Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Happy Birthday! JP and TP

 Taylor -- Well -- you are married now.    So, ONE , birthday blog......

I really wanted to write JP his own blog a few weeks ago but that never happened.

 Then today -- is your birthday and I had thought all day of your birthday blog and was prepared to begin to type when, your dad decided to volunteer "us" to babysit so you could go out on a date with your man.   And that took any extra time of my very little extra time.

  And please don't misunderstand me,  I LOVE the fact that your dad volunteered "us".  As he helped but I truly loved every moment!    Then I get to give her 'back". 

However, even as I type this I am getting about 14 text messages from you cause she is STILL awake!   The joys of motherhood - each birthday from this point on will be different! 

Happy birthday Jake:  

Lord, I thank you for this man that has come into our lives and has taken the wheel to provide and cherish our first born.  He doesn't come with closed fists or a heart that is cold, but he comes with hands extended upward towards you and palms ready to receive.  And his heart -- is after Your heart and character Lord, bless him on his 30th birthday!

Here are 30 things or revlations that have come to my brain in the 2  almost 3 years that I have known you. 

1.  Thanks for you 'bonding' with BP.  It is kind of scary how you both sort of react to the same stuff.
2.  Thanks for being a 'big brother' to HELP and always making sure that rough housing usually happens at several different moments at each visit.
3.  Thank you for being open to my prayers, my suggestions, and my very force full but sweet  ways at times. 
4.  I am thankful for the athletic spirit you bring into our family.
5.  I am thankful for how you make Taylor happy.
6.  I am very proud of your recent 'new job' with the youth at Westside.
7.  I am delighted that you make adorable girl babies. 
8.  I am grateful for our first grand girl -- Ava Lynne and I am proud of how you have been working through a difficult situation and believing that it will continue to get better.
9.  I admire how you must hold your tongue at times because you are living with a house full of women.
10. I pray for you when I know you are hurting because the co-parenting  or living with women has hit a snag.
11.  I am proud of you for standing up and fighting for Ava no matter what the cost.
12.  I am proud that you recognize the need for YOU in Ava's life and how you reaffirm her.   And how you will do this for SJ as well.  
13. .  I am thankful you listen to Ava and tell her what a beautiful girl she is and how she will continue to be. And you will do this for SJ as well.
14.  I am thankful you initiate prayer with Ava all the time.  And I know you will do this with SJ too!
15.  I LOVE how I caught you praying with Ava and for Sawyer as she was about to meet her new sister.
16.  I adore how you pray over your wife and calm her.
17.  I find it rather funny that no matter how tired you are, you will do what Taylor wants or help her change her mind.  ( now why did that not work with Gunner?)
18.  I believe you will touch many lives through all the areas of your life.
19.  I believe you are the perfect dad for both Ava Lynne and Sawyer Jane.
20. I believe that as you continue to tithe and seek God's directions, your finances and other present troubles will be provided for and taken care of through God. 
21. I LOVE how you love dogs and you connect and train  them.
22.   I love how you discipline dogs -- opps, wait -- NO I don't.  Just saying.
23.  I love how you call me Chelly.
24.  I love how you have that strawberry blond hair!
25.  I admired how you supported and took care of Taylor during labor and delivery.
26.  I love how Taylor's friends have become your friends.
27.  I love to hear you laugh.
28.  I love to hang with you and so enjoyed our trip to Colorado and pray we will DO that again very soon.
29.  I adore how you are always showing affection to my first born.
30.  And lastly.... I love that you read your bible and WANT to be a better husband, father, and believer that uses the Word of God as your standard.

Happy Birthday Jacob Padrick -- may I be around to see 30 more!!!

And now Taylor --

27 hugh....?

I could list 27 things.   I could go back combine the blogs I wrote for your 20th and your 25th...  I could rewrite your birth story - oh wait, I think we have BEAT that one like a dead horse.  You were born.  Amen.

But what I want to express the most right now -- is HOW meaningful these past few weeks have been.  You needed me 27 years ago to feed, burp, and bathe you -- and now....in these past four weeks -- I feel like I am doing it all over.

I am feeding you -- with insight and what I know about being a mom.
I am burping you --  as some stuff did not work and it came back out.
I am bathing you -- washing you over and over with prayers and reminders that YOU will succeed at this new adventure and your will survive.

And I am holding you -- the snuggle is real.  You posted that you did not realize HOW much you loved and needed me until SJ was born.  I have watched you for almost 2 years now be a mother to Ava and you excelled.  And now -- the reality of a 24/7 MOM has hit.  

You struggled at first.  It is what it is....but it was a real struggle.  It was just a learning curve and as your husband told you today -- it seems you have turned a corner.

My postpartum left me at about 5 weeks when I went back to work.  SJ is almost 5 weeks and you have begun that routine of 'work' again and slowly you are allowing the Holy Spirit to show you that YOU can be a good mom.    I pray that your postpartum is on its way OUT - in the name of Jesus.

I am so very proud of you Taylor.  As God continues to teach you -- please share and teach others.  I realize you are not teaching students -- but you are teaching many others.  And it just warms my heart that you love those girls with all of your heart.  It is possible to love two -- just like you love the one.

You are an excellent mommy and I pray that as SJ continues to grow and gets more settled into her schedule the nights won't be sleepless and I pray the frustrations won't be too many -- but most of all, I pray that as you enjoy EACH day with SJ and Ava ....that God will be given all the glory.  Both of them are your gifts from God.  Like you and HP were my gift.

Ava made you a bonus mom.  SJ made you a 24/7 mom - a birth mom.  Both girls will learn from you -- both love you and both will look to you one day -- as you have been looking to me.  I pray I am around to see it, but if I am not -- know that ...I prophesied it here --

They will walk and call you blessed -- you are a Proverbs 31 woman.  You are no longer my little girl but you will always be my first born.  I love you - and Happy birthday Taylor!!


He is the ultimate multi-tasker! God!

In the past month or so I have found myself repeating over and over -- God is the ultimate:

I sit amazed on HOW  He creates and HOW  He orchestrates -- one finds it VERY hard to argue with what God can do.

---------If we allow Him.

Just take the experience of giving birth.  I myself have done it twice.  Others, several times, and still others more than that.   That ENTIRE experience is a miracle.  Just from being in the delivery room with my daughter -- 4 weeks ago, I learned SO much of how God created and designed that little life  ( the size of a small watermelon ) to be PUSHED through a hole the size of a  pear!  Amazing.

Even as they placed little SJ on Taylor's chest and began to wipe her off -- we noticed that she was not moving her right arm.   The midwife wasn't concerned, she just stated that sometimes it takes a little time for all the parts to get moving.

 As they began to clean her up,  put those drops in her eyes and wipe off all the placenta, I watched how that little one began to explore the new surroundings with her hands and her mouth.  How God designed that.  As Taylor began to breast feed, how the little one knew to turn her head and root.  All these little  that God designed and all FIT together.
almost 5 weeks!

A year ago, God orchestrated a final prayer walk around a little red cottage because He knew that fast forward one year, there would be a 2 year old that would be walking back and forth from her Miss Kerry's cottage/house to her Mimi's cottage.  This two year old could have lovin from one grandmother and then head next door to get more from the other.  God knew how spirited she would be and blessed her with grandmothers with patience and endless love to hold onto her when she looks right at you and says, "no!".   She could also play each of them-- off each other-- and manage to get double "gummies" and treats between the two homes!

Presently, I am 5 weeks out from a women's event that will transpire over a weekend.  God knew some ten years ago that my hunger for Him would finally come.  God knew seven years ago that a women's encounter weekend would be what I needed to meet Him face to face.  I began to fall in love with Him- God  and  I allowed Him to heal me.

As  time went on, God orchestrated a yearning to continue this type of encounter to help others and all that time -- he was preparing other women in their walk to help lead.   It is a pure JOY as the leadership team and I meet and begin to see HOW God has orchestrated lessons and tests within their lives to help others recognize their chains and want their freedom from bondage!

 God is the one that orchestrates these events and  even back before the holiday, He laid out the floor plan for HOW  this next women's encounter was to be laid out.  I knew the holiday was around the corner and that is always a busy time, but I also knew my daughter would be giving birth.  I had a quick refresher course of HOW babies interrupt our routines and TAKE over our lives.   I had NO idea  or plans to the  amount of time that would be occupied.  But God did -- He orchestrated and provided and was faithful.

 Back before the holiday, God laid out several visions and details .  I didn't question the 'earliness of the preparedness' -- I just prayed and sought counsel to make sure my ideas and lists were of God and not my need to get everything organized before chaos set in.    But now -- on this end of it --and on this side of the past 3 months -- God moved and provided and was faithful to put everything in place.

 Because God is the perfect conductor and multi-task master.

 In my 'wisdom', as I watch my husband mentor and minister to the men in his circle -- I get the awareness that I need to help him.  Here again, I stress -- "I get the awareness".    But in reality, its me who sees that he could be doing more or being more bolder.  And that is wrong of me.  However,   it  always seems easier to notice stuff in our spouses compared to seeing what we need to fix first in ourselves.    I am not being prompted by God, it is my own ego that wants to help him and orchestrate something to happen -- but it is always for his good and the good of the one it effects.   

But then---just today --- I got  a glimpse of HOW God orchestrated something and I  see the GLORY of God shine as my husband shares the testimony of one he prayed for.  God knew...God is there....God is the ultimate conductor in this life and He continually masters or excels at various different tasks - all that are very important.  He placed my man in front of another man to counsel.  God did that -- not me.  God again, lets nothing go to waste.

A random meeting -- is never random if we are believers.  It is God. 

2 Timothy 1. 13-14  says:

Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.  

God indeed multi-tasks.
God indeed orchestrates.  

God is good.

He is a good good Father.  And in the quiet and even in the louder moments when I quiet myself and keep still -- many of these examples pop up in front of me and I marvel at the amazing love of God.

The Holy Spirit can be that voice that helps us grow closer to Jesus!  The Holy Spirit within me is another great conductor of our lives.  

Even as I close this and pray -- 

There is a situation heavy on my heart.  Prayers being said for a family as a season of struggle has them on their knees.  I can intercede and encourage and yet God - as He is the ultimate multi-tasker - He has placed the right person in my path to help me intercede for them.  As they have 'walked' in those shoes and have some insight.  God has healed them and now, she can encourage me to help me encourage another.    Some may call that 'paying it forward', I call it God.    Only God can do that.

And even as I wrap up this blog, I got a text message from a sweet godly women that must, for the 47x time ....forgive her husband.  I may be presently MAD at him for this moment, but the Holy Spirit speaks to me and reminds me -- He created her for him.  God is RIGHT there.  He was or is not surprise.  He will have the help she needs and the encouragement she needs to walk as Jesus would want her to.

Lord, this eve -- I just pray for the one reading this that does not believe God can multi-task because they presently don't FEEL God moving anywhere around them -- God - move.  Touch.  Speak to them in a supernatural way.  May they see and feel your presence rather quickly.

And Lord, for the blessings I see over and over because you are the KING of multi-tasking -- cause YOU are Lord - I give you all the praise and honor and glory.  It is You Lord - just You.  May this blog bring one some peace and the courage to seek You so she may see and experience your multi-tasking skills.  IN Jesus Name -- Amen

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Will God do for you -- as He did for me?

Tonight I am thinking about a particular person that probably does not believe God fights for her.  She hears me speak of trusting God over and over and yet, there is still this element of fear.  And she probably  does not  feel that He - God - will do for her .....what He has done for me.  And she asks, Why?  I pray and remind her to have faith.

And then there is another woman this eve who is waiting on God to remove someone and she thinks she  knows that  God is doing what is best for her  and yet, there is a little element of fear.  And she probably needs to feel a real physical presence of God this evening.  So I ask, will God do that for her as he has done  for me? 

In addition... there is another woman this evening, sleep deprived and worn,  and  she wonders about her present situatuion and sees no hope and cries out.  Her voice and desperate rant expresses  that God won't provide, won't do for her, but  I remind her --He can !  

Each of these women are very dear to me.  And yet, as I type and rethink -- there are another three women that I can think of that would fit each of these scenarios.    And then I am positive that there are another three women that are total strangers and yet -- this will speak to each of them.   We are in a hurting world. 

And I admit - as I prayed, I had to renew my thinking and THANK God for doing for them -- WHAT He has done for me!  I trust that God will.  

   There is a Christian song by 10th Avenue North called Strong Enough to Save.  The lyrics:  

You fought but you were just too weak
So you lost all the things you tried to keep
Now you're on your knees
You're on your knees

But wait, everything can change
In a moment's time
You don't have to be afraid
'Cause fear is just a lie
Open up your eyes

And He'll break open skies
To save those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you

Look, an hour's not too late
Lift up your head
Let the rain fall on your face
You're not far from grace
You're not too far from grace

And He'll break open skies
To save those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you
Break open skies
To save those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you

I know the weight of this world
Can take you down like gravity
I know the current of yourself
Can take you out, out to sea
But hold on, hold on

And He'll break open skies
To save those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you
Break open skies
To save those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you
"HE'll break open the skies....and save those that cry out HIS  name".

  Lord -- I thought of that, over and over and sang that song in my head - YOU do break open the skies....YOUR word says that YOU don't want anyone to perish......I am just amazed that YOU love us that much.

 Lord,  I remember back  - seven years ago  when I had a vision of you Lord, on that horse and you bent down and scooped me up...and placed me on the horse in front of you.  That scooping motion was so real. I could see and and feel it. And then, YOU gave me another vision of that BRIGHT yellow light - YOUR light.  I remember it being so clear and yet so bright that I wanted to look away but I didn't.  And it only lasted a few seconds, but there was such a peace and warmth with it.

Lord,  I really believed that I had been privileged enough to experience that yellow - YOUR light and then  --that warmth.  It is a vision and a feeling that I will never forget.  I don't share that with too many as some may not believe it is true - but I do.  I used to think all that sort of stuff was just 'freakish' but now, YOUR power and how you work is such a mystery and revelation that   YOU make real things happen.  I see you Lord, as the warrior on the horse, coming in to rescue me.  

Lord, today  the women that are on my prayer list need miracles, but mostly - they just need to be reminded that YOU have not forgotten them.    And Lord, some need to believe that YOU will do for them -- as You did for me! 

Give them that visit ........

But today, I am just reminding  you of  the one  in particular on my list.  I have prayed for her often and  in different circumstances but today, it is a hard one.  Lord, her son may see you, soon, as it could be this evening or maybe tomorrow -- I don't have words.  I have tears...and PRAY that Your divine intervention would create a miracle to stop his present medical condition but I trust that You are doing for her - what You have done for me.  

You MET me each and every time when I needed You.  

I trust you  Lord  and his mom trusts you too -- be ever present in her head and heart this evening  and her husband's.    And Lord, for the others that believe they are forgotten -- may they read this and know, that You can and will do for them what You did for me.  

I have that total peace -- IN Jesus name, Amen. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

When prayers for a family member HITS home --

If you read this blog on a routine basis, you know I pray.   You know my family is very important to me and my friends that have become family as well.  Relationships form, breathe and live and some get deeper and others do fall away -- but some people leave an imprint in our lives that will NEVER be forgotten.

As I continue to grow and God teaches me about His character,  and as I see His works all around me, I can't help but want to BE right there and 'fixing' right along side of God.  But God is the healer -- God and the Holy  Spirit are the ones that judge and confirm what needs to be done and Jesus is the one who continually teaches us to love - love God before any other gods.  Jesus teaches me to let His Father do the hard and heavy work but to intercede in prayer while I wait. 

Holy Spirit reminds me of the 'stones' in my past.  Mile markers WHERE God healed, God provided, and God moved a mountain so I have the faith to believe HE will do it again.  But it is still hard to wait -- but not impossible. 

It is hard when a very close family member - just DOES not get it. 
It is hard when you see a very close family member reject you and basically reject God. 
It is hard when you feel the presence of God and they don't.
It is hard when you want to give them a jolt of faith and you can't -- you must wait. 
It is hard.

It is just as hard when someone close is SO close to totally surrendariing and they don't.
It is just as hard when you are rejected over and over again by that close one who claims to live for Jesus.
It is just as hard when you see them experiencing the presence of Jesus and they won't let you near.
It is just as hard watching from afar -- reminding yourself that God loves him or her - JUST as much and is fighting for them as well.   And you must wait.......

But God...   

Presently, there are several prayer requests in my head and heart that have me daily going to my knees.  Presently hitting my knees more than ever cause I can't be RIGHT there to help, to speak life or encourage, or to just sit with a brother and hug his neck.  But God is. 

My girl just had a baby.  I overheard her say, "my mom and me -- our  relationship has changed".  I know it has.  When your baby has a baby -- stuff changes.  Whenever a mom becomes a mom, she has a new appreciation for her own mother. 

When your life is suddenly hit with an earthquake - stuff changes and it hurts and it is hard.  And when you see a dear one walking it -- you want to fix it. 

While driving to help and serve my daughter yesterday, my Lord spoke to me and reminded me of something as I was in prayer for a dear one that is far away.  

I just want to share the conversation I felt in my spirit --

Lord, I pray for them. I pray for their marriage, I pray for his therapy and I pray for the entire family to feel your presence today. Lord, there is a mountain that needs to be moved --

Don't you think I know that?

Yes, I know you do. 

I will provide.

Yes, I know you will, I am sorry for dictating what needs to be done.

You are loved. 
Did I not move the mountains for you? 


Don't you think I love them as much as I love you? 


Why wouldn't I provide ALL that they need to overcome this? 

You are  RIGHT Lord -- You will.  I must trust. 

Yes, Trust ... are you trusting me? 

And with that - tears.

 I blog about trusting... I talk about trusting and in that little moment on 714 as I was traveling to see my daughter and my grand babies...  I knew that I knew, I had allowed the enemy and his sneaky FEAR to get into my system. 

That is why it is so important to seek "our daily bread"!
That is why we pray from a standing of VICTORY instead of defeat. 

I was so touched by the presence of God as I drove and my heart melted and I was reminded that HE loves  my hurting family as much as I do - in  fact -- MORE....HE sent His Son to die for us. 

We love our family so badly we just want to fix their problems when many times we must allow them to WALK out their own circumstances and allow  them the hunger and thirst for Christ as our Healer. 

And in our 'small' mind -- we feel the impending doom -- and yet, God did allow what happened for His Purpose....ultimately God will win.  We must trust in the waiting. 

God brought me to these verses: 

 Ecclesiastes 3 -- A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.

The Lord Upholds My Life - Psalm 54

54 O God, save me by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
O God, hear my prayer;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers[b] have risen against me;
    ruthless men seek my life;
    they do not set God before themselves. Selah
Behold, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies;
    in your faithfulness put an end to them.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Lord, as whomever reads this tonight -- I pray they will hear you -- seek you and find you and know that they know -- YOU are right there and healing the broken.... 

Lord, for the one reading this and it FITS perfectly into their lives -- God use this blog to reach them...to speak to them and may they place ALL their trust in You.  

Lord, for my  loved one tonight -- may HE be transformed by the renewing of his mind with YOUR Word --may he believe that indeed He is able to do what He said He would.  May the future be bright  and may this present season pass in Your timing and in Your perfect will.  Strengthen his family and his siblings - may they walk out this fire and NOT be burned as You Lord will direct every path.  

 In Jesus Strong and perfect name...AMEN.  

God - you will win in his life!  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Trusting God - will You allow Him to birth that in you?

She is here and trusting God continues to be a lesson that I learn over and over and come to understand  with a DEEPER understanding!

Sawyer Jane Padrick joined her mom, dad , and her sister, Ava on one of the coldest days in Florida this year.  

It has been 36 hours and our lives have changed. This precious little girl came into the world at 11.29 pm on January 5th.  She was given 3 different due dates - December 16th, December 21st and January 1st with 1/1/18 as the one that stuck with the OBGyn and the Midwives.

 God appointed the date and time... January 5th at 11.29.

I was in the room.  I witnessed my daughter trust her Lord and believe in the system that God created to "birth a human".  I watched my baby birth a baby.  I watched my child labor for over 24 hours and as her labor did not progress there was a moment when I had to leave the birthing sweet and get to my knees and 'lay' the entire process at HIS feet and then I asked God to help me be TOUGH for her -- to remind her that whether she came by c-section or vaginally -- the end result was indeed -- good.

I praise God that I had some sisters of my own to call upon and pray for me -- iron sharpens iron and God tells us to ASK....and He will answer.  God wants us to trust our burdens with our fellow believers.  

There is SO much I want to say - so many lessons God showed and taught  me while I watched her 'rock' out contractions.  So many lessons while I watched and helped by giving her shoulder massages and stretched out her neck.  So many insights into HOW God orchestrates while family joined, added humor, and  HOW God provides in many different ways -- even by blessing Jake with some extra time off so he can be present when SJ comes home!   So many lessons -- just in watching a fetal monitor.  And yet...a peace that transcended ALL understanding.  I am in awe.    I encountered God in a most sweet way.    God responds in favor when we are obedient - I witnessed this over and over in the life of my daughter.  And as a mother, those moments when your adult children are right there and totally relaying on our Father in Heaven -- it is just surreal.  It is a moment, that if the Lord tarries... I want to experience when  both Ava and Sawyer go through  it- if that is in God's plan.   I guess I am calling forth and declaring that both Ava and Sawyer will grow into their roles as mothers in their future and their lives will be filled with favor as they live and grow in the knowledge of their Father and seek and honor Him.   

In the 26 years since I birthed Sawyer's  mom--  Taylor --so much has changed.  I never progressed in labor and after almost 2 days  of  medicine and inducing techniques, Taylor emerged on February 6th by Cesarean Section.   She was 2 weeks overdue.  The nurses stated they won't even let mothers go to 42 weeks anymore.  I  recovered in a sterile plain room and listened to other patients moan and grown next door cause the walls were so thin.    Now, Taylor is recovering in a beautiful room with a bed for dad and the walls have insulation and are beautiful!  There is a shower IN the room, I had to walk down the hallway and carry my soap and towel with me. 

  Back then Taylor went to a nursery and SJ ( Sawyer Jane) stays IN their room.

 Back then, they told me my breasts would not be enough for her 9 pound 13 ounce body - to which I was thankful for, because I had determined that I was not going to breast feed.  Personal reasons.  Now -- I am watching my child walk into this experience with full confidence that God will help her - proof that a mother's fears and opinions DO not have to be transferred to the next generation.

Back then they did not have KING sized birthing suites where family can be supportive and be there.  I did not have immediate family that close 26 years ago and I am not sure I would of wanted anyone in the room, but this time -- what a joy to spend 2 days with the other half of our family -- Jake's parents and his brother.  And Hunter was able to witness and be a part of the day of laboring.

Basically - Taylor entered the hospital Thursday - her blood pressure was dictating an induction.  Once that was under control they started to induce which is a slow process but in SJ's case, it seemed that Taylor's body was taking its own sweet time.  God provided a very sweet nurse to walk those 10 hours out once we left and went home around midnight.    But I was back by 6.18am on Friday! 

I was speaking to my sister  on Thursday night and she could hear Taylor speaking in the background and  said, "oh is that Taylor?" 
 Me:  "Yes, she is speaking to her best friend the nurse".
"oh, ya... your labor nurses always become so close --like a best friend!". 
"  No - I mean - Yes, but LITERALLY it is one of her best friends from high school - is her labor nurse - you have met her - it's Emily!".  
"oh !!! How perfect!"

   And we both laughed.

 By Friday at 3am, she was 3cm and 70% efaced  so by 7am, they broke her water as she was at 4cm but my 7:30 pm she was only 6 cm and then.... thoughts of labor not progressing began.

 By 7:31 I was seeking Jesus!   That was the moment that FEAR wanted to squeeze in and I was NOT going to allow that.  But I had to remove myself and get with God.

 God -- was in control and it was a beautiful thing to see us all hunker down and seek Jesus for a MOVE and she went from 6cm to 9 cm by 9pm!   We were dancing...WELL...I was indeed dancing at 9pm when the nurse anesthetist came to the room to give Tay an extra boost in her Epidural to one of Elevation's praise songs and looked at me wonky -- as he stated "in his 20+ years of working in OB he had never seen a family bring their own sound system!".  He then warmed up to us all.

Anyway - that extra boost of Epidural gave Taylor an hour to sleep and rest as from 10-10:45pm, there were four rounds of some tough contractions that were finally productive and  not acting wonky!    And I found myself at the monitor coaching Jake as to when to get in her face and talk her through the pain.  She had the epidural but she has a herniated disk and there was a hot spot that  God showed us was HIS way of helping Taylor weave her way through the process.  That hot spot allowed Taylor to feel the contractions and pain in a bit of a way that orchestrated the birth and it was a hard pain but a beauty to watch a husband support his wife through it.

 I have a sweet photo of that time, but I will save that  -- but as I look at it, I was reminded of how sweet my own Brendan  was when I was at that point.... with contractions at full strength and yet - my labor never went beyond 1cm.

As Taylor's heartbeat began to show distress some 26 years ago, SJ was what they called  a VERY HAPPY baby!   She did not show any stress!

 Back to Taylor and Jake -- so that last round of contractions from 10:15-10:50pm .....Jake was doing what needed to be done.  After Taylor and the Holy Spirit realized a few 'new' pains, she was checked and that perfect number of 10cm and crowning  happened.  It  was a GO!

 Taylor - the birthing machine kicked in and it started!


 The room emptied, the bed bottom came off - and I noticed how those really good nurses and staff had the warmer heated, there was a table and tray with surgical tools, and all of a sudden it was like an episode of Grey's Anatomy.   My prayer language was in full force.    This was now the time to hold her leg and be a good listener to help.    24 minutes of pushing- and WHOA.  I witnessed my grand baby  - I witnessed my baby birth a baby.  Or as I quote Taylor, "mom, I did it.  I did not die. I birthed a human.  She was 9 pounds, I birthed a 9 pound baby.  I did it mom!"  " I did it, I thought i was going to die!". 

Her hair was so blond and she was so swollen and tucked to tight in the birthing canal but WOW... Wow God -- what a glorious glorious process.  But I am thankful I live today - in this generation as I  have GREAT respect for those pioneer women and those woman of the bible that birthed in a very different circumstances.    I teach American History to my 5th graders and I realize that slaves were expected to give birth and be in the fields by the end of the day -- that just had me thinking over and over.  And why THAT came into my brain?  Again - so much came across my thoughts as God continued to help me have a deeper understanding of trust.

Then clean up - Apgar scores -- and skin to skin.  She was 9 pounds and 22 inches long.  And she was swollen with a cone head -- but... again, the wonder of God's creation as even by Saturday when I saw her again -- her little head was looking more normal!

I started out this blog and titled it - Trusting God.  

As I prayed over and over throughout these past 72 hours for a life to come into the world, I also ached and prayed for a family that is watching a child get ready to leave this earth.    I don't ask God "WHY?" anymore..... I just began to pray and so often it is in my prayer language as I, as a human, don't know what to say; but,  as I speak in a heavenly language  - I am speaking to God and interceding.  The Holy Spirit is speaking to and lifting and filling me.   And I can feel His presence. 

I felt so guilty as I texted that mom -- I felt guilt.    It is temporary - as I am human and guilt is a real feeling.  So often we squash our feelings when we need to recognize and acknowledge them.  Then they don't have power over us. 

 That guilt is not from God - and it is something the enemy can use to hold us back.  I have learned when people are suffering, they don't need words  - they need the presence of someone just listening and sitting with them.  

I believe we must not allow this guilt to hamper our mission and call to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus.  

 Several weeks ago, a family that our church is ministering too lost a child at 32 weeks.  Taylor and I had a few chats about that -- in  the blogs she has read and people that we know, who have went through this process and set up a nursery and come home to an empty home--it was a very real concern.   We ached.  For those that had to birth a still born child - again we live in a fallen world and with that, there is pain and heart ache.    But we ached.  However,  truth or bottom line is that God does allow this.  


At this point in my life -- I know that I know, He is a good good Father and pain and suffering does draw us near to Him.  And in these moments, it is ONLY God who can comfort and hold us and heal us.  And it is God, that is sovereign and He allows something that also breaks His heart -- because He knows of the greater outcome -- heaven.  And He knows about sending a son that died as well.  
I watched my daughter and I had to trust GOD in a WHOLE new way.  Taylor was bleeding a bit extra afterward and I watched the eyes of the nurses and their unspoken words and facial gestures.  At one point, I looked at her midwife and stated, "what are we to pray about now?  Talk to me!"  And we began to pray specifically about what needed to happen, and it did.  But as tears flowed a bit - what about those parents where it did not.....??  

My friend I spoke of earlier -- the one sitting with her son and watching him get closer to heaven sent me the most sweetest and gracious messages of congratulations.   She is trusting God.  That can ONLY happen because she is seeking Jesus for Her pain and comfort.  She is trusting God.   It is remarkable.   She has often private messaged me and affirmed my bloogging habit and how one particular one has helped her cope or taught her something.  And yet -- her testimony, quietly being a mom to Kyle....her testimony speaks volumes and gives me hope!  She inspires me.  

 I have come to learn and realize that it takes MORE  TRUST to trust in the hard times as compared to the good ones.  That is not profound, but how God can use our pain and bring beauty from ashes.  I am humbled. 
Another friend spoke a very good word at a meeting earlier on Saturday and reminded me, that there are many jumping for joy when their child is getting married or is coming to church then there is the mother that is getting the call that her son is headed back to jail or was arrested again for a drug charge. 

And THAT woman is not feeling all joyful and wanting to dance around the room praising Jesus .....but THAT woman, the one getting the phone call about her son -- 
----or another woman that has to watch her daughter make some very poor choices  -- 
---or another set of parents,  who get news that  stuns  their hearts and expectations for their child -- 
THOSE women -- those people -- that can TRUST God in any circumstance....they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

And as those believers trust and continue to be obedient, I know God will reward and give favor.  We just may not see it in this lifetime.  
I am not asking God to give me a hardship so I can go deeper in my trust and faith in Him, I am just reflecting and sharing what is in my heart and head this am.  This is my therapy and my  journey.  

Lord, this is a long blog today.  Lord -- thank you for helping me edit and get OUT what needed to be said and I pray that this will remind anyone who reads it  - that You can be trusted . Lord, as we grow and live in this world today, I pray that as You allow the lessons to come into our lives we continue to seek Your presence and  grow our TRUST in You.    

Lord, for those particular sisters in Christ that have some specific prayers for their families and helped inspire this blog today:   Rachel, Lisa, Tina, and Brandi -- they are ON my heart right this moment and I pray you will supernaturally transcend peace upon them.  May they feel Your presence in a new and profound way today as they seek You.  Lord, I thank you for friends that are like iron that sharpens.   Remind them that their parenting skills are not in question, that grown children make grown decisions and that as they were raised with Your Truth  - it will not return void.  But Lord specifically for Brandi and John -- and the extended family -- I am still asking for a MIRACLE! 

Lord, I praise You for SJ and the past 72 hours - this was truly a heart's desire but it was MORE than I could of ever imagined.  

Lord, Your will be done - on earth as it is in heaven!     Amen.  

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil?10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Psalm 126:5-6

Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

James 1:17-18The Message

16-18 So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It is 2018! To Michelle my dearly loved daughter --

These  past few weeks,  a lot of prayer and speaking to God has transpired.  I guess I say that or type that like that has been 'different' than other weeks.

 Truth is -- I , um ...well.... I kind of talk to God all the time.  That verse about praying without ceasing -- it always seemed so HARD to try and 'pray' all the time.    However, that is because I made prayer  a weird thing.  Or...I was just conditioned that prayer had to be a 'set' apart time and so forth.  I do believe I am  in communication with God quite a bit.

I mean -- I talk to Him.  Really.  Now... He does not always respond, but I know that I know, He listens.  There is a verse in John -I speak and my sheep hear my voice.  I need to have that memorized, but I do know He hears.   And prayers are always answered, yes, no or wait...  and I have found that usually when a prayer is answered 'no'....it is just cause there is something BETTER around the corner.

 I have been praying, claiming and waiting on a precious little girl to make her arrival.   I was sure she would arrive Christmas Eve and then she did not.  Then contractions began and I thought New Year's Eve was it and that was also a NO GO.  But here -- it was ME seeking what I felt was BEST for Taylor and Jake and us.  We needed her by those deadlines so we could enjoy her the most before we head back to school for the 2nd semester.  But, as always -- God's timing is best. 

Waiting and praying and trying to RUSH God as we so often do-- is a lesson I think many of us  know and realize and yet, we still try our best to try and let God know -- He needs to hurry!

Besides prayers for SJ and her arrival, other family is being attacked and extra prayers and time spent claiming VICTORY is how one does NOT go crazy with the burdens.  A precious family lost a baby just a few weeks ago, a child was still born at 32 weeks.   A sweet mom was taken from her husband and three children in an awful accident.  You can imagine how this hit home --   And then news of the young girl, Layne,  that was burned in a flash fire so close to home.   WE prayed for her again this eve!  And this evening as we returned from the coast,  a set of parents are dealing with the death of their daughter that was hit by a train.  11 years old -- she had headphones on and was on her phone and did not see the train.  Sad.  Brendan actually told me the story as I was looking at my phone and reading a text message in a parking lot and he had to remind me to PAY ATTENTION!    There is such tragedy  around us that pulls at our heartstrings and then a moment later a child can be born or a marriage can be restored and there is such joy.   Life. 

In the past week,  I have asked God some specific questions about how to minister to some certain people.  I have asked Him what to speak about and how to approach the tough questions.  God is ever so sweet about reminding me that He is the true comforter.   "Man" can figure out what they believe will fix a problem or make another feel better....but the bottom line is that, God is the only true healer of our hearts and our physical bodies as well.

So often my words are easier than my physical presence when it comes to visitation or trying to counsel.  However I realize that often what people need the most is just someone to physically BE there to listen and sit with you.  I have been asking God to give me the right motives and heart to realize when someone needs that physical presence and when one can just get a text or a card.  In my own little way -- that makes me believe I am being obedient.

Anyway -- back to focus -- 

I have not blogged in a few weeks.  As I sat at the computer this eve, I asked God 'what' I was to write about and after a few attempts and deletions, He sweetly reminded me that His Word is where I must be and His Word is what will teach me what to say and how to say it.  His Word will lead and guide as as I open it and as I read it -- it will speak to me.  God will speak.

So with that --

I will pray --

For those families that I mentioned -- Lord I pray they open YOUR Word for comfort, guidance, and peace that can ONLY come from you.

Lord, I will pray for my daughter and this arrival of SJ-- I know her bible is packed in her bag for the hospital ...and I know she will call upon Your promises as she patiently awaits the arrival.  May Your Word be evident within her arrival.

Lord, for my immediate family that is in a certain situation at the moment -- may Your Word lead and guide them and bring forth a reminder that their children are chosen.  May Your Word remind them that You have GREAT and mighty plans for each of them and that You Will win and overcome this present attack on them.

But Lord, I also pray that each of them will gain a HUNGER for Your Word and allow it to minister and heal the hard parts that have surfaced.  

Lord, as it says in Timothy -- To Timothy my beloved son.... may anyone that reads this blog tonight, read that scripture in Timothy and place their name in there!

For example... as I wrote in my bible it states, "To Michelle, my beloved daughter".  I pray, as I said, that whomever reads this, they go to that chapter in 2nd Timothy  1 and have such a relationship with You that they can hear you say, "To Dayton, my beloved son..."       "To Layne, my beloved daughter..."    "To Taylor, my beloved daughter..."  "To Christopher my beloved son..."     Lord, that they would feel you -- so strongly and know that they know....they are Yours!  
My Nephews -- Jerm 29.11

God, forgive me for pushing Your timing.  Forgive me for when I chickened out and sent a text rather than made that visit.  Lord, for give me for working extra or staying busy to avoid being Your hands and feet.  

Lord, I accepted the word INTENTIONAL for 2018...  and tonight as I posted that AW Tozer quote --I pray that I do speak about YOU all the time.  Period.  

May SJ and Ava know that if they spend any time with Mimi....they will see and hear about YOU.  And BTW Lord.... Sawyer Jane is over due now -- I know You have her appointed date of delivery, I am just letting you know - we are READY!  IN Jesus name.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Merry Christmas from the Pritchards 2017

2017 - What a year!

Sunday at Sonny's! 
In some ways I am SO ready for this year to end and in other ways, the memories and the beauty realized within this year are memories and things I want to relish, remember,  and relive!

The year literally started in prayer.  Bren and I had been seeking house plans, praying over house plans, visiting home models and we had contacted the owner of a little red cottage that we fell in love with as well.  Superbowl Sunday found us enjoying some football with Taylor's in -laws, at their home.  They had purchased a Cottage on the Lake and when we set our eyes on it back in September of 2016, I questioned Brendan as to why he had not considered one of the other cottages near by.  Last October began a letter campaign to contact the owner of the "red one" right next to Kerry and Will and see if she would be interested in selling it to us!  Fast forward to February and Superbowl Sunday, as  we left, we walked about that little red cottage I had nicknamed the "the barn red house" and asked God to either open the door or specifically close it, as we were headed to the bank with a 2nd set of house plans and we wanted to get the ball rolling with building a home.    And some of you reading this will say ..."she has been saying that for years!" ....I know ... I have.......
Just one of my many beautiful nieces!

It had been seven years since we sold our home out on the golf course and we were tired of being homeless.  Both kids were/are  somewhat financially stable and we were able to  finally build up some savings!!    Yeah!   Within the week after that prayer, our NOW neighbors called us and said, "she is here this weekend and she is interested in selling."   !!!    I could  give you ALL of the God orchestrated details and boast on how our Lord provides, but  the short version is that we met with Martha  the owner of the red one on Valentines Day and we signed an offer 24 hours later!   We closed on March 28 and moved in officially in on April Fools Day!   Success - we have a home!  yeah!

In the seven years we were homeless and rented -- we have downsized and downsized.  I really do recommend that system.  Not that you must sell your home - but look around -- what is really needed and used and what is stuff that can be lived without!!???   We felt like kids again, furniture shopping and planning.  In the past seven years, we have watched every Fixer Upper and DIY show about homes that we knew what we wanted to do and with the help of my brother, we personalized our little red cottage to our liking and totally enjoy living on the water --- or the canal!   No longer do we hear semi-trucks or motorcycles speeding by, but boats!   We do miss just walking outside and being on Main Street or close by to Joey's or the Taco Place within 5 minutes, but now cooking at home is a real pleasure.   LOL.  Anyway, we have a guest room -- and if you want to get away - don't hesitate to call and see if the room is open!  The kids get first dibs --

Ava - just beating the heat!
Speaking of kids....Taylor took a new position this summer.  After 4 years  of teaching, she joined the insurance office and is a part of the team.  She is a tremendous asset to the family.   She calls often on Sunday nights and says, "the best part of today is that I don't have to run to school to do lesson plans for tomorrow!"  She was  a natural teacher and well loved and missed in Okeechobee County, but now she is a well loved teacher working with our staff and family there.    Teaching  us all!  She is young -- but a leader --and has given much insight to her Grandpa and her dad.  Brendan so enjoys working with her!  She did not give up her Volleyball coaching and so we are still connected to OHS and enjoyed many Volleyball games!  

 Speaking of Brendan....I know I have been TEASING everyone with the notion of his retiring for the past 4-7 years.....but this is it ---it is official.  Come June - he will dismantle his classroom and take a more permanent spot at the Insurance Office.  I mean - he has been there daily for some 20 years....but now, he may just get his name on a door!  LOL....maybe!!  He knows he will miss the kids and the connections with them, but he is a natural sales person and manager and it is time.  30 years is a remarkable career!  

Bren and his Great Aunt Colleen!
Back to Taylor -- she and Jake are in the FINAL weeks of preparing for their second child!   Yep...Ava will be a big sister to Sawyer Jane who is officially  due on 1-1-18, but we are praying for a Christmas delivery to ensure a tax break and the fact that a 2nd deductible  ( health insurance ) does not have to be made.  Hey ---being practical!   But I know -- she will come when she is ready!   It has been a treat to watch the process of  sharing the special news, to prego selfies , to "Mom ...I am ready, I want her OUT!".  Many people ask what it feels like to be awaiting the 'grandmom' status and I tell them right away --

---I am already a Mimi to Ava and I know Sawyer will indeed hold a special spot in my heart as she is my first born's first born....but, I know that I know -- both girls have my heart and I would die for either one of them!  ---  

It is something unbelievable -- almost how Christ's birth allows us all to be adopted into heaven -- all equal ....all joint heirs as children of God.  There is not  an 'automatic' pass or by some special race or color or ethnic origin.... Christ Came for us all.... and some how, living 2017 out and walking in  prayer with Jake and Taylor as they pushed to have more time with Ava and  watching them bond as a family -- well, it all just changes things.  Circumstances bring forth consequences and changes and yet, God does bring beauty out of what the enemy hopes will destroy a person or family.

It was COLD in Clemson!
So, Taylor and Jake and the dogs are awaiting Sawyer Jane.  Her namesake will remind us daily of our dear pal, Rebekah or Pookie Jane who walked into heaven's gates earlier this year.  This is one of those memories that I want to relive with a different ending -- but we all know heaven is a better place.  2017 did bring forth much time to reflect and recheck our hearts on many different levels.

Hunter graduated with his BS in Accounting just a year ago and is one semester away from finishing his Masters Degree in Accounting and beginning his life as an accountant later in the fall of 2018.  He has been studying and taking the CPA Exams and has 2 of them completed.  He has passed the first one and took his second one earlier this month -- we now await the results!  Prayerfully, he will be 1/2 way done with two more to go!   We have had to get used to NOT seeing him as much - he lives in Delray and works in Boca and has classes at FAU, but weekend visits are treasured and I don't mind doing his laundry when he comes!  He has many ideas and plans for his future - even speaks about traveling -- time will tell.   There is a girl who has a piece of his heart and ours.  She is brilliant and beautiful and we enjoy her company when we get to see her!
A visit from my mom and baby sister and her girls!

Me......  well -- I still teach.  It is my 30th year as well and prayerfully I will keep at it a few more years.  I am too young to retire! I enjoy my work family at the Indian Reservation School and am challenged each day by young people that seem to know it all.  In my spare time, I am enjoying entertaining here and there for family and friends now that I have a kitchen again and I write....not a book-- but a blog.  Hence -- this letter.    I try my best to continue to do what God asks of me -- and I  just want to hear, "well done my beloved daughter" when it is my turn to walk those steps to heaven.  But in the meantime ....I manage to find FUN stuff to intrigue Ava,  have fun  playing with her , and I most certainly will enjoy having a NEWBORN around very shortly!

My Red Barn Cottage!
Brendan and and I enjoyed Dowton Abbey so much  that when we got a new smart TV for Thanksgiving  (with Netflix),  the CROWN series  became a night time habit.  We  might feel withdrawal when we get to the end of the 2nd season! We still love to hop in the car and drive -- just not as often anymore as we can cook steaks here at home and then enjoy the quiet of our home!  Soccer matches are now watched on TV when HP is home or when he calls and says there is a really good game on.  Volleyball is still a staple from August through October.  This year was extra fun as I had "AVA" duty while Taylor coaches  and Jake was coaching his own team.  He is a special teams coach for Centennial High School.   And family dinners or weekends when they have Ava have become a routine as with both sets of Grandparents right next door -- it makes for a perfect weekend.
It has been where we have had dinner on Friday at our house....and Saturday spent at the neighbor's which is Jake's parents and Ava just goes from house to house...yes, she is a bit spoiled by her Mimi and her Miss Kerry! 

 We traveled to Wisconsin to watch a football game - in the middle of IRMA and ended up staying a week!  We had planned that weekend and Irma decided to move west and threaten our plans.  But when we realized she was coming towards us no matter what, we stuck with the tickets and left town.   The FAU Football team was playing UW Madison!  It was my first BADGER game!   It was an emotional weekend - trying to enjoy family and the cooler Wisconsin weather and watch the Weather Channel speak about where the "CONE" was headed.   Thank Goodness we did not have any major damage!   Then later in November, a wonderful weekend  was spent in South Carolina with friends and the Clemson Football team was a treat as well.  We even managed to get to Colorado and see my Aunts  earlier last July and we hope that we can take all the family there  again, soon -- but we may need to rent a van or a motor home if we take Ava and Sawyer with!!

Happy Anniversary from Camp Randall!
But most nights - like tonight, you can find Brendan reading in one of his books and me typing at this computer.  Just enjoying this "second act" or this new era within our lives.  We celebrated 30 years of marriage all year long.  And, I plan to celebrate it a bit more - what a feat -- 30 years!   And, we both will attest, we are not the same 21 year- olds from 1987....but we are indeed more in love today than we ever have been.  It is what it is.  God won.

Ok, I had better wrap this up  -- I am long winded!   My family -- ??   I am still the oldest of 9.  Each of them are married and there are MANY nieces and nephews.  Another one will get married, my niece -  - soon -- prayerfully.  A summer wedding was planned but he was deployed so much is on hold at the moment!    However, God knows -- .  Another nephew saw a tour oversees and is safely back on US soil, he and his wife live in California!  My parents are good - so I am told.  LOL.  Brendan's parents are good - so I am told.  No, seriously, we are thankful for their good health.  All of them.

We got to enjoy my Nephew's WHS game!
We are thankful for each day the Lord blesses us with, we look forward to holding another new member that will join into this family.   And I will totally enjoy every meal  as I prepare it,  in the next week,  as Hunter comes home for a bit and stays as well as Taylor and Jake and the girls.  I am praying for a baby this week ...my last day of school is Wednesday so after that -- Sawyer, you can come!!  

Seriously - Merry Christmas to each and every one of you taking the time to read this, but also to my Aunts and Uncles that I don't get to see as often anymore as well as the familiar faces we see each day -- may the Spirit of Christmas and the love of a baby born in a manager -- truly bring the hope of peace and joy to you and your family

My 'box' tree! 

Some strong women praying over Taylor and Sawyer!

Look who all showed up?   I said 'free' tickets and they came! 
-- much love -- Michelle    aka  Chelly