Monday, April 21, 2014

My Joy!

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55: 8 & 9

When I face roadblocks in my life I find peace in these words.

When I face trials in my life I find courage in these words.

When I am filled with joy in my life I find celebration through these words.

If you would have asked me a few years ago how this verse made me feel I would have told you that it was nice and comforting.  But my relationship with Jesus has been strengthened in so many ways between then and now that when I read God's word I feel as though I am having a conversation over a hot cup of coffee with my best friend.  Or hearing stories of the good 'ol days from my husband.  This is not religion for me.  To me, Jesus is not a person who did good things and I look highly upon.  He is my everything, He is my first.  The deep relationship I now have with him is so much stronger than any other relationship in my life.  He is the only one who can truly console me.  He is the only one who can bring me unwavering peace.  He is the one who gives me life and gives me much joy.

There is nothing like this relationship. There is nothing like His hope.  He saved me.  He came on this earth, lived the perfect life, bore all my shame and took on my sin by dying on the cross so that I might live with my Father, my best friend, my most sacred relationship for eternity.  Oh, how thankful I am that I have that hope.  For I am broken, but my hope is that only light shines through those broken pieces of my life.  For my pain and my heartache will never outweigh my joy through Him. How thankful I am that I am filled to the brim with joy this evening.  Watch out neighbors….I'm doing the HAPPY dance! Will you join me?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"He leads me beside the Still Waters"

I just feel led to sit down and write.  Perhaps this blog is more between myself and God than anything else. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and gratitude at this time in my life, yet because of the blessings there comes work.  I think sometimes the stress and angst are what appear on my face.

God has been so good to us this year and if my actions and my words do not display how blessed I feel then I pray that God will change my heart and my mind to be more focused on all the joy in my life.  Now, when I say "good" I know many people perceive that to mean; bills are paid, the money tree is flowing, sleep is at an all time high, kids are like walking Disney characters- happy all the time, work is going perfectly, marriage is blissful.....uuuuurch! REAL WORLD! Money is tight, more things get broken before they can get fixed, going to bed at 2am is not ideal with toddlers in the house, the kids are learning how to fight at a rapid pace, I feel more unorganized and forgetful as the day goes on, etc. etc.  This is everyone's story though, right?  We all just have life that happens and even when you subtract a couple of those scenarios we always tend to get focused on the remaining.

But, life is so good and God has been so faithful.  I am getting the opportunity of a lifetime to watch people walk through life and experience pure joy and happiness from Still Water Hollow.  I promise you, it's nothing we are doing.  There are more things that go wrong behind the scenes than most would care to know, which I love because it gives me even more reason to give the glory to God when it all falls into place just perfectly.  I can not tell you how many times I have the priveledge of hearing people acknowledge His presence here when they say, "There is just something about this place." This has become a place for people in our community to celebrate, but also to recover.  While I get to be a part of the most wonderful day is most people's lives, I also have seen a lot of hurt and a lot of healing that has to take place.

Who knows what small roll myself, Tyler, our family, or just the presence people feel while they are here will play in the big scheme of things.  But that is the beauty of it all....there is a scheme and I can fully trust and put faith that my Lord and Savior is the one with ultimate power.  Is life perfect? No.  Is God? Yes. Is life always good? No. Is my God?  Oh, yes! This year has been such a testament to the fact that not matter how we try to mess things up, God can always turn it into something good, something right, something absolutely perfect.

I grew up a little soap box preacher girl.  I shouted out what I believed from the rooftops, but as I have gotten older I have learned how powerful my actions can be, far beyond my words.  Don't get me wrong, I believe there are times to speak out using your voice.  But my heart tells me that what I do with my life and how I live my life and how I interact will speak volumes compared to anything I could write or say.  So, here I am asking for you to hold me accountable.  I am embarrassed to think how I have let stress and worry take over how I may be acting and living on a day to day basis.  Because the truth is I honestly and whole heartedly believe that God has this ALL under control.  ALL of it, even the messy stuff, even the difficult to understand and grasp stuff.  So even if my world, as I know it, comes tumbling down there is no reason that my faith should be shaken.

My heart and soul is filled with so much joy right now I feel like I have had 10 cups of coffee (at I've only had 3!) Whew! Time for a dance party...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love that Woman!

How do you say how thankful you are that a woman who has shaped you in every way was born on this ninth day of November? She has carefully guided me into womanhood without hindering how God made me deep within.  My mom has been an amazing role model in my life and grown into one of my best friends.

I think what I am most thankful for is her example in loving Jesus and having a relationship that is beyond church and deeper than religion.  She never pushed me to believe what she did.  Rather she set before me an example of what it looks like to have a relationship with God.  Not a perfect one.  Not one without difficulties, struggles, doubt or wonder.  But a real relationship that begins to build on trust, faith, understanding and ultimately peace.  I haven't always been close to God.  Our relationship seems to be much like a roller coaster- sometimes I grip on tight as we plunge into the depths and sometimes I just let go.  Thankfully He is my safety bar, holding onto me even though I foolishly separate myself from Him.  If it weren't for my parents setting the foundation I don't know how I would find strength, freedom and joy when times are hard.  And when times are good I don't know that I would fully understand the greatness and the blessing.

She has also taught me how to be loving all the while being strong.  I know that I don't do it as gracefully as she, but I am learning.  Many of you may not realize how strong my mother's beliefs are.  That's the inside scoop that I get.  Her job calls her to be non-partial and frankly she does it better than almost any person in the news I have seen.  But the truth of the matter is she is strong and she has no fear to stand up for what she believes.  I think there is a misperception out there that if you are passionate about your beliefs that in order to voice them and get your point across you have to be rude, nasty and a bit cocky.  I thankfully, have not seen this in my mom.  She has no problem stating her ground with someone who disagrees and she won't be intimidated by them, but she has a way of doing it in a very powerful way because she leaves no room for smug remarks by her opposer.

And finally, I have learned how to love.  I now have the privilege of understand what my mom meant when she would say, "You have no idea how much I love you."  She showed me how to love and care for children.  She wasn't always perfect, but neither was I.  Growing up, she chose to be a great parent and lead me rather than be my best friend. I didn't always "like" her because she set me straight and let's be honest none of us enjoy being set straight.  This has helped me so much as my adorable toddler with the big brown eyes and criminal bottom lip looks at me with that look, you know that look, hoping to escape punishment after doing something he knows is a "no, no"just to turn around and do it again.  I am reminded that I am here to guide and lead my son into becoming a great young man...not to be his best friend.

Oh mom, I sure do love you!  You are such an incredible woman and my boys are lucky to have a Noma like you! Happy Birthday.  I pray God sends you lots of wonderful blessings today.  They may not be in the form of material things, but rather in joy and peace.  I know that is what your heart longs for most.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"I found him whom my soul loves" Song of Solomon 3:4

Well, my anniversary has come and gone without me posting anything mushy gushy about my one in a million man.  This is in part because these 4 years have flown by and I think we kept hoping time would just stand still so that we could reflect on that special day 4 years ago, thinking of our vows and remembering that fluttering feeling we had as we locked eyes down the aisle.

Time never stood still this week.  In hoping it would I believe I sped it up even more quickly.  But as I looked out onto our property from my porch and saw my man; sweat dripping, covered in dirt (don't worry this isn't going somewhere inappropriate), after working all night only to return home to trim, mow, clean the pond, and fix the sprinklers.  As I looked at him I fell in love deeper with the hardest working man I have ever met in my life.  As he laid in bed, knowing he would only get two hours of sleep before getting up to go to work again, I realized how often I forget to tell him how much I appreciate him.  When he woke up from that "sleep" with a smile on his face, picking up our son to tell him he loved him, my heart melted even more than it did the day I said, "I do".  When I heard someone near us groan about only getting a few hours of sleep the night before I looked at my husband with a smirk.  We both knew that's about what he had gotten the past 3 days, but he didn't complain.  This helped me remember how he never dwells on the negative, but always focuses on the positive.  That makes me want to shed that negative itch I get.  When I hear him praying with our family my soul cries out with thanks that I have a man who bows before the Lord and trusts Him to guide our family.

My man is a man.  He is not physically weak, but he is not afraid to admit his faults.  He is emotionally strong, but finds his strength in God.  He will always give people the benefit of doubt, but on the job I have pity on the fool who dares come against my man.  Each and every day he tells his boys how much they are loved.  Wow, what a lucky woman I am to have married such a good and faithful man.

So, although I didn't get to watch my wedding video over again and cry.  Even though we didn't sit on the porch with our sweet tea reminiscing over that hot August day in 2008.  I was reminded of why I stood before our family, our friends and our Lord to make an everlasting commitment to a man that I am honored to now call my husband!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blackbox Routine

I've had several people asking what my routine has been with Blackbox, so I thought I would post it for you all to use as a reference.

Geniskin Line:
Face Wash: Morning and Night. 1-2 pumps
Treatment Serum: Morning and Night. 1 pump.  This serum pulls out all of the built up bacteria, so my face broke out for the first couple of weeks and began clearing up during week 3.  I encourage people to be really consistent for at least one month.  If you don't see improvement then you may rethink using the serum.
Masque: I used this every other day until my face was clear.  Now I use it on average twice a week.
Scrub: Start with once a week and you can build up to as often as you desire for that silky smooth skin. This is what did wonders at getting rid of my acne scars.

Restoration Line:
Infusion AM:  I put this on every morning. 1 pump.  It helps protect my skin and I feel like my make up goes on gorgeous when I put this on before applying foundation.
Bronzed: A couple times a week.  I just started using this a couple weeks ago and so far like it.  It has the same effect as the Infusion AM with a little sun.  It's a little too dark for me to use more than once or twice a week.
Little Secret Weapon: At Night. 1 pump around the eyes.  Yes, I am putting this around my eyes in hopes of preventing some wrinkles down the road.
Radiance AX:  Morning and Night.  Okay, this one I am SUPER excited about.  I used to not use it.  After having Titus I got those oh, so lovely stretch marks and I also started getting small bumps on the backs of my arms.  I've been putting this on those spots for the last 3 weeks and have been so impressed!

Defiance PM is a great product.  I don't use it because I just put on the Treatment Serum at night and let it do it's thing!

6 minute miracle is just like the scrub in the Geniskin Line, but without the active agents for problem skin. Same with the Sea-Mask.

I have not tried the Revive qx yet, but I'm planning to this winter when my face won't be seeing as much sun.

I hope this helps everyone out and I really hope some of you are seeing great results like I have!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Servicemen Night

So, being the wife of a police officer I often hear my husbands co-workers talk about what a bummer it is to go out to eat, or grab a beer at the local pub just to find that your waiter was someone you arrested or pulled over at some point.  Makes ya wonder what they might do to your food?  Ty and I have been brainstorming how to have a night out for police officers and other service men/women who deal with the same dilemma.  I don't mean to offend those who are not police, fire, or military, but I think it's important for these guys to get a night out to relax and not worry about who they are going to run into.  As I start planning for this night though I need to figure out what type of evening would be the most enjoyable, so I would REALLY appreciate a response to this post....even if the response is, "sorry, I wouldn't come."  Also, please pass this along to anyone you know of who might be able to give me some feedback.  You can post on my Facebook, message me or even send an email

Here are some questions I have:

If we had dinner available, but tickets for the dinner would need to be purchased ahead of time (so we know how many to plan on) would you buy a ticket?  The dinner we are looking at would be tri-tip or something similar, roasted red potatoes, salad, rolls, fruit for $10-$12 per plate.
*We wouldn't require you to buy dinner in order to come

If we had drinks available (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) would you purchase a drink?

Would you like there to be:
-A live band?
-A poker tournament?
-Any other suggestions???

Would you be more likely to come if kids were welcome or if it were adults only?

What day would you be most likely to attend on?

Thanks so much for your feedback!  We really want to do something before the end of summer and hope to make it a great evening where everyone can just relax and socialize!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

R.I.P. Caesar

Well, there's one thing that even most strangers know about us, we are dog people.  At one point we had 16 dogs under our roof (12 of them being puppies, but still a lotta' dogs!).  Today, we lost Caesar and I can honestly say I've never had a better dog.

This is the dog that gave me comfort each night that Tyler walked out the door because I knew that if given the chance Caesar would take a bullet for him.  And I'm not kidding.  It would not have surprised me, if put in a situation that was life or death, to find out that Caesar had leaped and bounded and squeezed his way through a tiny hole just to put himself in between a perp and my husband.

This is the dog that helped me sleep peacefully at night when we had our precious baby boy.  Tyler was still working nights and Caesar was retired.  This is when I felt like he became my dog too.  He would sleep in the hallway between my room and Ryker's.  If we got home while it was dark and Ty was already at work- I'd send Caes in front of us and he would check each room thoroughly.  Let me tell you, it's a good thing none of you decided to throw me a surprise party during this time.  It's very possible that Caes would've found you first and tore apart a limb.

He was trained in bite work and bomb detection.  He was one of the best.  So much so that he took my husband away from me for our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple.  Ty got to go all the way to Jamaica for a dog demo with his loyal companion.  Even with how well trained and aggressive this dog potentially could be, he's the same dog that let my little cousins climb all over him, wouldn't bat an eye as kids would tug on his tail, and if a child took that beloved red Kong out of his mouth he would just stare at it whimpering and drooling all over until one of us gave it back.

As much as I loved Caes he was always my husbands dog till the day he died.  He would follow that man anywhere and if you put anything in between them he would wine and wine until he finally could be by his side again.  OH MAN.....what a good dog.   Darnit!  Here I am sobbing at my computer.  Not because I am stricken with grief, but because I am so thankful to this dog.  He was a loyal companion, yes.  But he was a protector, a comforter and just plain good.

We'll miss you Caes, but thank you for being a dear dog to us. Thank you for serving the people of Nampa.  And thank you for looking scary and mean (or as they would whisper to one another in Jamaica, "It's Diablo."