Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live as if there is no tomorrow...

I want to write but I'm so overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings that its hard to sort and make sense of anything.

We are still moving, the date keeps moving further and further away though...*sigh* I am praying the Lord would give us peace about it

I am still in the process of trying to obtain approval for the Gastric Bypass Surgery...This seems to be the hardest time I've ever had, I know it would help in so many ways, but I'm so afraid of being looked at like a piece of paper

Work is becoming a bit overwhelming. We are being scroutinized in every direction. I know its life, but it's so frustrating at times...

Well lunch is over so I should be going, I just had to vent a few things.

"Be still and know that I am God" <-----I need that verse more than ever right now...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Understanding....

The moment you commit to the Lord is the moment your fight with the devil and his demons becomes war. Over the last few months I have had mixed emotions about what we are to do and not do for the Lord. As I go through this trying time. I know I keep trying to take care of things myself and not let the Lord do what needs to be done. I keep thinking back to the day that I witnessed to my Nannie (grandmother). I remember her telling me that she believes that if we can fix things ourselves then why bother the Lord? He has bigger things to take care of. I thought that was a very interesting point of view. Since Tim has come back from the Leadership conference there is a new spirit about him. The Lord has rekindled his fire. I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a man who wants to serve the Lord. Tim came back with so much reading material that litteraly, we canceled the cable have done nothing but a lot of ready, and a lot of talking. The more I strive to be like Christ, the more I see the devil and his demons doing their best to destroy my relationship with the Lord. I have had my ups and downs the last few months. I have had my days when I felt I hated the world, even those who are dear to me. I know I have been irritable and I have seen how who I thought were my 'friends' have turned against me. I understand now when the bible talks about dying to self. I need to make sure I do this on a daily basis. I need to rely on the Lord and not my self. This is something I know the Lord has been teaching me for a while. I just need to do it. Please pray for me. I just want to do right in the sight of the Lord.

On another note. We found out yesterday that the job Tim has, is actually starting a new place in MI. The guy said detroit. Tim asked what part and the guy said "Lake Orion". When Tim told me this I began to cry and thank the Lord. That is exactly where we will be moving and where the church is that we want to attend! He will have insurance and making pretty decent money. Thank you Lord! God always comes through even when we don't think He will. Our plans for moving seem to becoming more and more secure. We are still looking at the middle of October. I had my Psych evaluation yesterday. Now we are just waiting on the report to be sent to my doctor so she can submit the letter to the isurance company. Then we will be waiting on the insurance company to let us know if I'm approved. My prayer is that the Lord will allow HIS will.

Well, Lunch is over. Lots of love and prayers....

Friday, August 8, 2008

The world through the eyes of a 15 year old...

We live in a not so great part of the world. It's not dangerous, well not yet at least, or anything. We have been having issues with the neighbors dealing drugs, getting in fights in our front yard, prostituting and so on. Though it has been very difficult, it has just been over the last few days that I have started praying for them. I was so bitter and angry at them all the time that I never even considered praying. Since Tim has come back from the conference we have changed a lot of things in our lives and have listened quietly, as God works on our hearts.

Last night, as I let rusty out. There was Autumn, on her swing listening to her MP3 player. We started talking and she was excited to tell me that she started a "special" kind of school and has already passed 2 of the 4 test to get her GED. Autumn didn't like her school last year. The kids picked on her, called her a snitch and well, to be honest, it was a really bad school that she went too. I encouraged Autumn and told her to keep up the good work and do her best because she really does have a chance to become something in this world. The more we talked to more I found out what really is going on in her life. She told me that her older brother (who has spend time in jail for various things) is pimping out his girlfriend for heroin. She proceeded to tell me of a story that one day Derrick (her brother) took Maria (his girlfriend) to do...well you know and when she got into the car he took down the license plate number. Maria did not come back for 2 hours and Derrick called the cops. He gave the cops the number and when the cop ran the number he stated that the plate was registered to a sex offender. Maria showed up shortly after that. A short while later Maria came in the house crying. Someone asked her what was wrong and she said "We just wasted $70.00". They had received bad drugs. She was then questioned more and Autumn found out that Maria had made $70.00 that day working the streets. When she returned Derrick took the money and gave her $10.00 and he kept $60.00. As I hear this I am horrified. She then proceeds to tell me more and more about what goes on in her house. Now, I have a hard time believing everything that is told to me by them but Autumn doesn't "normally" lie to me. She knows I am very upfront. We talked for a good hour or so and I tried to encourage her as much as I could. I encouraged her to come to church, just to get out of the house and away from them for a while. I pray that one day, she will be able to do what is right. Right now, at 15 she has to keep peace in the house, stay to herself, and try and have some kind of normalcy. The saddest thing is, this is common now adays. Her Grandmother has supported her grandson's as well as her daughters drug habit for 17 years. Her mom has prostituted and done drugs most of her life. Her dad died from diabetes. Her brother is a drug addict. And then there is Autumn. I pray that I can be an encouragement to her...

Monday, July 14, 2008

A lot has happened...

Well, I can't believe the last time I blogged was the begining of June! Time is going by so fast! Tim and I have been praying over the last several months about what God wants for us. As I mentioned a while ago, Tim went forward to answer his call to the ministry. After that, we were dead set against going back to college. Tim and I have had a lot of "life" exerpeince and we didn't think we would "need" college again. Well, the Lord has different plans for us. After a few weeks, we started playing with the idea of going back and then, the doors started to close in MD. It seemed like one after another. Neither, Tim nor I had any peace and we knew then that God has something different in store for us. We decided for our Anniversary as well as a much needed vacation we would go back and visit the college. We didn't have a lot of money and things happened before the trip that tried to discourage us (the devil always interfears with God's work!). We ended up staying in the dorm guest rooms and were able to see the MAJOR changes of the college. We are excited to say that we will be heading back within the next 2-3 months!! The job market is different, its a little tougher. The housing market is at an all time low (as in $70,000.00 could buy you a 4 bedroom house!) and it just seems like perfect timing. We haven't set a date yet as to when the move will happen. Tim is in California this week at the leadership conference and I have a dr's appointment. Once Tim gets back and we find out what my dr says we will have a better understanding as to when we will be leaving. God is so good to us! I have learned to never say never when it comes to God, and HIS will!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A blessing from the Bus Teenage Boys...

As most of you (if there is anyone who reads this thing lol) know Tim and I work in the Bus Teen Boy Class. I have to admit, when we started working with these teens we had no idea how much they would grow on us, and in our hearts! Tim and I are constantly talking about how much God has been working in their lives. Now don't get me wrong, they are far from perfect. They still do the silly teen boy things, that teen boys do best. But they are OUR teen boys, and we love them as if they were our own! They have been asking a lot more questions. Thought provoked questions. Questions that would only be asked if you were growing in the Lord. For example "Is it a sin to listen to rap music?" That was asked by Keandrew. He is our thinker in Class. That boy is always asking questions. Tim loves it because he knows Keandre is really starting to catch on. Today in class the question of eternal salvation came up. They were getting confused on some things they had been hearing from their bus captain and what Tim had been teaching. They asked "If we sin or do something wrong, and we are saved, will we go to hell". Now this is a question you always have when it comes to new Christians. They have to understand eternal security. I remember doubting my salvation as a teenager. I was saved at the age of 14 but remember praying the sinners prayer every night before i fell asleep just in case I could lose it :), Tim explained to the boys about Old Sin Nature and the New Nature when you get saved. i thought he did a great job and the boys were still not truly understanding it. So I explained to them about the consequences of every move you make in your life. I explained there was no level on sin to God. If you tell a lie or murder someone its still sin to God. Neither one is greater than the other BUT there are different consequences to sin. If you tell a lie you won't get in as much trouble than if you murder someone. Once I started giving examples they really started to get it. I then explained, when you do something good, or something right, you can be rewarded or a good consequence will happen. I LOVE when the light bulb comes on in their eyes. It's one of the most amazing things to watch! You just know they get it! They left class today with a better understanding, and Tim and I walked away with a HUGE blessing. God has really been working in their lives. He really has done some amazing things. To hear a boy walk into class and in the middle of his conversation say "I'm saved so I don't do that anymore" is one of the most heart stirring moments in my life! He wasn't saying it to impress me, he was sincere and he had no idea that I heard him. I truly am enjoying watching these boys grow. I am thankful that God has given Tim and I this opportunity to see some amazing lives be changed. One of the things I look forward to the most is Sunday Morning at 10:45am when the first boy walks into class and says "MS ANN! how are you today." It always melts my heart and I am reminded of Gods love, grace and forgiveness.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Missing the Country...

OH there is just so much to write about and not a lot of time. I wish I could write most of my thoughts down, but being a grown-up equals no time. I have no idea what I'm going to do when Tim and I actually have children!

Saturday we went down to see my parents. Mind you, they live in the actual state of Maryland, but they are about an hour and a half to an hour and forty-five minutes away. So its not easy getting down there with our busy schedules. Anyway, we went down to see them and to also see my brother and his wife. They are in town for a few weeks before he has to report to NC (he's a marine who just got orders to move from CA to NC! so much closer! yay). Anyway, We enjoyed our time with them. It was so HOT outside. they said the heat index felt as if it was 110 out. So we stayed inside most of the time. Around 7:30 we went to the farm where my mom rides horses and i did a little photo shoot (pictures to come later) with the horses and stuff and we just really enjoyed spending some time though it was hot. Well we finally headed back to Baltimore around 10pm and as I was driving (and tim was sleeping) I was watching the heat lightning in the sky. I have always called it God's natural fire works. It was so beatuiful and amazing. The more I watched and started thinking about my childhood the more i missed the country. The fresh air, the chirping of birds, the sounds of the bull frogs and crickets at night. The cool and gentle breezes, the open fields and plains. The many snakes, frogs, and other wild animals you'd fine. The joy of just being able to run and explore. Yep, I miss those days, and I miss them even more as I live close to the city, and actually work near the inner harbor (smack dab in the middle of the city). Yeah, I yearn for those days, but know that one day I will be live in one of the most beautiful cities....FOREVER! I can't wait for the day to come. I guess you have to be away from the country to know how much it really means when you do see it here and there....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Exception to the Rule...

So since Tuesday I have been battling horrible allergies and finally went to the doctors yesterday (Friday). I didn't get to go to my doctors because they were on vacation and I ended up at a patient first (kinda like an urgent care). I knew the wait would be long and just grabbed a box of tissues and went along with the flow. I was finally put in a room and was sitting on the bed waiting for the dr to come in. As i was sitting there, I heard a gentelman down the hall getting loud with either a dr or a nurse. He must have had a little one there to be treated and he was upset because whoever came into his room to start treating the little one was rude to him. He had been on his cell phone and the dr had come in and asked the gentleman to get off the cell phone. The gentleman stepped out of the room and ended his call as soon as he could. The dr then left the room and came back a while later to hassle the man. He then explained to her that it was his son who was in the military stationed in Saudia Arabia and he didn't know when the next time he would talk to him. At this point the dr SHOULD HAVE apologized and understood the situation, seeing that his son, is fighting for their freedom! But instead, the dr insisted that since the rule was to be off the cell phone he was going to be punished. There is always an exception to the rule. I wanted to walk out and ask that man to thank his son for me! I understand both sides of the situation but there are too many people around here taking our freedom for granted.

Thank you to each and every person serving in the military! I appreciate your sacrifice and dedication to keeping AMERICA Free!
HooRahh!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Let the flood begin




So, last night we wake up to a drip...drip...drip in the middle of our bed. Then we hear another drip...drip...drip next to me AND another drip drip drip next to tim. We turn on the light to see a light of bubbles in the ceiling and water dripping into our bedroom. Tim puts buckets on either side of our bed to cover the ground and we place a towel between us to cover the drip in the middle of our bed. I kept waking up here and there through out the rest of the night to the sounds of drip. It was sooooooo annoying!!! Needless to say I got no sleep and tossed and turned all night. I ended up taking the day off (which I could not afford to for work sake) so I could get some rest and so i could monitor the rain damage. Eventually the rain slowed down and so did the drips....hopefully the roof will get fixed soon :)
Onto good news...
We were informed yesterday morning that someone would be dropping a $600.00 check in the offering plate to pay off Tim's remainder school bill. WHAT A BLESSING! Tim really wants to finish his degree but we weren't sure how we were going to afford to do it. We are not hurting as bad as we had been financially in the years past, but with what we make we are barely in the green at the end of the month and that's if nothing extra comes up. We are trusting in God more than ever and we know He has something big for us. God has been so good to us.
I have always know God was real, but as a lot of young Christians feel, you don't "feel" Him or understand how He is really around you. One day, He became more real to me than ever...
On April 13, 2005 Tim and I got up to get ready for work. I remember him leaving and I said "Your hair looks really good today" we laughed and kissed and off to work he went. I finished getting ready and headed off to work. I was having a great morning. I was on the phone with a customer and my receptionist came over in the middle of the call and said "Put them on hold" I looked at her confused and asked the gentleman to hold. The receptionist than informed me there was a guy on the phone who said there was an emergency. My heart started pounding, I felt the release of adrenalin rush into my body and my hands begin to shake. As I picked up the phone the guy on the other end said "Tim's been in an accident, he can move his legs but he is headed to shock trauma". I felt the look on my face change and I remember looking at Sarah across the way and I began to cry. I had no idea what he meant by an accident. I just knew it couldn't have been good. I dropped my phone, picked up my purse and keys and everyone had gathered around my desk and people said "You can't drive like this Ann Marie". I just looked up and said "I don't want to drive I just need to get shock trauma and I don't know how.". I ran into my office managers office and begged her to take me to shock trauma. She told me to get in the car and she would take me. One of the advertising guys knew how to get there and he ended up driving both of us. I called my mom as I waited for someone to take me to UM (shock trauma) and told her I didn’t know what happened but that Tim was rushed to the hospital. She told me to call her when I found out something. I told her I would. I then called Tim's Dad and he was in the ambulance with Tim. He calmed me down by saying that the porch roof had collapsed on Tim and he was impaled by the railing. He then informed me he was ok and that they were almost at the hospital. I felt a little better, but because I hadn't seen him myself I was so scared. We arrived at the hospital to find Tim dad, and his mom who was crying and saying she was so sorry. I sat down and comforted his mom and said he would be ok. My friend carrie was there comforting me. Eventually they allowed me to see Tim and when I got up there He was laying flat on his back with dirt all over him. I looked at him and tears pouring out I smiled and kissed him. I needed to stay strong and I didn't want to crumble in front of him. I asked for something to wipe his face, arms and hands off and told him I loved him. He was in so much pain. The dr's then came in and informed me they would have to take him into surgery and clean his wound and debris out. I just nodded not knowing what was going on or how bad this really was. I remember the doctors telling us we had to go because they were taking him. I said a last goodbye and kissed him and they wheeled him away. I walked out of the ICU and there was my mom and dad and I had my support and I just started crying and hugging them. I went downstairs and waited as they had Tim in surgery for 2 hours. I was then informed that a 5000 pound porch roof had collapsed on tim. It had pushed him backwards and he landed on a broken aluminum railing. He was yelling for help and two of the window guys had run around and tried to life the roof off of him but they couldn't. A guy who was taking a break at the steel shop across the road from the house was watching Tim as he was changing out the supports and saw the porch fall. He yelled for some of the guys to go over and help him lift the porch roof. They all help lift it and Tim had to make a split decision. He decided to pull himself off of the railing that had impaled him to get out from under the roof. He wasn't sure how the roof was being supported and did not want it crashing down on him. The night before there was a 5 alarm fire across the street at the Styrofoam factory and there were still fire trucks and ambulances there monitoring the fire. They heard the call to 911 over the radio and grabbed their gear and ran across the street. Tim said he remembered one of them lifting his shirt up and putting it back down. They put him on a stretcher and put him in the ambulance. After about 2 hours of surgery and 4 hours of them trying to find a room for him I finally got to see him. His face was flushed, he was in pain and looked as if he was in and out of sleep. I smiled when I saw him and remembering saying "honey, you messed up your hair". We both laughed and I was just so happy to know he was ok. The doctor who did the surgery came in and told me that he had a hole the size of a mans fist in his back, the wound was less than an 1/2 an inch from his spine and kidney and that he had no internal injuries and it was a MIRICAL that it wasn't any worse. I had no idea that day or the next 3 days how close I was to losing tim. I was so worried about taking care of Tim, helping him get up, taking walks down the hall, doing steps, bringing him food, waking up to the phone calls around 6am to come and see him because he couldn't sleep, that I never really let it sink in that he was so close to losing his life. It was about 2 weeks later it finally hit me. GOD was more real to me that moment than he ever has been to me. He could have taken Tim, but he didn't, because he has something special in store for us. He didn't put us on the top shelf that doesn't get used, he opened our eyes to our selfishness. That brings us to today. We are more than ever closer to God. We have seen his hand through out the days of our lives. We are so thankful for his unfailing love, his protection, his never ending forgiveness and for the moments we have to cherish Him. Our marriage has become better because of this, our ministries have been blessed because we let HIM do the work, we aren’t worn out or burned out from the ministry, because we lean on him to carry us. We are thankful for all he has done for us and our family.
I know this is a long one, but its something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I wanted to share it with those who may need to know that even in the deepest darkest part of the valley, God is there, just listen for him, feel his presence, know He is true to his word.

With much love and prayers
Ann Marie
Matthew 5:16

Friday, May 9, 2008

Valley Time...

It's so amazing that everytime you stand on the mountain and enjoy the moment the next moment you realize the valley is coming. I'm not complaining but sometimes, you just wish the mountain top lasted a little longer. I guess we wouldn't appreciate the mountain tops as much if we didn't have the valleys.

This valley is becoming very trying and I need to search for the Lord in this. I know I do, just the flesh I carry around wants to solve the problems it self. At times it can be difficult to decifer which is the right and wrong. I know i need to "Be still..." and know He is there, with a "still small voice..." . Please pray for me, I just need understanding.
Ann Marie

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

For 9-10 hours a day I'm couped up inside a building working and I look at the window to my left and I see the sun shining on the HUGE buildings and though its the city I am thankful for the view. I walked outside at lunch today and took a huge gulp of air. The wind was blowing slightly, the sun beating on my face and arms, and I just smiled and took in the beautiful sight and feel. As I walked toward the inner harbor I saw Red tulips to my right and it took everything inside of me not to pick them ;). I am so thankful for the little things. God has been so good to me and I can never thank Him enough. I am so touched by the way He has worked in our lives and I can't understand why He does so much for me.

This weekend coming up is mothers day. I'm pretty excited about it. I am going to make dinner for my mother in law, sister in law, and my mom. I am making a special dessert for them that will also be their gift. I am so thankful for these three ladies. Though I am not a mom on earth I have 5 little ones in heaven waiting for me. I can't wait for the day that I find out I'm pregnant. But I know it will happen in God's Time. I am thankful for the time I have gotten to know my husband. :)

Next weekend we are taking our Bus Teen boys (for those of you who don't know, Tim and I work on a Bus route as well as teach a Sunday school class for the bus teen boys :)) to play laser tag, putt putt golf and there is an arcade there as well. I can't wait. I think I am more excited than the boys are! lol I think I am more passionate about this ministry because I know what its like to be a bus teen and not feel as if you fit in. I remember a time when mothers and fathers would tell their church kids not to hang around me because i was trouble. In all reality I was only "trouble" to them because I didn't come from a Christian Home. I want these boys to know there is hope. They have a future. There is a God who loves them. I see them growing so much more. I believe in a previous blog I mentioned how Tim's sermons have gone from salvation messages to growing messages. We have a good core of boys and I would do anything for them to help them grow. This activity is about $20.00 and I know a lot of them wouldn't be able to afford to go so we asked some of the church members to sponsor a teen. I so far have enough to pay for 6 teen boys. WHAT A BLESSING! Two boys came up to me after class last Sunday and handed me the flyer and permission slip back and said "We won't be able to go" I asked why and they said "Because we won't be able to get the money". I told them not to worry about it that some people in the church would sponsor them. Their faces lit up and they were so excited. I would have paid with my own money if I could but for 20 boys thats a lot of $$ lol. Anyway, I am looking forward to this great time :)

Please continue praying for Tim and I as we seek God's will. There is an uneasy feeling but we don't know where to go or how to get there, so we are leaning on God more than ever now. We know he has something Big in store for us, just not sure what! This is called walking in faith. Taking a step that you have no idea if there will be something to step on. I think this is one of the first times we've actually experienced it :) God has been so good to us! As Proverbs 3:5&6 says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths." What a great verse!

Well, lunch is just about over! Have a wonderful day!
Much Love and prayers
Ann Marie

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Past... Present... Future...

I didn't grow up in a Christian home but I wouldn't change that for anything. I did eventually attend a Christian High School when I got saved and my parents gave me the option. I see God's hand in that. I met a guy online and talked to him for almost 4 years. He told me of a school in Michigan and I began praying about going to college there. It was 10 hours away, I didn't know a soul other than this guy and looking back now, I see God's hand in it. I met my now Husband and though we had a rough start, I am amazed at how close we have grown to each other and how much closer we have grown to the Lord. We didn't finish school but we did end up moving to Maryland to work with my former youth pastor, I see God's hand in that. It was a time of rest for us and a time to regroup and get our thoughts, heart, and feelings together. After Tim's accident we knew we needed to be doing more for God. It was a wake up call from God. God doesn't have to give us chances to do it right, He could just take us the moment we disobey, but God has something in store for Tim and I. We then found Granite. We know God was in that! Granite has taught us so much! It has taught us so much about the ministry, drawing closer to God, how to deal with people, and how to overcome our own issues. Then, 3 sunday evening's ago, Tim went forward to answer his call to preach. Ever since that night, things have changed. I don't know how to explain it. It's not a bad thing, but at this moment in my life, I don't know where I fit in. I believe this is God's way of preparing us for something big, but my heart aches for what we once had at Granite. We love Granite for all it has done for us. You will never find a more loving and caring church. The people will do anything for you. They are supportive and when someone says they are praying for you, you know its the truth! Before we left Michigan we attended a church there. We LOVED the people of the church, we wished we could pack them all up and take them with us, but that isn't God's plan. Just like with this church. We don't know where or when God will move us, but we do have a feeling it will be soon. We are in deep prayer and seeking God's will for us. I feel as if I don't fit in anymore...and that has been the most difficult part of this journey. I know serving God will not be easy, and that I have a lot to learn about being the wife of a person in full time christian service but please pray for me. Im not angry or bitter because of the situation. It just feels as if I'm all alone and God wants to teach me somethings, its not scary or a sad time, just a time I've never experienced before. Pray that I will learn, see, and understand why.

Much Love and Prayers
Ann Marie

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Exciting annoucement....

No, I'm not pregnant. I know that's what I would love to be announcing, but this is just as exciting!

Two Sunday evenings ago, my wonderful husband went forward and answered his call to the ministry!!! I have known for a while, and I know he has too but God has been doing some amazing things in our lives and Tim wanted to make it public his call to preach. What a blessing! We are not sure where God will have us go or do so we will continue doing what we have been doing at Granite. We work in the bus ministry (please pray for us as we are about to start a new bus route in the next couple of weeks!) and we work with the Bus Teen Boys. We are loving how God has worked in our lives and we LOVE watching God work in the lives of our bus kids as well as Teens! Tim is looking into completing his degree with Midwestern through correspondence and will be receiving the info this week. Please pray for us as we start this new journey in our lives. We know the devil will be doing his best to get in the way and discourage us but we have a GREAT and MIGHTY God who if we trust and look too will guide us.

Some more news....

April 9th there was a report on the news of a young boy who was struck by a falling tree limb and later passed away. That young, 7 year old boy was one of Tim and I bus kids. His name was Steven Richards. We remember a time when Steven came forward during super church for salvation. We have peace he is in heaven but his family is devastated. At the funeral our pastor preformed the service and about 30 people raised their hand for salvation. Please pray for this family as the mourn the loss of a dear loved one. It has been difficult on Tim and I as we try and answer the difficult questions from the family. It is not easy losing a loved one but it is more difficult to loss a child. This family has had so much tragedy in the last year we know this is God trying to get their attention.

Tim and I are doing well. Today is Tim's 30th birthday! He's cutting the grass right now but we have enjoyed the last 5 days off! We have enjoyed some alone time as well as met with our pastor today for lunch and we had a nice cookout Saturday in celebration for Tim's Birthday. We had friends and family there and enjoyed a great time of fellowship!

Well, I must finish cleaning our basement and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day! Please pray for us as we continue on our journey and serving God.

LOVE,
Ann

Monday, April 7, 2008

I can feel His presence in our lives...

It is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever encountered. I feel the hand of God moving in our lives and I don't know how to describe the emotions I am feeling. We have been struggling with a few things spiritually and I believe we have struggled so we would learn to draw closer to Him. For those of you who don't know who "Him" is...I'm talking about God. Tim and I sat down last night and had such a huge talk about what we need to focus on in our lives. We love our bus ministry so much. We see these kids every saturday and sunday and have become so attached to them. They are part of our lives. We are watching them grow, make choices, learn from consequences and one day, I pray to receive a phone call from them saying what God has done in their life. Our teen boys, are the reason we do what we do. I have seen such a HUGE change in them. God has really been working in their lives and I don't even know how to describe it. We have such a great core of boys and I am proud to call them our Teen boys! We know God has great and mighty things in store for them, and we pray that we are able to be a great example to them and that they know they can count on us. I am thankful that God has been using us. We do not deserve His grace and love but I am thankful for it.
I am thankful for a husband who is so hard working and selfless....he will do anything for anyone to help them. He's so trusting and loving. I love him more today than I did yesterday.

I'm feeling so blessed today....find your blessing today and thank God for them....

Ann
Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Showers bring May Flowers

Well we are now into our 4th month of the year and I'm telling you it just felt like last week was Christmas. I feel as if I truly understand that saying "Time Flies".

The last couple of weeks have been difficult. I know its due to my lack of dedication to the Lord. I also know its a trying and testing time in my life. Nothing new I suppose. I went to the dr to find out that I need to lose weight (I know I was shocked too......*insert sarcasm here*) in order to even consider having a child. My mom has mentioned on several occasions I need to have the gastric bypass surgery. Deep down inside I feel as if I am going the easy route though I know I'm not. I also think I am more cautious this time because of the "adventure" if thats what you want to call it that I went through last time. I will be making an appointment with my primary care physician to see about starting the task of getting approval....again. I suffer from borderline diabetes. As long as I'm on byetta I do not feel as if I am going to kill someone when I'm hungry. The joke here is, my insurance company will not approve the prescription because I have to try these other two forms of medication first *sigh*. Why take something away that is helping someone. So needless to say, without time to take off of work because there is just tooo much work and not enough time I haven't had the chance to go see the dr which means I am off my med. This now starts the snowball affect of me gaining back all the weight I have lost (mind you I do nothing different than when I am on the meds. I eat 6 small meals a day, excersize 3 days a week and am cautious about how much sugar I put in my system). I also feel as if i cannot make a rational decision when I am to the point of hunger. The other night a bunch of friends of ours were going out after church. They were taking their time, goofing off and chatting with others and I finally looked at Tim and said "Either we go home now or we go get food now I'm about to kill someone". Its not that I want to act like that but its almost like my brain goes into this "starvation" mode. I know I am far from starving but its like I want to go outside and hunt down someone and starting gnawing on the raw meat of my kill. I know you may be thinking that I am a little or a lot crazy and you would be correct. Try controlling that urge. It usually ends up in Tim and I fighting! lol. My poor husband. He's stuck in there 7 years, I just hope he can handle the next 60 ;)

We are still having issues with the neighbors. Its to the point that every little thing they do makes me want to go and knock their heads off. We are pretty sure they are dealing drugs and they are not respectful of our property. We have posted signs and actually have put a lock on our OWN gate! The other day I was cleaning and went to take some trash out, I try and take the lock off the gate and sure enough the wonderful neighbors super glued it. How kind of them. I about lost it. Tim called the cops we got some advise from them and pretty much I want to MOVE! I can't handle living in a row home and just need to get away from them. They think they are funny but in all reality I want to purchase a gun and shoot them. I'm not that stupid but that is the rage I am feeling lol. I know God is testing me, teaching me something, and I really need to stop and listen to HIM but this flesh of mine is so hard to control sometimes. Please pray for our situation. It is becoming very difficult not to feel bitter.

Church has been going well. Our bus route has had high numbers on it the last few Sundays which is encouraging. We also have had a lot of new visitors in our Teen Boy class. Tim and I really want to do more with them. We just need to use our time more wisely to plan things for them.

Well, lunch is almost over. I should get going. Lots of love and prayers.
Ann

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today is a special day in History.....

I WAS BORN!!!! lol juuuust kidding...well i was born but I'm not sure about the special part
:P


Well, I've received several text messages and cards and its only 8:30am! You might be asking yourself why I'm writing a blog so early. Well cause I have a doctors appointment and this is as good as a time as ever for me to write a blog! lol.

I've been struggling the last couple of months with my "female" issue. It's nothing new for me. I've had these issues since I was 11. It stinks and I'm just tired of the Doctors telling me that I need to lose the weight before they go away. Well sir, why is that I know people who are just as heavy as me and have no problems with their period?!?!? Why is it that people who are super skinny and fit have the same problems I have?!?!?! IT CAN'T BE JUST A WEIGHT PROBLEM!!!! *sigh*. The dr I am going to today was highly recommended and I am just praying that he can help me. I don't want to be on birth control anymore. I want to have babies!!! I know God will give them to me when I am ready but I don't want to be taking birth control anymore. I have been since I was 12!!!! I'm trying not to be worked up and frustrated before I go but it seems to be the same vicious cycle over and over and over again. I think that if the dr's had to live with what I live with for just a day they would be figuring out how to make it better! when you have to plan your day around the "female" issue.....you start to get overwhelmed and even start going crazy!!! *sigh*

Anyway, I should get in the shower and have some breakfast. Please pray for me. This is always a difficult and trying time for me :(

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heros

I have heard a lot of news concerning our military. There are the crazy "church"goers that have been protesting at the funerals of our fallen soldiers and then there are those who protested in front of the military recruiting center in CA. I have to agree with Dr. Laura when she says "THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE". The saddest thing of all, is though people are rude, inconsiderate, and just down right selfish, My brother, a great MARINE still gets up everyday and heads into base, to make sure the helicopters that patrol the many areas of the world are maintained. He works 24 hour shifts to guard his unit. He may not be in Iraq putting his life on the line for our freedom, but trust me, if they told him today he'd be headed out tomorrow, he wouldn't think twice. He would lay down his life for you or I. He wouldn't think twice about taking a bullet for his buddy. And yet, people like the ones mentioned above have the nerve to stand on the streets and protest for a fallen soldier who gave his life so they could stand there with their very unpleasant "free" speech have no dignity at all. America has become so selfish, so desensitized by so many things, it surprises me we haven't had another attack like 9/11.....oh wait....thats because thousands of men and women are overseas hunting down those who headed up that attack and making sure I can wake up every morning and not worry about if I will be arrested or killed for my beliefs or for my speech.

American Soldiers are Heroes! Make sure to pray for them and thank them when you see them. Hoorah!

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day...

Well, I think we can almost say Spring is on its way.

This week is our Missions Conference at the church and it seems as if I've been doing nothing but running around like a chicken with it's head cut off for the last month. I can't believe its March already! (I know I think you are starting to see a pattern for this from my previous blogs). The Granite Varsity Boys won the championship for the 9th year in a row. It was an exciting 3 days but my whole body hurts from sitting on very uncomfortable bleachers for 3 days!! lol

Life has so many different character's in it, that at times it's so confusing you don't know which way is up. A friend of mine sent me a message about her Aunt who has received news that she has less than three years to live. How devastating, she's a young woman, with small children and the one thing that struck me the most was when her Aunt told her "I have no one to take with me". She wasn't worried about dieing because she knows that she is heaven bound. But she hasn't shared the gospel with anyone, given them the same blessing she received once, giving them hope for an eternal happiness. My friend and her aunt are now going soul winning and making the most of the time she has left. But what a statement "I have no one to take with me". That made me rethink my life. I remember going soul winning for the first time ever in my life and I was so scared. The first time I talked to someone it was a young girl, she slammed the door in my face. I remember telling my family members about it and them getting so frustrated and upset at me because they were "Catholic". I no longer get frustrated or upset when someone denies the gospel. We have a "free" will and because of that we can make our own choices. But through God, I continue to plant seeds so that someone may come behind us and win them to the Lord. The song "Thank You" and "Find us Faithful" mean so much more to me now. My views on life have changed, my priorities are rearranged. We are not promised our next breath, don't let something like a death sentence wake you up to reality.....

Thank You Lord for Saving my Soul!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm gonna be an Auntie!!!!!

I know this won[' be new for me, but it will all at the same time. My youngest brother (the baby) Brad and his wonderful wife Tamsin are expecting!!!!! They just celebrated their first anniversary! Wow, I am so thrilled for them! She is so excited and he's excited but only as excited a man can get about something like this :P They will be wonderful parents and the other great news is.....THEY WILL BE STATIONED IN NORTH CAROLINA SO WE WILL ACTUALLY BE CLOSER!!! YAY!!!! I'm so thrilled!

This news is wonderful and so exciting but at the same time my heart just yearns for that feeling. The feeling of carrying life inside of you. Having the overwhelming feeling when you hear the news you are pregnant. Tears come to my eyes when I think of the day God blesses Tim and I with a child. We know everything is in Gods timing and we know it will happen when we least expect it but my hear fills up with joy at the thought of this.

Don't get me wrong, Tim and I love the fact that we can get up and go at a moments notice, we can enjoy going out to dinner here and there, spending time with our friends, travel and not having to worry about everything we need for a child. But our desire is to have a child of our own. I know God has something special in store for us. We've even talked about adopting. But we still have time :)

God is so good. It seems when we are running through life's journey and caught up in the hustle and bustle of all that life offers, news like this is just wonderful! Each life is precious :)

Thank you Lord for saving my soul!!

Love,
Ann

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Most days go without a hitch...

Then there are others that don't go as planned. This morning I woke up with a headache that pretty much put me in bed all day. I had my week planned out. Working overtime to try and keep us ahead on our bills (I am acutally enjoying working overtime I seem to be learning a lot more and its not that its required but it is very helpful when the pay check comes!). My saturdays have become another work day and it seems by the time Sunday rolls around we struggle to make it through the day. I know I need to slow down and take a deep breath. Tim preached Sunday on the parable of a rich man who had so much harvest that he had to take down his barns and build bigger ones. The rich man continued by saying that he wouldn't have to work and would be able to enjoy life and relax for many years because of the harvest he took in. It was then that the Lord said to him that he was going to die that night and what legacy had he left behind??? As I listened to him preach I thought of my life. Is all the time I put into work vain? I know God blesses us with jobs, and money, and family. But I have given up my Saturdays for work, I haven't had my heart fully in the few ministries I am in. I felt as if God had the message just for me. I am at a new cross road in my life. I love my job and don't mind working the over time. Then on the other hand I feel as if my heart has become hardened towards the bus ministry, the teen class, and soul winning. I know what my priorities should be. Why is it so stinkin hard to make the choice though?!?!?! I guess this is when we realize that the flesh is winning and our service to God is dwendling? My challenge to myself as well as those who read this....what will be waiting for you in heaven? Hay and stuble? Or precious gemstones and crowns to cast at the foot of our Savior?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

time is a flyin....

I can't believe its 2008, I can't believe its the MIDDLE of February! I can't believe how fast time really does fly when you grow up. It just seemed like yesterday I left for college, met Tim and got married. Tim and I have been together for 9 years and in July it will be 7 years of marriage. What a blessing. I can't believe the high Mountain tops we have been able to enjoy and the amazing growth while we were in some DEEP valleys.

Tomorrow will be valentines day and it just seems so different than all the others. Every year I would dream Tim would do something HUGE, something so romantic, I just knew he would...and every year I would let myself down. This year is different. My husband hasn't always been the greatest romantic, but he has always made sure I was happy, taken care of, and never in need. I look forward to tomorrow but with the feeling of thankfulness for having such a wonderful husband. Over the last few weeks I have come to realize how selfish I really have been all these years. I do not deserve Tim. I am thankful God gave him to me though. He means the world to me. He is my best friends, my lover, my support, my partner in crime, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I plan on making him a card telling him all the wonderful things I love abut him and then giving him the receipt to a hat I bought him for the Giants winning the Super bowl. I love that man so much.

Things have been so hectic over the last two months that I look forward to some time off soon. I don't know when but soon. I'd like to get my house put back together and maybe go visit some friends in another state.

Well I should get going, my lunch is almost over and I have so much work to do. Tim has a tournament game tomorrow for his JV basketball and I will be able to be there to root him on. YAY!

Hope all is well...
Love,
Ann

Friday, February 1, 2008

February Already?!?!?!

I can't believe it is February already! I mean my year started off pretty rough. So much drama, so many trying times. I didn't think I was going to make it and now its already February! There is so much going on, and so much coming up that I don't know if I will have a moment to breath! God is so good though. It seems like even in the darkest moments He's there, comforting you, that is if you are looking for Him.

Tim's 30th Birthday is right around the corner and I haven't even started planning for it. I want it to be a surprise but don't know if I can pull it off. There is so much to think about....I don't want it to be the "Oh you are getting old" theme. I know he is probably expecting that ;) I really want to do something big for him. So I've started working tons of over time. I have 3 months to save up. I'm thinking maybe the wii, I really want to get him his go fast bike but He hasn't even had the time to get his liscense and I have a feeling I wont see him ever if I get him that ;). Not only that but we are trying to start a family and It's just not practical right now. We shall see.

Work has been very trying. There are 3 ladies who have it out for me. I love being blind sided by issues (I'm not even being sarcastic there). It's nice to not be wrapped up in the rumors and drama of the work place. I just put my headphones on and listen to uplifting and glorifying to God Music! AMEN!! I received a very nice raise and it's nice to be appreciated for the hard work you put in. It makes all the "trying" times not feel so bad :).

Well I should get going, lunch is almost over and I have a few things to take care of. Have a fantabulous day!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Memorial Service

January 17,2008 is a day of sadness for me yet a day of peace. Uncle Billy took his last breath on earth and stepped onto heaven's shore. I know one day I will know what that is like, what it feels like, what the veiw will be like. Though He is no longer suffering he is being missed. Yesterday January 26, 2008 was his memorial service. Memories on picture boards, the sent of roses and lilies filled the room, and you could hear the broken hearts and the laughter of memories here and there. We started off the service with prayer and then I stood up and introduced myself and read my speech. I couldn't even get the first few words out without the tears spilling from my eyes. My speech went a little like this...

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

This is a verse I have read and have heard here and there over the last few years. This verse never became so real to me than the day I received the news of Uncle Billy’s passing. You don’t know when it will come. The day you step into eternity. My memories of Uncle Billy are those of a man who was full of life. He always had a smile on his face and laughter in his eyes. The chuckle that still rings in my ears today is unforgettable. The tight hugs he always gave and the fun you would always have when you were around him. I remember the day I was standing at the bus stop and he came pulling up to leave and rolled down his window and said ANN MARIE GUESS WHAT? And I smiled and said “what?” and he said I’M GETTING MARRIED TODAY. I remember the many times Bill and Brian would go fishing and how they enjoyed working on the car. I remember when Brenda was born and the though I was just a child myself I remember how happy he was to be a daddy. Then Christina came along and boy it was at first glance and they both had him wrapped around their pinkies. Then Shelly, the twinkle in his eye, daddy’s girl. Each child held such a special place in his heart and you knew it. He would light up when they would run in a room saying “daddy”. I remember the million push ups and sit ups he would make us do, I remember the trips to the park and the years we’d go to see the blue angels fly through the sky, I remember the times on the farm when he’d go out with us and help us fly our kites, or go fishing at the pond at night, or crabbing at the pier. He always worked hard to make sure his family was taken care of. I will miss him dearly but I am thankful he is no longer suffering. I know he is watching down on us and is cheering us on as we go through our days. Tina, I know its hard, I know this doesn’t seem fair, but know we are here for you and the girls. Brian, Brenda, Christina and Shelly as you sit here and hear all these memories we shared with your father, remember, he always wanted the best for you, he always wanted you to make a difference in this world, you can’t let him down.
The following is a poem written by an unknown author.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me


When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise
and find your eyesAll filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and
called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In Heaven far above,

And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,

I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,

For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through Heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and
smiled at me,From His great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."

Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.

Buy you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were timesyou did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

As I read this I could hear Shelly (his youngest she's only 9) crying and I looked up to see my dad comforting her, there was my Aunt and her other daugther brenda with tears in their eyes holding the ashes of my uncle. My hear broke for them and as I finished I prayed that God would save their souls. My mom then read a poem and said some sweet words, then a friend of Billy's got up and talked about how much billy loved his family, then one of his brothers got up and said some words and then Tim (my husband) got up and gave the plan of salvation. Tim said 7 people raised their hand accepting salvation one of them being Uncle Billy's Oldest daugther. PRAISE THE LORD!! what a joyful time in such a sorrowful moment.

It is still hard today to understand he's really gone. I watched the hurt on my dad's eyes. His baby brother, gone, his second youngest brother battling cancer also. Sometimes we just don't understand but God has a reason for everything! I just hope and pray that the family can support each other and pull the family closer together than it ever has been.


James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A vapor...


My eyes have been opened to the passage from the bible that talks about how our lives are like a vapor. I now understand the true meaning of not being promised our next breath.

My Uncle Billy, who has always been the favorite uncle, has just received word the cancer he has been fighting for 3 years has overcome his body. It has filled most of his lungs, liver and spinal cord. The cancer that was in his brain is still there but has not spread or become larger. He is suffering from demintia due to the toxins from the cancer going to his brain. This man, who always was the funny, crazy, and so daring, now depends on others to help him. His 7 year old daughter is scared to go near him because this is not the daddy that she knows. Everytime she walks in a room his face lights up and I see a glimpse of the Uncle I have known all of my life. My mom had informed me Friday (as we made it to CT to see good friends of ours) that the cancer had spread to his spine. Then on Wednesday I was told he was rushed to the Hosptial and they realized how severe it really was. They cannot give us a time frame....they just say it will be when he gives up. My parents have told him not to suffer anymore and to go, that they will make sure everyone is taken care of. But i think he holds on because he loves them so much. As hard as it is now to see him suffer, there is a selfishness in me that says I don't want him to go, but at the same time I don't want him to suffer. I have always been one full of tears. I have always been the one that is emotional to others feelings. I believe have a compassion that others control differently than I do. I spoke with my mom and she said that my Uncle was saved. Only God knows his heart. I pray that his wife and 4 children will see the results of sin and stop doing the things they are involved in. I pray that God gives them the stregnth and peace.

My other uncle, who is the baby, also has cancer in his lungs and they are treating it aggresivly so that it will not spread to his lungs.

I know God has reasons for everything, I just pray that He reveals to us why. He is only in his early to mid 40's and has 3 girls and a boy.

I am going to see him on Saturday. I just pray God gives me peace about his salvation.


Please pray for the Dickson family, they have lost one brother due to a heart attack and their father also passed away due to a heart attack. Now they are about to lose another brother to cancer. Their Mother will most likely out live most of them.


Ann Marie