Monday, March 14, 2011

Three Minutes - Changed forever

It was three minutes of waiting. The longest three minutes of my life, and looking back seems as if it all happened in slow motion. At 31 weeks, our son arrived through a very chaotic scene. Once the doctor finally got our son out and started stitching the C-section incisions - it hit me - I didn't hear him crying. This was our second child and with them so close in age, the birth of my daughter was still vivid in my memory (as vivid as highly medicated memories go). I was waiting for the pause - SCREAM from our new baby.

But there was no scream from our little guy. Then the fear rose and angst started as I asked Huntlee, "Why don't I hear him? Why isn't he crying?" over and over. Huntlee said he didn't know, but he then began to just pray over us. The first minute I continued to ask, but then it tapered off as I just listened to Huntlee praying. Words like.. trust, protection, and help, swirled in my mind. It was then I realized, in life I had one gamble and I had to put all my "chips" (trust, faith, and praise) with God. There was nothing Huntlee could say or do, but only both of us clinging to our King. Over three minutes later, we were told he was on the ventilator and our journey began.

Our lives were forever changed in those three minutes. I encourage you to set the timer and sit in silence for three minutes, as we recently did as a family to remind us. It feels long, but the reality that everything I hold dear can be stripped away in an instant, has stayed close to me. I hope it stays forever.

By His grace alone, our son was saved. We aren't deserving of the gift we received (so much like our salvation), so we can only hope our lives reflect our thankful hearts. Our hearts break for the many families who have lost their precious angels, and I can only think God couldn't wait to show those precious little ones what perfection looked liked, and He called them home to be with Him in heaven. We support March of Dimes in hopes that one day... all babies will be born healthy. We put our hope in Christ, but pray that God uses March of Dimes organization to bring glory to His name. You can join our team and supporting the March of Dimes organization here:

With Love,
Huntlee, Patti, Avery & Grant

Let all that I am wait quietly before God for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5

Friday, July 23, 2010

God is Love

God has been working my heart on this very topic. Love. Before I get started, I know this may be painful for some... I am sorry and hope you can see the amazing hope and love He has for us....

God IS love. [1 John 4:16] We know that from scriptures, and that means... the uncontrolable, fierce love I have for my children, the faithful "butterflies in the stomach" love I have for Huntlee, the likely borderline idolatry love I have for beef fajitas in homemade flour tortillas or Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls.... all are from Him. We love because He first love us [1 John 4:19] I suspect the love for fajitas and cinnamon rolls may not be what they had in mind there.. but lets go with it. Those things make me smile and are from Him.. and He is good. BUT.. thats not really what has overwhelmed me lately... [Although I could REALLY go for a cup of coffee washed down with one of those cinnamon rolls, which I think would overwhelm me too]


When God talks about His love for us, He uses the reference of children. 1 John 3:1] If you have children, you know the uncontrollable, fierce, all consuming, instantaneous, forever love this references....[If you don't, this is where that painful reference may come in....] But at first instance of Avery or Grant, I felt immediate and consuming love for them. I didnt know their personalities, their likes, our compatiability... I just knew love for them. Not the "I think you are cute and after getting to know you, I will love you" kind of love [As with our spouses], but something different. And not the "wipe the drool from my face or desire for sugar high but quickly turns to disgust and need for salt" love I feel for cinnamon rolls either. But a love that causes immediate protection (I almost punched a NICU nurse when she put the feeding tube up G's nose in front of me), constant pursuit of what is best for them, and inability to stay angry or hold bitterness toward them... (I do recognize I have toddlers not teenagers..)

But.. even in that love for my children, I am flawed and full of sin and my love for them isnt perfect. I am quick to anger, and I am selfish with my time.... But God isnt. That means.. His love for us (yes even ME!) is fierce, uncontrollable, pursuing of whats best, not filled with bitterness, and PERFECTED love for me. HE LOVES ME as a one of His Children! No, this isnt the first time I have heard this.. but I am stopping to let it SINK in.. to rest on my soul...and to comfort me. I keep going back to dwell on that very fact, and as I do.. the more overwhelming it becomes. And the more comforting.

He not only loves me like this, but my husband and children. It means, as much as I love my family, He loves them more and the kicker... He knows what's best of them! Much better than my limited, "wooed by cinnamon rolls" mind can know. He knows their future and has a perfect love for them. So my worries seem SOOOO silly. I have a duty to teach and protect my children, but must recognize He is the ultimate protector of them. He knows them better than me... He created them after all.


It didnt stop with the kids (so sorry this blog is a novel), but God has also shown me the love Christ has for the church (Ephesians 5:26). The church is made up and run by flawed and sinful people [We ALL are], yet Christ loves the church with a perfect love. It is a love that forgives despite the flaws and pursues despite annoyance.

I wish I could boast about myself here... but I can't. God has shown me what an example of Christ loving the Church.. Huntlee shows by loving me. Huntlee and I have been together for a long time and he is well aware of my past [Heck, married 10 years, known each other almost 20 yrs..and I am 34, he IS my past]. He knows the good, the bad, and the UGLY and yet chooses to love and pursue me as his wife.

I live with someone who knows my wretched past in detail, and yet with grace loves me regardless. He knows my past, yet chose to marry me. If that doesnt paint the most beatuiful picture of the Cross of Christ, I dont know what does.

So, there we are.. all full of warm and fuzzy love fest. I would encourage you to dwell on the fact God LOVES you - completely and totally LOVES you. It is amazing, overwhelming, and leaves a smile on your face - much more than a silly cinnamon roll ever will.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Worthy of ALL Praise

I like to dwell on the fact that God is worthy of ALL praise.. ALL.. every last bit.. He deserves, is entitled and worthy. It resonates deeply in my soul... because I know I am not.

I always struggled (and still do) to accept a compliment - not out of a false sense of humility or self loathing (although perhaps in the past); but mainly because deep in my soul I recognize that I am unworthy of praise. I know WHO is worthy, so it wrenches my heart to think I am getting Praise that is meant for Him (sorta like taking credit for someone else's work). Any gifts or talents I have... were all given by Him, my Creator. It seems so simple.. but there is something comforting when I let it settle in my soul. He is WORTHY of ALL praise. To know the One in control, the One creator, is WORTHY of ALL praise brings peace to my heart. [what if He was only worthy of SOME praise?AHHH that would be scary!]

But even amidst this peace, I still find struggle which I 'll confess (to the two people who will actually read this :)... typically I take a compliment and turn it into a snide comment about myself. Although I would like to cover this behavior with something like "its a joke.. I am just being silly" reality it is just ol' fashion sin. I take something which should invoke praise and worship to my King.. and make it about me. :(

So, I start this blog along the road of my sanctification and its already a bit dirty. I have so much to learn and work on.. but I am encouraged God loves me enough to teach me and bring people into my life to help me. I pray that as I blog about this journey, we can encourage each other by sharing our stories and how God is working in our lives....Paul says it best in his letter to the church in Rome: "that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith." Romans 1:12

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just breathe...

I understand the irony of this post before I write it... But the other day I was listening to a Pearl Jam song from their new album, and thinking through the words began to stir my heart to worship. [I will stop to let you gasp, ponder if that statement was blasphemous, etc]. Now here goes my explaining....

I have been a fan of Pearl Jam for many years, getting to see them in concert several times (once on a very crazed road trip to Austin, now looking back, realized by only the grace of God did we survive). In the past, their music, never stirred worship of Christ, primarily because I wasn’t saved. Now, as I run through these words as if I were saying them to Christ...regarding my own life/salvation, they really begin to cause a grateful overflow of worship of Him [God, not Eddie :) - just thought it was worth the clarification].

Take a look at the lyrics below [my comments are in yellow]

Yes I understand that every life must end,
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, [Its true, life on earth is temporary. PRAISE HIM!]
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, [I am so grateful for our family and friends. this is a true blessing from God]

Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe. [There are so many times when I just need to sit with God and breathe out, resting in Him]

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, [On earth this is unfortunately true. I continually have to put to death my sin daily... but the hope that one day... they are conquered for good!]
Under everything, just another human being,
Yeh, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed. [There is pain in this fallen world, which requires our dependence on Him]

Stay with me,..
You’re all I see. [This is what I am desperate for - being in His presence]

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean. [Prior to my salvation, I was a complete fool in my rebellion and disregard towards God. As I came clean through the cross, I can see what a fool I was.]

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face,
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, [He did give everything on the Cross, and requires nothing of us for the gift of grace]
Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,.. [The peace of being held in His hands each day!]
Meet you on the other side. [Oh joyous day when I see Him - face to face!]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Joy in Chores

I know some of you think I am crazy for the excitement of chores and cooking. But I find it’s in those little tasks, I am reminded of the overflow of blessing I received from our King... all so undeserving. I am able to dust a house, yet there are many who have never lived with a roof over their heads. I can cook and feed my family, yet there are people in our own community who have gone days without food. My home is filled with laughter and joy most days, and yet there are some (within my own circle) grief stricken and filled with sorrow. As I approach the Throne, it’s with a thankful, totally undeserving, and overwhelmed heart! For me, those tasks aren’t chores or burdens, but reminders of the love of God! I don’t want to be away from those reminders which help me see His kingdom more clearly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tree of Hope

God uses the symbol of the tree throughout the bible, showing the importance of depth in our faith for the trials we will face. The Live Oak has been one of my favorite trees for many years because of its natural beauty. It grows into a beautiful and majestic tree, towering with outstretched branches. Recently when I researched them I found a deeper appreciation of God's creation. Its so symbolic of our walk with Christ and paints a beautiful picture for me...

Live Oaks are evergreen trees; known for their ability to withstand periods of drought and dire conditions. It remains green during winter conditions, when other oaks grow dormant; which is how it derives its name. It grows tall and strong; and at maturity is able offer comfort and shelter to the things surrounding it.

While facing struggles, I pray that my faith and trust in God can reflect that of the Live Oak...

  • My roots of faith grow deeply in Christ
  • My arms branch out to embrace and love deeply
  • My life provides shelter and comfort to those around you

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Because of the anemia and other complications, I was scheduled for a hysterectomy. Through this time, there was overwhelming peace and joy surrounding me. God used this time to show me how much love He has and how very much in control He is....

I learned several things during this time, which totally stirred my heart to worship of my Savior...
  • Apparently, I really shouldn’t have kids (maybe “shouldn’t” isn’t the right word, but it is dangerous for the baby). The fact is, that Avery being healthy, full term, etc was a miracle. The fact Grant survived and grew to a healthy size for a 31 weeker was a miracle. The presentation on Grant (breech, premature, etc) is what should have happened for Avery.
  • If my uterus was still normal size (smaller) with a wall, it’s likely my babies may not have even made it to 31 weeks. It is GOOD for it to be larger since I have such pronounced wall. The OB told me there are a lot of complications that can occur and did not advise more children.
  • This all took place as I was being formed in MY mother's tummy.... My uterus and renal system developed at the same time and something went astray at that point. It dawned on me... God’s plan for Grant (the thing that drew me closest to Him so far) started as I (ME!!!) was being formed.

God had specifically designed me for this to occur, to carry out His best for me. When you look at this from the surface, it doesn’t seem all that good, but I know it was BEST. The opportunity to be carried through difficult times is BEST. It makes dependency on Him. It made me understand His mercy more.

The truth is, God LOVED us enough to carry us through difficult times and HIS plan protected our children, brought reconciliation within our family, and continues to bring Glory to HIM! My plans would have paled in comparison. As I think through this, it all becomes a bit overwhelming. This is just my story.. and to think with each and every one of us, we have a story and He does have a plan that is His best for us. The verse from Jeremiah, finally has sunk in...

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11