Tag Archives: faith

Feeling Extra Blessed Lately

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Feeling Extra Blessed Lately

These past few weeks I have been feeling “extra blessed.” Like God is “closer than normal” – I’m not sure if that’s possible, since he’s always with us, but I like it :)

His Word speaks more clearly. Praise songs ring deeper. His love, provision and protection are evident at every turn. His blessings are abundant. My heart is overflowing with gratitude, love and joy. Could it be because Luke will be here in 4-ish weeks? It’s probably part of it. But I keep telling myself that Luke isn’t my child – he’s God’s. God is trusting me with this most precious little boy, and it is the most amazing, humbling and slightly terrifying responsibility ever. I am so excited to meet him, to shower him with love and to tell him all about our Savior. I am grateful for the joys and burdens of parenthood that await – and I pray to have them every day, until I am standing in heaven. And I am thankful for each of you who has walked beside us through this pregnancy – your prayers and love have seen us through some highs and lows (thankfully more highs than lows!), and we ask that you keep them coming!

As evidence of the extra blessings, here is a photo of Luke at 35 weeks, 4 days – he finally cooperated with the 3D ultrasound!

On the left: umbilical cord. Then there's a nose, two eyes and a mouth!

On the left: umbilical cord. Then there’s a nose, two eyes and a mouth!

If you’re of the praying type, please pray that Luke continues to grow and that my fluid levels continue to go up. Last week, we found out my amniotic fluid was at a 7 – anything below 5 would require bed rest/hospitalization and induction; “normal” is in the teens. We’re working our way up with lots of water and healthy eating! Also, he’s a smaller guy (though totally healthy), but it wouldn’t hurt for him to get a little taller and put on some ounces before he gets here :)

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Updates!

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Our lives have been whirlwinds since moving into the house and getting Cooper. Here are some highlights of the fun!

  • All the boxes are unpacked and all the decorations are up! Though there are still plenty of blank walls and empty cabinets to fill – it will happen over time!
  • Cooper went to the vet for his second round of shots! He’s now 8.2 pounds and is definitely the vet and vet techs’ favorite pet.
  • We bought a giant flat screen. No really, GIANT. It’s almost as big as I am.
  • The Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 22nd straight year! And we went to Dallas to see the last game of the regular season. It was AWESOME! We had great seats and got to see all three goals happen right in front of us – including a shorthanded breakaway goal! (Apparently this is very rare!)
  • We started a small group Bible study and are LOVING it! The people are great and we’re really enjoying growing together, spiritually.
  • I went to Birmingham, AL for work – they have some delish food there! And Maroon 5 stayed at our hotel! Mmmm…Adam Levine!
  • Chad is still kicking butt at his new teaching job. In fact, he got the highest remarks possible on his assessments and principal reviews!
  • I’m working like a madwoman in advance of the Offshore Technology Conference. Hence the bullets that were written in 2 minutes.

ADIOS!

He’s Home!

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Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who lifted Papa up in prayer last week! His procedure went off without a hitch and I am very pleased to report that he is now resting at HOME! Praise God!

After three weeks in the hospital, he was extremely eager to go home last night. Although very weak (he lost a good amount of weight and strength in the hospital due to not eating or moving around much), I think being at home will help him get better faster.

We could still use your prayers for his recovery – kidney failure, heart failure and advanced lung disease don’t disappear with a simple stint procedure (unfortunately!) and we still have a long road ahead of us. Specifically, if you could pray for God to give him strength, to remove his nausea and to help him eat consistently, it would be hugely appreciated!

The Papa I know and love – and the one I know is still inside that tiny, 100-pound body of his – enjoys nothing more than traveling, building things and playing with his great grandchildren. I pray that he will have many, many more years of this – especially since we will be homeowners soon and will undoubtedly need him to fix something at some point! And of course, God willing, we will be parents one day – and I know he’ll want to cuddle with our little one :)

We Need Your Prayers!

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As you all know, Papa is the original man in my life. I lived with him or next door to him for half of my life, and being near him now that he’s getting older and more sick is one of the many benefits of living back in Houston.

The original man in my life :)

The original man in my life :)

For almost two weeks now, Papa has been in the hospital for complications related to his kidney failure and advanced lung disease – which is how we learned that he also has severe heart disease. In fact, his heart is currently operating at a mere 15% of its capacity – which is clearly not good, particularly when combined with the other issues he’s dealing with.

There have been a lot of ups and downs in the past two weeks – an emotional roller coaster, to put it lightly. However, we’ve been praying with all of our might for God to work a miracle – to heal his sickness, to restore his spirit and to give the doctors and nurses wisdom. And we know we serve an awesome God!

Tomorrow, Papa will undergo a surgical procedure wherein a stint will be inserted into his left aortic valve, which is intended to help clear up the blockage and help the blood flow through his heart. This is normally a very routine procedure, with about a 99.9% survival rate; however, because of his advanced illnesses and other complicating conditions, his odds are much less. However, God doesn’t care about all of that – He is capable of doing exceedingly and abundantly more than we can imagine! I am claiming that Scripture (Ephesians 3:20), and I hope you will join me!

We’re asking for your prayers. We know that when two or more gather together, God is with them (Matthew 18:20) – and we need God with us every day, but especially tomorrow! Here are a few verses I’ll be meditating and praying over – and please feel free to leave more in the comments (or text them to me!)

Psalm 103:2- Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

James 5:14-15 – Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

John 14:1 – Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Exodus 23:25You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.

Isaiah 19:22“They will turn to the Lord, and He will respond to their pleas and heal them.

Isaiah 26:3“You, Lord, give perfect peace even in turmoil to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.”

Part of the Woodlands Church Family!

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That’s right – our family has grown…by about 17,000! Today, we joined (well, I re-joined) Woodlands Church. And we are SO excited about it! We really feel right at home here and love Pastor Kerry Shook – we love a pastor/church that is committed to and unapologetic about the Truth of the Word – and that’s exactly Pastor Kerry. The church is so warm and inviting, with so many opportunities to serve – we’re excited to get plugged in!

The only sad part is that two of our good friends, Jennifer and Aaron, moved from Houston to Austin recently, so they are no longer at the church! Jennifer was the volunteer coordinator for Small World (the little babies – crawlers) and did such an amazing job there. I’ve signed up to help out in Small World because someone has to help fill her shoes! Though she’s so awesome, it’ll take at least 5 people to do that :)

We’ve also volunteered to host a small group in our home, beginning the week after Easter! We’ll be all moved in by then and can’t wait to start teaching and sharing the Word in our home. We hope that our house will be one where God is glorified and exalted every day! And we can’t wait to meet new couples through Bible study. In fact, one of the women’s ministry and one of the men’s ministry leaders we met today were SO excited to introduce us to a young, newly married couple! Yay for new friends!

We talked to the missions pastor about going to China, since we really have a heart for that nation. While Woodlands Church isn’t yet in the stage where they can take teams to China, they’re developing relationships and partners and hope to begin sending teams in 4-5 years. We hope to be on those teams! So we’ll be praying about missions in China and will also be listening for God to lead us to other parts of the world in the meantime.

If any of our friends are looking for a church or are in town visiting, we’d love to take you to Woodlands Church!

Congratulations, Mike and Carrie!!!

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This weekend, Chad and I had the privilege of watching two of our great friends get married, Mike and Carrie. Mike and Chad met while both working at KTXS in Abilene, and I was introduced to Mike shortly thereafter. As an avid lover of both sports and Jesus, it’s no surprise that we all hit it off instantly!mike and carrie married

Mike met Carrie while she was his waitress at Texas Roadhouse. Nope, I didn’t make that up! After working up the courage to ask her out, the two have been inseparable ever since :) I remember the first time Chad and I met Carrie – she was still an undergrad, and we all went to church and then lunch at Jason’s Deli together, in Abilene. Being the protective friend that I am, I asked Carrie a million questions – and of course, she answered with all the grace and class that I’ve come to know and love in the years since. We had no doubt that these two would be married, and when Mike called Chad last winter to ask him to be in the wedding, we eagerly and immediately said yes – we wouldn’t miss it for the world!

Chad was one of the groomsmen in the wedding, and I had the pleasure of sitting among the throng of friends and family who gathered in the church on Saturday afternoon. As always, Carrie looked absolutely breathtaking – but of course, with an added “bridal glow!” There was so much love felt in the church – between both the Skow and Channer families, and all of their friends and loved ones – it was palpable. I cannot tell you how excited I am for these two to be married! Nor how jealous I am that they are now in Jamaica!

And to top it all off – they served a homemade lemon cake at the reception! Many of you know that I did not get to eat any of my wedding cake that I worked so hard to pick out – a lemon cake, my absolute favorite! And to find out that Mike’s mom made and decorated a homemade lemon cake for their wedding – and that I would actually get to eat a piece! – was definitely the icing on the cake (pun intended)!garneaus and skows

So congratulations to two amazing people, joined together by a love that only God could design. We are praying for you and wish you a lifetime of fun, happiness and blessings!

A Bittersweet Goodbye

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Well, I guess the cat’s out of the bag. Just a few minutes ago, Chad posted his official goodbye from FOX 16 on his Facebook page.

This has been a decision we’ve been talking about and praying about for many, many months now, and we feel God is calling us back to Houston. Chad has a heart for children and teaching, and has decided to take his passion for math and science directly into junior high classrooms, where he will teach the next generation of weathercasters, engineers, and more. I’m so incredibly proud of him.

As many of you know, FOX 16 was sold to Mission Broadcasting/Nexstar Television recently. The deal was announced in July, obtained FCC approval in early December and will close on January 3. For many employees, this will mean a layoff. For many more, uncertainty looms. We took this as an opportunity to reevaluate things and make the best choice possible for our family – and that was a career change and a move back to Houston. The life of a television employee (and their spouse) is not easy. They work late nights, weekends and holidays. There is no such thing as a “routine.” And when it comes down to it, stability and creating a great place for our future children to live is far more important than the bright lights of the TV cameras. We want our kids to have daddy home for soccer games, Christmas morning and dinner – and this change affords us the opportunity.

It’s a very bittersweet goodbye for us both – Little Rock has taken us in and given us some of the greatest friends and church family people could ask for. It was the first city we lived in together, the place we got engaged, the site of our first place together and so much more. We will miss you guys very much, but at the same time are excited for our future.

As for me, I’m keeping my job and will be working from home in Houston – yay! Chad is currently looking for a teaching job in Houston, and we know God will provide for him. We’ll be living with my best friend’s parents in the interim, but hope not to impose on them for long!

Thank you for your prayers and well wishes as we embark on the next phase of our journey together! They mean so, so much to us. It’s been so hard not to post anything about this difficult and emotional decision over the past 10 months, so today feels like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. It’s with mixed emotions that we’ll finish packing, load up the U-Haul and head to Texas over the next couple of days, but we know that God will bring us through everything, provide for our every need and hold us near to him when our hearts are troubled!