Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blue Skies

There are blue skies coming though the skies are dark and gray
Though the thunder and the lightning say a storm is on the way.
We've been promised sweet deliverance if we trust Him and obey.
There are blue skies coming any day.

These are lyrics to a song on a new CD Stewart and I have been listening to. Abby and EK have gotten attached to it and ask to hear it ALL the time. It was just a cute thing until Friday....... I've been on a blogging break. Why? Mostly because I didn't want you to share in the funk my brain was in at the time! Life is busy - that's documented. Life is not fun sometimes - again documented. For whatever reason, my reserves were down (OK - depleted, gone, no more glass half-full, just plain out the window) - this made the normal life stuff harder to handle and the "big" stuff almost unbearable. Hence - I hated for all of you to share in it :) (You can thank me later!)

It was during this time that the girls got obsessed with this song. The first time we heard it was in the Smokies. We had left that Monday only to learn after we got up there that my sweet Daddy was back in the hospital again battling the unknown. He had been sick a couple of weeks and had been in and out having tests run, but when we left, we thought he was on the road of recovery. He wasn't - it was worse than they thought. I remember sitting there listening to that song. EK turned her head and put her hand on my face and said, "Boo skies Mommy?? Boo skies??" I just thought it was cute that she had caught on to the song.

Since then, there have been some not fun hurdles to cross, days to endure - yada, yada. Nothing major to document, but you know how things just start happening and you catch yourself saying, "What next?" We've been there over and over for the last few weeks. During that time, EK would randomly look up and say, "Boo skies, Mommy?"

Friday was the day that I guess it all caught up with me. I was ready to climb under a rock somewhere and wait for it all to pass. Sometimes when it gets like that, I think, "I have endured the loss of my own child. How can I let daily life STUFF get me wound up like this??" Human nature - Stephanie, human nature. That night around 3 AM while I was rocking EK to sleep (she's had several sick nights during all of this), I just sat and cried, mostly feeling sorry for myself. EK looked up, touched my face, and this time said, "Mommy, SING Boo Skies. SING Boo Skies Mommy." I just looked at her. She repeated it over and over, until I finally started singing just to get her to stop asking. Suddenly, as I was singing, I could see that blue skies could be coming.
The clouds are still dark and gray, but blue skies are coming :)

Here's Daddy and Abby this weekend at her final soccer game. They finally figured it out, and although he still has some recovering to do, he's MUCH better! The doctor told him there was no doubt the Lord helped them find the problem as quickly and easily as they did - PTL! During all this we had to sing once without him - I've only done that ONCE in almost 20 years and I do NOT plan to make it a habit. I'm SO glad he's on the mend! You Daddy's girls know what I mean! There's NOTHING like your Daddy!! (Check out this post by Kera - you may see me steal this idea one day - SO sweet!!)

So..........I'm trying to look for my blue skies........

Looking Back

So many posts about looking back - I had to chime in!

Many of you helped us pray for a sweet family and a sweet little angel named Kensley a year ago. Here are some shots from her birthday party this weekend. How great is our God? He's not finished yet, but how thankful we are that He loves us and takes care of everything we need. As we were leaving the party Saturday, Abby looked up and said, "Mom, do you remember when we had the coming home party here for Kensley? Isn't it awesome how much the Lord has helped her since then?"

This sweetie has touched SO many. I'll never forget the hundreds and thousands of strangers who would contact me looking for updates during those first tragic days and the weeks and months of recovery that would follow. I remember staring at this picture and trying to see those angels in the rays of sun that were certainly there watching over her. For those of you who don't know the Kelly's personally, I will tell you that their walk has been a hard one, but their victory is sweet today :)

Read up on Kensley's progress on Melissa and Dustin's blogs, and check out the "Praise THE Jesus" party they had to celebrate what the Lord has done over the last year!

SO thankful for all the storms, rainbows and everything in between :)

Picture Post - Without Words!!!

Happy Birthday Stewart!

Today, 35 years ago, the man of my dreams was born! Obviously I wasn't there (since I AM younger than him!) Looking back, it is quite amazing, yet a very simple story of how we came to be - only one that God could orchestrate!

Rewind 12 years...........I was out of college and teaching in Scottsboro, Stewart was out of college and had just come home to start teaching in Madison. We knew virtually NOTHING of each other even though we had almost the identical circle of friends! He had been away at school for 7 years, so he was out of our normal social loop. He says he had seen me sing a couple of times over the previous years, and I had heard a few things about him, but that was IT! Fate had it that some mutual friends of ours got married. He played the piano for the wedding, and other friends of ours sang. We talked at the reception, but I really thought he had his eye on my friend who sang. That weekend, he visited our church, and again I thought he was there to see someone else. We ended up talking that day about teaching, etc. and swapping emails. I honestly thought little of it.

Time rocked on - we went out - usually to singings or to eat with friends, but it really wasn't the fireworks - HE'S THE ONE - that I thought I was looking for. I remember calling a couple of girlfriends after dates with him and they would always ask, "Any butterflies yet?" I kept wanting there to be SO bad - on paper we had everything in common. We kept going out, and kept going out...............

Here's where divine intervention steps in............I needed slow, deliberate, no drama, time to just "be".........I didn't know it, but God did! I was only 23 at the time, but I had been in several intense, dramatic, fiery relationships. You remember the kind - you HAVE to see them, feel like your insides are going to just jump out of your skin, abandon all reasoning, and then watch it go up in flames just as fast as it came?? (Ahh.....youth........) Stewart had been away in Tuscaloosa for years doing the "college thing" and living life to the fullest. His desire was to come home, settle down, give his life to God and find someone to share those same priorities. I had NO idea he had these BIG ideas going on in his head. He had WAY more important things to work out than to court me - ha! Well, that summer, he did exactly what he promised himself he would - he gave his life to God and promised to live and work for Him. What an awesome thing!! After that, the butterflies started flying, and about 6 months later we were engaged and were married on June 29, 2001.

Since then, we have endured more than we ever expected. We've battled all the daily stuff like money (and the lack of it!), lost jobs, and all the tribulations that come with living in a broken world. We've also walked the roads that we never thought we'd be on - losing our daughter and losing his father within a year of each other. We've also shared more joy than we ever thought possible - the birth of our two blessings that God let us keep and so many more that I could go on and on.

We've grown together, laughed together, cried so many tears together, stayed up until all hours trying to resolve those little kinks in the road that so often come up - done all the things that married couples do. But I'll say this - there is no one else I'd rather walk this road with. He is my rock, my little girls' knight in shining armor. Yes, he drives me crazy many days, but in the end, God always knows what and who we need long before we ever know what to ask for!

We spent the day at home a little under the weather, but here are a few pictures to document the day :) Maybe one day I'll get some wedding pictures scanned in - NA - I'll be too depressed at how skinny I was :)

Happy birthday Stewart - I love you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

On a Break :)

I'm still here. We're still CRAZY busy, but very thankful :)

The last few weeks have been too busy to even think about blogging plus I'm not sure any of it would have been worth reading unless you like reading waaah, waaaah, waahhhh!! Nothing majorly wrong, just totally stressed with meaningless, daily grind stuff and not enough time for the important things!

We're out the door tomorrow for the plans except to eat, relax and head to Dollywood to hear some of our favorite groups and enjoy some play time.

Maybe after a few days of play I'll be in a better place to update the world on our happenings recently with LOTS of pictures.

I never wanted this to be my daily diary, but something like a journal to let out what I can't say. Somehow reading other's thoughts and feelings has always helped me, and that's my only real purpose......get it out to help me, and if it helps you in the process then Praise the Lord!

Ever heard garbage in/garbage out????? I'm taking a break to get out all the garbage so the "keepers" can find their way out! Please help me pray I can sort it all through :)