Saturday, December 26, 2009

Prayers...

For anyone who might read these meager ramblings....

JoyAnn has a stomach virus and is running a fever. We have to be moved by the end of the month. I am not recovering as quickly as I had hoped. Nathan is NOT handling all of this very well. Our lives are so full of blessings yet in such a state of chaos simultaneously. I am trying my best to hold it all together and I feel as if I'm coming apart at the seems. My mother and father's house is a WRECK, and I feel as if we are intruding. WE HAVE TO HAVE A PLACE OF OUR OWN.

Pray that the snow melts. Pray that we can get moved. Pray that we all stay as healthy as possible. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Thanks...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Finally...

So last night I wasn't able to blog because I was too tired and we had last minute Christmas "stuff" to complete. However, I FINALLY felt like Jonathan and James' mother last night. At our visit Nathan and I were able to change their diapers, take their temperatures, and feed them. It was GLORIOUS. They are doing well and are so sweet. They are really starting to take on a presence of their own. I can't wait to see whom they favor and really get my hands on them. They both weigh 4 pounds 8 ounces at this point. Keep praying and I will try and post new pics as I am able. Merry Christmas...

Janelle

Thursday, December 24, 2009

3 More For You...

Here are three more wonderful Christmas songs to help fill your lives with joy and cheer. God bless....

Janelle

Rascal Flatts version of "I'll be Home for Christmas"! Praise the Lord it feels GREAT to be home this year. Even though James and Jonathan are still in NICU I am blessed beyond measure!!!!



How about Sting and "Lo How a Rose..."


Here's Jim Brickman and Richie McDonald and "Coming Home For Christmas"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here's James Paul Flint




We haven't been able to photograph him as much this time, because he is usually sleeping or Nathan is holding him while I hold Jonathan and no one is there to take a pic. But here is what we have (for now)....

Here They ARE!!!!

(Mommy looking at her boy for the first time REALLY)
(more family care)
(Nathan, Janelle and Jonathan enjoying kangaroo care)
(Jonathan stretching out)
(Jonathan right after he was born on his ventilator)



So here are the first few pics of the newest Flint family members. I can't wait for you all to meet them. Thanks for praying us through!!! Here's Jonathan Israel Flint aka "Soup" aka "baby A"!!!

We Interupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program....

So our lives were interrupted last Tuesday when my water broke shortly after midnight. Nathan and I came to the hospital and I've been here EVER since. Well in the last week a LOT has happened. Our move was postponed, the Christmas program was cancelled due to a foot of snow, AND Jonathan and James Flint were born!!!

Yes they joined us on December 20, 2009 at 8:26 and 8:27pm (respectively). I had to have a repeat C-Section due to positioning. I was bummed out, but know it was the safest option. Looking back on the last week of my life I have seen God's hand protecting the Flint's and preparing us in MANY ways. I want to share just a few
of them with you.

The Monday night before my water broke Nathan took me to Bonefish Grille for dinner. We LOVE the Bang, Bang shrimp. We met a mother and daughter at the table next to us when we were talking with our waiter. He had a seven month old and was asking us parenting advice. When the ladies heard us talk of our twins they began to talk to us. Well Marcy is a NICU nurse and she is helping to take care of our babies. Little did we know that we would really get to know her. Isn't that funny?
Oh and my DEAR friend Beth works in Labor and Delivery. She works on weekends. Well she was the nurse for "baby A" and came with me to recovery after my surgery. Even though I had the boys early...MY discharge will be Thursday (Lord willing) and that means I will be home for Christmas with Jesse, JoyAnn and Joseph. Nathan has only had to miss 2 days of work so far. I have been surrounded with excellent care. Nurses that share my faith and have been compassionate and caring. I am sure there are other "God incidences" but right now I'm too tired to notice them...lol!!!

How blessed we are this Christmas!!! So here is one of my ALL TIME FAVS for Christmas and I pray you are blessed by Phillip, Craig and Dean's version of "Welcome to Our World".

In Him,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I think I'm All Caught Up!!!

CeCe Winans and her version of "Do You Hear What I Hear"



Here is Manheim Steamroller's version of "Silent Night"



Here is Sixpence None the Richer with "Silent Night"(I thought you might like words...)

So I'm Gonna Catch Up...

Here are some songs to help ME get in the Christmas mood, and maybe they will help you too!!!

Here is Michael Card and Steve Green with "Immanuel"



Donnie McClurkin with "What Child is This"



One of my favorites from our 2007 Christmas production. Here is "Blessing" singing "Holy Lamb of God"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just So You Know....

Sorry I haven't posted since Tuesday. At midnight on Tues. my water broke (well at least one water bag...). I have been in the hospital since then hoping to keep these babies inside until the 26th or 27th. We are well, but I am MISSING my older three. Due to infection control policies I cannot see them. How cruddy is that??? I won't get to see my kids on Christmas. Keep praying for us ALL. Oh and to boot we got a snow storm yesterday that dumped 12 inches in Black Mountain. Oh and the move was postponed obviously. Too much stuff happening. But ultimately...these boys will be here SOON. We will try to keep you updated and post pics ASAP. Although they will have to go to NICU so we'll see. Love you all...

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Monday, December 14, 2009

Three of the FINEST tenors EVER!!!!

The quality of this video isn't great, but you will be amazed at the voices. I have this CD. Be blessed. I am everytime I hear this song. Praise the Lord that HE bears our grief.

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Take 6

It has been a long time since I've listened to this group. Mainly because everything I have by them is on cassette. How funny is that? I need to update to CD because this group is WONDERFUL. Enjoy them today as they help to prepare you for Christmas.

God bless,

Janelle

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I AM a Hippo for Christmas....

I feel like a hippo this Christmas. Just wanted to share a laugh with everyone...

Enjoy,

Janelle

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

This has to be one of the most beautiful versions of this song that I have ever heard. I am hoping to pick up this CD SOON! Oh and their Christmas CD is a 2 disc collection. Right now it's on sell at Target. Have a great day and keep walking toward Christmas.

In Him,

Janelle

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear????

This is Third Day's version...

Enjoy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crossing off my "dream list"

Back on May 17, 2009 I posted this....

Down to the nitty gritty...
Here are a few of my dreams...
They are not in any particular order...

Write a book
Lose weight
Have another child (or two)
Travel (both pleasure AND missions)
Lead someone to Christ (especially my children)
Climb a mountain (even a small one)
See the sunrise over the ocean
Read the Bible completely through cover to cover


Isn't that ironic that I was actually pregnant with twins the day I wrote that. HOW FUNNY is our God!!!! Guess I can cross that one off....

Breath of Heaven



So I am feeling quite overwhelmed these days. I found myself acutally saying to someone that I didn't know how Christmas was going to "happen" this year. How arrogant of me. The Lord just laughed at me in His gentle way and reminded me that He had planned the birth of the Savior from the beginning of time, and He certainly didn't need my help. Christmas is so much more than decorating, cooking, a tree, presents or having the "perfect" ambiance.

How foolish of me, and I'm sorry Lord. Christmas IS going to happen. It will happen at our current address OR at our new place. It will happen with or without a tree. It will happen if I am in the hospital having babies. It will happen with or without presents or fancy foods. It will happen if I don't bake a SINGLE cookie.

Jesus HAS come. EMMANUEL God with us is here. Let's celebrate. No matter how it looks...enjoy it!

So my friend Beth told me yesterday as her son Quin was being born eight weeks prematurely back in 2004 that she just kept singing "Breath of Heaven hold me together". I got to thinking about that and so I wanted to share it with anyone who might read my blog. That is my heart's cry today. "BREATH OF HEAVEN HOLD ME TOGETHER".

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

For Unto Us a Child is Born

I have been wondering lately why we silly people spend MONTHS preparing for the births of our children. We paint, plan, shower, shop, go to appts., tell everyone we know, take pics, etc. Especially if it is our FIRST child we go gaga over the proces. Don't get me wrong. I certainly did that with Joseph...well all my children :-).

I guess what is really bothering me is that we as a world are about to celebrate the birth of the MOST AMAZING BABY EVER BORN, and it seems like merely an afterthought. It seems like we should be spending nine months preparing for His arrival. Yes I know He was born 2000+ years ago, but every year is a chance to renew our part in that experience. For unto US a child is born. No matter what you have done. No matter where you are. No matter what you look like. Christ was born for YOU!!!! Let's get gaga over JESUS. EMMANUEL GOD WITH US!!! Let us celebrate like CRAZY!!!!

Merry Christmas and plan a party,

Janelle

Here is Bebe and Cece Winans version of "For Unto Us..."

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Muppets

I had never seen this version until today when I found it on YouTube. You gotta love Fozzie. I can relate to him these days. I am forgetting a lot! Hope you enjoy...all you muppet fans.

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One of My Brother's Favs...

Every time I hear this song it makes me think of my brother Greg. He has a knack with lyrics and remembering songs. He still knows EVERY word to this song. My mom still has this RECORD. AHHHH...the joys of childhood.

Enjoy "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron"....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Disney Offering

Today's selection is from "Beauty and the Beast the Enchanted Christmas". "As Long as There's Christmas" is a sweet song. I'm not completely crazy about the movie. You can't beat the original Beauty and the Beast, but the kids like it.

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Original

There have been many versions of this song over the past years, but this is Mark Lowry's version (with a lil' help). He co-wrote the song with Buddy Greene. Have a GREAT day. Oh and if you are counting "sleeps" there are 21 left until Christmas!!!

Janelle

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Christmas Waltz

Another song that embodies the "classic" Christmas. Here is Frank Sinatra's version of the Christmas Waltz.



Be blessed today,

Janelle

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

They don't make songs like this anymore...

Perry Como's beautiful rendition of "The Christmas Symphony". Enjoy today as you continue to allow God to prepare your heart for the coming of Messiah.

In Him,

Janelle

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tacky Christmas Song From the 80's

Every year I hear Wham's version of "Last Christmas" and I just can't help but sing along. You gotta love those mullets, oh and all those earrings. Feathered hair and leggings. Laugh, sing and enjoy...

Merry Christmas,

Janelle

Monday, November 30, 2009

The 12 Days Twisted a Little

Here is a group called Straight No Chaser and their version of the 12 Days. I first heard this several years ago as it was being passed around the internet via email. It is quite funny how they keep changing the song, and these guys are really talented. Enjoy....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....

Here's the Johnny Mathis classic "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas".

I wish I could say that about our house. However, right now all it looks like is a big MESS. In the next 24 days I am supposed to move to Swannanoa, help to decorate and ensure my three older children that Christmas WILL happen. They are afraid that due to the change in location, the imminent birth of the twins and other issues that Christmas is being "cancelled" as Jesse says.

Pray for me that in my heart it WILL begin to look a lot like Christmas. Pray for me that I will allow God's plan to unfold in my life and that I will allow people to help me. Pray that this move will happen and that the babies wait until after Christmas. Pray for all of the Flint family.

Thanks,

Janelle

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just to be silly....

This video is made by a church call Central Christian Church. I have watched many of their videos. They are all quite good. Here is Louis Favreau singing his "Christmas for Reals..." Hope you get a laugh...

Be blessed today,

Janelle

Friday, November 27, 2009

You Gotta Love It

Today's song is the Drifters "White Christmas". It just makes me smile...

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today's Song

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From one of our FAVORITE family movies "The Polar Expres". Here is "When Christmas Comes to Town".

Happy Thanksgiving,

Janelle

"Thankful Fors...."

We started this several years ago. I believe it was when Jesse and JoyAnn were two or three (maybe earlier). Every night as a part of our "bedtime checklist" we have either "family bed" or "family couch". This is where every person in the family has a chance to say whatever they would like to say UNINTERUPPTED. Sometimes it's what they liked or disliked about the day. Joseph usually tells us a story. Sometimes we all take turns making up a story. There usually is tickling involved and laughter. It is a precious time and I am grateful for it. I wonder how it will work when we have five little ones participating...:-)

Before Daddy blesses us for the night there is a round of "thankful fors". This is where each person in the family states what they are thankful for at that moment. For MANY months Joseph only said "drums and guitars". Now he really gets the concept and I am so proud of him. Often we hear repetative things, but sometimes there is something new. Sometimes they are silly. Sometimes serious. Sometimes both. However, I am praying that we are cultivating a spirit of thankfulness in our kids. An attitude of gratitude.

Today is an ENTIRE day devoted to "thankful fors". I could list so many. What a year it's been. Sometimes my heart is too full to even share my gratitude and my appreciation just spills out in the form of tears. Whatever you might be grateful for today...savor it. Tell those around you how much you love and appreciate them. Tell the Lord how blessed you are by His provision in your life. Write a list and save it for the days when you are feeling forgotten and forsaken. Share your "thankful fors" around the table. Be grateful. Be thankful. Be changed by a spirit of gratitude!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Janelle

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Counting Down

My mind is so full of stuff these days. I can't remember for sure, but I think this is a technique we learned from Greg and Nathalie. When the kids are preparing to go somewhere or gearing up for an event or holiday we count the "sleeps" until that day. We even mark it on the calendar.

This year we have already made our paper chain to count down the days until December 25th. Even though the chain will have to be removed and replaced on the wall in our new home (hopefully the move takes place in the next two weeks...that's another blog). So when I rediscovered this song I thought it TOTALLY appropriate for our family and wanted to share it with you. The kids just spent sometime with Mimi (Nathan's mother) recently and watched this movie. I had forgotten about this scene. I hope you enjoy "One More Sleep 'Till Christmas" from a Muppet Christmas Carol.

Happy Thanksgiving (one day early),

Janelle

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmastime

Michael W. Smith is a gifted musician, singer, songwriter. I love his music ANY time of year, but his Christmas music is especially inspiring and God honoring. I hope you enjoy "Christmastime"

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Silent Night

This version by Boyz II Men has incredibly beautiful harmonies. I just love this hymn. Once again because it was meant to be a lullaby and I am TOTALLY in baby mode right now...lol

Be blessed today,

Janelle

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Christmas Lullaby

This song could be sung any time, but I always love it at Christmas. I think of Mary and Joseph singing it to their newborn son JESUS!!! This version is by Michael McDonald and Olivia Newton John. Be blessed today, and keep preparing your hearts for Christmas.

Love,

Janelle

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just another memory

Lyn Anderson's Christmas album was a standard in our home every year. There is just something about these old songs...especially on vinyl that make me happy. I remember decorating the tree to this song, wrapping presents and eating cookies. Corny, cute and quirky this song brings a smile to my face. I'm sure if my parents had a turntable they would play it once again. Maybe I could buy them one someday. My mom has some GREAT records. Enjoy....

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas wishes for the young and old

Christmas isn't just about children. It's a gift to ALL of us. I love this song. There are MANY great versions, but I just stumbled upon this one by Kelly Clarkson. Enjoy "Grown Up Christmas List".

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celtic Woman

I just recently discovered this group. What phenominal voices. Hope you enjoy this version of "Away in a Manger".

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Insomnia

Snoring husband + dancing babies in utero = INSOMNIA!!!!!

Another Children's Classic

Every year as a child I couldn't wait for the Grinch Christmas special. I loved it. I still do to be honest. Here's the BEST song from the special. Enjoy...

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Born to Die

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What a purpose. I often wonder what my children were created to do, to be, to become. Jesus' purpose was to SAVE THE WORLD by living a sinless life and then dying as our atonement. WOW!

Enjoy Bebo Norman's..."Born to Die"

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Sounds of a Choir

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Sometimes there just isn't anything like the sound of a choir. Enjoy today's selection. This is the Coventry Carol.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Beautiful Version....

Another song from my childhood. We sang this in elementary school chorus. Also everytime I hear it I think of my children. How do they see Jesus? Have I shown them the Savior accurately? I pray I have. May we ALL see Jesus in a new and precious way this season. Enjoy...

James Taylor "Some Children See Him"

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Heart that is Crushed...

I'm up because I have an excruciating headache, not to mention that Pizza Hut rang our doorbell at 11 pm for a pizza that we didn't order. We had been in bed over an hour. Come on the house was completely dark! Anyway.....

So I've had moments of extreme sadness and anger over Joseph and autism. I've had moments of wondering "what if". I've had some intense moments...but tonight I think I really let myself grieve.

Grieve you ask? Come on..you haven't lost a child, a husband a parent. You live in America. You have a roof over your head. You have two cars in your driveway. The list goes on and on and on my friend. Yes I "hear" you.

There was something that happened tonight that I won't go into, but let me just tell you it was AWFUL. Joseph hasn't been in a "good place" this week. Well this month. I don't know what's happening with this lil' boy, but it's been tough on all of the Flints.

I hate what I think, what I feel, what I've seen and heard. I'm tired of being terrified. I'm tired of seeing that look of panic, fear and desperation in Joseph's eyes. I'm tired of watching him hurt, be fearful and uncomfortable in his own skin. I can't answer his questions. I can't stand to hear him say things like "well I'll never be able to do...., no one will like me, I can't, but this will hurt, what if I have to go to jail because I'm bad" He gets completely irrational. I mean REALLY I've NEVER said I would take him to jail. Where does he get that from? I've NEVER said I don't like him or that no one would be his friend. Is this something he really feels, or something he's heard from a movie.

I can't "speak" Joseph. I can't understand him. I just want to be a part of his life. What is his life? What is meaningful to him? Does he know love? What will his life be like in ten years, twenty years?

I am haunted sometimes by memories of tantrums (his AND mine). I am haunted by anger, sadness, horrific attempts to "connect", times of medication, therapies, etc. Sometimes I feel as if autism has taken over our lives.

I'm ANGRY. I'm hurt. I'm scared...no TERRIFIED. I'm exhausted. I'm deeply wounded. I'm so sad. I'm bitter. I wonder how much a little boy can take. I wonder how much I can take.

My heart hurts so much sometimes I can't even breathe. I'm NOT hormonal. I'm NOT typing this because I'm pregnant. I'm broken. Totally and deeply. I am so broken, and I don't know how to put the pieces back together. I want to be whole again. I want Joseph to be whole. What is whole?

It seems like the focus is always on what Joseph can't do, what he does "wrong" or what he struggles with. I am guilty of this mindset. I'm NOT blaming or pointing fingers. I'm just confessing, expressing, ok exploding. What CAN Joseph do?

As much as I want Joseph to be healed, I want to be healed. I want my heart to change. I want my mind to change. I want my family to be touched deeply. I want to look at that little boy and love him as deeply today as I did before I knew what was "wrong". I'm so tired of knowing what is "wrong". I NEED to see something good. I need to feel something good. I need something that I can not have it seems.

How can a mother even struggle with loving her son? What is that about? I'm so hurt, and just so confused. I've tried to years to hide it. I've been in therapy. I'm in Celebrate Recovery. I've read Scripture. I've prayed. I've been prayed for by friends. I've cried out to God. I've cried until I have no more tears left. I've had months and years of being "still and quiet". I'm so over it all. I've let bits and pieces of it out over the years. I want to let it all out. I'm tired of being this way.

And then there is a deep and new fear...what if James or Jonathan is autistic. I can't EVEN begin to entertain that thought or give it creedance. I won't. I just put it out there to be honest. Being honest. That's what this is all about. Joseph's life is different, and I'm not handling "different" very well at the moment. Honestly....AUTISM SUCKS.

I don't think it was a vaccine. I don't think it was a virus. I don't think it was because I was a bad mother, or that he watched too much t.v. I don't think it was caused by environmental factors. I believe honestly that when God stepped out into the blackness known as that dark void upon the face of the earth and said "Let there be light", He knew my boy would have autism. God is and WILL be glorified in Joseph's life and I pray in mine and in the lives of our family. There is something about this life that is good, wholesome and redemptive. I know it in my deepest fibers. My faith tells me this. I just need a glimpse Lord. Please just let me see You. Let Joseph see you. Meet me in my brokenness. I'm not asking for answers. I'm just asking for Your peace that passes understanding. I'm just asking...because I have been too afraid to do so in the past. I'm asking because I don't know what else to do right now Lord.

I can hardly type through the tears, and yes this pregnant woman has to go pee. If ANYONE reads this...thank you for thinking of us and if you share my faith...would you pray for us?

My Heart's Cry

Even though this song was written about the children of Israel praying for their Messiah, Redeemer to come and save them from their current problem of enslavement and captivity, I can relate to this carol with every fiber of my being. Oh Jesus, that you would come and save us all. That you would come and take us home to be with you. That you would bring peace to our world. Thank you Lord for being my Savior. Thank you for being Emmanuel!!!!

Brayn Duncan..."O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Instrumental Christmas

George Winston's music is calming, soothing and inspiring. Hope you enjoy his rendition of "The Holly and the Ivy"...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Childhood Favorite

I used to love watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Every year it was a highlight foretelling the upcoming holiday. Here is a taste of my childhood. Enjoy....

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How God's ways are higher than ours...

There is SO much about life I don't understand. I'm sure I won't even begin to scratch the surface until I get to glory. That bothered me for many years and now I am learning to simply rest in a Sovereign, Holy, and Uncomprehensible GOD!!! I love Him! Here's a song that speaks to that...

"A Strange Way to Save the World" by 4 Him

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Unusual Duet

Yolanda Adams tears up her part of the evening. I'm not so sure about Smokie Robinson, but anyway....ENJOY!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas Duet

Nathan and I have had the pleasure of singing this duet twice. I'm certainly not implying that we did it justice, but it sure was fun!!! Enjoy Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith singing "No Eye Has Seen"....

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Heaven's Child

As I approach the birth of our third and fourth sons (Jonathan and James) I am thinking more and more about how Mary and Joseph felt as they brought their child into the world. Now PLEASE don't get me wrong. I am NOT implying that my children will be divine or holy. I completely understand that they will be little imperfect people. What I mean is that Jesus came into the world as a HUMAN baby boy. Mary went through the birthing process. Jesus had to be rocked to sleep and sung to by his parents. It is all so beautiful. I wonder what was going through Mary's heart and mind. I can hardly take it all in and it's just November 8th. Yet, Christmas really is everday isn't it?

Enjoy..."Heaven's Child" by the Martins">

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"God With Us"

Wow do I need this reminder DAILY! Our God is with us everyday in the form of Jesus our mediator. This is a beautiful song recorded in 1992 by Amy Grant. I hope you enjoy.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

A Gift of Music

Several years ago I was blessed to be a part of a wonderful Christmas musical based on the music of Michael W. Smith entitled Agnus Dei. I was the music director at Black Mtn. United Methodist church and we made it a joint effort with First Baptist in Black Mtn. It was an AMAZING experience. It was captured on video, unfortunately it's been lost (borrowed, stolen...something). So all I have are the memories that God has blessed me with. This is NOT my favorite song from the program, but once again it was one of the only ones that I could find on Youtube. We sang the program once at the baptist church using their conductor/soloists and then again at our church with our soloists and me conducting. It was a packed house, the Spirit was present and the music was enrapturing. It was one of the musical/spiritual highlights of my life. This blog really doesn't do it justice. I hope you enjoy just this sample from the listening CD.

Be blessed,
Janelle

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Life Well Lived

So today I am praying for a life well lived. A life full of kingdom purpose and God honoring actions. I want to make a difference in the life of my husband, my children and my community. I am focusing on the positive instead of the negative. I am putting aside/behind all that distracts. I am grateful for my life. Oh, and I'm grateful that Christmas is only 50ish days away and the boys should be here in approx. 70 days. Life is good....

Today's song....
Natalie Grant's "I Believe"

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Cradle in Bethlehem

Nat King Cole's version is spectacular too, but I couldn't find a video on youtube that I liked. However, Sara's version is very nice as well. This is Sara Groves. Enjoy....

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

As Promised...

Sorry I missed yesterday. It was a CRAZY day! So here's two for your pleasure today.

Here's David Phelps' version of "O Holy Night"

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Oh and another one... Here's Joy Williams "Here With Us"



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Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1st...

This is the day that the Flint family officially starts listening to Christmas music. I've been listening to it for a few days on the down low because it makes me feel better. However, I LOVE this music. I am going to try and share one of my favs with you everyday between now and Christmas...

Today's fav....

MercyMe-Joseph's Lullaby

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I hope you enjoy as much as I do!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

To Catch Up on Life...

Not that one post can really catch you up on my life. I'm not sure anyone even reads these posts, but they are helpful for me...so I'll keep writing!!!

The boys and I are doing fine. They are just shy of two pounds each and will be here in January. Jonathan Israel and James Paul Flint are the two newest members of our family!!!

I was blessed tremendously with an outpouring of love from my friends and family at a shower recently. We got almost EVERYTHING we needed. However, I know ultimately in Christ I have ALL I need.

Nathan has been blessed with a tremendous job!!! We celebrated at Carabba's recently and to our surprise the meal was COMPED!!! We are so blessed with God's favor.

I have more to write, but no time today because I am going to share life and community with my church. Also I'm having fun with my family at our Harvest Festival tonight. I am celebrating truth, love, life, God's provision and being loved.

Have a great weekend.

Janelle

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Trip to the Fair

I must apologize up front. I do not have any pictures of our day at the fair. Believe me I'm sorry I don't, but honestly it was all I could do to get our family in the Suburban and make it to the fair. I am learning to cut myself slack these days. So even though you can't see the fun they had I will tell you about it!

The most important part of this blog is for me to tell you about God's goodness. Without His favor and mercy we wouldn't have been able to even GO to the fair. You see we have been praying for God's favor and teaching the children the importance of a heart that trusts. Also we are working on an attitude of gratitude and trusting that God knows what is BEST for us and will provide JUST that! We are very honest with the children and they know that right now things are tough with Nathan being in between steady work and me only working limited hours. We aren't poor and the children know they are not deprived, but we are trying to teach the kids about being good stewards. They know about tithing and it's Biblical importance. They also know the practical implications it has for the Flint family. Enough of this...on to the fun stuff.

A dear friend of ours is friends with James Drew of Drew Expo. That company is the main provider for rides at the fair. Angie and James go way back. Even though Angie's husband Tom is deceased the Drew family still extends kindess upon Angie and her children. Well they extended that kindness to us this year. We all received free passes to the fair (gate passes) and books of ride coupons. Angie's kids and mine rode until their little hearts were full and their bodies were tired. The pirate ship was the big hit with Joseph. The ferris wheel was JoyAnn's fav and poor Jesse...well you'll hear about that later. I think he liked the pirate ship too. Oh there were pony rides for Joseph and JoyAnn and a trip on the bouncy inflatables for Joy Barker and my three. We really didn't have to spend very much money. It was a BLESSING. We were even blessed with free lemonade, water, caramel apples and funnel cakes. My body is VERY tired, but my heart is still beating with excitement about what we saw and experienced.

Poor Jesse. Our precious, mild-mannered child. He is short for his age. Being a twin makes you a little smaller sometimes. There were many rides that he couldn't ride. A few that JoyAnn couldn't, but mostly Jesse. The "kiddie" rides were too small and slow for my 5 year olds, but the "grown-up" rides were often too scary. It was a dilemma. Well Jesse did have fun. He rode the ferris wheel, bumper cars, the Spiderman ride, the pirate ship and the little roller coaster. He desperately wanted to ride the chair lift but we didn't have time and that was heart break number one. Tears rolling and lip so far out he almost tripped we consoled him by suggesting he ride the ferris wheel one more time. Well he stood in line like a big boy with his daddy ready to ride. Here's where the story gets REALLY sad. The man said Jesse was too short to ride. The SAME MAN who placed Jesse on the ride 2 hours earlier WITH Nathan. He even made a rude comment about "I guess he shrunk during the day". Jesse was DEVESTATED. My heart broke for him. I couldn't make it better. He didn't want a pony ride, he didn't want to go ride a kiddie ride with his last ticket, he didn't want ANYTHING. What he was so hurt about was the man said he had shrunk. Well we finally got our kids to the truck and were headed home a little sunburned and EXTREMELY exhausted.

Here is where I focus again on what is the most important. It wasn't the free food, free admission or free rides. It was the cotton candy that was given to us by some random kind lady or the nice people we met. It wasn't even the fact that God answered our prayer and held off the rain for HOURS so we could attend the fair. I promise you the rain started again as SOON as we got in the truck. What was important, the MOST important was the work that had gone into preparing my children for this day. Not just work by Nathan and myself, but work by the Holy Spirit. Jesse once we got back home (still snubbing from his sadness) said..."Maybe I could make a card for the ferris wheel man and tell him about Jesus. I don't think He knows Him because he was so unfair to me. I forgive him for being mean to me!". WOW!!! Here's the part where we all cry....

My sweet, mild-mannered yet extrememly tempermental child GOT IT! He realized the greater thing. It was to share Jesus. It was to KNOW Jesus. It was about JESUS. I tell you I am still trying to process it all.

*On a side note*...today that same precious Jesus-filled child is currently sleeping after getting a spanking for having a HORRIBLE attitude. Isn't parenting fun??? :-)

Well I've rambled enough. Thanks for sharing. Keep praying for the Flint family. Speaking of rides...it's ALWAYS a wild one around here. God's blessings...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boys, Boys, Boys

Two more boys! What am I going to do....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"I Am"

I would love to sing this song someday in church, but right now I can't even make it through listening without sobbing. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Nichole's music. I have had this CD for years and just dug it out again. I pray you are as blessed as I have been.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heavy hearts...

I haven't been able to blog recently. I just haven't had the physical, mental or emotional energy. I have missed it though, and tonight I feel compelled.

Paul Moore passed away today. I would not say that I was friends with Paul. I knew his smiling face through church. We were friendly to each other as church families and I spoke often to them. I knew him through his participation in the Easter dramas. I remember as a young child watching him play football. He graduated with my oldest brother Greg. I have heard nothing but kind things about Paul, and all my encounters with him left me feeling uplifted. From what I know of him he was a good man, husband, father, friend, and a hard worker.

What makes me feel so sad about this situation is that Paul was just 41. 41. 41. What must Donette be feeling right now? I would love to say that my faith is strong enough and my dependence upon Jesus ultimate. However, if I lost Nathan my world would be crushed. Maybe I'm waxing because I'm pregnant. Maybe I'm hormonal and sad. Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but I think I would be LOST.

I cried tonight. My heart breaks for his family. However, I believe Paul is with Jesus and that comforts me. However, there is still an emptiness AND a realization that life is short. How much more time will I have? How much more time will I have with my family? Only the Lord knows, but I pray that He gives me grace and wisdom to live each of those remaining moments FOR HIM, THROUGH HIM, and to make the most of my life.

Just recently Kevin, our pastor, took us through a series on "30 days to live". How poignant that we as a church family heard this message series. How am I living? Am I living? Or am I just surviving? So many thoughts I can hardly put them all down...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our wild, mixed-up ride

So I guess "officially" I am 8 weeks and 3 days. I was a few days off in my own calculations. However, our first OB appt. went well and they confirmed YES we are having TWINS AGAIN.

I am somewhere between terrified and thrilled.

Keep praying, keep laughing and keep loving.

Have a good day.

Janelle

Friday, June 26, 2009

So Basically....

I'm eight weeks pregnant and miserable. I haven't blogged because I really haven't had the strength to do so. I wish I could be more upbeat, but I can't.

I am sick, I am scared, I am tired, and I am depressed.

There it's out there...NOW PRAY!!!

I love you all...

Janelle

Friday, May 22, 2009

God's Provision

I just want to share with you what my BIG, GOOD and LOVING God did for me this week. On Wednesday Nathan and I shared our 14th Wedding anniversary. We were unsure as to how we were going to be able to have a date, because of our finances. Nathan still hasn't found consistent work since his layoff in March. All the automotive odd jobs he's done have paid for tools, and we have put the money away to put BACK into the business. So, we haven't made ANY money yet.

With very little money in the bank we were totally surprised to receive a refund on an overpayment on a bill. We used that to have dinner on Wednesday. Babysitting that night was free (grandparents). Tonight we are having ANOTHER date. Through the love of a friend we were given a gift card to use at the movies. Another friend volunteered to keep the kids for FREE. So tonight another time out. Isn't that just like God to give us HIS best. Two nights out. I am so excited.

Keep praying for the Flint family as we continue to walk this journey of waiting. Praise the Lord though that our needs are known by HIM and he provides for EACH one of them.

In Him,

Janelle

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dreaming Big....

So I have BIG dreams. Dreams that I know are ALL but impossible without God. Dreams that are so big that I'm even afraid to type them. However, I want keep dreaming because I know that God is a big God. I also know that His dreams for me are even bigger than the ones I have for myself. There is a quote from the movie "Walk to Remember" based on the novel by the same name (Nicholas Sparks). "Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself." Jamie says that as she is dying in the hospital. I think it is a wonderful sentiment, as well as the TRUTH. I take heart knowing that God is dreaming BIG for me and as long as I am seeking His face, and learning His character I cannot fail! I love that God's expectations of me and for me are so different from the ones I impose upon myself.

Down to the nitty gritty...
Here are a few of my dreams...
They are not in any particular order...

Write a book
Lose weight
Have another child (or two)
Travel (both pleasure AND missions)
Lead someone to Christ (especially my children)
Climb a mountain (even a small one)
See the sunrise over the ocean
Read the Bible completely through cover to cover

Ok I have to stop now, because I'm mentally exhausted from even sharing.

I'm glad God never sleeps, and He thinks I'm NOT crazy. Because I feel crazy for even thinking these things, much less sharing them.

Goodnight.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lazy Days, Strawberries and Smiles

So today my family had the GREAT pleasure of driving to Knob Creek Orchard and Creamery in Lawndale, NC. It is off of exit 105 (I-40) and then 18 miles S. on HWY 18. It took us less than an hour to get there, and it was worth EVERY minute of the drive. We purchased two gallons of SWEET, HUGE, WONDERFUL strawberries. We also got some wonderful tomatoes. We then had homemade ice cream and rocked on the porch for a while. It was a blessed afternoon.

We then treated the kids to McDonalds (aka McNasty's) and Nathan and I enjoyed our hungarian mushroom soup from Apple a Day in Blk. Mtn. and a side of apple slaw. We ate the slaw on the trip down, and after our outing the soup was STILL WARM!

We laughed, read, loved, ate, played, talked, sang, smiled and shared today. Today was a day when we ALL were present in the moment. I am grateful for days such as this one, and pray that we have MANY more.

God bless anyone who reads this post, and please live every day to the fullest!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

But a Vapor

So today I found out that a friend of mine passed away suddenly. Andy DeLong a godly man, husband, father, excellent trumpet player, devoted real estate broker. He will be missed. Live is short, and I was reminded today that I'm spending more time thinking about living than acutally living. I am sorry for the DeLong's loss, and for mine as well, but grateful for the reminder "It's How You Live".

Kevin started a series two weeks ago based loosely on the book "One Month to Live". His series is entitled "30 Days to Live". I am very proud of Kevin and Carson and their hard work to place this sermon series together and small group curriculum. I am looking forward to learning, growing, changing and embracing life. So in the last two weeks, the last two DAYS I have been reminded to LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE and LEARN.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Journey to Wholeness

A friend of mine and co-worker is going through the valley of cancer right now. She is walking this journey with grace and dignity. Today I had a wonderful exchange with her. She admitted to me her fear, anger, disapointment, and concern for herself AND her family. She told me how she "buzzed" the last of her hair last week and how she hates to wear her wig, but feels she must here at work. She worries about letting people down. She worries and struggles and fears and doubts...AND she loves, believes and serves a RISEN SAVIOR.

That's the part I love the most. This lady is REAL. She knows about heaven. She knows God can heal. She believes in the redeeming power of the cross AND she knows she's not perfect, and doesn't have to try to be something or someone she's not. She doesn't know what the next few months will bring. She's not looking forward to her treaments. She feels sick, tired and scared. I love her and pray for her.

What inspired me today to write this is the fact that to get to wholeness (in my opinion) we have to be broken first. I guess what I'm saying is that until we realize just how broken, lost and dependent we are on Jesus we can't be truely, completely and divinely whole.

Some of you reading this are going to be offended. You will think "Jesus doesn't cause cancer". Well how about this passage in John 9:1-3 (NLT) [As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.] I don't think my friend got cancer because of her sin. I don't think she caused this in anyway. I think God wants to reveal Himself to her, her family and to EVERYONE through cancer. Does God cause cancer???? Does God just "allow" things to happen. It's a double-sided coin. I am not a scholar, theologian or professor. I am not knowledgable beyond just my young years and petty insight. However, I take from this that God WILL RECEIVE GLORY through my friend's life AND death (whenver that might be and from WHATEVER cause).

I pray that my friend will be here on earth with us for MANY more years. I pray that she will watch her grandchildren grow. I pray that she will, with God's help, beat cancer. Yet, more importantly, I pray that God's will be done in her life, and that I have front row seats to the display of His glory in her life and in her illness.

Her favorite song is "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin. I'm not sure my friend even reads my blog, but that's ok. This isn't for her. It's for me. To remind me of her strength, power and beauty that comes SOLELY and COMPLETELY from God. Enjoy this video and pray for my friend (God knows her name)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

If....

If you ever read this.....

"I miss you"

Friday, May 8, 2009

"What Gorilla?"

I think this video is a GREAT example of what can happen when we DENY the "monkey on our back". I think we ALL struggle with denial from time to time. I am BLESSED to have found Celebrate Recovery and count it a joy to be out of denial about my hurts, habits and hang-ups. When my "gorilla" comes knocking on my door, God, my husband, my accountability partners, and my group help me to realize I don't have to answer his call! Praise the Lord. I hope you enjoy this video and if you have ANY questions about CR feel free to email me at janelleflint@gmail.com or check out celebraterecovery.com

Mother's Day

I am so grateful for my mother. She is one of the most compassionate, loving, brave people I know. Biological mother to three. Adopted mother to one. Foster mother to 27. "Other mother" to countless others. Brenda Williams Morgan is a one of a kind. Mom, I don't know if you'll ever read this, but if you do "I rise up and call you blessed." Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet

I had the great pleasure and responsibility of singing this song last Sunday. This song has been ministering to me more AFTER I sang it then as I was learning it. I pray that you are encouraged by the lyrics.

I think we all live in this place. Life is hard. It is full of disapointments, sorrow, strife, bitterness and hurt. It is also full of joy, happiness, acheivements and blessings. Learning to mix the two is the key. Being grateul for EVERYTHING and in EVERY situation is the task of a follower of Christ. I quite often lean to one side of the spectrum. I am on a high or on a low. My prayer is for a heart that rests. A soul that trusts in her Savior and lives life "Where Joy and Sorrow Meet".

Be blessed today,

Janelle

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
There’s a place of quiet stillness ‘tween the light and shadows reach
Where the hurting and the hopeless seek everlasting peace
Words of men and songs of angels whisper comfort bittersweet
Mending grief and life eternal where joy and sorrow meet

Chorus
There is a place where hope remains
In crowns of thorns and crimson stains
And tears that fall on Jesus’ feet
Where joy and sorrow meet

There’s a place the lost surrender and the weary will retreat
Full of grace and mercy tender in times of unbelief
For wounded there is healing, strength is given to the weak
Broken hearts find love redeeming where joy and sorrow meet
(repeat chorus)

There’s a place of thirst and hunger where the roots of faith grow deep
And there is rain and rolling thunder when the road is rough and steep
There is hope in desperation there is victory in defeat
At the cross of restoration where joy and sorrow meet
(repeat chorus)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Love Dare


So I bought the book the Love Dare a few weeks ago. I bought it honestly with the grand idea in the back of my mind that my husband would complete the dare, woo me and sweep me off of my feet emotionally. Now please know I realize how COMPLETELY unrealistic this was, but hey a girl can dream. Now don't get me wrong, Nathan loves me dearly, but right now all he is thinking about is finding a new job and taking care of the family.

So I spent some time in conversation with the Lord pouring my heart out to Him. I admitted that I wanted Nathan to love me more openly, romantically and spontaneously. I confessed how much I wanted to be understood, loved, valued and wanted. The Lord simply reminded me of the book and impressed upon me to do the dare FOR Nathan. If I desire to be loved I must LEARN to love first.

I started the dare on April 13th. So far I have really enjoyed it, and Nathan is to my knowledge unaware of my actions. I will keep you posted!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Broken



I was given these Willow Tree figurines several years ago by one of the dearest friends I've ever known. The two figurines come together by sliding the hands of one woman into the hands of the other. Yes they can function independently, but they were meant to be together. This set is on my dresser. I view them several times throughout the day.

Oddly enough over the last few months though they have been falling. When I shut a drawer to quickly or maybe too roughly they topple over. Sometimes one falls. Sometimes both of them take a tumble. It's almost humorous how many times I have had to restore them to their upright position. You think I would have enough sense to move them.

Well today the unfortunate happened. As I was putting laundry in its respective drawers the figurines gave an unrecoverable tumble. The one woman who slips her hands OVER the other is the one that broke. Oddly enough it was JUST her hands. I have been thinking about this most of the day. This is symbolic for MANY reasons.

I am not sure I am ready to write ALL of my feelings regarding this, but I will share a few thoughts. Quite often no matter how hard I try to hold onto something OR someone the grasp eventually is broken. For different and various reasons relationships are broken. The hands of time, relationship, love and commitment are released and people fall away from each other.

You see these two people on my dresser can stand separately. One can even stand there without any hands, but this is not its intended design. Also, this isn't its original status. Even with the hands repaired, the figurines won't fit together the same way. They won't look the same. This is how it is with relationships after forgiveness is granted and amends are made. The relationship is never quite the same, but can fit together again in a NEW way.

There are relationships in my life that have been broken. Someone has chosen to let go. Their hands have slipped away and I am standing there with my hands outstretched waiting to grasp onto something. Perhaps it was an unintentional fall, perhaps it was a choice. I am not sure, but nevertheless, the hands are broken, and so is my heart.

Ultimately I am reminded today that the only hand that will NEVER let go is the nail-scarred hand. I can slip my hands into HIS and know that his friendship, his redemption, his love will NEVER fade, fail or falter. He chooses me. He reaches out to me and lovingly wraps his hands around mine. It is a beautiful, loving grasp, strong and secure yet gentle and patient. His love is not coercive or forceful.

I will try and repair my broken angel. She is important to me. The love behind the gift was real, and I like to believe it still is, even though distanced by time and life.

God forgive me for the times I withdraw my hands from you. The times I have chosen my OWN path over YOUR way. The times I thought that I needed to set my hands to something else. Hold onto me firmly Lord. Don't let me go, please. Also forgive me for holding onto other things and other people more tightly than I hold onto YOU. Mend my broken hands and my divided heart.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lessons from Jesse

Yesterday Jesse got a spanking. This isn't an odd occurence in the Flint household (hahaha!) but what led up to it is where I learned the lesson.

On Sunday my mother gave each of the children an Easter basket. Each child received a kite. JoyAnn and Joseph really could have cared less. For my obsessive, collecting child, Jesse, this was a TREASURE. You see Jesse has 7 kites at this point. I told Jesse that we could NOT open the kite until we needed it. I tried to explain that when the kite that we are currently using breaks (which it will inevitably) that we could open his NEW kite. He said "alright momma".

On Monday I dropped Jesse and JoyAnn off at mom's while I took Joseph to the doctor (he has shingles...but I digress). When I picked them up Jesse had opened the kite. Infraction #1 (I scolded, but ultimately ignored). Monday night Sarah came over to watch the children while Nathan and I went to our Financial Peace University class. I didn't realize anything had happened. Tuesday morning Jesse woke me up with his kite in hand, and said "Mom look what I have. Sarah did it!". Not being fully awake I simply said to Jesse "please let me wake up before I get upset". Now here was infraction #2. Well Daddy couldn't handle it. He is much more consistent with discipline than I am. So he told Jesse that he would be spanked for his blatant disobedience.

In the mean time there was another incident that had to be handled. Go figure... When Nathan begin to look for Jesse, to spank him, he could not find him. Finally Jesse was discovered hiding in our closet. Nathan told me later that he had the most pitiful, remorseful face. Anyway the spanking was delivered, hugs insued and Jesse truly understood his punishment was based on deliberate disobedience.

Here's the lesson for me. My disobedience often works in stages such as Jesse exhibited. It looks innocent at first, and I often blame it on others. I smile when I share my stories and I justify my actions. In the back of my mind though, knowing all the time, that my actions were wrong and I would have to pay the consequence. Then when it comes time for me to face the music, you can find me hiding in the closet. Lovingly my Heavenly Father comes and find me, disciplines me, chastens me, and then holds me. All the time helping me to understand that my disobedience keeps me from Him and His plan for my life.

I'm sure there will be other incidents with Jesse AND with me. However, today I praise God for lessons learned and a loving Father who wants the best for His children.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"My Shell"



Today is one of those days that I am struggling to come out my shell and stay there. I can feel fear knocking on my door. Even though it sounds odd being afraid is comfortable for me. It is a coping skill I have developed over the last eight years, and unfortunately worry and fear have become a part of my life. Over the last 4 years I have been addressing this fear and realizing that I don't have to give into fear. I do have other ways to cope!

I have honestly been doing REALLY well since Nathan's lay-off in February. We were given a month's notice. He stopped working on the 19th of March. We then were able to celebrate my birthday and the twin's birthday. That was fun. Then a trip to the beach that we were blessed with. Still smooth sailing. Ok so today I feel like I have finally awoken from my "dream". Nathan doesn't have a job. I only work part-time. We have three children. Bills due. A truck that needs repair (praise God Nathan is a mechanic). It's time to grocery shop. I could keep listing, but it makes me even more fearful.

I'm not going to give into the fear today. I just needed to talk about it, recognize it's presence and then dismiss it. Even though it's snowing today I'm gonna stay out of my shell. I'm gonna face today and whatever it has to offer. I'm going to realize that God is in control, and I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!

If you read this, please pray for me. Pray for our family. Thanks...

Janelle

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Trip





Here are some pics from our most recent trip to the OBX (Outer Banks). We were blessed to have 4 nights there sans kiddos. We had a QUIET time. Although cold and windy it was JUST what we needed. We pray to return SOON with the kids. We stayed at the Pony Island Motel on Ocracoke. It was clean, quaint and the staff was very friendly. Most of all Nathan and I had a chance to reconnect. We didn't have ANY expectations of each other or of what the trip would be like. It was beautiful. The last time we had been away for more than a night together without the children (NOT serving on an Emmaus team) was in 2004. This trip was ANYTHING but a vacation. We were able to relax. Mainly because I was all but having a nervous breakdown. Anyway, this trip was JUST amazing in the fact that God provided, thus it really was what we needed. We ferried over to Hatteras and drove the coast. We saw the lighthouse in Buxton and drove up to Roadanthe. I was able to nap, read, watch tv (a real treat for me) and take uninteruppted baths EVERYDAY!!! Nathan napped, napped and napped. No he also enjoyed driving on the beach and eating as much seafood as he could hold. We hope not to have to be having a nervous breakdown or wait 14 years for our next trip together.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

CRAZY MIXED UP BLESSINGS....

So I barely have time to blog today because I am packing like CRAZY for a surprise, blessing. Nathan and I check into our motel on Ocracoke Island tomorrow for 4 nights!!! YEAH! Long story as to how this was given to us, but I can't post it now. Pray for safety. Pray for peace. Pray for protection for us AND for our children and the people who care for them while we are gone. Here's to a blessed time of serenity with my man!!!

I love you all,

Janelle

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birthday Celebrations

So I am enjoying the last few moments of my birthday. Unfortunately they are being spent at work. However, it just is what it is. People have been loving on me since Tuesday. I was surprised with a "sweet" gift from my friend Wendy. Today has been a blessed day. I spent time in God's word with friends and a red velvet cake (thanks Jen). I had a free luncheon from Asiana (YEAH SUSHI). My kids were blessed to have played at the lake with Sarah. I even treated myself to a lemonade from Chick-Fil-A. I was hugged by three amazing children. Was able to hug my grieving Papa (today would have been 64 years of wedded bliss for he and Nannie)and kissed my husband before heading out the door. I am not complaining, praise God I have a job.

Tomorrow will be filled with more celebration for myself and early festivities for Jesse and JoyAnn. I will try and keep everyone updated and post some pics as I can. For those of you who prayed for me and sent well wishes I say thank you with gratitude and humbleness.

I praise the Lord for 33 years. Jesus didn't get to have a 34th year here on earth. I am blessed with something even He didn't get to have. I pray I don't waste it!

Love you all,

Janelle

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Waiting



Right now I am in a time of waiting. Waiting on God's next move. Nathan works his last day at the Cove tomorrow. We are not sad, angry or bitter about his layoff. We really see it as a gentle nudge from our Heavenly Father to move Nathan onto the next chapter of his life. However, up to this point there hasn't been anything concrete "pan out" for his (Nathan's) next move. So in the meantime we are going to enjoy being a family, spending sometime with daddy and just waiting on the Lord.

Waiting is hard for me. I don't like change, but if change is going to occur I really like to know the next step in the process. The unknown is hard for me to grasp.

It has often been said that "God is seldom early, but he is never LATE". I am finding this to be SOOOOOO true in my life. We are waiting to discover the outcomes of SO many different areas of our life. Some of these are trivial and some are very ominous. Yet, I hear the clock ticking inside my own soul. I struggle with anxiety. Oh how I wish I could synchronize my clock with God's. I wish I could just rest and relax in the waiting.

I have been praying lately for a heart that trusts. I think that is the core, basic issue. I don't trust that God will do what He says He will. I don't trust His timing is perfect. I don't trust that He is in control of EVERY detail of my life. It is sin, and I repent here before God and all of my friends. I desire to trust more completely, and to trust without any expectations.

I remember being a kid and waiting for something to happen. It wasn't anxiety I felt, but a sense of excitement so real that sometimes it made me sick. You know the feeling...the night before a big trip or a party. The butterflies in your stomach, the sweaty palms. It was shear excitement. What about making paper chains to count down the days until Christmas. Marking days off on the calendar. Knowing Spring break was right around the corner, or your grandparents were coming to visit. I want that kind of excitement back in my life. I want to wait with such expectancy on the Lord, that my heart leaps with joy to see WHATEVER He has planned for me. I desire to live completely in the moment. Not dwelling in the past, or looking to the future to be the "right" moment.

Pray for me and my family...in the waiting!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

34 Wishes....

So I'm turning 34 on Thursday. Normally I don't celebrate my birthday, but this year I am going to do so in style. No I don't mean at the spa or party. I mean I am going to celebrate LIFE. I am making 34 wishes for myself. Dreams, goals and plans for this next year. Some of these may seem trivial, but they are ALL important to me. I just wanted to share with you all because I NEED ACCOUNTABILITY!!! These are not in ANY particular order.

"Wish List"
1. Complete one scrapbook
2. Read a book a month
3. Make sure to spend some time outdoors EVERYDAY
4. Practice my flute at least once/week
5. Remember that sweatpants are for the gym or sleeping. They do not constitute a fashion choice...lol
6. Send a handwritten letter to a friend/family member each month
7. Take a sewing class or be trained by a family member/friend
8. Eat at home with my family, at the table, a HOME cooked meal at least three nights a week
9. Memorize a Scripture a week
10. Journal/Blog at least 3X/week
11. Lose 20 pounds minimum before 3/19/10
12. Stop drinking soft drinks
13. Make my bed daily
14. Go hiking (I've only been once in my life)
15. Get my flute repaired
16. Have a Girls Night Out at least every other month
17. Have a Date Night with my husband every other WEEK
18. Spend a day alone every month (and learn to like it)
19. Say "thank you" to someone EVERYDAY
20. Sing more often
21. Take a yoga class
22. Go dancing with Nathan at least once
23. Don't say "I'm sorry" for things that ARE NOT my repsonsibility
24. Record a CD with my Dad
25. Get a physical and actually do what my Doc recommends...lol
26. See the ocean
27. See my niece and nephews more often
28. Make my will
29. Pay off our credit card
30. "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger"...
31. Become a little more comfortable "in my own skin"
32. Learn, live, laugh and love
33. Try something new, bold and daring (not like changing my peanut butter brand...lol)
34. Live the Serenity Prayer!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To My Son Joseph


Today was one of those days.

I don't know how to love you adequately. I don't have enough patience, insight and wisdom to love you properly. I am frustrated. My heart pains at your dilemma to try and communicate "properly" in this crazy, fast-paced mixed up world of ours. You don't really live in this world though. Quite often I watch you as you are somewhere else. I wonder what you think of, and whom you talk to in your deepest thoughts. What are your dreams? Will they come true?

My dreams for you. I am embarassed and ashamed to say that honestly most of my dreams for you are tainted. I struggle with pride and expectations. I want so much for you, but I want so much for me too. My unmet expectations often fall on the cusp of resentment. How harsh that must sound. I am not resentful to be your mother. I am resentful that I have too high expectations for you. I am sad that I have expectations AT ALL. I wish that I could just LOVE you. Unconditionally, completely, all the time!!!

Forgive me for not being able to understand you. I have pushed you to be something you are not and were never created to be my son. I have been harsh and cruel. I haven't always been gentle and loving. I pray that due to my ignorance, pain and sadness I haven't broken the very Spirit that lives within you.

You are God's best for me Joseph. You are not a plan B. You were designed by the Master. That includes autism, sensory issues, and severe speech delays. Forgive me for hanging onto the past, a dream of what "could have" or what "should have" been. You are mine, and I vow from this day on to love you more deeply, more patiently, more intently.

I pray that I can somehow communicate to you my love, but more importantly God's love. The most important thing in this world is to know Jesus. If I can show you Jesus, than I haven't failed you.

You are in your bedroom right now crying yourself to sleep. It's been that kind of day. You are striving within your own head and heart to justify, rationalize and understand what is happening. I have blown it today. You have blown it today. But praise God that tomorrow morning His mercies are NEW!!! Let's enjoy our new day, and the one to follow, and the next, and the next.....

You are my #1 and forever will be my chocolate-eyed boy.

Your mother
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A Poem Written for You in 2006

Oh my precious little man
How can I help you understand
That Jesus feels your pain and fear
And that His love is always near

It sems that you have much to say
Oh that I could find a way
To help you let your joy shine through
So all the word could learn from you

Dark chocolate eyes that shine with wonder
Yet deep inside a distant thunder
Rumblings of a deeper kind
Oh how I long to ease your mind

Sometimes in life things will be tough
And being you will seem so rough
And yet the forming of your life takes place
In the valley of God's grace

My little man I wish I knew
What our great God has in store for you
But I know for sure His plan are good
And things are happening as they should

A time of molding, breaking, bending
Forming, healing, sculpting, mending
To shape you into the kind of boy
That shares with others a heavenly joy

They want to put on you a label
And yet I know that they're not able
To explain what's deep inside of you
The gentle spirit sweet and true

A love that's deeper than most will know
A kindness few will ever show
Dreams so grand and full of fun
You are my precious firstborn son

And though my spirit is tired and broken
No words of regret will ever be spoken
For you are precious, a gift from above
Sent to me as a display of God's love!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sick!!!

I'm sick...

The kids are sick...

Pray for us!!!!

Hope to get back to blogging SOON.

Thanks,

Janelle

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward



Losing an hour of sleep wasn't so fun. Espeically when I have been sick this week AND I have two with fevers. However, I am excited about springing forward into a new season.

So here's my new haircut. Everybody said I needed something "fun and sassy". Now I'm not sure that this haricut qualifies as such, but hey it is a change. That's good for me. HAHAHA!

I am looking forward to Spring. Today has been beautiful. I am getting ready to turn 34 on March 19th. Nathan asked me today what I would like to do for MY birthday. I honestly didn't know how to respond. I don't EVER get to do things for myself. I am hoping that maybe this new birthday year will hold some changes for myself. I am truly hoping to take better care of myself in ALL areas of my life.

I want to be fun and sassy. I want to be spontaneous. I want to be ALIVE!!! So here's to change. Maybe this new do will just be the start. Have a blessed day.

Janele

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fuzzy-Headed

For anyone who might read this meager rambling of my mind, soul and spirit...please pray for me. I am so fuzzy-headed right now. I am completely overwhelmed. I feel tired at the deepest level of who I am. I desperately need to hear from God. I need a clear, simple Word. I need the TRUTH!

Thanks...

Janelle

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hang in there...

So right now my head is spinning, and I can't put together a coherent thought. Nathan was laid off yesterday. His last day at the Cove will be March 20th. Would you pray for the Flint family? I'll post more later, but until then I am resting in knowing "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." I serve a BIG GOD, and He is about to show Himself to me in a mighty way!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Amends...


a⋅mend - /əˈmɛnd/-uh-mend]
–verb (used with object) 1. to alter, modify, rephrase, or add to or subtract from (a motion, bill, constitution, etc.) by formal procedure: Congress may amend the proposed tax bill.
2. to change for the better; improve: to amend one's ways.
3. to remove or correct faults in; rectify.
–verb (used without object) 4. to grow or become better by reforming oneself: He amends day by day.

Today I made an amend with a dear friend of mine. I haven't heard back from this person, but regardless of the reaction I know I did what I was called to do in this situation.

Steps 8 and 9 in Celebrate Recovery deal directly with amends. Step 8 is "We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." Step 9 is as follows "We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." I have spent almost 4 years in recovery. I have been able to make amends with many people in my life. It is freeing. Sometimes though it is not possible as mentioned in step 9. Today was an effort to have a willing heart, to take that first step, to humble myself and let this person know I forgive AND desire to BE FORGIVEN.

Keep praying for me as I walk this journey of recovery. It is the most difficult thing I've ever done (besides marriage...lol). However, it has been and will continue to be rewarding and freeing!!!

I love the last definition of amends...to grow or become better by reforming oneself. I am working to make these amends everyday. I am striving to become the woman God created me to be. You know one of the relationships that I have had trouble "mending" in the last few years is the one with MYSELF. I am still learning who I am, and learning to be comfortable in my own skin. Life isn't easy, but it IS an adventure, huh????

Here's to a life of amends. It has been said that "love is never having to say you're sorry." I TOTALLY disagree. In my humble opinion love is being willing AND able to admit your fault and ask for forgiveness on a daily basis. Love is being open, honest and vulnerable enough to say I BLEW IT!!!

Have a great weekend.

Janelle