Sunday, February 16, 2014


Funny to be staring at these beautiful snow pictures thinking of summer, but that is where this story begins. 

I asked Brian in July or August, for my birthday present. I don't care one bit about gifts, so he knew this was unusual. 

I asked if he would go with me to Tennessee for a His Proposal conference. Of course, he agreed. 

So when September rolled around, birthday weekend, we packed for our weekend getaway. We left my friend in charge of all of our girls and Brian and I went to the mountains of TN. It was just the two of us. Such a TREAT. We were staying in cute little cabins at a conference center where we were holding the His Proposal conference. 

It was beautiful weather. So fun to be with just him. 

He stood by my side as I spoke at the conference and encouraged and helped and showered me with love. 
My birthday fell on the Saturday of the conference. I had to speak a few times that morning and that afternoon. Brian told me he had a 'little something' for me. 'Nothing big' he said a few times. So after lunch, we went back to the cabin. 

He pulled out a card.

For months and months the girls had been praying for another baby. I told them I wasn't so sure that Daddy was ready for another baby. So then they prayed for Brian. 

'God, I pray that Daddy's heart would change. I pray Lord, that he would want another baby.' 

So on September 14, 2013 Brian gave me one of my favorite birthday cards. Ever. 

In the bottom left hand corner he had drawn a stick figure family. First there was a tall Brian stick figure, then me, followed by one, two, three, four, FIVE little stick figures. I cried. He cried. 

He wanted another baby. 

What an answer to these little girls prayer. A tangible answer. 

It didn't take long.  
He/She was conceived at Thanksgiving.

And discovered a few weeks into December.

I wanted to tell him in a memorable way. Who gets to tell their husband they are pregnant for the 6th time?! What a huge deal. 
The other times I had made equally as memorable. 

We were at a big masquerade ball downtown on New Years Eve with dinner and a band. At 11:59:30, the lead singer said into the microphone, '30 SECONDS til the NEW YEAR!' 

Over the very loud crowd, I said '...Brian, I have something to tell you….'

We spent the last hour dancing, so he stopped dead in his tracks. He looked into my eyes and I think he just knew. I said it anyway. 

'Brian... I'm pregnant……'
He stared at me. And I watched as he processed such incredibly huge news.

I said over and over, 'I know…..I know.' I don't even know for sure what I was I know-ing. Except I knew that it had taken me a few weeks to believe we were having another child. Another baby. Another life. Another family member. And that our family would grow again. That there would be 5 to love and raise and protect and cherish. 

After a few seconds he started smiling broadly. Thrilled. Excited. Amazed. SO happy to share our family joy. 

Right then, the crowd started shouting 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1………HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

As we kissed. 

It was as if no one else was there.  
He or she is cherished and loved from these first moments.  

The girls had no idea what was coming. I told them that we were going to take pictures in the snow. They put on their favorite pinky-pink lip stick and their sparkliest clothes for the event. 
 I've been 'carrying' a SECRET. 

My oldest Carlisle, said just a few weeks earlier:
'Mom, I think you're pregnant.' She had also said this with a previous pregnancy. Even before I knew. 

Our NEWEST Baby!
There was one important group yet to know. 
Our girls. 

 The Announcement. 
(You may have to click the triangle to make it start.)

I was filled with joy and anticipation. I was jittery. I was actually shaking with excitement. Completely and totally overwhelmed with the gift I was about to give these four sweet girls. 

So much so that it was actually hard for me to get my words out. I had known for so long. 

They had been praying for this baby. They got to feel the beauty of the Lord answering prayer!

It all came down to this moment. 

So thankful for my friends who love me enough to come and video and take pictures. It all was so thrilling I would have forgotten everything if it weren't captured here. 
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. 
Psalm 28:7
'When the righteous triumph, there is great elation.'
Proverbs 28:12
'Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.'
 Psalm 37:4
 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.
Psalm 37:26
'Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.' 
Psalm 127:4-5

And then, Yes. They dropped the baby in the snow. 
No one minded. 
Even baby. 
The rest I'll leave to the pictures. They speak for themselves as our girls each reacted to the news.  

Limitless joy. 

Thinking baby should arrive sometime this August. 
Thank you for sharing newness of life with us!

'Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the LORD.'
Psalm 128:3-4

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Salvation…her most precious gift

I am glad to have a few quiet moments right in the middle of the day to blog about one of the single best days of my life. It's grey outside, snow melting, a lazy Saturday morning with a few quiet minutes in front of the computer.  

For those Mama's, who are believers, who read my blog, you will especially like todays post. 

'I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.' 3 John 1:4

This past Tuesday was a 'normal' day. Normal meaning, more laundry than I can actually do. Messes everywhere that need to be tidied, a sky-high pile of dishes, 3 students to Homeschool and one baby who seems to enjoy poking through everything, everywhere, all the time. :) 

I was on a post-His Proposal conference high. So happy with how well everything went. So amazed at the turn out of helpers and women wanting to serve. Amazed with the 119 girls that came and really in a stupor with all God did. Sunday and Monday were a blur. And then Tuesday hit.

It was 8:30 in the morning on Tuesday, January 28th. 

We were studying King Herod in school. Bible class. We were talking about how he was the King at the time Jesus was born. But he wanted to be sure that he was the one and only King. And yet, he had heard undercurrents of talk about a baby King. King Jesus. It wasn't ok with King Herod. So he ordered to have all boy babies killed to take care of the no-one-is-king-but-him thing. 

Vivian was laughing and saying, 'JESUS is the KING!' And breaking into happy giggles. I was laughing and videoing her on my iPhone. All of a sudden Evelyn turned to me. Unprompted. Just convicted. 

She said in a very serious voice, 'Mommy, I would like to talk to you about something.'

I stopped and looked and there was her little precious, petite little face all serious and tender, blinking up at me. 

I said, 'What is it Evelyn?'

She grabbed my hand and said, 'I want to talk to you alone…in my room.'

We went to her room. I shut the door behind us and we sat down on her bed, sheets and blanket still strewn everywhere. And she says, 'I'm ready Mommy. I'm ready.'

'What are you ready for Ev?' 

'I'm ready to accept Jesus. I'm ready to give Jesus my heart.'

I was dumbfounded. Surely, this was God's blessing in my life after the weekend we just had with those girls at the His Proposal Conference. This was all too much. I was blown away. 

'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father' James 1:17


I have to confess, I've always worried about Evelyn and her salvation. How possibly, is she going to see her depravity and need of a Savior…when she is so incredibly sweet, sharing, Christ-like even? She is so not perfect. But, if I wanted someone to share their last bite of cookie with the baby who has had none, it's Evelyn to volunteer. If I asked someone to give up their seat in the car and move to the back row, it's Evelyn to volunteer. Or if one of your sisters falls and splits her head open, again it's Evelyn who is crying with compassion. She's not perfect, she has her shortcomings, I simply wondered how the living God was going to get a girl already so kind, to see her sin and her need for him.

How crazy of me. Of course, God wants her as his own, more than I could ever dream of. He can save anyone. Even the sweethearts. 

'God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.' 1 Timothy 2:3-4

So there I sit, on the bed of little blue eyed 6 year-old, as she cries and says 'I want Jesus to save me from my sins.'

I pushed record on my phone so I could keep this conversation forever. This is what happened next. 

I asked her, 'What does that really mean?'

She gently said, 'He goes into my heart and he cleans my heart up. And he helps me.'

'Who died on the cross for you?'


'And did he do it because he loves you so much?' 

(Nodding) 'Yes.'

'Do you have any questions?' 

'Uh huh...I just love Jesus. And I never want to hurt him.'

'Let's pray Ev and you can have him come into your life and your heart right now.' 

(Baby screaming in background, from a few rooms away.)

'Dear God, I thank you so much for Evelyn. I thank you for her tender heart. I thank you that she is your child. You made her and you love her. I thank you in Jesus name that she wants to be yours. I thank you that you want her to be yours.'

'Evelyn, repeat after me ok?' (She nods and closes her eyes.)

'Jesus, please forgive me of all of my sins. Forgive me of being unkind. Fill me with you Jesus. So that I can always serve you. I love you. And I want to live my life for you. Thank you for saving me and washing me on the inside. Father you are good. And holy. And right. And I thank you so much God for saving me. 

In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.'

'How do you feel Evelyn?' 

'Good.' (Smiling)

'that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.' 

John 3:15

Vivian busts into the room crying. 

I tell Viv to give Evelyn and I another few minutes. That I'll be right there. 

I pull Evelyn into my arms and hug her. We lay back onto her bed and she is softly crying. She says, 'Mommy, I feel sooooo loved.' 

'Evelyn! That's God! That love you feel is God! You can feel him.'

'Yes. I feel like he's protecting me! …. I love you Jesus. It makes me want to cry cause he's so sweet.'

'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' John 3:16

I said, 'Evelyn, he's washing you. God is already cleaning out your little heart.'

'Mommy!! I'm a new girl! I want to be baptized!' 

'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!' 2 Cor 5:17

And I'm laughing and smiling and nodding and crying. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
_ _ _ _ _

If you have blown it with your kids, or you have kids who are not on the right path, let me URGE you to pursue the Lord. It isn't over. Delight yourself in the Lord. 

The Word says, 'Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.'

I couldn't have dreamed that my two older girls would know Jesus so young. I was 22. I know what life looks without Jesus. It is a sad and lonely place. 

My girls are watching me, just as your children are watching you. Are you leading them TO the Lord or are you leading them away? 

Lead them to the King of Kings! Read them the Word, help them memorize scripture. But first, read the Word yourself! Memorize it yourself! 

I'm reading through the bible again. And I was just reading in the Old Testament about Moses. 

Moses was born an Israelite. Just by his birth, he's hated by Egyptians and Pharaoh. But Pharaoh gave orders for ALL Israelite baby boys to be killed. So Moses' Mom hides him for 3 months and makes a little basket and to save his life, puts him afloat on the Nile River. Which was a LONG shot for saving his life. Crocodiles, huge snakes and a whole country of people, not to mention Pharaoh, want him dead. Not good odds. But God wanted him. Just as God wants your sons and daughters. God had his hand on Moses' life. 

Moses is saved out of the Nile river by the daughter of the Pharaoh. She has compassion and rescues him. Which is hilarious and clearly the Lord, because her Dad hates all Israelites. She goes on to raise him as her son in the wealth and riches of Egypt. 

Fast forward many years, Moses is a grown man. And God TALKS to him from a burning bush. He calls Moses by name! And God basically says, 'Here's the deal Moses. You have a big job to do. But you are chosen and you have my help. You can do it. Now go lead all the Israelites out of Egypt. Oh and you've got to get approval from the impossible Pharaoh.' 

And in one of the saddest tragedies in the bible, Moses says to the Lord (Jennie translation)…..'Um….I really don't think I can do it…you know I am not that great. I'm nothing special. I'm kind of a goof ball when it comes to teaching others, leading others…I don't think you've got the right guy. I think you, God of the universe, made a mistake. Could you send someone else please?' 

Um. Gulp. 

God may have roared at him. Or maybe He was real sweet about it. The bible doesn't tell us how He said it. But He tells us WHAT He said. And that He was ANGRY. He said, (Jennie translation) 'BRO. I chose you. Your brother can help you. But I chose YOU.'  -(Read first couple of chapters of Exodus for the full story)

Sisters. That is what He says to you and me today. He calls us by name and says, I choose YOU. You were chosen to raise the children I have given you. I have given you everything you need to lead them to me. I WILL HELP YOU. 

I know that my children are watching me. As I daily go to the Word, pouring God's holy Word into my life every morning. They watch me. They watch you. And God is faithful. I have prayed for them to come to know Jesus young, since they were in my womb. Praise GOD He has answered that prayer with them. 

'Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.' Deuteronomy 4:9 

God will help you. Pray for His help as you minister to your family. God delights in helping us. I can assure you, He wants your children to know Him more than you could ever dream of wanting. 

'God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.' Hebrews 13:5-6 

He wants to help you. He wants to give you new ways to love your children well and to encourage them in the Lord. He wants to give, not take, from you and them. 

'Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake.' Psalm 79:9

'I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.' 3 John 1:4

Be encouraged! God will help you just as he helped Moses.