching the parade after walking it
(Being at the beginning has its perks)
Pool fun
We had a great time at a barbecue/pool party with our friend's Leslie & Andy and others.
We watched fireworks with my mom in Apple Valley.
Mitchell bought some fireworks and we ended the night watching his display!
It was a bitter-sweet day for Mitchell...he LOVES to be at the cabin. That's where his heart is. Since  Grandpa U is still recovering from his heart transplant, we stayed home. Mitchell is eagerily awaiting the day we get to go up to his home away from home. :)
I'm thankful for the gift of my family.
I'm thankful for friends.
I'm thankful for this country!
God bless America and all of you!!

Oh geez!

It's been almost four months since my last post! Where does the time go? So much has happened in the past few months. The highlight...
Our first grandchild was born on May 18, 2013. Alexandra Echo Richardson...

Yep...she's perfect!
More posts to come...I hope you're enjoying summer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Year of Cheer

Anyone who knows our family probably knows that Mackenzie was on the Apple Valley Varsity Competition Cheer Team this past year. They would know this because it's her OUR life. ;) It's pretty much year around. They just ended at the end of February. And normally they would do try outs in March and then start again in April with Open Gym practices. Except for this year there's a longer break because the coach is having a baby. Yeah for the girls!

I put together this video for her the banquet. Thought I'd share. *There are even a couple pics of Hailey (a future Apple Valley Cheerleader) and one of Mitchell. She's counting down the years. One year to go. :)

There are three teams on this video. Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. You'll know by the sections on the video. For those looking for Mackenzie...she is on Varsity and in the performance pics where there is a pyramid or stunts happening, she is either the flyer (the one in the air) in the middle of the pyramid or the one on the right depending on the performance. That helps a ton huh? lol! *Here's one hint: at 9:27 in the video Mackenzie is the flyer on the right doing a 360 Basket. Here's a little cheer info: a 360 basket is where they throw them in the air and the flyer does a 360 rotation. I was told that Mackenzie gets great height in the air because she "rides" it. I had to ask what that means. lol! It means she waits until she's at full height before she "pulls" the trick. :) Don't you feel smarter now?! ha, ha!

I think it's amazing that these girls throw girls in the air and catch them. It takes great strength, concentration, and trust to perform these stunts. I admire the hard work of the bases and back spots and the trust for those being thrown in the air. I truly mean it when I say I trust these girls with my daughter's life.

Kenzie...I'm so proud of you! You are an amazing cheerleader and quite the flyer! It's been fun to watch you grow in your ability and your confidence. Also, not once did I ever hear you complain about a practice, fundraising, or any performances. Your commitment shows and will be valuable as you get older. I hope that you hold these memories close to your heart. I know I will. I love you! And I have come to love these girls and their parents. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with me lovie.

Congratulations on a great year!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Newborn triplets in need!

Hi there...

I'm reaching out on behalf of a mom and dad of newborn triplet girls! They were born last Thursday. This was a homeless couple that Breakthrough Ministries came along side a while ago. Anyways...they are now a huge part of Breakthrough and give back to others. They are just a sweet couple growing in their faith. Being that they are basically starting over in life as they really had nothing when they finally got off the streets...having three brand new babies is going to be a challenge. Although not one that is too tough to overcome with some help.

I am waiting for a list of specific needs and will update when I get them. The babies are doing so well that they may actually be home later this week. And I hear that if they are home they will all be at Breakthrough Church on Sunday. ;) My purpose is to see if anyone has any donations for these three baby girls. I do know that they need sheets for their pack-n-plays. Also, some swaddle blankets. Beyond that...I'm sure any baby clothes would be great. Also, they will obviously be needing TONS of diapers, wipes, and other consumable products such as baby soap, lotion, ointment, etc.

Please let me know if you have anything to donate. You will receive a tax donation receipt from Breakthrough since this is for one of the couples they are ministering to.