My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Clothes Closet!

So I have taken on a new job at church and it is the prison clothes closet. It really is a simple task now that I have the closet organized. It really is amazing how working with prisioners is transforming my life. I really have become great friends with some people that are incarcerated. Some of these ladies I meet with on a weekly basis are amazing Christian women, who are teaching me lessons in humility and love and respect. 

Imagine if you will making a mistake. A big mistake! And as soon as you make that mistake you know you are sorry. But then you get punished for that mistake. And you except the punishment and as you are dealing with the punishment, God is changing you on the inside. Making you into the person you want were designed to be. After your punishment is over you are excited to see what the world has for you now. But you realize that the world sees you as damaged goods. Your friends and family won't associate with you. You have to wear your scarlet letter everywhere now. Jobs won't hire you. People want to be your friend until they find out your past. You are having trouble at every corner. The only people associating with you were the ones that you got in trouble with in the first place. But you are trying to avoid all of them and the lifestyle that comes with them. 

This is why about 70% of the people that get out of the prisons, go back. Life for ex-prisoners is hard! I mean really hard. We are talking hard to feed themselves, hard to find a job, hard to keep their paths straight. But Celebrate Recovery is trying to change that. CR Inside/Out is a program started to help prisioners once they get out of prison. Help them get the paperwork they need, like a new social security card and sometimes emergency assistance. Help them get to the food bank and help them find clothing places. Many of these people don't come out of prison to families and cars and money. Many of our CR ladies on the inside want to attend a CR on the outside to help them continue in their recovery, but can't find a ride to church. Many of them don't know where to go to get food when they are hungry. There are so many things that we can do to help prisoners, without going into prison. My ministry Corinthian Writers is starting to send cards to the prisoners once a month. We also have chosen to write letters to a couple of prisoners on a personal basis. There are so many ladies that are in for life or such long periods of time, that have no visitors. There are two ladies I know of whose lives have been changed by the Lord and will never see another day on the other side of the prison yard. Never! Yet they have faith that God has a plan for them. I have talked to many who go into the prison and say you would be shocked at some of the ladies in there. You would never know they were prisoners if you met them on the street. God is so gracious to us! Circumstances in my life, mistakes I have made, I am lucky to not be in there myself. Some times it takes one wrong turn, hang out with the wrong crowd. i don't know about you, but I feel really blessed. 

So if you have a heart for those on the inside, here are somethings you can do.

Write to a prisoner. (Don't ever give them money or your address!!) Use your churches address. Stick to scriptures and encouraging words. 

Know your community. Many CR's or churches with prison ministries don't always know where to send them if they are hungry or need to be clothed. Also if you know of a free health clinic in the area or discounted dental care, those are extremely helpful.

Offer your time and vehicle.  Yes the idea of shuttling around a prisoner in your car can be scary. But if you and another person could spend a couple of hours, helping prisoners get to the local DHS office or food bank, it could change a persons life! It also would be nice to offer to take them to church with you. Or take them to a meeting! The advantage of CR is that you could stick around at the meeting and get benefit too! It's not just for alcoholics and addicts!!!!!

Start a clothing closet. Right now our clothing closet is for the prisoners to get clothes while they are on the inside. The minimum facility we work with lets the ladies wear regular clothes, if they have them. And they can't go off site to church or CR if they don't have regular clothing. How is that for odd? 

Support your local CR or CR Inside Out!   CR inside and CR Inside/Out are both self supported ministries. While many CR's have a church backing them, these ministries don't. CR Inside brings the life changing step studies to the women while they are in prison and that means they have to provide the step study books and a Bible to every one of them. This next step group at Mable Basset ( a maximum and minimum security prison for women) had over 120 ladies sign up to go through the step studies! That is amazing! But it costs around 20 dollars a lady to do this. Our church is throwing a luncheon to raise money for them. You can do that too! Many CR's that pick up prisoners are in need of badged people to help drive the vans and do step studies! Sometimes it just takes a little time and willingness. 

The most important thing you can do is pray!!!  Will you commit to pray for these ministries? Until you have heard the testimonies from a changed life, you will never know the impact God is using them.   Pray for our people in prison! Not only the prisoners, remember Paul was a prisoner too! But the church workers that are doing the job of many with the few. Pray for the lives being changed and those on the outside struggling to stay straight. 

Thank you for listening! Your prayers and thoughts are changing the lives of my friends!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Crazy Dangerous - A book Review by Andrew Klavan

Crazy Dangerous

Sam Hopkins feels invisible. He is the preacher's son and feels that everyone avoids him because of it. Including the girl he likes. So Sam does something stupid. He gets in with the wrong crowd. The group of boys he is hanging out with aren't just bad, they are really bad. And the further in he gets, the more he realizes he can't continue. One night he goes to tell his dad about the bad stuff he's been doing and he sees an Angel figurine on his dad's dresser. The inscription on the angel says Do Right, Fear Nothing. After reading that his life is never the same. Sam makes a subconscious decision to do right by protecting a girl named Jennifer from these same boys he has been doing wrong with. By standing up for her, he becomes a town hero and a enemy to some scary people all at once. Jennifer, has always been known as a crazy girl. Hearing voices and talking to herself. But now Jennifer latches on to Sam, her protector. And when the world wants to lock her up, Sam is starting to believe that there is more to her voices than just crazy. With the whole town against them, Sam and Jennifer, start to discover a plot of murder, Satanism and destruction. Will Sam be able to convince anyone that Jennifer is not crazy before it's too late?

This book started out to be very scary. Voices of death and horrifying images in this little girls head, about put me off. But once I got through the beginning, the story line was easy to read and intriguing. I like the character Sam and thought that his choices to chose right from wrong were very realistic. The spiritual battles in this book were very present and can be very scary for someone who is not aware. I would definitely recommend this book to those who like scary books. Otherwise, it might be too much for the average reader. Some hard decisions are made in this book and I loved how it ended.

I review for BookSneeze®

I received this book for free for the purposes for a review. I have not been compensated for this review. The opinions of this book are entirely mine.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pregnancy week 22

I know, I know! This is getting rediculous! It has been two weeks since I posted last. I have been busy! Finally getting some energy back means using that energy to keep my kiddo happy and cleaning out the junk in my house. I am focusing mostly on the closets and areas that I will be needing to store baby things. We have realized that we are going to need a double stroller for both of these kiddos, since Joslyn still runs off occasionally, though she is doing better. I am still no farther along in potty training her. It really involves us not going anywhere and me not being afraid of cleaning up the mess. I have learned though in many things that if I avoid the messy projects that I am afraid to clean up, she will create a different mess out of boredom. I hate mess and yet live in it constantly! Oh well, I will save that rant for the therapist later.

My baby boy is the size of a spaghetti squash and weighs about 1 pound! Although he is not a very active baby yet, I am starting to feel his movements more distintively. He loves to move when I am settling down to sleep. I have cleaned out a lot of room in his side of the closet, to make room for clothes. Now all I need are little blue hangers and clothes. We have been given about twenty pairs of baby boy shoes right now and I have to get a shoe hanger for his side of the closet.

Joslyn has been really cute by kissing the belly, but she still wants to climb all over me. She wears me out constantly and I am having major trouble keeping up. I still have to pick her up occasionally because she falls asleep in the car, but otherwise she is doing a little better about staying with me. We have had to walk the doggies lately, because daddy is working a crazy schedule and she is very helpful with holding the bag. She also loves to help me take out the trash. I find a little piece of trash she can carry and we walk together. I am very grateful for my adoptive mom Marcie for taking Joslyn on some days, so I can get laundry done. Last week in between loads I was able to take a dip in the pool, by myself and it was heavenly! I was the only one in the pool and I enjoyed the peace and quiet!
Otherwise, we have resumed our Emeals menu and it is working fabulously! I have made some wonderful new creations! We have a boatload of stuff to take to storage, including a piano! My friend is giving us an upright piano that will be wonderful for lessons later in life. But, our apt is a little too small for a piano right now. So into storage it goes. We had a great Father's Day and made daddy his favorite Not Yo Momma's Banana pudding. I also cooked three meals that day and I believe it was the first time we did not go out to eat on a holiday! Yeah for us!

So I know that many of you are wanting to know the name of the baby and we have decided to keep that a secret until week 30. So you will have to tune back in then for that. But here is a hint. Joslyn wants to name her brother Hippo, we probably won't go with that advice. Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's a ....

20 weeks!

We have made it halfway! And today we found out that we are having a BOY!
We are super excited to hear this news. I have always felt that I was carrying a boy. Really had no doubt! Wierd how that goes, huh! John was not hurt one bit about being wrong. He is excited to have another male in the house and now he won't be so out numbered! We are really thrilled and I feel like a new mommy! Suddenly, my apprehension of being a mommy again has passed and I am already dreaming of holding my son in my arms! MY SON! Wow! My life wouldn't be complete without him and I am suddenly anxious for October to come and him to be here. I feel better each day about Joslyn being a big sister and I am so very sure that she will be a good one. Although, I am fairly sure that she is going to get him in trouble more than once! They will be close in age and I am already praying that they will be close at heart too! I so so so love my younger brother and pray that they have a bond unbreakable by the world's trials and failures. I hear that momma's and baby boy's have a remarkable closeness! I am looking forward to that! Joslyn depends so much on me still, but everyday I see her become more and more independent and I miss our sweet closeness!

So I am going to torture you guys a little while longer and not say the name just yet! My family knows but we are going to have a little more fun and hold out on you! Please keep praying for our family as we go through the other half of this pregnancy and try and get ready for this little miracle!

We love you all and appreciate your prayers and support!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tuesday is the day!

Okay I know I have slacked majorally on blogging lately. And I really haven't felt inspired lately. And almost all of my posts are inspired. They need to be or they wouldn't reach anyone. But today I am very excited to announce that Tuesday is the day when we find out what we are having. Well maybe. I say maybe because little Joslyn was so stubborn on the day we looked for her that they had to make a guess. The tech litterally said "Well I didn't see any boy parts so it must be a girl." It was so encouraging to go back to the 150 people we had on stand by and say they think it is a girl. I had made the mistake of drinking sugarey soda ahead of time. By the 3rd ultrasound we had to figure out what she was, we realized the only thing getting her moving was spicy food. So Since I have to be in the hospital waiting room at 7:30 in the morning, then it looks like I will be hitting up Carl's Jr at 6:45 for a spicy chicken sandwich. Not many places have those choices that early, but that actual sandwich was the winner to get Joslyn moving. I am hoping for the same results for babyJ2.
So here is what I need from you!

I need you to take a guess at what you think I am having. Obviously your choices are

or uncooperative baby.

I am hoping it isn't the latter!

SO take a guess up until Tuesday afternoon and I will post the answer as soon as I get a chance.
Thanks for not giving up on me!