My Calm in the Chaos (overcoming PTSD)

Three years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD.  PTSD?  ME?  But I’m the pastor’s wife.  I am a Christian.  I haven’t been in a war.  My son had open-heart surgery over a year ago!  How can I have PTSD?  And yet, here I was sitting with a counselor who loved the Lord and had become someone I trusted and looked up to and she said, “Yes.  You have PTSD.  But you will overcome it.”

And by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony, I am overcoming it.

I sat there with tears streaming down my face.  I had PTSD.  I needed to be put on medicine so I didn’t break to the point of no return.  I had to get out of the fog.  This was so foreign to me, and something I didn’t want.  I was ready to be back to normal, to start running again, being who I knew I should be.  But there was a journey I had to go through first.

I spent my whole pregnancy with Kaden in the bathroom.  I was just constantly sick.  It was a God thing that I was able to be a stay at home momma because I couldn’t do much. Payton, my then 2 year old, didn’t get the best part of her mommy then.  We spent a lot of time cuddling and watching movies, but not playing.  Not taking her on outings.  Not doing all of the things I planned for us to do to bond before her baby brother came into the picture.  I wasn’t a part of much that year.  Missed a lot of church and time with family and friends. And to spend time in the Word? I couldn’t concentrate.

Then that baby boy came and my whole world was totally rocked.

A journey of drs, home health, hospital stays, and keeping Kaden away from germs.  An 8 month long journey (that still hasn’t completely ended).  More time away from friends and family.  It was a scary journey.  And sometimes a lonely journey.  I had to make sure that my baby boy wasn’t dying before my eyes and I wasn’t catching it.  Fear often gripped me.  Sleep was far from my routine.  I would keep my hand on Kaden’s belly while I tried to rest, and keep my eyes on him to make sure he wasn’t turning blue.

Then the nights in the hospital.  Just me and him.

The lies the enemy would speak.  The battle of fighting for Kaden’s life fell on my shoulders as Blaine still had to provide for our family and try to be there for our daughter. Oh how I missed that little girl.

I cried a lot. But I never processed what we were going through. It was fight or flight. And I had to fight. So everything was stuffed. Until a year later and my emotions began to implode within me.

Those lies the enemy would whisper became screams in my mind. There was a darkness I couldn’t feel my way out of. I couldn’t make wise decisions because I couldn’t work them out in my mind. It felt like I was surrounded by a fog and the only thing I could see before me was a challenge I couldn’t fight on my own.

“You’re not good enough. You are failing as a mother. Sure, your baby survived, but look at all you have lost. You are a burden. Your kids deserve better. Your husband deserves better. You made it through this time, but you can’t even face the next day. What is wrong with you?” Lie after lie.

I continued to break. The lies became my truth. Who am I? What is wrong with me? How can I be a mom, a wife, a pastor’s wife? Plus any other role I was required to fill. Until one day I broke. I was driving and I had the thought…”my kids and my husband would be better off without me if God would just give me a way out.” The only thought that kept suicide just far enough out of reach was not wanting to leave my kids behind. Not wanting to miss them growing up. I thank Papa for those little thoughts that kept me from that point of no return.

But I was scared. Thought after thought would flood my mind as I tried to fall asleep each night. I couldn’t take it and would get into fetal position begging God to take me. I finally reached out to my doctor and began to open up to Blaine just enough for me to begin going to counseling. Something had to give. This wasn’t okay to live in this pain.

The medicine started. I did some light therapy that is used on soldiers coming back from wars. It was so hard. But the hard got me out of that fog and slowly the screams turned to whispers and the whispers soon became silence. I was facing things head on that I didn’t even know was in me. But I still felt so out of control and any situation that I couldn’t control broke me.

One night we were having small group. I was feeding Kaden who was probably around 1 at the time and everyone else was fixing a plate. I noticed the food dwindling quickly and Kaden was nowhere near finished. Tears began to stream down my face and I had to get to the bathroom. I was so panicked that there would be no food left for me and I would be hungry.

What?! We live in America. Hunger is not an issue. It never has been. But somehow this situation broke me.

I brought it to the attention of my counselor who helped me to see that it wasn’t the fact that there was no food, but that I felt like I wasn’t being taken care of. I had no control. I had to feed Kaden and no one cared that I wasn’t eating. (why would they be?) PTSD. It made no sense until I realized that in the hospital, it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about taking care of my needs. It was about Kaden. He had to survive. And so I pushed my needs to the side. Now those needs were screaming at me in the oddest places to be met.

Sidenote: No one saw me with tears that night. I sucked it up before I came out of the bathroom. So I didn’t have to explain the craziness in my mind.

If that wasn’t enough, food became my comfort. Before Kaden I had run several 5Ks and even completed my first 10K with beating my PR in training! I loved it. Running while pregnant was nonsense because I couldn’t hold anything down. It just wasn’t safe for me. Being trapped in the walls of our home to prevent illness and in hospital rooms week after week, exercise was the furthest thing from my mind. And who wants hospital food?! One way people like to bless you while you are in the hospital is buying you food. So I gladly accepted and food became something I could control and one of the few things I enjoyed during that time. The problem was, it didn’t end when the hospital stays ended. Food is still something I struggle with. I haven’t lost any weight since I had Kaden. And with PTSD, exercising isn’t something you jump to do.

Fast-forward 3 years. In January I began to experience more symptoms of depression. After 2 and a half years of finally having some normalcy I didn’t want to go back down the same road, so I sought help from my dr. He decided to take me off of my medicine because he thought maybe I had too much serotonin in my body. I have been completely off of Cymbalta for almost one week, and while I am having extreme dizziness and am struggling with being tired, I am not having the horror stories I have read.  Praise the Lord!

My walk with Papa has become what drives me again. I am facing a few different trials right now, but these situations no longer overwhelm me. I can feel things again. The fog has lifted. I don’t have to be in control. I can minister to others and not feel like life is being taken out of me.

God allows trials like this into our lives because it grows us. It makes us more like Jesus.

He has drawn me deeper in my walk with Him. He has given me that taste of desperation that I long to always have for Him.

If I hadn’t gone through this, I would be missing the deep love He has given me for my husband. I may have never come to a place of making sure that each day and memory counts with my kids. I would have never seen the body of Christ in action. I would have missed knowing what it means to be desperate for Jesus.  In the midst of the chaos, He has been my calm. My steady. My anchor.

He is good.  Even in the pain, He is good.


Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart!

Psalm 37:4


Some of you have heard that verse all your life. Some of you may have never heard that verse. Either way, I want to share what God has revealed to me over time about it.


When I first read this as a teenager I read it as “If you do what you are supposed to do, then God will give you what you want.” How many of you thought like this?! Don’t lie!! lol What a deceitful lie from the enemy!


What I have come to see over time and God continues to remind me over time, is that He is our Father. He is good and he loves us. He wants what is BEST for us. What he knows we NEED. He is not Santa Clause. We can’t give him a wish list and he makes all your dreams come true. How terrible things would be if he did.


The reality is that God, our Father, knows us better than we know ourselves. He also knows the future. And he knows his ultimate plan for us and His world.


So from that perspective let’s look at that verse again:


Delight yourself in the Lord –

What does that look like for you?


Maybe it’s a daily quiet time (this is vital for all of us in our walks, but not necessarily the only way to delight)

Maybe it’s writing, drawing, running. Maybe it’s sitting outside and soaking in His creation. In each and EVERY MOMENT we should be delighting in God just like a little girl delights in showing off her new ballet moves for her daddy.

For those that didn’t have this moment because of circumstances beyond your control, a healing must take place (but that is another post for another time).


and He will give you the desires of your heart –


See when we read this we think of our heart’s “wish list”.

I wish I could get a new job. I wish my husband would just listen to me better. I wish I could lose 20 lbs. I wish I made enough money to enjoy life. I wish I could adopt. Our list isn’t necessarily bad. It can even be really good. But the question is, is it from God? God knows what we need. He knows how he answers our prayer doesn’t just affect us but it affects others around us. It is all a part of his plan.


So when it says he will give you the desires of your heart what this means is that as you delight yourself in the Father, you will become like him. Your hearts desire will begin to mimic his hearts desire. What delights him will delight you and what breaks his heart will break your heart.


Let me tell you a story:


When I was a teenager all I ever wanted was to get married and have a baby. I wanted a family. I was in and out of relationships searching for this. I would think, “I love God. I live for Him. I read my bible. I am involved in my church. Surely God wants to give me my heart’s desire.” Through failed relationships I began to see that God’s will for me was not for me to be happy. His will was for me to be holy. In that holiness I would find true joy and nothing temporary.


My senior year of college I met Blaine. I was officially done in my heart with relationships. I had finally arrived at a place of finding my identity in Christ and not in relationships. So we became friends. It took me almost a whole year to agree to go on a date with him because I wanted God’s will. My heart’s desire was still to be married and have kids, but I grew weary of trying to do it my way and finally came to a place of surrender. A year later we were married. Our marriage hasn’t been perfect, or even easy, but he makes me strive for holiness. He is not the most romantic guy. He isn’t the guy I dreamed of who does all the right things at the right times. I even get on his nerves sometimes (hehe). But in the end, delighting in God gave me His heart’s desire for me and my life. And now I am closer to God than I have ever been. We are raising our kids to love God and live for him. If I fell into my heart’s desires as a teenager or young adult, I truly think that I would be out of the will of God right now.


Isn’t God good? As we delight in him, he also delights in us!


The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


It’s not a one-way street. He doesn’t want us to become like him just for his pleasure, but because he knows ultimately it will bring us the most joy and bring us to a place that is more like Jesus than we were before.

Our Guatemalan Girls

Our Guatemalan girls


Let me start this blog off by saying, we are not adopting…YET! As of now, and since 2008 Guatemala has closed international adoption. In order to adopt we would have to become Guatemalan citizens and give up our American citizenship. This is not what this post is about, but I know some of you have wondered. After reading this, it might help you understand.


Every Christian concert you go to you hear it. Compassion. World Vision. Feed the Children. They are all asking for sponsors and they all have heart-gripping stories. If you have never been moved by these stories, then you may want to check yourself. Because most people are full of snot and tears and how can you not be? Kids who have nothing and YOU can be a part of the solution. It makes you feel like you have a small role that actually makes a difference. And you absolutely do!


Our one struggle was that it never felt personal. We prayed for our kids. We wrote letters. But it was hard to see the benefits because it wasn’t a personal relationship. Some of you support kids through one of these organizations and I am NOT telling you not to do that. Please hear me. It was just something that we struggled with. I believe that sponsoring those kids is absolutely necessary.


So in preparing to go to Guatemala we knew we would want to sponsor one of the kids there and be able to meet them so not only could we put a face and body with a name, but they could as well. We wanted someone around Payton’s age so she could be a part of it in a big way. We never expected a sponsorship to mean so much though.


On Tuesday after our visit to the village, we had someone talk to us about sponsoring kids at Casa. We emailed the point lady right away and asked for someone around Payton’s age to get the process going. We only had until Friday to meet our girl and try to get to know her. The point lady was traveling back to the states so we weren’t sure when that time would be. I checked my email as often as I could anxious to meet our girl.


On Wednesday, we finished up our work and headed out to play with the kids. We would spend the afternoon playing and loving and ministering. Our last full afternoon there a girl came up to me and asked if she could play with my hair. Of course! First, who doesn’t love their hair to be played with. Second, these girls were so good and fast at beautiful hairstyles. It was such an easy way to break the ice and begin conversations. I asked her name and how old she was and took a picture with her because…mission trip. Pictures for everything!


As I was sitting there and we were trying to have a conversation…me knowing about 10 words in Spanish and her knowing even less English, I checked my email because I was so ready to meet our girl. And I had an email! It listed 3 girls. The 2nd name listed was the girl playing with my hair! What were the chances?!?! One in about 300! I couldn’t wait to talk with my new friend, the one in my earlier blog, and ask if we could tell E about our sponsorship. Later that day after supper, we did just that. We walked over to her dorm and told her we would be sponsoring her. The rest of the afternoon she was attached to us. She played with Payton and would come and hug Blaine and me. Before, she wasn’t going around any of the guys. I knew we made a connection. Blaine even looked at me and said, “I wish we could take her home.” That’s how my heart felt as well. Instantly. I felt like we had a lifelong connection with this girl no matter what the future held.


As the kids were playing Thursday afternoon (the next day), another girl came up and asked E if we were her sponsors. She glowed and shook her head, “Si!” The little girl hugged me and said in Spanish that she didn’t have a sponsor (at least I am 95% sure she said that 😉 ). She looked completely heart broken. All I could do was hold her and she didn’t let go for a long time.


That night laying in bed, all I could do was cry. I wanted to take E home and now S needed someone as well. I messaged Blaine and asked what we could do. Obviously we couldn’t adopt them. If so, we would have come home with probably 3 kids plus the kids our team would want to bring home as well hehe. Sponsoring 2 kids meant a big sacrifice for our family. Not only did this include monthly sponsorships, but Christmas gifts, birthday presents, and just more time praying and writing letters. But he agreed we should sponsor S as well.


The next morning as we walked over for our last time to spend with the kids before we had to leave for the airport, we were so torn. Our hearts longed for Guatemala. For those kids. I didn’t want to leave those girls. I missed our baby boy, but I wanted to go home, get him and then buy a one way ticket back. We did all we could to just soak in the last hour we had with these precious gifts from God. It was early and the children were still doing chores so we sat outside and waited on them. When they came out, we were greeted with hugs and anxious little ones ready to be pushed on the wing and loved on.


I spotted S and asked her to come see me. I tried to mimic the words she spoke to me just the day before and asked her if she would like us to sponsor her. I can’t even describe the way her face lit up and tears welled up in her eyes. I knew at that moment it would be worth every penny and all the time! S ran up to E to tell her the good news and my heart sank a little. How would E feel? Would she feel less loved? Not a chance. This picture shows just how these girls felt. Joyful faces. Not letting any of us go. Pay played with them, I pushed them on the swing, Blaine chased them, and they soaked in every moment.


An hour passed so quickly…too quickly. How could it already be over? We had to tell them bye. There was no shortage of tears between any of us. S and E held our hands until we literally had to break free to leave. Our hearts ached and rejoiced at the same time. We met our girls. We would now play a significant role in their life. Letters, visits (as often as we can), presents, needs, and prayers. Lots of prayers.

My heart longs to be back with those girls. Or even for those girls to be in America with us. But I know that God has a good and perfect plan. And we can only take the steps he lays before us knowing he alone knows what the future holds. But until we see Jesus face to face, these girls will forever be our Guatemalan girls. No matter what the future holds.


Not easy, but worth it.

When your life changes in a week…

When Blaine approached me about leading a trip to Guatemala, I was excited. That may even be an understatement. I LOVE missions! I love everything it stands for and the different cultures you get to experience. It is hard, but so worth it. We also knew this was a safe place to take kids on mission trips; therefore, we opened it up to our church families and decided to take Payton. I could write 10 different blogs on this one trip but I will start with this one.


Leading this trip proved to be a difficult task. I wasn’t expecting it to be difficult. But being over 31 adults is a whole lot different than leading 31 teens (which I have done with mostly ease). I felt hurt a lot and also questioned if I was the right person to lead this group. Then 6 weeks from the trip was a never-ending cycle of illness. Kaden and I were both admitted into the hospital a week apart. Kaden was the week before the trip. I was in momma panic mode, but we were all well before the trip so I knew that God was making a way. I felt confident. And then the morning of the trip at 230 am Payton woke me up vomiting. We had to be at the church at 330 am. I cried. What was I going to do? I had 30 people needing me to lead this group, and a baby girl who was supposed to come and was throwing up. I felt so helpless. I prayed over Payton and was reminded of the confidence God had given me. I had to go on this mission trip, and I had to take Payton. I felt like a terrible parent, but I was sure that God said, “Just get her there.”


After praying and talking with Blaine and having our team pray over her we headed to Guatemala. What a 6 weeks! I was tired before we even got to Guatemala. By the time we got to Guatemala, Payton was better and we figured she had some anxiety about the trip.  The next few days were great days, but I still didn’t feel like I was getting all that God had for me out of this trip. And then God spoke through my new friend, who is over groups (among many other things) at Casa where we were for the week.


On the way back from a trip to the village to love on kids and do a small vbs at a feeding center, she spoke words that will forever change me. We were talking about the process at Casa Aleluya. We learned that this was not an orphanage, but a children’s home. These kids came from abusive situations and can return at any time because, well…government. My friend is over university girls and they can choose to leave if they want. Why would they want to? They have everything they need at Casa, their schooling is taken care of, but some will still choose a different way. And some of the children are taken out of Casa and put back in their terrible situations. Blaine asked her about it and commented how tough it must be to watch them leave.


Her response? (Not directly quoted)


“It is hard. But I also have to remember that this life is truly not about me. In the states we say that it isn’t about us, but yet every moment we live is about us. We do what we want and make decisions that please us. Here in Guatemala that can’t be the case. My life truly cannot be about me. I just play a part in their story. God loves them and He is in control. Not me.”


I sat in that car and teared up at those words. She was so right. This life isn’t about us at all. But in America, where our life is so privileged and so blessed, we live life like it is. And when things don’t go our way, we throw a spiritual fit.

How could God allow this to happen?

He must not love me.

Do we not realize that this world and its purpose is beyond us and our circumstances?? We don’t. Or our attitudes would be completely different.

I am among those who live life according to my own desires and wants and needs. I don’t worry about the voiceless day in and day out. I don’t have to. They aren’t in my face every day. I can ignore the brokenness of this world because I don’t have to see it. I can live in my comfortable bubble and never think about things that break my heart if I choose. That sure would save a lot of heartache. But my new life quote, one that God gave me on this trip and for these people is…


It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.


The broken are worth it. Guatemalans are worth it. Americans are worth it. Orphans and widows are worth it. The voiceless…they are worth it.


Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;

ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,

and see that they get justice.

Proverbs 31:8-9

You Hold My World in Your Hands

Sitting in our high school chapel last week the words echoed over the speakers…”You hold my world in your hands”.  It’s from the song Healer.  This song has meant so much to me over the years through Payton’s bout with salmonella poisoning at 5 months old to my benign tumor to Kaden’s open heart surgery at 2.5 months old.  I have believed God for healing and have watched him work many miracles.  I have also seen God choose to answer those prayers in different ways as loved ones went to be with Him and were ultimately healed and made perfect.

Last week this song meant something completely different.  When I read this one sentence “You hold my world in your hands” I think of the phrase “my world.”  What is my world?

My world is my comfort.  It is my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my church, my worship.  It is things that I put a lot of weight in.  It is what I hold dear to my heart.  It is what would shake me a little if it didn’t exist anymore.  It is what I feel like I have to grip with tightly closed hands not willing to let go.

And then I read the whole sentence “You hold my world in your hands”.  You being God.  My God, my Sovereign God, creator of the universe, holds THE world in his hands.  You know that song.  “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”  And I can grasp that.  He keeps everything in order.  He is God.  He is in control.  But he holds MY world?  That phrase went into the depths of my heart last Wednesday.

I don’t have to hold so tightly to what God has given me because it is His.  I am simply a steward of all the things I hold so dearly.  They do not belong to me.  They belong to Him.  But He loves me and He lets me believe these are mine.  That this is MY little world.  And He lovingly holds MY WORLD in his hands.  When my baby boy goes through a complicated heart surgery that could claim his life, He holds my world in his hands.  When friends turn away from me because of what I choose to live, He holds my world in his hands.  When my loved ones pass away, when my little girl gets her feelings hurt by another child, when I can’t see the forest for the trees, He holds my world in His hands.

And all of my little world is safe in His hands.

Darkness of the Mind

Have you ever battled your thoughts?

I’m not good enough.  I can’t lose weight.  I am a failure.  I am a bad mom, wife, follower of Christ.  I can’t get my act together.  I am fearful.  I am too much to handle.  I am not equipped.  No one understands or cares to understand.  I am lonely.  I am not loved.

You take things personally and think others are against you.

Those thoughts caused a depression in me.  I wanted to seclude myself, but with the nature of our life and to keep up “appearances”, I knew that was impossible.  So I struggled internally for months.  I didn’t know how to keep up with this life God had given me, and not just activities, but the right attitude.

You know the truth, but your mind is so clouded that you can’t grasp the truth.  My thoughts were causing me to physically be downcast.  I bore such a heaviness.  I met with a couple of “elders in the faith” to get encouragement.  Through that God revealed Himself to me in such a clear way.

I learned that in order to fight this war against a very real enemy, we must start in our mind.  Satan cannot get to me because I belong to the Father.  But what he can do is cause me to become my own enemy in the way that I think.

First, I had to clear out my mind.  I talked through what I could with two godly people who directed me to the word of God, and then I journaled what did not need to be shared, things that I did not want to turn to gossip.  As I laid these things before the Lord by talking and writing, I realized that I was emptying my mind of all the garbage I had let in.  The unbelievable thing is that I didn’t allow those thoughts in with a welcomed spirit.  It was one thought that grew into another, or one word spoken that I took hold of and didn’t lay before the Father.

Second, I had to get alone with God.  I had to let him speak life back into me.  I saturated myself in His word.  Oh, I had been in the word, but I could not get around the cloudiness, which is why that first step was so vital for me.  I began to meditate on what He said about me.  And when negative thoughts or words would come my way, I would just not own them.  At times it took me saying out loud, “No, Satan.  That is not the truth of God’s word.  God’s word says this about me…”.

Third, I have to keep getting alone with God.  I have to keep laying thoughts and words spoken to me down at His feet.

     1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

    I have to keep reminding myself that I am His and He is for me.  No matter who comes against me, no matter who doesn’t like me, no matter what thoughts I struggle with about myself, He is for me.  He loves me.  I read it over and over again in His word.  I am relearning to take my thoughts captive, replacing lies with truth.

2 Corinthians 10:5  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

I realize more than ever how vital it is to not only study God’s word, but saturate yourself in it to use it in your prayer life.  What better way to talk with Him than to speak His word back to Him.  God is doing a new work in me.  And I pray for those of you who battle with this, that the Lord would do the same in you.

I made a decision to walk with the Lord when I was 14 years old, and felt like I should have had this taken care of, but Satan is crafty and we will never arrive.  God calls us to always grow and search and dig deeper after him.  This has been a tough season, and I am still learning to practice this, but I am thankful.  I am so thankful that God has used what Satan intended for harm, for good and for His glory.

If you are struggling with this right now, I want to encourage you to use these 3 steps.  They aren’t a fix all, and God may choose to work differently in you, but it’s a place to start when you don’t know where else to go.  Surround yourself with people who encourage you and lift you up.  Surround yourself with believers who are strong in the Lord and walk in the Spirit.  Surround yourself with people who will pray with you and walk with you in spirit and in truth.  And saturate yourself with God’s word.

Let me pray for you who are reading this and saying, “This is me!”

Abba Father,

Thank you for your goodness.  Thank you for your love for us.  You do not let us stay in darkness, you always provide a way out.  Thank you for allowing us to go through situations that bring us into closer relationship with you and make us more like you.  Abba, I pray for the one who will read this post and say, “This is me!”.  I speak life over them in Jesus name.  I come against any darkness that is inhabiting their mind and cast it out in Jesus name.  Lord, fill their mind with peace and truth.  Fill it with your word alone.  I pray that you would surround them with iron sharpeners, with those who can walk alongside them and be an encouragement.  Lord, don’t let them stay where they are, light the path that you have laid before them to walk out of that darkness.  Open their eyes and mind and heart to you and your word over them.

In Jesus’ Holy Name,


Other scriptures to read – Ephesians 6, Galatians 5:1, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Philippians 1:6

Lord, Let Them Live!

   A year ago today Blaine and I sat in a hospital waiting room waiting (go figure) on x-ray results for Kaden’s heart. We would be told a game plan after our pediatric cardiologist reviewed them as well as his other tests.
   In a hospital waiting room across town sat my family…waiting on the results of my dad’s heart.
   As we were waiting we received a phone call that shook my little world. My dad’s heart was a lot worse than they thought. He would need to have a triple bypass.  Not only that but it was a miracle that he was still alive. He had been having heart attacks, sometimes several a day, not realizing that’s what it was. If he would have become sick and if my mom would not have dragged his butt to the hospital, he would not be with us today.
   I felt like the ground might cave in, but I had to get it together as I held a 2 and a 1/2 week old boy in my arms who was also fighting for his precious little life.
   We drove back to Dr. Kattash’s office where we received the news we were dreading. Kaden would need open heart surgery. And it was up to him when it would happen. Until then, we would have weekly cardiology appts, home health 3xs a week, and guaranteed hospital stays for medicine adjustments and feeding problems.
   In that moment, I just wanted heaven. I prayed for Jesus to come back so that 2 of the 3 men (and baby boy) thay mean more to me than anything could be healed. We got in the car and before I could process any of this news, Because He Lives came on over the speakers in my car. Blaine held my hand and I cried and tried to pull it together at the same time as we drove to see my daddy…

                                         …more to come.


Our baby boy waiting at the hospital.

I do not like the Superbowl. Pray with me.

Football.  Food.  Friends.  These are fun things especially in our south Louisiana culture.

But the Superbowl means something completely different to others.  It means slavery.  The Superbowl has become the largest human-trafficking event in the United States.

Women and children (mostly) will fight for their lives this weekend as the Superbowl approaches.  What will you do?  What can you do?

Short of going to the Superbowl itself (not exactly reasonable for most), there is action you can take!  Cover your Facebook news feed with awareness.  It may not seem like much but awareness DOES catch on!  Awareness spreads.  And soon people who will have the privilege of attending the game will know that this is something to watch for.

Google.  Research.  What are signs to look for?  It happens in our own towns more often than we think so even if you are not attending the Superbowl, it is good to be aware.

And the most important thing you can do is pray!  Pray and pray and pray.  Pray for protection.  Pray for the plans of these criminals to be stopped before action can take place.  Pray for police to take action.  Pray for the government to take action.  Pray for those being targeted that they will not fall into the trap and will steer clear of danger.

It seems so small.  Yet, it is the most powerful thing you can do.  Will you pray??

Now I am not saying it is wrong to have fun this Sunday.  Get together with friends and eat fun food and have a good time!  But please, pray.  And start sharing the facts.

It’s almost been a month…

Goodness…I have GOT to get better at writing (typing) on this thing. So much has happened over the past month…

For those of you who don’t know yet, cause we just didn’t spread the word, Blaine is now pastor of Bethel in Jennings. A year of praying and fasting and seeking…because God knows what I need and made me begin waaay early before this was a thought. We are excited and we see the Lord at work in some mighty ways! We love Bethel. We love Jennings. We are content yet ready to keep moving forward.

A couple of weeks ago, we lost my mother in law. She battled for so long. And we rejoice knowing she is with Jesus whole and healed and in her glorified body. As a wife, that was a tough week. How do you comfort your best friend, the love of your life, during a time when no words or actions can even bring comfort? Well, all I could do was bring him, and his family before the Lord.
Someone very close to me said some words to me that stuck with me…she said, “Now you don’t forget to grieve too.” Such needed words. Sometimes we go through things and because we aren’t the person completely, directly affected we hide our emotion. But that’s not what the Bible says. In face! The week before my mother in law’s passing God was showing me this very thing. We weep with each other and we rejoice with each other! That is the body of Christ!

And wow. Our church family. Did I mention we love them?! So much. They stepped up and loved on us so much! So so much. I am humbled that God has chosen us to SERVE this church. Yes SERVE. As followers of Christ we are not called to lead as the world defines leading. We are called to serve God and serve others. And they served us so well in our time of need!
I love the game of how we can outserve each other! You should try it! 🙂 Put others before self. It is what Jesus did!

I know I try to add in what God is doing and showing me and all I know to say is this is it! I am just overwhelmed and overjoyed by all that God has given us. While he also takes away, he never leaves us empty. Never! And also…go read 1 Samuel.

1 Samuel…if you think fiction books are gripping then you need to know the Creator of those minds! Cause yes, while Satan can turn our thoughts toward evil, God is still the one that created them. Read 1 Samuel and you’ll understand what I am talking about. I study a chapter a day as i read the word, and I have been left on the edge of my seat so many times. God’s Word. It is just so powerful.

Be looking for more to come!

Friday I am going to go have a date with my mom! We are going to a concert she was just dying to go too! It is my first concert with my mom! So I am excited! And then Saturday we are going on a day mission trip to Houston to meet and love on some refugees and learn about their culture! In order to love and show Jesus we have to meet people where they are and love them to Christ. Not become like them, but love them before Jesus changes them.

Ah. God is just so good. Thanks for reading!

Tiffany St. Germain