Friday, September 8, 2023

Why do we go to Church?


Easter Service, Woodstock City Church

Kyle and I ran into friends at Woodstock city church a couple Sundays ago and it piqued an interest to a topic I want to explore: Why do we go to church?

Spoiler: there is not a right or wrong answer!

I just want to think through it and share all the reasons I can think of to go to church:

to learn more about Jesus

to hear an inspiring message

Andy Stanley, North Point Community Church

to learn more about the Bible

to have a deeper understanding of the Bible

to get plugged into the church community

returning to faith

giving God a second chance

for Holidays

to be with family

to be with friends

because someone invited you

to meet other Christians

for support during a hard time

for a baptism

for a funeral

for hope

to learn about good morals

to find a Christian partner/spouse

new to faith

to hear Christian music

Woodstock City Church Band

(Catholic) for confession

for communion

because you feel guilty

to give your kids a good up bringing

so, your kids can experience any of the above, too

so, you go to Heaven

so, you don't go to Hell

I am sure there are many more reasons I haven't listed. You may not agree with some of these reasons or believe they are "right." But that is what is so great about church & ultimately following Jesus, there is not a right or wrong reason to go to church.

Of course, you don't have to go to church to have a relationship or salvation through Jesus! Believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior. Believe that he died for your sins, so you could have a relationship with God. Believe that He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, so that we may have eternal life! That is it. You can say that to God right now, and you are "IN!" "I believe Jesus is my Lord and savior."

Then, show good works and put your faith into ACTION!


Hebrews Il:1 "now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

Sunday, July 30, 2023

When 2 Lines Turn Back to 1

Trigger Warning for miscarriages, postpartum, & infertility. 

I have known many people that have had miscarriages, but that has not been part of our story... until recently. For those of you who know me and our story, having our only son was really hard for me AFTER he was born. It was really, really, really hard. It also affected our family, and it was hard for them, too. 

But there are a lot of things that women don't feel comfortable talking about or sharing with most people. Miscarriages, postpartum mental health issues, and infertility are probably at the top of the list. So, a lot of times women struggle in silence. Which is a very lonely place, and that makes it worse. Somethings people struggle with when trying and having babies are: 

Infertility for women (and men) 
Hormonal issues during pregnancy 
Postpartum depression 
Postpartum psychosis 
Being a single mom 
Not having family or friend support and even sabotage 
Dealing with custody issues 

But, with even this long list of possible struggles, how often do you hear people talk about them? How often do you worry about feeling ashamed or worry you might be judged if you do share? The sad thing to me is with the state of social media, cyber bullying, unwanted opinions, unsolicited advice, you are justified with keeping hard things we deal with to ourselves. 

I have always wanted to change this, encourage people to share, and support one another when people need it the most. It is easy to ask for prayers when there are outwardly signs of distress or hospitalization. Crowd funding organizations like GiveSendGo are so helpful for rallying people behind a cause for people in need! Bless them for being a platform to give support through prayer and financial donations. 

But how often do you see crowd funding for any of the reproduction issues above? Full transparency, I haven't seen even one. That is a problem to me. All the above require support from family and friends and there are a lot of financial resources needed. So, we feel alone, we struggle in silence, we tough it out, and deal with it the best we can. 

That is why I am writing this post. That is why when I saw "2 lines" on the pregnancy test (learning I was pregnant), and even though it was so new, I told some family & friends. But then when I lost our baby, and the 2 lines went back to the "1 line" (not pregnant), I shared the sad news with the same people. But, because I had included them in our excitement, and then unfortunate loss, we got support. It was emotional support: calls, text messages, cards, visits, flowers, coffee, prayers, cake, and lots of chocolate. My parents and Kyle's parents are even buying us a tree in honor of our angel baby. 

All the support helps. It doesn't take away the pain and sadness, but it does give comfort in the moment. It gives people the opportunity to pray for you and your family. They can be there for you. They can remind you of God's faithfulness and hope for a healthy baby. 

I know I am VERY blessed to have a good support system, but I had to tell them. People can't be there for you if you don't include them in the journey and what you are going through when it happens. Otherwise, we feel alone. Losing a baby, at any stage, is so hard and even devastating. We shouldn't have to struggle in silence, but many people do. I hope this will change. 

We named our angel baby Taylor. I am comforted to know he or she is with my late mom, grandparents, other angel babies, and pups in Heaven. I hope for a someday baby. I pray God will answer our prayer for the baby that is on our hearts and hopefully we will have one day soon.

I made some art in honor of Taylor and hopes for our someday baby.  You can check out my Etsy shop here.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Ultimate Creator- Moab, Utah


Moab, Utah

Videos of the Scenic Views of Moab, Utah

Kyle and I recently went on a trip to Moab, Utah for a special off roading event, outdoor exploring adventure, and a belated anniversary trip.  We celebrated 11 years of marriage in August.  Some people say times flies in marriage, but for us it feels like a long time. 

We have been through so much together over the years and we have come out stronger.  It feels like our marriage has refined us individually and as a couple through pressure to transform our marriage into a diamond.

Arches National Park in Moab, Utah

We certainly do not have it all figured out and conflict always comes up, but overall, I feel like we are in a good, happy, and content place.  As opposed to the way we use to interact together, at one point, when I wondered if we would make it.  The stresses of our lives became so great, but with God as our rock, we were able to cling to Him, and fight for our marriage and each other. (We also went to a great Christian marriage counselor for a few years and put the work in to address issues to move forward in better and positive ways.)

"Window" Rock formation, Moab, UT

Moab, Utah reminded me of the transformation our marriage has gone through and showcased the incredible creator God truly is. God has created an area of the country that you can literally see the layers of the crust of the Earth from millions of years of erosion. Like life and marriage, the pressures of the whole Earth have created shifts, and erosion. Over millions of years, the changing lakes and rivers have created landmark rock formations. Besides looking like Mars, the desert landscape is like nothing I have ever seen!

Arches National Park in Moab, UT

The national parks in Moab, Utah take you through a journey in time where you can explore and come in close contact with these amazing rock formations.  We explored the Arches National Park, and it was very vast and awe-inspiring. If you are ever able, I would encourage you to explore Moab and see God’s mighty hand on display in physically shaping the world!

Friday, September 10, 2021

"My Head Hurts"


1st Day of School 2021

James had been complaining about headaches after school. I would make comments that it was, "convenient it was happening right when it was time to start doing his homework". We thought maybe he wasn't drinking enough water. We thought maybe he wasn't eating enough at school. We thought maybe it was seasonal allergies. Can you tell we gave this a lot of thought??? I even asked his pediatrician about it too.

About James on his first day of school

But it wasn't until Parent's Night at his school when I spoke with another mom who said it could be related to his vision. Then, I immediately knew she was on to something. As I had found out, it was only happening around academic activities. I didn't think he had any trouble seeing but now knew it had to be related to his vision. Pediatricians can do basic vision screenings. Finding an opthamologist that can, has all the equipment, and will do comprehensive children's exams I realized, are harder to find.

After a visit to Milan Eye Center for a sty and a basic exam for James, they referred us to Eyes on Towne Lake. They told me about the wonderful Dr. Jennifer A.Dattolo, OD, FCOVD, there who specializes and has all the equipment to see children ("infants to elderly"). She gave James the most comprehensive eye exam I have ever seen and she was very efficient. After a long exam she told me the answer to our burning questions!

Working on Math homework

James has weak eye focusing muscles. She prescribed him glasses for reading, writing, and computer screens at school and home. Basically anything within his arm distance. He picked out some cute glasses and they are being ordered now. She said the straining trying to focus is what is giving him the headaches.

1st School Project- "Mercy Watson to the Rescue"

Kyle and I both wear contacts and have poor vision. James has 20/20 vision now and these glasses should help keep his vision better longer. The focusing muscles should get stronger over time as well.

So mommas and daddies, don't stop searching for an answer when you know something is not right with your babies (no matter how old they are). We have to be their biggest advocates! Trust your gut!