Monday, December 9, 2013

He holds the world in His hands. (short post and song)

A friend posted this song on Facebook and I loved it! It was such a good reminder of trusting in Him. Been thinking about the world a lot and what our children's generation will have to face as christians. I can easily get caught up in worry and fear for them while praying for protection and strength for them. My eyes look and long for the return of Jesus and the beginning of His reign in full on this earth but until then i will trust that He holds this world in His hands. 

Be blessed this glorious Monday=)!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy birthday to my dear husband!

This pretty much sums up our courtship and marriage=)

Today is my dear goofy husband's birthday! Since i am post-pardon in the middle of the holidays and not well prepared for his day i wanted to write a short post of some of the awesome reasons of why i am the luckiest woman alive! I love you sweet heart. XOXOX

Some of the things i love about you:
1) You make me laugh when i am mad at you.
2) You have the ability to make the kids laugh like no one else. 
3) The way you steal the kids heart just by simply being their daddy
4)You are literally the smartest man i know..really you are.
5)When i think about how funny our offspring are and i know that they get that from you..We are literally raising a funny farm(just need the farm=)
6)Love that dimple in your cheek=) even though you hide it with your beard but i love that beard as well...It's a sexy beard. Like it when you wear a plaid shirt with your beard. Makes me think i'm married to a sexy lumberjack.=)
7)I love how rational you are when i'm emotionally spinning out of control.
8)I love the security i feel with you, knowing that you are going to obey the Lord when it comes to your family and wherever the Lord takes us.
9)How humble you are and always ask for forgiveness when you feel you have sinned against your family. Not many men will ask for forgiveness when they are wrong. Your humility teaches us more about the Lord than anything else.
10)How i can come to you with a question or concern and you will always stop and pray with me and take time to shepherd my heart.
11)How much you love Jesus. Not just a "church goer' but you have committed yourself to being a disciple. Such a difference between being a believer and being a disciple. And you have committed yourself to discipling your family.
12)You love to cook! I love that you love to cook, makes my life easier.
13)I love your heart

I honestly could go on and on but i will stop there. =) I am truly truly blessed. I've talked a lot about what the Lord has taught me on this blog and i know that without a husband following the Lord and leading our family in obedience i wouldn't be where i am today. I would follow you anywhere, babe. "Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." 

I don't have a gift for you(in my post pardon/holiday season) but this i can promise you: 
I will always love you
I will pray for you daily
I will always be in your corner to encourage you and be there to nurture and adore you no matter how you are feeling at the moment or how weak.
I will always find you sexy, even when you are old and wrinkly=)
I will always seek to love and respect you better.
I will teach our children to love and respect you
and i will always always be there for you.
I will follow you to the ends of the earth babe!

You are my prince and i love you to the moon and back forever and always. xoxox

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So much to thank Him for! (Sophi's story)

Been working on this blog for over a week, thought today would be a great day to post it! I am so thankful and blessed. Hope you all (ya'll=) have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 So..i just looked and my last post was in february of this year...!??!! That is redonkulous! <--not at all a real word but i like the way it sounds in my head. I am less than a week post-pardon and it’s after 9. There are far crazier things that have come from my brain and yes albeit too often out of my mouth.(You should ask my husband) Sometimes, let’s just say my filter doesn’t register. Oh love me or you hate me=).  My life has been crazy to say the least, but really when the heck is life not crazy?     I think maybe back in middle school when I used to have time to write notes back and forth with my friends and put them in each others lockers. Some of us were really cool and had a notebook that we would pass back and forth. Yep, that was probably the last time that i was not busy. Welp.. glad everyone is doing ok. I actually don’t really know that but gonna hope for the best. XOXO  

Here is what’s been going on with the Vandenbergs since february:
-We found out we were expecting 
-Had Birthdays and kids turned 5,4, and 2.(Still can’t believe my mems is 5..sniff sniff)
-Celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary with the love of my life! XXOO Ryan took me to Oklahoma and we revisited all our courting spots and where he proposed. #Sweetest anniversary yet
-Went to Florida and spent 5 days at DisneyParks when I was 6 months pregnant in the hottest/busiest time of the year.(Don’t ask) I am, although, thankful for the experience.
-Got to see my big brother(T.J.) for the first time in like 3 years. XOXO
-Fell in love with Sushi(but only the kind that doesn’t have raw meat in it=)
-Got to call the poison control center for the first time(again, don’t ask=/) Thankful no harm done
-Started homeschooling in two different grades(pre-K and K) not too intense but different when you are doing 2 different curriculums. Loving it!
-Had baby Sophia Elizabeth Vandenberg, weighing in at 8lbs 1oz and 20 inches long
-Became a family of 6!

That about gets you caught least that is all i can remember now. We all know how pregnancy brain is and well lets just say my post pregnancy brain is worse. I felt led to share about my “season” of pregnancy with Sophi. We’ll start with a journal entry from before i had her.
October 21st, 2013

“I have found as a believer that each season that the Lord brings to our lives has great purpose and providence in its outcome. Whether the season brings storms, sunshine or snow, the end result is a well purposed plan the Lord has orchestrated for our lives. Without rain in the summer how would the earth and all its beautiful vegetation grow? Without sunshine how would its life spring up to its full glory? Without snow and colds of the winter how would the old die off to make room for fresh new life of the spring? 
Each season I’ve found in my life has had and still does have purpose and fruit that comes from it. Whether i see fruit come to life in that very season i’m in or if don’t see it until i have moved on to a different season, there is always purpose and fruit. 
This past season has been a hard, rough and stormy season but i can sense a shift in my spirit of the season to come. Good things that He has and will continue to bring to fruition. This doesn’t mean that the next season will be all rainbows and lollipops but i can guarantee and prophecy that i know there is good to come. The fruit is to come forth and my inner man rejoices and cries out, “ Worthy is the Lord God Almighty!”.
I am almost at the end of my pregnancy with Sophia. This pregnancy has been wrought with trials and testing and lots of ‘school room’ learning to trust in Yahweh.
From what started with fear of loosing her in the first trimester then to guilt of being blessed with another child when others were not or had lost their babies at different stages in pregnancy, turned to very real and dangerous complications inside my uterus, where all i could do was trust the Lord for Sophia's health, to being borderline in having pregnancy diabetes and finally being at the end and waiting to see her and know her. Sophia is in there and how the Lord has chosen for her to be made.”

(When i was about 24 weeks pregnant the doctor told me that they found a uterine band when they did an ultrasound. Uterine band is kinda like a rubber-band of nerves that stretches into sack and can attach to your baby. It can cause amputations of limbs or malformations and even death. The doctor did extra ultrasound but there was no way of really knowing if it had affected her until she was born. I remember asking him if he seen all her fingers and toes and he simply said he didn’t see them all from the ultrasound but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We’d just have to wait and see.)

“The only thing I had was to trust that the Lord is covering her and does cover all my children with His loving care.
 I’ve went through different stages with all of this with the Lord. First i dug up all the lies and fears from the enemy, only to find myself when i wasn’t careful falling into the “pit” left over. I learned that i had to fill that pit that held my fears back up with the promises of the Lord. Slowly i began to fill that pit up with His promises. (Yes, the Lord knows whats best, Yes, the Lord is Faithful, He does love me, HE does love Sophia, HE is worthy, etc...) Then i realized that i was not having faith completely in His work and His will and was just waiting for this season to end. We knew we would love Sophi no matter how she was made and we knew that we would turn to the Lord for any challenges but i didn’t know how to give my fears to the Lord in the “waiting period”. The Lord had me in a very real classroom, He wanted my full heart to trust in Him and he loves himself enough and knows my need for Him enough that He allowed us to walk through this. Finally now at the end i finally feel like I’m ‘getting’ it and seeking to in the little time i have left till she gets here to surrender my heart to HIm.
This is what i know:
Sophia means Wisdom and Elizabeth means God is my oath. Both of these the Lord has sought after in my heart. Both these i have had to surrender to Him to teach and guide me. I have learned to not just ignore the season or any thoughts of Sophi but to speak life and promise over her....”

There were many more lessons that i received and am still receiving during this season than what is written but i think that the most important one was that i have a very real need for a Savior, a Father and a Friend and His name is Jesus. I need Him not just when things are bad and rough but also when things are going great and smooth. I need HIM. 

So Sophia Elizabeth Vandenberg has made her appearance into this world and guess what?!? She had NO affects at all from the Uterine Band. Praise the Lord, we would have loved her no matter what, but our hearts are full of His mercies for us. The whole pregnancy and all the way up to the end of having to be induced and nothing going as planned was a blessing...Not because my baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes and all her limbs but because my sweet King did this for me. HE loved me enough to have me walk through a season where i could trust in nothing but Him. The Lord showed me that though mans plans fail, He never fails. Though our hearts may grieve, He is always there. When we have nothing left but to hope in Him, we realize that is all we need.

I told Ryan that i feel like David, like i had been hiding in a cave crying out to the Lord for His mercy and strength to face the unknown on the outside. And now the Lord is commanding me to come forth from hiding and speak His name.. He grew Sophia (wisdom) in my cave and now i must come out and declare Elizabeth(GOD is my oath).

So there you have it..the story of Sophi. Life with 4 should be fun. I am still in the mommy zombie stages that i don’t really venture from my pajamas and robe much. My main goal right now is to protect Sophi from the over loving from her three siblings and get in lots of snuggles and loves from this sweet stage that goes by so fast. My cup truly truly runs over, friends, it really does.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

learning to be weak

I wrestled with the Lord in getting out of my warm comfy bed this morning. Literally my quiet time began with me arguing with God, telling Him all the reasons why i shouldn’t have to get up. I mean i was up late last night and my kids woke me up in the middle of the night and i just am too tired for Him to REALLY expect me to get up. I do think there are times when the Lord wants you to rest your body but i know, ok, KNOW!!! that this was not one of them. So i finally dragged, my feet out of my bed to tip toe (I find when i seek to have quiet time before the Lord, my kids have super sonic hearing and wake up at the drop of hat, that is if i dropped a hat. You get the point) down the hallway to spend sometime with Him. I find that sentence hard to follow because of the ( ) things, sorry. I’m sure you can smell what I’m stepping in.

So i got up and began my prayers with prayers that were pretty much, “Lord please teach me to love you more than sleep and my warm comfy bed and my own ambitions whether they be to be lazy or to get something done.” I really felt/feel so weak in Him. You see, we have been busy. Out of the past 3 weeks we have had company for 2 full weeks and then the last week we were sick. But as i was sitting here trying to quite myself and at the same time resist the urge to fall back into blissful sleepy world, the Lord reminded me of a dream i had. I don’t remember much about the dream except a verse i was talking about with a group of young adults. It was Proverbs 3:7-8 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (i memorized this as a child and always thought it was funny because the KJV says ‘health to your naval’ haha bellybutton) Why did the Lord tell me this? I know that before that verse is the verse 3:5&6 which is the famous “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIm and He will direct your paths.”  Then it hit me, I. am. weak. I need HIS strength in my bones and to not trust my own sorely lacking wisdom. This is pretty much what happens: Our life gets crazy and busy (anyone who knows us knows that this is a norm for us), I go in strong and by the end am so bedraggled that i can hardly find my footing. What happens in this time to shift me from one extreme to another? Hence the verse-”It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones”
I think that i go into these times ‘raring to go’ with a lot of good intentions but so many of those times i am relying partly on my own wisdom and strength to do them, to persevere on my own. So much so that by the end, i am so lacking that i can hardly get my footing.      
 So this morning i was sitting here wondering why i come out of these situations in survival mode and not thriving. I mean i can analyze with the best of them and come up with lots of ‘play on words’ with what happened and what i did wrong or how everyone else is wrong. Hence (yet again) the verse- “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
The Lord wants our weakness. I mean He says that in our weakness HE is made strong. But for so much of my life i give Him my weakness but it is after i have exhausted all of my own resources and wisdom (or lack there of) that that is my only choice. I wonder maybe if i could learn to be weak before Him at the beginning of these seasons well...pretty much all the seasons. Isn’t this important? Why do i not do this is the first place? I think it is probably a mixture of pride and stupidity. Praying to be less stupid =)and prideful in the seasons of my life. That i would be weak before Him and nota weak as in i’ve exhausted all my own resources but a weak laid open before him weak. That i wouldn’t discredit His word or strength and have ears to hear and a heart to obey. That i would turn down the static of my own mind and be able to tune into Him. Praying the same for you guys too. May we all be unwise and weak with our Jesus being the only thing we have to offer in life.=) Peace and Blessings, my sweet friends

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Confirmation, at least for me=)

I hope everyone is having a rockin' 2013! I just realized that I graduated in 2003 and that means I have been out of school for 10 YEARS this year! Woe....I'll be right back I have to go check for a new wrinkle. =/

Our new year has been pretty uneventful in normalcy to our eventful lives but it has been great. Here is a little secret of mine, i LOVE boring. (Probably way to much) The Lord doesn't usually have to tell me to stay at home or quit having play dates or hanging out with friends to much, He has to tell me to go do these things. If you know me, you probably know these things, sorry. I do love you, promise!=)

Anyways, that was just a random confession I guess. I wanted to post a few things that the Lord has revealed to me about the 'Word' for 2013 He gave me. So on Saturday i had a melt down, it was ugly. You wouldn't have wanted to see it. You know the "ugly cry"? Well that was me...except i didn't really cry as much as whined and complained and was a cranky mess, and it was not a pretty sight. Just ask wait don't ask him.
So after I had rationalized my chaotic mind and calmed down, i was like 'what the heck just happened?'. I had had a great week in Him, had some kingdom revelation and some life from that. I felt unity in and fellowship with my husband and the church body. I was totally cut off guard. Prayed about it off and on and just kept hearing 'shield'. I had had a download of what the Lord was speaking to me for 2013(Disciplines, breaking ground, fruitfulness) but had forgotten to keep my shield up.  I wasn't prepared for any attacks from the enemy. This was all on Saturday and really honestly didn't think too much about it. But on Sunday i was really encouraged by the message and felt confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to me. The reference that was used was Mark 4 with a few highlighted verses and then Ephesians. Here are my notes:

Mark 4:9- "He who has ears to hear, LET him hear"  DISCIPLINE

Mark 4:20-"But those who were sown on good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bare fruit, thirty fold and sixty fold and a hundredfold." BREAKING GROUND

Mark 4:24-"Pay attention to what you hear with the measure you use, it will be measured you and still
more will be added to you"  FRUITFULNESS

Ephesians 6:16-"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one." SHIELD

This is what the Lord is speaking! I was so encouraged by how the Lord confirms and just tells us He is here and He does speak to us!  Praying for a year of going deep in Him for all of us, for the church, for the nation and for the world! Let's not forget to keep our shields up! For 'reals' guys, it's not pretty!
Much Love and Many blessings!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Because Jesus is my best friend...

Just a little something that makes me smile(ok, laugh) on a rough day. True message fun/classic deliverance=) I hope you find a friend in Jesus.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am a busy lady but i do miss writing on here! It really is just for me, there is something about speaking these thoughts out loud that bring clarity and realness to what God is doing in my life. I love you all and praying for a fresh word from the Lord to whomever reads my jumbled thoughts or not. May our year be more filled than ever with our King's Kingdom Purpose! Peace and blessings, my friends!

 I've been praying about this year and really felt the Lord speak to me that this is a year of discipline(as in consistence in what He has for me in word or deed, to be disciplined in my time and abiding) and also a word of "breaking ground" and "fruitfulness". I was reading this morning and read this quote by Elizabeth Elliot and was really blessed by it and felt confirmed with what the Lord is speaking to me in this new year.

"We 'need Him every hour' if we aim to be consistent in the way we live and walk, we cannot settle for a hit-or-miss nod in God's direction. There is no way to live a Christian life without strong effort, faithful commitment, and spiritual DISCIPLINES."

It goes on to say that the primary obstacle we face is our laziness, preoccupations, worries and lack of concentration(I could def highlight a few these in my life) and that we must rely on the strength of the Lord to overcome these things. But we are responsible to do what we need to do that He will not force us to our knees.

It is my prayer that i would learn to love God more than i love Him now. That i would desire Him because i DESIRE Him and LOVE being with Him and not just because i know that it is good for me and what is right and what i need. To get to a place of Joy and desire for these disciplines, JOY AND SWEET DESIRE as to one's new and fresh, romantic beloved.  

Many blessing, my sweet friends!