Thursday, December 17, 2009

The countdown to Christmas...

So, on my way to work this morning I was really struck by something. I have very random things that go on in this blonde head of mine, but sometimes the Lord uses those random thoughts and turns them into an idea!!!! So, as I was heading to work, I was just thinking to myself..."Gosh, I'm so warm with my heated seats and the heat blowing on my face"....and then my thoughts were turned to those less fortunate. I was thinking about the homeless people that are sitting under bridges in this 30 degree weather with no heat or blankets, or the people that have no cars and walk or ride their bike to work, or perhaps the kids that have no warm clothes....it really made me sad. I take SOOOOOO much for granted, and I don't even realize it! That's when I started thinking, "WHAT CAN I DO?" I know I can't help the world, but if I can help just ONE person a day, then I can make a difference in that person's life. So, I'm going to countdown to Christmas in a whole new way this year, and I want YOU to join me!!! We have 7 days left until Christmas, so that's 7 lives that we can help! If we commit to help at least 1 person a day from now until Christmas, then that's 7 lives that we can impact!! Maybe you could bake your elderly neighbors some cookies, or offer to wrap a pregnant friend's Christmas presents, or maybe you see a stranger at Wal-Mart that needs help loading their groceries into the car, or you see a hitchhiker on the side of the road and you offer them a jacket that you have in your trunk. Whatever it might be, let's try to help those in need this holiday season! I'm going to include Abby in on this too, because I want her to learn at an early age what Christmas is all about. So, I'll try to update my blog every day over the next 7 days and tell yall about what opportunities the Lord has brought to my plate that day. And pleaseeeeeeeeeee share with me too!!!!! I hope to hear from some of yall over the next 7 days.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Tonya :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My heart overflows!

The best way to sum up the past 3 1/2 months isn't "overload" but "overFLOW"!!



*Abby- She will be 3 on January 7th. She is a precious angel....sassy...but precious!!!! She is SOOOOOOOOOO much like me, it totally cracks me up. She uses phrases that I do (ex: I told her to clean her room one day and she looked at me and said, "I'm so sure!") WOW'zers!!! And even through her sassy'ness, she has already started to show a love for the Lord, and that melts my heart like nothing else in this world. (ex: I told her one day that me and her daddy were very proud of her, and she asked, "Is Jesus proud of me too?"....and when we sit down to eat, she promptly reminds us to hold hands and say the blessing). She is so into Santa this year...and Buddy (our elf on the shelf). I didn't think anyone could love Christmas more than me, but I have definitley met my match! :) And last, but most assuredly not least...she is the BEST big sister!!!! She loves her baby brother more than I could have ever imagined! She's had the "crud" for about a week, so I've TRIED to keep her away from him, but that is not physically possible...she wants to be loving on him at all times!



*Parker- He is 3 1/2 months old!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?! Where does the time go? I cannot get enough of him!! Since I've started back to work (full time), when I get home, all I want to do is cuddle and rock with him. Needless to say, he is spoiled R-O-T-T-E-N. (ex: he never spent one night in his bassinet, and has not slept a wink in his crib...I have to have him cuddled by me!!) Call us bad parents, but Michael and I loveeeeeeeee our kids snuggled in the bed with us (it just makes for creative romance LOL). Kids are only little once, so we're saving the hard core schedules for their teen years. I know the day will come when they won't sleep with us, and they won't hang out with us on Friday nights, so I'm enjoying this time while I can! Other things Parker is doing: Cooing (he talks constantly...especially to Abby...he LOVES her!), he smiles all the time (especially at me...he is a big time mama's boy!), rolling over (sometimes....he's pretty lazy for the most part), fighting sleep (ugh...this is my least favorite...once again, it's my fault because I spoil him and now he thinks he HAS to be rocked to sleep!), he loves to watch TV (especially football with his daddy), he flares his nostrils when he gets excited, he loves chewing on his hands (i think he might be trying to teethe already), and oh my gosh...this boy poots more than anyone I know!!!!!!!!!! haha!!

*Michael- Michael is still working at Farm Bureau, and is doing SO great! He's won about 5 trips since August, and even though I tease him about it...I am SO proud of how successful he's been! He's really enjoyed being "Handy Man" in our new house. He takes so much pride in our new home and is constantly looking for things to do around the house!

*Me- I am working at Co-Lin as the student recruiter, and I L-O-V-E my job!!! It's hard leaving my kids every day, but I look forward to spending each day with great friends! I am also in love with our new home. It's the best feeling to get off work every day and go to a cozy home. However, keeping a 2400 sq ft house clean is ALOT harder than keeping a 700 sq ft house clean! haha!! I think all our Christmas parties have slowed down, so I'm really looking forward to just relaxing over the next 10 days and enjoying the Christmas season!



I hope yall have enjoyed the pics and updates....but most of all, I hope everyone has a VERY MERRY Christmas, and a fabulous New Year!!!!!!!



Jesus is the reason for the season,
Tonya :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The WORST Blogger EVERRR!!!

Ok, so it's been almost SIX months since I've blogged!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I've been very busy, but seriously, how long would it have taken me to simply blog a little here and there?!?!!? Soooo....today my blog will consist of a brief overview of the past several months, and then pics will soon follow....

July-Our big highlight in July was our family vacation to Washington D.C. I was 8 months preggie and was a little on the miserable side. However, this was my first time in D.C. and I really enjoyed it (besides for walking soooo much!!). Abby also had fun, even though she didn't understand the historical greatness of this city! It was a great time for everyone :)

August-Ok....you ready for this??? In August, I started full time at Co-Lin as the student recruiter, Abby started "school" for the first time, I hit the 9 month preggie mark, and we BOUGHT a house!!!!!!!!! It is an understatement to say that August was CA-RAZYYYY!! But it was also a super exciting time for us! We have been so patient in waiting for God to provide us a house, and it was well worth it because our house is fabulous! God is SO good!! Our families worked so hard to get us settled in before the baby got here, and it finally felt like "home."

September-I worked the first week in September, and then on September 8th we had Brandon Parker Bishop! He was 6 lb 12 oz and was 19.5 inches. He is such a blessing from God!!!!!!!!! Abby loved him immediately and has proven to be the BEST big sister! The rest of September consisted of lots of crying and worrying!!

October-Two words sum up this month....SWINE FLU!!!!!! I spent manyyyyy hours worrying about my babies getting the swine flu. It started to consume me, and Michael and I made the "Lexapro decision." I talked to my doctor and he recommended that I get on Lexapro to balance out my hormones. I always told myself that I'd never get on medicine like that, but I knew that until my hormones got back to normal, I needed some help! Michael and I also decided to keep Abby home from school until Parker had his shots, just to keep her from bringing home any kind of sickness.

November-I started back to work on November 3rd, and by this time, I had my life back! Lexapro literally saved my life and my sanity! And thank God, because November was crazyyyyyyyyyy at work!!!! I had SO much to catch up on and was in a different high school every day recruiting for Co-Lin. Even though it was crazy busy, I was having the time of my life. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing job that I love going to every day! Not only do I have the best job...I have the absolute greatest co-workers ever! So, when I started back to work, Abby started back to school. She was SO excited to see all her friends!! The transition was shockingly easy!! I'm able to go home pretty much every day on my lunch break to see my little man, and being away from him and Abby makes my time with them even more special.

So....that brings me to today. I have been off this past week for Thanksgiving break, and it has been WONDERFUL! I have been able to spend quality time with my 2 children and my husband. November is finally winding down and December 1st is right around the corner! I filled in our calendar on my dry erase board, and December is full of 12 Christmas parties, a couple Christmas parades, cookies with Santa, and much more!!!!!! So, as I sit here in my new house, on my new couch, with spit up on my shirt, my baby in his swing, the smell of syrup dripping off my daughter's face, my husband waiting on the Egg Bowl, the Christmas tree all lit up, and the feeling of contentment...I am reminded of all that I have to be thankful for! God has blessed our family in ways that I would have never dreamed of, and I can't wait to see what our future holds!

a child of the Living God,
Tonya Bishop :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!!!!

So, now that the 40 days of Love Dare is over, I can finally blog about my life!!!! :) However, let me start off by saying that the 40 days I set aside to "The Love Dare" was one of the best commitments I have ever made!! It truly taught me how to love my husband in a deeper way, and I'm already seeing a big difference in the way I handle my emotions and how my love for him has turned from "conditional" to "unconditional." I definitley recommend watching the movie "Fireproof" and then going through "The Love Dare" if you haven't already!

Alright, now let me give you a brief overview of the past 40 days of my life...

I think my last post before Love Dare was about Disney, so since our trip to Disney we have been on several other trips. Michael won a trip to Gulfshores with Farm Bureau, and while he was there me and Abby went to Georgia with his family to see my brother and sister in law. It was our first trip to see their new home, and we had a FABULOUS time!! **SHOUT OUT TO MATTHEW AND KRISTEN...LOVE YALL** Then, the very next weekend we headed to Pensacola, FL to see one of my bestest friends get married. **SHOUT OUT TO MRS. MOULDER ;)** We decided to make this wedding trip a mini-vacation for the fam, so my parents went down with me, Michael, and Abby and we were able to shop, tan, and hang out for 4 days! It was alot of fun!! (side note: if Brandi Barrett is reading this blog post, please forgive all my run-on sentences, fragments, and English errors). Anywaysss...after we got back from the beach, I decided that I needed about a month of NO road trips because I was absolutely exhausted. However...Michael won ANOTHER trip with Farm Bureau...to VEGAS!! He was gone for a week, and let me just give a **SHOUT OUT TO ALL SINGLE MOMS/PARENTS** because being a "single mom" for a week just about did me in! I was soooooooo happy when Michael got home, because I was finally able to shave my legs, take a bath (I had been taking showers, mind you), wash some dishes, etc etc.

Ok, so I think all that pretty much brings me to this week....WHEW!!! I've been very hormonal and emotional this week. Lots of pity parties and just down and depressing days! :( But I do have some good news....I passed my glucose test on Tuesday, and Dr. Mills once again reassured me that "baby brother" is still doing great! I cannot even begin to thank all the people who have been praying for this pregnancy...it means SO much! So, let's go back to "baby brother." Why do we call him this, you may ask!? Because Michael and I canNOT agree on a boy name!!!!!!!!!! I'm not real sure what we're going to do about this???? There is ONE name that we have agreed on, but for some reason we just can't seem to confirm this as his name? That name is "Parker." We like either Brandon Parker, or Parker Brandon. Brandon is Michael's middle name. Now we have even thrown Michael Brandon Bishop, Jr. into the mix?!?!? Ahhhhhhhh.....I just want my baby to have a name!!!!!!!!! But I think he'll always be "baby brother" to Abby. She seems VERRRRYYYYY excited about baby brother getting here. She always wants to feel him kick, and even tells me sometimes that he's kicking in HER tummy too! WOW!....pretty impressive, huh?! haha :)

Speaking of Abby....I think I'll use the rest of this post to share some updated pics of my princess. Words just cannot even begin to express my love for this girl. Michael and I are truly blessed beyond words.









Friday, June 5, 2009

Love Dare~Day 40!!!!!!!

We have reached our final dare!!!! And let me just tell you that satan got a hold of me yesterday like he hasn't got in the past 40 days! I really didn't think I would be able to finish this last dare, because I was so hurt by my husband and satan had me thinking that I wouldn't be able to, and didn't want to, get over it! But....through some prayer, and encouragement from my best friend, I was able to talk to Michael about it and we worked through it! And now when I look back on it, it was NOTHING!!! So, that's how I know it was satan trying to cause me to stumble on this last day! Let's see what our last dare holds for us:

"Love is a covenant"

"Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God." -Ruth 1:16

A few notes from today's reading:

~This book may end at Day 40. But who says your dare has to stop? And as you view your marriage relationship from this point on, we challenge you to consider it a COVENANT instead of a contract. These two words sounds similiar in meaning adn intent but are in reality much different. Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, "I take you for me and we'll see if this works out." But realizing it as a covenant changes it to say, "I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life."
~A COVENANT is:
-a verbal committment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life.
-for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility.
-intended to be unbreakable.
~There's good reason why God was the One who initiated covenants with His people. He alone is able to forgive the receivers of His covenant when they fail to uphold their part of the agreement.
~The time is NOW, man or woman of God, to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender. Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences. Fasten your love afresh on this one the Lord has given you to cherish, prize, and honor.

Today's Dare:

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangments to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God's eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

To Journal:

~What has God revealed to you during the Love Dare?
~How have your views of marriage changed?
~How committed are you to God and to your spouse?
~Who can you share this with as a testimony?


I hope yall have all enjoyed this journey as much as I have! I'm excited to see what God has in store for the future of our marriage, and I feel like I may be a little more prepared for satan's attacks on our marriage as well! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Love yall so much!

dare to love,
Tonya

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Dare~Day 39

"Love Endures"

"Love never fails" -1 Cor. 13:8

A few notes from today's reading:

~Though threatened, love keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up.
~So, today your dare is to put your unfailing love into the most powerful, personal words you can. This is your chance to declare that no matter what imperfections exist-both in you and in your spouse-your love is greater still. No matter what they've done or how often they've done it, you choose to love them anyway. Though you've been far from steady in your treatment of them over the years, your days of being inconsistent in love are over. You accept this man or woman as God's special gift to you, and you promise to love them until death!

Today's Dare:

Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of committment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.

To Journal:

~What were some of the hesitations you had in writing this letter?
~How do you expect your spouse to respond to it?
~How did God help you in writing it, and what did the process teach you about yourself?

One more day, guys & gals!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Love Dare~Day 37 & 38

Day 37~ "Love Agrees in Prayer"

"If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father." -Matthew 18:19

Today's Dare: (yesterday's day..sorry!)

Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it's in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don't forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

To Journal:

~What can you do to help your mate be willing for the two of you to begin praying together?
~If you agreed to pray together, what was it like?
~What did you learn from it?

Day 38~ "Love fulfills dreams"

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart"

Today's Dare:

Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

To Journal:

~What has made you resistant to fulfilling your mate's desires in the past?
~How would it chnage your relationship if they knew their dreams were a priority to you?
~What desires are you attempting to meet?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Love Dare~Day 36

"Love is God's Word"

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." -Psalm 119:105

A few notes from today's reading:

~Be in it-If this is not already a habit of yours, now is the time to begin reading a portion of the Bible every day. Those who practice a consistent pattern of reading the Bible soon discover it to be "more desirable than gold, yes than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb." (Psalm 19:10)
~Stay under it-It's so important to be part of a church where the Word is faithfully taught and preached. By hearing it explained in sermons and Bible study classes, you'll get a broader, more balanced view of what God is saying through His Word.
~Live it-The Bible lives because it becomes a part of who you are, how you think, and what you do.

Today's Dare:

Commit to reading the Bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the Rock.

To Journal:

~What parts of your life are in the greatest need of God's counsel?
~Where do you feel the most susceptible to failure?
~What are you asking God to show you through His Word?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Dare~Days 33-35

Day 33~ "Love completes each other"

"If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" -Ecclesiastes 4:11

Today's Dare:

Recognize that your spouse is included in your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them forgive you.

To Journal:

~What are some upcoming decisions you can make together?
~What did you learn today about the role of your mate?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 34~ "Love celebrates godliness"

"[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth." -1 Cor. 13:6

Today's Dare:

Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

To Journal:

~What example did you choose to recognize?
~How many other ways could you celebrate their growth in godliness?
~How could you encourage them to perserve in it?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 35~ "Love is accountable"

"Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." -Proverbs 15:22

Today's Dare:

Find a marriage mentor-someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

To Journal:

~Who did you choose?
~Why did you select this person?
~What do you hope to learn from them?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Dare~Day 32

"Love meet sexual needs"

"The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband." -1 Cor. 7:3

A few notes from today's reading:

~It's true that sex is only one aspect of marriage. But as time goes by, one of you will likely value its importance more highly than the other. As a result of this, the nature of your oneness will feel threatened and endangered.
~Sex is not to be used as a bargaining chip. It is not something God allows us to withhold without consequence. Though there can certainly be abuses to this divinely designed framework, the heart of marriage is one of giving ourselves to each other to meet the other's needs.
~If you allow distance to grow between you in this area, if you allow staleness to set in, you are taking something that rightly and exclusively belongs to your spouse.
~When the love of Christ is the foundation of your marriage, the strength of your friendship and sexual relationship can be enjoyed at a level this world can never know.

Today's Dare:

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your spouse today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

To Journal:

~Was this a satisfying experience for you?
~If it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, what do you think is complicating matters?
~Have you committed this to prayer?
~If it was a true blessing for both of you, what can you learn from this for the future?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Love Dare~Day 31

Nine more days, guys & gals!! I'm so proud of us for making it this far into the journey! I've talked to a couple people who have kinda been struggling with the past couple weeks. Honestly, I have too! I just don't feel like alot of this applies to me or my marriage, so it's been hard to put it into practice. But what I CAN tell you is that, I have gotten ALOT out of this study so far!!!! God has changed my heart in a lot of different ways, and taught me to love more UNconditionally! So, even if you feel like you're not getting something out of EVERY day/dare...just remember that God might have you doing this only to get a few things out of it! :)

"Love and Marriage"

"A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." -Genesis 2:24

A few notes from today's reading:

~Unity is a marriage quality to be guarded at great cost. The purpose of "leaving", of course, is not to abandon all contact with the past but rather to preserve the unique oneness that marriage is designed to capture. Only in oneness can you become all that God means for you and your marriage to be.
~"Cleaving" carries the idea of catching someone by pursuit, clinging to them as your new rock of refuge and safety. This man is now the spiritual leader of your new home, tasked with responsibility of loving you "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." (Eph 5:25). This woman is now one in union with you, called to "see to it that she respects her husband." (Eph 5:33)
~As a result of this essential process, you are able to acheive oneness in your DECISION MAKING, in your PRIORITIES, and in your SEXUAL AFFECTIONS.

Today's Dare:

Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a committment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

To Journal:

~Has this been a hard thing for you to deal with?
~How has it affected your relationship?
~If the worse offender in this area is your spouse, how can you lovingly move this toward a better situation?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Dare~Day 30

Okay, I am dragging BIG time today....and I'm gonna need loads of motivation to #1)catch up on some of the Love Dares I slacked on, #2)get my work done today, #3)kill all these spiders that have made nest in my office over the weekend, and #4)just stay awake!!! I loveddddddd my 4 day weekend, but it was incredibly hard to get up this morning and get back to the real world :( So...let's see what Day 30 holds for us! DAY 30!!!! Can you believe we've made it this far?!?! Only 10 more days...I hope God has been doing some incredible things in your marriage over these past 30 days! He has been reshaping me in so many ways!!

"Love bring unity"

"Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given me, that they may be one even as We are." -John 17:11

A few notes from today's reading:

~Wives-what would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband? What if every threat to your unity was treated as poison, a cancer, an enemy to be eliminated by love, humility, and selfishness? What would your marriage become if you were never again willing to see your oneness torn apart?
~Therefore, love this one who is as much a part of your body as you are. Serve this one whose needs cannot be separated from your own. Honor this one who, when raised upon the pedestal of your love, raises you up too in the eyes of God, all at the same time.

Today's Dare:

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same from them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

To Journal:

~Did the Lord open your eyes to anything new that might be giving fuel to this point of disagreement?
~How did you intend to respond?
~What do you hope to see God do in your spouse as well?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Love Dare~Days 27-29

Ok, I slacked off yesterday and I am SO sorry! There's really no excuse for it at all....we were a lazy family ALL day yesterday, and I just kept putting it off until I completely forgot about it! Sorry, gals! So, I'm going to put up yesterday's dare, today's dare, and tomorrow's dare. That way I won't forget again during this holiday weekend :)

Day 27~ "Love Encourages"

Today's Dare: (yesterday's dare)

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spoue has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.

To Journal:

~When you place high expectations on your spoue that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself?
~What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?

Day 28~ "Love makes sacrifices"

Today's Dare:

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now? Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today be a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

To Journal:

~How much of your mate's stress is caused by your lack of concern or initiative?
~When you expressed a desire to help, how did they receive it?
~Are there other needs you could meet?

Day 29~ "Love's Motivation"

Today's Dare: (tomorrow's dare)

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you", then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privelege of loving this one special person-unconditionally, the way He loves both of you!

To Journal:

~How will this change of motivation affect your relationshiop and reactions?
~What does this inspire you to do?
~What does it inspire you to stop doing?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Love Dare~Day 26

"Love is Responsible"

"When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things." -Romans 2:1

A few notes from today's reading:

~Love doesn't pass the blame so easily or justify selfish motives. Love is not nearly as concerned with its own performance as with others' needs. When love takes responsibility for its actions, it's not to prove how noble you've been but rather to admit how much further you have to go.
~Pride is very resistant to responsibility, but humility and honesty before God and your spouse is crucial for a healthy relationship.

Today's Dare:

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

To Journal:

~What does your mate need to see in order to believe that your confession was more than just words?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love Dare~Day 25

15 more days of the Love Dare!!!!!! Hope everyone is doing good with it. The past couple weeks have been so deep and in a way, I don't feel like any of it has really applied to me. RED FLAG!! I probably need to go back and read through them again and really open my heart to what God is wanting to show me. But I'm kinda looking forward to this being over so I can start "blogging" again! haha...I guess I could blog on personal issues at the same time, but it would just be too much for me and this blog! ha!! :) So..let's get on with Day 25:

"Love Forgives"

"What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ." -2 Cor. 2:10

A few notes from today's reading: (good stuff!)

~Forgiveness HAS to happen, or a successful marriage will NOT work!
~Torture. Prison. When you think of unforgiveness, this is what should come to your mind, for Jesus said, "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." (Matthew 18:35)
~We see all kinds of dangers and risks involved in forgiving others. But when you forgive another person, you're not turning them loose. You're just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them HIS way.
~It's about freedom. It's about letting go.
~"Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)
~How do you KNOW you've forgiven? You know it when the thought of their name or the sight of their face-rather than causing your blood to boil-causes you to feel sorry for them instead, to pity them, to genuinely hope they get this turned around.
~Great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep "no record of wrongs." (1 Cor 13:5)

Today's Dare:

Whatever you haven't forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to "forgive us our debts" each day, we must ask Him to help us "forgive our debtors" each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, "I choose to forgive."

To Journal:

~What did you forgive your spouse for today?
~How long have you been carrying the weight of it?
~What are the possibilities now that you've released this matter to God?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


forgiven & forgiving,
Tonya

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love Dare~Day 24

"Love vs Lust"

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." -1 John 2:17

A few notes from today's reading:

~The progression of lust: from eyes to heart to action. And then follows shame and regret.
~We can lust after people, possessions, power, or prideful ambition. We see what others have and we want it. Our hearts are decieved into saying, "I could be happy if I only had this." Then we make the decision to go after it.
~It's time to expose lust for what it really is-a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God's love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycle of regret and condemnation.
~Begin with setting your eyes on the Word of God. Focus on being grateful for everything God has already given you rather than choosing discontentment.
~Lust is the best this world has to offer, but love offers you the best life in the world.

Today's Dare:

End it NOW! Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed-today-and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

To Journal:

~What did you identify as an area of lust?
~What has this pursuit cost you over time?
~How has it led you away from the person you want to be?
~WRite about your new committment to seek Him-and to seek your spoue-rather than seeking after foolish desires.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love Dare~Day 23

"Love always protects"

"Love always protects" -1 Cor. 13:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~There are some battles you should be willing to fight in your marriage. These are battles that pertain to protecting your spouse.
~Your mate and your marriage need your constant protection from things like:
-Harmful influences- too much Internet, television, or long work hours
-Unhealthy relationships- not everyone has the material to be a good friend. Don't hang out with people who constantly put negative thoughts in your head.
-Shame- You need to protect your wife or husband's vulnerability by never speaking negatively about them in public. Love hides the fault of others. It covers their shame.
-Parasites- Anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. Addictions: gambling, drugs, or porn.
~Wives, you have a role as a protector in your marriage. You must guard your heart from being led away through novels, magazines, and other forms of entertainment that blur your perception of reality and put unfair expectations on your husband.

Today's Dare:

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

To Journal:

~What did you throw out first?
~Are there others that need to go as well?
~What do you hope the removal of these things will do for you, your marriage, and you relationship with God?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love Dare~Day 22

Ok, so I've had a VERY busy week/weekend!!!!!!! I am so sorry for slacking with the Love Dare, but I at least wanted to make sure I posted the dares for everyone! I am still struggling a little bit with my current attitude towards this book?! It just seems like satan is working overtime trying to discourage me along the way! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! But anyways, I'm praying myself through it....I just hope it gets better soon! :)

"Love is Faithful"

"I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord." -Hosea 2:20

A few notes from today's reading:

~Our love for each other is supposed to be how people distinguish us as Christ's disciples. (John 13:35)
~So if love is what we were created to share, what do you do when your love is rejected? How do you handle it when the one to whom you've pledged your life stops accepting the love you're called to give?.....
~"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28)
~If love is to be like His, it must love even when its overtures are returned unwanted. And for your love to be like that, it must be His love to begin with.
~You can give undeserved love to your spouse because God gave undeserved love to you-repeatedly, enduringly. Love is often expressed the most to those who deserve it the least. (WOW WOW WOW WOW!!)

Today's Dare:

Love is a choice, not a feeling. (I'm going to repeat that) Love is a CHOICE, not a feeling!!!!!!! It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if you spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similiar to these, "I LOVE YOU. PERIOD. I CHOOSE TO LOVE YOU EVEN IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME IN RETURN."

To Journal:

~Why is this kind of love impossible without the love of Christ beating in your heart?
~How does His presence within you enable you to love, even when it's primarily one-sided?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


loving unconditionally,
Tonya

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Love Dare~Days 19-21

I am SO sorry that I didn't get a chance to put yesterday's dare up!!! Being out of town makes it very difficult to get this done! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! So, I'm going to put up yesterday's and then go ahead and post today's and tomorrow (simplified versions) :)

Day 19~"Love is impossible" (without God)

"Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." -1 John 4:7

Today's Dare:

Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask Him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.

To Journal:

~What do you believe God is saying to you?
~Is there a stirring in your heart?
~What decision have you made in response to this?

Day 20~"Love is Jesus Christ"

"While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." -Romans 5:6

Today's Dare:

Dare to take God at His Word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, "Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and You have proven Your power to save me from death by Your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by Your grace."

To Journal:

~Write about what this experience has been like for you.
~Even if you are only renewing your committment to receive and express His love, what has He shown you today?

Day 21~"Love is satisfied in God"

"The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire." -Isaiah 58:11

Today's Dare:

Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your Bible. Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day, or reading a chapter in the Gospels. As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you. This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

To Journal:

~How do you think spending time daily with God will change your situation and perspective?
~How can you make Him a bigger part of your day?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love Dare~Day 18

"Love seeks to understand"

"How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding." -Prov 3:13

A few notes from today's reading:

~Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don't understand them.
~Ask yourself these questions:
-Do you know his/her greatest hopes or dreams?
-Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love?
-Do you know what your spouse's greatest fears are, and why they struggle with them?
~Here's what you can do:
-Ask questions. Proverbs 18:15. Love takes the initiative to begin conversations.
-Listen. Proverbs 10:14. The goal of understanding your mate is to hear them, not to tell them what you think.
-Ask God for discernment. Proverbs 2:6. The Lord will show you what you need in order to know how to love your spouse better.

Today's Dare:

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps an area that you've rarely talked abuot. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

To Journal:

~What did you learn about your spouse that you didn't know before?
~How could you continue this process of discovery in other ways, at other times?
~What were some of the moments that made this evening memorable?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


Ok...I can already tell you that I will not be able to complete today's dare, TODAY! Me and Abby are leaving for the beach today, and Michael will be coming tomorrow. So....I won't be at home tonight to cook dinner for him :( BUT...I will DEFLY be making this one up, because we realy need this dinner for two! Like I said, I'll be outta town all weekend, so I'm not sure how I'm going to work out the next couple of days....they may be a little later than normal, but they'll be here! :)


trying to be more understanding,
Tonya

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love Dare~Day 17

Whew....does this seem to be getting harder for anyone else?? Not only are the dares getting deeper, but they're getting a little harder!! I can handle buying Michael little happys and running errands for him...but dying to myself and putting him first, even when he doesn't deserve it....that's HARD!!!!!!!!!! So, here's Day 17:

"Love promotes intimacy"

"He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." -Proverbs 17:9

A few notes from today's reading:

~INTIMACY is a great blessing but is also the site of great danger. Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from. It's both the fire and the fear of marriage.
~Which of these are you experiencing the most in your home right now? Are the secrets your spouse knows about you reasons for shame, or reasons for drawing you closer? If your spouse were to answer the same question, would they say you make them feel safe, or scared?
~The atmosphere of your marriage should be one of freedom.
~And yet God, who knows secrets about us that we even hide from ourselves, loves us at a depth we cannot begin to fathom. How much more should we-as imperfect people-reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring them that their secrets are safe with us?

Today's Dare:

Determine to guard your mate's secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.

To Journal:

~How much of an effort is it for you to hold back from saying something, critical or otherwise?
~What have you learned about your spouse today, simply from listening?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


longing for a deeper intimacy,
Tonya

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love Dare~Day 16

I just have to admit that satan is trying to have his way with me!!!!!!!! I have had such a bad attitude the past couple of days, and last night instead of honoring my husband-I fought with him!! It was over something kinda silly, but I just could not let it go for some reason?! So, I guess you could say that I didn't complete the dare YESTERDAY....but I do, and will continue to, try to honor my husband everyday!

"Love Intercedes"

"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." -3 John 2

A few notes from today's reading:

~Most couples spend a large part of their time trying to change their spouse.
~At some point you have to accept that it's not something you can do. But here's what you CAN do. You can become a "wise farmer." He can plant the seed into fertile soil, give it water and nutrients, protect it from weeds, and then turn it over to God.
~But you won't be able to do this alone. You will need something that is more powerful than anything else you have. And that is effective prayer.
~Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse's hidden faults? Do you really think it's for endless nagging? No, it's for effecting kneeling. No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you!
~One of the most loving things you can ever do for your spouse is pray for them. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)

Today's Dare:

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart. Pray for 3 specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

To Journal:

~Have you experienced the power of prayer in the past?
~What did you choose to pray about?
~Was it easy for you, or did it feel foreign to you?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


I think I'll add myself to this dare. I (my attitude) need prayer just as much as Michael does! :)


a praying wife,
Tonya

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love Dare~Day 15

SIGH.....Oh my goodness, I am so exhausted this morning! We had a VERY busy weekend that included 16 hours of being in the car!! YUCK!! But it was well worth it to get to spend the weekend with my brother and sister in law in Georgia! So, like I said in my last blog...I went 5 days without seeing Michael, and finally got to see him last night!! Needless to say, some of these last few dares having been kinda hard to complete! I think I'm pretty caught up, except for the "Love fights fair" dare. I just wanted to let yall know that I have not completed that one yet, but I DO plan on sitting down with Michael very soon and working that out! So, let's get on with Day 15:

"Love is Honorable"

"Live with your wives in an understanding way....and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life." -1 Peter 3:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth.
~Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the television.
~There's also another word that calls us to a higher place in our marriage. HOLY. To say your mate is "holy" to you doesn't mean that he/she is perfect.
~He/she is sacred to you, a person to be honored, praised, and defended.
~Love honors EVEN WHEN IT'S REJECTED!!!!!!!!! (WOW!)
~Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return. (DOUBLE WOW!)
~That's what love dares us to do-to say, "Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most. Of all the things I'm willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you. With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults-past and present-I still choose to love and honor you."

Today's Dare:

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he/she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

To Journal:

~How did you choose to show honor?
~What was the result?
~What are some other ways you could demonstrate honor in the coming days?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I hope everyone has a great Monday!!!!!!!!!! :)


striving to honor him more,
Tonya

Friday, May 8, 2009

Love Dare~Days 12-14

Okay...for the next couple of weekends, we'll be on the road alot. So...I'm going to make it a little easier on me and post the weekends at the same time (just the dares), because I'm afraid if I don't do it while I have time then it won't get done! So, I'll do day 12 as normal, and then just post the dares for 13 and 14.

Day 12-"Love let the other win"

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." -Phil 2:4

A few notes from today's reading:

~Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and makeup. It can steal away time and productivity, and also cause great frustration.
~We need to be more "willing." It's an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations.
~"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5)-the attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission.
~It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself.
~The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your own way. That's not to say that your spouse is necessarily right or being wise about a matter, but you are choosing to give strong consideration to their preference as a way of valuing them.

Today's Dare:

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first..

To Journal:

~What issue did you choose?
~What did giving in cost you?
~How will this help you in the future?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


Day 13-"Love fights fair"

Today's Dare:

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

**A little sidenote from the reading:
~"We" boundaries are rules you both agree on beforehand, rules that apply during any fight or altercation. "Me" boundaries are rules you personally practice on your own.

To Journal:

~If your spouse participated with you, what was their response?
~What rules did you write for yourself?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


Day 14-"Love takes Delight"

Today's Dare:

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he/she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just be together.

To Journal:

~What did you decide to give up?
~What did you do together?
~How did it go?
~What new thing did you learn about your spouse?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! :)

giving up hardheadedness,
Tonya

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love Dare~Day 11

So, I can tell that the next couple of days are going to be hard for me since Michael is out of town. I'm having to be real creative with these dares, because there's just not much I can do FOR him while he's 4 hours away!! :( But I was able to complete yesterday's dare, and I choose not to share it...just in case he checks my blog while he's gone (or someone tells him:) So, here's Day 11:

"Love Cherishes"

"Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies." -Eph 5:28

A few notes from today's reading:

~The verse above speaks to husbands, but notice how each member is viewed. They are both considered to be the same flesh. You must treat them with the same nurture and care that you treat yourself. When you show love to your spouse, you are showing love to yourself as well.
~When you attack your mate, it is like attacking your own body.
~It's time for you to realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, your eye, or your heart.
~When you look at your mate, you're looking at a part of YOU. So treat them well. Speak highly of them. Nourish and cherish the love of your life!!!

Today's Dare:

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile :)

To Journal:

~What did you choose to show that you cherish your mate?
~What did you learn from this experience?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


So, here's another difficult one for me. I'll just have to find a need that I can meet being 4 hours away from him!? I'm sure it can be done :) I hope everyone is having a great week....only one more day til the weekend!! wooohoooo!!!!


choosing to cherish,
Tonya

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Love Dare~Day 10

Today is my day off and I am running late late late!!!! Abby and I have a Dr. Appt this morning, and I've gotta leave the house in 30 min!!!! Abby is still asleep, I'm still in my pj's, and breakfast is still on the stove! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! So, let me post today's dare, and I'll check in later :)

"Love is unconditional"

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

A few notes from today's reading:

~If your reasons for loving your spouse all have something to do with his/her qualities-and then those same qualities suddenly or gradually disappear-would your basis for love be over?
~The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one BEING loved but rather by the one CHOOSING to love.
~Agage love is selfless and unconditional. So unless this kind of love forms the foundation of your marriage, the wear and tear of time will destroy it.
~There must be a stronger foundation than mere friendship or sexual attraction. Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance.
~Love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor 13:7) does not come from within. It can only come from God.

Today's Dare:

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse-something that proves that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

To Journal:

~Has your love in the past been based on your spouse's attributes and behavior, or on your committment?
~How can you continue to show love when it's not returned in a way you hoped for?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


Yall have a great day! :)

missing my baby, (he's on a work trip til sunday)
Tonya

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Love Dare~Day 9

I'm going to start today off with a prayer request!!! Abby has had the "crud" for the past couple of days. Runny nose, cough, scratchy throat. Normally I wouldn't think too much of it, but with all this talk about the swine flu, I'm finding myself worrying to death over it!!!! Just please pray for Abby today...that if there is anything harmful going on in her little body, that God will heal her. And also, pray for me....that I'll allow the Lord to calm my fears, and that I'll put my trust in Him. Ok, now let's see what dare Day 9 has in store.

"Love makes good impressions"

"Greet one another with a kiss of love." -1 Peter 5:14

A few notes from today's reading:

~Dealing with the way you greet your spouse each day may seem inconsequential, but this small issue carries surprising significance.
~Here's something you probably don't stop to consider-the difference it would make in your spouse's day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them.
~A good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction.
~A loving greeting can bless your spouse through what they see, hear, and feel.
~Think about your greeting. Do you use it well? Does your spouse feel valued and appreciated? Do they feel loved? Even when you're not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give them value by the way you greet them.

Today's Dare:

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

To Journal:

~When and where did you choose to do your special greeting?
~How will you change your greeting from this point on?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I hope everyone has a great day!!


longing to be moved,
Tonya

Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Dare~Days 7 & 8

I am SOOOOOOOOO sorry that you haven't heard from me in a couple days. Yesterday we had real bad weather and ended up losing power til about midnight last night. Then, I get to work today and we had no internet!!!! So...before I do anything else, I'm going to post Days 7 & 8!

Day 7~"Love believes the best"

"Love believes all things, hopes all things." -1 Cor. 13:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~You categorize your spouse into 2 different rooms: The Appreciation Room and The Depreciation Room.
~Appreciation Room includes things like "honest", "intelligent", "diligent worker", "wonderful cook", "beautiful eyes", etc. THe more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes, the more grateful you are for your mate.
~Depreciation Room includes things like bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions.
~Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. But we have the tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our spouses's failures under a magnifying glass.
~Love refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions.
~The only reason you should glance in the door of the Depreciation Room is to know how to pray for your spouse.

Today's Dare:

Get two sheets of paper. On one, list all the positive things about your spouse. On the other, list the negative. Place both sheets in a safe place for another day. At some point, pick one of the positive attributes and thank your spouse for having that characteristic.

To Journal:

~Which list was easier to make?
~What did this reveal about your thoughts?
~What attribute did you thank your spouse for having?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 8~"Love is not jealous"

"Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire." -Song of Solomon 8:6

A few notes from today's reading:

~Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.
~There are actually two forms: legitimate jealousy and illegitimate jealousy
~If selfishness rules, any good things happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations.
~A loving husband doesn't mind his wife being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause.
~A loving wife will be the first to cheer for her man when he wins. She does not compare her weaknesses to his strengths. She throws a celebration, not a pity party.

Today's Dare:

Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their acheievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and destroy it! Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he/she recently enjoyed.

To Journal:

~How hard was it to destroy the list?
~What are some positive experiences that you can celebrate in the life of your mate?
~How can you encourage them toward future successes?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


Okay, I gotta go run to a friend's house for dinner!! Hopefully we'll be back on track tomorrow :)

believing the best is yet to come,
Tonya

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Love Dare~Day 6

Ok, so I'll start off by admitting that I have not fully completed Day 5!!! I did my part and asked Michael to tell me 3 things that cause him to be irritated with me, but he never gave me a straight answer. So, along with today's dare, I plan on getting an answer from Michael...because I KNOW I irritate him sometimes, and I want to work on that! :) So, let's get started on Day 6.

"Love is not irritable"

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city." -Proverbs 16:32

A few notes from today's reading:

~To be irritable means "to be near the point of a knife." Not far from being poked.
~People who are irritable are locked, loaded, and ready to overreact.
~A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations.
~There are at least 2 key reasons that contribute to people becoming irritable:
1)Stress
2)Selfishness (have yall noticed that we seem to talk about selfishness every day?....must be a big problem!)
~Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.

Today's Dare:

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

To Journal:

~Where do you need to add margin to your life?
~When have you recently overreacted?
~What was your real motivation behind it?
~What decisions have you made today?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Honestly, I'm kinda confused about today's dare? I'm gonna have to dig a little deep today and figure out what it means by adding margin to my life? If anyone has any assistance they can offer, please do :) I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!!!!!!!!

exercising emotional self-control,
Tonya

Friday, May 1, 2009

Love Dare~Day 5

I hope everyone had a great day yesterday! I completed the dare!! And I hope you were able to complete it also :) Here we go with Day 5:

"Love is not rude"

"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him." -Proverbs 27:14

A few notes from today's reading:

~Rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarassing, or irritating.
~If the wife desires to love her husband, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort.
~"It is better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." -Proverbs 25:24
~There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance & selfishness
~Test yourself with these questions:
-How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?
-How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?
-Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarassing?
~Here are 3 guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:
1)Guard the Golden Rule- Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2)No double standards- Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
3)Honor requests- Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not to do. If in doubt, then ask.

Today's Dare:

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him/her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do this without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

To Journal:

~What things did your spouse point out about you the need your attention?
~How did you handle hearing it?
~What do you plan to do to improve these areas?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Well, I'm off today, and we're going to spend the day in Jackson! So, I gotta run....but I hope everyone has a blessed day!! love yall :)

sometimes ignorant & selfish,
Tonya

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love Dare~Day 4

Ok, so yesterday I had a MUCH better attitude!!! However, my struggle was something completely different....EXHAUSTION! My mom came over to help me clean out winter clothes, put out summer clothes, and go through maternity clothes! By 3:00, I was completely worn out!!!!!!!! At one point, I was talking to Michael on the phone and through the exhaustion, I heard myself getting an attitude with him for no reason. So, I stopped myself, apologized to him, and adjusted my attitude. Anyways...I WAS able to complete yesterday's dare, and Michael was SO excited about his little gift! Let's get started on Day 4.

"Love is thoughtful"

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me...How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand." -Psalm 139:17-18

A few notes from today's reading:

~Love keeps busy in thought, knowing that loving thoughts precede loving actions.
~If you don't learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love.
~Men tend to think in headlines and say exactly what they mean. But women think and speak between the lines. They tend to hint. They expect the man to listen for what is implied in order to get the full meaning.
~A husband should listen to his wife and learn to be considerate of her unspoken messages. A wife should learn to communicate truthfully and not say one thing while meaning another.
~The thoughtful nature of love teaches you to engage your mind before engaging your lips.

Today's Dare:

Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he/she is doing and if there is anything you can do for them.

To Journal:

~What did you learn about yourself or your spouse by doing this today?
~How could this become a more natural, routine, and genuinely helpful part of your lifestyle?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


I hope everyone is enjoying this "Love Dare" book as much as I am!! I look forward to getting up every morning to see how I can bless my husband that day! It's not always easy to do without expecting something in return....but it's exciting to know that God IS at work, and this WILL make a difference in your marriage! So, don't forget to call your spouse today, and only ask if there's anything you can do for them....save the "did you turn the iron off", "have you paid the light bill?", "can you go by the cleaners?" phone call for later ;)

tired but thoughtful,
Tonya

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Love Dare~Day 3

So, is satan attacking yall the way he is me?!? Geeeeez!!! I was really struggling last night with a good attitude! I guess I'm still expecting some kind of reward or praise from Michael, and when I don't get it, it makes me mad! So, last night I spent alot of time in prayer, trying to fight off satan and his deceptive lies!!! Please know that I'm praying for each of you, and we're in this together! Please feel free to share any prayer requests yall might have at this point. So anyways, I ended up sucking up the bad attitude and was able to complete the dare last night! YAYYY!! :) Let's get started on Day 3.

"Love is NOT selfish!"

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." -Romans 12:10

A few notes from today's reading:

~If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness.
~You cannot point out the many ways your spouse is selfish without admitting that you can be selfish too. That would be hypocritical.
~When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband, that's a sign of selfishness.
~When you relinquish your rights for the sake of your mate, you get a chance to lose yourself to the greater purpose of marriage.
~Ask yourself these questions:
-Do I truly want what's best for my husband or wife?
-Do I want them to feel loved by me?
-Do they believe I have their best interests in mind?
-Do they see me as looking out for myself first?

Today's Dare:

Whatever your put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

To Journal:

~What did you choose to give your spouse?
~What happened when you gave it?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Let me just remind everyone that doing this book does NOT mean that you have problems in your marriage!! As quoted on the back of the book: "Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you NEED to take! It's time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage. Take the dare!" .....I just wanted to remind everyone of that, because so many people think that if you're doing this "dare" then your marriage must be in trouble! Well, that's not true. For example, Michael and I have a very strong marriage...but it's not perfect by any means! I'm always looking for ways to love my husband more, and what better way than to take this challenge?! So, GO BLESS YOUR SPOUSE!! :)

wanting to be more selfless,
Tonya

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love Dare~Day 2

So...did everyone make it through their dare yesterday? For accountability purposes, I will tell you each day if I did or did not....and yesterday, I DID!! YAY!! :) However, the fact that Michael was in his own little world last night did make patience a little difficult! haha! Ok, let's get started with Day 2.

"Love is Kind"

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." -Ephesians 4:32

A few notes from today's reading:

~If patience is how love REACTS in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love ACTS to maximize a positive circumstance.
~4 basic ingredients:
-Gentleness-If you need to say hard things, you'll bend over backwards to make your rebuke or challenge as easy to hear as possible. You speak the truth in love.
-Helpfulness-Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights.
-Willingness-Rather than complaning and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate.
-Initiative-They don't require the other to get his/her act together before showing love.
~Your enjoyment in marriage should always be linked to the daily level of kindness expressed.
~Don't wait for your spouse to be kind first!
~Love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward, or praise!!!!!! (Keep this in mind as you do you dare today)

Today's Dare:

In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

To Journal:

~What discoveries about love did you make today?
~What specifically did you do in this dare?/How did you show kindness?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


I hope everyone has a great day! Don't forget to bless your spouse in a specific way today...and do it without expecting a reward or praise!! :)


brushing up on kindness,
Tonya

Monday, April 27, 2009

Love Dare~Day 1

"Love is Patient"

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" -Ephesians 4:2

A few notes from today's reading:

~Love is built on two pillars: patience & kindness
~No one likes to be around an impatient person. It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways.
~Patience is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.
~Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails.

Today's Dare:

The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. Throughout the day, resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to your spouse at all! If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

To Journal:

~Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate?
~Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come out in words?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?


I hope everyone has a blessed day and is able to bless your spouse today!
Feel free to leave comments/feedback about your daily journey through The Love Dare.
See yall tomorrow :)

striving for more patience,
Tonya

Friday, April 24, 2009

**LOVE DARE REMINDER**

Hey...I just wanted to remind all you married folks (or engaged, or seriously dating) that I'll be starting the "Love Dare" on Monday, April 27th! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about...scroll down to the Love Dare post).

So, join me in preparing our hearts this weekend for what God will do through us and for us during this study. I will ALSO be posting some DISNEY pics this weekend....probably Sunday night? (HOPEFULLY!) I hope everyone has a great weekend..."see yall" Monday ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

DISNEY!!!!!!

Okay, I'll go ahead and warn you....this post may or may not be for you!? haha! This morning I've been working on "Remembering Disney" so that I can put it in our Disney scrapbook that I'm about to make! After I wrote it all out, I thought it might be fun to share on my blog!! So, if you're not really interested in hearing all about our trip, then you can just stop here! hehe :) I haven't even started sorting through our pics yet, but if you want to see a few that Disney took....click on http://www.disneyphotopass.com/photoshareviewer.aspx?share=46563f62-e925-4581-b962-bcae481cad7f

Remembering Disney World 2009……

Thursday, April 16th
~We got up early, ate breakfast, took baths, and left the house by 10:00 am.
~We had to get to Jackson early so Daddy could go pay a ticket and get his license reinstated!! (Bad Daddy!!)
~Of course we had to stop at Chick Fil A for lunch :)
~Mimi and Papaw met us at the airport at 12:30, and our plane left around 1:35! (Abby LOVED her first plane ride!!)
~We arrived in Orlando around 5:00 pm, and then we took the “Magical Express” to our resort!
~That night we just hung out at our resort, Caribbean Beach. We played on the beach, ate dinner at our food court, joined in a dance party, played on the playground, and then CRASHED!!

Friday, April 17th
~We woke up around 7:30 am, and got ready for our first day at DISNEY!
~Our friend, Brittany Bennett (aka Sleeping Beauty), came and picked us up at our resort. She took us to get our park tickets, and then dropped us off at Hollywood Studios.
~At Hollywood studios we: met the Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse, saw the Playhouse Disney show, Beauty and the Beast show, Little Mermaid show, played on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, ate at Toy Story’s Pizza Planet, and then joined in on the BLOCK PARTY BASH!
~We left Hollywood Studios around 4:00, and went back to our resort for a much needed nap!
~That night we went to the Boardwalk and ate at the ESPN restaurant. (Yummy!!)
~While at the Boardwalk, we also went to the candy factory, rode the ferry boat, and caught a little bit of the firework show at Epcot!

Saturday, April 18th
~Again, we woke up around 7:30 and got ready for another Disney Day!
~We got to Magic Kingdom around 9:30 and had obviously beaten the crowd (woohoo!!)
~Magic Kingdom was the BEST! We were greeted by a show featuring Minnie, Mickey, and the Princesses! Other things we did include: story time with Belle, rode the teacups, carousel, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s flight, and Winnie the Pooh! We were also able to meet Tigger and Pooh, Pluto and Ariel!
~Around 2 we headed back to our resort for a nap!
~After our nap, we went back to Magic Kingdom for what ended up being a long….but awesome night!
~We met Princess Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle!
~Then we went to a show called “Monsters Inc Laughing Factory.” It was HILARIOUS!
~After dinner, we grabbed a seat on the curb and waited for the “Spectro Magic Night Parade” (an awesome parade, in the dark, full of lights and music!)
~And then to end the night, we caught a little of the firework show over Cinderella’s Castle!

Sunday, April 19th
~We made it to Animal Kingdom by 9:00!
~We rode the jungle safari, walked a trail that included hippos, apes, birds, and other animals! (The apes were great!)
~Then we took a train to Rafiki’s petting zoo!....where we were also able to meet Pocahontas and Jiminy Cricket!
~By this time, we were EXHAUSTED….so, we made a quick run to meet Minnie & Goofy…ate lunch at Rainforest CafĂ©…and headed back to our resort.
~Once we got to our resort, we played at our amazing pool (which was pretty much a water park!)….and then took a long nap!
~We ended the night by eating at our resort food court.

Monday, April 20th
~The weather predicted thunderstorms, so we cancelled our trip to Disney’s water park and settled for our resort water park instead.
~The rest of the afternoon consisted of nothing but relaxation in our room!
~That night we met up with our friend Brittany at Downtown Disney! We ate at a Cuban restaurant, got ice cream, played a little, and then headed back to our resort!

Tuesday, April 21st
~This was our last day :(
~We had to leave for the airport by 2:00, so we went to played Miniature Golf that morning!
~We got back to the resort by noon….just enough time for a quick nap and final packing.
~We left Caribbean Beach Resort at 2:00 and headed to the airport.
~Our flight didn’t end up leaving til 5:00, so had time for another Chick Fil A meal! (YAY!)
~We arrived in Jackson at 6:15 (Jackson time), and we were welcomed by Mimi and Papaw!

what a perfect family vacation!!!

stay tuned for Disney pics to be posted!


back to the "real world",
Tonya

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter & EXCITING NEWS!!

Ok, I've got to share the "exciting news" first....and then I'll share some Easter photos!
We went to the doctor yesterday, and there on that ultrasound machine.....was a.....little....BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! YES! YES! YES! Totally shocked...but excited! I couldn't stop smiling yesterday! And yes.....Michael is freakin ECSTATIC :) And so is our precious Abby! She must've told 100 people yesterday, "BABY BWUDER!!!" And then, yesterday afternoon I told Abby that she needed to start talking to baby brother, because he can hear her voice. So, she leaned down to my tummy, and said...."Hey brother...I'm going to Disney World!!" hahaha!! Oh, my heart is so filled!! What a blessing to have a sweet girl, and now a precious boy! But....what do I do with a boy?! Ahhhh!!! No dresses, no bows, no frilly socks, no sponge rollers, etc etc. HOWEVER; I let Michael know right off that I will dress him for the first 3 years...and then he can take over with the blue jeans, camo, and baseball caps! ;) Thank yall for all your prayers and encouragement. Everything is looking perfectly normal right now, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. We still have about 4 1/2 months left though, so please continue to pray!
So, here's a little about our Easter weekend:

Michael and I were both off Friday, so we spent the entire day in Jackson. We ate Bonsai (one of my favorites), spent time with my sister, and did a little shopping!! It was so nice to hang out all day as a famliy. And then that night we went to The Bishop's church for their Easter cantata. It was really good!
Saturday, we dyed Easter eggs, had a few "practice Easter egg hunts", ate lunch with the in-laws, and then went to Gallman for a big Easter egg hunt with my parent's church. It was fabulous!! We hunted eggs, ate good food, and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. By the time we got home Saturday night, I was ready to crash!! I got a few things done around the house, and then crawled in the bed with Abby around 9:30!
So, Sunday I had to get up around 6:00 to hide the Easter eggs that I didn't hide the night before. I hid 30 eggs around the house, and then woke Abby up. Well, Miss Grouchy Non-Morning Child was having NOTHING to do with finding Easter eggs. So, I let her find her basket and she just played with that....and then a little later she started seeing the eggs laying around and got interested :) So, we went to church as family, ate lunch in Crystal Springs with my family, and then came back home and rested.
I was off Monday, and like I already said, we had a dr appt that morning. Afterwards, me and Abby just hung out and started packing for our DISNEY TRIP!!! 2 more days....YAY!!

Here are some pics from this weekend:


This will be my last post until we get back from Disney World!!!!!!! So, tune in next week around Thursday for some Disney pics and stories :)
filled with joy, and truly blessed,
Tonya

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"The Love Dare"

For those of you who have not seen the movie Fireproof (if you haven't, go out and rent it TONIGHT)....the book they follow in this movie is called "The Love Dare." I just recently purchased it, and I'm about to DIE to start it!!! I'm finishing up my "Frazzled Female" study right now, and should be finished by the end of next week. So....I think I'm going to start "The Love Dare" on Monday, April 27th!! I thought that it might be kinda fun to blog the entire 40 days of this study?! I'm not going to necessarily blog about all the personal things that go on during those 40 days....but instead-I thought it would be a neat opportunity for you (married) guys & gals to follow my blog for 40 days, and do these "DARES" along side of me!!!! Some couples commit to doing this book together, but from personal experience....it's more aggravating doing a book with Michael, because if he misses or forgets one day, then I get all in a frenzy!! Haha! I want to do this FOR Michael, and so I'm not going to ask him to do it with me....if he wants to do it, then I'll let it be his idea! But nonetheless; starting Monday, April 27th, I'll start posting the "daily dare" every morning. There may be nobody interested in this, but God has put it on my heart to do it this way, so maybe there's one person out there that I'm doing this for? Some of you may be totally confused about this, but let me just give you an example of what this will consist of:

Day One: Love is Patient
Today's Dare: The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. Through this day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all!! If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

Now, yall are more than welcome to leave feedback each day...or just come to my blog, get the dare, and keep it all to yourself. Either way, I just want yall to join me in finding new ways to strengthen and refresh our marriages!

I'll defly be back before the 27th, because I'll find out boy or girl on Monday...AND...I'll have Disney pics to share sometime after the 22nd! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. Remember to not only celebrate your cute dresses and fabulous new shoes, but remember what our Savior went through to save us from our sins...and that our Heavenly Father rose Him from the dead so that He could go and prepare a place for us!!!! :) LOVE YALL!

saved,

Tonya

Monday, April 6, 2009

~Broken & Filled~

Ok, so I think my last post left off with me being in a state of panic and waiting on 2 doctor appointments. So....

~I had "my appointment" last Wed. (4/1/09). All they did was drew some blood to be sent off for genetic disorder testing. I'll find out my results next week when I go in for my "boy or girl" ultrasound!!!! Please be praying for good results and an ultrasound that shows a healthy baby!
~Abby's doctor appointment was the next day (4/2/09). I took her to a new doctor in McComb, because we are VERY unhappy with the Brookhaven Children's Clinic (enough said). So, anyways...I LOVED this doctor!!! He answered all 25 questions I had (haha), checked my baby's tummy out, and rested my fears of her having this rare disease that she was diagnosed with a few weeks ago. When I left the doctor's office, I was able to breathe for the first time in weeks! Thanks for all the prayers.



So...Thursday night I had SO much to do before I left for the Beth Moore Conference. I didn't end up getting much done that night because I didn't feel too good (good try, Satan!). But I woke up Friday morning and got on the ball!! From 8 that morning until I left the house at 1, I vaccumed the entire house, did all the dishes, got Abby bathed, got all our laundry washed and put up, and got myself showered and packed! I was feeling goooooooood!! :) I was SOOooooo...excited about what God was going to do in my heart that weekend that I could barely stand it! I knew I needed to be refreshed, but I had no idea just how bad Beth was going to rock my world!


I'm really debating on whether or not to talk about the conference, because I know I will not even do it justice...but my heart is just overflowing right now, so I've gotta share just a little!


First conviction of the weekend- "HOLY=WHOLLY" Yes, that's right....in order to be HOLY, you've got to give yourself WHOLLY to the Lord. It sounds simple, and it may be...but it totally convicted me. I realized that I've just been giving bits and pieces of myself and my life over the Lord....and then trying to handle the rest on my own! It suddenly hit me, like a ton of bricks....HELLO!! Maybe that's why I've been lacking joy, and struggling with finding peace?! It's because I cannot do ANYTHING on my own strength...I've got to give myself wholly to God's will for my life. Satan has been stealing my joy for way too long now...I'm claiming it back!


Second conviction- Prayer. My prayer life has become way too complicated for the personal relationship that it is. When I conversate with my best friends, I don't have to really "think" about what we'll talk about...I don't plan out every word. So, why do I do that with God? I had forgotten that prayer is a constant conversation with God about every little & big thing in my life! From something as little as, "God, thank you for this magnificent hair day I'm having" to big things like, "God, continue to grow this baby as a healthy boy or girl." I miss my view of God as my best friend...not someone who's out to get me, or disappointed in my every downfall!!



I could seriously go onnnnnn and onnnnnnnn about everything that filled my heart this weekend, but basically it comes down to....the Lord broke me....and then he filled me! He truly is an amazing God.



Here is A pic from this weekend....I was so wrapped up in the spirit, that I totally forgot to take pics! lol

*I am so blessed to have these girls in my "close community of faith"*

So, at the start of this new week, I think about all the exciting things coming up in the next week: seeing Joe Castillo tonight at church (look him up on YouTube!), getting my hair done, Abby's Easter pics, my sister's birthday, starting Sunday morning off with a big Easter egg hunt for Abby, rejoicing in the resurrection of our Savior, finding out if this precious baby is a boy or a girl, and then leaving for DISNEY!!!!!! Please, Please continue to pray for me on a daily basis....and continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy! I love yall dearly!!

Broken & Filled,

Tonya

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Being a mommy is like being on a rollercoaster that never ends!!

WHEW!!!!....How come no one ever told me that being a mommy could be so rewarding, stressful, emotional, frustrating, and wonderful at the same time?!? The past 2 weeks have been harder than any "job" I could ever imagine....it's a shame we don't get paid (money), cause us moms would make a KILLIN'!! However; our rewards are so much more precious than any amount of money.

Over the past 2 weeks, Abby has had a stomach bug, a rash that's been diagnosed as some rare disease, a high fever, stomach pains, a bloody nose, and now congestion!!! It's probably all my fault, because I'm always bragging that Abby never gets sick.....I'll never make that claim again! But what makes the past 2 weeks so hard on me is not the fact that I've had to devote so much attention to her, take her to the doctor, make sure she's taking the proper medication, getting her to rest, or listening to her whine....it's the fact that I am worried SICK about her!! But that's just me....I worry about EVERYTHING....always have! It's defly not something I'm proud of. I actually feel guilty and convicted about it everyday. "Do not worry about anything; instead pray about everything"....that's what the Lord tells me to do. Why, Why, Why is that so hard for me to do?!? (prayer request!). But this is my precious baby girl we're talking about. I hateeeee to see her hurting. Especially when I have no idea what's going on, and of course always assume the absolute worst! But worrying about things has always been my biggest struggle throughout life, and I hope one day I'll get to the point in my spiritual life where I'll just learn to trust the Lord 100% in all areas of life. So, I guess this post has become a confession of my biggest weakness so that maybe somebody will help hold me accountable.

Well...I have scheduled Abby a doctor's appointment for this Thursday (April 2) at 10:30. We're trying a new doctor in McComb due to reasons I'll not discuss. I'm just wanting someone to check her out and make sure there is nothing serious going on in her little body. Would yall please pray that we'll get a good report on Thursday, and that if there is something wrong with her, that God would heal her? And maybe also pray for me.....that I'll stop worrying so much, and just trust that God is in control.

One more thing...I went to "my" doctor last Tuesday and got a good report. We were able to hear the heartbeat again, and it was 160! I go back in tomorrow for the genetic disorder testing, and then we go back April 13th to find out the sex!!!!!!!! AND....I started feeling some little flutters a couple days ago. It's one of the best feelings in the world :) Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy.

Thank yall so much for following my blog, and just letting me vent on a regular basis :) I will continue to keep yall updated throughout the next few doctor appointments.

a saved sinner,
Tonya