Friday, December 18, 2009

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements

YOU MUST go there and try win this! amazing programs...I so want to do it!!! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Clearing my thoughts….

Please, if you have something else better to do…then you should probably stop reading now! This will be one rollercoaster of a blog…..

Maybe I should break it down into several blogs….maybe I will once I throw up release all my thoughts…..

First things first….

I’m one HUGE mess. I don’t know why. I just am. I no longer walk with a smile, talk with a laugh, grin with trouble. I’m just me, lost in thoughts and feelings. Trying to understand what exactly is going on in my life. I have been feeling guilty for quite a few things and I think that is what is bringing me down.

I’m feeling guilty for not eating right. My heart aches for a baby. One that Tim and I have created. That God has given us, and yet in my selfishness….I can’t just eat right. Its not that I’m addicted to food or anything (though during the colder months, food is amazing lol) its just that I’m so tired all the time (because I’m not eating healthy) and don’t have the energy (once again for not eating healthy) to create a healthy meal. You know, cutting up fresh fruits, veggies, and nut milk. I don’t have the money (since Tim lost his job) to buy the organic meats and breads and fruits and veggies and nuts and almond flour and all the new things I’m learning about in many blogs of those who have gone to eating whole foods! I mean I can afford them, I just once again am to tired and run down to shop around for the best deals. *sigh* I keep telling myself that once all this junk is out of my house then I will be going back to the healthier options. But then I go out shopping and give up on healthy and go with convenience (WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!? LOL) and yet I stay up until all hours of the night reading about the spunky coconut, just making noise and so many more who have gone gluten free, sugar free (refined that is) and dairy free and they inspire me, and yet…I just don’t do it. I look at how they feel how happy they seem, read about their adventures and so on and I realize I can do it…but I CHOOSE not too….*bigger sigh*. I know I can do anything I put my mind too…I mean….if I’m motivated enough! So I struggle with this issue and you know what the Lord does? He gives me a special gift. One that brings tears to my eyes and at this very moment, the moment I think about it, I feel so special! It is a bitter sweet moment. Last Tuesday I received a text from some of our best friends. Rich’s dad, who has been struggling with his health, had been in the hospital with double pneumonia, failing liver and kidneys. His dad, not a saved man, was recovering well and was to be released last Wednesday. Well the text I received said that Rich was headed to MA, to see his father who had suffered 3 strokes within the last 24 hours. I spoke with Kerry and offered to come to her house and help her with her 1 ½ year old and her 5 week old. Later that evening I received the devastating phone call. Rich’s dad, who was 58 years old, had passed away. I later learned that hours before he went into a coma he accepted Christ PRAISE THE LORD! Kerry asked if I would be willing to watch Luke, their 5 week old. I of course told her I would do whatever she needed me to do. For five days I watched this beautiful little Luke. He is a breastfed child, who had to be on formula because there wasn’t enough of mommas milk to last him the whole time. So I got to experience a colic child. I’ll be honest. If I based my decision on having a child on those long nights of screaming as if I was torturing the child I would tell my parents and my in-laws “you will NOT be receiving grand children from us!”. I mean, every night between the hours of 12:00am until about 3:30 am I was bouncing, walking, rocking, holding in a pacifier, burping, and every other thing I could think of to comfort a child who was suffering from a very unhappy tummy. Tears pouring out of my eyes, pleadings with the Lord to help Luke feel better, taking deep breaths and signing songs in his ear, whispering prayers and love to him. By the time all this was over, he slept and I slept…until it was time to eat….10 minutes later…..but it was the mornings, when we awoke for the day. He would have his morning bottle, I would change his diaper, put him in his cute little outfits for the day, and then he would look at me and give me the biggest toothless smile I have ever seen, that would make my heart melt, would make my sleepless night worth every bit of this precious little face. He would coo at me, gaze at me, smile when I would smile. And then, he would stare out the window, his blinks would get long…and then this peaceful babe, would be asleep, and dreaming of yummy milk from his mom, I’m sure. When I kept saying to Tim, during the late evenings early mornings of no stop screaming from a little one “I can’t do this! I wouldn’t be a good mother” he would just smile at me and tell me I was a “dork” because I would be. God gave me a renewed strength in my time of weakness. He gave me a new outlook. He gave me a new love. He turned my tickler back on. And today, I realize, that the last few days, was a gift from my Father. A reminder of what He can give me, if I just trust. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do my best, beg the Lord to continue to help me. And with this fresh in my mind my life style will change. Wow, so that was the first thing…..

Second thing….

Its Christmas time…and well…I don’t have a tree this year….again….*SIGH* I know that is not the reason why we celebrate Christmas. But my tree, holds so many memories. Each ornament on that tree was either handed down, given to me by someone special, or bough to celebrate a special moment in my life or marriage. It just breaks my heart that I don’t get to put it up for the second year in a row. I know God brought us to Michigan so Tim could finish his schooling. I know Tim lost his job for a reason (though we still struggle with why) and I know our things are not in Michigan for a reason! I just wish I had my tree. God has been so good to us. I mean, we have not gone without, not one time! We have learned over the last year (it was one year exactly November 11th!) that God really is in control and when you try to take over, well He lets you, and then you make a big mess out of something that could have gone a lot smoother had you not have tried to control the outcome! So many lessons learned over and over and over…..

Third thing….

My passion for photography is starting to go out of control! I have always had a passion for it since the 7th grade. I took a class in black and white photography. I learned how to make my own camera out of a shoe box. My teacher was so impressed with how well my pictures came out (we processed them ourselves in a dark room) that he asked if he could have my camera (you know the one I made out of a shoe box). From that moment on, I became a picture Nazi, I have always had a camera in my hands. My first digital camera was a Nikon coolpix. I LOVED it. But its 4 years old and well, it just doesn’t take as good of pictures as it once did. So now I’m trying to figure out how to come up with $900.00 so I can purchase a Canon Rebel. I have seriously been considering taking Photography classes at the local Community College just so I can understand the different aspects of digital photography. I would love to have a business that specializes in the many events of life. I would love to be there as a Father and Mother welcome their new little bundle of joy, I would love to watch the face of a groom as his beautiful bride walks down the aisle, I would enjoy being creative as a Senior celebrates their last year of High School. I mean there is so much you can do, and make money at the same time! I mean who really has a job that makes an income and they LOVE doing it?!?!? Here is to hoping…that maybe….santa…the Lord will bless me with one this Christmas!

Well, sorry this is so long! I can’t believe I had so much in me and that you were willing to read the rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings, and sillyness! I have so much more to write but my brain cannot continue with this madness….until next time….

I pray that God continues to help me in my journey of a new healthy me….That God grants us one of the best Christmas’s ever, and that photography will no longer be a dream, but a reality!

Much Love…

Ann Marie

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Buckle Up....its a long one!

I don't even know how long it has been creeping up...this feeling...that has finally overwhelmed me. As a friend put it to me in a text this morning " are no longer the bubbly Ann I know is in there...". I feel like a hypocrite and I am even having a stinkin pitty party about it! Is that even right?!?!? NO! this would not be acceptable if one of the dorm students came to me like this! I would be telling them "Snap out of it! Look at what all the good the Lord has done for you! Look at how far God has brought you!" and yet, I can't even take my own advice and "snap out of it" *sigh*. I'm emotionally drained. I care so much about all those around me and do everything I can to help them through their trail. On a daily basis I tell myself that I need to stop doing this to myself (you know, not eating healthy, not exercising, and no caring about it!) and I think "I'll go to the gym first thing tomorrow!" but tomorrow comes and goes and well it just doesn't happen *double sigh*. I am always leary of posting these kinds of things on the internet for all to see. Not because of my pride, but because I don't want to come across as a complainer and never have anything good to say. But I really really really really really need to get this out!

I have faults (ahem, as you can see from the first paragraph) and I fail the Lord on a daily basis. So with that said, why is it that when I deal with Christians on a daily basis, there are so MANY who never take the initave to do what needs to be done. For example (really this is only an example, no slight at any of our lovely, wonderful and amazing dorm students) we have a community fridge in the dorm. This is where we put all the food that is given to us by others (such as churches, friends, family and so on that everyone is allowed to have) and I hadn't even realized until last week that it hadn't even been cleaned out in I don't know how long! Now, the students are in and out of that fridge on a dialy basis, and yet not one cleaned it out. So I go in there, and start loading up the trash can, cleaning out the shelves, wiping off the crusted food off the shelf and so on. As I do this, I think to myself "what in the world, do these kids not care?" but then my thoughts change to "Maybe they never had to take this kind of initiave before..." either way, what in the world! lol So one of them suggested I make it a dorm duty...well I could but I would much rather see them take the initiative and clean it out!
I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm tired of thinking of everything. I am tired of asking for help (now that is hard for me because I want to do everything and I want it done my way but over the years God has really been working on my heart about that and well I have become more "lax" if thats a word lol) and receiving the response "well I don't have the program to do that so I can't really do it". Or "I don't know how to do it so I can't do it" or "Well you already know how to do it why don't you". UGH!!! At that point I want to scream a that top of my lungs and beg God to just please take me home! I know its an exaggerated feeling, but I'm serious here! I don't even have anyone to go to talk to them about the situation that would be able to fix the situation because they agree with me and then complain to me and then don't do anything about it!!!!! I love everyone around me. I truly do. Outside of these sitiuations we have a great time. Lots of laughing and smiling and fun times. Right now, I'm just to the point where I know bitterness and anger are brewing inside of me. I'm not "happy" anymore. I'm not.......ME anymore. I know I need to give it to God. Thats what I would tell anyone who came to me with this same situation. I know I have to get over myself, and be thankful. Yep once again, something I would tell someone else. I know its hard and if it were easy everyone would be doing it, once again my own stinkin advice! But....No Ann, there is no "but" in this, its either God or you......

I'm sorry its long and drawn out...sorry its my pitty party/venting blog!

I just needed a listening ear, I mean a reading eye...

Now I'm gonna get up, go get in the shower, eat some real food, and get over this. Move on....become what God really wants me to become...I'm even gonna smile! I can do this right??? I mean of course with God's Help!

James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."
As much as I would never ask for it, I know God has a reason for all this. I know He understands. I know He is there....I just have to listen...quietly...without distraction....with out my fleshly pitty party....without myself...and with my heart and allow the Holy Spirit to guide! I know I HAVE too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Many Events...

It seems that over the last few days there have been many events that I am excited to blog about... Well now that I think about it...there are only two lol....

The first one was sweetest day...Which was Saturday....I have come to realize over the years that my husband is not the don't get me wrong...He doesn't bring me flowers often, or pick up a card here and there, or celebrate holidays or special occasions with fanfare....but he knows that its the little things that make me smile and makes those butterflies flutter. So for sweetest day, Tim had to work (I don't mind him working 12 hours a week and making $300.00 lol) and I was able to spend the morning with him and then he left for work. I went about my day doing things with the college students. Tim worked until about 7pm and when he walked in through the door of our apartment (mind you there were many of the college students strewn about our apartment chatting, working on homework, ready to eat the brownies I had made lol) he had a single long stem rose stuffed into an open bag of chips and with a great big smile he said "Here honey, happy sweetest day, I just want you to know I think you are all that and a bag a chips, but I already ate the chips". All I could do was laugh. He is such a silly guy....but that what got me, its what makes me love him more and more each day, its that grin, with the twinkle in his eyes, that makes me realize he LOVES coming home to me :)


Our next event that I would like to take you the celebration of a 21st birthday MBC style!

A little background is needed though to let you know why this birthday is so special (well even if you didn't know why this birthday was so special....every birthday is special!)

Sarah is my twin...or I'm her Twin...which ever way you wanna put it we are twinkies....Now don't get confused, she is 8 years younger than me, has blue eyes (mine are green and can seem blue at times), is half cuban (i'm half indian) is short (like 5'4" im 5'7"), her last name is different, and we came from two different mothers. You might think what in the world, how are we twins..... Well she is me in every sense when it comes to our personalities and such. She is self motivated, determind, has a HUGE heart of gold, has a beautiful smile, loves to be around people, enjoys being the center of attention even when she says she's not, is crazy on sugar, and well she's sarah. It's so scary to see her making the choices I made at this age, watching her go through the same exact trials, trying to figure out who she is, where she came from (she is adopted and has never met either of her parents) and why she is here. I know that sounds like us all, but if only you could hear my husband say "What is it i do to you that makes you listen so I can do it to her" lol. Wow, she really is me just in a different body with beautiful blue eyes and a pearly white smile!

Now with all that out of the way.....Sarah's 21'st birthday was yesterday...and sarah...being the ham she is...we had to make a BIG DEAL out of it! Not cause she wanted us to, but because we knew it would make her feel super special! So we made her lunch (Cesar Salad with Chicken), made her a funfetti cake (sooo yummy) put Happy birthday candles with her age on the cake and sang Happy birthday at the top of our lungs to her

and though we were sad that she had to go to work, we decided to decorate her room full of balloons streamers and more balloons! So off to the dollar store we go! 23 (we bought 21 of them and the wonderful clerk Kenyatia gave us two to join into the fun! Thank you Kenyatia!!!) helium balloons, 175 reg balloons, 7 packs of double streamers, and 12 noise makers later

we arrive at the dorm with supplies in hand and start attacking the perfectly clean, bed super neat, books arranged in perfect order, clothes color coded, and not one thing out of place (other than the dirty clothes I shoved down into the hamper so the guys wouldn't see it) room!

And this is the end result!

I must say, we did a great job! lol With the room decorated now we were just waiting patiently for the girl we are to surprise to arrive! We all went about doing studying, cleaning, horse playing and such...and then the text came. "Hey Ann, would it be ok if I went to Suzannes house for dinner, she wanted to celebrate my birthday with me". I of course said sure and told her to text me when she was on her way home. At 10pm she informed me she'd be leaving in 10 minutes. So with that said...I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off. It was time to round the surprisers! With noise makers in hand we ran to her room (yes even the guys got to join in the fun) we hid under balloons, in her bed, in corners and of course we had a look out!

Well, as we waited in the dark room (thats why the pictures don't look the best) and we see her car pull in, and then we hear her coming down the hall, the excitement welled up inside of us and as she comes into her room (she could hear us laughing and thought we were "doing" something to her room) we scream surprise, people come popping outta balloons and yes, she was completely surprised!

Here is our Princess....

She couldn't stop smiling and we couldn't stop loving on her!

Hope your 21st Birthday was a GREAT one!!!

We Love you Sarah!

Friday, October 16, 2009

From My Desk...

If I were to describe the view from my desk it might go something like this....

In front of me is a door, to an office. If this office could talk it would talk about the many that has come and gone....

This office has...
Helped the poor
Healed the hurting
Invested time into everyone who has entered its door
Has witnessed more than one unity of two souls
Led the lost to Christ
Helped some to cope with the loss of a love one

And within this office, sits a man, called by God, to lead His flock. This man that sits in this office, day after day has been heard talking to Jesus as if he is sitting in the chair to the left of him. He has been heard to share the burden of those he loves and cares about. Has been heard thanking God for allowing him to be over a church. And yet, with all that this man of God does, Thank you comes short to this door...

The man of God I speak of, who sits in the office described, is my Pastor...

I couldn't be more thankful for a Man of God who has sought a relationship with the Lord and lives what he preaches. The last year has been hard. Friendships that have been built over 30 years have been lost, bitterness has crept into hearts, and the end result is a Pastor, sitting in his office, asking what he did wrong. Pleading with God to show him what he must do.
There has been many days I have shed tears, seeing the hurt in my pastors face, and the sadness in his heart. But as I pray and ask God to encourage him, God gives peace, words and love all around. I know through this God has been preparing me, molding me, showing me what the ministry really is, and with the quote of the co-pastors wife "Its lonely". I believe that if we measure the "loneliness" by our standards then yes, it can be very, very, very lonely. But if we look at it from God's perspective, I recall the verse John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;". Jesus is there, the Holy Spirit is there, and so is God the Father. Though our hearts are sad and we feel betrayed...I am so thankful that Jesus understands, and comforts us, if we allow him to.

The Man that sits at this desk, and seeks God and asks for guidance and what to feed His flock...should be thanked for his dedication, sacrifice, faithfulness and love that is never ending.
He is not perfect, he is made of the same flesh that you and I are. But he is someone who we should hold in prayer daily, and often in that day. He is someone who we should honor and respect. We should talk nothing but Good of him, and thank God for someone who is willing to stand in a pulpit and feed us the meat of the Lord.

Thank You Dr. Harry E. Carr. Your dedication is more than we could ask, your love is never ending, and your sacrifice is more than we deserve.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A breath of Fresh Air

Yesterday I cleaned from 8am to 2pm. I finsihed, took a shower, got dressed, looked at myself in the mirror and said "Self, you need a hair cut" and so put on my winter coat, picked up my purse and keys and decided to go and get myself a trim.....

Here is the Result....

I promise I am happy about it...I just don't know why I can't smile :P

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Update on that whirlwind...

Life has been flying by and now its October! I just realized I really need to take a picture of the beautiful trees here in Michigan and post them...maybe the next one...or maybe I'll remember to do it tomorrow and edit this post. Either way life is flying by! Our journey down the path of Right has been very bumpy with lots of drop offs but we are still going strong.
Tim losing his job has been a mixed blessing. Though he has not found "full time" work, he has been able to do more at the college and interact with the students more. He joined the Choir of our college as well as mens ensemble, and the mens quartet (which travels around to Church's and promotes our college and their wonderful voices) he also was pushed into auditioning for the Jackson Chorale by his voice teacher and he is now Second Tenor in the the Choir. He was pretty excited about that. I believe God wants him to slow down some and enjoy why he is really here. But that of course doesn't pay the bills. I'm not worried about the bills, ok so I lied, my flesh really wants to worry and figure out how to fix this issue but then my heart reminds me of who is in control. The peace you feel when you are close to the Lord is amazing. I now understand how it can be so overwhelming in the ministry. If you focus on all the issues, which there is a whole LOT of issues in the ministry, then you will become depressed, overwhelmed, and burned out. A Christian who is close to God does not get burned out. Don't get me wrong, when I was in college I was doing so much that I did not give 100% to any ministry so how in the world could i have been seeking God and His will if I couldn't give my heart 100% to something for Him?
Now that we are the dorm parents, we are very careful as to how we react to situations. We find ourselves biting our tongues a lot because we do not want any discord, murmuring or bitterness. We feel God in our midst and the last thing we want to do is not do HIS will! The best feeling in the world is when a one of the "kids" leans over, grabs my arm and says "Thank You so much for caring". Or when you hear from someone else that they look up to the relationship that Tim and I have. Our relationship is not perfect, there are times we have to say "we will be back" and go take our "disagreement" into the privacy of our apartment, but I believe they see the real side of a relationship. We always want to open and real to them. The ministry is not easy and they need to know what it will be like. I am excited to see what God will do and I'm excited to see the college students see what God will do.
Well as I'm trying to type this I'm surrounded by three college students and I can't concentrate so I'm gonna sign off. I'll do more later....

Until the Next update....

Written a few weeks ago....

Since September 18, 2009 my life has been a little emotional. I have gone back and forth between, anger, frustration, forgiveness, hurt, sadness, worry, compassion, and I'm sure there is more I just can't think of the words right now. That is the day my husband was fired from his job. It was a moment in life when we felt that we had been defeated by this world. To know that they terminated him because he took a stand and refused to be treated the way he was treated they turned around and took his honesty, and used it against him. My husband is one of the hardest working people you will know. Whatever he does, he does well. He has many trades under his belt and he is always determined to do better than asked of him. Whoever he works for they will receive loyalty from him and he makes sure he goes above and beyond. He's not perfect, he makes mistakes, but with those mistakes he will strive to do better. The day this went down, I felt like going in and defending him, the anger that welled up inside of me is something I hadn't experienced in years. The tears that trailed from my eyes came because I saw the hurt in his eyes, the defeat on his face, and the sadness in his words. I try my hardest not to relive that day, not to think about what should have been done, what should have been said, or what could have happened had he not met with the managers. I look back now and with the words of my husband just moments after the "blow" he says "This job was a confirmation that we were supposed to go to Michigan. God took that away and he has something better for us". What a comfort to my heart. Though we still find ourselves saying "I have no idea where we are going to get the money for this bill" I reflect back to those words and remember this verse Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." My flesh wants to cry out and take care of this situation, but my heart wants to draw closer to God. My flesh wants to seek revenge, but my heart wants to forgive. My flesh wants to take control, but my heart reminds me who is in control. A verse my husband picked as the theme for this year in the college dorm rings with so much truth. He had no idea when he picked this verse what was to come of our future, but what we both know is...God is in control, and in order to have peace, we MUST trust in Him for everything... Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. The journey is never easy, the road is not always smooth, the path is narrow, the valleys are deep, and the mountaintops are short, but God knows what the outcome is, all I have to do is trust that He will provide.

Friday, September 11, 2009

when my "whirlwind of life" became a little bit darker....

Today, I woke up feeling refreshed, not realizing it was the 8th anniversary of 9/11, and was ready to start my day. As I sat on my bed reading the last few pages of my book that has kept me up until 1am, waiting on my husband to let me know he was ready to go to work, I heard my cell phone ring. It wasn't a ringer that was linked to anyone so I thought "ill finish up my book and then go get it". Then it rang again, and I knew that someone was trying to get a hold of me. I picked up my phone to see my brother tried calling. I call him back and that is when my "whirlwind of life" became a little bit darker....

My uncle Jerry, the last of the brothers on my dad's side, passed away this morning of cancer. I had no idea he had turned for the worst, but that would be difficult since my father's side of the family tends to hold grudges and has a hard time with the word forgiveness. With shock in my voice I asked my brother to give me the details of the funeral when he finds them out. It seems like a de ja vu moment, except I didn't get to say goodbye. 1 year and 8 months ago my uncle Billy passed away of cancer. The family came from all over to say their goodbyes, to try and mend hurting hearts, and through the pain of watching a loved one suffer, I remember the great big smile my uncle Billy gave me, that gave me peace and it was my last glimpse of the uncle I remembered from my childhood. The last time I saw my Uncle Jerry he was swollen from the steroids he was on to try and shrink the cancer, his head was bald from the treatments, and he looked so much like my uncle Billy before his final days arrived, that was over a year ago. My heart aches to know I didn't get to hug him, tell him how much I loved him, share the gospel with him and confirm he had accepted Christ as his Savior sometime in his life if not right then, tell him I'm sorry that forgiveness runs short in the family but that I had always loved him, no matter what happened. I didn't get to tell him that when I have kids I will make sure they know all their aunts and uncles, their cousins, and they will learn to forgive....

My whirlwind is a little darker today, and as I process this, my emotions go from shock, hurt, anger, pain, forgiveness...I am still thankful that God gives "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

If there is one thing I could say, one thing I could the midst of hurt and pain from 9/ the midst of a love one passing....always remember to say "I Love You", always remember to forgive, and always remember that "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

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Whirlwind that never stops...

Thats what it seems like lately...the life whirlwind...go here, go there, be here, need to go there, need to be over there at the same time you are here and so on....

I'm so glad the church secretary is back! Thats one less job I have to do! Praise the Lord!

College started last week, it seemed to be flying by with just a blink! Monday students started moving in, Tuesday registration started, Wednesday was the first day of school, Thursday was some what normal, Friday was work, hang out with the students in the dorm, dorm devotions, go to bed way to late, Saturday breakfast for everyone in our apartment at 10am, then to the heatherly's for volleyball and dinner, then church Sunday, then Monday was labor day, breakfast at the Carr's house, go to Great Lakes Crossing walk the entire mall and stop in 1/3 of the stores, then Devo's with the girls and tuesday I CRASHED! I slept most of the day and that did not sit well with Tim but my body just couldn't do it anymore...I just needed a day!

We received word on Monday that one of the Kolmus twins, Caleb, passed away. He was One week old (but 16 weeks early). We have been lifting them up in prayer daily as often as I can, and i feel so bad. Leah is still hour by hour but she is stable.

I've had a lot on my mind lately and no time to blog about it. There has been a lot going on around me in my friends lives and it is hard to watch a friend struggle with life, choices, and satan. It's hard to watch a family that you love dearly struggle within. I know thats what we get when we live in this world but it still doesn't ease the hurt you feel.

God has been so good to me. I am constantly reminded of His love for me. He provides in ways I cannot imagine and when I think it couldn't get any better, He gives me a new surprise! If only I could be more faithful to Him!

This is more of a venting thread than anything...welcome to the whirlwind!

Friday, August 14, 2009

What Have I been up to Lately???

I don't have a whole lot of time, but I'm feeling pretty guilty for not blogging lately. I always read the 5 or 6 blogs I follow but by the time I get to the point where I want to blog, i'm way to busy! lol

The end of July beginning of July I was able to go to the National Sword of the Lord Conference! It was amazing, soul stirring and I for sure want to go again! If you've never been YOU MUST go next year! I even saw a lady I hadn't seen in YEARS there! One night my husband and I ended up coming in late to the conference and the only place to sit was in the choir loft! How embarrassing! Everyone watched as we walked in halfway through the message and oh humbling lol. Cindy saw me from the balcony and said to her husband (who's dad was my favorite math and speech teacher in High school) Hey thats Ann! lol wow....

After the sword conference we headed to Raleigh NC to see my Nephew I had not met yet and My brother and his wonderful wife! We had lunch and spent a few hours together and then we left to head to Maryland to spend time with my parents and then His parents. We made it back to MI in time to get some rest and start our work week.

I have been recovering from the trip and still have a ton to do!

My diet isn't going so well but things will change over the next couple of weeks. I plan on going to the gym starting next week.....gotta get a schedule that works for me and then I'm going to beg God to help me to be faithful to it!

College starts in 2 weeks and I'm so not ready for the students to show up yet (we are the dorm parents in case you didn't know) so I'm running around getting welcome baskets together, letting the students who live there over the summer earn some credit on the school bills by cleaning rooms and such. They painted the Lobby to give it a fresh look and we need to get some items to put it in there :)

So thats pretty much about it.....I plan on blogging over the weekend on some things that have been laid on my heart.

Hope everyone is doing well! I have been praying for my friend Cassie who should be in Russia right now! Can't wait to hear they made it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I wish....

Yeah, I don't know that its a great way to start a blog with "I Wish...." because usually its full of things that you either a) don't need b) you are having a pitty party c) you are upset about something....

Yeah so all those are probably why this blog is happening, but we all have days like this...

I wish I could just know if this will all turn out good

I wish I could help everyone...some need jobs...some need money...some are just in need...

I wish people would stop trying to steal students from MBC (yes I said that out loud!)...

I wish more people had a heart for our know the place where you life was changed, where you learned what God really wants for you to do, where you met your husband or wife, where you saw revival, where you heard some of the greatest preachers in the world, where John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, Tom Malone, and many more Giants stood in its pulpits and told you not to quite...

I wish Tim didn't have to travel every week, but I know he's doing it because he wants us to live debt-free...

I wish I could do something to help encourage my pastors!

I wish my furniture was here so I could make our apartment feel like home for the students

I wish I was talented and creative in everything I do

I wish I didn't fail my Heavenly Father daily...

I wish my entire family was saved from Hell...

I wish I would not be feeling this way! lol

I am going to get off now and finish getting everything packed for the National Sword of the Lord conference! I am so excited as this is my first time there! I know my life will be changed, when there is preaching all week long and you get to sit right in the middle of it, you heart has to be changed! I am ready to meet with God and see what he has for Tim and I!

Please pray for us as we travel down, pray that we will meet with God, pray that we will have time with our family on the way home, pray that lives would be changed :)

Much love!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To My Best Friend....

I wrote this yesterday and forgot to post it here...

8 Years ago today, you made a vow, a promise that You would Take Me to be your wife. To have and to hold, From this day forward, For better, for worse, For richer, for poorer, In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish, 'Till death do us part....and there hasn't been one day you did not keep those promises. We have had our valleys, our "I don't think I can do this anymore" moments but through it all, our love for one another out shined the darkness. I want to thank you for being there when no one else was, for loving me when no one else did, for always thinking about me and making sure I am taken care of. I want to thank you for always being you, for providing, for sharing, for caring and most of all, for serving our Heavenly Father with your whole heart. God has given me such a special gift when he gave me you as a husband. I never dreamed of marrying someone as amazing as you. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you and thank God for such a special gift. You are a great husband, and I couldn't ask for anything more...I love you Tim Lee...and Always are my best favorite :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

When You make a Difference...

Sometimes we just need to be reminded as to why we are here....

I am thankful for God and His never ending love for me...I must remember that He loves me even when I do wrong, and that I MUST love others even when they may fail me....

I am thankful for the friends God has given me....I am not perfect and neither are they, I need to remember to have more patience....

I am thankful for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th....and so on chances.....I must not say "I won't give them another chance"....God could easily say that to us....

I must remember there are no little or big sins to God.....Sin is sin.....we all do it, we all must ask for forgiveness...don't judge.....

I would not be where I am today had it not been for God....I must make sure to live for Him so that I don't lead someone in the wrong direction....

God is good....all the time!

Friday, June 26, 2009

From One Imperfect Person to other Imperfect People....

This is something I have been thinking about for a while. I know at times we may say or do things in anger, but I’ve cooled down and have thought this through….

I lived in this world for 14 years Unsaved and 15 years Saved. I was treated poorly and yes, there are rude, inconsiderate and uncaring people out there In the unsaved world. With that said…I have to say…I now understand what my youth pastor wife has told me when I was just a baby Christian. She told me that sometimes the hardest people to get along with or the meanest people can be fellow Christians. Boy was she ever right!

There has been a lot going on over the last…lets say…6 months within the Christian world I am surrounded by. I’m not going to point out any one instance as 1), there is no reason too, 2) there are to many instances even if I did point them out (which I wouldn’t) and 3) its none of your business (if I really didn’t mean number one!). If you read this and think I’m talking about you I PROBABLY AM!

For those of you who think that the leaders in your church are perfect, you’ve mislead yourself. For those of you who think that the Leaders in your church with children that their children should be perfect, you have once again mislead yourself. For those of you who think you are perfect and can go on the “Holy Ghost Patrol”, please, do us all imperfect people a favor and go move to your own stinkin island…somewhere far far away. For those of you who happen to be on your “Holy Ghost Patrol” if you honestly want to serve the Lord and maybe this is something you struggle with because of your young Christian walk, or lack of a Christian walk….let me remind you of a Story….

John 8: 1-11
Go ahead, look up the story. Jesus is in the temple with the people teaching them, and the Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery unto Jesus. They told him that she should be stoned. Jesus wrote something on the floor (I don’t know that I would want to know what he wrote but I have my thoughts) and when they (the scribes and Pharisees) asked him repeatedly what to do Jesus said “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” With that they all left because of his words...

If only some of us could grasp that story and realize, that your actions affect so many people! Those of you who like to meddle in others business here’s some verses from GOD’S WORD..

Proverbs 18:8
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
Proverbs 20:19
“He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 26:20
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Proverbs 26:22
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly”

Talebearer meaning Gossip or Slanderer

How sad to be known as a Gossip or Slanderer. The Lord must have thought it important to repeat Proverbs 18:8 in Proverbs 26:22! Maybe that’s because its so true! When one goes around gossiping about others, people’s feelings are hurt, their hearts are crushed and they don’t know what they can do to show their face in church. Now some people are a little stronger and can ignore it, but even those people are still hurt by your slandering gossiping words!

I have seen it personally in my life. My parents are not in church because some people thought it would be good to talk about their daughter (that would be me) when they didn’t know my parents were around. I have seen teenagers run out of a church because they did not conform to a “standard”! I have seen teens run out of a church because some adults do not know how to keep their mouths shut! I have seen people run out of a church because some have no compassion for a struggling Christian!

I do not look at those who struggle with sin and think they could never serve God. I do not look at those who go out and defiantly Sin as a failure and think God could never use them. But what I will always do is encourage them and let them know I’m praying for them…why? Because one day God may get a hold of them, and they need to know that there are loving Christians who will take them back! I want to be like the Prodigals father…Standing there with open arms to hug their necks when they come back! For those of you who would rather stand over in the corner, pointing your fingers at them, whispering and laughing as that person continue to do wrong, just know, one day, you will stand before our Heavenly Father and give an account for what you did in life. I don’t know that I would want to have that on my shoulders…you know…you being the one that drove someone out of church!

Think twice before you gossip the next time. Because it might be the time you drive someone to a point that YOU will regret for the rest of YOUR life!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ok, so it was a rough start, emotionally, physically and mentally. I thought to myself "why on earth are you going to try this??? You are just gonna let yourself and everyone else down!". That would be the honorable Dickson thought process (yes, my family is the KING of negative thinking!) of course. Well, I started it anyway, the whole new way of eating. Mostly Organic, no refined/processed food, drinking a TON of water and eating more often in less portion!

Some of you know of the struggles I have had for over 15 years. The unexplained weight gain, the moodiness (my poor family and husband) the non existent energy. I would play sports, hang out with friends, swim during the summer, and the list goes on. I was a normal teen without explanation as to why I kept gaining weight. Going on diet after diet with my family to try and lose weight. My eating habits weren’t the BEST but they weren’t so bad either. 15+ years later, I am married, have watched each and every close friend get pregnant, have a baby and live their life (So I take that back, I can think of one or two friends who have not had that happen just yet). I could not offer that to my husband, 2 miscarriages and 5 babies in heaven later, the end result is a marriage that almost didn’t make it and has been renewed by God!

With all the said, My friend Kerry, told me of some struggles a friend of hers was going through concerning trying to get pregnant. I listened to everything she said. Did a ton of research (which I wont bore you with!) and with tears of joy/frustration/sadness/and finally understanding, I realized this is what I most likely had!! I had been told by 3 doctors I had it, but they never told me what to do about it! Just said I needed to lose weight! That seemed to be the answer for everything!! Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Yep, that’s what I probably have, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING points in that direction! Every symptom that was unexplainable to doctors, like having soreness when someone would poke me in my upper arm (I remember onetime someone punched me in my upper arm just joking around, it wouldn’t have hurt a normal person, and I fell to the ground crying! It hurt so bad!), or the constant fatigue, constant hunger, constant weight gain (that at times wasn’t so gradual), the list just goes on!

Anyway, after all this research, a ton of books read, lists of foods that I can and cannot have, I officially started the diet last Monday (June 15, 2009). I am amazed how much I have changed. I understand my hunger a little more! I know to eat every 2 to 3 hours. I carry fruit around with me at all times! I eat a good healthy breakfast (My new favorite thing to eat right now is 3 hardboiled eggs with mustard! Don’t knock it until you try it! Lol) then have an apple, or a peach or a banana a couple of hours later, then another one of those same fruits before lunch, then a salad for lunch, then two more fruit snacks (the ones listed) before dinner then a nice and healthy dinner (I made really good turkey burgers the other night! I was impressed lol) and then a fruit before bed time. I drink a TON of water! I mean it!

Now, down to the nitty gritty….

I did cheat one night, had Wings from BWW’s with sauce (sigh, I felt horrible litteraly after eating them) and I did eat bread one day (we went to red lobster so I could have fish! I couldn’t stop myself I had to eat their biscuits!!! Lol). I do crave bread every once in a while, but I talk myself out of it and go eat a piece of fruit!

On the plus side…

My tenderness is not so bad
My joints do not hurt
I get a round a lot better
I wake up refreshed
I don’t find myself tired all the time (Its still there some though!)
AND I lost 12 pounds!!! All in one stinkin week!!
I know, I know its water, but hey 12 pounds of water is gone!!!

I have walked a few nights over the last couple of weeks. The greatest part is walking with Rusty (My dog) and he makes me laugh so much as he runs around the campus of MBC smelling everything, chasing ground hogs and squirrels and finding puddles to splash in! We have a great time!

So I write all this to ask one thing of you! Okay maybe two…

Please pray for me….that I will stay strong and continue to do well on this “healthy” way of eating. Maybe the end result will be a note talking about me expecting ;)
And two, Please ask me how I’m doing every once in a while. It’s good to be accountable to someone :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my adventure!

Your prayers are much appreciated!

If any of you have a good website for organic/healthy websites for recipies or tips that would also be much appreciated!!!

You can follow my ups and downs on this blog

Monday, February 23, 2009

14 years and counting...

Thats right...14 years ago last November I bowed my head in the back room of the church auditorium and asked Jesus to come into my heart. If there was ever a time in my life that impacted me the most...that was the day. I could tell you how it all led up to that day....but thats for another time...a time I am inspired to write my story...the whole story....
Today, I want to write, I feel inspired to write, but the words just aren't there. My thoughts are fuzzy my heart is confused but what I do know is God is so good to me. The last couple of weeks I have been excited about doing Ladies devotions with the dorm girls. At first I couldn't believe the thought of ME doing devotions with girls was even coming out of my mouth but the more I thought about each girl and the more I thought about my days of being a dorm student 10 years ago (I can't even believe its been 10 YEARS!!!) the more I had a burden for it.
The first week, we played the game "2 truths and a lie" where you write down three things about yourself two being true and one being a lie. Then we had to figure out which was the lie. It was fun and interesting :) Mrs. Lisa Carr (the Dean of Women) gave the devotion on loving one another and the girls were given an assignment at the end of the devotion to decorate a door for the person they picked from the bowl. It was to encourage and remind them of each others love. It went over well and the girls seemed excited about it.
The next week we played a game that was to put them in a trusting and take them out of their comfort zone. Lets just say, it was to stinkin funny but they were all great sports! I spoke about so many things...Judgement, sin, encouragement, love, testing times....the list goes on. I shared a little of my testimony and I pray that the girls see that what they do in the next 4 to 6 years will determined where they will be in the ministry for the Lord.
I have been over encouraged about the meetings and it has inspired me to search the scriptures more. I have come to realize the times I am in the flesh, the times I need to stop and listen and the times that I know God is speaking with me. It's not the same each time, but its one of the most amazing feelings! I am thankful for where I am today. I have a husband who wants to serve the Lord with all his heart, a Church that preaches doctrine and takes a stand, a Pastor and co-Pastor who are some of our greatest friends, and a group of friends, though some may be far away, they are always close in heart and spirit!
14 years and counting...for many, exciting, and wonderful times of serving the LORD!

A verse to remember at all times.... James 1:19 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In love for sure...

As the days fly by...they are full of the many tasks that I must complete. It seems that the tasks never end and in the midst of the ongoing list that is constant to run through my thoughts, there is one thought, one moment that is sure to make it's self known. It is always making it's way to the front of the list and I must admit, I am thankful it does. Its the thought that, there is not a day that goes by, that I don't thank God for my wonderful, amazing, loving and godly husband. There are so many things I could say, I probably would not be able to capture them all into words but what I can tell you is...
There is a look he gives me that still makes the butterflies flutter
His kiss is amazing
His hugs are addicting
His laugh is one of my favorites
His compassion is inspiring
I love his sarcasm...most of the time
He likes to get me mad just so he can make up with me
His understanding of the Bible is something I could only wish I had
He can just look at me and I know I'm beautiful
He makes me see the world in a different light
When I walk into a room, he makes me feel as if I'm the only one there
His voice is comforting
He has some of the most amazing talents
His OCD drives me crazy but makes me laugh
He knows what makes me glow
His attention to detail is surprising
His words are loving
The list could go on if only I had the words. I am thankful for my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my life. He's more than I could dream of and more than I deserve.
I love you Timmy are my everything....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Love that is unspeakable...

WOW! Its been forever!!!! Lets see if I can get you updated fast enough!

November 5th Tim and I headed from Glen Burnie, MD back to Pontiac MI. On the way we made a "slight" detour and stopped in New Heartford CT to see our best friends Rich and Kerry Zawadzki and their new addition to the family Eric. What a great time we had!! We spent 2 1/2 days with them and just enjoyed every minute. Its a blessing to have such great and wonderful friends! From there we headed to Buffalo, New York to spend time with Tims Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and cousins. We always enjoy sitting and listening to the many stories from Grandma and Grandpa Lee. We finally made it to MI November 10th and were over joyed. God has brought us so far in the last 10 years (7 1/2 of them are marriage) that I cannot describe it.
When we arrived Tim started work the next day at the new location for 1-800-Pack-Rat (for those who do not know, this is very similar to Pods but better of course lol) and I was trying to recover from a very not so nice cold. We joined Shalom Baptist Church that Wednesday and I cannot tell you how much I missed Shalom. There is nothing like getting a full plate that overfloweth of MEAT from the messages! By the following week I still was unable to find a job and I was trying to figure out what God would have for me to do. The job market in MI is very scarce and the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the US. I mentioned to Dr. Carr that I would still love to work in his book ministry if he still needed the help. He was more than happy to let me help and he even insisted that I get PAID! I was more than happy to help and not be paid but he insisted...and I couldn't stop him :) So Ive been working in the book ministry ever since. I was able to clean out a storage room to make into my office (that took forever!) and I am organizing and creating so many projects! There is a lot into making something work! lol
Tim registered for classes January 12th and is loving going back to school. He keeps saying its a lot different going to school when you have been married and your money means something to you! lol

I cannot figure out the words to describe how much God has done for us. He has brought us through some of the hardest times I've ever experienced and I'm not fool to know there won't be more. God has provided in ways I could not imagine. He is more aware of what I need than I am! He has given me the ability to be a blessing to my Pastor as well as the church. I have made some of the dearest friends! My relationship with the love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate, my husband is stronger than ever before. Daily I learn to love him more and am thankful that God would allow me to marry a man that wants to serve HIM. I cannot put into words how much I have watched Tim grow. He has love for the lost, he has compassion for those who want to do right, he thinks about the best way to react to something, he stands strong for his beliefs and convictions. He's one of the most amazing people in my life. I pray that I can support and meet his needs so that he can continue to do God's work!

2008 ended with the birth of a nephew. Jonathan Kozil Lee was a special nephew (not that none of the other 7 aren't :)). He had a tumor that was 3/4's the size of his heart. The doctors didn't expect him to make it full term and he proved them wrong. They didn't expect him to make it through the natural birthing process, he proved him wrong, again. They didn't expect his heart to continue beating, and he them wrong, again. They kept him in the hospital for 10 days and not one thing was wrong. There was still a large mass on his heart but it was not affecting the way he lived or functioned. They released him to go home the day after Christmas! What a blessing. The family had him home, wire free, and was able to spend lots of time and love with him. January 2, 2009 Tim called me and said he was on his way to pick me up for lunch. I was not shocked to be going to lunch with my husband but it was just odd how it all came about. Tim arrived and we left. I knew something was on his mind but I just brushed it off that he was not having a good day at work. We arrived at olive garden and were seated. I asked if he was ok and he just looked at me and said "I have something to tell you". I didn't know what to think. To be honest I thought he had lost his job (thats the pessimist in me). He looked me in my eyes, grabbed my hands and said "Jonathan didn't make it". I was in complete shock, tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't think of anything else but that beautiful precious face I had only seen a week ago. Jonathan had made an impression and a difference in so many peoples lives in the 17 days he was alive and the 9 months he was in the womb. so many people learned how to pray, how to seek God's face and it even brought family so much closer. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to face. I know it was harder for the Ohio Lee family (Ken, Kim, Kenneth, Andrew and Micah) but I had no words to say to them when I saw them Sunday at the viewing. They comforted me by saying that us being there is all they needed. It still brings tears to my eyes as I see the picture in my mind of a precious lil baby laying in a casket. He looked like he was napping. I never cried so hard in my entire life. I wasn't mad at God, I didn't blame anyone. I just knew that he was put on this earth for some reason. There were many reasons but I am thankful for the few hours I was able to spend with him. The family was thankful for the 17 days of love they were given. The Lee family is doing well. It is still hard but they have many memories and pictures to live with.

Today I am more thankful than I was yesterday. Today I'm more in love with my husband than I was the day before. Today I am seeking the Lord's face, more than I was the day before.

God is good!
With much Love and prayers!