Sunday, May 31, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Good byes are never easy...I held Daniel tonight and during that last moment...I got a glimpse of what it must feel like for my dad everytime he sees a picture of my kids or leaves my kids after a visit. It really was a heart wrenching feeling. My kids are older now and grow stronger attachements to Dad and gets harder and harder for them to say goodbye. As their mom it hurts because I know they long for that relationship they have with their Gee Gee and Nana. Noah, a 5 year old little boy cried because he knew Opa had to leave. The next time I see Daniel, he will be walking and talking. lol however I still won't understand him lol cause it will be in German lol! We just have no idea what we take for granted everyday. We have annoying parents that say hurtful things or do hurtful things...siblings that ride under your every nerve. Go a couple years without getting to see them, or spend birthdays, Christmas', Easter's, thru a phone call or miss out on those special "first" moments. You never know what you are missing out on until you have no choice and have to miss out on it....and can I let you know....It hurts my heart in everyway you can possibly think of. My dad just can't come to one of the kids school programs, or t ball games. He can't be there for birthday parties, and christmas' or have those weekends of just him and the grand kids....He misses out on so much and has to live these moments thru a computer screen or picture. Embrace your family and love them thru their flaws and weak points. Count your blessings that you don't have to live your family moments thru emails, photos and web cam :o(

Saturday, May 30, 2009

World's Of Fun

Well, as exhausted as I am...and the fact that it is going on midnight and I can't seem to shut my mind off, I figured I could write about our outing at World's Of Fun Friday...being that I was way too pooped to even write about it that night.

We had so much fun Friday. Roo spent the day with Gee Gee...while the rest of us went on a World's of Fun Adventure. Roo wouldn't have had any fun and is old enough to know she is bored....where as Daniel....he is still so small and slept most of the time. I just love that little boy. When you look in his eyes you can see he has such a sweet spirit. I am head over heels for this little guy! He was so good on this outing. You hardly ever heard a peep out of him!

Chloe and Noah were just amazed at all the roller coasters and BIG rides. They wanted to ride every one! However were too short for several rides. They did get to ride Spinning Dragons, Octopus, Horse carosel, Flying Dutchman, Bumper Cars, a few rides in Snoop Camp, Fury of The Nile, and Viking voyager (Their Favorite!) Noah BARELY made it to the Fury because he was too short...but the kid is smarter than most realize....he stood on his tippy toes when the guy went to check his height ;o) Oh yea! He got passed LOL! There was a group of jocks behind us and they all high fived him when the guy left ;o) It was so funny! However he didn't pass to ride the Patriot and that was OK with Mommy ;o)

Monika rode the Patriot before we left the park! She tried to get out of it but we made her! LOL! Too funny! She did good thou ;o) Noah and Chloe didn't want to leave but Mommy knew they were getting so tired! Chloe also had a ball game at 7 and we had to be there. I was so shocked at how well she played for being thru the ringer that day!

I really was so blessed to spend the day with my family. I snuggled with Daniel, laughed and played with my kids. Let Aaron torture me on the most hated ride....Ugh scratch that....Flying Dutchman was the worst and nearly killed me....I can't do spinning rides. Ugh***

I am just filled with gratitude for my Lord Jesus to give me this time with my family. Thank you Lord ;o)

Daniel and I keeping Busy while others ride rides ;o)

Monday is almost here. I am going to miss them and need extra strength and prayers from my friends. I know God is in control of everything in my life...and I need to be grateful for what He has provided this past week....but I really wish my Dad and Monika and Daniel didn't live so far away. This really sucks. For a moment imagine not being able to just get in your car and drive to your parents house or snuggle with a sibling. Even a 9 hour drive is easier than a 12 hour flight or a family that lives 5,ooo miles away! It is EXTREMELY HARD. But God's grace in sufficient. God is still awesome. I will love Him and praise Him no matter what! And maybe photography business will pick up and I can fly out there this winter :o) Me and Roo :o)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Family Is A Blessing

Can't go a visit without going to Gramma Paula's boat! Noah wanted to skip his baseball game to fish with his Opa. Completely ok with his mommy because we only get 10 days to spend with them and we will take every day we get! Daniel really enjoyed
Later we went back to Grandpa Larry's and grilled some delicious steaks for supper! And took some more family photos!

I am trying so hard to keep my spirits up, but Monday is approaching fast! And I am going to miss them so much :o( My kids are really going to have a hard time with the departure as well.

Dad can always make me laugh!

My kids are in love with him!

I think Roo has stolen her Opa's heart ;o) I love watching Dad with my kids. It brings back some awesome memories. If he lived closer I know my kids would have a blast with him!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

By His Stripes

By Your Stripes I am healed
By Your blood my salvation is sealed
Forgetting the things I left behind
I am no longer lost
I am no longer blind
You are my maker and my healer
My redeemer and my best friend
You alone can satisfy my thirsty soul to no end
You are the treasure of my heart
The next breath I need to live
Without You I am helpless
But Your strength You never cease to give
My despair and my weeping do not come in vain
I lay them down at the foot of the cross
Every thought and tear that cause me pain
When I suffer it takes me deeper
It makes me stronger in my faith
No matter what I face in life
With You I know that I am safe
Your presence overwhelms me
Your praise is like the sweetest of perfumes
The greatness of Your majesty
My little mind just can’t consume
Hallelujah Praise You Father
Holy One and Mighty King
To You alone I give all glory
Your name my heart forever sings

Lisa Gerken

Is That You God?

Is that You God
Are you listening
Can You hear me beyond this craze
Is that really You God
Or is this just a phase
I try so hard to hear You
Then doubt comes in and takes away
When I tell You all my problems
But I don’t hear You answer when I pray
I’m listening for any answer
Something to guide me through
Confirmation through Your scriptures
What I am hearing is really You
My heart is heavy laden
Broken and contrite
It’s all too much to handle
I can’t take another night
Send Your Holy Spirit
It’s power do not delay
Guard against every anxious thought I think
And careless words I dare to say
Father teach me how to listen
Discern Your voice when You speak
Obedience is what You long for
And Your pleasure is what I seek

Lisa M Gerken

God Can You Help Me

Driving to church one morning
Still debating if she should go
Her life seemed somewhat hopeless
Her faith was running low
She knew the road that she had taken
It was not very good
Finding God was her only chance
To live the way she should
Ashamed of where she had come from
Would they even let her back in
Could she hide behind a smile
Or could they see what lied within

Walking through the santuary
After hearing what that preacher said
Tears welled up with in her
As she saw the alter up ahead
She ran with desperation
She began to make her way
Before her knees crashed to the floor
She began to pray

God can You help me
I’m beggin You please
My life is falling all apart
Where do I begin to start
I know its been awhile
Since I last prayed to You
God can you help me
I need you

I know I don’t deserve this
I chose the path I took
I left behind all you gave
Without turning back to look
I can’t keep going on like this
I need Your strength to get me through
No more doing things my way
I give this all to You

God can you help me
I’m beggin you please
My life is falling all apart
Where do I begin to start
I know its been awhile
Since I last prayed to You
God can you help me
I need you


Call Out My Name

I’ve watched you cry yourself to sleep
While laying in your bed
Afraid to call out to me
So you stay silent instead
I’m not like the ones who’ve hurt you
With the angry words they’ve said
Causing you to doubt yourself
And watching while you bled

Call out My Name
I will always answer
Call out My Name
I love to hear your voice
Call out My Name
When your spirit’s crushed and broken
When your battles overwhelm you
Let Me be the first you turn to
Call out My Name

While other’s walk out of your life
I am Faithful and True
When you feel you’re standing all alone
I am standing next to you
When life is raining bullets
And you have no where to hide
Call out my Name I’ll be your shield
Protection I provide
Call out My Name
I will always answer
Call out My Name
I love to hear your voice
Call out My Name
When your spirit’s crushed and broken
When your battles overwhelm you
Let Me be the first you turn to
Call out My Name

Jesus I am calling out your Name
JesusYou alone can heal my pain
JesusYou give me strength to face it all
JesusTo you alone Your name I call

Lisa Gerken

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tooth # 4

Chloe under the circumstances of running a high fever today....had a ray of sunshine to her "cloudy day". She lost her 4th tooth today ;o) I am glad that she atleast had a little bit of excitement to her day ;o)

Short Visit Today

Well, we got a short visit in today with the Haflich family. I don't understand why out of all the weeks in May my kids could have gotten sick....they had to pick this week. Roo caught fever the day Dad flew in and today Chloe came down with high fever. I will take what I can get.

I love his sweet chubby cheeks :o)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Finally We Meet

Well, the day finally came. After 2 1/2 years since seeing Dad and Monika....and 10 months since Daniel was born...I finally meet my baby brother for the first time. They flew in last night at around 10:45 pm. The flight was delayed several hours and they didn't get back to grandpa's until after midnight. I was a little upset to say the least I had to wait over night to see them, but the moment finally came and I couldn't feel anymore blessed.

Roo would'nt let Opa hold her

Roo didn't want anything to do with Opa. He was a stranger for all she knew.

But Opa worked his charm ;o)

She inched her way closer and closer....

And finally she gave in ;o) She couldn't resist loving on her Opa ;o)

The kids meet their Uncle Daniel ;o) Yeah Weird....I know.

We didn't do much today. Dad and Aaron and Grandpa put together a grill....while the boys did that...I had worked already getting my car in tip top shape for gramps...have always made that my mission before seeing him since he gave me my first car for graduation ;o) I didn't meet his expectations and so I had to take care of that. We had a final inspection ;o) I think I met the standards this time ;o)

Bubs getting some Opa Lovins

Opa calls Chloe his little "Hedi Klum" He thinks she is beautiful ;o)


Thank You Father for this incredible day! I look forward to tomorrow ;o)

Monday, May 18, 2009

God Work Your Mighty Ways!

Hopefully the next posting you see of this handsome little man will be in my arms :o) I got an email from Dad today and I guess he is still real bad in the mornings and at nights. The bronchitis is just not healing up. Tomorrow he goes to the doctor for the final say.

Please keep praying for Daniel to be healed. My entire family has awaited anxiously to meet this little boy. I have not seen Dad in over 2 years and my kids want to see their Opa and Moni as well! We want to see them!!!!

God work Your mighty ways in this. You know the desires involved here. Emotions are running high! Touch this baby and get this family here for an awesome visit! In Jesus Name!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He Thinks I Am Beautiful

My God thinks I am beautiful
A reflection of Who He is
He says I am His princess
His bride and a child of His

I have captured my Creators heart
My praise and worship He takes delight
He loves me more than anything
I am precious in His sight

He never hesitates to wait for me
The days I forget that He is there
How it breaks my Father's heart to know
I think He doesn't care

How He longs for me to see myself
The way He sees me everyday
To see what He has created
I take His breath away

Who am I that He would love me
In a bottle store each one of my tears
Who am I that He would have compassion
My prayers take the time to hear


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pride vs Teachable

Lately I have been pondering over the importance of being a teachable person. Not that you should just be open to anything from anyone. Scripture tells us to test everything we hear meaning compare it to scripture...But as Christian's....those who claim to belong to Christ....who are not open to being taught or encouraged in their faith. It almost makes it impossible to grow. Everyone wants to voice their "opinion" forgetting that our opinions have never mattered to begin with...We are supposed to be giving people Jesus and just Jesus! No opinions included.

I have been reading in proverbs this evening...(insomnia can be a blessing in disquise). The word pride appears quite a bit I have noticed. There was a verse in chapter 13 verse 10 that says Pride leads to conflict, but those who take advice are wise. It just spoke to me that I really need to be open to those who have a word of wisdom and those who are trying to hold me accountable as the Christan (woman of God) I claim to be. Shortly before this verse in chapter 12: verse 15 thru 18 it says that fools think their own way is right but wise people listen to others...a fool is quick tempered but a wise person stays calm when insulted. I have never considered myself a person with anger issues...but have really been convicted thru these verses. When I feel attacked I immedietly go into this MASSIVE defense mode. I cannot explain it. Even if I may be right and being insulted for it....or if I am wrong...If I feel attacked...I get extremely defensive.

Is it possible for a believer to be considered foolish in God's eyes? Is my pride stirring up conflict or am I using words that bring healing? Am I causing division with my opinions? Am I open to hearing a wise word from a friend? Am I hurting others when I voice opinions rather than wise words? This is so much to soak up.

I won't lie, I have had people call me out in my moments of lacking compassion or being childish. It's painful to swallow. But do I want to really please God and grow in my faith or do I want to constanly be in a defensive mode and be too prideful to allow a friend to give me advice that will give me that extra boost to walk my path straight?

The thought of me being prideful really is something that makes me feel embarrassed. I am always open to healty discussions but when it is about something that God considers worthless discussion and just makes people angry I just don't want to be a apart of it....but why do those debates seem to suck me in? Agh...I have noticed in the body of Christ nobody wants their fruit inspected or judged....but why would Christ have told us to judge believers and not non believers? Is there a such thing as healthy judging? A way to do it in love? Because what I may see and feel as completely out of love....may not seem innocent to the one I am calling out. No matter how painful it is...I want to held accountable. I want to grow in my faith even if it hurts. I love Christ enough to be open and teachable by those who may be wiser than I am. I don't want to be arrogant.

Father, help me to set aside my opinions and only desire You and share You with others. Help me to have the same grace towards ALL as You have for me. Give me a spirit that is teachable and able to discern wisely what is from You and what is false. Give me a spirit of compassion for all and remove any tid bit of pride I have that hinders me from learning more about You and showing and reflecting to others Christ who dwells within me. Give me Christian friends who love me enough to hold me accountable...and help me not to get defensive and to be open to learning.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dancing With Jesus

This video has such a powerful message. It is one I often find myself watching from time to time again. We do not fight against flesh and blood.

No Tears In Vain

This past week a particular Bible story has been running thru my mind literally night and day. When I am going to bed, I lay and ponder over it. When I wake up I am thinking about it. I had come across a devotional laying on my sister inlaws end table last week.The book is called Extravagant Worship by Darlene Zschech. I picked it up in curiosity only to be completely pulled in by the very first page of the first chapter. She was talking about the sinful woman that approached Jesus and anointed his feet with the tears that she wept and with the perfume from her beautiful alabaster box. I noticed a quote she had made that literally hit me to the core. "Imagine the depth of this woman's tears being enough to wash the dusty dirty feet of Jesus" ...This quote from Darlene has seriously entered the deepest part of my soul. I have felt compelled to read this story over and over and over again. Wanting God to reveal to me why this story is SO important to mention in His holy word. I have to write my thoughts down. If I don't, I don't know if I will get a peaceful nights sleep unless I do.

The story goes somewhat like this....(not word for word)

This woman, who was known for being a "heathen" (and most likely had a permiscious reputation) had heard about this Jesus who was claiming to be the Son of God and had the power to forgive. People witnessed His power to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, made the lame walk...She heard all of this, and most likely witnessed it for herself which gave her even a stronger desire to seek Him out. When she had heard where Jesus was having dinner, with Simon one of the pharasees, she sought after Him bringing an alabaster box filled with the most costly perfume. A years worth of wages! When she seen Him, she fell at His feet. Her tears poured out from her eyes enough to wet the feet of Jesus. She used her own hair to wipe His feet clean. And repeatedly kissed the feet of God. When Simon had seen this, he thought to himself, "If Jesus was who He said He is He would know the "type" of woman that lay before His feet. This woman was a sinner! Jesus answered his thoughts outloud that Simon never even offered to wash the dust off of His feet and yet this woman washed them with her own tears. Simon never even greeted Jesus with a kiss, yet this woman has not stopped kissing His feet. Simon neglected to anoint Jesus' head with oil, yet this woman anointed His feet with rare and expensive perfume. Who showed more love? Jesus knew this woman's sins were many. He knew every detail of her life. But Jesus told Simon and the others there that this woman's sins were forgiven. The faith this woman had, saved her! Luke 7:36-50

I can only imagine what this woman was thinking going before these people to pour her heart out to Christ. I can see this entire story playing out in my head. I picture this woman, hearing the gasps, and snickers from those around her...rebuking her act of worship because she was a sinful woman. But her faith welled up inside her giving her the desire to trust that this man was EXACTLY who He said He was. I would do anything just to know what was going thru her mind as she worshipped her God and Savior at His feet. She knew she had sinned...but there was a hope in Christ that she would never find anywhere else. No one else could love her through and beyond her mistakes nor have the power to forgive her. She wanted a different life from the one that she had been living. Her sin was exposed thru Christ and I am sure she felt much shame in that. She wept enough to wash the feet of Jesus. Can you imagine the amount of tears that this woman cried? I am sure most of us don't stop to think of the condition of the feet of those back in Jesus's days. I have always thought my husbands feet were "unspeakable"....But back then they wore sandals...I am not talking your average "crocs" with some comfort. Men worked with these shoes. Hard core jobs! They walked miles and miles and miles in these sandals. By the end of the day there feet were callosed, covered in dirt, grime, dust... I am sure they did not smell the best either. For this woman's tears to be enough to wash both feet....tells me where her heart was. It was pouring out everything! Her shame of her past, her pain, and her love for this man. Her Savior Jesus Christ. She cried many tears and used every single one of them to worship the Savior.
My thought with what do I do with my tears. Are they cried in vain? Or do I use my tears to worship my Savior. To me this woman set an example for all of BOLDLY approach God despite the world's ridicule and worship Him. I wonder when she left His feet if she was able to go back to her old lifestyle...after that worshipping experience? I know there are many ways to worship God, but how many times have I sat thru church "unmoved". Worship becomes a ritual? Maybe I am the only one who has stood thru worship sang the songs...but my mind was not at the feet of Jesus. She poured perfume on His feet. What have I offered Christ in my worship? What does God want from me? What I believe from this very story given, is He wants our love and worship more than ANYTHING. He wants us to wash His feet with our tears happy tears or sad tears. We can claim to be "religious" or "Christian" We can walk thru the rituals....but what is God really impressed with? What shows more love to Him? Following the right morals? Going to Church and singing worship songs? Living like a Christian should? Fighting for the end of abortion? What really impresses God and shows Him we love Him? I am no bible scholar....but I am sure the pharosees were extremely religious on the outside. But where were their hearts? What am I doing to show Christ that I worship Him FULLY, WHOLE~HEARTEDLY Holding NOTHING back.. No more crying tears in vain. Use them to worship! I am sure most of you are familiar with this story. I hope it has spoke to your heart the way it has spoke to mine.
Love and Prayers Always

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Noah's Preschool Graduation

My little man graduated from preschool today. I of course got so teared up! Just seeing him walk so proud down the isle to get his diploma. Agh it does a mother's heart good. He of course quoted his 3 bible sciptures he has worked so hard to memorize.

I don't want to let a single moment slip by with my kids without me embracing it. Time is slipping by and the next thing you will be high school. He won't call me mommy in that sweet squirrly little voice. Ask me to sing him baby mine or even want me to hold him. He is for sure a momma's boy but there will be a day he will be grown up and want his space.

Thank you Father, for blessing me with these 3 amazing children. Help me reflect in everyway as their mother the love You have for us as our Heavenly Father. Hide these moments in my heart. I thank You and Praise You for giving me such an amazing job....Being their mommy!

This is our family with the graduate!

I took so many pictures of Noah with his family and friends...I had to get my snuggle time and picture with the future kindergatner!

Noah and his daddy before the ceremony!Yes I am married to the sexiest man ALIVE!

Noah and his clan! his sister and best friend Ethan! Chloe never got a pre school graduation so Noah shared his glory ;o)

Mrs. Cheryl...the best Christian preschooler teacher we could have ever asked for!

First Letter From Joshua

I got my first letter from Josh today. He has been in marine bootcamp the past month. I must say I am really proud of him. He seems to be doing really good and I honestly can already see some maturity in the way he speaks thru his letters. It does me proud as his big sister ;o) He says he really misses his family and his x box 360 of course. I will be anxious to see him when he gets back. My kids will as well!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beautiful Tragedy

Just knowing that you love me
A new song my heart will sing
Beyond my painful circumstances
I see the blessings you can bring
Forgive me when I doubt you
When I face adversity
Just knowing that you love me
Makes it a beautiful tragedy

If my pain can bring You glory
It's my time to let you shine
Turn these ashes into beauty
You have the power to refine
I will go anywhere
Through anything
The deepest valley I will soar
Embracing every mountain
If it's a chance to know you more

Teach me Your secret of contentment
In the hard times that I face
My grumbling and complaining
Can only bring you mere disgrace
May my life reflect Your triumph
Let it help the world to see
How You changed the trials in my life
Into a beautiful tragedy

Shine your glory thru my life
Willingly I sacrifice
Lay my crowns down at your feet
With Your love I am complete

If my pain can bring You glory
It's my time to let you shine
Turn these ashes into beauty
You have the power to refine
I will go anywhere
Through anything
The deepest valley I will soar
Embracing every mountain
If it's a chance to know you more

Lisa M Gerken

If we could only embrace our trials (any trial) with the faith that God is wanting to shine like the sun thru us!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Child After God's Own Heart

Nothing melts a mother's heart more than seeing their child love and worship their Creator! When I am driving down the road listening to worship music and can hear my 2 oldest praising God with their sweet little voices...I thank God for making their hearts so tender towards Him at such a young age. The past couple months I have noticed Noah's desire to memorize scripture. My 5 year old hiding the word of God in his heart just makes me want to stand on a mountain top and thank God! It helps so much sending him to a Christian preschool. Where he is taught the ways of Christ. When he starts kindergarten he will be taught everything but.

His first memory verse was Revelation 3:20 I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice, I will come in and eat with him and they with me. Then there is Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples through out the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I have been working with Him and myself memorizing Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. It is so cute listening to him try to even pronounce some of these words.

My prayer is that Rusty and I will always reflect our passion and love for Christ. That my kids from the earliest age learn His ways, and be drawn to love and serve Him with everything inside of them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Faith Like Potatoes

April 27th 2009
Today was a rather special day for Miss Chloe Grace. However almost ended in to say in her eyes. I went to pick her up from school and while we drove away, she said "Mommy something really bad happened today" then she broke down in tears. She said "I lost my tooth." I chuckled and replied "Oh Chloe it's ok. That is exciting!" She goes "No mom I lost it!" She held up a little orange treasure box and said "It fell out of my treasure box when you were picking me up." I won't lie I was kinda disappointed cause I have saved every tooth she has lost and really get quite sentimental over this stuff! (This is her 3rd) But I kept my cool cause my little girl was distraught over this. I told her "Don't worry, the toothfairy will still come!" "She kept crying and said, "I know, but I still wanted my money" LOL!!!! I asked her if she knew where she dropped it and if she seen it fall. She said she did so I thought oh what the heck...I will turn around and go look for it. She knew exactly where she had dropped it. Me, Noah, and Chloe stood out front at Cottonwood looking on the ground all over for Chloe's tooth in the cold rain. Aunt Amanda came out to help us look for it as well.There was all kinds of gravel and sand rocks all over and I am not kidding it was IMPOSSIBLE to find this tooth. But I was holding out hope for my little girl. Talk about a needle in a hay stack. There was no way. Just when I thought all hope was lost I got down real close and in the crevis of the concret I started looking in the sand and gravel....I picked up what I thought was a a little rock only to find that it was Chloe's tooth! If you could have seen the look on Chloe's face it would have made you cry with excitement. I CANNOT believe I found this tooth. This was by far from an amazing God that loves my little girl. The movie title "Faith Like Potatoes" has a new meaning in our life ;o) This may seem so petty and so lame to some but my little girl knows that with God All Things Are Possible