Sunday, January 25, 2015

Music for my soul

Music has a way of reaching my soul. An intimate time of worship is such an intimate conversation between my heart and God's. It doesn't even have to be in a church corporate worship time. Some of the most intimate moments have been by myself listening to music whether in the car or at home.

These past few months there have been a few songs that have really been powerful to me and our time of transition and seeking the Lord's direction for our lives.

Oceans by Hillsong United

This song was my prayer during the months we prayed over the decision to leave Olathe and move our family to Ohio. All the words of the song were so appropriate with our decision to leave our home, friends, and church we loved so much to move to a place we never imagined we would live and start over.

"Oceans" lyrics

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 

Wake Up by All Sons & Daughters

We sang this song our last day at Indian Creek and it was the first time I had heard it. The last few lines that are repeated was a perfect prayer as we worshiped one last time in Olathe, heading to Ohio.

here we stand our hearts are yours, Lord
not our will but yours be done, Lord


We have seen the pain
that shaped our hearts
And in our shame
We're still breathing, 'cause

We have seen the hope
of your healing
Rising from our souls
is the feeling
We are drawing close
Your light is shining through
Your light is shining through

Wake up, wake up, wake up
wake up all you sleepers
Stand up, stand up
Stand up all you dreamers
Hands up, hands up
Hands up all believers
Take up your cross, carry it on

all that you reveal
with light in us
will come to life
and start breathing, 'cause

here we stand our hearts are yours, Lord
not our will but yours be done, Lord (3x-4x) 

My Heart is Yours by Kristian Stanfill

Ironically I heard this last song in person at IYC this past July. I worked on staff backstage and met the Passion band. I thought it was a great song, but at the time my heart and mind were so cluttered with busyness of just having a baby (5 week old) and traveling to Nashville for a week with all the kids.

Right after I took the picture above, I drove out of Olathe with only Stetson in the van. Steve had left a few days earlier with the older 3 kids so it would be easier for us and the packers to load up our home. I was about an hour outside of Olathe, Stetson was asleep and I was praying about the whole transition. This song came on the radio and this time my heart was so ready for it. Those were the only tears I cried in this transition. My heart was overflowing with sadness about the chapter that was closing, but with great expectancy for what God had for the future. We knew God had asked us to go, so the words in this song were a great prayer that day. 

I give You my life
I give You my trust
You are my God
You are enough

My heart is Yours
My heart is Yours
Take it all
Take it all
My life in Your hands

I lay down my life
And take up my cross
For You are my God
Whatever the cost
For You, Jesus

All to Jesus I surrender
All to You I freely give
I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence I will live 

This past week I was worn out. Stetson is up 3 times a night since the move and at least 1 of the other kids is usually up as well. One night this past week I was up 6 times with the kids and I woke up wanting to stick my head in a hole and call in for a day off. I was completely exhausted and could tell I had no patience for the kids, as they were acting like kids :) 

Thankfully we have become friends with a wonderful lady named Sandy here in Ohio. She has been a huge blessing and frankly the kids ask for me to leave so she can come over. Both her daughters are grown and married, no grandkids of her own, and she has loved on our children and she is truly gifted to work with them. She finds ways to bring life lessons into almost every situation and is able to speak to the kids on their level so well. 

This particular morning after no sleep, Sandy was already planning on coming over, instead of running errands with out kids, I went to a local coffee shop and turned my worship music up super loud in my ear phones and had a time of restoration for my heart. It is amazing what an hour of worship music can do to my soul. As I got back in the van to head home, My Heart is Yours came on, I felt like God was almost winking on me, reminding me that He has me covered.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Payton has been loving school here. She has told us that school is her favorite thing about Ohio. She has a wonderful teacher and nice small class (only 10 kids). I wasn't sure how she would do with wearing a uniform since the girl has her own style, surprisingly she has loved wearing a uniform and getting dressed in the morning is much easier. 

Colton started school after the first of the year. We had a few snow days so he started a week later than originally planned. He too loves school here. We are so thankful for the great schools for both kids. Both the preschool and the academy are housed at our church, so Steve drives the kids in to school each day (Colton only T/Th). I have enjoyed my alone time with sweet Presley Rae while the big kids are in school and Steston is napping.

Here are some other recent pics

Kids got an indoor trampoline for Christmas and they have loved it!

Colton's first day of school Presley insisted her get herself ready for school too

The kid who only wanted to wear gym shorts and no shirt has now decided he likes "church" shirts with his gym shorts.

Monday, January 19, 2015


In the last month we have celebrated Colton's 4th and Payton's 6th birthdays. Since as Payton so pointedly told Colton that he doesn't have any friends in Ohio yet we opted for family celebrations this year. Both kids got breakfast out on their birthday alone with mom and dad. We had talked up going to Scene 75 (an amazing indoor entertainment center) for his birthday. We really talked it up since we weren't doing a party. The night of Colton's birthday we pulled into Scene 75 only to find out it was closed. We couldn't believe it! If we hadn't been talking about it all week it might not have been that big of deal . Thankfully he was a good sport and we ended up over at Sam's and got cupcakes. Just this past week we finally made it back to Scene 75 to celebrate both kids and they had a blast. We had our friends the Boots join us for the celebration. Payton also got to ride the saddle at Texas Roadhouse for her birthday. We were in Anderson for the day visiting with Uncle Benny and Papa and Gigi.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Time

Looking at my blog I just realized it has been almost 2 months since I have written a post. We have now lived in Ohio about 6 weeks. I am going to catch-up going backwards, starting with Christmas.

I was super excited this year that we got to go to FLORIDA for Christmas. The last time we were with my family for Christmas was 7 years ago right before we moved to Kansas. Our kids had never experienced Christmas in Florida. Our realist Payton did make sure she let us know it did not feel like Christmas since Florida is so warm.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Salem, then had Christmas morning as a family, before heading on a plane mid-day to fly to Orlando. We got to spend a whole week with family, enjoying the warm weather.

Christmas Morning in Ohio

Elsa and Anna were in Dayton Airport

Arriving in Orlando

Swimming on Christmas break

Christmas with The Wiens Family


This picture cracks me up, reality of taking pictures with little ones.

Cousins 3 weeks apart in age, checking out each other's booboo's

We had some good down time and got to visit Jordan and Jaime on the East Coast one day then headed to Bradenton to visit friends on the West Coast the next day. We loved being outside!

Mr. Southards insists on stopping at a family favorite on our way across Florida, Parksdale Farms for world famous Strawberry Shortcakes (and milkshakes)

Don't mind #3, she will get her share of the whip cream.

Daddy managed some naps himself during nap time

Enjoying walks outside

Nothing like a playdate with my sweet friend Lindsay and her 6 kids (one is hiding behind her). Just a quiet afternoon with 10 kids 6-years-old and under!

Had some precious time with my sweet Grandma who is 93 years-young. She is now living in a home (my Dad refers to as a resort). Buster got to visit for her New Year's party.    

We flew home New Year's Day in time to have our dear friends from KS the Zimmers spend the night with us. We were so thankful for our trip, but were also glad to come "home" to Ohio.