Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday: He Is Enough

I sat on the bench watching my children play. So many emotions were going through me. Fear. Sadness. Acceptance. Excitement. And guilt. I had just found out my husband was deploying and there was a part of me that was glad and I felt so guilty about that. But the past year had been so hard on me. I had such a love-hate relationship with our duty station and I didn't know what to do. I didn't want my husband to deploy but I was ready to be out of there. I was ready to have friendships. To have "girl dates." To not feel like all I was was a mom 24/7. To have people love me and support me. To not just say "let me know if you need anything" but never actually offer to do actually feel like they wanted to help. I was ready to not feel isolated and alone anymore.

I look back at where I was just a year ago and feel a sadness. I don't like who I was back then. I was so dissatisfied with life; so discontent with what I had. I had so many blessings but I was too self-centered and bitter to see the beauty in the life around me. I wanted more, more, more. And, yet, I didn't appreciate what I had. I already had so much more than many people are blessed with. I had two beautiful and perfectly healthy children. I had a husband who loved me more than life itself and would do anything to make me happy...if he could only figure out what that anything was. I had the security of a steady income that, while not making us anywhere close to wealthy, paid the bills with a little left over and allowed me to be a stay at home mom.

Of course, those are not truly past tense things. I still do have all of those blessings. I've just finally come to realize that they are gifts from God, even if I didn't see it at the time. I was so blessed and yet so blind.

This last year has challenged me in ways that I could not have imagined. I've said it before and I have to say it again. I have been humbled. I'm naturally a self-centered person. But for so long I have used that as an excuse. Just been accepting of it. I don't want to be that person anymore. I want to be a bigger person. A better, more grateful person. One who can see the blessing in the hard times. I want to be the kind of person that I would enjoy being around.

Over and over in this last year God has been gently reminding me that He knows where I am. That He knows what I need. For the first few months after my husband deployed I stayed with my family in Wisconsin. There I was blessed with friendships I was so badly craving. That I had so sorely missed in my move to Washington state. It was like a balm to my aching spirit. To be taken in and loved and emotionally supported by more than just family. To have friends set up "play dates" and "mommy dates." To have them "drag" me in and get me involved in church activities. To have them love on my children and treat them as one of their own. It was what I had been missing and wanting so badly for more than a year. I soaked it up. And God whispered to me "See? I haven't forgotten you."

Then I spent some time in Tennessee with my in-laws. That could be another "Thankful Thursday" post all its own. I am beyond blessed with in-laws who love me like a daughter and treat me like royalty. I know that we don't always see eye-to-eye on everything but they are so supportive of me and the life my husband and I have chosen. I just can never be grateful enough for what wonderful, kind, loving people they are. Of course, it was while I was there that I got the surprise news that my husband would be home for Christmas. Once again God whispered to me "See? I know what you need."

These last five months, however, have been the most challenging (in a good way). I've spent them with my sister and her family in North Carolina. Here I have been attending a church that has blown me out of the water. I'm an MK (Missionary Kid). I've been to churches all over this country and in a couple other countries too! But I've never, in my whole entire life, been to a church like Morning Star Baptist Church. I've certainly never been around people more grateful for there salvation than they are here. And you can't attend a service without knowing that they're excited about what God has done and is doing in their lives. It's like camp meeting every service. But it's not just talk...they actually live it. They're excited because it's real to them. It's a part of their everyday lives. And I was ashamed. Ashamed that I've known the truth of the Gospel since I was a small child, ashamed that I had accepted Christ into my heart as a teenager, and have never been anywhere close to as excited as these people are. I've never been so grateful for the life that God has blessed me with - my health, my salvation, the lack of true heartache - I've never given thanks the way that they have. I've never praised Him the way they do here. I've never felt the fire the way they have. And it shames me.

It's so easy to take God's blessings for granted. Too easy, when the only life I've known is the one in church, to forget how much God has given me. God was trying so hard to teach me a lesson. He was trying so hard to tell me that He is enough. That the blessing that He has bestowed on me are enough. I have two beautiful and healthy children. I have a husband who loves me more than words could ever describe; the kind of man most women don't know even exists. A man that is more than just my husband, he is my friend. My best friend. I have the security of a steady income and good health insurance and a roof over my head. But, most importantly, I have a God who loves me. A God who sent His Son to die for me, for my sins. A God who cares about me. Who knows where I am no matter where I live. A God who provides for my needs. I'm ashamed of the blind selfishness that I have lived in most of my Christian life. And I am amazed and so thankful that He has been there through it all. That He has never given up on me. That He has loved me when I've been just a luke-warm and unfaithful Christian. And God whispered to me "See? I am all you need. Am I not enough?"

My biggest fear with leaving here is that I'll lose the fire that I have caught. That I'll forget the lessons God has taught me and once again become the ungrateful, complacent Christian that I have always been. I don't want that. Let me never lose this closeness to Him, the realization that He has blessed me beyond measure. Let me always be able to hear that still small voice whispering in my ear "I am enough."

"I'm Amazed" by the Ladies Trio at Morning Star Baptist Church
(sorry it was shaking so much...I was trying not to cry as I was filming it. And it was taken with my phone which is hard to keep steady anyways!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Blessings in Disguise

It's easy to be thankful for the good things in life. Health, family, sunny days, well-behaved children. But recently I was reminded to be thankful for the harder things in life. The things that don't seem like blessings. Things that are annoyances. Things that are hurtful. Things like a deployment.

I think most military wives would be in agreement with my saying it's difficult to find things to be thankful for in a deployment. It's an emotional time. Frustrating, painful, heartbreaking, life altering; these are all words more commonly associated with deployment. Thankful and blessing are, well, just not. It's hard enough to make it through a deployment emotional intact. Thankful for it? Are you nuts?

But, oddly enough, I am. I am thankful for this deployment. It's been hard. It's been painful. It's been a life altering experience. And I am thankful for it.

Despite the pain and frustration, there are so many good things that have come out of it. Things that we, as a family, never would have gained without it. Things that really are a blessing.

Spending the year as a "vagabond" has helped my children to become friendlier and better adjusted to change. They have benefited from it not being basically just mom 24/7. And having them get to know family better is a huge, huge bonus for which I can never be grateful enough. I love the way their little faces light up when they see a beloved family member. The excitement and joy that emanates through them as they get to spend time with Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunties, Uncles, and cousins. It makes my heart so glad.

Then there's the changes in me. I have changed so much through this deployment. I have grown so much spiritually. I've been humbled and challenged in my spiritual life and it has benefited me in my personal life. It's shown me my weaknesses and help me to grow stronger. To become less dependent on my husband and more dependent on my faith in and relationship with God. Which, as odd as it may sound, is making me a better wife and a better mother. It has strengthened my relationship with my husband; made our marriage stronger.

And that, a stronger marriage, could have a post all its own. Going through this deployment has taught me to value my marriage in a way I never have before. My husband is far from perfect. He'll be the first to admit that. But he is perfect for me. And he is so far ahead of "the pack" when it comes to other's impressive really. He is patient, loving, kind, faithful (ask any deployed spouse how important that is), trustworthy, hard working. The list could go on and on. He's had his bad moments but I can't help see the good in him that has come shining through in this deployment. I've come to appreciate his character more than ever.

God has been so good to me. Even in the hard times I can say that I am blessed beyond measure. I have so much to be thankful for. And because of this I can say that I am thankful for this deployment. I can also say that I'm thankful that it is almost over!

I Have Been Blessed

Sunday, May 6, 2012

One Perfect Day...

 May 6th, 2006 dawned a perfect day. Around 8:00 am my boyfriend woke me up so we could get ready for our “special date.” I was spending a long weekend with him and his parents in Sevierville, TN and we’d been planning a picnic for months. The original forecast had called for rain the entire weekend but two days before I got there the weatherman changed the forecast to rain Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday. Saturday was to be mostly sunny. Indeed, the day was a bit cool but the sun was shining and there were big fluffy white clouds in the sky – I felt as though God was smiling down on us.

  As we prepared for our outing there was a lot of playful banter between Jeremiah and I but the over all tones were sweet (presumably to earn brownie points!) Around 10:00 we finished packing our things into his 1929 A-Model truck and, with a few pictures and a wave off from his mom, we were on our way. Not being originally from the area, Jeremiah and his family used to vacation in Gatlinburg so he took me to a couple of his childhood haunts which included “their” cabin and an old covered bridge. There he carved our initials amongst the hundreds of other initials and names already decorating the bridge. After that we started on our journey again.

 People were smiling and waving at us as we made our way towards the Smokey Mountain National Park in his old truck. It was a gorgeous day and more than a few looked envious of our ride. When we got to the Park we stopped by the Welcome Center to see if they had any tips for the perfect picnic spot (yes, truly the perfect guy!). We were thankful we stopped because the lady told us that there was some big "goings on" at Cade’s Cove, our intended destination. She told us about another area that would make a nice picnicking stop so we headed out again. As we drove off we took our time just admiring the view – which was gorgeous – and Jeremiah began to tell me how concerned he was about the gift he had brought for me. Because we hadn’t been together for my birthday we were having a belated birthday date. He told me how fragile the gift was and he was afraid that it would shatter; he had it wrapped in bubble wrap, sitting on top of a cushy towel, and strapped securely in the bed of the truck. The more he told me the more curious and concerned I became.

 We finally arrived at the location that the lady had told us about and did some exploration of the area. Although it was very pretty, it wasn’t quite what we had in mind so we headed back the direction that from which we had come to investigate a couple areas we had noticed by the side of the road. The first place we stopped the embankment was too steep and there wasn’t any place to lay out our picnic blanket.  The second place proved to be even better than what we were searching for. We traversed down the embankment and spread the blanket below some trees next to the river. It seemed we had found the butterfly’s playground for there were many of them flitting here and there. When we sat we could hear the occasional cars driving by but couldn’t see anything making it was just us, the butterflies, and the river bubbling past us. Cozy and perfect.

  Jeremiah asked if I wanted to eat or open my gift first. Since he had managed to get my curiosity up by all of his talk about the gift (yes, I know, not a difficult feat) I made the easy decision to open my gift first. He had already told me that he needed to check it to make sure it was ok and he wanted to help me open it so I was prepared when he told me to close my eyes. I tried covering them with my hands so I could still peep through but he knows me entirely to well and I couldn’t see anything. The song “Anticipation” played through my mind before he finally told me to open my eyes and showed me the wooden box that he had made to house my gift – it was very pretty and of expert craftsmanship (like all of his work). He slowly lifted the top of the box off. Bubbled glass words “Marry Me?” were popped up off a mirror secured to the base of the box. To the left of the words were a bride and groom glass figurines standing in front of an arch way with tiny wedding bells hanging off of it. Behind the words was a ring box with an exquisite diamond solitaire nestled inside. He sat with a hopeful pleading expression on his face. It took me about 10-15 seconds to process that he was proposing then I threw my arms around him, box and all, and hugged his neck for –what he says- at least another 45 seconds. Finally I realized that I had yet to give him an answer and I squealed out an ecstatic, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!”

  He slipped the ring out of its box and onto my finger. I couldn’t stop admiring how beautiful it was. As we ate he told me how he had gone to a glass smith and had them specially make the mirror set because he knew how much I loved to have those types of momentums (he scored big time brownie points with that one!). He explained how he had made the box and, in case I ever wanted to take the mirror off, he pointed out that it was duck taped down to the base as was the ring box (you you’re marrying a redneck when…). Even in the serious moments he knows how to make me smile.

  At that time I had no idea what our future would hold; the ups and downs it would bring. But I have never once regretted my decision to marry him. He's so much more than just my husband, he's my best friend and my soul mate. Truly my better half. And how could I ever regret that?

Leaving on our special date

Picnic Site

Marry Me?

My Ring

One Happy Couple!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thankful Thursday: It's the Little Things

Recently I've been challenged to be more thankful. To be a more positive person. The kind of person that I would want to be around. 'Cause, let me tell ya, a lot of times I wouldn't want to hang out with me. So I've decided to do a "Thankful Thursday" post every Thursday for the month of May. And I had something wonderful, surprising, and witty to share for my first "Thankful Thursday" post for the month of May.

That is, until I jumped on Facebook this morning. For any of my Facebook friends, you may have noticed a series of postings regarding a friend of mine who was pregnant with twin boys, at not quite 19 weeks along her water broke This morning the heartbreaking news came through my feed that her precious boys had gone home to be with Jesus. It gave me a whole different perspective on my day.

Today, I'm thankful for the two normal, healthy pregnancies that I have experienced. I'm thankful for the two healthy children that keep me constantly on my toes. I'm thankful that I've never had to mourn the loss of a child. Sometimes I feel almost guilty for these things...but I'm thankful for them, nonetheless.

Lately it's been difficult to be thankful for my children. I feel like I've been going round and round in battles with their willful personalities; letting them know in no uncertain terms that I love them but I'm the mom and the boss. And jus because I tell them "no" doesn't give them the right to throw a temper tantrum. It's been rough. And today was no different (seriously, don't they ever learn?).

But I held them a little more today. I reminded myself to look for the positives in the day and not focus on the hard parts. My son's giggles as he played with the puppies. My daughter's snuggles as she pretended she was my still my baby. Their wild imaginations that are already showing through. And then my Li'l Diva was so sweet and kissed away my tears as I wept for those babies and the parents that would go home with empty arms and broken hearts.

Not just sibling, but also friends...makes a mommy's heart glad!

Best of Friends

First visit to the Atlantic Ocean - St. Simon's Island, GA

Once again I was reminded that it was the little things, in the form of my two favorite little people, that are important. We took the time to Skype with Daddy today so he could see his babies (only two-ish months until he gets home - give or take a couple weeks!). We were all thankful for the short time we had to see each other and for the promise of being a whole family once again, very soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Kissing My Baby Goodbye

My Li'l Diva's third birth is sneaking up closer and closer. Just over two months away. She's been growing, both physically and mentally, like a weed. She's almost completely potty trained, know's all of her letters and can count to 13. Her logic is a little out there but well developed for her age. And her imagination is just amazing. She's swiftly going from a toddler to a preschooler. I feel like I'm kissing my baby goodbye to welcome a little girl. And while I'm so proud of who she's growing into there's a part of me that's just not ready for that yet. Time is proving to be too fleeting. I want to hold onto my baby girl just a little bit longer.

When did this:
(June 28, 2009)

 Turn into this?
(April 16, 2012)

"Cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep"
~Author Unknown

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Someone once told me that deployment is like going through pregnancy. The first few months are rough then the middle part gets much easier as you realize you're not going to die and you can do this. Then the end is super hard and feels longer than the whole rest of it put together. I'm not going to say that I didn't believe her. It's my first deployment so what do I know about it? But I didn't realize how right she was.

The final trimester of pregnancy has always been the hardest on me. I'm uncomfortable, have terrible heartburn, ready to feel like a normal person again, and REALLY ready to see the sweet little face. And it feels like it drags on. Forever. And I'm just ready to be done!

That's basically how I feel as we've entered the last "trimester" er, quarter or whatever you want to call it, of this deployment. I'm so ready to be done. My emotions have been all over the place. I want to feel like a family again. I want to feel like a whole person again. I'm ready to snuggle up with my husband and talk if we feel like talking or just sit in companionable silence. I want to see my kiddos faces light up when Daddy walks through the door. I want to cook him a meal and have him complain because I snuck sour cream or something healthy in it but eat extra helpings of it anyways because he either secretly likes it or just doesn't want me to feel too bad. I want to see the children give him slobbery kisses on his face instead of all over my computer/phone screen.

And I've had heartburn (can someone please tell my body that I'm not pregnant???). Not cool. Not cool at all.

I keep telling myself that it will all be worth it. When I see him again. When I have him home safe and in my arms, it will be worth it. This deployment has made us stronger. As individuals and as a couple. Stronger in our walk with God, stronger in our personal lives, stronger in our marriage. It has tested our love and commitment and proven that we are bigger than the miles that separate us. We are stronger than the stress of a deployment. "For better or for worse" weren't just words - they were a vow that we have stayed faithful to. And I know that it really will be worth it. We are better people, stronger people, than we were a year ago. And for that I'm grateful.

But for right now, I'm ready to be done.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...And All That Fun

Sunshine and balmy warm weather, most of us feeling well after nearly a week of sickness, and the promise of rain all weekend warranted a trip to the park. It was the perfect way to celebrate the first day of March. The kids were excited and I was looking forward to a little sunshine and fresh air. My Li'l Diva was spinning circles in the living room excited but waiting patiently for us to get ready and head out the door.

Then things took a turn for the worst. Literally. While the Li'l Diva was spinning she slipped, nose dived and cracked her head against the coffee table. It didn't take long to see that she was going to have more than just a goose egg on her head as the blood started pouring down. She had managed to hit the table edge just right to cut a gash on her forehead. And it was deep. My sister had the presence of mind to put ice on it to help slow the bleeding down and I got the Ibuprofen out right away to help with her truly splitting headache. After 30 minutes of crying we managed to get my poor baby calmed down (thanks to some help from Diego) and I was able to ascertain that the bleeding had pretty much stopped. And that the cut was deep enough to warrant a trip to the ER quite possibly for stitches.

But, once my trooper had calmed down, it was one pleasantly happy little girl that headed to see the doctor to have her owie looked at instead of heading to the park. She was friendly with all the staff and excited to get her own special bracelet from the hospital. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for her upset reaction when anyone tried to touch her booboo you would never guess anything had even happened. Well, that and the huge gash!

The incredibly awesome PA decided that gluing the wound together would work just as well if not better than stitches and that otherwise my angel seemed just fine. And I'm not just saying that she's awesome for those reasons. She just handled my daughter so well, it was obvious she had a knack for working with kids. After a little over an hour the PA had my little sweetie glued back together and she and her little brother both got popsicles for being so good. With no signs of concussion and a promise that the Li'l Diva wouldn't touch her owie we were good to go. By then it was too late to head to the park but we finished of our evening visiting the Sweet Frog for a little frozen yogurt.

It was a quite end to a very eventful day but my Li'l Diva is doing great! She's so proud of her owie and loves looking at the pictures of it. Now we're just hoping for a nice day in the near future to enjoy our missed time at the park!

Ana's Owie...she wasn't too sure what to think!

Close up of the owie!
Bandaged up and waiting with her auntie to get "glued"
Glued together and enjoying some "ice cream" at the Sweet Frog!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Li'l...Something

This picture - from the Little Man's expression to his actions to the words on his shirt - pretty much sums up my son today. It's a good thing that I love him...and that he's so cute. Cause he sure was rotten!

My Cute "Little Devil"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'll take a coffee with a side of self defense

Valentine's Day is rough for a family with a deployed spouse. Nothing like watching the hearts, the candy, the jewelry, the romance commercials to help remind you of how much you miss your spouse. How lonely you are without them. How badly you want them home.

But I found something to look forward to this Valentine's Day. A cause I believe in. And? I get to spoil myself with an overpriced Starbucks coffee without feeling guilty. Can't get any better than that without having my hubby home!

It was recently brought to my attention that Starbucks' Pro-Gun Policy is prompting Gun Victims Advocate Group to launch a nationwide boycott on Valentine's Day. Now - for a variety of reasons - I don't usually carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, but I do have a permit to carry. And I'm very behind every citizen's right to "keep and bear arms." Considering that it is the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution, I'm thinking it's a pretty big deal.
"WHY STARBUCKS?  Currently, Starbucks allows guns and assault weapons to be openly carried in its stores (in 43 states) and concealed and carried in its stores (in 49 states). Starbucks’ compliance with the National Rifle Association’s Pro-Gun Agenda was exposed in 2010 when members of the “open carry” movement began meeting in popular chains, such as California Pizza Kitchen, Peets, IKEA, Disney and Starbucks openly carrying their handguns and assault rifles.
To protect their customers and employees, all of the retail chains—except for Starbucks— banned guns from being carried in their stores."

Talk about good exposure. All I can say is "Bravo, Starbucks!" Way to stand up to the peer pressure without bending! Starbucks current, and long standing, policy is to comply with the local laws and statutes of the communities they provide services to. I respect this and every freedom loving American should as well. Instead of taking an issue with the company itself, they should take their issue to the local governments who make the laws.

In response to the national Starbucks' boycott, I'm taking myself on a date to treat myself to a White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha on Valentine's Day. And making sure that I let them know that I'm there in support of them honoring the local gun laws. I'm thinking a picture of coffee and a gun might just be the order of the day.

And, who knows, maybe you'll even see me packing heat.

Picture Borrowed from

Monday, January 16, 2012

Humbled by a Child

This last week has been rough on me. Between missing my husband, battling sickness in both myself and my children, and a major lack of sleep, I've found myself complaining a lot. Complaining about how rough it is to be a single mom. Complaining about how hard it is to operate on so little sleep. Irritable with the Army for taking my love so far away. Frustrated over the sickness that we can't quite seem to kick out of the house. I've just been down.

But a few minutes ago I read the status update of a friend of mine who's daughter is battling cancer. You might remember my blog about sweet Mercede that I wrote this last fall. If you haven't read it yet, you need to. I've never met her but have heard glowing reports of her from my nephew and my sister. I also follow her Facebook updates faithfully. Today's update has me in tears, even twenty minutes after reading it.

Stronger (photo credit: Flashes of Hope)

Mercede's Story

Our day started with more ekg, an ultrasound of her liver. Then the doctor asked to talk to me and Steve alone. We have learned that means bad news, and it was. Mercede's bone marrow biopsy showed that she has 95% leukemia cells in her marrow, which means not only did the last round of chemo not work, the leukemia actually increased by 25%. This news did not come as a shock to me because I have watched Mercede's pain increase and her health decline over the last week especially. There is no specific protocol to follow at this point. Mercede's oncologists and transplant doctor discussed what the best course of action would be and decided not to use the same chemo for this next round. They are going to use one that worked to get her into remission in the first place and add a new one to that. The risks to her if we do this are big, but we are out of options. We have no other choice. She will start chemo tomorrow morning and will remain in intensive care. My response to all of this today has been....peace. God is in control of this situation and Mercede's life and all I can do is pray harder than I've ever prayed before and trust Him. As a parent that is the single hardest thing to do. But if you really think about it, our children are really His anyway, just entrusted to us for a while to love and care for...and learn from. You would think it would be the other way around, that she is here for me to teach. But I have learned more about life and God and true faith and joy from my daughter than from any other person I know. She doesn't care about money or possessions, houses or cars or clothes...the way you look or fix your hair means nothing to her. What is important to her? People and the time she spends with those she loves. Her faith in God isn't based on what He does for her, she isn't afraid of her circumstances and doesn't doubt God's ability to save her, with or without chemo and protocols. Her exact words to me today were, " Mommy, just because the chemo isn't working that doesn't mean God isn't going to heal me. He doesn't need chemo to fight leukemia. His power is stronger than that." She has endured more pain and suffering than any adult I know, but she tries her best to keep a smile on her face. We aren't talking about little struggles here, we are talking about a Iife and death fight for the past eight months...with a smile on her face. I, for one, am convicted of my griping and complaining, the time I've wasted worrying about unimportant things, and my lack of complete trust in the God who made me. If the only good that comes from this horrible situation is that people read Mercede's story and change the way they live, love their family more, only search after the things that really matter, and love God unconditionally, then her story is worth telling.
I would like to ask a favor of all of you. Our little friend Claire, who is up here with us in a life or death fight of her own, needs your prayers. She is only two and fighting neuroblastoma that was also unresponsive to chemo. She has an army praying for her at 8:30 everyday, the time she was born. I would like to ask all of you to join in that prayer time for Claire. I would also like to do the same thing for Mercede. She was born at 12:00. Would you please join together with us in prayer at 12:00 everyday for a miracle for Mercede? There is power when people come together in prayer and we need God's healing power for both of these amazing girls. ll Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind."

Once again, I have been humbled and inspired by this amazing girl. Her sweet attitude, her strong faith, her amazing fighting spirit. It reminds me of how small and insignificant my problems are in comparison. While my children battle colds the slightly interrupt their (and my) sleep, Cede battles cancer that tries to seep the life out of her. While I complain about my small hardships Cede finds a positive outlook and a faith to carry her through. God, that You could grant me have even half the faith, sweetness and courage that this child expresses!
Cede with her parents (photo credit: Flashes of hope)
Cede and her siblings
(Photo credit: Flashes of Hope)

Please, please, please pray with me for Mercede and her family as well as for little Claire. And remember, no matter how hard your day is there is a God who's power is stronger!

Claire and Cede

**A quick update - Two year old Claire went to be with Jesus today...God decided her time on earth, with all its pain and suffering, was over. So instead of praying for sweet Claire, please pray for her family as they deal with the pain of her loss!