About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lifestyle change

Recently I have decided to lose weight. Now, I realize that for some of you weight isn't an issue and I have to admit until after I had Ellie it wasn't really an issue for me either. I have come to discover that my body is a temple and I must really pay attention to what I put into my body. I also was getting tired of being tired all the time and not able to have the energy to take care of my family without barking at everyone and to be able to have the strength to help out in church functions that were "good things" but I never had the energy to do them either. I have also realized how important it is that I teach my children how important it is to exercise and eat right. I don't want it to be something that they dread and I also don't want them to be scared to ever have cake at a birthday party. For me this issue of health and exercise has always been a very careful line that I don't want to cross over into and do the wrong thing. I have overcome Satan's hold on me in this area but let me explain before I go further.

Let me just take you on a small journey and remember I'm being very transparent here as I write this and if you think ill of me after you read it then.....well....boo on you I guess! This is one reason why I have taken so long to address the weight issue because I was terrified that old habits would come back and I so didn't want to be in that position EVER again.

When I was in highschool I wasn't overweight but being the typical teen I worried about everything. I remember walking into youth group palms sweaty, thinking that absolutely every single person was looking at me (yes, I realize now how vain that was but that is how I felt THEN). I attended a school that wanted perfection and I mean PERFECTION! I was in a class with above average intelligent young people. I was always the one that was catching on a day late it seemed. So, since I couldn't fit in in that respect I decided to perfect what I could. I worked and worked to make straight B's but hey I got on the honor roll and that's what counted! STill, I knew that others didn't have to study and they made straight A's. I found it so depressing.

One particular day I was at cheerleading practice and a fellow cheerleader commented on how heavy I was to hold. Now in case you weren't aware when I was in highschool I weighed 102 MAYBE! I'm five foot three and now weigh at least 25 lbs more than that (realize I'm being VERY honest right now) so there was NO way I was heavy, but I took it to heart and did the unthinkable. I begin starving myself and purging. This is certainly not a happy thing for me to talk about. It's embarassing and I can't believe that it had such a hold on me but it did. It took me years to get over. I had to go to counseling in college to gain control over it. I just NOW have allowed a scale to be in my house. I have been able to help other young girls who have agonized over this and who have let this overcome their lives but looking back I know that it was pure selfishness and I was trying to control something in my life. As soon as I allowed God to control my life and not myself and as soon as I understood that he made me in His image I was able to quit doing the harm to "the temple" that I was doing.

Now as I finally decided to take this class I realized that what I needed was a true lifestyle change. As I stood there in our kickboxing class yesterday (yes it was pretty funny) I laughed at how amazing we as women are. I was looking at our instructor who was a little younger than me and had three beautiful children. There she was yelling at us to motivate us and telling us "good job!" and all of us were wanting to hear her say that to us just like a little child waiting to hear praise from our teachers, and trying desperately to keep up with her. I also loved how that we were all trying as hard as we could to punch but since we are all girls we punch like girls I'm sure that men would have gotten a true laugh from watching us. We were all there for the same purpose: to lose weight, to be encouraged and to learn to work out but I think I got much more than I thought I would get. These four ladies and I meet each week and we know a lot about each other. We have shared funny stories and things that rip our hearts out and it just really got me to thinking as we cried over the hurt of one of our friends yesterday.....we as women are pretty incredible people. God did such an amazing thing when he created us, all of us. We can be firm when we need to be, nurturers when we need to be and cry with our friends when they hurt also.

I wonder what women do when they don't have true friends to talk to, to vent to, to work out with, to cry to? I'm grateful for all the friends and family that God has allowed into my life to encourage, laugh with me and to be brave enough to tell me that I have failed! I hope to always have that in my life! Thanks girls you mean the world to me!

Whether or not you are doing a "lifestyle" change like I'm doing for my body or you have decided to get into His word more deeply or if you have decided that this year your going to be getting involved with the church more, school more, or more family time...whatever God has laid on your heart...make sure you have Godly people surrounding you, encouraging you and helping you as you make YOUR new "lifestyle" change!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Serving in the Ministry

I wonder if many of you have struggled like I have to find a ministry that you fit in at your church? I have greatly struggled with this. I have found that whatever I get involved in at church I somehow become weary in it and discouraged. Perhaps I think that I need a cheerleader constantly telling me how fabulous they think I am and if so why is it that I need that?

For several years...I shall prepare you for this....this will sound strange as I type this. I had God really burdening my heart for the people in our congregation for ......well.....I know your going to put your eyebrows up.....for LAUGHTER! for JOY!!! I looked around at our church and I thought to myself "we are a HURTING people" I kept seeing such sorrows and don't get me wrong girls these were BIG sorrows! WE had several mothers who have lost their children in the past three years at our church, people that have had financial issues, sickness issues...these were BIG issues. I knew that praying for them was what God required but I really wanted to do something that would provide some balm to their souls to help them through it. That is when the idea of Miss Dot was born. I battled with this from the time God started burdening me with it until I finally did something about it!

Many people who first meet me for the first time think that I'm very "secure" in myself. So much so that people have told me later that they thought I was snotty (I'm so sorry, I had no idea!) Really though I'm very shy and in highschool (and I have people to back me up) I would sit in the back whenever possible and then I would say whatever came to my mind (which was usually something funny) and make the people around me laugh and then of course get into trouble (sorry about that guys!) When I would get up to play the piano for the church or for a competition (yes, God has been working on me about playing for church again to but one thing at a time people!!!!) ANYWAY, when I would play the piano for church my Dad would always know when my knees starting shaking and when start to move up to my hands he would pray "Lord, help her to be done quick" and most of the time no one knew that I was about to shake myself right off the platform but GIRLS it was soooo hard to sit there I felt like barfing every time!

So, I say all that to say when God started on this "clown" idea I said "Lord seriously, there has GOT to be something I can do for you that doesn't require SUCH.....SUCH......well quite honestly SUCH humiliation!!!!!" He insisted and insisted and kept whispering to me "who cares what others think of you, what do I think of you and what do those that need to be ministered to feel when you make them smile and laugh?" So, I reluctantly started at school carnivals and actually enjoyed it, then another then another then I started getting asked to things....HEY that's a big deal that people actually WANT you! Then, I went to Awanas and the kids DIDN'T hate me and then I went to playgroup and then other churches asked me and THEN I started going to people's houses in our church and THAT was super fun and I thought HEY this is pretty amazing Lord. Why in the world didn't I listen to you sooner?????

THEN........yes girls there is a THEN!!!! Satan started working on me and telling me lies and people would say things that they didn't mean to come across mean and I do believe with all my heart that if they knew that their comments hurt me they would just be very upset but they did and that's all it took....that was Satan's in and I started disliking everyone. I didn't want to go to church, I didn't want to work in the nursery, I didn't want to sing at church, I didn't care to go. I told myself that we had no friends, no one would notice us if we were gone, what' s the use??? THEN, I realized I was barking at EVERYBODY!!! No body in my house was normal and no one driving could drive properly and everyone was rude and the whole world HATED Jamie! Yes, can you imagine it? The whole entire world was against me! So, after eating about a ton of chocolate and feeling very sorry for myself with the way life was and this stupid town (because all of St. Joe hated me too!) I thought to myself....."Perhaps its me?" No, that can't possibly be it?? I knew that in my heart I was wrong and I had sinned and I had quit doing what God had commanded me to do all because my feelings got hurt. It's silly as I say this and look back on it. All that grief for absolutely no reason but Satan had his fun and was delighted at how far down the path he was taking me.

Now, I have a few functions that Miss Dot does a year for Awanas, playgroup and our church. I still work at nursery and still try to be available for other areas of service that may come around but I try very hard now to realize that even when God tells you to do something and no one else seems to care or be your cheerleader God is and when He commands you to do something (no matter who else thinks your insane:)) You need to do it! and with a happy heart! or in my case with a cute red nose!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Best Friends

I love this picture! It always makes me smile! It brings out what I always want to be. I always want to laugh....not the chuckle put your hand over your mouth but the belly laugh...the embarassing laugh that everyone turns around and looks at you like "what is sooo funny?"

I think that is why I enjoy being Miss Dot. I need to laugh....I need to laugh a lot.

Last night my husband turned to me and said "you know that your my best friend?" I just stood there and made a joke....to be serious would be to be vulnerable and I just didn't want to get all emotional. I do that...change the subject, make a joke when he decides to be emotional about things. I don't mean to be its just......well if you want to make me really mad then you will do the unthinkable......you will make me cry! I can't stand that!!!!

Mark and I will be married for seven years on August 23rd. It has been difficult and both of us have wanted to throw in the towel (after all we have known failure, what's another failure) For those who can't know or understand second marriages are plain HARD!!! I had the junk of dealing with Ron, Mark had his "stuff" to deal with. We had his two daughters and my son to join together and it was just plain hard. Now, when we eat out together or are together people would never know the journey that all of us have been through. The girls no longer correct people when they call me their Mom and life seems to be cruising along just fine (most of the time).

Trials change you and the one that my husband and I went through a month ago definitely changed us but for the better. Fear can be a good thing and a bad thing. When the doctors told my husband he had a very large pelvic mass FEAR is definitely what struck me. Tears started flowing down my cheeks....DEATH was what I kept thinking. It paralyzed me, it ate at me I couldn't function. I couldn't look at Mark. I kept saying "Lord, please not again, I can't bear it again! Trey will not be able to suffer through another father going home to you Lord I can't do it! Please NOOOOOO!" Surgery was scheduled and there I was with my husband in a hospital.....I hate hospitals....the sounds, the smells....it was all coming back but God in his loving kindness sent his love through friends and loved ones. They were there before the surgery, after the surgery...I rarely had time to relive my previous nightmare because they were there keeping us focused on what is and what is to be.

As many of you that have been in hospitals with your loved ones and stayed the days and nights with them you get into your routine and help them with drinking, bathing, going to the facilities...all of it. You either complain to yourself or embrace it thinking if this were me how would I want him to treat me and that is how I dealt with my husband as he went through his trial. Our pastor's wife told me that we would be close after this and I didn't believe her. Inside I thought...."I just might kill him (you know men can sometimes be a little whiny)" he wasn't and he did very well. Getting up in the middle of the night to give him meds, helping him and taking care of four kids one which is only three and VERY busy...I drank LOTS of caffeine and prayed for strength.

As I thought about the words "best friend" last night after he said that to me I thought "wow, we are finally there!" You see not to many husbands will walk with you to the grave of your first love and understands that you need to be there on certain days of the year. Not to many husbands forgive you when you call them another name or buy them a movie that is their "favorite" that was anothers favorite (that was embarassing!) not to many men will hold your hand as you go by a car accident and the tears flow and he needs no explanation....not to many men will allow me to "grieve" and help their son "grieve" through the loss of someone he barely remembers......but my man will and my man does and boy how many people have a "best friend" like that?

I thank God for the journey he has placed me on. I thank God for the church, the friends, the blessings he has given me. I even thank him for the small town that he put me in (what a blessing small towns can be)

So many times in the past I have wondered....what if? What if I had changed the course of my life at college? I don't think I would be the person I am today, I don't think that I would be nearly as satisfied, nearly as empathetic as I am today and what then?

I hate to cry and I hate death and I have set through too many funerals and bawled my eyes out at the deaths of dear children of my friends, dear children of my family. I HATE death but I know that its not the end......it NOT the last time we will see them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Long Time Coming

As I finally sit down to write this several things come to mind: first of all, who has time to read this and will anyone really care?? My insecurity is mounting and I'm terrified to posts this but something spurs me on.

Some of you may know that tragedy found its way into my life almost eight years ago. As I sit here and write that I can't believe that it has been that long and I also can't believe the person that I have changed in today. I'm not perfect I assure you but I think I like the person that I am today much more so than I did eight years ago.

August 5th...oh how I hate that day. I truly wish I could erase it off the calendar. I try to do something very busy on that day. I feel that I shall never again feel the same about that day. You see that is the day that my life changed forever.

I was always one of those girls that didn't have huge plans for life. I wanted to get married, have kids and figured that that would all just fall into place but...it didn't.

Without reliving this horrible nightmare in to much detail because I think in the details we seem to get lost and we seem to want to stay there and "waller" in it so to speak. I will only tell you that on August 5th, 2002 I lost my first husband, my first love, my first everything.

Our life started out as most loves do. We met in college, had the same interests, wanted the same things out of life. Could talk about anything together and enjoyed each others company. He wanted to be a youth pastor and we both wanted kids. WE fell deeply and madly in love and were married July 18, 1997 and life went on as normal as most people our age that married young did. We bought a house a year later and found out we were expecting our first child in Novemeber of 99. I had everything that I wanted......then the bottom fell out......then life as I knew it fell apart.

My beloved love of my life fell out of love with me. He wanted nothing to do with me and I was beside myself. As christian young people I had no idea what to do with that. I had no concievable notion how this could be??? I prayed, I begged, I searched for reasons and found none. Looking back I see the signs, looking back I know where I failed and looking back I wonder if I had been different, if we would have been different would the ending have been different.

Legalism......its a difficult word to swallow.....it's easy to fall under the lie of it. GRACE......that word seems to be easy to say but so hard to really accept. I wonder if my love, my first love really understood grace.

For reasons I will never understand this side of heaven God took my love his name was Ron in a car accident on August 5th, 2002. I was there when he died, I held his hand and cried. He waited for me and I know without a shadow of a doubt that he waited for me and when he knew I was there he knew it was o.k. to go to heaven and that's exactly what he did.

The years that have followed that horrible day I have tried to protect my son and found that I cannot. I have found that I belong to no club......the widows didn't want me and the divorced didn't want me either. There is no club for the women who were separated from their husbands and then they passed away. When he died he left more questions than answers. Why did God take him when he was coming back to church and wanted to get things right with me? Was I so bad that I didn't deserve to have a husband to love me? What was I to do with my son? So many questions and so alone was I but this forced me to rely on the one and only that I could ever rely on. My God is bigger than my hurt, my God knew my rejection, he knew the ugly things that people said about me, He understood my hurt and my pain and He and He alone could heal.

I remarried a year later....probably too soon but looking back if I would have thought about it long I probably would never have done it. My husband Mark has known pain, he has known rejection, he has had loss. After almost seven years of marriage we have gone through more than most couple dream of going through and have come out on top.

A month ago I once again thought that perhaps God was taking away my second husband...that I wasn't good enough to have someone that loved me. There was a large mass the doctors said it looked fine but my heart said differently. He is recovering and there was no cancer and prayers were answered and friends and family went above and beyond the call of duty but I ask you if God had taken him would that have meant that God didn't love me or love my husband or that He was punishing us......the answer is no. For whatever reason He allows things to happen in our lives that we don't understand and that reason is to change us. I wanted to know why my "refiners fire" had to be so severe and the only thing I can think of is He has much for me to do!