Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
You have to read to the end to get ALL the details....
We have heard from so many different people, "get ready, Okinawa is the two baby tour!" Lol! We embraced the warnings and looked forward to getting pregnant. :) Our baby Beniah is rather massive now so Stephen and I are looking forward to the chaos that another new life will bring. You are waiting for the announcement, right?! ;) Well, the very morning that we were packing to fly out from VA to Okinawa, I took a test and it faintly read, "positive!" What?! Crazy, right? Stephen had been teasing me a few days prior that he thought I was pregnant because I was being especially emotional. That was the 2nd time he totally called it! We were so scared, excited, and didn't really have too much time to dwell on our feelings because we had to move overseas real quick. ;) That morning Stephen and I prayed together and thanked God for trusting us with a blessing from Heaven.
Three Days later, I took another test and it said the same thing, "prego!" We chose to tell family and even our kids as it's too exciting to hold inside and we appreciate all the prayers we can get.
After a week of finding out, we had an 8hr New Comers Brief and we both passed our drivers test! Woot Woot, and Praise God! Thank you for praying for us...I was SO nervous. The next day Stephen had a Housing Brief to attend before they would offer us a house. This is the part where they tell you if you are getting 2 choices of homes to look at on base, or if they are full and you have to live out in town. My friend had just helped me get Tierzah to her first day of Kindergarten and back to the Lodge when I got a text from Stephen. "Babe, if you can get to the clinic to get an official confirmed pregnancy test then we can live in a 4 bedroom house on base. If not, they do not have any 3 bedrooms available and we'll have to stay 20 more days in the Lodge and then move out in town." That motivated me enough to push Micah and Beniah in the stroller, in the rain, while trying to manage an umbrella, up hill the wrong way, back down the hill, and now soaking wet to find the Clinic and get that dang piece of paper! A kind Samaritan woman pulled over with her van and said, "Can I please take you wherever it is that you are trying to go?" Haha! She was so sweet. Side note, I saw her again later that day while I was lost and wondering around Tierzah's school trying to find her class. I think she might be my angel in disguise. Anyway, I get business taken care of, email the form to Stephen, and Amy comes to save us from walking home in the rain. Whew! I feel so very needy and dependent these first few weeks on the Island. It is a good humbling experience and God knows we have appreciated all the help! Thank you, friends...and strangers.
The next day we got the keys to look at the house we were offered on Camp Courtney where Stephen will be working, and we love it so much that we didn't even go to look at the 2nd option. Monday we signed the paper work, Thursday we got the keys and government furniture, and Friday we packed up our suitcases for the last time and wheeled them to our new home!
Some other fun things that happened in between are: I got my hair cut by a ninja with scissors. Seriously, he was so fast and precise. I felt spoiled as I was given a hot hand towel, tea, an oil scalp massage, and a shoulder massage all included in the $40 price! What?! Amazing. Stephen took the kids to the beach while I went to get my nails done with a new buddy at Cocok's. Again, it was $40 for a legit leg and foot massage, iced tea, incredible artwork they do on your toes, and of course awesome conversation. What a fun experience! Somehow we managed to also squeeze in a trip north to the Aquarium that has whale sharks! We ended up getting passes because there is so much to see and do that we barely touched the surface of when we went. We are enamored with this beautiful island.
So that's all the fun highlights that you would see on Facebook. Now for the stuff that didn't quite make it to my status update...last weekend I started spotting. I knew what was happening as I have miscarried three times before. You'd think that I would get numb to this kind of loss but the Bible describes the feeling well, "hope deferred makes the heart sick." Even for the short while that we knew that we were going to have another baby, our dreams grew and our joy increased. Last week, the baby naturally passed away and I started to sink emotionally as well. My thoughts were negatively bent and I know that Stephen carried a heavy burden as well. We cried together, prayed together, and tried to allow one another the space to feel and grieve. I was so irritable and angry that this was part of the plan, that I had a belly with nothing to show for it, and that on top of this things were not going quite as expected. But at the end of day, I trust God as my sovereign Lord and believe that he is good, just, kind, loving, and always has his glory and my good in mind. Even when I don't understand what is going on, I have the hope of eternity and the belief that because Jesus laid down his life to pay for my wrong doings, was raised again to conquer death, took his place in heaven, and as my mediator he made a way for me to have a right relationship with God..."I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God, From my mother's womb, You have chosen me, Love has called my name, I've been born again, Into your family, Your blood flows through my veins (Bethel Music)." Thank God for Hope through Jesus Christ! I know there are 4 little Griffins running around Heaven giving the Angels a run for their money. ;) I know we will meet one day! We thank God for our 3 kids that we have been gifted and are reminded again of the brevity of life. I am also reminded of the quote I heard Craig Groeschel say, "When you can't trace God's hand...trust His heart." It can "be well with my soul" if even if my emotions are still catching up because I can trust God's never changing love and character. I read this passage this morning and felt like I could resonate just a little with it:
“He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.
Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last.
For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the LORD. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say,
The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!” But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!” Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.””
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Thursday, October 8, 2015
So get the biggest data plan you can, and collect wi-fi passwords at every stop. Check in at all the cool places. Share every inspirational thought you have, and every joke. Snap lots of pics. Get video clips, too, of course. And never stop uploading the whole show to the Cloud as you go.
Post everything online for the whole world to see. Pile up Likes and Friends and Followers until it’s all just one frenzied blur. Hustle until your real life exceeds your dreams. And finally, once you’ve reached the summit, I can guarantee you this one thing: your longing for more never stops. Like the latest technology, your achievements are outdated overnight.
Why? How could that be possible?
Because you were not created for earth. You were created for eternity. And there is nothing on this earth that can ever satisfy that spiritual longing you feel inside—even if you can collect it all.
When I was a teenager, years before I knew Christ, I would hear people say, “God makes a Christ-shaped void inside every person.” I remember that saying annoying me. I remember not understanding what they were talking about. But then one day I learned for myself why they said it: because it is absolutely true. Nothing outside of a living relationship with Christ can ever fill the emptiness of that ache inside your heart.
Your scavenger hunt for success will never be enough. Christ is what you’re searching for. He is your source. He is your strength. He is your sustainer. He is your joy. He is your contentment. He is your all and all. He’s everything that matters.
When Christ is all you have, you’ll finally realize that Christ is all you need.
Christ. Is. All. You. Need.