Saturday, January 31, 2009

Visiting The Stamps

What a blessed day I have had! Bryan's mom and I drove up to Tulsa this morning. She visited with her sister and nieces while I went to the St. Francis Children's Hospital and saw The Stamps!!!
With the earth as our backdrop, it looks like we were at an air and space museum but I promise we really were at the hospital!! :)


It was so great to see Kelly and Scott face to face. It was good to hug people you have prayed for and to try to let them know they are such special, kind people to know. I admire them so much! While visiting with them, I just kept thinking how they were displaying God's strength. They are so grateful and appreciative. I didn't get to see Harper, but oh I wanted to so badly. I didn't even ask though if I could. I didn't want to overstimulate Harper and I had come in from outside the hospital so I wasn't even sure if I could visit her in her "regular" room.


When I got off the elevator, I saw Kelly's dad talking on the phone and nearly said "Hi there" but then realized he probably doesn't read my blog and would have no idea who I was and I didn't want to scare the bageebers out of him. So I just turned the corner and tried to act like I knew what I was doing. Then, I saw Kelly's mom talking on the phone too! She knew who I was and even said "Hi Julie" I was thrilled she knew who I was. She is just so sweet!! So sweet!! We hugged and sat and talked for a few minutes. It is an amazing thing to meet someone who blogs because it is just like you are meeting up with a good friend!! I'm so frustrated with myself though because I realized I didn't get one picture of Kelly's parents! I so hope I get to see them again.


I was also able to meet some other bloggers or as we called each other at lunch "followers of Kelly's"!! Hillary and her husband Josh were there visiting as well. Can I just say, I loved them. They are amazing. So friendly and genuine. I loved hearing about the youth ministry Josh is in. And at lunch he was so kind to recommend a book for a situation. I really appreciated his suggestion and it was great to meet this sweet couple.

Hillary, Kelly, and I


And to top it off, a blogger came to meet Kelly for the first time today. It was Kate and she lives in Norman just a few miles from me!! Crazy Blogging World!!!

We were able to take some time to leave the hospital and eat lunch together at Chili's. It was a sweet time with sharing and laughter.Myself, Kate, and Scott




Josh, Hillary, and Kelly


Kate was so kind and generous to buy our lunch!!!! Thank you Kate!!! That was so sweet. I had a great time. Oh, and might I add, I drove all 6 of us in Tulsa in my MIL's van!!! I was so proud of myself!! I only ran one stop sign in the hospital parking lot.


It was very humbling to be at Children's Hospital and watch families walk through those doors leading back to patients' rooms. Even while we were there, the helicopter landed and we saw a small child who's head was bald wheeled in on a stretcher by the air flight team. He looked so small and innocent on the gurney. I just wondered how people can go through having such a sick child without God. I prayed before going into the hospital that parents would come to know Jesus as their personal savior through their journey while at the hospital.


I look forward to the day I can visit the little "missionary in the making" and see her healthy and vibrant. Thank you Father for placing the sweet Stamps family in my life's journey!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Amazed !!



God amazes me! Truly amazes me! He continues to do immeasurably more than what we ask or expect!! I'm thinking of Harper, Mandi's Baby D, and little Brayden. God has moved in their lives the past 2 weeks and HE HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN. Who knew such small precious bundles could be missionaries on their own!! I tell you who knew...God knew. This was all in His sovereign perfect plan. Amazing!!

I have to admit I have wondered "Why?" But later I read how individuals were SAVED, ACCEPTED CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOUR through the experiences we have all read about over the past 2 weeks. People have rededicated their lives to Christ.

I prayed believing God would heal little Harper and I'm thrilled He acted so quickly! I love this picture!!

I love her rosy cheeks.

This past week I had the privilege of "meeting" Mandi in Florida via the telephone. It was great to put her voice to her blog!! :) She has blessed me so much this past week as I start the month of February (the month of doom for Bryan and I as Bryan labeled it yesterday). God used her to encourage me and give me hope!

I just keep thinking how God has used these families, how God has loved me, how God has provided a great Bible study for me to be in right now. I am AMAZED at the greatness and the EXPANSE of God! He has given me ministry opportunities, even small ones, that I am filling so fulfilled in right now and I'm grateful. I saw those sweet pictures of Scott, Kelly, and Harper and I just couldn't stop thinking "Lord We Life Your Name on High. Lord I Love to Sing Your Praises!!! We sing GLORY, HALLELUJAH!!!"

In trying to find a decent video of that song (I was not sucessful) I found this other song by Lincoln Brewster. "Amazed" It fits what I've been trying to say in this crazy, zig zag post! Beautiful Words!!







I'm amazed God at what YOU'VE done this week and what you are going to do!!

GOD IS GOOD!! ALL THE TIME......GOD IS GOOD!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Hiatus for Harper


I cannot, cannot get this precious girl, her parents, and grandparents off my mind. Nor do I think I am suppose to. I believe it is the Holy Spirit urging us, causing us to sense the need for prayer for this family.
I have been on blogs, mainly Kelly's, her dad, her brother, and Laurie's, numerous times over the weekend and this week. What great praise, honor, and glory goes to our God and King, the ultimate and divine healer! I was nervous as I read updates but encouraged over the small improvements and stability God is giving Harper. Thousands and thousands are truly seeing the hand of God in this little girl and her family.


As I have read updates I have had this sense, this feeling, this conviction that the small things in my life do not really matter at all next to this journey The Stamps are on as well as some of my other friends. I feel my life is so insignificant compared to little Harper's. My life, my everyday life, and uncertainties for the future don't really matter at all to me right now. I just want her healed and at home! I want my friends to have peace of mind and the children they love and desire.



Each time I have clicked for an update it brings Harper to my mind and I say a prayer for her and her family. Bryan prayed for them Friday night as we stopped to pray as a couple and then I prayed again Friday night before I went to bed. I was so scared for Scott and Kelly. I woke up Saturday morning at 2:30 am immediately thinking of them and wondering if she had made it through the night. I prayed for them again in my living room in my pjs!! Aren't you glad we can come to God in prayer wearing anything!! Because I sure was scary looking at 3 AM! I was sick in bed Saturday and kept my laptop on right beside me and prayed throughout Saturday. We shared The Stamps and Jenna with our Sunday School class prayer requests. Prayer is so very important to me right now. I'm so grateful we have this privilege through Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!!



I have no idea how the precious family is feeling right now. I only think of my deepest pain and multiply it. I cannot imagine waiting to have a baby, that baby arrives, and then the survival of that baby was uncertain at times. I cannot imagine finally having your baby so close, yet you cannot hold her!


I feel so privilege to have met Scott and Kelly. I truly am so grateful God gave me that opportunity. Kelly is such a classy, godly, regal lady! I cannot believe she is my friend, because I'm just a plain, ordinary middle class girl from Oklahoma! I admire so much about her! I'm so glad she IS my sister in Christ!! I want so badly to see her, hug her and Scott and their families and pray with them, but my weekly schedule will not allow it. And I'm truly hoping a miracle will occur and Harper will go home before I can get up there. That would be such a great testimony of His power yet again!


Right now the only thing I can do is to PRAY!

I cannot tell you how many times throughout the day I think about blogging or I check your blogs. At times, I feel, no I know, it is too much. I feel sometimes I must be a blogging stalker. I don't have a good balance. I have allowed it to consume to much of my thoughts and time. After last week, I felt a heaviness and somewhat of a conviction over this. I have to confess I have often blogged more than reading God's word, if I even make time for God's word.

I believe the Holy Spirit has placed it upon me to take a hiatus from blogging (at least from posting and commenting everyday) for a week or two. I am very very nervous about this. My flesh tells me I could very well loose the small network and friends I have made through blogging. If I don't comment or post, you may loose interest in me or think "she doesn't comment on my blog, I'm not looking at hers." Or you just may forget me. But I know these are thoughts from satan and a struggle of my flesh and insecurities that I have.

I feel the Holy Spirit is guiding me to use this Hiatus for multiple reasons:

(1) Each time I think about blogging I will pray for Harper Brown Stamps and her family. I'm praying for healing as everyone else is, ease of pain, and rest for her parents and grandparents. I'm going to praise God for making His presence so known in this time.

(2) Each time I think about blogging I will pray for Baby D, my sweet friend Mandi's son whom they hope to adopt very very soon. Mandi is facing some difficult tasks before her. I'm praying for peace of mind for her and her sweet family.

(3) Each time I think about blogging I will pray for Brayden.

This is Jenna's sweet beautiful baby boy who was born about a week ago and had to be flown to ACH. He is slowly recovering as well. I have not "met" her yet through blogging but I don't have to know her to pray for her and her baby. I'm praying for healing and physical strength. I'm praying for encouragement and peace as well. Brayden is slowly making progress. And again, God is making Himself known in a BIG way!

(4) Spend the 30 minutes - 1.5 hour I would use to post or comment on blogs in Bible Study instead. The women in our church just started this study.
I am the facilitator of the Monday Night Group. I must devote a lot of time to this so I can prepare and minister to the group of women I have.


(5) Bryan and I are approaching both anniversaries of my ectopic pregnancies; 2/1/07 and 2/25/08. I know I must be covered with God's word at this time and I want to have sweet fellowship with Him in prayer. I want to take this time to reflect on the journey Bryan and I are on. I need God right now.

(6) Be a wife to Bryan!!! He has his very last semester (Glory!! Hallelujah!) and I want our home to be a place of relaxation for him.


I started my blog just before my 2008 ectopic surgery. Blogging has been so fun, encouraging, and amazing to me. I truly love it. It is so neat to meet such wonderful women on here. You were all so kind to me during that time and you still are. You prayed for me and I'm so blessed because you did! I'm amazed people like me, I truly am. I feel so ordinary and you are all so fascinating!

I plan to come back, I really do. I'm stepping out on this conviction and I hope you understand. I've got to get back into some strong consistent prayer. I will be checking in on you. I still want to know you and I still want to be your blog friend, I really do. I just may not comment as much or post for a few weeks.
I hope you understand! In the words of the Terminator:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pray for the Stamps




PRAY HARD TODAY!!! PRAY HARD TODAY!!!

Scott, ,
Kelly, and Harper Stamps and their families need to be covered in prayer today. My heart is aching for them and my mind is whirling. God is in control. I'm asking for healing, quickly and for safe travel to the hospital. I'm asking God to guide the hands of the doctors and the nurses. I'm asking for comfort and peace. I'm asking for God to cover this family so heavily with His presence in the midst of this trial. I'm praying for mental, physical, and spiritual strength for Scott and Kelly right now. God is in control!!

2 Chronicles 20:15b

"Thus says the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude for the battle is not yours, but God's."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Book Club


Every other month ladies in our church meet in a home to discuss a chosen book we read and of course eat! Our Book Club is called "The Sister Circle Book Club." I love Book Club and I look forward to it each time. One of my favorite things is the fact there is a range of ages in our group. I love visiting with the more "mature" ladies. And I love seeing other women's homes.

The first lady pictured on the left is Thelma and she is 90!!!






Joan and Jinx




Teresa and Dorothy


I love these two. They are so nice to me and I'm glad they let me be their friend!! They make me laugh!!




Carol Proctor


I'm excited too because in March we are reading the book I picked "In Search of Eden." It is about adoption from the birth mother's perspective. I can't wait to see how the discussion goes.



I was blessed last night to ride with my dear friend, Brooklyn. For some reason, I guess schedules, holidays, etc, we haven't gotten to see each other as much. You can't visit a whole lot at church. So it was a treat to be with her last night.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Word of God

How can anyone top the greatness of the Word of God?

I will say no more other than this was my reading this morning. God's Word is Great!!!

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom should I be afraid?
Psalm 27:13-14
I am certain that I will see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the Lord.
Psalm 28:6-7
May the Lord be praised, for He has heard the sound of my pleading. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices and I praise Him with my song.


I hope someday to have Psalm 28:6-7 in a nursery!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday

Yesterday was a long afternoon for us but not as long as it was I'm sure for the Hardin family and those close close friends to Karri. You see, we knew Tim and Karri but not nearly as much as so many more people in our church. Thank you for your sweet words on my previous posts but please know there are others so much more closer to her that are missing her. She had a breakfast club and a bunco club that miss her so much. The service was beautiful and very moving. It was also convicting to me in ways I have only shared with God and Bryan. The service made me evaluate my life, my outlook, my attitude, and my service to others. As I prayed at the end of the service, I asked God to help me remember this day and to change me from this point forward.


We were at the church from 1:00 - 5:30ish yesterday. We were physically tired and thought for a second about cancelling our American Idol night with sweet Katie, Jesse, and their parents. But we didn't and I'm glad we didn't. I love these sweet people so much. It is amazing how the love, kindness, and innocence of children can warm your heart.


I didn't have much to prepare since they were bringing pizza over to our house. I forgot to mention earlier but I did get a Write Plate from Bryan's parents for Christmas!


I'm still learning how to write creatively on the plate. It looks kind of dorky. And I need to purchase additional ribbon.


What do you think about having 4 judges? I kind of like it. And I thought it was crazy they had bikini girl on there and sent her to Hollywood!!! I thought her head shook way too much when she sang! Plus she needed a little modesty!! She's already marked in my book!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

So Much Going On, So Little Time!!!!


If we had the means, sometimes I think Bryan and I would buy a weekend home in Ada!! It seems like we are going down there A LOT during hunting season and for family gatherings. Since Eric is in from Kuwait, our families converged on Granny's house so everyone could see him. It was a fun day. I kind of just sat back and watched and listened to everyone interact.


Eric had bought his younger siblings these scarfs and head wear in Kuwait.





Eric, Whitney, and Jesse at Granny's House




Eric and his family. His two older brothers are not pictured. And Katie went home with my sister earlier.



Alyssa (Eric's sister), Whitney, and Me


I know. I know. I look like a ghost in this picture. I think I still have a medicine hang over from my Friday headache a week ago.


We have a busy week ahead of us. Bryan and I are attending the visitation and viewing for Karri Hardin this evening. Afterwards, I am babysitting Katie and Jesse so Eric and Whitney can have a dinner together. I also have to try to bake 4 dozen cookies while babysitting to take to a reception for Karri's memorial service on Tuesday that we will be attending. I'm a little nervous how I am going to get that done while trying to entertain an 8 year old and an infant!!!! Thank goodness for freezable cookie dough we bought from Katie!!!! And my thoughts are if Kelly can make cookies and pretzels while 9 months pregnant, surely I can work this out!!!! Kelly is amazing!!!


We also have to try to fit in/watch the second half of the 24 Season Premiere.Does anyone watch that show? We watched the first 2 hours last night. Maybe I can try to record tonight's episode. I'd have to hook up our VCR because we are still in the dark ages and have no DVR!!! I've been thinking of a graduation present for Bryan (even though it is not until May). Maybe he needs a DVR!!!


Then on Tuesday Night........................We are having an American Idol Premiere Watch Party with Eric, Whitney, and family at our house . It is one of the last times we will see Eric before he leaves to go back to Kuwait. They are bringing Papa Murphy's pizza over. It should be fun and a positive way to end a rather sad day.


I have something to do every night this week!! And , who exactly is going to do my laundry (I'm wearing my last pair of dress socks today) and clean my house!!


C-R-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S !!!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Karri Hardin



Karri Hardin pictured in the hat


Please pray for the Hardin family: Tim, Miriam, Michaela, and Madilyn. Karri Hardin passed away last night after a battle with cancer and is now in heaven. Her cancer returned around the holidays and was very aggressive.

I believe Karri was in her early 40s and her children are in high school, junior high, and elementary school. I had posted about her here and here. They go to our church and I've played Bunco with her a few times. They are an amazing family. Karri was an outstanding wife and mother. They were a great couple and set such a nice example for Bryan and I to watch.


Karri's battle with cancer has left me with regrets. I regret I really just got to visit with her in the past 2 years. Regret Bryan and I did not take more time as a couple with them. Regret I did not tell Karri more what a wonderful wife, mother, and person she was.


I've been told one of Karri's only worries was for her girls. Please lift these beautiful children up today. I'm asking God to make the next phase of this family's journey as easy as possible.


We were at our friends' house watching the BCS game when Jeron got the call Karri had passed away. It really puts things in perspective when something like this happens and we had all been so concerned about the outcome of the game. I like Sooner Football but I could careless about the football game in the last 2 quarters. I felt bad even getting excited knowing this family was hurting and already missing a loved one.


I do congratulate the Florida Gators and their fans. The Gators played a great game.


Please don't think I'm a sore looser. I just don't feel like posting about football right now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

GAME ON !!!!!


Tonight is a HUGE game for our Oklahoma Sooners!!
At the beginning of the season we didn't care how OU did, we just wanted them to win a bowl game. It is long over due. I wasn't necessarily asking for the national championship!




I have some gear on for work today.Bryan's mom gave me this bracelet for Christmas. It's a different OU bracelet than I normally wear so I hope I didn't just throw a curse on the game!



We were going to watch the game with Brooklyn and Jorge and then began to worry we might wake up their kiddos if it is necessary to yell at the TV set. We had decided to watch the game by ourselves and then received an invitation to watch it with our great friends Jeron and Kristine at his parent's house whom we also love. We are excited because we haven't seen the Youngs much recently. It should be fun!! I'm excited; which means the work day will probably drag on.



Until tonight I leave you with these wonderful videos I found on YouTube:

Boomer!!! Sooner!!!


Go OU!!!








Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dinner with Eric

My cousin is back on 2 weeks leave from Kuwait!!! Bryan and I are very excited. I of course have missed him and Bryan has really missed him during hunting season!! I can only imagine how his wife and children feel!!! We are trying very hard to not impress upon his time here so that he can spend it with his immediate family. They did ask us to go eat with them last night at:

Bryan had the chicken fried steak and I had the catfish. Eric and Katie each had a steak. Bryan and I butcher a calf from a family friend and that meat is so tender and delicious so we rarely eat steak out. I didn't take pictures of the food because I didn't want to irritate anyone else. But our food was delicious! The company was even better!!

Afterwards, Bryan and I went home, changed into our pjs, crawled under the warm covers. watched the last hour of Biggest Looser, never left our comfy bed, and then felt bad for all the food we ate because people were loosing big on Biggest Looser!!

I missed the first hour of the introductions of the contestants so maybe I can find it online. I have to pick who I'm going to be pulling for. I cannot believe they eliminated 9 people on the first night!!

Thank you for your sweet words and prayers regarding the migraines. I'm hoping your prayers are answered next month! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The First Few Days of the Year



This:



+

this



Equals

This:Truly freshly squeezed orange juice.

My boss has a client who brings back oranges from south Texas and they make the best fresh orange juice. Nothing tastes as good! John gave me several last week and I used my juice thingy they gave me for Christmas last year to make this delicious juice. I've been feeling a little yucky lately and I've really enjoyed the fresh Vitamin C!!



I spent all day Friday in bed with a severe migraine. Thankfully my mom had some medicine I took Friday evening that brought some relief. I would appreciate it if you prayed for me. I used to get these headaches every month a few years ago. I stopped getting them but now they have come back each month for the past four months. I usually have to go to bed in the dark with no sounds and no smells around. I don't like the set back they bring. I tried to do as little as possible the rest of the weekend because I was so afraid the headache would come back.





On Saturday, I watched Jesse for a few hours while Whitney cleaned her house. I had the best time. I have bought this play mat that I keep at my house and hope to use it some day with our own children. I really think Jesse loves it. Bryan and I love to play with him and hold him but we also like to lay him on the mat and watch him play. We are always afraid we may hold him to much!! :) We may not know any better because we do not have children of our own but we think maybe playing on the mat will help Jesse develop his muscles and maybe roll over and pull up!!


He also had a case of the hiccups and Bryan tried to get him to stop by making hiccup noises himself and jerking his body. It really made Jesse start laughing. It was too cute. I included this video. You'll have to listen closely for his laugh because all the adults are laughing too. I love watching the smile on Bryan's face.


p.s. Sorry for the blurry zooming in and out. I'm just an amateur.







video

Have a great day and I'll try to catch up on your blog posts today and tomorrow!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Day and Night at the Movies

On Wednesday, I got off work at noon and headed to the mall. I was on a quest for two things (1) search for a replacement for my black flats and (2) watch Marley and Me. I had decided I wanted to see Marley and Me and I kind of figured Bryan did not want to see it so I went by myself. It all worked out perfect; except replacing my black flats. I hit the stores but found absolutely nothing. I need something plain with no bling bling and no wedge heel. It was impossible and I came up empty.

I've only watched one other movie by myself and that was by accident when Kristine and I went to seperate theatres. But I didn't mind being by myself yesterday. It was kind of relaxing. At first, I thought I had made a mistake seeing this movie by myself. I cried two different times and it does feel a little weird sitting by yourself crying when others are sitting behind you! :) This is a great movie though and you need to see it. I think there is more to the movie than just the story of the dog and his owner; you saw their marriage relationship develope and their family develope. But it did make me come home and love on my dogs!! We even let Lilly and Layla in the house and loved on them. They were quite excited and thank the writer of Marley and Me and the producers for making the movie!!!

Bryan got off work at 4:00 yesterday and got home early (remember, he is a city employee!! hee hee! :>) We did not have any invites for New Years Eve so he and I went to eat Mexican and then went to another movie at the wonderful Moore theatre and saw this movie:
I wasn't sure about this movie. But I have to say it was another great movie. I cried AGAIN at the end! I was proud to be an American!! What an emotional movie day!!
All in all I think I must say I'm glad I did this on 12/31/08 since one of my goals was to watch less movies and TV in 2009! :) And I do have to write although it is now officially 2009 I have spent the day in my pjs and laying around A LOT watching the Season 4 DVDs of The Office so obviously I have a lot of work cut out for me to work on that goal list! In my defense though, I have had a headache and taken medicine all day and just can't think. I'm blaming my flub up on the headache. I'm glad there are 364 days left!!
I think the evening may be better than the day (although I've enjoyed my time with Bryan). Bryan is marinating steaks for dinner and we have baked potatoes in the oven!! MMM MMM good!! And Bryan also made delicious sandwiches on sourdough bread for lunch! Am I spoiled or what!! Don't answer!!!! :)