Monday, December 5, 2011

Loving the Christmas Season!

Oh, how I love Christmas.  There is a hint of sadness in our celebration this year, but it makes me even more thankful for what my Savior has done for me.  The Christmas story is a beautiful celebration of birth, hope, and love that we sometimes miss in the hustle and bustle of the season.

Right after Thanksgiving we decorated our apartment for Christmas.  Sometimes I wish it could be decorated for Christmas all year long until I get to do it all over again.  I love seeing the transformation, the twinkling lights, and all the colors and memories that come along with them.  Both of us have ornaments on our trees given to us when we were little and decorations scattered around that come with a sweet memory of our wonderful parents and Christmases before.  Last week and this weekend, Aaron and I transformed my classroom into a Christmas wonderland complete with tree and many decorations.  I love seeing the wonder on the kids' faces as they stare at the lights during rest time.  Beautiful.

When people used to ask me what my favorite holiday was, I would always say my birthday.  Since I have become an adult, I always say Christmas.  It's a beautiful time where we can celebrate the message of our faith so tangibly, spend time with those we love, and snuggle up under a warm blanket with a mug of hot chocolate.  Bliss!

My challenge for myself (and you if you'll join me) this Christmas season is to put Jesus first.  Find some way each day in the midst of your celebrating to spend time with the Savior, the Creator, the sweet baby in the manger.  I don't want to miss this by going through this beautiful time of year with an emptiness of celebrating all the fluff without Jesus.  What a tragedy that would be.

I hope you will be drawn deeper in your relationship with Jesus these next few weeks leading up to Christmas.  If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, I pray this will be the Christmas you will surrender to the God of the universe who became the baby in the manger in order to take away our sins.  That is the best Christmas gift we will ever receive. 

I would love if you would comment and share a Christmas tradition you enjoy each year with your family.  My favorite that Aaron & I have is every Christmas eve at midnight, we give each other an ornament for our tree.  I always look forward to giving and receiving a new treasure that will become linked to a sweet memory with my man.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Glory Baby

I've wanted to write a blog entry for two weeks about our precious glory baby, but I wasn't ready.  I journaled, I talked, I cried, I prayed, I grieved, but I didn't know how to put it all into words on here.  I think I'm ready now.  Grief is a strange thing that is such a central part of life.  We are born, we live, and eventually we die.  The hard part of this grieving is this baby will never get to see the sun, smell the flowers, be held in our arms, or do any of the human things that we take for granted.  While this is true, he/she is seeing the Son, smelling the heavenly aroma of perfection, being held in Jesus' arms, and in the only body he/she will ever know, a perfect heavenly one.

Our journey began almost exactly two years ago.  When we got married, we knew we didn't want to wait a long time to have children.  Both of us love kids and want to raise children to love and serve Jesus.  Well, the Lord's plan for our lives is not always our plan.  We prayed and waited on the Lord, wanting to know His will as time continued to pass with no pregnancy.  After much prayer and a year and a half of trying and waiting on God, we went to a fertility specialist this past summer.  After a lot of testing, we found out that the only issue was my ovulation, so I was put on ovulation medication this fall.  On November 8th, I had a positive pregnancy test.  After having so many negative ones, I didn't know what to do when it was positive.  We were ecstatic and so thankful to the Lord for answering our prayers.  We still are.  Because we were seeing a specialist, they decided to have me get blood draws every other day for a week to make sure everything was progressing as it should.  We got a call after the 3rd blood draw that something was wrong - the pregnancy hormone had stayed the same over a period of a day and a half.  HCG levels are supposed to at least double every day, so this was a major red flag.  We began to pray and got everyone else to pray, knowing both that God could do a miracle and also that might not be His will.  On November 15, the day I was scheduled for another blood draw, we both woke up with tremendous peace in our hearts that God would carry us through whatever was to come.  Later that day, we found out that our precious baby had gone to rest in Jesus' arms.   One tremendous blessing in all of this is that we got the blood draws when we did.  If we had been going to a regular obgyn, we wouldn't have an appointment scheduled for a few more weeks and would have found out when the baby actually miscarried.  How much more painful and devastating that would have been!  Thank you, Lord, for your tiny blessings in the midst of heart wrenching pain.

Many people have asked me how I am doing.  It depends on the day.  The first week was the hardest as I went through the very painful physical part and the raw emotional pain all at the same time.  Time has helped in some ways and made it harder in others.  We try to remember the excitement, planning, and love for that precious baby all bottled up in the few days we knew he/she was being knit together in my womb.  As time goes on, it's harder to remember those little moments that become blurred with the pain that followed.

There are many questions swirling around in our heads, but there is one thing that has remained constant -- my precious Jesus.  He has held us, comforted us, grieved with us, and loved us so lavishly.  I have felt so close to the Lord in these past weeks.  I am not the same in so many ways as a result of losing our glory baby, but one thing I am thankful for is that my relationship with Jesus can never be the same.  I have learned to lean on Him and trust Him in the midst of the storms of life.  There is nothing more precious than that.

The verse that has ministered the most to me during these weeks has been 1 Thessalonians 4:13
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope."

The verse that has ministered the most to Aaron has been Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I am more in love with my husband today than I could have ever imagined the day we got married.  Every one always told us that we would go through things together that would knit us together as one more than we could ever imagine.  I knew it was true, but I didn't begin to understand until now.  I have seen a new side of Aaron that I would have never asked to see, but God has allowed me to see Aaron's deep character and commitment to trusting God no matter what.  Aaron is a man worth submitting to, a man worth loving, and a man worth going through the trenches with.  I am so thankful that the Lord has given us to each other.  We want more than anything else for God to use us and our glory baby to bring Him honor and glory.  This baby's life, however short, has a purpose, and we do not want to miss that!

We have had so many wonderful people carry us through their kindness and prayers than I could have ever dreamed of.  Our families, friends, and even distant acquaintances have been there for us in such a real, deep way that I am so grateful for.  If you are one of these, thank you.  You have shown us the love of Jesus with your words, your actions, and your love.  For those of you who have shared your stories of infant loss with us during this time, thank you for your openness, your tenderness, and your understanding.  Thank you for using your pain and loss to help us to grieve in a healthy way.

For those of you that have talked to us and loved on us, thank you.
For those of you who have prayed for us, thank you.
For those of you who have felt the pain of this loss as well, we are truly sorry, and we pray the Lord will wrap you in His arms during your grieving process and give you His perfect peace.  If you need to talk, I am here.

I am planning to blog more in the weeks and months to come and hope you will join me and comment.  That's the only way I know people are reading.

Holding onto Jesus,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

SonGear - a website with great gifts and a great message!

While perusing the web this Christmas season for the best gifts for everyone on your list, take a quick visit to .

Their main message, Life with Jesus is better, is all over the place in the form of t-shirts, mugs, umbrellas, etc...  I love seeing companies that unashamedly share the Gospel with anyone who will happen onto their site.  Songear is not ashamed, and neither should we be.  They also have many other t-shirts and other products, focusing on walking with Jesus every day. 

My husband and I are planning to buy Merry Jesusmas! shirts to wear for Christmas.   What a great way to share with the world our love for the Lord and really make people think about the true meaning of Christmas.

As a small Christian company, they need all the orders possible this Christmas season in order to stay in business as time goes on.  As we see all over the place, small businesses have a hard time in this crazy economy.  Let's help them out!

Head over to for a few minutes today.  Be sure to come back and leave a comment here letting us know what your favorite product is. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Deals, Deals Everywhere!

So I have been a terrible blogger, but here I am again.  I think aspiring to write something inspirational every day made me stop writing all together.  I'm going to write what's happening, what I'm thinking about, and sometimes something inspirational will come.  I'm lowering the expectations on myself.  So today, I'm talking about something that I love -- deals.  If you know me, you know I love clearance, deals, and coupons.  There are some amazing ways to get deals out there and some sites I love to use.  I will tell you some of those sites and why I like them.  Hopefully you will find them useful as well :)  If you're a facebooker, most of these sites have facebook accounts as well that update frequently with new deals.

My Points :) - I put a smiley, because this is one of my all-time favorite sites.  Anytime you want to purchase something online, purchase through the link to your favorite websites on this site.  You will get points for everything you buy, emails you click on, and other various things.  You can use the points to score free gift cards.  We order online from time to time and are almost at our 2nd $50 amazon gift card. Check it out :)

Daily Deal Sites

Groupon - one of our favorite daily deal sites with new deals every day specifically for where you live - we've gotten great hotel, restaurant, shopping, etc... deals through groupon
Living Social - another fantastic  daily deal site - we've gotten some great hotel and restaurant deals
No More Rack - I haven't ordered from here yet, but they have great deals that change every day at noon cst - usually designer brand related for much cheaper.
There are LOTS more than this, but these are some of the most popular.

There are lots of couponing websites, but these are some of my favorites:
Hip2Save - great site with lots of deals nationwide - she also has lots of great couponing tips and uploads videos explaining how to save more money
A Full Cup - my favorite couponing website with lots of information and support to help you on your couponing journey.  If you are looking for a specific coupon, search their coupon database!
My Milwaukee Mommy - Lots of local and nationwide deals - there are similar sites for other cities.
Krazy Coupon Lady - another great couponing site
*My Points, which I told you about above has a lot of the printable coupons available on their site.  When you print and use them, you get more points!

Pixel of Ink - If you have a kindle, this site could be your next best friend.
*Register for emails from your favorite restaurants and stores.  You get free things on your birthday :)
Educator Discounts - This site contains a list of 66 places that give teachers a discount - SCORE!

If you're new to the world of internet deals, this may seem like a large list.  Trust me, this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Check out one or two of the sites, and let me know what you think!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm a princess too!

I got up this morning to watch Prince William and Kate get married in front of billions of the world population.  Last night, I got really excited about it.  In my lifetime, we haven't been able to watch something of this magnitude.  My mom watched Diana and Charles get married, and I wanted to be able to tell my children that I watched William and Kate get married.  Now I can :)  It was wonderful to see the way they looked at each other, confirming that this is not another political move, like has happened in their history, but this is truly a couple who love each other and want to be married.  I also loved hearing all of the Scripture quoted throughout the ceremony from various parts of the Bible.  The Gospel was proclaimed throughout the world this morning through the venue of a royal British wedding.  Thank you, Lord!

Through the whole ceremony, I was reminded that they are normal people just like you and I, except he was born into British royalty and is in line for the throne.  When she was born, her parents never imagined she would ever talk to royalty much less be royal herself.  What an amazing thing to think of.  It makes me think of our position as children of God.  Before our redemption in Christ, we are "commoners" who can not talk to royalty, much less be a royal.  When we are redeemed and become a child of God, we become a child of the King, a prince or a princess with all the rights and privileges of heirs of royalty.   I'm a princess too!

My Father is rich in houses and lands
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold
His coffers are full; He has riches untold.
I'm a child of the King, a child of the King
With Jesus, my Savior, I'm a child of the King.

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory."  Romans 8:17

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

He Holds Your Hand!

Happy Wednesday!
Thanks for the sweet comments about yesterday's post.
Throughout this year, my mom and I are memorizing Scripture with Beth Moore's Blog Community.  I will be sharing what some of these verses have spoken to my heart on this blog.  In February, I memorized a verse that really resonated with my heart.

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."   Isaiah 41:13

I'd probably read that verse a thousand times in my life, but I never really saw what it said before.  How many times have I been afraid and forgotten that God is right there with me, doing life with me?    When you walk down the street and see a mom and child or husband and wife or grandmother and grandchild holding hands, doesn't it just melt your heart?  This verse promises that is what God does for us - HE'S HOLDING MY HAND!  Wow!  How can I ever walk a day the same?  He's not hovering over me, ready for me to mess up like some people envision.  He's not sitting on a cloud hoping I'm okay.  He's right here with me in the trenches of life, holding my hand.  Let's live in that reality that God loves us so much He is holding our hands helping us to get through anything that comes.