Thursday, July 31, 2014

The day that changed my life forever!!!

                                       "You Are So Beautiful"                                                        You are so beautiful
                                                         To me
                                                         You are so beautiful
                                                         To me
                                                         Can't you see
                                                         You're everything I hoped for
                                                         You're everything I need
                                                         You are so beautiful
                                                         To me

I remember like it was yesterday having to tell my mom I was pregnant.....

 I was 16 years old and 5 1/2 months pregnant when the time came to tell. I ended up getting strep throat and knew the doctors would ask being of that age. I didn't want my mom to find out like that so I asked to talk with her.  For months questions plagued my mind like what was I going to do? And how would I raise a baby? How would I finish school? Anxiety and fear crippled my thoughts most days. I had found my one true love, Mike, and what would my mom do about our relationship? To me Mike was the most important thing in the world and I held on to that relationship until I couldn't no longer.  I started wearing baggy shirts and sweat pants to hide my growing belly!! 
The encounter with my mom went completely differently than I expected at first.  She was instantly ready to support me although I had disappointed her. There was no question in her mind that I should have the baby. We grew up in a Christian home, apportion was NOT an option.  However, as I said before when your thoughts are crippled you are not sure how to think.  My friends at the time thought it would be in my best interest to either abort or give the baby away...
To make matters worse Mike was leaving for the military just before the baby was due. Reality settled in; would I have to raise this baby on my own?  I did wander if Mike would end up leaving me? Would he be responsible and take care of him or would the military separate us making it easier for him to walk away?
It wasn't long before everyone knew about the pregnancy.  It is definitely a sin that is for all to see!! Most days I tried to be excited but for the most of the pregnancy shame, quilt and fear were the majority of my emotions!! I remember having my first ultrasound and hearing life inside my womb. 

Kirk's heartbeat

Ultrasound pictures were NOT as awesome 19 years ago!!

The heartbeat was a beautiful sound. I think it allowed me to feel what I was afraid to feel, needless to say it was a very emotional time! A life growing inside of me, I was a kid myself but somehow I needed to become responsible to raise a child that the Lord was preparing for me to have.  IT wasn't my idea to have him so early however;
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,

I spent the remainder of the pregnancy finding books and doing everything I could to educate myself on Parenthood.  The more educated I became fear slipped away as I became more confident.  With that however, came the criticism.  People would come up to me all the time and plea their case as to why it would be in MY best interest to abort the baby or give him away... 
IT was all my friends could handle when they realized I was series about keeping the baby, AND that I was going to NURSE that baby!! Looking back at that moment 19.5 years ago I kind of chuckle!! I am extremely grateful that I didn't allow those around me to influence me to make a decision I would have regretted!! Mike didn't end up going to the military and was elated to watch our first child be born!!

ON July 31st, 1995 I gave birth to an             8 lb. 4 oz. baby BOY!! My life changed forever in that moment in time! He was so beautiful! I now held the life that had grown inside of me.  I looked at amazement at the tiny fingers and toes, his full head of hair, and how he was so precious! God had a plan for him then, and he has one for him now... We may not know what that is right now but today on his birthday I reflect over his life and can't imagine these 19 years being any different!!  I am so blessed and proud to be called his MOM, and even though my life changed forever I would have never wanted it any other way!!!

Grandma Tooman (my mom)

Nanna (my birth Mom) & G-ma Jan (Mike's Mom)

Pap-pap (my birth dad)

4 Generations: Great G-pa Solmen, Mike's Dad holding Kirk, and Mike

4 Generations: Kirk, Me, Pap-Pap & Grandma Tooman

Mike, Kirk & I (Kirk was one week old)

Daddy & son

Here's the words to the letter written by Mike!!
Kirk Gregory......

    To my first born child
I'll give the world; always to love and hold.
    A baby boy just like me
with eyes of blue, smile sweet.
    Though changes will rise in
our lives; my love for you
shall never die; the gift of love
with open arms; reaching out
to hold and comfort.
    The world's your playground;
yours to conquer.. but I'll
always be there for my little boy!
    If you need a shoulder to cry on,
even a friend just call on daddy...
I'll always be there; until the very end!!
                           I love you son...

Monday, July 21, 2014

I can't believe it's been a YEAR!!


Its hard to believe it has been a year since the passing of my mom... I can think back to a year ago when I got the call that she was unresponsive and heading to a hospital via a helicopter. My thoughts were running wild.  She has had various health conditions before always proving to be nothing more than serious, but this time it was not the case. I remember in a moment of time how my world was spinning out of control.  I am 900 miles away in the middle of Summer Camp putting 12-14 hours in daily. Guilt plagued my mind as we were leaving 4 spots vacant for the summer staff to juggle; but my heart needed to be with my family.

I think back year ago remembering the experience her death brought. We should have known she would fight,she has always been a fighter in more ways than one!! Her last fight for her life lasted several days but then on Sunday July 21st she went home to be with the Lord.  Although that reunion for her was a happy one, we are left with the memories.  Some happy ones, some sad, some not so good and some that are very good!!

Mom and I had been estranged emotionally for quite a few years.  We allowed many things to build a wedge in the middle of our relationship; and yes we were both to blame! A few years back I took responsibility in the "victim role"   I blamed her for many things, things I am not too proud of, but it was easier to do than to face my own insecurities and the fact that unless I wanted to change I needed to forgive and allow the healing to begin.

We moved away shortly so a close relationship was never meant to be with us; however as I have reflected today I remember some of the times she was there for me to support me and embrace me.....

Nineteen years ago (yes, my baby will be 19 in 10 days!!) I found out I was pregnant.  I was scared, nervous and overwhelmed! I kept the secret for 5 1/2 months but then finally told my mom. Her reaction wasn't at all what I expected; although very disappointed, she embraced me, cried with me and agreed that she would help and support me....

Once I had my son, I needed someone to help me watch him so that I could finish school.. If it weren't for her I may not have graduated.  I remember a specific time when I had exams, Kirk was extremely fussy that night and I couldn't get him to sleep.  I tried everything... Mom was downstairs and heard me rocking him for countless hours, she came up and said she would stay up with him so I could get some sleep!!

Regretfully, I slowly pushed her away but always went to her in time of trouble.  I remember a very sad time in my life, I had miscarried and didn't know who to go to or turn to so I went to my mom.  I sat at the edge of the bed after telling her I needed to talk with her, after I told her she embraced me and cried with me... I can remember a very few times mom cried, she never liked to show her emotions but when she did it was because of the LOVE she had for her children...

She didn't do many things right, in fact most of how she parented was out of fear and anxiety, but we all have baggage and that was hers.  One thing she did do right was LOVE HER FAMILY!!!!! After Mike and I moved to Nebraska, she began to send us "support checks" A very small amount but she lived off of nothing. It reminded me of the woman in the bible who gave her two pennies. It wasn't  much but it was all she had!! I asked Mom why she was doing this and she shared with me something she had never before.  She had always wanted to be a missionary but never had the opportunity because she raised a big family.  I was overwhelmed with emotions when she shared this with me.. Once I was able to talk, I explained to her something she failed to see!! She was in ministry.. just at HOME! She raised 11 kids, many many grandchildren, did daycare for 10 years and helped with great grandchildren!!!  Her sending us a check once a month was her way of believing in us!! She admired the fact that Mike and I was willing to take a risk, a leap of faith, to follow God's will for our lives.

I began to call her once a month so we could catch up and talk. The last couple of conversations are the fondest memories I have.  While the family was back at home having last minute gatherings and taking pictures.. I have phone conversations.  Although she never opened up the way I would have liked she did open up and I learned things about her I never knew!  At times I would get frustrated as she had a way to turn every conversations into a health concern or problem about her.  I have been in extreme amount of pain for three years and let me tell you it wears on you! I took our relationship, the time we had, and our conversations for granted; however over these last few days of reflection I learned something.... I am more like her than I ever wanted to be!!

I miss HER! I can't believe it's been a year.  The memories pour in like a flood and I am thankful for them..  One of the biggest things I am thankful for his her desire to fight, and her love for the Lord.  Her deepest desire was to see all of her children come to know the Lord in a personal way.  As a mom, I understand that desire. I pray that my children continue their walk faithfully with him and that they will be obedient to God's calling on their live and that they live boldly for Christ!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Prayer requests!!

                                 ***PRAYER REQUESTS***


1)  Our suburban broke down the other day, we completely lost power.. We will try and DRIVE it to a mechanic here in the next few days.. Please pray that 1) it makes it and 2) whatever is wrong with it God will provide the finances for it!!

2)  Both boys are in need of a vehicle.  Can you pray that God will provide the right vehicle for each boy??

3) We are all in need of a vision appointment.  Lyvvie's glasses have been broke now for a couple of weeks.. (we have them glued together) WE are all blind without our glasses. Can you pray that the Lord will provide assistances with this??

4) Our family needs your prayers for spiritual discernment and wisdom as we are praying for guidance and direction right now. Please join us while we process some things and figure out what our next step is in this journey of ministry that God has us called to do!!

THANK YOU all for you support!! We love you!!!

Impossible becomes possible.....

                     Having the impossible become the possible??

It seems as if my mind is too distracted, or that my thoughts of worry and anxiety are too entangled with the thoughts of the Lord, so that It is impossible to hear the voice of the Lord.

Lately it seems impossible to experience the peace and joy that I used to have while serving in an area that seems to bring more frustrations.

Lately it seems impossible for my perspective, of how circumstances and situations around me, to be unscrambled and or renewed.

Lately it seems as if I fight time and feel impossible to refocus and resist opponents that have me mismanaging my productivity.


These have been my thoughts the last week or so. I feel as if God is trying to teach me to rest in his presence so that I may find the peace and joy I need. I question the test that I am going through and struggle to find why I am going through it? Each and every day a small piece is revealed leaving me with the hope that the impossible CAN BECOME the POSSIBLE!! (even in small areas of your life!!)

I am sharing with you a personal prayer I wrote out the other day.....

    I am struggling with knowing how to find joy in the midst of heartache and frustrations.  Struggling to see things go accordingly so that consequences are not paid for others people's actions. Are we to learn something here? And if so WHAT?  The lesson is to find joy and peace in a moment of time.. BUT HOW?  I feel as If I fall short every time. I find myself complaining a lot. I find myself wondering where my joy is? Open my eyes and ears to see and hear what you would have me go through. The journey can be long and hard. I want to be a godly wife, mother, servant and friend that YOU would have me to be and not want I want to be. Help me to press into you when it is hard to do.   Ignite and energize my spirit, LORD. I want to experience your peace continually despite circumstances that surround me.  Help me to quite my mind so that I may think your thoughts. Divide my thoughts of worry that entangle those that come from you.  In your name AMEN

I share this because I know I am not the only one who has struggled to find the joy and peace in a situation that once was so full of passion.  I also will share a few scriptures and thoughts that have come from this prayer!!

I need to be willing to FIGHT for personal time with God.  One of the easiest ways that Satan uses his determination is through distractions. Once he gets a foothold in, the problem can escalate quickly.   God wants to be the DEEPEST desire of our hearts, therefore I need to delight myself in HIM.. Learning to be content in all circumstances.  I am reading a devo called "Jesus Calling by Sarah Young".. and she wrote in one of her devos
that when we learn to be content our gratitude clears the way to God's heart. His blessings will fall upon us in RICH ABUNDANCE.  Three of the greatest blessings are:
A nearness to HIM
Abundant JOY
Peace in HIS presence

John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" 

I took some time to look up what It truly means to "worship in spirit and in truth"

Worship must be vital and real in the hearts on true perception of God-David Mathis

Our true perception of God isn't always true.  We often times put God in a box and limit HIS resources of what he can and will do with us. If we truly want to worship him in spirit and in truth, the truth is that we have to allow our hearts and minds to be renewed and controlled by him, even in hard times we must discipline ourselves through quiet time, prayer and reading the Word of God to experience that peace despite the circumstances that surround us.

2 Thess 3:5 "May the Lord direct your hearts into Gods' love and Christ perseverance"
2 Thess 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give your peace at all times and in every way."
Isaiah 26:3-4 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord, is the rock eternal"

The transformation of renewing our minds is slow but the discipline will produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  God is in us and His presence in us will allow those small things that seem impossible become possible!

During this moment in time, when we are seeking God to give us direction and trying to figure out what he has in store for us, I don't want to miss the greatest blessings that He has for me.   I am struggling to turn my complaining heart into a joyful heart, I am struggling to discipline myself to find that quiet in his presence that  brings the abundant joy, and I am struggling while I go through this painful process of discipline but later will produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.. BUT I am trusting that God can turn the impossible into the possible!!!