Monday, November 30, 2009

Is the big bad wolf wearing a plastic smile

I almost didn’t post this blog because well to be frank I let my insecurities get the best of me. See I really great friend of mine posted a blog about something similar to what I am writing about. And I didn't want it to look like I took her idea but we just have the same kind of thinking sometimes. But she told me just as God was telling me, different things may speak to different people. So now here is my big bad wolf J

Remember how I had mentioned that my children have encouraged me with my walk with God, well the other night we were having our storytime before bed, like we have every night. And one book Caleb picked out was “The Three Little Pigs” and reading about each pig made me kinda realize something, I know how strange am I to be getting something from a children’s book, and to top that about 3 little pigs, a wolf and God?

Well I was thinking about how the first two pigs built their houses out of straw and the second out of sticks and they did it to be lazy. So I was thinking how many times do I build up these walls “to help me” whether it be a wall I build up for quiet time but build it lazily, maybe saying a wall is the wrong word but what I mean is when I put on a front or stand in a “house” for my quiet time but rush through it to get on to the next thing on my list. Or I build another house with a plastic smile. You know when someone truly want to know my heart and try to encourage me, only for me to say everything is just peachy. Then the big bad wolf comes to tear them down because they were not made strong and sturdy, you know with a great foundation. I hope I am making some sense, to me it sounds ok but who know you might be thinking I have lost it J

And in my though process of this I really wanted the big bad wolf to be the devil, blame it on him who blows down my house, but I don’t believe he can blows down the walls of our heart, not if I am a child of God. Then who is the big bad wolf who huffs and puffs…I believe it is myself/ourselves.

This is where I feel I feel into depression. See I was diagnosed with severe depression a couple of years ago and have went to see many people, but I always put up these walls, thinking there was no hope for me or that I really knew they could not help me. Now I really want to say right now that this is how I have overcome this and I just hope it will encourage you to try but if not it is ok, it is the testimony God has done for me. I went through a rough spot in my childhood they just brought me to a place where I felt no love and rejected, had thoughts of killing myself but just couldn’t do it, I know someone(God) was helping with that. I kept build houses around myself built out of straw and sticks but would just tear my own self down with my insecurities. So I just gave up thought this was just how it was going to be, I do have to say though I have got an awesome husband who I can share anything with and he loves me just the same, thank you Josh for all your unconditional love and bearing with me J But a couple of months ago I went and saw someone else one last time went through a process called EMTR and they put me back on anti-depressants nothing seemed to be working, actually one of the meds I was taking made me have suicidal thoughts. I actually told my husband to shoot me in the head one night, he just held me and prayed for me! So that was the final straw for me, I knew something else needed to happen, I was tired of hiding behind the houses built of straw and sticks. I wanted to in the strong brick house of my Lord Jesus! And it is there that I found my JOY! You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy~~Psalm 30:11

This is how I believe I have overcome my depression it is a daily thing. But I wake up every morning with great thoughts of what the Lord has done for me, and I just begin to have such a JOY in me, I know some of you are saying but I have a chemical imbalance and I did too, but I also think that is something that has helped me, I am in no way saying that you don’t need medicine or someone professional but it just did not work for me. I just feel in my life I have to much to be joyful about to let things bring me down to a point where I am just so sad, I could be going through much worse and if I do I know that my strong house will with stand all of that. I try to just live my day filled with thoughts of God’s grace and mercy. Now I am not saying I don’t have a bad day but I do not try to let that consume my entire day’s thoughts. I know I have probably gotten on my in-laws nerves because I am always saying to smile or to be joyful, it really is because I just don’t like to see anyone down or even if they are tired I just would want to help so that it may help and put them in a great mood, maybe J It also helps me out, I know seems alittle selfish uhh. I really am hoping this is making some sense. I just know that when I put thoughts of God’s love, grace and mercy everything else seems so small compared to that. I just want to bring alittle encouragement more for me to build my house out of the strong love of Jesus that can with stand anything and for maybe to put a little joy in your heart.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit~~Romans 15:13

Monday, November 23, 2009

God has a perfect plan!

This week is Thanksgiving, and I can’t think of a better way to give thanks to my Lord than to give this awesome testimony of his grace, mercy and triumphantness!! See many of you know our current situation of our house and moving, but many don’t know what all has gone on in my heart and just wanting to give up! I am about to share some stuff that I really hope that you won’t look down on me but see how our Savior rose from someone who did not show His glory all to well and made His glory just shine! See we have made some very poor financial problems in the past and that is part of what landed us where we are, which I know was a God’s plan, but when we got here things still did not seem to be working out. We were/are really struggling to make a lot of things happen. We were past due on a lot of our bills but there just wasn’t anything there. There came a point where I just wanted to give up the house just foreclose on it! I doubted God’s plan, but didn’t realize that is what I was doing. I am so ashamed to say that, that I doubted Him but I one point I did, I really tried hard to stay strong in my faith but there were days that were really hard, he kept telling me “Amber I have a plan, and it is coming together” L There are two verses that kept sticking out and I would turn to. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.~Jeremiah 29:11 a very familiar verse but He says for I know! He knows our plans and His timing is always perfect! He says in Matthew and in Luke Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life, worrying about things is not going to get me anywhere but praying and my faith will take me to where He needs me to be.

So just last week I was looking at different options with our house, not foreclosure, and again He kept saying please just wait! Well on Sunday night a friend of ours house caught fire and they lost just about everything and we got a call from our former pastor and he asked if we might be willing to let them stay at our, well there was not a doubt in my mind to say yes! Well now they may need somewhere long term and they are going to look at renting OUR house. Okay tell me that was not His perfect plan! But even if they don't I still think that was His showing He has a plan! But when I did find out on Saturday I was in the shower and I just broke down and sobbed, just so ashamed of how can I doubt such a faithful God who shows himself to me time and time again, I just look at my family and where we were 7 years ago and where we are today, He got me through that and is being glorified through that, how could I doubt Him with this, so I just cried well I could feel Him wipe my tears away and say "Amber, my child, why are you sad this should be a joyous time, do not be sad of how it came, be joyful and let my glory shine!" So I now cry tears of pure joy, I have a moment about everyday where I just cry about how perfect His timing was, for "some" reason we could not sell our house and we were not "able" to get the funds together to rent it out hmmm tell me He doesn't know timing :) I am still in shock, which really why am I, of what has happened! I am just so thankful my Savior, who knows that I will doubt still shows Himself so triumphant!

Just an update on how wonderful our Savior is just found out that the they will be moving in and the insurance will be paying our full mortgage!! This just blows me away, He is such a God who provides, I can't even find the right words right now to describe how I am feeling. I am so thankful for who He is and what He does!! I fell blessed beyond belief~Let us therefore come bodly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need~~Hebrews 4:16

Friday, November 20, 2009

I think I ran out of gas?

Today I was on my way to work, and normally I have a care free ride to work, well this morning as soon as I pulled out of our driveway, I saw three cars in the road, one looking like mine. As a got a little closer I saw that it was, there was Josh, his dad and some older lady I think. I asked if everything was ok and Josh dad said she ran out of gas. I asked Josh if he had stopped to help her, he said yes. He was now late for work but he didn’t care, I was so proud, I don’t even know if proud is the right word, it just put a wonderful feeling in my heart. Josh has always done things like that though, he always stops to help someone in need, he probably wouldn’t want me to tell you that because he just doesn’t like to tell everyone when he helps someone, so shhhh J Well that got me thinking about how we, as servants of God, sometimes run out of gas. We become so busy with our lives that we fail to see those who are in need of our service. We (and I am so including myself in this) tell ourselves that I don’t have time, I barely get time with my family, how can I possibly help them with theirs. I feel so convicted of this because I believe we are to put others before we put ourselves. I try really hard to do this but fail so many times it really makes me sad, but I am so thankful that God puts that little feeling in my heart to tell me that I need to learn from these mistakes and do right the next time, isn’t grace wonderful! When I think about helping others I always come to this verse “Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with truth and action”~ 1 John 3:18. We are not only to tell people things they may want to hear but to do them with actions. How powerful will our witness be to not only to non-believers but to those who do believe. I don’t know if I am making any sense it makes sense in my head. To me a lot of things come down to showing compassion to one another, many who know we know that I am huge on compassion, I am not perfect but I believe in the depths of my heart that things in our own life could be so much better if we showed compassion to one another, take the focus off ourselves and put it to those who are hurting whether it be spiritually, financially, I know there are others but my brain is not thinking of them right now J I really could go on about compassion because I believe so strongly in it. It can repair broken relationships by just showing a bit of love! I will save this for something else, but I urge you if you feel like you are running out of gas, like I feel at times turn to the one who never runs out and will always fill up your tank…Our Savior!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

These are the moments

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."~Matthew 19:14

As I was leaving this morning, after giving my wonderful children hugs and kisses and telling them I love them. I was about to walk out the door and Caleb said “mommy you have a great day at work!” That just made my heart melt. Josh’s dad asked Caleb why he was buttering me up for he responded “Because she is special!” Okay I had tears in my eyes about this time. Josh dad then said “why is she special”…”because I love her!!” I said “Caleb I love you too” and had to leave because my eyes were filled with a lot of tears, tears of joy! These are moments that I hold tight in my heart. Ok so I am adding something new since this morning, at the dinner table tonight Caleb said "mommy you are the best mommy in the whole world!" Man I can not begin to tell you how much God just knew that I needed those words from my children since I have not been at home with them and Caleb is just so sweet with his words!!

Let me tell you becoming a mother has brought me to a different level of my relationship with God, it has actually brought me closer, having my kids as made me think a lot about my relationship with Him. I really want to dig deep because I want to be the best I can be for them and I know that He is the only one who can help me with that. I want to be able to give the answers from the word, when they ask those tough little questions. Like Caleb has already asked questions like…how is God everywhere? How does He live in my heart? And they have made me rethink my actions as well. I am not a morning person but I have found that I needed to be for them, how can I be in a bad mood when I wake up to them. So now I sing a song just about every morning, and Caleb sings it with me. I sing “Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!!!” And it just seems to put me in such a great mood, I make more of an effort to just smile and be joyful because I do have a choice to be that way. Now not every morning or even everyday am I that way but I do try really hard to do so. I cherish all the moments I do have because they are only that for a moment, but they hold tight to my heart. I really just want to go on and on of all the moments that stick out like Taylor saying “es ham” (yes ma’am) or “I elp ooo” (I help you), Taylor running around the house yelling “FOOTBALL!!!” when he sees anything related to football. I could tell you numerous jokes that Caleb has said, many you have seen on facebook …”the car is outside mommy” J “His wonderful Christmas list”. Ok see I told you I could go on. ~This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I interrupt you to bring you this special announcement

So maybe this isn't the grandest of announcements to everyone but to the Gregory household it is! I was told that yesterday when Josh's truck pulled into the driveway, Taylor looked out the window and with every excitement he had, he started yelling "DADDY, DADDY!!!" I know what you are thinking, great Amber he said his daddy was home. But see for about the past year now he has thought it was some kind of game to call Josh "mommy". It first started out that he just called everyone mommy but then he developed a funny bone and decided it was a joke. Like we would sit around the dinner table and ask Taylor who is this and he would go around...Pop...Nana...Mommy...Bubba...and who is this...MOMMY!!! and he would just laugh and laugh. I know some may think he didn't know how to say it but he has been busted a couple of times accidentally saying it, like Caleb would say "daddy, daddy" and Taylor was right behind him "daddy, daddy", we would say what did you say Taylor and with a surprised look on his face he then would grin and say "mommy, mommy". I remember when we were driving home from Panama City in September and Caleb being the sweet brother he is, trying to "teach" him how to say it, here is how it went in the back seat. Caleb-"daddy" Taylor"mommy" Caleb- no Taylor"daaddy" Taylor- "moommy" Caleb-a quick "daddy!" Taylor-a quick "mommy!" This went on for at least 5 minutes, Taylor would mimic everything inflection of Caleb's voice it was so funny. But now he, meaning just yesterday :) would run around the house "Daddy et' me" (get me) Josh is so proud now and I am too so maybe I won't have to always hear my name being called all the time when he means his daddy! Even though I do love hearing my name, moms you know what I mean, right? So there is your special announcement, you now may go back to your regular scheduled program :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

This day I say "I do"

this is from Student Life 00'

Once upon a time, there lived a fair maiden who wanted nothing more than her Prince Charming to swoop in and just show her love, true love! Okay I know what you are thinking right now, Amber why are you writing a fairytale blog...??? Well actually that is what I am doing, God has given me 3 love stories, well what I consider love stories :) The first would be the love story of when God sent His son for me, man what love that is!! I could go on about this one, maybe for another blog! The second is the one of me and my hubby, which is the one I will be writing about today, you see today 7 years ago I said I do to the man of my dreams the one who would help with my third love story which is with my kids! But first I want to tell you alittle bit about our wonderful love story!

Well it kinda started off alittle rough, see I had this huge crush on him when I was in high school, he played guitar for the youth. I tried to get him to notice me but he would just shoo me away :( okay ladies this is where you feel sorry for me :) j/k, anywho he is 5 years older than me, yep he robbed the cradle, I love you hunny!! Well a girl can only deal with so much rejection so I said fine, and I was done...for the time being! After I graduated he seemed alittle interested in me but remember I said I was done, I can remember when I would go babysit for some great friends of ours and he would stop by just to "help". Over the next 2 years we developed an awesome friendship, he was someone I could just talk to and would not judge me! Well I had some family members ahem Leah and Mama T and some co-workers that said you are going to marry him. I was like WHAT!!! No, no we are just friends. So a couple of months past, well bet you can't guess what happened....yep we went out on our first date! I just want to say that after we started to date he would come to the credit union where I worked and would put weird stuff through the tube at the drive-thru just because, he is so crazy!

Okay now here is the part where people usually go....ok...Well 2 weeks after we went on our first date, he told me he loved me!! Which is a story in itself.

We were sitting on the couch, yes just sitting! And he was very quiet, which is not like Josh so I asked him if everything was ok. He said yes, little did I know that he was praying, praying for God to tell him whether I was "the one" or not. Josh had never told a girl he loved them before so he wanted to make sure, so he asked God for some kind of sign..."like,like....kiss me on the nose" and before he could finish his pray I kissed him on the nose! God is so awesome!! Well here is also where I ended up embarssing myself, I knew Josh had never told a girl he loved them before but he also said the girl he did say I love you too, would probably be the girl he married! So what did I shout after he said that...."I'm getting married!" Yeah go ahead you can laugh, I do!

About 2 weeks after that he asked me to marry him, in the most romantic way I believe ever! I will save that one for later.

Our wonderful wedding day!

On this day 7 years ago Joshua you changed my life, you took me from being just a friend, girlfriend, daughter and anything else I was and made me a wife!! And later to be a mother. God had blessed us so much, I am so grateful for Him bringing us together. You are an amazing man so patient, kind, gentle but most of all a strong man in Christ. I know that we are in the mist of what seems like a big storm but I look at it as a light shower. And with God leading us, he will get us to where He wants us to be. Just look at our love story, it is pruely amazing to me. I love how honest we are with each other. I love the way you always tell me how beautiful I am, even when I don't feel that way. I love the way you love our children and want to make sure they are brought up knowing and loving Christ as their Savior! I really could go on and on, which I know you would want me to but there are just too many to do so :) But I look foward to this 7th year of our marriage and look foward to growing old with you! I love you with all my heart!!

"Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. Some people search forever for that one special kiss. I cant believe its happening to me. Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this"~~Our first dance song!!

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!!

At Brad and Leah's wedding!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Today's forecast calls for light showers!

So I was thinking alot today, mainly because we were really slow at work, but I got to thinking of my current situation and how I sometimes felt like I was going through this storm in my life and couldn't figure out why God was putting us through this. Why did I have to leave the only place I have ever known, leave our house, my family, our friends, our church family! Then I thought how selfish of me and that I really don't think what I am going through is a storm it is more of a light shower. Sometimes I will feel like I am going through this huge storm in my life and God will put someone right there to show me that I do not have it bad at all, and I see the faith of the people he has shown me, it is purely amazing! Well I have this awesome 20 min ride to work in the mornings and I get time to talk to my Lord and Savior and He put a verse on the radio that really struck out to me. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him ~Philippians 1:29. That last part really got to me, that I may have to suffer for him. Now I think that we all will be called to suffer in many different ways, your might be different than mine or be harder to go through but there is one thing that is the same, that God is always there and our suffering is not for nothing, it is to bring God glory! And then there is this verse that is just awesome. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance ~ James :2-3. So lately I have been trying really hard to just think of my situation and instead of thinking, why is God putting me through this, I am trying to think, how can this bring glory to Him! Some days are harder than others but trying to have this mind set has really helped me try to be more positive so that His glory will shine. So for today's forecast I am seeing sunny skies :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

God provides!

Okay last week on my facebook page I posted about how God had blessed me in such a way that I really didn't have words to describe it, well I am going to try to tell you all, but it might be all mumble jumbled because I am just so excited that I can't type faster than I can think, no comments from the peanut gallery :). Anyway as some of you know that we moved at the beginning of July, Josh lost his job and we had no way of supporting all of us without me going back to work, which meant we would need to put the kids in daycare and as many of you know that it is so expensive you might as well stay home! Well Josh's parents offered for us to come stay with them and watch our kids while we both work and get back on our feet! How awesome is God right there providing a way for us. I can not thank Josh's parents enough for allowing us to come into their nice quiet home and bring two boys who are ALL BOY!! and keep them all day too. Well God had a hand at me getting my job, we had been here a week or two and I went out giving my resume and filling out applications. Well I filled one for a place called Southbank, the next day she called and I had an interview set up. Now this is the time to tell you how nervous I was though I have never had a job interview before and I did not know how to sell myself. But I prayed for God to just be with me and not ramble on too much, I have a tendency to do that when I am nervous. Well I thought the interview went ok, I had nothing to compare that too but I was pretty confident. Well that was Monday morning, Tuesday around noon I got a phone call it was the lady I interviewed with to call me to tell me I got the job!!! How awesome is that!! I know that was a God thing. Well God has also provided Josh with a job working for a wonderful Christian man, and even though Josh has not been able to start is own business yet, I believe it is just not the right time yet! Anywho I was so excited but then my excitement turned to sorrow because I realized that I would be leaving my kids for the day and that did not sit well with me! So I had a couple of days where I would just cry myself to sleep because I have always known that God wanted me to be a mommy and wanted me to stay home, but I also realized that we got ourselves into this mess and I needed to help get us out. I still have days where it is really hard and my heart just hurts but I pray and God helps me through the day! Well see I told you I would ramble :) I got all my paperwork filled out, which is a story within itself, maybe for another blog! And when I went to turn it in she told me what I would be getting paid and it was $2 more than what I was quoted, okay can you see God working here, can I get an Amen! Sorry I have always wanted to say that :) Okay I am now going to get to the good stuff!! We had insurance through BCBS and were now having to pay but the insurance through my work was just alittle cheaper so we went through them, well we found out about a state insurance in MS and tried to get that but needed to wait to cancel with my work to make sure we qualified, well I was told I had till my 90 days to cancel and I waited and waited well 2 weeks ago on Wed was when my 90 days was up, and we had not heard anything but I decided to go ahead and cancel with my work. Well that was Tuesday a day before my 90 days, I e-mailed the lady who handles it and got it all cancelled, but I thought I should maybe just ask to make sure that at our next pay period that it would not come out. Well I bet you can guess the news...sorry Amber but it will be taken out!! WHAT!!!! No, no, no it can't I can not afford that right now, ok how much will be taken out,... $239, WHAT!!! Ok this is the part where I started to fell real sick. I believe my boss felt really bad for me and took me out for lunch that day, now how sweet was that, of course food always makes things a hair bit better, especially when it was at a hibachi grill. I just started to do the only thing I knew to do...PRAY!! I told Him I know he knows my situation and ask for Him to comfort me. So the next week was payday and I was so upset that I didn't even bother to look when I first got in. Later on that afternoon I decided to look and you will not believe what I saw, my paycheck looked the same, I was like WHAT!! So I went and ask Mrs.Sheron(my very sweet boss) if I needed to thank someone or prepare for the next paycheck. About an hour later she told me to look at my pay stub online, so I did and I saw the amount of my paycheck and I also saw that the insurance was taken out??? I was just alittle puzzled, she told me since we only get paid the 15th and the 30th that we got paid for 3 weeks!!! I was like WHAT!!! Bet you can't guess what I started to do...yep you guessed it I cried. God provided just like He says He will, would it have been nice to have to extra $239 this week, yes but how awesome that it wasn't less like I though it was. I really can not begin to say how much this put that fire back in my heart that God will provide, He will never leave us! Thank you for listening to me ramble and I hope you were able to get what I was trying to say here. Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.~Matthew 6:31-32 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus~Philippians 4:19