“God, can I get a little help here?”

A movie that is popular in our “house” right now is the new Disney movie, Moana. It seems to be on repeat and I honestly don’t mind one bit because it is THAT good. If you haven’t seen it I’m going to be referencing the movie so you may want to stop what you are doing and go watch it! Then, come right back here and read the rest of this blog because God spoke some good stuff to me through this movie. Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Welcome back! Wasn’t that good? There is one scene in the movie that moved me because I related to what was going on with Moana at the time. It was the scene where Moana is struggling on her boat trying to find Maui. She was trying to follow the stars shaped liked a hook, knowing it would lead her to her destination.  She was so exhausted from her journey she feel asleep and her boat drifted into the other direction.  The sea woke her up and when she tried desperately to realign her boat it capsized and she fell into the water. Exhausted and fearful, she cried out to the ocean, “can I get a little help here?” Immediately, a storm comes and she is tossed around in the ocean. Waves come crashing over her, one right after the other, until she lands on a deserted island covered in sand. Helpless, she looks over at her boat submerged into the sand and cries out again. She was confused as to why the ocean brought her there and in her frustration she tries to kick the ocean, unsuccessfully of course.

As most of you know we are currently in a storm of our own and I’m sure you are inyour very  own storm as well.  The severity of the storm doesn’t matter. It’s still a storm and it can still cause pain and damage no matter the size. Recently, there have been times when I have cried out to God just as Moana did, “where are you?” “Can I have some help please?”  When I thought I was only hearing the crickets, He spoke to me through a movie.

 (Side note) Never underestimate the way God speaks to you. It comes in all different shapes and sizes. Just be open and listen. 

(Now back to your regular program) 

When God has you on a journey sometimes it takes a storm to get you to your destination. Moana thought the sea had abandoned her, but in reality it took her to exactly where she was called. What we have to understand is that when God is moving in your life the ground beneath you will shake from His greatness and the atmosphere around you will tremble because the enemy is doing everything he can to try and stop it. I think many of us think that if we are doing Gods work it should be easy, but if your on Gods path it’s not going to be a cake walk people. Gods people are wearing His shoes and with every step you take you are sending shockwaves down to the depths of Hell, waking up the enemy and getting him fired up. But know this, the enemy will fail and God’s glory will always prevail. Always. 

If you are in the deep thick of it and waves are crashing over you, hold on tight to your boat my friend. Know He is there, He is with you and you will get through this. Keep pushing through, sending those shockwaves deep down beneath you, letting the enemy know who is in charge here! God! You are clothed in his mighty armor so stand firm and grounded! 

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:11-1

“Through You we will push back our adversaries, through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.” 

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15

The Ohm Flood

I turned over in the big empty bed glancing over at the clock right before pulling the covers over my face. An image flashed before my mind as I read it was 12:30 am. I was back in my house with flood water covering my feet. My focus went from my submerged feet to the tub as water rushed over the edge like The Niagra Falls. The feeling of helplessness suddenly came over me, unaware of how to stop this distruction. Do I yell? Do I grab towels? What can I do to stop this water? I have lost control. “God…..what do I do?” Half asleep, I cried out to Adam and he came running over. He immediately went down stairs to shut off the main and I paced through the water holding up my pajama pants. I began to grab every towel and blanket in sight to soak up the water. When I ran downstairs for more I saw what looked to be the rain Forrest in our basement. Water poured from the ceiling, soaking everything in view. Torn by which direction to go and distracted by what was in front of me I began grabbing buckets and every empty bin in the house to collect the water. I grabbed more blankets and headed upstairs to try and soak up more water. But it was like trying to soak up Lake Michigan with a small kitchen sponge. Then God gave me an image of a dusty old pump I once saw in the basement. We went searching and sure enough it was there, ready to be used. I could hear it shouting “put me in coach, I’ll take it from here!” We were able to use that trusty old pump to get the remaining amount water out of the house and start the drying process. Thankfully during this time no baby woke up and we were able to focus solely on the cleanup. Exhausted we headed to bed with no idea what was about to happen in the morning. 

When the insurance company came to check out the damage they determined that all the floors were ruined, both upstairs and downstairs and the bathroom would be gutted. They informed us that the removal process would start immediately and we would need to stay in a hotel for awhile until everything is fixed. We quickly packed all of us up, grabbed toys, bottles, formula, baby gear and anything we thought we may need for the next few weeks. Once everyone was packed and loaded I sat in the car unable to move, talk or process anything. I was frozen and exhausted. 

As I process this event I can’t help but think about the story in the Bible of Jesus calming the storm. Let’s read it.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

I can picture the disciples doing exactly as I did that night. Some grabbing whatever they could to get the water out of the boat while others frozen in fear doing nothing.  All being overtaken by this storm and slowly sinking into the sea to perish. 

As Christians we are not exempt from being attack by our enemy. The creator of fear is out to try and kill you from the inside out. He wants you to become so overcome by anxiety that you end up drowning, alone. As Christ followers we have another way. We are not alone. There is a hand reaching out, waiting for you to take hold of it. Does it mean the path to the other side of the lake will be easy? No. If Jesus is on your boat you better believe the enemy is in pursuit with the canyons lit. 

What God does promise us time and time again is that He will never leave us. He is with us and loves us so much. He is Peace. He calms the storm. He does and will make good of what the enemy destroys. We have to be willing to let him. When life gives you lemons, I say, LET GOD MAKE YOUR LEMONADE. His recipe is far sweeter than anything I could create. That’s because his sugar comes from the purest cane fields in Heaven.

So, today as I reflect on this past week and think about the weeks to come as our family of six take on this hotel living, I know God has this. I know we will have sweet sweet lemonade coming our way. I know he hasn’t left us for a moment and I know we will look back and marvel at what He has done. Is this hard? Yes. Am I tired? So very much so. But as we search for peace and calmness in our lives we first must realize that it starts from with in our souls. Our lives may continue to be chaotic but we have the choice to choose fear or peace. Enemy or Jesus. I choose Jesus. So with our eyes on the horizon we will hypothetically sit back and relax and enjoy the journey. Knowing that God has us right where He wants us. 

One million “thank you’s”

Just a short three years ago our lives looked quite a bit different. We had one beautiful miracle baby and were unsure if God had anymore children in our future. Then in August 2014 we were whisked away to Utah to meet our daughter Amelia. In June 2016 our son, Arden, beat all the odds and arrive via csection with his fist up fighting! And then two weeks ago we made another trip to Utah to bring home our daughter Ashlynn, and bio sibling to Amelia. Words can’t even express how we feel right now! Besides tired, yes we are very tired. But the blessing of our kids out weigh our need for sleep. And we have a lot of coffee. 

A few months ago when the idea of Ashlynn wasn’t even in our minds I had a dream. In my dream I was inside a bank and was taken to a secret room. Inside that room the Bank Owner gave me a credit card and said, “it is activated.”  That was it and I woke up. I knew this dream had something to do with finances but I wasn’t sure what area in our life it was referring too, until now.  

When we received the call for Ashlynn we had no idea how we would do this financially. God told us not to worry so we moved forward with a shakey Yes. We knew how much this was going to cost and knew it was no small task for man, but for God it was easy. Since then we have been blessed with donantions ranging from $1-$5000 for the adoption. All making a huge impact in our lives. Everyone helping our child come home. We have been completely covered and blessed by everyone of your “Yes’s” to God. He sees you and is very proud of you and what we have all done here. Every share, like, encouraging word and time spent organizing was seen and heard by us and God. We feel/felt so much love. A million thank you’s. 

Now as I sit with this precious two week old on my chest reflecting on that dream. Knowing full well God knew what was coming our way and wanted me to know He had it covered. He sure did! His amazing children listened and followed through big time. It gives me so much hope and faith in Gods amazing love and plan for our lives. This girl is a true testament to God’s provision for our lives. He loves us so much.

We could not have done this with your amazing generosity so we thank you over and over a Million times. Thank you. 

I compiled a few photos of our time in Utah and the first few days of Ashlynn’s life, click on link below. 


Bringing Home Another Ohm

Some may call us crazy

We received a call late Tuesday night informing us that our daughters birth mom was expecting again and she wanted us to adopt. My mouth dropped as I listened on the phone for all the details. She told me she is due early February and doesn’t know the gender yet. My heart leaped out of my chest and my nerves began to go into overdrive. We have a 7 year old, 2 year old and 5 month old so the thought of bringing a newborn into our family activated my anxiety. 

After hanging up the phone I called my husband, who was out running errands for our upcoming thanksgiving road trip. I laughed when he answered and said, “you will never guess who just called me!” After telling him the details he laughed too and asked when they needed an answer. We had 24 hrs. I didn’t sleep much that night. 

The entire trip down to Nashville was filled with us going back and forth, asking each other ALL of the questions.  Both of us willing to answer this call if it was God calling us. Was He calling? 

Fear set in and we decided to tell the agency we couldn’t do it at this time. We went to bed that night, silent, both praying. Secretly asking for a divine intervention. 

We woke up the next morning both feeling like we made a mistake. We didn’t know HOW we would do this but we knew we HAD to do this. It is too important to us, too important for our family, too important for our Amelia. 

So we said YES, a shaking yes but an obedient yes. Yes to Gods plan and ours. Yes to His Glory. Yes to this child. Yes to love on our precious Birth Mom. Yes to our daughter. Yes to crazy. Yes to the unknown and yes to help. 

We can’t do this alone. We have to walk this out with God every step of the way and we need you, Our friends and family. We need your prayers that God will pave the way clearly and one that only brings Him glory in this. We also need financial help. Would you be willing to walk along side of us in this? If you aren’t in a spot to donate we completely understand that and would love your prayers. We know God will provide the way. 

Much love and a million thank you’s

Click HERE to Support us. 

How to have Joy through the Wait 

Her tiny fingers hit each piano key with such intensity and passion, unable to gracefully move from one key to the other with out lifting her hand. Blue painters tape destiguished each key from the other to aid in the learning process.  Her eyes followed the notes intently on the page trying to hit the right note. When the wrong note was pressed her fingers would flex and a large sigh would exhale from her lips. A larger more experienced hand curled around the keys upscale from those tiny fingers. Setting the example of how to hit each note with the correct finger. The tiny fingers stretched to reach each note and out of frustration she would stop trying to play correctly and start playing the easy way, with one finger. The teacher urged her to keep practicing the proper finger technique until she perfected that section, but the child only wanted to learn the other sections and quickly move forward.  The larger more experienced hands stopped and placed their hand over the students to stop them from continuing. The teacher looked into the child’s eyes and explained, “playing with one finger may seem easy now, but we must learn proper techniques so that you will be able to play correctly and effectively when the pieces get harder. If you move forward without learning what you need to now, you will eventually have to go back and relearn, causing this to take much longer than expected. It is better to take your time now and perfect the section you are in.”

“God loves the process.” I have heard this phase so many times in the last few years from family and friends. I would immediately want to roll my eyes but would stop myself because deep down I knew the truth. God not only loves the process but he also loves when we are filled with joy through the process. 

That is so much easier said then done but if we try remember the story from above it will help us understand the meaning of the wait. Most of us have something we are waiting for or a promise that we are holding onto. We want to reach that promise or destination as fast as we can. What we need to try and remember is there is a purpose for your wait. God is trying to teach us some valuable lessons that will help us down the road. He doesn’t want us to get to our destination unprepared and ultimately fail because we did not have the right tools to succeed. 

Moses led the Jews out of Egypt toward this promise land. God led them through a 40 year time of testing. If God took them to the promise land before they were ready they would not have had the tools or the faith to achieve Gods plan once they arrived. (Joshua 1-24)

We ultimately want the easy road, the quick fix and a fast microwave meal. God wants us to savor the moment, slow down and learn as much as He has for us so we may achieve the final and greater goal. The moment you are in may be hard and full of mourning, financial troubles or you may be in constant survival mode. It’s hard and I’m with you on all accounts. I want to get out of this moment as soon as possible, but I also want to learn everything He has for me as well. I want to be able to use this and have it not be wasted. When we know there is truth being taught through our waiting we can choose to have joy trump our anxiety. Let us stop, breathe, inhale His truth and exhale His love that he has for us and others. 

Hold on my friend. His promises are true, He always keeps them and He is with you every step of the way. 

  

Bathroom Fixer Upper

When we move into our house in 2013 it was in need of a little TLC. The house had been updated from some of the original 1960’s decor but still had the original cabinetry, base boards and pink vanity and tub in the bathroom. 

  

 

The bathroom was one of the first rooms we tackled in our TLC project. We are on a pretty tight budget so everything we did was at low cost. We tried the vanity in white & black but I never loved it. The other day I found a beautiful dark grey paint in the basement and decided to paint the vanity once more. I’m crazy and love to spontaneously add projects to my already busy day.  Once I have an idea in my head, it bugs me until I have implemented that idea.  

  

When we moved in I had painted the walls this pretty blue color, added hardware and new sinks and vanity. I loved the color but the space seemed to dark (insert new idea into my brain). I decided a lighter paint color was a must. So I packed up the kiddos at 8:30am and headed to our local Menards. I usually browse the “reject paint” section for an amazing deal. It is usually located on a shelf in the back of the paint section. You can find paint for $5 and under. Amazing!! Someone else’s reject is your fixer upper gain. I have found many of the paint colors in our house in that section. This time I was not so lucky but decided to splurge and buy a gallon of the color of my choice anyway. 

  

I started painting while the kids napped, I was just going to do the trim but they kept sleeping, so I kept painting. If you have to stopped mid project, one thing you can do is wrap your brush and roller in foil and stick them in the fridge. They stay perfectly moist with paint so you can pick up where you left off at a later time. 

  

Here is the finished project!

  
  
  
(Old picture of a church from the first town we lived in, Oconomowoc, wi) 

   

(Old hook we found in the house to hang hand towel)

  (Where I hang my necklaces) 

  
 (Found these amazing sinks at Restore)

   
 
(Basket to hide the TP) 
Thanks for visiting! 

5 Things to do after a Miscarriage

First off let me just start this post off by giving my deepest apologies if you are or have experienced a miscarriage, either personally or through a close loved one. This post is not an easy one to write and one I wish I didn’t have to write. But, since going through six miscarriages myself, it has become one of my missions to help others overcome their miscarriage. I experienced my first loss in 2008, just 7 short months after we were married. It was an unexpected pregnancy that resulted in an unexpected loss. This type of loss never occurred to me as a young woman. My expectation was crushed as I laid on the bathroom floor clenching my fists to my stomach. I sobbed trying to figure out how I was going to tell my family and sobbed that I never had the chance to tell my friends. I was overcome with so much quilt thinking it was something I could have prevented. I layed there on the cold ceramic floor, helpless, as I thought of everything I could have done differently. While my husband slept soundly in bed my mind went back to the very moment I told him we were expecting. It is a moment we will never get back. A moment that is now tainted by excruciating pain, not joy.

Through the years I have used this blog to share what God has done through each of these miscarriages. God has brought me to a place of not only understanding why he allowed me to experience that type of pain but also to a place of thankfulness. I wouldn’t take back a single loss because each loss brought me closer to Him. That thankfulness didn’t come easy and it took a lot of work. I hope I can help you get there too.
One thing I wanted share today is 5 things to do after a miscarriage. This post doesn’t address what to do medically after a loss but it does address the top 5 of things that helped heal my soul.


1. Share the Loss with you Husband.
Not only share the news with him but also share your heart with him. Sharing the news with your husband is one of the most important things to do. There may be some temptation to hide your miscarriage, especially if you didn’t get the chance to share that you were pregnant. The enemy wants us to believe that by hiding this you are being strong. But that is the complete opposite. When you let the light touch your pain it allows the Holy Spirit to come in and heal. Once you share the news with your husband make sure you also share your heart. Your husband is not going to understand how you are feeling. He doesn’t have a uterus and will never know the feeling of having a tiny human inside of you. He won’t know the right words to say or the right actions to make you feel better. He may even say the wrong thing. Be honest and open with him with what you need and offer up a lot of grace. He WILL however experience pain but it will look a lot different than how you express your pain. That is why it is very important to talk with each other. Make sure you establish a safe atmosphere where nothing is off limits. You two need to know your feelings are not only honored but trusted.

“and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh”

(Mark 10:8 NIV)

2. Share your Story.

This is similar to the last point, I highly recommend sharing your loss with a close friend, a family member or writing your story out. When you allow loved ones to walk along side of you during this time they become your support, someone to lean on when the path gets rocky and surrounded by weeds. There may be hesitation to share because you don’t want to show emotion or you are afraid of the uncontrollable sob, but crying is therapeutic. Its messy but it is healing. If you are not ready to share your experience with others I would recommend writing it out on paper. Write it as if you were telling a story. Try to remember every detail, every thought and every feeling. There is nothing off limits here. This is for you. Ask the questions you are afraid to ask, say the things that are too hard to say out loud and voice your pain. Let the pen flow with out hesitation.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

(Galatians 6:2 NIV)

3. Mourn/grieve

You need to allow yourself to grieve this loss. It is a loss no matter how far along you were. I lost many of my babies at 6-8 weeks. I was early but I not only lost a living human being with a heartbeat, I lost the hope and dreams I had for this baby. Your feelings are real and they are seen and heard by God. He understands what you are going through and grieves with you. There are many ways and stages to mourning. It is wise to know the different stages in the process so that you can recognize which stage you are in and understand each stage is normal and appropriate for the healing process.

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

(2 Cor 1:3-4 NIV)

4. Be with God.

I thought about putting this one first because that’s the churchy answer but I want to be honest and real with you. I didn’t want to talk or be with God right away. I was upset and I didn’t understand why he would allow me to go through such pain. At some point I reached out to God and that is what matters. Start by being silent and allowing him to speak to you. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions and expect answers. Cry out to him and voice your pain, he understand. Just be and let Him heal. Many times I wasn’t ready to talk with him so I would sit and listen to worship music. I would let the words seep into my heart until it would burst and then words would come crying out.

“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

(Psalm 34:17 NIV)

5. Hope.

Never give up hope. With most of my losses I came to a crossroad. I had a choice to make, I could give up or hold on to that glimmer of hope. Don’t ever let that hope fade. God has a plan and reason for this pain. He won’t let this pain be wasted and will use it for his glory. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Hold on to that truth.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)


I pray you have been blessed by reading this and know I am praying for you. If you need someone to talk to or ask questions I am here to listen or help. Feel free to reach out! Much love my friend.

-Audra