Connor’s Story

When I was 28 weeks pregnant with my first child I was referred to a specialist at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver after my OB saw something strange on an ultrasound.  After an initial ultrasound at St. Luke’s, Dr. Richard Porreco, discovered a CCAM (Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation) in my son’s right lung.  The CCAM was displacing his good lung tissue and his heart leading to hydrops.  According to doctors, my son, Connor, had less than a 50% chance of being born alive.

Connor by Porreco PG 2

This is an excerpt by the doctor that was in charge of my care at Presbyterian St. Luke’s – I am the patient he is referring to in this article and that is the ultrasound of my son’s chest

As if that information wasn’t bad enough, I was immediately admitted to the hospital and put on bed rest until I gave birth. They didn’t seem to care that at this point I was only a little over halfway through my pregnancy. Little did I know, I was in for six, horrendous weeks of bed rest during which I endured endured seven, painful, in-womb surgeries involving large needles and little to no way to ease the pain in order to drain the CCAM in my son’s chest and remove excess amniotic fluid from me.

Connor by Porreco PG 3

This shows Connor’s diagnosis – Type 1 congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation with mediastinal shift causing hydrops. At 28 wks 6 days pregnant Dr. P performed a fetal thoracentesis (stuck a huge needle through my stomach into Connor’s chest to drain the cyst) and drained 80 cc of fluid off of Connor. Then again at 29 wks and 3 days they drained 88 cc of fluid. At 30 wks 5 days Dr. P drained 700 cc of amnio fluid from me as Connor was unable to swallow it like normal babies do. All in all Dr. P drained my amnio fluid twice and performed 5 in-womb surgeries on Connor. I went into labor at 34 weeks and 4 days. His apgars were terrible – basically, he was not stable and chances of survival looked grim

During that time, I was told over and over by medical staff that my son was gravely ill and that there was a very slim chance of survival for him.

Connor by Porreco PG 4

The natural history of Connor’s diagnosis is one of in utero or early neonatal death

It’s like I was being punched in the stomach every single day. I was scared, angry and overwhelmingly lonely though never alone. I spent a long time feeling sorry for myself and blaming myself for what was happening with my baby and in the beginning, I threw tantrums and fought my “jail sentence”. I wanted nothing more than to escape. I repeatedly asked to leave the hospital just to go to church or see the outside world. I think the doctors thought I was crazy. I think they were right. I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. I was living in a nightmare that I so desperately wanted to wake up from but I never did. I questioned God and repeatedly asked him, “Why me?” At some point I made a decision to trust God and to put all of my hope in him. The truth was, I had no other hope. No other choice and I’d seen some pretty amazing healing miracles in my family already. The seed of faith was there I just had to water it. So I took control of my situation. I chose to fight. I chose to trust God in the face of death. I chose to trust Him and deny my fears and doubts. I chose to live in a realm outside of the natural. I dove head first into the unknown with God. The God of my childhood, the God of my mother, the God that would soon be my own.

I prayed God’s word over my son all day, every day. I spoke life over him. I praised God for the healing that I believed we would receive speaking what was not true as though it were true (Romans 4:17). Before every in-womb surgery I believed that the CCAM would be gone and I thanked God for Connor’s immediate healing. While that nasty thing came back every single time I didn’t lose faith and become angry with God. No. Instead, I went back to my room, my prison cell, and as I laid in bed hooked up to monitors and contracting from the recent trauma to my uterus, I thanked God. Yep. I thanked Him. I chose to praise Him I chose to praise my God in the most horrific and terrifying storm of my life because He was still God regardless of my circumstance. He was still in control. He was still good; still sovereign. My condition didn’t nullify His position. It was only meant to magnify Him more. To put His glory on display. I marched on. I didn’t curl up and die. I didn’t give up. I looked up. I kept my eyes on my Father. I looked to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. I endured.

Finally, after I quit fighting, after I surrendered everything to God my jail sentence ended just as suddenly as it had begun. On January 9, 2008 Nick and I would welcome our six week premature, little miracle, Connor Isaac, into the world, but not without one more fight. (tell quick story of my labor and almost dying)

The doctors warned us that Connor would not cry after delivery but he cried, PRAISE GOD! That swollen, one-eared, gravely-ill, little fighter cried. He cried the weakest cry I had ever heard but it was his and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, the evil cyst inside of my sweet boy was not gone and as Dr. Poreeco was stitching me up the nurses rushed Connor over to the corner of the room to get it drained and then they rushed Connor to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Not long after he was delivered, a surgeon came to my room asking for consent to perform surgery.  She told us that Connor was not stable and the CCAM needed to be removed immediately.  She also informed us that the odds of him surviving surgery were very bad but she would do her best; as she spoke she was shaking, she radiated fear.  At that point I was especially glad that I have been redeemed, that my hope and trust are not in man, but in the one true, living God.  My husband signed the consent papers and she left.

Newborn Connor

My sweet baby boy’s newborn picture

Once again we turned to God.  We began to pray out loud in the spirit and tell the enemy that Connor was a child of God, that he could not have him, and that Connor was healed.  We called on God again and believed that Connor would live through the surgery.  Only a few minutes later the surgeon returned, and with good news!  The CCAM disappeared!!!  They did an ultrasound of Connor’s chest to determine where they would need to operate and they couldn’t find the CCAM; and better yet, Connor stabilized!  Our God is SOOO AWESOME!!!

Three days later the CCAM was back but this time Connor was stable enough for surgery.  But I was not so sure.  To me, allowing Connor to have surgery would be admitting that God was not in control, that he could not heal my baby.  But God had a plan, he made something wonderful happen.  My pastor visited me in the hospital.  He asked to pray over Connor and my husband and I heartily accepted his request.  We took him to Connor’s isolette, his temporary baby bed.  Pastor R. laid hands on our son, claiming God’s healing promises for him, calling down power from Heaven, and taking his place beside us on our battlefield for Connor’s life.  I admitted to my pastor my apprehension in regards to Connor having surgery and the blow it could issue to my faith.  He gently reminded me that God uses people and their gifts for his good.  God works through people.  Sweet relief!  I immediately felt my guilt subside; Connor would have surgery and I would still put my trust in God to bring him through.  On January 12, 2008 my precious son became the 1st  baby to undergo a laparoscopic lung surgery; 2/3 of his right lung were removed and afterward Connor spent 1 month in the NICU.

During that month my family and I prayed over him, anointed him with oil, and continued to speak in faith.  I used to anoint Psalm 145 in my Bible and read it over and over and over to Connor.  God watched over his word to perform it, his word did not and never will return void.  Connor came home on February 8, 2008; such an incredible gift from God!  The doctors said that Connor would be on oxygen for 1 year and Connor came off of oxygen just shy of 3 months old!  We were told that Connor may always have just 1/3 of a right lung but at 1 year old Connor was discharged from his lung surgeon’s care because his lung re-grew!

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Prayer Challenge – Day 7

“You, Lord, are my choice, and I will obey you.  With all my heart I beg you to be kind to me, just as you have promised.  I pay careful attention as you lead me, and I follow closely.  As soon as you command, I do what you say,” Psalm 119:57-60.

Father, may my family and I be at rest in Your presence as our hearts are kept safe and pure in Your loving hands.  Let us always worship You with all of our hearts and do not let us walk away from Your life-giving commands.  Teach us to treasure Your word above all else and let it keep us from sinning against You.  Let my family and I always praise You, Lord.  Don’t let us question Your character; You are always good and Your motives are always pure!  Your ways are righteous and You deal justly with Your children.  My family and I will never forget that, God.  We will never let our circumstances tarnish Your good name.  Our love for You will never be spoiled and our hearts will remain pure and fixed on You and Your laws. 

Give us wisdom and understanding in abundance.  Let us continually discover the wonders of Your law.  Point out your rules to us with kindness and patience and we will not disobey even one of them.  Direct us by Your commands!  We love to do what You say.  Just as David said, make my family and me want to obey you, rather than to be rich.  Take away our foolish desires, and let us find life by walking with you.  We are Your servants!  Do for us as You have promised to do for those who worship You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Purity:

  • 1 Timothy 1:5 – “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake are filled with love; love that comes from their pure hearts, clear consciences and genuine faith.  My sons are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that You desire. Connor and Blake turn from all moral filth and evil and they humbly accept Your word that has been planted in them.  Save them, Lord! 

Keep their thoughts and actions pure and wholesome.  Lead them not into temptation but into a deeper understanding of Your values and of the desires that You have planted in their hearts.  Root out anything that the enemy has placed in my sons hearts or minds in an attempt to destroy them.  Their hearts and minds are guarded in Your Son, Jesus.  My sons are under Your covering, Lord.  They are protected from impurity and lawlessness in all forms.  They walk in the light of Your truth at the edge of this world; they do not conform to it.  Make them determined to follow after You and Your laws, God.  Let them be caught when they do wrong and speak renewal and healing into their hearts, minds, and souls in the places in which they are broken.  Help them to strengthen themselves in You from a young age, God.  

Do not let them rely on anyone else to help them cultivate a loving and devoted relationship with You.  Make them realize that it is up to them to follow You and get to know You better.  Plant a desire to know You more in Connor and Blake’s hearts and let them stick by each other in the face of resistance; let them encourage each other in You, God.  Two are stronger than one; my sons are strong because they do not depart from one another or from You.

  • 1 John 3:3 – “And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake live in eager expectation of Your second coming, Lord Jesus.  In their expectation they keep themselves pure just as You are pure.  Help them.  Staying pure and clean in this blemished and dirty world is difficult.  Let my sons lean on You, Jesus.  Continually intercede for them and plead their case to Your Father as You sit at His righteous right hand.  I pray that Connor and Blake would be white as snow and that their hearts would be clean and upright in Your sight, Oh God.  See my sons through the righteousness bought for them by Your Son.  They are cloaked in forgiveness and grace.  Your mercy has been poured over them like cleansing waters, washing away the dirt of sin.  Let Connor and Blake not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 

  • James 1:27 – “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Prayer:  Father, Connor and Blake practice pure and genuine religion in Your eyes.  They care for orphans and widows in their distress; they do not let the world corrupt them.  My sons are not concerned with accumulating worldly possessions, God.  Instead, they are concerned with being the hands and feet of Your ministry on this earth.  Let them give generously to the least of these.  Let them love as You love.  Send my sons to the hurting and the helpless in this world, Father.  Break their hearts for what breaks Yours, God, and convict them to make a difference!  Cultivate a kind and compassionate spirit in each of them.  Make my sons good stewards of their finances and the provisions that You have blessed them with so that they may bless others.  With cheerful hearts Connor and Blake will give You more than their first fruits.  They will give to You and bless Your Kingdom, Lord, especially when their flesh would tell them that they have nothing to give.  Let my sons give out of their emptiness and lack in each area of their lives and give it back to them in good measure; create a cycle of blessing, Lord. 

  • Philippians 4:8 – “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake fix their thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  They only think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Lord, I ask You to continually fill them with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that Your Spirit gives.  Let them live lives worthy of Your Son’s sacrifice.  In every way my sons will bear fruit in every good work they do and they will grow in the true knowledge of You, God.  Strengthen them with all power according to Your glorious might so that they may have great endurance and patience.  Help them to give joyful thanks to You, Father, because You have given them an eternal inheritance; they are part of Your holy people in Your Kingdom of Light.  You rescued them from the dominion of darkness and brought the sons that I love into the kingdom of the Son that You love.  Thank You!!  May Your Son’s sacrifice never be in vain!!

  • Matthew 5:8 – “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.”

Prayer:  God, bless Connor and Blake for they are pure in heart.  Let them see You!  Open the eyes of my sons, God.  Let them see wonderful things from Your law.  Do not let them live in darkness; let them always see Your light shining for them.  Do not let my sons lose sight of the blessings that You have laid out before them.  Teach them to be content and hopeful in all situations so that they will not miss opportunities to claim blessings in disguise.  Show Connor and Blake how to be led by Your word and not by their emotions.  Remind them to clothe themselves each day in Your grace and in the armor of Your word.  Let Your peace and righteousness permeate their souls and cast out any impurity.  Connor and Blake will lead pure and godly lives in constant praise of Your law and honest love for You. 

  • Job 16:17 – “Yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.”

 Prayer:  Connor and Blake’s hands are free of violence, God, and their prayers are pure.  The righteousness of their Savior covers them; they are sin-free in Your eyes, Lord.  Jesus is Connor and Blake’s advocate.  He is their witness.  He is always interceding for my sons; He pleads for mercy on their behalf.  Jesus never turns His ear away from the cries of my sons.  Let them always remember this; stamp it on their hearts and minds forever.  Remind them to pray without ceasing because they are always heard and always answered.  You, Lord, hear their cries and You save them.  My sons know You, God; they acknowledge You and they love You in deed and in profession.  My sons love You and Your laws with sincerity and conviction; their love is true.  Connor and Blake devour every word that comes from Your mouth and they do not turn from Your ways.  

  • Proverbs 20:11 – “Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.”

Prayer:  Though Connor and Blake are children they are known by the way they act.  Let their conduct be pure and right, God.  One day my sons will not be children and they will be fully responsible for their actions.  Please let Your laws be printed on their minds, let Your word be firmly planted in their hearts, and let their souls be deeply rooted in Your living water long before they are fully grown.  My children will be mature in Your wisdom, Lord, before they are mature in physical stature.  May everything they say and do be a reflection of Your love and laws.  Make my sons wise enough to learn what You have commanded so that they may be found pure in Your eyes.  Connor and Blake will know that You are their place of safety and their shield.  Your word is their only hope; Your name is their strong tower. 

  • Philippians 1:9-10 – “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”

Prayer:  God, let Connor and Blake’s love overflow more and more and let them keep on growing in Your knowledge and in their understanding if Your ways.  I want my sons to understand what really matters.  I want them to know that living their lives in pursuit of You and in line with Your statutes is the only way to achieve success in this life.  Engrain this concept into their hearts and minds.  Fill my sons with wisdom.  God, help Connor and Blake to live pure and blameless lives until Jesus’ return.  My sons will not chase after fleeting and meaningless pleasures.  They will stay grounded in Your word and hopeful in Your promises.  They trust in You and they will not be shaken or deceived.  They will follow in Your footsteps, Lord Jesus, and they will not falter.  For You command Your angels concerning them, God, to guard them in all their ways.  They will not strike their feet upon stones.  No disasters will come near their dwelling places.  No temptation will overcome them.  They will remain in You and You will remain in them.

  • Psalm 119:9 – “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.”

Prayer:  Connor and Blake stay pure while they are young and into old age by obeying Your word, Lord.  Your teachings are wonderful,     and my sons respect them all.  Understanding Your word brings light to their minds.  They honestly want to know everything You teach, so teach them.  Think about my sons and remember Your love for them.  Be kind to them for they love Your name and Your statutes are their counselors.   Keep your promises to them and don’t let them stumble or let sin control their lives.  Protect them from the evil one so that they can obey Your laws and live in peace and safety.

  • Philippians 2:15 – “So that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

Prayer:  Father, don’t let Connor and Blake be criticized; they live clean and innocent lives as Your sons.  They shine like bright lights in this world full of crooked and perverse people.  They will not turn from Your laws; they will continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.  It is You, God, who works in my sons; will them to act in order to fulfill Your good purpose.  Help them to do everything without grumbling  or arguing so that they will shine among the corrupt like stars in the sky.  Let Connor and Blake hold firmly to Your word for it is life and health to their bodies.  Let them go where You have called them and let their attitudes and actions be pleasing in Your sight, God, so that they may rejoice when Your Son returns.

A Side Note on Obedience…

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart,” Ezekiel 36:26.

First, let me apologize for falling behind in posting scripture and prayers for the 21 day prayer challenge.  I have been extra busy the past couple of days.  But, I am almost finished with days 5 and 6.  I will post them ASAP.  Now, onto the reason for this post.

If you are doing the 21 day prayer challenge or if you have been following my blog you have probably noticed that I have been praying for obedience and submission to authority for my family and for myself.  I have struggled in the past with rebellion and in general I don’t like being submissive.  As I was praying for my sons and husband to submit to God’s authority and the authority in their lives I felt God pulling at my heartstrings.  He was asking me if I am willing and obedient in my own walk with Him and in submission to the authority in my life.  I had to stop and think about the state of my heart and my actions.  Here are some things I reflected on:

  • Do I willingly submit to ALL of God’s commands?
  • Have I given every area of my life over to Him and His will?
  • Do I submit to my husband as the head of my household?
  • Do I show respect to the authority that God has placed in my life?
  • Does my attitude reflect one of willing obedience or rebellion?
  • If I am outwardly obedient do I still harbor negative thoughts and attitudes about the authority in my life?

I realized that God has placed every authority in my life for a reason.  The people over me may not know more than I do or be super spiritual but they were chosen by God to be in charge of me in some aspect of my life.  While I may not agree with God’s decisions (gasp!) or with His thinking or timing I know that He  always has a plan and He loves me.  He wants the absolute best for me and I have to be willing to be broken in spirit by submitting completely to His will in order to be made whole. 

I believe that I have made a heart change and that God has taken my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh.  I believe that His Spirit is within me and He is helping me to choose His will over my desires.  Just this past Friday (the 4th) I was on my way to pick up Connor from preschool and I got pulled over!  Now, I hadn’t been pulled over in YEARS prior to this incident and I was a little upset and a lot angry.  I didn’t even realize that I was speeding, to be truthful, and I guess I should have been paying better attention but I was in a hurry to get Connor and get back to my grandparents’ house for lunch.  Though I prayed for favor while the officer was running my license I wasn’t given any.  In fact, I received a $100 fine and a 4 point ticket!  After graciously accepting my punishment and going about my way again, I made a conscious effort to not let my emotions get the best of me.  I prayed for God to keep me under control and to see the positive in the situation.  I trusted that God would bring something good out of this yucky situation because I believe that His word is truth and that is what His word says (Romans 8:28). 

Well, today is Sunday and I went to church with my cousin and my parents this morning.  It was a great service all about God’s strength in our weaknesses.  I prayed for God to shine a light on my weaknesses and to show Himself to be strong in the areas I need it most:  finances, obedience, controlling my emotions, etc.  After service, my dad handed me a $100 bill and told me to pay for my ticket.  WOW!  Wouldn’t you know it?  I didn’t take my eyes off of God because of the anger and disappointment I felt.  I kept my trust in Him and expected good things to come.  I continued to pray for favor and provision.  God is faithful!  He showed me favor in the eyes of my dad and He showed me provision through my parents’ finances. 

Obedience to God and submission to the authority He places in our lives is key.  Without obedience we will never walk in the freedom that God intended for us!  I don’t know about you, but I choose to walk in freedom and in victory and the more I think about it, obedience doesn’t seem so bad…

 

Prayer Challenge – Day 3

God, as I pray for my 3 boys to submit willingly and joyfully to authority in their lives I also pray for myself. As I ask You to root any rebellion or selfish pride out of my boys I also ask that You would root it out of me. Put a desire to obey and live a life of meekness and humility in my boys and in me. Father, as I beg You to make my boys offer You the sacrifice of a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart I also beg You to make me offer You the same pleasing sacrifice. As I pour out my heart like water before Your throne on behalf of my beloved boys, I also pour my heart out on my own behalf. This prayer challenge has become just as vital to my spiritual growth and well-being as it is to the spiritual growth and well-being of my boys. My heart aches for the salvation of my boys. But I cling to the hope that You have given me in Your word. I stand on the promise of Psalm 91:16 and by faith I call it into being. You will satisfy N, C & B with long life and You will show them Your salvation. Since Your word does not return void, God, my boys will dwell in Your house forever and ever!

Father, You know that my boys’ happiness and quality of life is of the utmost importance to me! In order for me to count my life on this earth as a success it is necessary for my boys to completely surrender themselves to you; mind, body, spirit and soul. God, You know that I am faithful to You. You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know that I delight in Your commands and that Your statutes are my counselors. So, in accordance with Your word, You will give me the desires of my heart. I cannot express in words how great my desire is for my boys to walk with You all of their days. Thank You in advance for Your answer to my prayers. Thank You for fulfilling my desire. Thank You for being faithful to Your promises and loving toward me because I am Your child and I call You by name.

May my family and I never cease to be amazed by Your loving-kindness and may Your praises always be on our lips. May we tell of Your great deeds and the splendor of Your majesty forever and ever. Amen.

Submission to Authority:

  • Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders. Be willing to do what they say. They are responsible for your spiritual welfare, so they are always watching to protect you. Obey them so that their work will give them joy, not grief. It won’t help you to make it hard for them.

Prayer: Lord, submission to authority has always been one of my biggest struggles. You know this because You know my heart and You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I can already see the seeds of rebellion taking root in the soil of my sons’ hearts and it scares me! I know first hand what rebellion and disobedience can lead to. I have suffered the consequences of my lack of submission to the appointed authorities in my life and ultimately to You. I don’t want my children to go through what I did. I don’t want them to love their lives so much that they would live carnally and turn their backs on Your commands. Help me! Lord, I draw a blood line around my children. I break any iniquity in my life and Nicks; I pray that any iniquities in either of our family trees will not be passed onto our children. The curse is broken! C & B are free from the law of sin! They are engrafted into You, Jesus. They only inherit generational blessings; not curses. Their DNA is YOURS!

Help me to be a glowing example of submission to the authorities in my life and to Your divine authority. Father, my challenge to submit starts in my own home; in my marriage. As Your word states, a wife must submit to her husband as he is the head of the household. Submission to my husband is not always easy for me; in fact it is a daily struggle. I want to obey Your commands and submit to Nick, but sometimes I feel that I know better than him. But, I never know better than You, Lord. Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Teach me to see submission to Nick and every other authority in my life as submission to You and Your perfect and divine plan for my life. Don’t let me see it through my own selfish pride, as a tool designed to squash my self-esteem and box me in. Let me see it as You have designed it to be, as an act of my love and obedience to You.

I pray also that Nick would be kept from the snare of selfish pride. Teach him to submit to the proper authorities in his life and also to You and Your law. Help him to love You and not live in lawlessness.

As Nick and I are taught to submit to the authorities in our lives and ultimately to Your sovereign rule, let C & B follow our example. Let them find joy and stability in submitting to Nick and me as their parents and to every other authority in their lives. Let them see the truth in submission. Reveal Your heart to them in this arena. Lead them away from life endangering rebellion and disobedience; lead them in the way everlasting. Point my sons to the cross. Soften their hearts and make them submit to You and all those You have charged to keep them.

Let my family not be turned away from the gates of Heaven with the harsh rebuke of our Savior, “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness,”; but let us be called good and faithful servants. Teach us to live our lives always submitting to Your will and loving You with all of our hearts; in thought, in word and in action.

  • James 4:7 – “So humble yourselves before God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Prayer: Lord, I think the key word in this verse from James is humble. Again, You ask that we abandon our selfish ways and our own pride and follow You. You ask that we die to self and live for You; to lose our flesh and sinful nature and take up the cross. We are to robe ourselves in the righteousness of Your Holy Son; to live the way You desire: in communion with Your Spirit. We are to live in freedom and in complete acknowledgment that Jesus is the vine and we are mere extensions of Him. To do so, we must live by the laws and precepts of Your Spirit, God. We must recognize Your supremacy and our insignificance. We must be humble!! But in order to be humble we must be subservient.

Lord, Your laws fit together so perfectly! Like the bricks of a house, they build upon one another – one just as important as the next; strengthening us in our walk with You and fortifying our defenses against the enemy. Thank You for a sense of understanding regarding this truth. Teach Nick and me to wholly and faithfully humble ourselves before You. As we humble ourselves we come into obedience and under the covering of Your protection. We so desperately need Your protection, Lord! Show us how to effectively resist the devil and flee from his ways; allowing us to stay under the cover of Your protection.

C & B follow Nick and me as we follow You, God, and they humble themselves before You. They are the picture of humility and submission to You and Your statutes, God. They offer You the only sacrifices pleasing to You: broken spirits and broken and contrite hearts. My sons serve You with all that is within them. C & B actively resist the devil; they are disgusted by him and his ways. Thank you Lord, that the enemy flees from my sons! They are Yours, God. The enemy has no power over them for they are ALWAYS under the cover of Your protection. You are their strong tower. You are their refuge and strength. Thank You God, You are their strong protector!

Thank You for covering my family and me with Your feathers and giving us refuge under Your wings. Let us always abide in You so that You, Lord, will always abide in us! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

  • 1 Corinthians 16:16 – “Submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion.”

Prayer: God, I ask that You would put people in my life and the lives of my family members that would help us to grow in Your ways. I pray that these people would heed Your call and direction; that they would operate in godly wisdom and Christ’s love. Lord, send devoted servants of the gospel into our lives and help us to submit to them and follow their ways. Let them lead us to the cross in every aspect of our lives and remind us to seek Your will in all that we do. Show my family and me how to serve You with the same fierce and loyal devotion and send us into the lives of others to bless them as we have been blessed.

C & B submit to devoted servants of the gospel in their lives and model their behavior. They thirst for more of You and burn with the desire to spread Your hope and love in a dark and broken world. My sons are aglow with Your Spirit, Father. They shine for You.

My family and I give ourselves over to You. We are Your vessels. Use us for Your purposes. We are open, we are watching and waiting. We are obedient and submissive. We are seeking Your face and Your approval. We long to be Your hands and feet. Let our lives be a testament to Your power and might; to Your love and mercy; to Your wisdom and faithfulness. To You be the glory, God.

  • Ephesians 5:21 – “Be willing to help and care for each other because of Christ. By doing this, you honor Christ.”

Prayer: God, I can’t help but believe that this prayer challenge is as much for me as it is for the boys in my life. Each law from Your word convicts me more than the next. How can I expect obedience, submission and loyal devotion from my boys if I don’t hold myself to the same standards? I don’t want to be a hypocrite or worse yet, I don’t want to set my boys up for failure. I’m so sorry for ignoring the plank in my eye and focusing so intently on the splinters in the eyes of my loved ones. Forgive me, Father. Take this judgmental spirit away from me. Your compassion and gentleness in disciplining me and in bringing me understanding is awe-inspiring. Your grace is not lost on me!

God, I long for Nick and me to parent our sons as You parent us. I truly desire for us to parent C & B with mercy and grace and to impart Your wisdom and instruction with the same compassion and gentleness. Lord, make Nick and me humble and full of Your grace! Do not harden our hearts! Let us look in love and compassion on our sons. Let us be merciful in our roles as parents to C & B.

God, make Nick and me willing to help and care for each other, for our friends and family, and for all of humanity. Not only do I desire for us to be willing, but also selfless and loving in our devotion to Your cause. I also desire for C & B to be willing to help and care for each other, for their friends and family and humankind. There is no such thing as sibling rivalry in my home! But instead, You grant peace in my home. You bind my family together in Your love and in our devotion to Your law. We speak life over one another and encourage each other through Your Son. God, C & B are selfless and loving in their loyal devotion to Your cause.

Since You have instructed us to love our neighbors as ourselves, God, my family will honor Your command. We will love our neighbors as ourselves. I pray that You would break our hearts for what breaks Yours, God. Let our heartbreak motivate us to move on Your behalf and to show Your face to the least of these. In living this way, my family will bring honor and glory to You and we will bless Your holy name.

  • Hebrews 12:9 – “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!”

Prayer: Lord, Connor and Blake will not ignore discipline; they will not come to poverty and shame. Rather, they heed correction and they are honored (Proverbs 13:18). Let my family and me view discipline in a new light from this day forward. No longer will we think of it as punishment or as a way to control and change. Instead, we will forevermore view discipline as “tough love”. We will not hide our faces in shame or be tripped up by self-pity. We will not let fear of failure or chastisement keep us from moving forward in our walk with You and in our daily lives. For You, God, have not given my family a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. We will face discipline head on, as a challenge to be better in all that we do. We will see discipline as an opportunity to grow in Your image and in our relationship with You. God, let this positive viewpoint of discipline and the submission to authority start with Nick and me. Let it be like a spark that ignites a flame. Nick and I desire to change our ways. We desire to be the spark that ignites the flame of submission and obedience in our children, and for our children to keep the flame alive in our family. We yearn to see C & B pass it on to the next generation until our family tree is ablaze for You, God; and they will pass it on.

Thank You for giving my family and me the ability to respect those who discipline us and for helping us to submit to You as our Heavenly Father. Thank You for not only helping us to be gracious in receiving discipline, but also in giving it. Always keeping in mind the fact that discipline is done out of love. With Your Son, Jesus, as the perfector of our faith, my family and I will run this race that You have set before us with endurance and hope. We will not lose sight of the joy that awaits us and the harvest of peaceful blessings that we will reap if we do not grow weary in doing Your will. Lord, my family and I will not buck at your discipline because You are our Father. Fathers discipline the children that they love; You love us. Your discipline allows us to live and live we shall; for we submit to you!

  • Job 22:21 – “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.”

Prayer: God, let my family and me submit to you and be at peace with You and Your ways. Your word states, “in this way prosperity will come to you,” so let prosperity come to my family and me! Hold our hands and guide us on the path You have laid before us. Make the treasure of Your glory real to us. Keep my family and me in perfect peace as we follow Your laws and submit to Your will. Just as Nick and I submit to You and enjoy prosperous lives C & B will also submit to You and enjoy the prosperity and peace that You have promised to those who follow You. You are our rock. You, Lord, are our foundation and we will not be washed away as the wicked! We are Your righteous people and we obey You always.

  • Romans 13:1 – “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Prayer: God, C & B give their bodies to You just as Nick and I do because of all You have done for us. Let our bodies be a living and holy sacrifice to You. Let my family live to worship You. In accordance to Your laws, we will not copy the behavior of this world, but we will let You transform us into new people by the renewal of our minds and the implantation of Your word in our hearts. We will learn Your will for us and be at peace with where we are because Your will and Your way are perfect and You have our best intentions at heart. Let C & B submit to the governing authorities in their lives because You have established those authorities. As C & B learn from the authority in their lives they will grow in wisdom and in favor with You and with man. C & B will not in any way, shape, or form, rebel against the authority You have placed in their lives; for rebelling against authority is to rebel against You, Lord.

  • 2 Chronicles 30:8 – “Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.”

Prayer: God, You are my God. You are my husband’s God. You are C & B’s God. You are not a “man behind the curtain” type of God; You are our personal Savior and Lord. You are our loving and faithful Creator God. You want to know my family and me intimately and we want to know You intimately. Let us act on our desire to know You. Don’t let our love grow cold. Don’t let us give up our inheritance as Your children. Let us know the glorious riches to which You have called us and let us treat our Kingdom inheritance as such: riches.

Don’t let us waste our lives on frivolous and meaningless things. Teach us to number our days aright and to gain hearts of wisdom. Do not let us take Your gracious gift of life for granted. Every morning may we greet the sun in hopeful expectation of Your goodness and breathe in the fresh promise of Your mercies. May we seek Your Holy face even before our feet hit the floor. May we consult with You and ask for Your wisdom in going about our day. For we make our plans but You, Lord, direct our steps. Let us find peace in knowing that Your plans for us are always good. Let us model our complete trust in You by not allowing our emotions to control us. Let our actions not be dictated by feelings but by the truth of Your word and the certainty of Your nature.

Day by day let my family and me enter Your gates with thanksgiving; let us enter into Your courts with praise. You are a jealous God. We will not provoke Your wrath by serving other gods or idols. Give us discernment and a sensitivity to Your Spirit to know if we are putting anyone or anything above You. Judge us and know that our hearts and motives are pure. Let worship be a way of life for my family and me. Don’t let us forget Your benefits. Let us meditate on Your works and in all situations let us see the opportunity for blessings that You have laid before us. I speak in faith over my sons when I say, C & B will not be stubborn, but they will submit themselves to You, Lord. They will go to Your temple, which You have set apart as holy forever. C & B will worship You with all their hearts, souls and minds and Your anger will turn away from them. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

  • 1 Peter 5:5 – “In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”

Prayer: Lord, let Nick and me watch over our sons willingly and joyfully. Let us rejoice in the difficulties of parenting because they are opportunities to draw closer to You. Let us gain the insight and wisdom You intended us to gain in these trials. Teach Nick and me to not only be an example of godly leadership for C & B but to also be an example of obedience. As we teach our boys to follow in our footsteps, God, we follow in Your Son’s. Just as Jesus served You, Father, we also serve You. Cultivate a servant’s heart in each and every one of us. C & B accept the authority of their elders in all ways. They serve their fellow-man in humility. God, You do not oppose C & B, but You favor them because they are humble. You give C & B Your shield of victory and they are victorious in all things. You righteous right hand sustains them and they will not be shaken. You stoop down to make them great and they live their days in abundance.

  • Galatians 5:1 – “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

Prayer: God, the blood of the Lamb, of Your blemish-free Son, my family and I have been set free! Thank You for choosing to love us even though we are sinners. Thank You for sacrificing Your only Son so that we might live. I cannot imagine the love You must feel for us. I could never sacrifice my sons. Instead, I would sacrifice myself for them. Your love for my family and me is so incredibly humbling. Your grace is so amazing! I am in awe of You, my King.

Please help my family and me to live in an attitude of thanksgiving to You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice. Help us to always remember what You did for us on the cross. Show us how to walk in the freedom that Your precious blood has afforded us. We are overcomers and victors in You, Lord. The law no longer applies to us because You paid our debt! We are forgiven!

Don’t let the enemy deceive us. Don’t let us be tricked into thinking that we did anything to deserve Your gift. Don’t let us think that we can ever earn freedom by anything that we do. Let us not be caught in the tiring cycle of strife and unrest. Jesus, perfection will always be out of our reach and the enemy knows that. He knows that if he can get us to focus on our flaws and failures then he can keep us forever imprisoned in our own minds and therefore bound by a law that has no lordship over us.

My family and I have Your mind, Jesus. We take our thoughts into captivity and force them to obey Your Father’s word and His will. Our thoughts line up with the truth and the truth is: we have been set free because of God’s grace! Let us always express our faith in You and Your word in love and worship. Who You have made free will stay free! My family and I will stay free!

I speak in faith over my sons and I claim that since You set them free, Jesus, they will be free. C & B will stay free and they will not get tied up in slavery to the law or tricked into believing the lies of the enemy. In Jesus’ name! Amen!

Prayer Challenge – Day 2

Lord, give Nick and me a teachable spirit. Give us wisdom and courage to follow You and You alone. Place in us a desire to turn from sin and follow You with reckless abandon. Help us to surrender ourselves to You and Your will; let us be obedient to You in every area of our lives. We are Yours alone, God. As we seek Your face and Your will and approval in all that we do C & B will follow our example. They will lift the cross high above this life and run to You. They will live by Your word and delight in Your law. My family is obedient to You, God. We love You completely and without pretense. We trust You and Your ways above our own. Lead us in the way everlasting and preserve our lives according to Your love and Your word, Lord. In Jesus’ Holy name I pray.

Obedience:

  • Jeremiah 42:6 “It doesn’t matter if we like the message or if we don’t like the message. We will obey the LORD our God. We are sending you to the Lord for a message from him. We will obey what he says. Then good things will happen to us. Yes, we will obey the LORD our God.”

Prayer: Lord, whether C & B like what You say or not; they WILL obey You. You have given them teachable spirits and a desire to obey Your word and Your authority. You are sovereign and C & B live in submission to You. C & B are blessed because they walk in obedience to You. They will eat the fruit of their labor and prosperity will be theirs.

  • Ephesians 6:1 – “Children, obey your parents the way the Lord wants, because this is the right thing to do.”

Prayer: C & B obey Nick & me as their father and mother. Their obedience to Your word , God, and our authority will bring them the promise of long and happy lives on this earth. Thank You Lord, that Nick and I will not exasperate them or tempt them into disobedience but we will parent them with wisdom and grace. Guide us in our journey to be obedient to You and Your will for our lives so that we may be a good example to our sons.

  • Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders. Be willing to do what they say. They are responsible for your spiritual welfare, so they are always watching to protect you. Obey them so that their work will give them joy, not grief. It won’t help you to make it hard for them.

Prayer: God, help C & B to obey their leaders. Give them a willingness to do what their leaders say. In turn, let their leaders always have C & B’s welfare in mind and their best interests at heart. Give them wisdom and discernment from You to lead C & B in the way You would have them go. Let C & B follow their leaders’ instruction as they would follow You; with contentment and without complaining.

  • Acts 5:29 – “Peter and the other apostles answered, ‘We must obey God, not you!’ “

Prayer: God, make C & B bold and courageous in their conviction to Your truth and in following Your ways. In all circumstances let them say, “I must obey God!” Let them know that Your ways and Your thoughts are higher than theirs. Let their hearts cry, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done; on earth as it is in Heaven.”

  • Deuteronomy 30:2 “Then you and your descendants will turn back to the LORD your God. You will follow him with all your heart and completely obey all his commands that I have given you today.”

Prayer: Lord, Your word states, “if C & B obey Your word and Your commands then good things will happen to them”. I pray that You will put a burning desire in C & B to obey Your commands and to live by Your word. They will follow You with all of their hearts, minds, and souls and obey You completely. They will never turn their backs on You. Then C & B will be successful in all that they do and goodness and peace will follow them all the days of their lives.

  • Deuteronomy 13:4 “You must follow the LORD your God. Respect him. Obey his commands and do what he tells you. Serve the LORD your God, and never leave him.”

Prayer: C & B will follow You all the days of their lives, God. They will always respect You. C & B will obey each of Your commands and always do what You tell them to do. They will serve You whole-heartedly and never leave or forsake You.

  • Jeremiah 26:13 – “You people, change your lives! You must start doing good! You must obey the LORD your God. If you do that, he will change his mind. He will not do the bad things he told you about.”

Prayer: C & B will live their lives to please You and You alone, God. They will do all things to bring You glory. They will do good and obey You. Since C & B will do good and obey You, Lord, You will be faithful to Your promise to do good to them and preserve their lives.

  • John 15:10 – “I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and he continues to love me. In the same way, if you obey my commands, I will continue to love you.”

Prayer: Father, C & B follow in Jesus’ footsteps. They obey His commands and He will continue to love them. They love You, Lord, with all of their hearts and all of their souls and all of their minds and they are devoted to You. Their loyalties are not divided. They are Yours alone. Jesus, is the vine and C & B are the branches. They will stay joined to Jesus and Your Spirit in them, God, and they will produce fruit in every area of their lives. They shall prosper in all they do because they do it through Christ. They will follow Jesus and His teachings all of their days and what they ask for, they will be given. Their lives will bring honor to You, God, because they will seek Your face in all that they do. C & B will live their lives abiding in the love of Your Son, Jesus.

John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will do what I command.”

Prayer: Wow God. How humbling. If Your children love You, they will do what You command. It seems so simple, yet as an adult, I even struggle with this complete and total obedience to You. I pray that You would turn my heart and Nick’s heart away from sin that would corrupt us and toward Your word that would bring us life. As we turn our hearts toward You in complete and utter obedience, Lord, please turn C & B’s hearts to You and away from sin. Let our lives be a testimony of our love of You and our total obedience to Your word and Your ways. We love You, Lord, and we will do what You command.

  • Romans 16:19 – “Everyone has heard that you do what you were taught, and I am very happy about that. But I want you to be wise about what is good and to know nothing about what is evil.”

Prayer: God, give C & B discernment and wisdom that comes from Your Spirit to know the difference between good and evil. Let them fill up on the things that are good in Your eyes and be ignorant of all that is evil and corrupt. C & B do what they were taught – they do what Your word says because they are being trained up in Your ways. Lord, You will be happy with C & B and call them, “good and faithful servants”, because they will delight in Your commands and abandon the ways of the world. C & B will stay away from those who love the world and its ways and seek out godly friendships that would sharpen them as iron sharpens iron. They will not seek the counsel of wicked men but only of God-fearing men and women; Your word will be their judge.

Additional Verses:
Isaiah 1:19-20 – My sons will obey God and He will provide for them always. They will never turn away from Him and refuse to listen. They will not be devoured by the sword of their enemies!
Proverbs 30:17 – My boys will not be disobedient; they will bring joy to their father because they are wise (Proverbs 15:20).
Proverbs 23:22 – Connor and Blake will listen to Nick for he gave them life and they will listen to God because He is their Heavenly Father and Creator and they will not despise me in my old age
Psalm 107:10-12 – C & B will not be chained in darkness for they will not rebel against the words of God and they will not despise the counsel of the Most High.
Psalm 107:17 – My sons will not rebel therefore they will not become fools and they will not suffer affliction because of iniquities because they are cleansed of all iniquities and clothed in righteousness.
Proverbs 1:33 – Connor and Blake will live in safety because they listen to God; they will be at ease without fear of harm.
Proverbs 1:23 – My boys respond to the Lord’s rebuke and they do not reject wisdom so He will pour out His heart to them and make His ways known to them.
Proverbs 1:8-9 – “C & B listen to Nick’s instruction and they don’t forsake my teaching. They will be garlands to grace their heads and chains to adorn their necks.
Nehemiah 9:26-27 – “My sons will not disobey God or rebel from His ways therefore they will not be delivered into the hands of their enemies!

A Heart Like His

During our morning prayer time Connor offered up his very own prayer to God. “Thank you God for my mommy and daddy. I love them so much,”! Then my sweet boy climbed into my lap, wrapped his arms around my neck and snuggled his face into me. “Mommy, I would be so sad if God gave me a different mommy and daddy. I love you so much I could cry,”. Here was this precious boy pouring out his heart so willingly and without shame; the picture of honesty. So willing to look outside of himself and give thanks for his blessings. At four, he is so aware of the good life God has given him. In an age where grace seems lost on so many, my baby grasps the idea so perfectly. He does not take his loved ones and the fact that his most basic needs are met, for granted. Instead, he blesses the Lord with all of his soul. His attitude (most of the time…he’s still a 4 year old boy) is one of thanksgiving. I can’t help but envy the way he freely gives God such pure and innocent praise. My son whole-heartedly worships the Lord with such ease. It is a part of who he is. He was made, as we all are, to praise God. But my Connor has a gift. He is in tune with the Holy Spirit; they naturally flow as one. I quickly noticed that Connor’s words are not always his own.

Like the random, lunch time outburst during his little brother’s surgery in which he told my mom aka gram, “Hosanna to our King,”. While Connor was enjoying his lunch with gram I was pleading for God’s peace to cover me from the waiting room at Children’s Hospital as the words, “Hosanna in the highest” played in circles in my head. God heard my cries and He answered me through the simple words of peace and comfort spoken by my son. Connor’s child-like faith and heart for God prove him a willing and obedient instrument for God’s Spirit.

Reflecting on the events of Connor’s life up to now, the words prophesied over him by my pastor, during his baby dedication, ring in my ears. “He has a King David anointing. His life will be hard, but he will do great and mighty things for the kingdom of God,”. King David was a great warrior; a man of worship with a heart for God. Though he suffered through countless stormy seasons in his life, he kept his eyes fixed on God and he persevered. David delighted himself in the law of the Lord, keeping his heart and spirit open to the things of God. In spite of his human weakness, he chose to live his life in faith and worshipful reverence of God. David’s trust was always in God, regardless of his circumstance, and he was never shaken.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11.

Lord, help me to cultivate a heart of David in Connor.  Give me wisdom and strength as I raise him to always seek You.  Teach me to delight in and meditate on Your word so I can be a good example to my sons.  Make me bold and courageous as I entrust the lives of my sons to You; they are fully Yours, use them.  Let my life be one of great faith as I practice my complete trust in You and Your plan.  I surrender myself to You, Lord, direct my footsteps according to Your word and keep my heart and mind fixed on You.  As I grow in Your ways, I have faith that my sons will also grow in Your ways.  Thank You for my blessings, my heritage from You!  May I bless You with all of my soul and may Your praises always be on my lips.  I look forward to the day in which more of Your plan for both Connor and Blake’s lives will be revealed to me.  Until then, I will continue to live my life for You and lead my family to the cross each day.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

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A Mother’s Prayer

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope
Put your trust fully in Him
Walk by faith and step out of the boat
His hand is always reaching for you
He is never far
He knows every hair on your head
He named every star
His love for you no one can fathom
His mercies are always new
Grace and forgiveness are gifts, from the Lord to you
God says that you will do great things and,
In His image you will grow
He has His hand upon you,
So don’t give in to fear
He covers you with His feathers,
He always draws you near
Remember to always pray,
In all circumstances and every day
His love and faithfulness will never leave you,
He will always light your way
God’s word is living and active,
Its powerful and true
It always accomplishes what it was sent to do
God’s word is your weapon, your shelter, your guide
Hide it in your heart; in Him you will abide
In Christ you have victory, the battle has been won
My prayer is that you spend your days living for God the father, God the spirit, and God the son

We Will Follow

My family is still being separated. Even though C is well enough to go to school his cough is not gone yet. I’m still getting over a cold and so is Blake. Since Bob has no immune system right now we still have to stay away from my parents. This is hard on all of us. We are used to being together all the time and it’s been a couple weeks now since we have seen each other. I want to be of more help to my mom right now. She needs me. I feel helpless and I know she is feeling alone. Even though things seem to be going wrong this must be part of Your plan, Lord. Our failed plans highlight our dependence on You; we can’t depend on anyone but You, God. We will continue to trust You in this storm and look to the blessings ahead. Hold our hands as You guide us through the unknown. Light our way and steady our feet. We won’t make it without You.

God, you are weaning us from all other dependencies. Our security rests in You alone. Not in other people, not in circumstances. We depend only on You. Even though we feel like we are free falling into the unknown our faith tells us that Your everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us up. Though we don’t know the path You have chosen for us, Your word lights the way. While we cannot understand why we must go through these trials we know that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. You have Your reasons for allowing us to feel pain. Our suffering is not in vain. You are working everything for good because we love You and have been called according to Your purpose. You have good plans for us, plans to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future. Even though we may feel so alone we know that Your unfailing love surrounds us driving out all fear. We know that Your presence follows us wherever we go, comforting us and giving us peace that surpasses all understanding.

Lord, search us and know us. Our hearts and minds are set on You. Take our anxieties and leave us peace. Our trust is in You alone and we will not be shaken. You are our God and we are Your people. We will not be discouraged because You are with us and You will never leave us. We will not fear or be dismayed. You drive out our enemies before us! Goodbye cancer and sickness! Bob and grandma have been healed by the stripes of Jesus! You must flee! Bob and grandma are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and no weapon formed against them will prosper!
We raise the cross high above the storms in our life and step out of the boat to meet our Glorious Savior! The swells may rise but we will not be overtaken! We will overcome by the blood of the lamb! God, You lead us to victory, it is our final destination! Whatever road You lead us down we will follow with unwavering faith and unshakable trust. We will faithfully speak Your praises and patiently endure our trials. We will be content in every situation that arises as we wait for You to deliver us. Because deliver us You will!!

We Will Follow

My family is still being separated. Even though C is well enough to go to school his cough is not gone yet. I’m still getting over a cold and so is Blake. Since Bob has no immune system right now we still have to stay away from my parents. This is hard on all of us. We are used to being together all the time and it’s been a couple weeks now since we have seen each other. I want to be of more help to my mom right now. She needs me. I feel helpless and I know she is feeling alone. Even though things seem to be going wrong this must be part of Your plan, Lord. Our failed plans highlight our dependence on You; we can’t depend on anyone but You, God. We will continue to trust You in this storm and look to the blessings ahead. Hold our hands as You guide us through the unknown. Light our way and steady our feet. We won’t make it without You.

God, you are weaning us from all other dependencies. Our security rests in You alone. Not in other people, not in circumstances. We depend only on You. Even though we feel like we are free falling into the unknown our faith tells us that Your everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us up. Though we don’t know the path You have chosen for us, Your word lights the way. While we cannot understand why we must go through these trials we know that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. You have Your reasons for allowing us to feel pain. Our suffering is not in vain. You are working everything for good because we love You and have been called according to Your purpose. You have good plans for us, plans to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future. Even though we may feel so alone we know that Your unfailing love surrounds us driving out all fear. We know that Your presence follows us wherever we go, comforting us and giving us peace that surpasses all understanding.

Lord, search us and know us. Our hearts and minds are set on You. Take our anxieties and leave us peace. Our trust is in You alone and we will not be shaken. You are our God and we are Your people. We will not be discouraged because You are with us and You will never leave us. We will not fear or be dismayed. You drive out our enemies before us! Goodbye cancer and sickness! Bob and grandma have been healed by the stripes of Jesus! You must flee! Bob and grandma are dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and no weapon formed against them will prosper!
We raise the cross high above the storms in our life and step out of the boat to meet our Glorious Savior! The swells may rise but we will not be overtaken! We will overcome by the blood of the lamb! God, You lead us to victory, it is our final destination! Whatever road You lead us down we will follow with unwavering faith and unshakable trust. We will faithfully speak Your praises and patiently endure our trials. We will be content in every situation that arises as we wait for You to deliver us. Because deliver us You will!!

Patience is Key

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.  Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him,” James 1:12.

As I read this verse this morning I heard God say, “Patience is the key.”  

What is patience?
Patience is:
  1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
  2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
  3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care.

What are some synonyms of patience?:

  1. Composure, stability, self-possession; submissiveness, sufferance. Endurance, fortitude, stoicism imply qualities of calmness, stability, and persistent courage in trying circumstances. Patience may denote calm, self-possessed, and unrepining bearing of pain, misfortune, annoyance, or delay; or painstaking and untiring industry or application in the doing of something: to bear afflictions with patience. Endurance denotes the ability to bear exertion, hardship, or suffering.  Running in a marathon requires great endurance. Fortitude implies not only patience but courage and strength of character in the midst of pain, affliction, or hardship: to show fortitude in adversity. Stoicism is calm fortitude, with such repression of emotion as to seem almost like indifference to pleasure or pain. 3. indefatigably, persistence, assiduity.

My thoughts on patience:

  • Patience is a choice
  • Patience is a state of mind & being
  • Patience takes practice
  • Patience takes courage & strength
  • Patience takes persistence & hard work
  • Patience is perfected in the midst of trial & tribulation
  • Patience is the absence of complaint
  • It is the ability to overcome adversity
  • It keeps you going in spite of pain
  • Patience feeds on hope
  • It is the “fight” within all of us
  • Patience sets its sights on the prize
  • It succeeds against all odds
  • True patience does not exist in the absence of pain or hardship; it is in the midst of pain & hardship that true patience is birthed
  • Patience is fighting the good fight of faith without complaining
  • Patience is enduring in all circumstances with a good attitude
  • Patience is thanksgiving with perseverance
  • Patience is overcoming whatever life throws at you with a smile on your face
  • Patience is choosing joy over sorrow and hope over fear
  • Patience is seeing the single ray of sunshine breaking through the storm
  • It’s looking at that mountain in your life and saying, “No matter what it takes, I won’t stop until you have been cast into the sea.”

God, when I am weak, You are strong.  I can’t do this on my own.  I can’t get through a single day without Your presence.  You are the strength of my heart.  You are my peace and joy.  Lord, carry me.  Never let me go.  Renew my mind.  Quench the thirst of my spirit.  Satisfy the hunger of my soul.  Fill me up with Your word.  Breathe new life into me.  Carry my burdens and fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Make my heart light, give it wings to soar above the adversity in this life.  Make me fix my gaze upon You alone.  My patience is being perfected.  Do not give up until You have completed the good work You have started in me.  I will hang on.  I will push through until the end.  Your faithfulness and love will bring me to the finish line.  I will see Your glory.  I rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, and persevere in prayer Lord because my trust is in You and I will not be shaken.