Thursday, December 30, 2010

A One Word Resolution

Every year, I set myself up for a disappointment... not the best way to start off a new year!  I make an unrealistic resolution.  One that I would LOVE to accomplish, yet usually forget about, or give up on within months.  This year, I am hoping the story will be different! 
I listen to KLOVE, a Christian radio station, daily.  It is "positive and encouraging" (yea, haha.. this is their motto ;)) This station has helped me through a lot, it seems as though they play a song that I really needed to hear all at the right moments!  Well, today they were talking about this "One Word Resolution".  So, to sum it up, I pick a word that describes what I want to be or accomplish this year.  I am contemplating my word as I type this, hopefully by the end of this blog entry I will have it.  Here are some of the ideas that they have on their web page ( (These are actual quotes from listeners of KLOVE, I am using these as examples... hoping to spread the news!)

Kim Moreno
My word for 2010 was "learn"; I wanted to learn more about Christ and His plan for me.  This year would be "submit"; this is very difficult for me.  It is causing issue with my marriage to a Christian man who wants nothing more than to be heard and respected for his views and suggestions without always being questioned.  This has not come easy for me.  I have been in past relationships with secular men of whom wanted me to be sub servant to them and I don't ever want to be there again.  I try not to allow it to happen, but with this man (my husband) it means that I am not letting him in.  I have the same trouble with my relationship to Christ.  I try to control my life, and in doing so I am causing more pain for those around me.  So this year, I want to learn submission, in God's word not of this world.
Nicole Beardslee
I did pick a word this year, and it really motivated me to keep going in the face of uncertainty and that word is 'fearless'. In fact, I had a motto this year...'40 and fearless!' I turned 40 years old in March, and I decided instead of looking at this milestone as something to be depressed about...I embraced it, and asked God to help me face my fears this year in all areas of my life. So....this year, I used the talents the Lord gave me, and I released my first CD! I have been a songwriter for years, but too chicken to put myself out there..doubting the songs, doubting I was good enough...and I just gave it over to the Lord and asked him to use my gifts any way he saw fit..and ta-da! My CD is finished! I wanted to do it to show my kids (all six of them) that they can reach their dreams if they use the natural abilities the Lord blesses us with, and I wanted to encourage other women my age to be 'fearless' and embrace their dreams inside themselves!  I plan on using the word 'fearless' in 2011 too...why not?  Who knows what life has in store for me if I put my strength and my faith in Christ!
Susan Allen
I didn't even have to think about it.MORE: May sound self fish, but I want more! More God, More knowledge of the Bible, more love, more time alone with my husband, more organized, more kids in Sunday school, more laughter, more prayer, more contintent, more exercise, more positive attitude, more ambitious, more family time at the dinner table or playing board games, more encouraging to others, more singing, more compliments to others, more understanding of others, more compassion, to use my time MORE wisely. more Faith....JUST MORE
Diane Newton
my word would be: hindsight
my devotional today suggested to keep a journal and at the start of each new year to reflect back on the previously year and to write down  all the significant events that happened in that year (good and bad)and beside each event write God's response. You will see how God has walked with you and you will see that sometimes God calmed the storm and sometimes he calmed the child to go thru the storm.
Mary Miller 
My word for last year was hope. The verse that went with that was Jer 29:11 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.
Both my husband and myself are professionals and we have lost 3 jobs in the last 13 months. I have found that only He can be my hope and future!
This year my word is healthy. I can't wait to see what God teaches me about being healthy this year
These are all amazing goals, and there are sooo many more!  Here is a link to the site, if you are interested... and please pass it on! 
So, now on to my "resolution".  My word for 2011 is REMEMBER.  For those of you who know me well, I am very forgetful... but my Remember is beyond being forgetful.. I want to Remember to read my Bible daily.  Remember that time is easily wasted, and making every moment count.  Remember the blessings that God has given me and my family and friends.  Remember that I need to be all that God created me to be.  This is a big word, and I hope that I can REMEMBER to REMEMBER! 
May God bless you all with a promising new year, and goals that are reachable.  I would love to hear your stories, so feel free to post what your goal for the new year is! 
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christ!  I am celebrating the birth of our Savior, Christ Jesus... THE TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON!  Can I get an AMEN?!
I guess I didn't get it until I was saved as an adult... I have celebrated Christmas all my life, just knowing that the real reason was  giving... not the WHOLE reason.  Giving at Christmas is a wonderful feeling!  We give because Christ Jesus was given to us to save us and bring us to eternal life in the most beautiful place we cannot even imagine.  THAT IS WHY WE GIVE!!! 
I try not to let the following bother me, yet no matter how hard I try, it still does. (Grrr at being only human!)  HAPPY HOLIDAYS????  No thanks, it is MERRY CHRISTMAS HERE!  Yea, I celebrate all the holidays, yet when it comes to Christmas, that is a special holiday that deserves separation from Thanksgiving and New Years!  It does bother me when I hear about non-believers celebrate Christmas, and then just say "Happy Holidays".  I shouldn't let it bother me, I know!  Yet, if you are afraid to celebrate the birth of our Savior, why celebrate at all?  It sounds so greedy to me :/ 
This year, I am celebrating with all my heart, soul, strength... I am celebrating that my kids know that this is all about Jesus, NOT SANTA.  As much as I want to tell my children (my 11 yr old knows) that there is no Santa, I remember growing up and feeling the excitement and magical wonder... I don't want to spoil the innocence.  My children do know that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday... the best birthday EVER. It is weird, but I almost feel like I am lying to my kids about not telling them the truth about Santa... I can see the result of that though, my 5 yr old daughter has quite the mouth on her, and all those 4K kids will know if she does!  Hmmm.. where to go with that one?! 
My children and I have done something special this year that we are so proud of.  We took 3 angels from the Christmas tree at Church (1 for each child, our children's ages), and bought special gifts for low income children.  They understand (well, not so much my 2 year old) that these kids wouldn't have a gift if we had not done this for them.  This made their gift that much more to them.  We have also "adopted" a little girl in Jinju, Kenya.  With our help, she will be attending school, church, a medical center and have a meal to eat once a day.    Her name is Hafswa Chico, and she is 3 days younger than my oldest son.  Hafswa has 2 siblings, just like my son.  She Likes math loves to sing.  What a beautiful thing to know that she is getting more of a chance in life, because my family decided to give $20 a month through our church.  How easy it is for us... that amazes me. 
God amazes me!

I would like to share with you the story of Christmas, and please share this with someone else.. pass on the GREAT NEWS that Christ Jesus is born! 

The Full Christmas Story

Long ago, about 2000 years, when King Herod ruled Judea (now part of Israel), God sent the angel Gabriel to a young women who lived in the northern town of Nazareth. The girl's name was Mary and she was engaged to marry Joseph.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary: 'Peace be with you! God has blessed you and is pleased with you.' Mary was very surprised by this and wondered what the angel meant. The angel said to her 'Don't be afraid, God has been very kind to you. You will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to a baby boy and you will call him Jesus. He will be God's own Son and his kingdom will never end.' Mary was very afraid but she trusted God. 'Let it happen as God chooses.' She replied to the angel. Gabriel also told Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth who everyone thought was too old to have children, would have a baby boy whom God had chosen to prepare the way for Jesus.
Mary said goodbye to her family and friends and went to visit her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah. Elizabeth was very happy to see Mary. She knew that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son. An angel had already told Zechariah that Elizabeth's baby would prepare people to welcome Jesus. He was to be called John. Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home to Nazareth.
Joseph was worried when he found out that Mary was expecting a baby before their marriage had taken place. He wondered if he should put off the wedding altogether. Then an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said: 'Don't be afraid to have Mary as your wife.' The angel explained that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son and told Joseph that the baby would be named Jesus which means 'Saviour' because he would save people. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel had told him to do and took Mary as his wife.
At this time, the land where Mary and Joseph lived was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Augustus wanted to have a list of all the people in the empire, to make sure they paid their taxes. He ordered everyone to return to the town where their families originally came from, and enter their names in a register (or census) there. Mary and Joseph travelled a long way (about 70 miles) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, because that is where Joseph's family came from. Most people walked but some lucky people had a donkey to help carry the goods needed for the journey. Joseph and Mary travelled very slowly because Mary's baby was due to be born soon.
When they reached Bethlehem they had problems finding somewhere to stay. So many people had come to register their names in the census, that every house was full and every bed was taken in all of the Inns. The only shelter that they could was a stable or cave with the animals. In this poor place Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God. In those days it was the custom to wrap newborn babies tightly in a long cloth called 'swaddling clothes'. Jesus' bed was the manger that the animals ate their hay from.
In the hills and fields outside Bethlehem, shepherds looked after their sheep through the long night. As the new day began, suddenly an angel appeared before them and the glory of God shone around them. The shepherds were very, very scared, but the angel said, 'Don't be afraid. I have good news for you and everyone. Today in Bethlehem a Saviour has been born for you. You will find the baby lying in a manger.'.
Then many more angels appeared, lighting up the sky. The shepherds heard them praising God singing: 'Glory to God in highest, and peace to everyone on earth.' When the angels had gone the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem to see what has happened.' So the shepherds went to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph. The baby Jesus was lying in a manger as they had been told. When they saw him, they told everyone what the angel had said and everyone who heard the story were astonished. Then the shepherds returned to their sheep, praising God for sending his Son to be their Saviour.
When Jesus was born, a brand new bright star appeared in sky. Some Wise Men in faraway countries saw the star and guessed what it meant. They were very clever men that studied the stars and had read in very old writings that a new star would appear when a great king was born. They set out to find the new king and bring him gifts.
The Wise Men followed the star towards the country of Judea and when they got to the capital called Jerusalem they began to ask people: 'Where is the child who is born to be king of the Jews?' Herod, the king of Judea, heard this and it made him very angry to think that someone might be going to take his place as king. Herod sent for the Wise Men to come to him. He told them to go on following the star until they had found the baby king. He said: 'When you have found him, let me know where he is, so that I can go and worship him.'. But Herod did not tell them that he really had an evil plan in mind to kill the new king.
The Wise Men followed the star towards Bethlehem (where it said that the king would be born in the old writings). It seemed to stop and shine directly down upon the place where Jesus was.
The Wise Men entered the house where they now lived and found Jesus with Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him. The Wise Men spread the the gifts they had brought before Jesus. The gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Wise Men were warned in a dream, by God, not to go back to Herod. So they returned home to their countries in the East by a different way.
When the Wise Men had gone, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up,' the angel said, 'take Jesus and Mary and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for Jesus to kill him.' So Joseph got up, took Jesus and Mary during the night they left for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died.
When Herod realized that he had been tricked by the Wise Men, he was furious and he gave orders to kill all the boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. This was to try and kill the new King, as his plan to find the location of the new king from the Wise Men had failed.
After Herod had died, Joseph had another dream in which an angel appeared to him. The angel said, 'Get up, take Jesus and Mary and go back to Israel, for those who were trying kill Jesus are dead.'
So Joseph got up, took Jesus and Mary and they went back to Israel. But when he heard that Herod's son was now king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. So instead they went to Galilee, and lived in their old town of Nazareth.

Now, if you feel comfortable... What is your Christmas story?  What are you doing this Christmas?  I would love to be encouraged by your story! 
May God bless you and your family this Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What makes me a Christian?

Everyone has their own ideas of what makes them a Christian, that is something that I have learned.  Is there a right and a wrong way?  I know that you cannot be a Christian if you don't believe that Jesus Christ is the son, the Holy one, our saviour.

John 14:6 

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

So what makes me a Christian other than the fact that this is my belief?  I googled this, to see what others believe.  One response from is as follows:

Question: "What is a Christian?"

Answer: A dictionary definition of a Christian would be something similar to “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” While this is a good starting point, like many dictionary definitions, it falls somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be a Christian. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (
Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”

Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian” nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Being a member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the church does not make you a Christian.

The Bible teaches that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God.
Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is “…by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

A true Christian is a person who has put faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the third day.
John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:4, 10). A true Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has been given new life in Jesus Christ.

With this knowledge, now I move on to this question:
Why do I go to Church? 
I have many friends and family that say that they believe, and yet do not go to church.  Some believe that they don't need an organized religion, or a church home.  Maybe they don't?  I have always believed in Christ... to a point.  I have always celebrated Christmas and Easter, I have not always prayed and MEANT IT though.  I found a church HOME.  I find myself there every week, sometimes more than once a week to participate in a class or group activity.  I NEED THIS.  I regroup myself weekly.  Listening to my pastor talk about the Bible and what we can do in our lives to be more Christ-like reminds me that I have daily faults and I can change a lot of what I do and how I act.  I am a lot more happy with my personal life, my actions and even the hurdles in my life.  I know that one day I will be rewarded for all the good that I do for others, I don't need immediate attention from those that I help.  Half of the people that I help, I don't know.  I anonymously donate money to help those who are in need, in the U.S. and in Africa.  I donate gifts to children who otherwise would not have a Christmas gift.  Just knowing that I have helped makes me happy. 
Going to Church has introduced me to this lifestyle.  I have a family at church, and I love and care for them as if they were my blood.  Why wouldn't everyone want a relationship like this? 
Some friends have teased me about being a "Bible thumper".  This does not bother me in the slightest bit.  I am proud to be a "Bible Thumper"... yet I know that I should be reading the Bible more!  When I am approached about my beliefs in a negative manner, I freeze up.  I want to talk about my life as a Christian that goes to Church, I just can't handle those who "bash" my lifestyle.  What do I say to defend myself?  It is far easier to talk to other Christians about Christianity!  Lord, guide me to the right words to use to spread your WONDERFUL WORD!  
When I am focused in my blog, I have no problem voicing my views... that is likely because there isn't anyone there to question... then I have to think of an immediate response.  On this blog I can stop typing and think about what I am going to say.  Likewise with my Walking In The Light Facebook page. 
So how good is good enough??  I wonder this all the time.  I don't even know if all that I do is good enough, and I strive to do more.  It is when those negative thoughts and sins creep into my life when I doubt.  I ask for forgiveness almost everyday... Satan has his ways of sneaking up and pulling one back. 

I think of this verse when I have sinned, or am tempted. It is sooo true!
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted."
Galatians 6:1

HOW do I help those who have no intentions to come to Christ?  What do I say and do???

" Better is open rebuke
than hidden love. "
Proverbs 27:5

As simple as this last one sounds, this is tough.  It is far easier to tell someone that I love them, than to openly tell them that they need Christ in their life.  (I have a few people in mind when I say this). 

Life really is different when you give your life to serving Christ.  I can't express this enough.  Have my family, friends and coworkers not noticed how different I am?  It comes easy with the Grace of God!  Sure, I have my bad days like everyone else... I sin like everyone else.  I AM NOWHERE NEAR PERFECT!!!  YET, I have the love of Christ in my heart, and He guides me. 

There are no 'magic words' to become a Christian.  Remember -- praying is talking to God, not just saying words.  I suggest you pray this prayer:
Father God, I come to You right now, in the name of your most Holy Son, Jesus Christ, asking You to accept me as a Christian.
You say in Your word that if I confess my sins and ask forgiveness, You are faithful and will forgive my sins and remember them no more.  You will not hold them against me and You will give me everlasting life.
Father, I confess that I have sinned against You.  I have not followed Your commandments and I have broken Your laws.  I repent of my sins and ask for Your forgiveness.
Father, I believe that Jesus Christ, Your only Son, came to Earth and was born, that He lived among us, and that He was crucified to pay for our sins and for my sins.  I believe that You raised Him from the dead and gave Him power over all creation.
Lord, right now I accept Your Son Jesus as my Savior and as the Lord of my life.  Send the Holy Spirit to guide me, protect me, lead me and counsel me.  Send Your angels to gather around me and protect me. Protect me from Satan and his evil forces.  Help me grow in wisdom, knowledge and love for You and Your ways.  Give me the strength and courage to change my ways and resist the Devil and avoid sin in the future.
Lord, I thank You for sending Your only Son to die so that I can live.
Jesus, I thank You in that You died for me while I was still a sinner and had not yet accepted You.  I thank You for forgiving my sins and for bringing me to a saving knowledge of You.  Please bless me and protect me.  Teach me to pray.  Guide me.  Increase my faith, and make me sure in the knowledge that I can rely on You, no matter what may come.  Lead me to a good church where I can learn Your word and the Father's will, where I can fellowship with Christians and grow in my knowledge of You.
I ask these things in Your most holy and precious name, and I thank You for making me a Christian.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Moving Forward... Inching Forward is more like it

I have been doing a lot of thinking... sometimes too much (ALL THE TIME).  It seems as though my brain doesn't know how to shut off, ever.  I will start with my own personal thoughts about me.
 I am in a place in my life where I am not quite sure if I am doing what I want to be doing.  I work full time in a preschool teaching 4 & 5 year olds... and I do love my job.  YET, I am also a mother to 3 children, 2 years, 5 years and almost 11 years old.  I made a commitment to start school (extremely part time) to get my associates degree in Early Childhood Education... and I start next month.  Kinda freaking out about that one.  Sooooo... my mind is reeling with "is this the right time?" , "should I work still or stay home with the kids, after all they are only little once", "open my own daycare?" , "Photography?" (yea, total opposite side of the spectrum... but I am freak for taking pics).  I have prayed for God to give me a sign about what I should do, and if I am going in the right direction.  Thus far, I have not had a door slammed in my face.  So, I will be starting 2 classes next month, continuing my job at the preschool, and of course being mommy to my wonderful kids.  Believe me, these are not my only responsibilities, just the ones that require daily action!
I have faith that God is lighting my path.  Please pray that I can handle all the above!

Another thing that has me thinking... my family.  I have said in a previous post how large my family is, 5 brothers and 3 sisters (and 14 nieces and nephews).  We have always been close, always there for each other.  We have really been through a lot, and it is beyond wonderful to have such a support group!  I don't know what I would ever do without them.  This brings me to my... well we can call it a worry because that is what it is plain and simple.  I am completely, utterly worried about my family.  I am worried that they won't come to Christ before it is too late.  There, I said it.  I know that some of my family reads this blog, and I want them to know this, too.  Saying that you are Christian and that you believe in God is not enough.  I hope and pray that who I am today is enough!  I know that I have many faults and sins, so in no way am I saying that I am better than anyone... please do not think that I feel that way at all.  I am simply saying that I know what it feels like to actually let Christ into your life.  It is the most relieving... eye opening feeling (so much so that I am really having a hard time coming up with a word to explain it).  I truly felt like a different person.  I don't want to do a lot of the things I once did, although I still (like I said) have my faults.  This is something that I think about all the time... how can I get away from these things that I ask for forgiveness for??? How many times can I do that?! 
I am trying so hard to show my family how better life can be when you are "WALKING IN THE LIGHT".  I don't want to push anything on anyone... I know how unattractive that can be because I was on the other side of that at one point... now I see why the other person (my loving older brother) was saying those things to me.  I just didn't want to hear it, I wasn't ready. 
THAT IS MY FEAR, Lord please take this fear from me and guide me to my answers!

There are days where I feel so confident, like I can take this world on.  Then there are days (kinda like today) that I feel I am a lost lonely soul.... and I cant do anything to change any one's ways, even my own.
 I am thankful for the eyes that God has given me... even when it hurts to see with them. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keeping the Faith in Tough Times

I have been thinking a lot about what faith means to me... and how my faith in God has grown and been tested in the past year.  This has been, by far, the toughest year of my life.  There were a few family deaths... something that we have not experienced in such close proximity as this.  My Aunt Tina passed away unexpectedly last November, then a couple days later it was my nieces mother.  This summer my uncle passed away, then in November of this year my sister had her daughter "sleeping" (stillborn).  I felt as though my family was put into a spotlight... that we were overlooked for so long and now were put to the test.  A test of faith?  I sure felt tested in that area.  TO THE MAX!   I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I found out about these losses.  I will never forget the heartache. 
When I heard that my sister was going through an emergency C-section, I prayed for her and my nieces safety.  I was on a field trip with my preschoolers at a Pumpkin farm... and trying to keep my composure.  I remember smiling with the kids and playing, but feeling incredibly scared, hopeful... and lost. 
After I found out that my niece did not make it (my Angel niece, Stella Grace, I love you), I was ANGRY.  I was angry that my prayer was not answered.  I couldn't understand why God would take my sister's child from her arms.  I still don't understand it, and I don't think that I ever will.  I am only human, I know... but that was the biggest test on my faith. 
Since then, I still question why this has happened.  Especially when I see the pain and loss in my sister and her family's eyes.  I know that God as his plan, I pray that He can put it out there for us to see... that He can put his hands on our hearts and ease the pain. 
Today, I watched a video that my sister put together in memory of my angel niece, Stella Grace.  I felt as though I was pulled back and started to grieve all over again.  In some ways I know that this is a good thing.  I need to remember her.  I know that I will never forget her... it is hard to watch the movie and see my sister's belly moving... knowing that my niece was sooo alive and well, then she was gone.  I really wanted to watch her grow and learn.  I pray that someday I can meet her in Heaven, and that she will know me. 
God, please help me get through this.  e

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Salvation

First, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to check out my blog!  I am new at this, and the idea just came to me this morning to share my story on how I live day to day as a Christian wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. 
                                           This is me, unedited :)

My name is Karie, and I was raised in a partial Christian home, with 5 brothers and 3 sisters.  I am the 4th oldest of the 9 children.  I say 'Partial' Christian home because my Mother was the one that took myself and my siblings to church... Dad never was involved in the church scene.  Just like my Mom, we were raised going to a Catholic Church, of which I realize now never really taught me what I know today about Christianity.  I would go to Church on a weekly basis, holidays and Sunday School... yet I still did not receive Christ in my life.  Not until years later. 
As an adult, I met my soul mate.  We were freshly 18, and shortly after we became pregnant with our oldest child.  For his sake we would occasionally attend church.  In our minds we were doing what we could to have Christianity introduced to him.  He would go to Sunday School... and eventually that is all it was.  Our son attended Sunday school, and we would only go to church on Christmas and Easter. 
When our son was 3 1/2 we were married in a Lutheran Church.  We became members, not really knowing what that meant besides saving us some money on being married there.  We continued on with our Holiday appearances at Church even past the birth of our daughter in 2005.  
Then things started to change.  In the winter of 2007, I found out that I was pregnant again.  This news was very unexpected, and honestly not welcomed by me at the time.  I was very low income, young, my husband had been struggling with drugs and alcohol... and I was SCARED.  
For the first few months, I was not too happy about getting ready to add to our family.  Finally, at about 4 months along, I had a breakthrough and decided that this was not a horrible thing, and we would make it... together.  In the Spring of 2008, I had a regular ultrasound, and some things came back as abnormal.  I was told that my child may have a rare disorder that would cause serious heart and brain defects and that the child would not live long past birth, if even that long. 
I was lost and heartbroken.  I felt guilty for the feelings that I had early on in my pregnancy.  Again, I was SCARED. 
On Easter 2008, we went to a new church.  When we were there we were amazed.  This is a kind of church that I have never seen.  This was the first time that I had attended a Non-denominational church.. and it was so... me!  I found such encouragement, strength, and FAITH.  From that moment I started to pray to God to save my baby.  To make this baby healthy.  After praying that prayer for a couple months, I changed.  I prayed that this baby would make it... with a disability or not, I would love him or her no matter what (my husband and I decided not to find out the gender of the child since we had one of each already). 
At about 38 weeks pregnant, I had to go to get a special ultrasound done to determine the health of my unborn child.  I was completely terrified... yet I had faith that God would lead me through this.  To my amazement, the ultrasound tech informed me that the baby was completely fine.  Perfect.  WOW.  I was speechless. GOD IS AMAZING!  Through Him, and through my faith... my second son was born a whopping 9lbs 11oz on August 8th, 2008.  A beautiful and healthy child of God. 
Through this trial in my life, I am a changed woman.  I am happy to be a Jesus Freak! 

In the summer of 2009, my husband and I were baptized together, along with many other Christians in a Lake baptism with our new home church.  This was an amazing day!

I know now, that even with great faith... anyone can slip.  I have been tested many times over in the past 2 years.  Things from my husband's drug addiction returning to many losses in my family.  I like to think that things are smooth sailing now, my husband is getting much needed help, my family has grown closer (although still hurting).  I am afraid that something will happen... yet instead of worry, I pray.  God, please get us through these trying times!  Give us the strength to live day to day in a world so full of hatred and pain. 

I know that someday this pain will be gone for good... and until that day I will speak the word of God, and pray for those that have not received Christ to do so.  This life I live now, even when there are pains and losses, is full of light.  I am walking in the light of my Lord, God.