Monday, May 20, 2013

Strong Enough

Our series in Church that we started yesterday got me thinking. The series we started at GracePoint is entitled Secret Baggage. This week Pastor Barry talked about Generational Sin. When it came to the end of the sermon, his main point on how to move forward, was this: Generational sin has no authority over a believer, because we have the power to walk in the spirit. He used Colossians 2:13 as an example, where it states "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins." 

I love that. What a beautiful reminder of something we often forget, that when we were still sinners, God interceded and made a way for us to be made clean and made whole again. It wasn't anything else: it was Him. And when we get into the mentality where we think "Am I good enough for God? Can He really use me? I am nothing. All I am is garbage and I'll never amount to anything." This kind of mentality needs to go. Because, 1) God loves you and desperately yearns for you. "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18 2) He gave up His one and ONLY son for you. "For whoever believes in me will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 3) When we were STILL sinners he died for us. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  {That still is so important!!}

These thoughts remind me of one of my favorite current songs, called Strong Enough by Stacie Orrico. I started listening to her in junior high or high school {can't remember exactly when} and this song has always stuck out. It's currently in the cd player in my car-and I jam out to her cd entitled Stacie Orrico on my way to work {gotta get something to wake me up at 530!!). Anyways, the lyrics to Strong enough get me each and every time, but they really relate here. So for Music Monday, here's her song:

Strong Enough

As I rest against this cold, hard wall
Will you pass me by?
Will you criticize me as I sit and cry?
I had fought so hard and thought that all my battles had been won
Only to find the war has just begun

Is He not strong enough?
Is He not pure enough?
To break me, pour me out, and start again
Is He not brave enough?
To take one chance on me
Please can I have one chance to start again?

Will my weakness for an hour make me suffer for a lifetime?
Is there anyway to be made whole again?
If I'm healed, renewed, and find forgiveness, find the strength I've never had
Will my scars forever ruin all God's plan?

Is He not strong enough?
Is He not pure enough?
To break me, pour me out, and start again
Is He not brave enough?
To take one chance on me
Please can I have one chance to start again?

He took my life into his hands and it turned it all around
In my most desperate circumstance
It's there I've finally found

That You are strong enough
That You are pure enough
To break me, pour me out and start again
That You are brave enough
To take one chance on me
Oh Thank You for my chance to start again 
lyrics from:

I love how real, honest and open these lyrics are. They're so beautiful and speak directly to my soul. Like I said previously, a lot of us think that God can't use us, or how Stacie so beautifully phrases, think that our scars are too big for God to turn around. Oh how that is ever so wrong! What a lie that gets fed to us straight from satan himself. If there is one thing you get from my words here, it's this: no matter what scars you have, none of them, absolutely NONE of them are too big for God to reverse or for you to be banned from being made clean. God can take and use anyone, and use any circumstance to better His kingdom, all in His glory, not our own. He used Ruth {a widow} and Rahab {a prostitute} and because of the strength and faithfulness that they held in the toughest circumstances, with the stances they had for their times, Christ came directly from their genealogy. How beautiful is that! I love the stories of those two women, but there are so many more stories, to list a few more from the bible, there are: Daniel, Paul, David. So many of us have our own stories of how God has transformed our lives, and they are beautiful stories indeed.

I hope that you can look into your circumstances and know that God can use you despite what you are going through! 

Here's the music video to Strong Enough to encourage and uplift your day! :D



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Operation Love Reunited

I FINALLY GOT MY PICTURES IN THE MAIL!!!!! JOY TO THE WORLD!!! Although I feel as if I could share them all with you, I will do my best with only sharing my absolute favorites. So let's try that out, ok?!!? {I did say try}



Didn't they turn out AMAZING!!??!! I'm SO in love!!
Thank you SO much Sparrow Photography-you Wendy are amazing! So grateful, thankful, and blessed!!

Alrighty, I just wanted to share these, gotta get back to our date day {hubby gave me a few minutes to view them and share them, since he knows I've been waiting patiently for them. Nice guy!}

Love you all. Happy viewing! I can just stare at them all day!! :D


Friday, May 17, 2013

"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to life we go."

To my disbelief and probably to yours I presume as well, Adam's two week leave came to an end today. They say all good things come to an end, but why can't some things just never end? Having his leave never end, that would be AWESOME BLOSSOM!! Please and thank you apply it to this moment. ;D Although he did go back to work today he was home in record time, at 10am!!, so at least we have the rest of the day together! I'll take that schedule!! 

Some of you may be wondering how our leave time went, some of you may just be dying to hear about all the details of our very special homecoming, and some of you may not care one bit. So for those of you who are dying to hear, let me begin! ;D

That Friday, May 3, 2013, the day I had waited for over 8 months, finally arrived!!

**No more waiting!!!**

I went to work for 3.5 hours. Some of you may think that's crazy, but for me it wasn't. I needed a distraction to make me less anxious for the day, so work was the answer. So glad I did. It went by fast (although I was antsy the whole time) and I was out before I knew it. After work I went home to change, do my make-up, let Baxter out to go to the bathroom, and grab everything I needed. Before I knew it, I was on my way to my hair appointment. Half way there I realized I forgot the sign for Adam on the pier, since I wasn't planning on going home after my appointment, but decided that I wanted to get to the appointment right on time and I could choose to pick it up after, depending on the how long the appointment ran. Good plan! The appointment went so smooth. I got my hair shampooed (my FAV thing about a hair cut), cut, and curled, all in less time than it would take me to curl my hair itself! 

**beautifying myself for the big moment**

After the appointment I realized I had plenty of time to go home and grab the sign before I headed over to the shuttle to take me to base. I went to the house and actually went to the bathroom and completely forgot the sign. Got half down the street before I realized it and went inside to get it again. I almost forgot it a 3rd time, but fortunately right before I walked out the door I remembered (nerves much, anyone??). I finally arrived to the shuttle stop (which I had been a little worried about) and it turned out that it was the perfect choice. By the time the shuttle left, about 10 minutes after I arrived, they got notice that the ship was just starting to pull in. Perfect timing anyone??!! I got to the base and met the photographer I had squared away. Let me take a quick pause and explain this to you.

During last deployment I had found out through a friend about this operation that provides free photgrapthy to military families, for homecomings for either at airports or pier-side, called Operation Love Reunited. If you are military, any branch, I would highly recommend you check this operation out. Photographers from all over the country participate, you just have to contact them (in a couple of months prior to your homecoming) before they book up for that homecoming. Last deployment I looked into it, only 1-2 months before his homecoming. Um, completely didn't realize then that that wasn't enough time in advance {which is why I warn you to contact them in a couple of months prior}, so I didn't get a photographer. Turns out I didn't need one then, however, for this homecoming I wanted to make sure I contacted them in plenty of time. In January I contacted them, and I'm glad I did then. I contacted all the photographers in my area (about 6) and they were all booked up, except for one. She said she might have had availability, but to keep her posted. About 1.5 months prior I contacted her again, keeping her in the loop, and she said that no one else kept in contact with her, so our homecoming would be the one she would capture. SO BLESSED!!! So our photographer was going to be Sparrow Photography.

Anyways, we walked together to the pier and got to see the ship pull in. 

**USS John C Stennis arriving HOME!!!**

I'm so glad that I finally got my pier-side homecoming. I told Adam that I wanted to at least have 1, so we decided that this one would be the one. Everything about it was amazing. Seeing loved ones smiling ear-to-ear trying to spot out their loved one, to seeing new mommies with their precious little ones, anxiously awaiting to meet daddy, to see tears of joy and anxiousness on wives and family members-so much ambiance!! Loved it. When they finally rang the liberty bell, both Wendy and I tried to spot Adam. Everyone blended in, and you had to squint quite a bit, but we tried. I tried calling him on his cell phone, but it went straight to voice mail. He called me and it took him a few moments for him to spot me with the directions I was giving him, but it worked finally. WE WERE WAVING TO EACH OTHER!!! AWW!! I finally got a glimpse of my man-only took over 8 months, but I'll take what I can get!

From that moment, we thought it would be such a long wait, since after he hung up the phone he was going to go wait in line to get off the ship. We saw the first couple of people coming off, but man we thought it would take forever. Low and behold {my man is always up to something} he "cut in line" {sorry to any of you wives who had to wait longer} and before I knew it, about 15 minutes later my man was coming through a barrier and was INFRONT of me!! AWW  At that moment. Time just sort of stood still. Everything we had been waiting for was all over. Every moment of pain, sorrow, and heartache, EVERYTHING, was worth it for that one moment, and that sweet, sweet kiss. I didn't remember all those lonely nights, the occasional tears of wanting him, or those moments that I needed him the most. Those moments were lost and replaced with such an incredible moment. And for that reason, and that reason alone, I am SO grateful for Wendy. That is why I wanted to have a photographer there, to capture our moment, the one we had been waiting what seemed like FOREVER for!!! Here are some of the sweet moments she captured.

**Some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this. I just had to wait 8 months.**

 **The longer the wait, the sweeter the kiss!!**

**Pausing our moment for a candid, which is actually my new fav pic of Adam!**

**Before we left, hand-in-hand**

We left what seemed our fast homecoming, hand-in-hand, to our home, which many of you know was the first time Adam would be seeing our home filled with OUR stuff!! I decorated it so the moment would be more fun for him, with Americana decor of course!

**Left to right: His welcome home banner, Stennis Yard sign, American flag clothespin banner (thanks pinterest for the idea!!), flags lining the drive way, and the navy and American flag hanging**

When we arrived home, my next favorite moment came: Adam reuniting with Baxter!! Oh My Sweetness it was too cute!!! That dog couldn't have been more excited to see his daddy home!! He had enough excitement for days!! So precious!!

 **Baxter happy his daddy was home!!**

And from that moment on, my man hasn't left my side. So happy he's home. So happy we are reunited. So happy he's mine and SO INCREDIBLY WORTH THE WAIT!!

 **Walking in the door**

 **Infront of his sign**

I'll post again tomorrow all about our leave and {hopefully} with the rest of our homecoming pictures!!

Much love from BOTH OF US!!,