Friday, January 27, 2012

School Cafeteria: Then and Now

As a school teacher I get the joy of watching kids eat each day. Of course, I have a toddler myself and I know how messy and picky they can be. When I was growing up, the school cafeteria had a monthly menu set up with various options and choices each day. These included main dishes such as spaghetti, baked chicken, fish sticks and other "some-what" nutritious items. These had side dishes of green beans, corn, salad and fruit. This came with white milk. It wasn't until I got into high school that the cafeteria started to offer chocolate milk too.

When I worked at Grove School in Oklahoma, they pretty much followed the same guidelines as above. They had an AMAZING cafeteria staff and cooks that were constantly focusing on student nutrition as well as great food and choices. Their menu was so good that even the teachers ate the cafeteria trays most days. This is VERY uncommon... but not for Grove.

Now I work at an inner-city type of a school and the cafeteria and its' menu/ choices are VERY different. Approximately 97% of our students are on free and reduced lunch and breakfast is free to ALL students. I have daily breakfast cafeteria duty and I see what is served and what the students take as their breakfast option. The healthiest item that my cafeteria serves for breakfast is a breakfast burrito with sausage and cheese. This is usually only served one day a week and occasionally as "left-overs" from a previous day. Here is a list of other options available to these K-5th graders for breakfast:

1. French Toast Sticks with syrup
2. Waffles with Syrup
3. Powdered and glazed doughnuts
4. Sausage/ Chicken biscuit sandwiches
5. Kolaches with Syrup
6. "Pancake on a stick with sausage" (It is really just a corn-dog!) served with SYRUP
7. Chex-mix (Seriously... for breakfast)
8. Yogurt and animal crackers
How can I forget...
9. POP-Tarts

These are all served with milk, juice and/or fruit. Now they have 4 milk choices for the students. Fat Free White Milk, Fat Free Chocolate Milk, Strawberry Milk and now serving "Fate Free Vanilla Milk". This new Vanilla milk is still "Fat Free" but it has 88 grams of sugar in a 6 oz bottle. It's 2nd ingredient is HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. The kids this morning were literally fighting over it as they approached the line. This is just the breakfast options and menu... I have even mentioned the lunch line!

I just look at this and then look at our children and ponder why people are so worried about the obesity rates in the US. Some of our students are very heavy for their age and even larger than some of the teachers at my school. Now-a-days students are not as excited about PE as they used to be either. When I first began teaching 7 years ago, kids would have paid me money to let them go to PE instead of music. Now kids would rather come to music (Hey... That is fine with me:) ) or go to computers and play video games!

All of this is just to say I am worried about my kids and the environment they will be brought up in. I am working hard as mother of a 2 1/2 to get her to eat more healthy meals. Just 6 months ago, Natalie wanted to only eat Macaroni and Cheese. Now she eats what we eat at the dinner table which is usually a main meat dish with various "healthy" sides. We try to only allow candy and/ or cookies when she sits on the potty or for good behavior. Hopefully this training while she is young will help her overall life eating habits. Sometimes, I just get a little nervous for my precious children.

God is Good... All the Time

7 Years and Counting

It was September 2004 and I was leading a 3rd-6th grade Children's Choir at Bethel Baptist Church in Norman, OK. I was a senior in college and I had been serving as a music intern at Bethel for about 16 months. I worked alongside the minster of music, Jerry Billingsley, as well as his secretary and other staff members of the church during daily duties but I had decided it was time to actually teach some music. Bro. Jerry asked me to teach and lead the 3rd-6th grade children's choir on Sunday evenings and I took the volunteer teaching position. It was a great opportunity for me to be able to get out and teach on a regular basis. Up to this point in my college classes, I had only done a little teaching on my own within a classroom setting but most had just been observations of other teachers in the area.

As the months pasted the choir began to grow and more and more kids were coming. We had a blast learning songs about God and learning new instruments such as the Boomwhackers. Around November of 2004, I went to Jerry and asked him if he could find anyone else to come and help me on Sunday evenings. He smiled real big and said "Why surely!" Of course at this time, I had no idea what he was talking about and just went on with my business. He and his wife had known both Chris and I for a long time and had pondered about trying to get us together. Who would have known it would have all happened in a Children's Choir!

About 2 weeks later a young man by the name of Chris Davis showed up one Sunday evening saying he was there to help me with Children's Choir. I shook his hand and gave him a few jobs to do during the rehearsal such as taking roll and basically being the "bouncer" of the group. He, the kids and I had a blast and then him and I started hanging out and sitting together during Sunday evening church too.

I also taught 4th grade Sunday School during Sunday mornings and he was in the Singles class so we did not really sit together on Sunday mornings but we did on Sunday evenings. One Sunday morning he come up and asked me to go out to eat with him and his Single friends at On the Border. I accepted and we had a great time but no real connection so to speak, mainly because we were with a large group. Finally on January 24th, my mom's birthday, Chris asked me if I would like to go out to eat that following Friday. He had called me on the phone and offered this date and I did accept. This was about 10 minutes before I had to be at an SAI Music Sorority meeting with all my friends. I remember RUNNING into that meeting and telling my friend Ashley and others about what had happened. In fact, I was late and bursted into the room yelling "He asked me out". The 10-12 girls in there started laughing and for the next 5 minutes we were talking about Chris and I. (Kinda embarrassing now but back then, my world had stopped!)

The big night had come and Chris came to my door, dressed up nicer than he did on Sunday mornings, to pick me up. I will NEVER forget how nice his car was, all clean and neat. We went to eat at Charleston's Restaurant first. He was so gentleman like and asked me what I wanted and then ordered it for me. We sat and talked for what seemed like just 20 minutes and was actually 2 hours. Then we went to see "Meet the Faulkers" movie. (FYI... This is NOT a good 1st date movie!!! There were several parts in there that made me blush in embarrassment). About 1 hour into the movie, he leaned over and asked "Would you mind if I held your hand?" I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful... most men would have just grabbed it! The movie ended and he took me back to my apartment where my roommate, Ashley, anxiously waited looking out the upstairs window for my return to hear the stories about the date. We said our goodbyes and then he asked to give me a kiss. It was sweet and simple. I came into the apartment and I shut the door and I just knew... this was for real. I spent the next 3 hours (Literally) talking to Ashley about our date. She told me I was smiling the whole time. I don't think I slept a wink that night!

The rest, as they say, is HISTORY! We will be married for 6 years in March and it has been a whirlwind of 6 years. We have 1 daughter, Natalie Grace, who is the most perfect gift from God and now we have another gift on the way.... David Luke will grace our presence in early June. It is amazing how things turn out! I knew that night that he was for real and that we would be together for years to come but didn't see all this coming! While it seems like only yesterday, 7 years have pasted and it has been an amazing 7 years. I cant wait to see what the next 7, 17, 27, 37, 47 years have to offer!

I love you Chris and I am so glad you asked me out!

As always, God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Even in the Valley

It has been my motto on this blog "God is good... All the time". I believe this and I "preach" this in all I do. If you have read any of my past blogs, you know that my family and I have been through A LOT! From unemployment in Shawnee to unemployment in Houston to "house-less" at the current time. We have had a long and bumpy ride. Of course we are trying to keep our eyes not on the road (Or rollercoaster) itself but the end of the road.

Right now is the start of what is going to be a very trying few months. This week is the start of baseball season for Chris and his caoching position. I have worked alongside some of the best coaches I have ever known and I know the time committment it takes. This is of course on top of his already exisiting math teacher position and we are approaching testing season. I look at his baseball schedule and I am just dumbfounded on how he is going to do all of that and still be able to stand up, let alone teach Algebra to 9th graders. I ask for you to pray for him in these next 3 months. He will have alot on his plate and will need alot of strenghth and encouragement whenever and wherever possible.

That is just his side of the coin. I obviously do not have the job constraints that he does but I will be pulling double duty on the home front for a while. I keep telling myself, millions of young women do this EVERY DAY! I can do this for 3 months. In preperation of this time we will have together of just me and my Natalie Grace, I have enrolled her in Kindermusik here in The Woodlands. We start on Monday. I cannot wait!

The other major concern of our right now is our house in Shawnee to sell. It has been on the market for over 7 months now and we have not had a single inquirey. We understand teh slow market and the economy but we are ready to move on with our lives and officailly start this "Next chapter" of our lives here in Houston. We are really at a stand still right now as we are living with Chris' parents currently. This prohibits us from knowing what our overall goal and plan is becasue we dont even know where exactly we will live. Oh and in case you didnt know, we have ANOTHER little one on the way. David Luke Davis will bless us with his presence sometime in mid-June. It is so hard for me to prepare for my new little man without my own house and home.

I have worried and as my husband has told me "been parynoid" about the sell of our house for way too long. I call our realtor on Monday and found out that while it had not been shown in over 3 months and it basically just sat there empty, as I was speaking to her it was being shown and had been shown earlier Monday. My two realtors are setting up an open house on this Sunday, January 22nd from 2-4 and we covet your prayers not only for an interested buyer but just people at all.

This leads me to the purpose of this blog post. At our January Bible Conference at our church, I heard some great mesages and amazing singing. Before one of the highlighted groups got up to sing their lead singer told a story of faith and trust and mentioned this phrase
"If you worry... Why pray? But if you pray... Why worry?"

This statement is so very true. Hard to actually do... But so very true. I have worried and stressed and basically been an emotional wreck waiting for our house to sell. Yes, I have prayed about it but I have also worried. I just have to give to God and let him take it from me. In Phillipians 4:19 the Bible says
"For my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
This performer took this phrase and led into a song called "Even in the Valley". The words of this song are not only true but spoke to my heart in my time of "Valley".
Even in the valley God is good
Even in the valley, He is faithful and true
He carries his children through like he said he would
Even in the valley God is good
No matter what your "Valley" is God will carry you through this valley to the next mountain peak!

Even in the Valley... God is Good... (All the time!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Prenatal Visit #4

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Gender Check

Today I went into my doctor's office for my fourth prenatal check-up. I was 17 weeks and 1 day. This check-up was extra special because it was during this check-up that we were able to do an ultrasound gender check to see if our little angel was going to be a girl or a boy. Chris was able to get off of work a little early and come and meet me at the doctor's office in The Woodlands.

When we arrived we had to wait about 20 minutes before they called us back for the ultrasound. When we did get to go back the nice tech told us "Since this is a gender check, by law we are only able to look for the sex of the baby and we will not be able to look at any other part of the baby or take any other measurements." I was so anxious to find the sex, I barely understood what she said and meant. She put the goop stuff on my stomach and then looked and almost immediately found the baby and his private parts. Yes... That is right, IT'S A BOY! She took about 3 pictures and then turned off the machine. We were in the room for less than 5 minutes. I immediately went back to the waiting room and called my family while Chris did the same with his family.

After another 10 minute wait, it was time to go back and see my OB for the monthly check-up. The nurse first checked my weight to find that I have NOT GAINED ANY weight since my last check-up. I was thrilled since between #2-3 I gained 6 pounds and THIS TIME IT WAS DURING THE HOLIDAYS! I was very proud! She then took my blood pressure and as usual it was a great number of 120/70. She also used the Doppler to find Luke's heartbeat which was 152 bpm. She asked me a lot of questions about how I was feeling as well as other things but the strangest question she asked was rather or not I wanted to have my tubes tied after the C-section procedure. I was so happy about it being a boy, I quickly responded laughingly "Sure." But Chris sat across the room and said "Oh no, we will wait". It was clear at that time that he still wants MORE THAN TWO! The nurse informed me that I have until the morning of the scheduled C-Section to make up my mind. Although it was kinda weird to think about this being the end to my family! I will only be 29 at the time of Luke's delivery.

After that, Dr. Markos came in and did some other measurements and told me all was going well and I looked good. He then spent a few minutes recommending pediatricians for not only Luke but Natalie as well. At the end of the visit he sent me to the lab to do some mandatory blood work for the 16-20 week check-up. They tested for spinabifida, age related sickness and a few other things. He told me if there was a abnormality, he would call me. It is Saturday and I have yet to receive a call... NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS!

I go back on February 13 for my 21 week (Mid-point) check up and it is at this time that they will perform the mid-point ultrasound where they check the measurement of Luke's head, internal organs and heart. This should give us an updated or confirmation of our official due date. At this time the due date is still June 19 but Dr. Markos will take Luke on the 12th.

That means we now have less than 5 months to get ready for this true life-changing event. We have lots and LOTS of pink but no blue. Me and my family will take care of this!!! In fact, that very day my mom left work early and went and purchased Luke his first outfit!

This was a the best check-up yet! I have been ALL SMILES since then! As always...


Good vs. Bad

So this weekend I have been reminded (very blatantly) of some of my faults as a person, wife and mother. As the tension is getting high in my family's current situation and with baseball season quickly approaching and the time commitment Chris will have to put into it, I wanted to prepare myself and our family but laying some ground work and getting things straight and ready. It all started with a question of how I could be a better wife. This led to the discussion of my life and my many faults and how I could improve on these traits and/or habits. There are many traits and habits that have been brought to my attention but none as important as the comment and statement of "You are not a good mother". This has been told to me on various occasions and I would usually think about it and then just tell myself "I am a good mother". But this time it cut a little deeper.

It was brought to my attention that a member in my family has told my husband that I think of Natalie as just a doll that I like to dress up and show off to people but not a real person. This family member said that I don't discipline her the way I should and often just "fluff" off the important topics that come up in Natalie's life. They continued to say that I am not bringing her up biblically and this is because I am not a biblical wife and these leads to my mothering skills.

Now this person may be completely right and perfectly on target for all I know. I personally am just not sure at this time. This overall topic has been brought up before and I thought about it and then went one with my current way of parenting and never thought twice. It became more noticeable when Chris and I announced we were pregnant and some family members were so shocked they didn't even acknowledge what was really going on. This was a little depressing and I still ponder and think about this daily.

I try and have always tried to be the best mother I can possibly be to Natalie Grace. Since her birth I have always worked and I have had a career in teaching. For the first 7 weeks of her life, I stayed home with her and gave her my all. In fact, I was so anxious and nervous about being a mother and taking care of her by myself, I was sick and fragile for about 1 month. Shortly after I returned to work, Chris was laid off of his job and he began staying at home with Natalie. This has been the biggest blessing of his and her life. He ended up spending the next 22 months with Natalie at home. They have a bond that will live on forever. It is for this reason that I think some people forget about me also being there and therefor don't see all I do as a mother and all I do for Natalie.

My typical day of spending time with Natalie begins when I get home from work at 3:30pm. I try to spend as much time with her as I can before I start to make dinner. We usually play with dolls and "babies" or we watch Natalie on my iPhone. She likes to help me cook dinner sometimes and she will sit on the counter and stir the dish or help me put it in the pan or bowl. Other times she will watch a DVD on her portable DVD player. Either way, we spend the afternoon and early evening hours together doing whatever she desires. We also try to eat dinner together at the table as often as possible. When we are not at the table we are eating together at a restaurant. By this time Chris has made it home from work and he now has time with Natalie. It is during this time that I try to get her stuff ready for the following day at MDO or Gigi's house. It is also during this time that I work on daily household needs and cleaning issues that most women do in the evenings.

Chris and I usually take turns on who will give her a bath and who will read her a bedtime story. We try to alternate to where whomever gives her the bath, the other will read the bedtime story and tuck her in. This is a wonderful system that allows BOTH of us to be a part of her bedtime routine.

During the weekend we try to have a family night or family day when we can where we go out to eat or do a special activity together. There are sometimes where I will take Natalie with me to do errands such as go to the grocery store or the mall. This has also been brought up as a detriment to Natalie and her overall well-being. Again, this is my first time to be a mother but I feel as if LOTS of moms out there do this same thing with their kids as needed.

Now just like with any parent of a toddler or two-year-old, there are times where I have to discipline her and help her improve her behavior. We BOTH have tried to keep a firm grip on her tantrums and try to keep them at bay whenever possible. Again, I am sure ALL parents who have had a 2 year old know this feeling. Sometimes, it gets frustrating and I will admit, I have lost my cool with her on occasions. However, I also come back and make sure she understands I am only frustrated with her behavior and I am trying to help her. I guess this has come off as not being a good mother as well.

I feel so blessed to be Natalie's mother but now I feel as if I have not been doing a good job. I am praying and seeking God and his grace and mercy in this area of my life but I know he gave her to me for a reason and I want to make sure I am fulfilling this reason by being the best mother I can be for Natalie Grace and David Luke.

Thank you Lord, for your continued blessings and please help me to turn to You and Your words to help me be a better mother for my 2 children.

God is Good... All the Time!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All It Takes is One

I have been struggling lately with not only my job but more importantly my attitude about my job. The school, location and actual work of the job are fine and very doable. In fact this is the easiest and least time consuming job I have ever had. There are no band contests and tryouts on Saturdays or late in the evenings. There are not after-school rehearsals or sectionals. I basically just have to be at school from 7am to 3pm. I don't like having to get up so early to commute and get there before the HORRIFIC Houston traffic but the hours are GREAT. We don't have lots of meetings after school and as of right now, I don't have any real after-school activities and this allows me to get home and be with my family!

The part I DON'T like about this job is the overall teaching position. I have taught elementary music my whole career it has just been in the background of my band teaching jobs. I have ALWAYS had band in the forefront of my find and during my previous two positions, BAND has been the important part of the job. When I attend conventions and workshops, they are not about elementary music but rather band. As most of you know my career goal and dream has been to teach band at the collegiate level someday. Of course, I have only taught in an extremely small school and then 5 years of middle school band. I will never be able to get a collegiate band directing job with just these two experiences on the resume. I knew this and I had hoped to get a band directing job in Houston once we moved. GOD HAD OTHER PLANS! As I mentioned above, everything besides the "elementary" part of my job is PERFECT. I just don't like to get up and go to work. I have NEVER felt like this in my career. It makes me sad.

So I wrote a post last week about my struggles with continuing to teach or to get out of the education field for a few years to be at home with Natalie and the new baby. I am still thinking and more important praying about this and seeking God's face in this area of my life but today I was reminded of God's grace and love.

This week has already been crazy in my classes and I feel as if we have not accomplished anything and we have been back tracking (Sound like January to any other teachers? Hahaha!!). In some cases I have 40+ kids at a time in my class trying to play instruments together to sound like something other than complete chaos or tyring to NOT BREAK the instruments. I went home yesterday just wondering if it is my teaching, these kids and school/ situation or what. I was very depressed thinking about it.

I woke up this morning to check my facebook and I had received a message from a past student of mine from Grove. She is now in high school and playing in band. She had ALWAYS been a wonderful musician and student and I knew she was going to well in band and school/ life in general. She was just THAT TYPE of kid. She told me she was going to "Brag" about her accomplishments in High School band. She went on for a while in this message telling me specific examples of her chair placements, All-Region auditions and other accomplishments from this school year. I smiled the whole time I read this message until I saw the sentence "All of this is because you taught me very well and all of this bragging is just to say Thank You." and then came the tears. This is a high school freshman who took the time to write me the message and thank me for my time I placed in her and her education! All at a moment of struggle and strife in my life and my teaching career and job. I sat there reading it in my car before I started the commute just balling my eyes out.

God showed me His grace and mercy through this 9th grade student and her message. I may not feel like I am making an impact or a difference in the lives of my students at this school right now and wonder why even keep going but I have to know all it takes is just one student's life to change to know I AM making a difference. This message is the fuel I needed to keep going. Thank you dear 9th grade student from Oklahoma.
This student has really touched me not just today but also many other times since leaving Grove and numerous times while at Grove. I thank God for allowing me to be the band director and teacher of this student. She will forever have a place in my heart.

All of this to say... When the going gets tough or you feel you just cant go on, HOLD ON!
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord". God will come and rescue you... you just have to be patient and keep the Faith!

God is Good... All the Time!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Interesting Cravings

Tonight for our weekly family night Chris took me to "Sweet Tomatoes" in The Woodlands for dinner. I had been wanting to go there and I have also been craving salads and fruits lately. I told Chris this while we were eating and he asked me what other food items I had been craving for this pregnancy. I was a little baffled... I don't really know any others I have been craving.

In all reality, I have not really even felt pregnant most of the time this go around. I have not had any nausea or morning sickness, I have not had any other physical problems and for the most part I have not had any REAL cravings. Now just like all females, I have wanted some sweets now and then but that is not the pregnancy hormones talking... that is the FEMALE hormones! And most of those have been just desires and I have not really wanted them so much I HAVE to HAVE them or go out and get them.

During the Christmas break I was talking to my brother and sister in-law and we were discussing Jamba Juice and I would say that was my very first craving of this pregnancy. I did take time that night to look up a Jamba Juice location near us or an Orange Julius. I actually like Orange Julius more than Jamba Juice but unfortunately, they are only in Kansas and northern states. I didn't find a Jamba Juice in Conroe or The Woodlands so I just let that craving go away with some orange juice at home. Little did I find out there is one just 5 miles from my house inside of Market Street in The Woodlands. (Oh yeah... I will be going there soon!)

The other craving I have had has really just been for salad. During the entire month of December I took salads made by Kroger or Walmart in my lunch every day at school. I dont know if I  was craving the vegetables or the cheese and other fixing's or the salad dressing or what. I also really wanted a salad bar alot. In fact, when I went home to my parents house over the break I actually asked them to go to Jason's Deli just so I could get my Salad bar fix.

I know since I am only 17 weeks along I will surely have more cravings before it is all said and done but I thought I should at least keep track of the few ones I have had up to this point. I have read online that if you are craving fruits and veggies (Which OBVIOUSLY I have), that means it is a girl since girls lead a healthier lifestyle than men. I guess I will just have to wait until Wednesday to get the TRUE RESULTS of our little bundle of joy! I CANNOT WAIT!

As always...


Friday, January 6, 2012

His Hands

So today I got to stay home with Natalie Grace. Her fill-in babysitter while Jackie is recovering had a family member pass and she and her family traveled to funeral today. Even though we just came back from a 17 day vacation from school, it was nice to be able to stay home and spend some time with my little girl. Soon she will have to share this time with the new little baby and I know both her and I will miss these days.

Since returning to school and even while on Christmas break I have been pondering and praying about not only a healthy delivery (or surgery in my case) of this new bundle of joy but also for the following school year. Never in my life have I EVER thought about being a stay at home mom. I have ALWAYS wanted to work and even with Natalie after about 6-7 weeks, I wanted to get back to what I loved to do. I actually missed my job at that time. Even though I will never forget the day I had to leave Natalie for the first time and how hard I cried (I left her with my Grandmother who came in from Wichita for a week to take care of her- I will FOREVER be grateful for that), I still wanted to get back into my "routine". For my entire 6 year teaching career I have always loved my job and what I did despite not being able to spend that quality time with my family.

In hind-sight, Chris being laid off from his job when Natalie was only 2 months old was a true blessing from God. During the 22 he was without a job, I would have never admitted this and probably laughed at those who told this to me. However, during this time Chris was able to spend that quality time with Natalie that many kids never get from their parents. Though many times we were not only living "paycheck to paycheck" but also loan to loan. It was a very difficult time financially for us but in the end we made it through and Natalie was brought up by her dad and not a worker at the daycare.

Before Natalie was born I was asked by many if I was going to quit teaching and stay home with her. My response was always "No!!!" In fact I would get a little upset the more times I got asked that question. I thought "Why do these people think I should stay home? I am a working woman! I need to work and continue to focus on my career even with a child. I have goals to achieve!" At this time in my pregnancy, no one has asked me this question... except me.

I have mentioned in other posts about my job and the lack of passion I have for it. I think this has a lot to do with my feelings right now but I just keep going back to the fact that if I work... my kids will have to go to daycare all day. And this time around I am not talking about the small town family oriented daycare like there was in Shawnee. Oh no! I am talking about the franchised- not owned by a family, workers just there to pay the bills, type of a daycare. Every time I think about this, I just break down and cry. Part of these tears come from my frustration of my job and its situation but most of these tears come from thinking about how this new little baby will not get that time with it's parents as a baby like Natalie did.

I am just so scared that with the economy we are in right now and the education crisis that not only Texas but the entire nation is facing once I leave, I will NEVER be able to get back into the education field. I am sure I am over-exaggerating but that is the way I feel. This whole school year I have felt like me teaching in elementary and not band will make me an outcast in the future for band jobs. If I have these feelings while I am still teaching, how are my feelings going to be when I am NOT teaching?

Those of you that know me well know I have always had a "one-track mind" when it comes to my career. These past 6 months God has really taken off my blinders and got me thinking about my career and more importantly...MY FAMILY. Sometimes I wonder why God does what he does and why he does certain things at certain times. I am sure we have all pondered these questions at some point in our lives but unfortunately these questions will have to go unanswered until Christ returns or brings me home to be with him. As I have mentioned before, my dad's and grandpa's favorite saying is "It' a FAITH issue, Kellie". I know and I am leaning on Him for the answer right now!

Right now I am not sure what I am going to do about my job and my career and how I am going to take care of Natalie and this new baby.  I am trying now more than EVER to take off my blinders and let the Holy Spirit speak to me like only He can. I covet your prayers for me and my family as we ponder this situation and how it will effect our family not only in the next year but the next 10 years. Either way... I know God is in CONTROL and HE HAS A PLAN... I just have to look to Him!
As I am writing this post I am listening to some of favorite encouragement songs of Faith on my itunes. Just a minute ago the song "My Life is in Your Hands" by Kathy Troccoli came on. I just stopped, listened and prayed to God. Sometimes the simplest words can really speak to you.

My life is in Your hands
My heart is in Your keeping
I'm never without love
Not when my future is with You

My life is in Your hands
And though I may not see clearly
I will lift my voice and sing
Cause Your love does amazing things
Lord, I know, my life is in Your hands

If your life is not in His hands today, take a minute to pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins and come and live in your heart. You will be ETERNALLY blessed and grateful.

God is Good... All the Time!