Wednesday, 2 April 2014

leap of faith!

This is a blog I began years ago because I felt called to do so.  this is a place to record ALL of the awesome things that God has done, but also a place to share the growing pains myself and my family goes through.  I, as I am sure you have gathered if you have followed my blog for ANY amount of time, am a very VERY open person.   I feel as though being open and transparent is something that is unique about me. we all have unique qualities and this is one about myself that I embrace.  

This blog today is unique in that it is unlike any other I have written thus far.  I am letting you all in on something that's been brewing for quite some time.  so, lets begin.  

For about 3 years Eddie and I have tossed around the Idea of getting out of the military.  I was too scared before our last PCS.   and its was just something talked about.  We didn't pray over it at that time, it was all talk...  well early in 2014 The topic came back to light again and this time we were both pricked by the spirit about this and we began to pray...  we prayed for some time until we felt certain that this is what God has called us to.  we were both 100% at peace with the decision to voluntarily separate from the Air Force.  This kind of peace can only come  from God himself.  Eddie went in and applied for voluntary separation from the AF in February.  I had a small group of ladies praying with me over this decision, as its a HUGE thing to leave a career you have been working toward for 11 years...  ESPECIALLY because we have 3 littles to think about.  This Choice has been something that we have put 100% in Gods hands.  Already God has lined so many things up...  The most precious private school, support, a restored and LOVING family to go home to,  School for Eddie to FINALLY be able to do something he LOVES, friends waiting with open arms.  I know God has a plan for this transition, and while we cant see quite how ALL the pieces fit together, We have complete and unwavering faith that God is in control of this.  Our faith has grown with each passing year and circumstance.  God has yet to fail us and I know he wont start now!  

I know some of you wont understand this decision, and that's OK.  We believe that this is what we have been called to do, and God has never called us to anything that he hasn't guided us through.   while we are so sad that this chapter of our lives is coming to a close, we can not WAIT to see what God has planned for us.  Its going to be a wild ride, but here we are holding on tight standing firm on our decision.  Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."   we are holding tight to the God of David and Abraham and Noah...    

With all this said we got our final notice today saying that we have been approved and if all goes as planned we will be leaving Italy mid summer 2014.  My heart is full of excitement and joy as I write these words.  We can not wait to be close to Eddies family again, and to be close to my family for the first time in 11 years!   

Thank you for reading, if you would like to follow our journey into civilian life and beyond, you are welcome to follow this blog.  

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

God is Faithful

So, its been 2 years since I re vamped our food situation to help out with A's hyperactivity.  (read about it  HERE and HERE)  To be honest, I have forgotten how difficult life used to be.  It been 2 years with a completely NEW child.  Dye still effects her, but we are VERY diligent about not giving her Dye.  She is even reading her own labels now!  WOO HOO!  I guess my point in writing today is because of one morning this week where I had a meeting with my old A....  IT. WAS. UGLY.  This morning was like any other, get her up for school, hand her the clothes for the day and she trotts off to the bathroom to get dressed...  well, for 30 minutes I had a crying child who 100% REFUSED to put on a pair of tights...  she has no issues with tights.  she wears them all the time.  but this was SUCH a huge reminder of where we have come from.  this kind of heel digging was EVERY DAY!  paired with intense hyper activity, and emotional ups and downs ALL. DAY. LONG....  I dont encounter this A very often.  The diet, I have learned, is great for the hyperactivity Tantrums, and the over emotional outbursts.  so I rarely deal with this side of her anymore.  Anyhow,  I was struck later in the day by this thought...  Just as I am NOT the person I was when I first became a Christian, A is no longer the same little girl she was.  Dont get me wrong, there are things she will never loose, her goofiness, her spunk, her kind servants heart.  but so much has melted away over the years...  I forget all the tears, I forget all the stress and anger.  I can say 1 thing for certain,  this is all a HUGE testament to Gods faithfulness.   I can remember the moment I felt the prick on my heart in Paris like it was yesterday.  This whole time I have pressed into God SOOO many times.  this was a huge leap for Eddie and I to try this diet for her and we have ALL benefited from it!   God has been with us every step of the way.  We are all such a work in progress, its really a treat to be able to look back at our lives just even 2 years ago and see all the transformation that has happened in us, and esp in our A!  I am so proud of that girl.  She is such a blessing to us.  I am so thankful for the reminder of where we came from and the reminder of how much she has changed...  We are blessed.  I LOVE every moment of this adventure we are on.

I encourage you to take a look at your life for the last few years.  how have you changed?  how has your family, your children, your spouse changed?  bring up these changes as an encouraging word to them!  

Happy reminiscing :)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

roller coaster week


Our week in a nutshell...  its been ROUGH!  

Monday – find out it’s a boy!

Tuesday- got to the airport all was well

Got on flight to Germany and all went well

Got off flight in Chicago- plane landed late – Bailey exploded a diaper resulting in a trashed stroller and a trashed pair of pants- security threw a fit about passports and chapstick in pockets and water in a sippy cup- mommy melted down- ran to catch next (eddie barefoot/ me sobbing the whole way) –flight was delayed- thankfully-

Got off the flight in Dallas- hotel was NOT listed at any courtesy phone area and no # available on the reservation form- called a different hotel (from courtesy phone)  to get the # for the hotel we needed-  no American change for pay phones and no working American cell- slight wifi connection to use magic jack app to make a VERY choppy call that was frustrating on both ends- wait 30 minutes for the shuttle-

Got to hotel-  even though I booked a double queen room we were given a single king room- made pallets for girls and passed out at 2 am- gave the girls a bath in the morning and the bath tub leaked through the wall…  YES through the wall-

Eddie left to get rental car- shuttle to the airport and another shuttle to the rental car place- after arriving he was informed that he could NOT get the car since it was in my name and since we “could be estranged” he could be stealing something from me- (good thought in theory, but in this particular situation it was not so awesome) – so 2 hours later eddie comes back to the room carless- mommy melts down-

Got the rental car and all goes well-

Got to walmart and meet an amazingly helpful and wonderful woman named Dee- got a phone and all was well-

Got to Eddies parents home and all was well-

Got to Elishas house – Eddie and I get sick much be something we ate along the way.  Thankfully Ash was ok but B has been exploding diapers since Chicago. 

Woke up saw the clock, thought my sister in law was late for an apt (clock said 9:05 and the apt was at 8:30)  so I woke her up only to find out it was only 6:30 in the morning- saw tech results the second they came out and frantically woke eddie up from a deep sleep- after the shock wore off he was pumped- got a phone call from usaa stating that someone tried to use our credit card 9 times to make a $1800 purchase from a random coffee company-  (who needs that much coffee EVER?!?!)  

This week has been amazing and frustrating.  it has been VERY UP and VERY DOWN.  All in all, I am thankful, for so much.  Thankful that we made it to Texas in 1 piece, thankful that we are having a baby boy! and thankful for our sweet little ladies who really are amazing travelers!  Thankful that My hubby made Tech! Thankful that USAA doesn't sleep on the job, and they don't hold us accountable for crooks. Thankful that our sickness didn't last long, and that we are all mended up this morning.  I am thankful that we have family soooo  excited to see us and the girls.  This will be an awesome trip.  looking forward to the rest of it :)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Our "rainbow baby"

 Today I am thankful for prayer, Gods healing hand and Gods faithfulness! Today I am 12 weeks pregnant. 

I have had 2 miscarriages, and after the last one, we prayed that God would bless us with another child. HE DID!!! at my first ultrasound (6 weeks) the Dr saw a hematoma in with baby. (basically a blood clot) he had me scheduled for every other week ultrasounds to monitor the growth both of baby and the Hematoma. a lot of prayer has gone up for this pregnancy, and today I had my Fourth ultrasound... I am praising God because not only has he allowed me to carry the baby this long, but he has shrunk the Hematoma!!!! 

i am so very thankful!!! 

Thank you For all of your prayers, we are so very blessed to have so many amazing friends!!  

Today I was introduced to a term that I was not familiar with, So I will share it with you now.  

"Rainbow Baby"
A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

God uses every single situation that we find ourselves in for good.  There will always be an upswing, you just have to have faith!  

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Change of heart!

Something has happened over the last few months of 2012...  something beautiful!  

I remember when we moved to Italy, I was heart broken that Ashlynn would not be able to be in Pre-K.  She was then 4 years old and FULL of wild energy...  I was exhausted and felt defeated as a mother on a daily basis...  In about November / December I sunk into a pretty nasty depression...  I was miserable, I didnt know how to deal with my kid, this new base we were at was just hard to get used to, the language barrier was driving me crazy, and to top it off my 4 year old just never EVER slowed down...  EVER!  I remember sometime in February coming clean to one of my friends and of course my hubby that I was so sad all the time.  sad wasnt even the word for it...  just plain miserable was more like it...  I had gained nearly 30 lbs in 7 months, and everything had begun to take its toll...  

In march of 2012 Eddie and I were blessed my a friend that offered to watch our little lady so that we could take an anniversary trip to Paris..  it was 5 days of  awesome changes God was doing in my heart...  Something clicked in my brain while we were there.  when we got home I was on a MISSION to deal with Ashlynns hyperactivity naturally.  God had begun a wonderful work in my heart and I was determined to see it through.  from that moment on for over 2 weeks I poured over every document I could find about links between dye and hyperactivity...  Eddie and I decided to change our families diet in order to help our daughter.  we did just that.  I went back to the states and got Ashlynn who had been spending a few weeks with her grandparents in Texas.  (we have lived overseas her entire life so this was something she looked forward to!) when we got home Eddie went TDY for 1 month.  that gave me time to purge the house of EVERYTHING that contained dye...  I am not kidding when I say over half our pantry was gone!  for the first time ever I cooked every meal we ate from scratch.  it was not something I was accustomed to, so it was a little difficult, but I did it as I had faith that this was going to help our Ashlynn.  after about a week and a half I noticed a huge change in her behavior, by the time Eddie got home, he was blown away by the changes in her as well...  who knew FOOD had such an effect on children's behavior?!?!

through the course of our year God slowly changed my heart toward my child.  I was excited for her to go to School but not desperate for her to go.  I enjoyed having her around the house.  I thought surely when Christmas break would arrive I wouldn't be able to stand it and would want her to go back to school ASAP..  but that is 100% not the case!  I completely enjoy having her home.  she is such a sweet child.  God has completely transformed me as a mommy to my little ones.  I enjoy them so much more now.   I do not take any second for granted that I have with them.  I will say through this year I spend more time praying for changes within myself than changes with in her.  I prayed that God would allow me to see her as he does.  I have never enjoyed being a mother as much as I do now!  Children are such a blessing!  and I know at times they get on our nerves, but they are growing and learning too.  cut them some slack!  after all doesnt God cut us a lot of slack?  

Blessings to all of you in 2013!  I pray that God would allow all of you to see your children the way that God sees them!  

Monday, 8 October 2012

Praising God through my storm

Let me begin by saying that this blog is 100% an act of obedience.  With that being said, Praise God with me through this storm...

Last week Eddie and I found out we were pregnant...   over the weekend we lost the baby.  I was not far along at all, but a loss is a loss.  This is miscarriage #2 for us.  As I sit and pray I have been overcome with a great sense of peace and comfort.  something that can only be obtained when it is generously lavished upon you by our Heavenly father...  This gave me a calm through this sad and painful time.  I step back and look at my life through my sadness and I see an amazing husband, 2 beautiful daughters, and a home FILLED to the brim with Love...  GODS LOVE!  over the last few days I have received many e mails from friends who have no idea what is going on but just wanted to check in and see if I needed prayer for anything...  <--- if THAT is not Gods love being poured out on me and my family then, I don't know what is!   I am so happy with the life I have been given, I am choosing happiness and I am CHOOSING Praise though this experience.  God has richly blessed my life with wonderful children and a super patient man for a husband.  the blessings in my life completely outweigh the troubles...  or at least that's how I choose to see it!  God will use this experience for Good...  I cant wait to see what our future holds!  Thank you God for your many blessings!  

"we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels or demons, nor the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
-Romans 8:37-40

Friday, 31 August 2012

PWOC retreat 2012

throughout the last 9 months or so I have had my ups and my downs with God...  I have felt like he called me to this huge task last year and then left me to go it alone...  I was so heartbroken and bitter that I have struggled to really reconnect with him.  

Even this summer, I wasn't sure that I was going to attend the PWOC retreat.  when a friend asked me at church one week if I was going, E jumped in before I could answer and replied "yes, she is going, when is it and how much is it?"  well I guess I has my answer...  I was going :)  E and I had just bought a new van so we were tight on money...  the next week I got a call from a friend that works at the chapel and she said that someone wanted to pay my registration fee...  "WHAT?!"  I do believe that was my initial response...  it was nearly $200 and someone just wanted to pay that for me...  WOW!  clearly I was supposed to go to this retreat...  ---> fast forward to the day of the retreat.  I felt unconnected and isolated at first on the bus...  I knew God had something for me, but I was in such a valley and really so hard hearted at this point that I wasnt sure I would recieve what he had for me...  The retreat began and as we were in worship God brought to my mind my miscarriage, I havent thought about this in a long time, but when he brought it my mind he showed it to me from a different view.  it was as if I was seeing myself the way he saw me...  I was so broken and sad and yet I was praising God through the pain.  we were so close at that point...  It was like God was on my speed dial, anytime I needed him there he was...  I cried out to him the day we lost the baby .  I wasnt mad, I just wanted to understand.  God came to me in a dream as I cried myself to sleep...  he told me that he allowed me to loose this baby for my husbands salvation...  WOW!!  first of all HE CAME TO ME IN SUCH A REAL WAY!  he called my spirit instantly and at that moment I knew it was all part of his grand plan...  to see all of this from his view point...   it was so beautiful to see my brokeness raised up to him completely. ugh I dont think there are words to fully explain the beauty of that moment...  As I was singing praise to God, Tears just started to pour.  I couldn't even sing anymore, I missed him so much!  I was still asking the question "why did you leave me??"  after the first night I kind of chewed on all that had been going through my hear...  all that I had come out of that night with for sure was that I was longing for that closeness again BUT in my mind it was Gods fault that we weren't as close...  (REALLY??) 

SO the next morning we had another lesson and I was kind of there but not...  just soaking it all in I suppose..  we then had some free time I am currently training for yet another half marathon so I had a 10 mile run to do...  running is USUALLY when God can really work in me, mostly becasue I have to rely on him AND I am QUIET!!!  (that is not often the case! you can ask my poor husband!)  so as I was running, I began to pray to God, I said "God you clearly had a plan for me here..  I am not seeing it, I havent had any breakthrough, all I know is that I miss you SOO MUCH!  I feel like you have left me all alone to fend for myself and I am tired and weak and I dont know how much more I can take...  please God just tell me what I am looking for...  I need a neon sign here, I am clearly missing something so please tell me what I am looking for"   you want to know the response I got?  a woman's name ( I wont name her as I dont know that she would be comfortable with that) thats all I got though was her name...  So, I kept running and I began to think about what that meant...  should I pull her aside and talk to her?  maybe she has a special message for me?  maybe she is prepared to lay a holy smack down?  am I supposed to seek her out or let her come to me?  UGH so many question...  then I just cleared my mind and enjoyed the rest of my run...  that night we had our last session of the retreat and wouldn't you know it?  the woman whose name God gave me WAS THE LAST SPEAKER!!!  HAHA!  way to be patient AMBER!!!  

so her lesson prepared me to rededicate my life to Christ...  I asked a more seasoned woman to pray with me and talk with me...  as we talked I told her about how alone I felt and how I longed for that closeness again.  she began to pray with me and as we finished she began to ask me questions like , how is your marriage?   "Great" I said.  "God has really restored us."  then another question met with another praise, and another question met with another praise...  she looked at me with tears and said "Amber, GOD IS HERE!" she then said "could you possibly be being stubborn?"  OUCH!  but as I thought about it I WAS!  this is the visual I got in my head...  I had built these walls so high around my heart shortly after I felt like God left me alone and I have been attempting to come back to him with out realizing that I had created a fortress around my heart.  So all this time I have been praying God where are you?  and he was standing right outside my fortress tossing in blessing after blessing hoping that each one would bring some walls down...  That night God started helping me to tear them down brick by brick...  He allowed restoration of some relationships that I had hurt along the way.  His love was never more evident that it was in those hours of me asking for forgiveness and them granting it no questions asked!  I didn't deserve it and yet God moved their hearts to to forgive anyways!   There has been a complete transformation in me...  walls are gone, my heart is so open and I am so hungry for Gods word!  I feel sooo good!  God is amazing!  he never ceases to amaze me with all he can do WHEN WE LET HIM IN!!!  I want to say Thank you to all the ladies around me for not giving up on me, thank you for your prayers and your love and support...  Thank you to my amazing husband for not quitting on me either...  Thank you to my God for chasing after me and not letting me completely disappear!  I am so thankful for the LOVE God has put in my life!  

and to address the questions about FB, I have come back simply because God has made it clear to me that it was just for a season for me to be away from it.  If I were to stay away any longer it would just aid in my not being connected and I am made to uplift and praise and FB is just another avenue for me to use!  THANK YOU GOD for your patience!!!