Posted on February 21, 2012
At the end of Allison and Kendall’s wedding, Ashley and I looked at each other and took a deep sigh. We felt so refreshed being part of this wedding! Maybe honored is a better word. Every moment was so special and God honoring. We loved being part of a wedding day where purity resounded from the couple. It was SO refreshing. The love and the honor Kendall displayed towards Allison was so special to watch. We felt like we were two flies witnessing a real life fairy tale!
Kendall and Allison, we wish you all the happiness in the world! Thank you for being a testimony of purity. You are such an example to those around you. We hope to have captured the moments that will mean the most decades down the road . We love you all!
Posted on February 17, 2012
The moment we began speaking on the phone, we wanted to be her friend. The weather was not cooperating for Matt & Sarah’s engagement session, but her optimistic and peppy attitude was a subtle announcement that no storm would rain on her engagement parade, so-to-speak. We loved it. Sarah said she likes to take risks, so with a 30% chance of rain for their session day, we kept the appointment.
Well, what do you know? It ended up being the most gorgeous and sunny day! Perfection. We met Matt & Sarah at the city courthouse in San Saba, where Matt’s family owns land. The land also happens to be where Matt & Sarah met and he asked her out for the first time. We LOVE a meaningful location for an engagement session. So fun!
When we got to the land, we fell in love with the serenity and peacefulness of the location. That’s not all we adored. Nope. Matt & Sarah are pretty much the cutest couple ever. It’s truly couples like them that make us love our careers more and more. They were SO fun to photograph since they are so sweet and in love. ** happy sigh…. **
After a couple months on maternity leave (well, Micah was on maternity leave & I just regrouped after the crazy fall schedule) we were excited to get back into the groove. There couldn’t have been a better couple for us to start off the year with! We love them and cannot wait for their wedding! Hope you enjoy!
Posted on February 6, 2012
Journals are such powerful tools. For me, the pages in my journal remind me of my triumphs and failures, but most importantly the faithfulness of God. In reading through my journal I can’t help but recall how these past 10 weeks have been the most memorable minutes, hours and days of my life. I thought I KNEW God but it was through this trial I have really come to KNOW God. We fought an extremely difficult battle and I determined in my heart that once I came out on the other end I would tell my story. So it’s time to tell my story.
When David and I married a little more than 6 ½ years ago, I honestly never had a desire to have children. Knowing a glimpse of the plan God had for our lives, I cringed at the thought of my child or children being labeled as pastors kids. At that point of my life, the only fruit I saw in pastors kids was rebellion and bitterness towards the dad for putting the church before the family, and a cold heart towards serving Jesus. I wanted nothing to do with that, nor did I want my children to turn out that way. So my solution was to completely avoid having children altogether. I will never forget a conversation I had with a lady one Sunday morning. Out of the blue this woman asked me how many children David and I wanted to have. My abrupt response was, “None!” With wide eyes she bluntly said, knowing how to communicate to me in a language I understood, “That’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard. You’re missing out on the most awesome discipleship opportunity of your life.” I was speechless.
From that day on I opened my heart to the possibility of having children. And along the way I’ve asked the Lord to show me why there are so many hurting pastors kids. I asked Him to put pastors in my life whose children are directly opposite of what I perceived them to be. He’s been so faithful to do so!
About two years ago, I literally woke up with a God inspired desire. For the first time ever I longed to have a baby. It was so foreign to me. So I prayed. And prayed and prayed. I had so many fears and concerns about being pregnant and having a child. David and I finally decided we were ready for this transition and responsibility. The Lord knew what I needed along the way and as I write this I’m amazed at the heart of God. The same day we decided we would start trying to get pregnant, I was at a prayer meeting at church. I was waiting for David to finish up and this woman came up to me and asked if we were trying to have a baby. At this point we had not told people. Scanning to room to see if anyone was within earshot, I whispered, “Yes.” She said, “God told me to come pray over your womb, that you’re going to have a baby.” I was in awe. This blew my mind yet gave me comfort that we were headed in the right direction. A few days short of a month after God spoke through that lady, I was spending time alone with God. I remember how exhausted I was and it was all I could do to even utter a prayer. At that moment I heard the Lord whisper to me, “I’m giving you a baby.” I thought to myself, “That’s odd. Am I dreaming this up?” Sure enough, three days later, on April 7, 2011 I found out we were pregnant. What a rush of emotions! The same day we found out we were pregnant I had an encounter with a woman. She greeted me with a hug and preceded to tell me, “Last night I had a vision of you rocking a baby with dark hair. God is giving you a baby.” One would wonder how many times I needed God to confirm He was giving me a baby. He knew what was coming.
Reille was my promise from God. Abraham in the Bible too was given a promise from God. He was told he would be the father of many nations and at his old age God was giving him a son. His promise came by faith and “against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
About 4 hours after Reille was born she began grunting. Doctors knew something wasn’t right so they immediately started running tests. They determined she had an infection in her blood. At that point, her blood count was 2,000, when it was supposed to be 18,000. This infection was fighting against her body. Doctors debated sending her to Cooks but felt like there wasn’t enough time, they needed to start moving quickly to save her life. They put her on antibiotic, continued running tests to see where the infection went, and kept her under 24 hour watch in the NICU.
I had no clue how serious her condition was. My mom and David said they tried to tell me, but in my mind, doctors were just keeping a close eye on her. I thought they were covering all of their bases before they sent her home. The doctor told us they were thinking about keeping her for 10 days and I was so confused. The third day Reille was in the hospital, the Lord spoke so clearly to me. He said, “Today is Day 3 and death has been defeated. I will raise her up.” I was SO confused. “Death has been defeated? What does that even mean?” I asked myself. “Why does God need to raise her up?” David called me a few minutes later and said the doctor wanted to meet with us because he wanted to test for Meningitis. He wanted to see how we felt about him doing a spinal tap.
It was at that meeting with the doctor when my world stood still. As the doctor entered the room and sat down, he asked me if I had any questions. With a quiver in my voice, I asked, “Is she going to be okay?” He ducked his head and said, “Your daughter shouldn’t have made it. We caught this in the knick of time.”
At that moment I understood what God was saying. “Death has been defeated. I will raise her up.” The rest of the conversation was a blur. I remember nothing but those words. I wanted to get on my face and cry out to God from the depths of my spirit. I was so broken. All I could think was, “Why did my mom and David not tell me?!? Will she really be ok?!?”
I drove home that morning speechless. I went straight to the shower and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I had no words for God. I felt so weak. I had so many questions I couldn’t bear to give voice to. That was the lowest day of my life. I wondered where God was in all of this. I thought I knew God but I was battling if I could even trust Him anymore. I felt like my world was spinning out of control and I was too weak to stand.
Day 3 was her turning point. God saved Reille’s life.
The next morning I was still so heavy. I was battling not wanting to see Reille helpless in the NICU. My spirit was so grieved. I couldn’t even pray. As I sat up in my bed crying, God gave me a vision. I saw a huge angel with large wings standing at the foot of Reille’s bed in the NICU. Then the Lord whispered to me, “This angel has been with Reille the moment since she was born.” Supernatural peace filled my room. With a deep sigh of relief, I echoed what He told me the day prior, “Death has been defeated. I will raise her up.”
Day 4 to Day 10 seemed like months. I just wanted to bring my baby home and hold her. I wanted my life to be normal. With each passing day, I would overhear the nurses talking in the NICU about how Reille was a miracle. They were astonished. They said babies that reach the grunting phase don’t make it. Seeing Reille wrapped in wires and monitors was the most difficult thing to bear. Everyday was an extreme battle. The only ammo I had to fight with was to remind myself of words the Lord had spoken to me and receive the prayers of people.
I wanted so badly to have faith, like Abraham, to believe for my promise. I wanted to not waver regarding my promise from God. I wanted to be strengthened in my faith. I wanted to give glory to God. I wanted to be fully persuaded that God had power to do what HE had promised.
This was the first time in my life that I felt the power of prayer carrying me through every minute of the day. When you’re walking through such a difficult time it’s hard to even pray or put one foot in front of the other. We had so many people and churches praying for her healing. I cannot thank my friends and family for all the love and support.
Reille improved day by day. Deep down I knew sickness was not God’s plan for Reille’s life, but I was still wrestling with God. At the end of the journey I learned why God in his infinite love would confirm so many times that He was giving me a baby. He gave me a promise. No sickness could take her life. God has a plan for her and I knew God was not man that He could lie.
Reille was released from the hospital on Day 10, completely healed! Nothing is wrong with her. The infection in her blood did not go to her brain or spinal cord and the antibiotic killed it. To God be ALL the glory!!
I want to testify to everyone reading this blog that God is our Healer. He is a GOOD God and only goodness comes from Him. He is faithful to ALL of His promises, no matter how dark of a storm you are walking through.
God gave me deep roots during those 10 days. I learned who He REALLY is and deep truths I will never forget.
1. God is a GOOD God. Why question situations in your life when you know nothing but goodness comes FROM Him?
2. Prayer changes things. Day 3 was Reille’s turning point and that was the same day we were told how many churches in different towns were stopping their services to pray for her healing!
3. We need others. Friendship is a gift. Don’t walk through dark times alone. Be transparent with those closest to you so they know how to pray for you.
4. Remember the promises of God. Write them down and keep them before you. God WILL do what He promised.
5. God answers your prayers. He may not answer them in the way or time frame you think He should but that’s why we have to trust in His goodness.
6. No matter how dark your day is, praise Him. Heaviness has to leave when you worship your King.
7. Remember the enemy of your soul doesn’t attack something that’s not powerful. If there’s a battle, it’s because there is a special purpose. The enemy always attacks the plans and purposes of God.
8. Life without Jesus is meaningless. Jesus gave His life on the cross FOR YOU. He invites you to have a personal relationship with you and longs bring purpose to your life. Jesus is the Savior of the world and invites you to confess Him as your Savior and walk in the life He has for you.
Each morning when I look at Reille I’m reminded of the goodness of God and how she’s our miracle. Reille’s name means “God is my strength” and from the moment she was born we have all witnessed that the God of the Universe is her strength.
Thank you to everyone who stood by our side and believed with us for her healing. God is SO GOOD. SO FAITHFUL.
Below is the first time I held her in the NICU. This was the sweetest moment I’ve ever experienced !
David loving on his baby girl .
God blessed us with a beautiful snow the day we took her home!!
Glammy’s first time to play dress up with Reille!! I LOVE this picture.
Ready to go home!
The BEST nurse EVER! Anne, you will never know the impact you made on me during this difficult time!
Our first family picture.
Posted on February 3, 2012
Look who is 10 weeks old today!!