A Good Reminder.

I posted not long ago on Instagram a picture. IMG_3639

This was the moment I had quietly stepped into the shower. Quietly turned on the water to the hottest I could handle. I was quietly choosing the perfect pandora channel with the perfect song (hence the reason for my phone in my hand at the time. I should also point out that it is typical in FL bathrooms to have a window with a nice ledge in the showers where said phone lays during my relaxing showers). A quiet (see the theme) solitude minute went by where it was just about ME. It felt WONDERFUL! Then, not even another minute passed and I heard a little voice saying “I wanna get in with mommy”. Exit quiet. My initial thought was,

“How did she know I was in here? I was quiet!!! I even had her occupied before I  attempted this feat! Ugh! I sure would like some time where I can have all the drops from the shower head hitting just me! And the temperature is perfect, but too hot for her. Now I’ll  have to turn the water down!!” [insert foot stomp and eye roll]

Anyone know what I am talking about?

The truth is though, and the reason I snapped the picture, was because I didn’t want to forget what it was like to have these moments (disclaimer: this wasn’t one of those days where I was needing a moment away because I felt like I was gonna lose it. I will be posting on that soon 🙂 ). See just a little over 3 years ago exactly I was waiting for this moment right here, or well, moments just like this. I was pleading with God to answer my prayers for another little one. My two oldest were doing what they do, growing up, and I missed  so desperately the little moments like this. I knew my time with them was NOT by any means almost finished, in fact just the opposite on many levels, but lets face it, it would be a little weird if my then 10 year old son were asking to get in the shower with me (He’s going to feel uncomfortable just reading that sentence). For 8 years I had prayed for this little girl that stood at my shower begging me to spend more time with her. There were moments I cried asking God why he had not answered me. There were times, I am not going to lie, where I was angry at God for giving me this desire and not fulfilling it. There were even a few days I thought maybe I was crazy for even asking for something this big. Did you ever feel like you were created for something and then maybe you were reading the entire situation completely wrong. That was me in a nutshell.

Then God did something amazing, for me. He answered that prayer. He gave me just what I prayed for. Never in all of my life had I personally witnessed God loving me so much (obviously there was a lot that went into those 8 years). Fast forward 3 years later. Why in this precious minute of time should I complain about a little interruption, especially one that I prayed so hard for? The bible is full of reminders of how fleeting our lives are.

“Man is like a mere breath, his days are like a passing shadow.” -Psalm 144:4

I wonder how many other times I have prayed for something and then after a while I lose sight of its importance. If I beg God for something and then time passes and well, I got it and  its value just isn’t the same as it was when I asked for it. I don’t want to ask our creator for something EVER and forget what it meant in that same moment he answered my request.

I have had a taste of the moments without these little interruptions, and while some things about the kids getting older are wonderful, others are simply missed. I know this time will soon again pass and I want to remember the times where life interrupted me for more time with my kids. One day when I take a shower its gonna look like this:


When it does, I hope I can say that I took every opportunity to appreciate what God has given me.

***In reading this, please understand that I am not saying you should not have your alone time or that I am saying you should always invite your toddler into shower time. I am not. I shower alone quite frequently and I turn the water way too hot and I stay in there until the hot water runs out. Often times I emerge from the shower and the above toddler has permanent markered my couch (truth), or dumped goldfish all over the floor, or my 11 year old has stained her carpet with finger nail polish…yadayadayadayada. These are examples of why it is very important to have your alone time. I was simply using this one day as a good reminder for me to remember and be thankful for life’s interruptions.


Whoa! What a year!

Ive been wanting to blog all day, but of course life took over and between the scheduled and nonscheduled interruptions I am finding myself at almost midnight writing. A year ago to the date (at least for 9 more minutes) I stumbled out of bed quietly as Tim slept into the bathroom to take the first pregnancy test for the month. We had been trying secretly for two months now and THIS was so foreign to me because our first two were NOT planned and in fact very much a (WONDERFUL) surprise….a little earlier than planned, but still a beautiful surprise. I tried not to get anxious because in all honesty it was 3 days before I should have actually tested anyway. All these thoughts flooded my mind as I waited for the possibility of a pink . For so long I cried out to God for another child, but there was always a reason why that shouldn’t happen. So many tears, so many prayers and FINALLY Tim came to me and was thinking the same (with a little hesitation, of course). I wondered if all this time Tim was right and another baby didn’t really fit into our lives, and maybe now after the second month God was telling me too. I mean I always prayed that God would send a definite answer and I was willing to be open to his answer, as hard as it might be.

After waiting I decided that I needed to go back to bed. I would try again tomorrow. A little disappointed I glanced at the test one more time before I hid it. I seriously could not believe my eyes…I mean literally. I rubbed them and splashed water on them again and checked the test again. There it was. The second pink line.

cynie is born (9 of 47)

I had dreamed of the day I would see it for myself or IF it would ever happen. I did what every normal person would have done. I jumped silently up and down. Then I silently squealed (it is possible, I promise), then I giggled, and then I cried. Then I prayed. I thanked God even though this was just the beginning. Then I hid the test and climbed back into bed. I had to formulate a plan to tell Tim.

Believe it or not I was able to keep the little secret to myself for 3 days. Well I told one dear friend but she will never tell ;). Then on Father’s day 2012 I wrote a letter to Tim. I wish I had thought of something more creative. I mean I thought of cooking “baby titled” food. I also thought of wrapping up a test (by this time I had confirmed the first test with 3 more), but nothing seemed right and honestly I was a little worried at what Tim would say. I mean after 9 years of waiting THIS was the moment. I knew I couldn’t tell him before he spoke in church. What if it messed him up so bad he couldn’t even get the words out? 🙂 SO I waited and when he was laying down I made up some excuse how I had written him something for Father’s day but never had time to put it in a card and did he even want to read it or did he want to wait until I found a good card….yadayadayada! THANK GOODNESS he opted to read it then.


Tim was excited….a little scared at how we were gonna do this, but he was excited!

I told my dad the same day (he was at the house helping us build a fireplace).

Then we told the kids at Cracker Barrel a few days later on our way to Memphis to see my mom. We asked them to help us decide which onsie they liked better. They were both thrilled! And chose little brother, by the way.cynie is born (5 of 47)

Then I told my mom.

Then we skyped a few favorites and I texted another!

Then I got to go to GA and tell some friends. All who knew how excited I would be that I finally was having another little one!

cynie is born (2 of 47)

Everything was going great AND THEN everything went nothing like I planned. The next few months were awful. I was very sick. Most days I laid in bed and cried. My kids started to have to adjust to a one parent house because I couldn’t move (I really am not joking). My diet consisted of an apple a day with a spoonful of peanut butter and white rice. My awesome neighbor Brenda would make me white rice whenever I text her. I lost weight. I lost my ability really to do anything but lay in bed. I cried because I wanted to be the mom my kids needed. Had my selfishness of wanting another baby taken away from their quality of life? There were times I couldn’t shower without Tim holding me up and helping me because I was so weak.  I have to say I could not have made it without the people who were surrounding me.

At 12 weeks I got to see a little baby (not just a bean) for the first time. They told us that their guess was that it was a GIRL! Of course they couldn’t confirm it. I cried….again. By this time both kids wanted a sister, so the room was filled with excitement!

Meanwhile we had been saving money for two years and before I got so sick we decided to book our last family vacation as a family of 4. OF COURSE we chose a cruise. You know perfect for a prego with all the sea sickness on top of it. At 16 weeks I cruised the deep blue sea. I had my wonderful family by my side and despite the sickness, we still had an amazing time.cynie is born (16 of 47)

Time moved, slowly, but looking back it seems a lot faster. Christmas came and went and February was getting closer. I was feeling better and made a new best friend, Zofran. I really don’t know how I would have lived with out it. That and my amazing doctor and nurse.

Little Miss Cyndell was here on February 19 and all four of us were madly in love with this little blessing. cynie is born (185 of 229)

The fun didn’t stop there. I got two infections after her birth. So another month of bed rest and NO DRIVING, and another month or two of Tim having to play both roles of mom and dad.

BUT WE MADE IT! Here we are. Another year come and gone. A year filled with more change then some of us wanted. We are stronger because of it and we love even more because of it. We stuck through it even though so many times we wanted to give up. I look at all 3 of my children and I thank my God for what he has given me. I look at my husband and see an amazing dad. Even more than I did a year ago when I wrote that note. I don’t EVER want to repeat this year but I am thankful for it.


It’s so hard…

Saying good bye is never easy for me! I cry when Tim leaves for a week. I bawl (ugly bawl) instantly when I have to say goodbye to family that I won’t see for a long time. Ok, i cry when I SEE people saying goodbye! In so many ways Cobe is a carbon copy of me. He loves well and becomes attached! This morning he broke down 4 or 5 times telling his new friends especially Wellington good bye!

Cayden, on the other hand, doesn’t typically wear her emotions on her sleeve…ok disclaimer as she approaches womanhood we are seeing the unwanted dramatic side a little more! Today, however, as they pulled away from their home for the week, tears streamed down her face. I know she will miss the people she met, but I also know her little heart witnessed a lot and I can’t help but wonder when I look at this picture if she is sad that she has to leave some of the people she met living in the poverty that she now has first hand knowledge of.

I cannot WAIT to hear about their trip and all the stories they will have to tell. I wish so bad that I had been with them to witness what their eyes took in! I am anxious to see how what they saw will affect them! I only have a few more hours!!!!



The last full day.

The last day for the May 2013 Brazil trip is coming to an end! Tomorrow they return home! Today was a day filled with good-byes!
The team visited the orphanage one last time. As a surprise they brought the kids ice cream and toys. They also spent 3 hours just playing with the kids.

While I am looking forward to hugging my family tomorrow, I have a son who is having a very hard time saying good-bye to a country he has fallen in love with. He is extremely sad about saying good-bye to his friend Wellington, who got to go everywhere with them today.

I have already received a few texts where Cobe is telling me that he is going back to Brazil in October. I would love to see that relationship continue. Maybe soon we will all go back together!
And just maybe we will see about bringing this little cutie back with us. Tim did ask if I’d want a 4th!



Day 5 was more of a day where the kids (and the entire team) got to see a little of the city they have been ministering to.


That evening the group got to eat at an authentic Brazilian steak restaurant. While they were there my son got to meet the worlds greatest indoor soccer player! He doesn’t know soccer too much but still thought it was super cool!

Day 6 is coming soon!

The little children.

Matthew 19:14

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”

The church in which we are connected with in Brazil, and also staying at exists to be the light of Jesus in their dark world. A world where poverty exists. A world where kids are abused. A world that NEEDS to see the hands and feet of Jesus!

A year ago when Tim and I first met Mozart we knew we wanted to partner with his church, Igreja do parque das flores (or Church of the Flowers).


Every day this church works in the “favelas” or the slums. This is the poorest part of the city. The conditions here are unimaginable. This church distributes food and clothes to those who need it. During the week the church is open providing music lessons (guitar, keyboard, and now violin), computer classes (to help prepare these kids for life OUTSIDE the slums) and dance classes. On Sundays over 200 kids come in the morning.

Here they are fed 2 meals. For a lot of these kids this will be the most they eat all week. CAN YOU IMAGINE????


20130520-121138.jpgOnce a month on Sunday, The Church of the Flowers hosts a service for adults. Here they distribute food packages to families. This will feed them for up to two weeks. Starting soon this church will be starting a martial arts school 3 nights a week and it will be FREE to kids. This night will also include a free meal and bible time. What an opportunity for us, Genesis, to help support this church and be a part of not only physically feeding these beautiful children but also supplying a spiritual need as well.

On top of all the things they are doing within the church. They also pay rent for 2 elderly women and are currently building a house for a single mom and her 8 children. They do all of this with the help of outside churches helping pay an income of only 500 dollars. Seems like a lot of stuff for such a small salary!

The Pastor of The Church of the Flowers also holds down a full time job as well as leads this church full time. WHAT AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY!

Genesis gets to be a part of all of this. Seeing pictures of Cayden and Cobe feeding the children yesterday made me step back in awe that my kids get to be a part of something so much bigger than themselves. Yes it was VERY hard for me to say good-bye to them. AND YES, it was extremely hard to know that my oldest baby girl was so far and so sick and telling me how much she needed me there. HOWEVER, I tear up when I see them being the hands and feet of Jesus to this tiny little part of Brazil. Thank you to all of you who helped make their trip possible. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF KIDS IN BRAZIL!!!

Last night Tim was able to speak (with an interpreter) to a record crowd of 255 at the night church service. Big things are happening in The Church of the Flowers.


For those of you who didn’t get to see the picture Tim posted. This is a few of the things we were able to purchase and bring to Brazil to help the church further it’s help with music lessons during the week!


The Fatherless

I believe with my whole heart that one of the greatest things anyone can do is love on the children who have no mother or father. To take in the orphan, to clothe them, feed them and do what is necessary to make them feel loved. I am so proud and honored to say that today Genesis was all of that to an orphanage in Brazil! I got this text from Tim:

If u happen to get this. We are in the mountains at a ranch. Had to run to get bottles of water so I’m hoping this worked. We don’t have service up there and wont be down until later this afternoon. We are with the orphanage. They brought them up with us. Its a farm/ranch with soccer field, playground, pool and farm animals. Remember the kids in this orphanage are from babies to 18. All have been sexually or physically abused. Gonna be with them all day and do a cookout with them. I miss you and love you

I cannot tell you how proud I am as a mom to hear the stories from my children on Skype tonight! They are telling me things like how appreciative they are and how sad it is to be with kids whose mom or dad (or both) abused them or didn’t want them. Here is Cayden holding a two month old who has AIDS. 20130518-222544.jpg I can only imagine her thoughts knowing this baby is only one month younger than her baby sister. Here is a picture of Cayden playing with kids from the orphanage. 20130518-222742.jpg That little boy right there wearing Cobes’s hat was the fourth child born in his family. His mom didn’t want to deal with another kid so she had him aborted…only it didn’t work and now he is left to deal with the deformities and scars from her decision. Of course a visit to the ranch wouldn’t be a ranch without some animals! 20130518-223042.jpg 20130518-223109.jpg I would bet this picture, of the boys coming back from the ranch, sums up the feeling at the end (or middle)of every day.20130518-223235.jpg I miss my family so very much and so does Cyndell. We try to Skype or FaceTime whenever we can but it just isn’t the same. 20130518-223755.jpg Tomorrow should be big! All the kids will be joining our team at church! What a celebration it will be.