Monday, March 11, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday March 11,2019

Image result for happy homemaker monday

If you read my last entry you know I have been on a social media fast for Lent! I have to say I don't think I realized how much of my time it actually took! I believe when Lent is over, there will be major changes on how much time it gets!
My body still has a mind of it's own and makes life less than easy at times. My home had been hit with the flu and we finally recovered from that then bam I was hit with something else.
Prayerfully I am on the back end of whatever this is.
Its been awhile since I have linked up with Sandra over at a Diary of A Stay At Home Mom! I am excited to be linking up with Happy Homemaker! If you decide to join in on the fun follow the link below:

The Weather~
Monday 71
Tuesday 66
Wednesday 64
Thursday 69
Friday 72
Saturday 65

My heart is ready for spring! I have been daydreaming of warm days and starting a herb garden this year! We have had so much rain! My yard is like walking in a swamp. So thankful to see lots of sunshine and warm weather this week! We have a chance of rain later in the week. I hope it changes its mind and doesn't!

Right Now~
I just finished up some cereal. Still sipping on coffee as I set at the kitchen table working on this post. I love how the sun shines through my lace curtains in the living room!
It whispers the promise of spring! 

My thoughts are all over the place right now! I have so much I want to do! So little energy. I was approved for Benlysta injections at home for my Lupus. I had my first shot last Tuesday! I have not felt well since! I pray that it was just a fluke and my body was still trying to recover from the flu and pneumonia. Praying tomorrows shot goes well and little if any side effects. I have decided that I need to set weekly goals for myself. In hopes to accomplish things I want done! 
I know I will have to be realistic. I think it  may help with the fact I am still unable to drive. If I keep myself semi busy I won't miss some of the things I have lost along the way so badly.

On My Reading Pile~
Nothing at this very moment... I hope a trip to the local bookstore will soon remedy that.

On My T.V~
The Good Dr
 New Amsterdam
Knightfall - I just finished the first season I can not wait till the next.
When Calls The Heart

On My To Do List~

*Clean house later this week
* Work on another chapter of my Mission Hope Girls series
* I have some craft painting to finish

Looking Around the House~
Honestly it needs a good cleaning! There has been so much sickness! Its been disinfected... Just not kept picked up the way I like it be! My youngest helps me beyond imagination! She has had some other things she wanted to take care of last week. I miss being able to be the homemaker I once was. I know things change... I am still trying too adjust to the new normal with joy.

On The Menu~
Monday~ Rice a Roni, fried taters and onion, and pintos
Tuesday~ Pork Chops. baked potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday~ Bang Bang Shrimp wraps and fries
Thursday~ Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Friday~ Grilled Chicken breast, corn on the cob, broccoli

In the Craft Basket~
Before I got so sick I dug out some spring skirt patterns to sew! I pray that I can begin working on them. I was asked to try my hand at making American Girl doll food from air dry clay! I have it created its waiting to be painted! Maybe next week I will have pictures of one or the other.

One of my simple pleasures~
Spending time being creative! Its always been one of my most favorite things to do!

Favorite Bible verse for the week~
On My Prayer List~
Please help me pray my body will respond well to the Lupus meds with out the horrible side effects. Praying for our nation... We need God back in every aspect of our country.
Also help me pray for a very dear friend and their ministry!

In Closing~
Thank you so much for stopping by today and sharing a moment of your day with me! I pray that each of you have a blessed and wonderful week!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lent 2019

Image result for lent 2019
February has came and gone and we have entered into March! With all hopes spring is just around the way!
February was a hard month for our home! Full of sickness and uncertainties. I have high hopes March will be a month of healing and good days ahead!
Our church is participating in Lent this year. Normally we do a church wide Daniel fast. My body does not do well with the diet and I normally have to change it up so I can tolerate it. So when my hubby announced the change my heart was eager and happy! I choose to give up facebook, instagram, and snap chat! These forms of social media tend to take up more of my precious time than I need to allow it. I am excited to use this time to grow closer to Jesus. Also to devote more time on my blog.
I think I have decided to combine my blogs during this time as well! I have SLE Lupus and I honestly have a hard time trying to balance two! 
I am excited to see how my relationship grows stronger and how these next few weeks change my view on social media as well! 
 Easter is one of my favorite holidays! Its a reminder of all Jesus gave up for me and forever changed who I am! Do you participate in Lent? If so what do you give up during that time?
Thank you for stopping by! I am praying for you and pray you have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Morning Worship At Home

spiritual appetite                                                                                                                                                                                 More
We are not but a couple of weeks in to 2019, and my body has had a horrible time. I am so thankful to know my glorified body will not have lupus !!!
I hate missing church more than anything! 
There is something special about coming together with believers to worship!
I know every Sunday will not be like this! So when I knew I would have to opt to stay home to let my body heal and get better. I determined to worship at home with my church family and in my alone time with my heavenly Daddy.
So I grabbed my favorite coffee mug and began live stream with my church family! You know there are days I would love more than anything not to have the technology we have today. I think in some ways it robs us from what is in front of us.
Today I am reminded of hat a blessing it is to be apart of our church service even when I can not be there!
I woke this morning determined not to miss out on everything! When connection kept getting interrupted and my medicines began to cause me to fade ... I bean to get frustrated because I felt like I was letting my Daddy in heaven down!
He whispered peace to my soul!
He reminded me its okay HE knew my heart, that often the truest worship is found at the Fathers feet.
My heart relaxed and let all those emotions go and concentrated just on Him...
I felt like I had been at church even though I truly hadn't.
I love when God reminds us of His promises and shows up in the most mightiest ways!
After time spent alone with Him my soul felt so refreshed! 
In the stillness of the morning with just the hum of the refrigerator, I feel refreshed spiritually. I am reminded this a temporary home...
 2019 has had some highs and some lows already! However that may be we have seen God answer some very big things we have been praying about for sometime!
We have been praying for almost a year for insurance to agree to cover benlysta weekly shots at home instead of monthly infusions! Due to the severe side effects I have after the treatment! We got the letter of approval last week! So I will no longer take the monthly infusions! Our prayer is my body handles the shots with far less side effects.
We had also been helping our oldest daughter pray about a job closer to home. She recently tested positive for lupus and had been driving two hours one way to work everyday 12 hr shifts. God opened the door for her at our local hospital 10 min. from her house! She will begin there mid February! 
I am so thankful for his answered prayers! Hes a good good Father for sure! It's easy to worship when we are on the mountain top. I think we can all agree when we are in the valley it takes much more work! I can totally say it is well worth it!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your morning with me !
Prayerfully Yours ~ Shellie    

Friday, January 18, 2019

Are You Hiding Behind A Smile?

Hmmm... Where do I start... I know this is probably the worst blog opening yet! I am pretty sure it will not be the last! 
I haven't had a lot of sleep. Lupus has away of making sure several times a month you party in your room all night with Netflix! 
Last night was one of those nights for sure. It didn't matter  how I laid, propped, prayed, or watched. Sleep was very little. So I asked God to show me what I still hadn't let go of so in 2019 I could be my very best for Him.
If you read my last blog you already know He showed me I was knee deep in comparison! Ouch! That one still hurts and is very much a work in progress! 
I have to admit last nights revelation was no easier at all!
My blog name is footsteps of grace for many reasons. 
The number one reason is I could see Gods grace all over my life!
His Footsteps cover my heart and have healed places I have never even shared with a any human! 
So of course as soon as I asked Him to show me was not what I had planned to hear!
He showed me all though He had brought me through many devastating blows in my life I am still scared to share them! 
Oh how I cringed at that! I thought that we had came to a place that it was okay not to share all of my past! That I could keep it all to myself and not put myself out there for all the world to judge or talk about. That's where I was so wrong. So I asked Him where I should start... He told me the easiest.... When it came time to share the hard stuff He would give me the words I need and how to share it. Because my life is laced in grace and I should never be stuck in a performance act to please others. What He thinks of me is way more important than the thoughts of others.
I would like to introduce you to someone incredible special in my life.... Our relationship was not always easy at all is is riddled with deep scars laced with deep ordained love by God. 
Meet my sister Laurie.
She is the one on the right! She had everything going for her when we were young!Beautiful, had a smile that lit up the room when she walked in, she had the voice of an angel, she was popular and everyone who met her loved her! I can even remember a time when I thought I wanted nothing more than to be like my big sister when I grew up! She was 7 years older than me...
As we both got older our lives took very different paths. Being separated by a divorce. There were periods of months and even years when I didn't see her or talk to her! Time and the wrong crowd introduced her to the world of drugs... 
It was then when the sister I loved and wanted so very much to be like, my heart swore I would never take the same path. My life is riddled with loved ones who struggle or have struggled with addiction. My sister was introduced to drugs  not only by her friends but also our Dad. He had been a cocaine addict for years and was able to keep it hidden. Because she sought his approval she did the things she thought made him proud. This would be the performance trap she would be swept away by for the rest of her life. Drugs lead to bad relationships that were violent. to mistreating her beautiful kids, destroying the relationships with the ones who loved her so much.
She sought Love of a Dad who never gave her real love in every man she was ever with. Constantly being abused the drugs became harsher and harsher... Till the beauty we knew faded into the distance. She became involved with Satanism seeking that very same love. After the death of our Dad... I remeber her telling me the only thing she ever wanted from him was to say he was proud of her!
2 weeks before Christmas 6 years ago I received a phone call my sister was in a horrible car 
accident. The car had rolled and she had a head injury.
She was sent home after observation. When I was able to talk to her she told me she could smell the earth when the car rolled. She said she knew that if she would have died that very moment she would not have went to heaven! I told her that day she knew what it took to go to heaven the choice had to be hers. She told me she loved me and she knew that but she wasn't ready, and the phone went dead. Christmas Eve I received the best call ever! She had called and asked a local pastor to come to my grandma's house to speak with her! She got saved that day! We talked everyday for the next two weeks! She would call and we would laugh and talk about the good times and the hard times.A week after Christmas our Dads brother died and something in Laurie snapped on December 28 she called and told me she didn't fit in on earth anymore the ones she fit in with were gone! She told me she was so proud of the woman I became! I told her she was needed here and she could reach so many with her story! On January 3 my sister took her life! On January 4 we had to make the decision to turn the machines off that were breathing for her. It was combination of prescription pain meds and huffing air dusters that claimed her life! Those two weeks before her home going impacted my whole being! The loss of her shook the very foundation of my life! 
Addiction is a disease. It may start out as a choice. It turns into a life long battle. Laurie had received help from family and friends over the year. Suicide was never something we ever thought we would deal with in our family. 
Yet it would only be the first. I am not sure who all reads my blog. I can see the traffic but not see who reads it. I am not sure why God wants me to share some of these things.... Except the fact someone who is struggling with loss ... For myself I had to heal over a loss of someone I had lost and just gotten back. I had to forgive her of some pretty horrible things she had even done to me! Forgiveness is a gift laced with grace! My Daddy in heaven gave me that same wonderful gift! I also know apart of the very reason Laurie turned to the very things that killed her was the shame of deep childhood hurt. She never thought it was okay to reach out to get help. Instead that contagious smile became the mask she wore till it the pain was more than she thought she could bear.... I remember her telling me she would be doing us a favor.
I have been a pastors wife for almost 23 years... I have sat across from so many who aren't willing to seek counseling or professional help because of shame! 
There is nowhere in the Bible where God says we should hide from our past.... Instead I have seen the past be used as tool to reach others. We should not ashamed of the grace he gives at salvation.
His Word says:
"'Return home and tell how much God has done for you.' So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." Luke 8:39 (NIV)
The performance trap is a real problem in our society. We choose to put a mask on and go with the flow whether we agree with one another or not! We do this in because we don't want not to be accepted or others to talk about me and my past.
My sister called me Bean.... I think if she could come back and tell me anything it would be, Bean please be sure to share the scars of our stories so that it may bring healing to others! 
It was a long year after her passing it was hard on her whole family especially her kids... 
I think what began the healing for some of us, was the fact that we were able to peal back the band-aid and expose our pain.
I am not sure what your battling with covering up with a smile. Our smile can only hide the pain for so long! God can heal the inner most parts of our souls that we never thought possible...
We Just have to be willing to let Him in and find someone safe that can lead to those who can help. 
I can not stress enough to have a support system! God Is more than enough but He gives us those special people we confide in in our lives for a reason! come up with some way to share with them and make your emotions known and accountable in a healthy way!
If your caught in a performance trap ...Covering up whats really going on in you heart... My friend that only leads to more pain and hurt... I had to give the pain of loosing my sister to my heavenly Daddy and all the ugly emotions that come with it! I also had to find a friend I could share those things with that would keep me in check and pointing me to God for answers and healing.
I want you to know its okay to share your stories... No matter what it is because My Daddy in heavens Grace is more than sufficient. He can and will give us beauty for our ashes. 
His word also promises this:

2 Corinthians 12:9  (ESV)9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I am praying for you my friend! You may not need this now but you may in the future! My prayer is you know who you are in Christ and don't feel you have to be anything other than wonderful you! No matter what your story is! I wish my sister would have realized this! However if her story can healing to you! I know she is glad to know she has reached others for Jesus!
                              Thanks you for stopping by! 
                               Prayerfully Yours ~Shellie

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Year Revelations

Oh how time seems to have flown by!
It seems like I blinked and Christmas was gone and New Years had passed.
I had not planned to have been away for so long. However I must admit I have needed to unplug a little and get my bearings.
Our family had a wonderful Christmas. We celebrated the New Year together. It was wonderful really. Yet I have not been myself. So I have taken sometime to pray. Time to gather myself and prepare to embrace 2019.
I was up really early this morning to prepare for a doctors appointment. While I sat a the edge of the bed and had my quite time. My devotion pierced my heart. 
It was at that moment when I understood why I was struggling, with life and writing.
As hard as I try not to get caught up in the comparison trap!
Somewhere along the way I stepped into the glue trap  that refused to let me go.
I think we all compare ourselves to others in one way or another. Its when we are caught up longing for what others have it over takes you is when the problem begins.
I had found myself longing for a past that wasn't filled with pain.I am a childhood abuse survivor! This has haunted my life for as long as I can remember. All though I feel I had healed tremendously in this area. I found myself longing for any other testimony than mine. This morning devotion reminded me I have a story that can be shared to help others realize there is hope! It does get easier! If we allow God to mend the wounds.
I prayed and asked God to please reveal the other comparison traps I was caught in. To my surprise .... I long to be physically fit like many in my life... I am normally pretty body positive... These past few months have been hard on me.... I have longed for the body I had as few years ago...
At first I argued with my heavenly Daddy! As you can imagine He won! He showed myself value is not found in the number on a scale or the size of my clothing! It is found in Him. His Word is clear that I am fearfully and Wonderfully made in His image! I want to you to take that in His image!!!
If  He thinks I am wonderful the worlds opinion does not matter. I have to learn to love the skin I am in no matter what or no matter how little or big I am I will never ever be satisfied! 

Now I won't lie that was not an easy pill to swallow! Not at all! I wasn't prepared for that! I thought as I sat there I was sure that He was done revealing things to me! I was sure I had enough to work through surely I had not let myself sink into the trap any deeper than I already had!
Wrong Shellie! WRONG! 
The biggest comparison problem I was caught deep in was the acceptance of others! Ouch!
As I set there and digested all I had be revealed .... I felt a tear trickle down my cheek.
I asked my Daddy to please help me to break free from the traps I had gotten myself caught in.
Girlfriend I want to share what He shared with me this morning because the reality is we all are guilty of comparison in one way or another.
First He led me to the scripture in Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! 
Let that soak in .... All things! It had to start with seeing myself the way He sees me!
When he sees me I am beautiful! I am made in His image in the way He thought I was perfect to Him on the day He created me and still today. I have to learn to love the skin I am in. If satan can keep me focused on the things that I feel keeps me from measuring up. God can never use me to my full potential. All though as tainted as my past is ... God gave my abuser a choice! Because of my heavenly Daddy's grace, He can use my testimony to show others His grace, love, and healing. I have to be willing to tell the story first and quit worrying about those who may not understand! He will give the words and the strength to share. I need to be willing to open up and share my story for His glory!   
I am never going to accepted by everyone! I am different and that is okay! The things my Daddy instilled in me that makes me different to others is what makes the ministry I would be called into easy! It makes me stand out and that's not a bad thing!
I knew even as He revealed these things to me. 
I know from experience that once you determine to change your mindset that it is never a walk in the park!
So I came up with a game plan! Habakkuk 2:2 Tells us to write it down! I decided to just that!  I made a pretty 8x10 stationary and on the top I typed out I am Fearfully and Wonderfully made!
printed it out and wrote my name under the verse! then wrote all the things I struggle with on the paper but in front of each thing I wrote I love !
I hung it on the wall beside my bathroom mirror! It fits in with all the other positive messages in my bathroom! Back in the summer I decorated my bathroom in flamingo's! Each picture having a positive quote! 

I learned alot about myself in the 20 minutes spent on the side of my bed this morning! I wanted to share ! For the simple reason someone reading this may need this as much as I do! Lupus has changed a lot about me! I don't want to loose focus on the beauty of my Daddy's love or creation! 
I don't want to stay trapped ! I want to be free of comparison! So I can remain focused on the beauty of the life that is mine!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing apart of your day! ~Shellie

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Blessings and Praises

Anyone who knows me on a personal level knows I love snow! I anticipate it  like a child anticipates Christmas morning!
Two Sundays ago the kids in children's church specifically prayed for certain amounts of snow. The Lord answered their prayer On the following Saturday a winter storm warning was issued. That is so unusual for where we live. It is normally January or February before we get a storm!
The town where most of the kids live received 8 inches of amazing snowman making snow! They were all so excited! I live forty- five minutes away and the town I live in received 3 inches and a 1/2 inch of ice! 
Yikes Ice is not my friend at all! 
All though as beautiful as it is covering the trees! It was not good for power lines! 

We opened up our fireplace this year! Oh I am so blessed we did! Late Saturday evening my god daughter came to bunker down with us! We started the evening off with playing games and ending the night with cocoa and movies! We woke up on Sunday and prepared for my husband to live stream our church service! He's such an amazing Pastor! Our church did not want to do without service! So live stream it was!
We woke up early to prepare and stoked the fire! 
I walked past the kitchen window. The ice had not been my friend! It wreaked havoc on my out door patio!
It began with a collapsed canopy and bent bars! No biggie right?!?
Lol well we were eating breakfast and we heard a tree fall and then heard a crash and there she went!
My first thought was you have to be kidding me lol! Then I thought it's okay! It can be replaced we are warm and safe!The tree was on the edge of our property....  All is well ...

We settled in nice and cozy on the coach and ready for service! Fifteen minutes into service our power flickered on and off! this went on for about two hours! We all prayed and asked the Lord to please allow the power to stay on!
We were blessed with a day of warmth and power!Christian and Claudia  spent the morning making homemade gingerbread cookies using a recipe from Williamsburg! They were amazing! I promise I will never use another gingerbread recipe again! they were soft and amazing !
The girls made a homemade glaze! They truly were melt in your mouth goodness! My whole house smelled like Christmas!

Our snowcation was truly amazing that day! I worked on a Memory Bear order... 

We spent a wonderful evening by the fire playing skip bo and having tea! 

My Oldest called and decided she may need to ride out the rest of the storm with us! My heart was truly overflowing! 
it was around 9pm that night the lights flickered for the last time! Causing our power to go out! We had a wonderful plan of movies we wanted to watch together! Well then we realized none of our flashlights were working lol! Thank God for battery operated candles! They truly saved the evening!  I just knew that the power going out was going to cause some grumbling! I have to say it never did! Everyone bundled up in blankets and we played family feud till late into the night! We laughed and made the best of the ice storm at hand! All through the night my sweet hubby was up every 45 minutes to refuel the fire and keep it going! Never once complaining! The next morning when we woke up it was remarkably colder ... Still no power and even then no one was complaining! We had cold pop tarts for breakfast! I know breakfast of champions! I attempted to make coffee on a open fire did you catch attempted hehe! I am not sure when I realized the snow was falling outside! I have to say it was like God wanted me to know that we had weathered the ice and He wanted me to enjoy the snow now! Its has been many years since I have seen snow flakes fall the size of half dollars! The snow flakes were so defined! So beautiful a beautiful reminder of Gods love. I don't think my picture did it justice!
It did not take long until the ground was covered with beautiful snow we ended up getting around 3 inches. It was around 11:30 am when the power came back on! I know some could never see the blessings in such craziness! I can not help believe its no other than a divine appointment! God loves us so very much and He makes no mistakes! We never know the what each day may bring! However I have learned to be thankful for each snowball that's thrown at me with grace! God is never late or wrong! Sometimes I think He just needs us to slow down so we can see the true joy and blessing of quality time spent together even if its just a couple of hours! 
I am blessed and so thankful for the winter storms! I pray that God will allow us to have a few more snow days!!! With the hope of keeping my power on! 
Before I close I want to praise my heavenly Daddy just a little more! If you follow my blog you know I have SLE Lupus... Which has wreaked havoc on my body. We don't normally have good news doctors appointments! Today we had one! I lost my voice around 
3 1/2 weeks ago. I can barley speak... My rhuematoligist is amazing!  She was very concerned that their may be something growing there causing the problem... My check up with her had not been one we had hoped for... We need to add another immune suppressant and some of my blood work was not good and we needed to run it again and wait for an appointment with the ENT! To be certain the new medicine did not cause more harm than good! I seen the ENT this morning! There are NO growths! I do need some therapy to correct some muscle issues! I will take that any day over what could have been ! I just had to share ... Each day is a gift... I want to love it even in the midst of a ice storm!
Thank you for stopping by and sharing apart of your day with me! Time is a precious gift! 
Blessings~ Shellie 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Mission Hope Girls part 1 and 2

                                          Image result for snow falling

It's not often that the deep south gets to enjoy a snow storm… So when the girls in the A Life of Faith decided to pray and ask for snow they knew. They must be specific, in what they were about to ask Jesus for.
    The three  girls had just finished a lesson on treasuring God Word…. Led by Mrs.S… the A Life of Faith Group leader on their girls home…
  Mrs.S had started the missions house around ten years ago… took in young girls who families could no longer care for them….
    Mrs.S was a kind lady with soft eyes, that could also dance with childlike mischief. She knew all too well her own self what it meant to come from a broken home… Her goal was to never let these girls feel left out or alone… she wanted nothing more to make sure these girls grow up knowing their heavenly Daddy… Knowing they could go to Him for anything at all. No matter what! This Thursday afternoon was no different. The girls had been chattering for weeks about how they longed for a snow! One deep enough to build a snowman, one that fell and laid pretty, but didn't melt away to fast either!  
    However the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina rarely received snow above 3 inches. When a snow came it was normally gone as fast as it came. After the three girls at Mrs.S home heard the lesson about treasuring God’s Word… They knew they could also ask God for the desires of their heart and He was always listening…
   Mrs. S, Natalie asked “ Do you think if we ask God for a big snow, He might send it?”
“ I mean I know you just told us He hears our every prayer!”
Natalie had been with Mrs.S the longest of all the girls. This past December would mark her 7th year with Mrs.S. she was two when she arrived! She had never known any other parent besides Mrs.S. She liked it that way. She couldn't miss something she didn't remember. Her dark wavy shoulder length hair, dark brown eyes, and freckled face was always waiting for the next adventure to come. Natalie thought that no adventure sounded more fun than a snowy one!
   “Yeah” Ellie replied. A short blond hair blue eyed girl! Her eyes danced with excitement! “Do you think we could tell God how many inches we want?
Caroline also chimed in saying “ and how many days we want to last?”
Caroline a 8 year old with long blonde ringlets and soft blue eyes had been with Mrs S. for several years… Had just recently given her heart to Jesus! Was still learning to trust God could do anything!
Samantha the newest girl of the home… She would soon be celebrating her one year anniversary being with Mrs.S! Her long dark hair, with bangs who framed her sweet round face, soft melancholy eyes that we finally starting to shine with happiness. Was just beginning to open up and feel apart of her new family…
     Samantha chimed in saying” it would be quite the adventure if we have enough snow to sled! I have never been sledding!” Aunt Wealthy is always telling Millie Keith Life is an Adventure not a Tea Party!”
“  I think we should write it down and pray about it Mrs.S! “
   All the girls chimed in with agreement and excitement ! Mrs.S Helped the girls to pen down exactly how they wanted snow for the winter. They decided for the month of December it would be nice to have a snow that fell fat and pretty but did not stick! That way it did not interfere with the Christmas celebrations! They went on to Jesus that they wanted enough snow to build a snowman, they did not want the snow to melt fast so they could enjoy it for a couple of days, they wanted it to fall in the middle of the week, no less than 7 inches, and they prayed for wet snow so they would have a sledding adventure!
  After the girls wrote it down in their prayer journal and ended saying God's word says to write it down! The girls gathered hands and prayed with Mrs.S specifically knowing God was listening to the desires of their hearts!
                                          Image result for winter weather advisory
   A few weeks passed when Ellie squealed with excitement when a winter weather advisory had been issued for their county ! Snow was expected and guess what she said with excitement! It's not supposed to stick !
   “Isn't that great” Mrs.S ? “The snow won't keep us from going ice skating and Christmas caroling tonight!”
    “ God has answered our prayers !” Caroline said looking up from her favorite book!  
  “ he sure has!” Mrs.S replied. I told you,” what was near and dear to your heart, Is near and dear to yours!”
 “ He loves to make us smile?” Doesn’t He? All the girls said at once! “ ‘He sure does,” squealed Mrs.S!
    The girls loved how the fluffy snow drifted from the night sky as the enjoyed the evening ice skating on the cold December night ! The moon glowed warmly as the stars seemed to rejoice of the beauty being spoke from their creator.
  Later when they went door to door in their community singing their favorite carols …. They again rejoiced knowing God had heard their prayers!
    The Christmas season had came and went…. The girls loved every celebration and tradition that celebrated the Birthday of the king.

     January and a New Year had quickly came…. Homeschooling has returned to its normal schedule! The cold January evening had lead to many nights playing with their favorite dolls and reading aloud their favorite A life of Faith story.
   The girls had not given up their hope for a a snow that would be like none they had ever expected!
     It was was on a Monday night after bedtime stories and prayers , When Mrs.S told the girls she had a very exciting announcement!
    All the girls sat straight up in their beds ! Sparkling eyes , hoping the news would be just what they had prayed for ! “ Is it snow Mrs.S?”
  “ Well I don’t know “ Mrs.S replied trying hard not to giggle!
  “ It may be…. How about you listen to this and you tell me!”
The girls sat up and listened excitedly to the weather forecast. Ellie squealed with delight as she asked, “ Did the weatherman just 8-12 inches of snow ?”
 “He sure did Ellie!” Mrs. S replied. “God has heard your prayers and is sending enough snow to build a snowman.” If I heard the forecast correctly the temperatures will remain below freezing for several days!” Mrs.S said. Before she could reply Natalie was jumping up out of the bed squealing. “ God has heard our prayers once again!” Caroline chimed in behind her “We are gonna get to build a snowman and go sledding!” Her blue eyes dances with excitement.
All the girls were so excited they had almost forgotten it was a school night and it was almost lights out for them. The giggled and made plans to set their alarm early because they did not want to miss a moment playing or watching the snowfall if the could help it!
    Fifteen minutes or so had passed and Mrs.S told the girls it was time for lights out and bedtime prayers,
   She reminded the girls that it was important for them to be sure to tell Jesus thank you for their answered prayer!
Image result for hands gathered  praying
The girls all gathered hands taking turns saying their nightly prayers, Each one telling Jesus thank you for the gift of snow!
   The next morning the girls alarm went off at 7 am sharp. There was no hitting the snooze that morning. For the three girls and Mrs.S were anxious to look out the window to see God's masterpiece He had began painting in the wee hours of the morning!
  Samantha was the first to get to the living room picture window to pull back the heavy sage colored drapes. She gasped at the beauty that greeted her eyes. It was like the whole world had been painted white and kissed by fairies. The snow glistened like glitter in the light. The flakes that were still falling were fluffy like cotton balls that gathered on the things it rested on. “ I would guess there is about 7 inches already fallen’. Mrs.S said. I think God may send you more than you asked for girls. The weatherman said it will continue to snow through tomorrow morning!’ The girls squealed in excitement
  In honor of the answered prayer and the snow school was officially canceled and declared a snow day.
   The girls hurried through their breakfast to find their warmest clothes. They would each need their heavy coats, scarves, and mittens. They made a list of supplies they would need for their snowman. Caroline suggested that they set a bowl out for snow cream . It would make a very nice sweet treat after dinner this evening!
Then it hit Natalie, They had wanted to go sledding. Yet the girls had no sled! Her heart felt like it had landed in her stomach. She wanted nothing more than for this snow day to be the best ever. Before moving to Albemarle. Mrs.S had lived in the Nc Mountains.Ellie and Caroline had come to live with them just before the move. The three girls had know what fun snow could be. Samantha has never experienced the magic of a snow day. Natalie wanted her first to be magical. She sent up a quick prayer that Samantha wouldn't be disappointed. That they would not have a sled. Just as she said amen and opened her eyes Mrs.S returned from the garage. The girls hadn’t even noticed she had slipped out. When Natalie opened her eyes she heard Ellie let out a little squeal! “Mrs.S what an awesome sled!” Mrs.S its amazing, its an answered to prayer!” I want so much for Samantha’s first time playing in the snow to be magical and unforgettable”!
   Mrs.S smiled and held out the sled to the girls. “Well I hope it brings you girls as many happy memories as it did me when I was a little girl and would stay with my Mommaw. “When she passed away my Aunt had it sent to me. The  wooden sled was some of the very few happy memories from Mrs.S childhood.
          The girls swarmed around Mrs.S hugging her tight and almost  singing, “thank you for loving us.” “It’s my pleasure , I can not imagine my life any other way!’

   The afternoon was filled with adventure, the girls each built a snowman, took turns riding on the sled with one another, enjoyed warming up with cocoa, and a sweet treat of snow cream for dessert.
   As evening approached Natalie and Samantha looked out the kitchen window at the snow that was still falling.

Both girls thanked God for answered prayers and the best snow day ever. Neither could think of anything that would make their day any better. God had went far and beyond their prayer request and each girl felt more joy than ever before.The girls spent the rest of the evening playing dolls and planning how they would spend their next snow day!
  When bedtime came the girls had no complaints of lights out because today’s activities had worn each out. Each girl gathered hands and each gave thanks for the amazing day spent in the snow and for sending them Mrs.S to be their Mom.
   Just as prayers were ending Mrs.S’s phone rang a special ringtone, set for the agency to contact her when someone needed a home.

  Each girls eyes widened know that this may be the last night it may be just the three of them.

New Friends and Answered Prayers

A few months had passed since the snowy adventure for the A Life Of Faith Girls. When Mrs.S hung up the phone the expression on her face answered what their hearts knew. Their lives were not going to be a tea party for awhile but an adventure. Each sweet girl dropped their head and gathered hands to lift up a prayer for the woman they each had come to love as their own Mom!  Mrs. S had opened her home first for Natalie nine years ago. Since then she had been taking in girls that came from broken homes. mending their hearts and pointing their heart to Jesus so that He alone could mend the broken pieces.
  A few weeks after the call Mrs.S drove 4 1/2 hours to Beckley, West Virginia to pick up the young girl that the agency had called about.
A girl of the age of ten with dark brown eyes, freckles,  jet black hair and a bright purple streak , and side bangs. With a such a sad look in her eyes climbed out of the family mini van. She seemed so sad and lost. There was something different about her.
Mrs. S walked beside her and put her arms around her shoulder as she walked with the girl to meet the others on the front porch.
Each girl has chosen assignment to welcome her. Ellie and Caroline made a welcome home banner! Detailed with flowers and a butterfly for each girl. each signed their name and made a giant butterfly in honor of their new friend. Natalie and Samantha made cake with pink icing and piped welcome home on it.Each girl made sure her bed was made and a pretty comforter and a teddy bear with hearts  was placed on it to make sure she felt welcome. The girls knew the first few nights would be the hardest. they decided to hold hand and surround her bed and pray for her. They wanted nothing more for her to feel welcome and loved.
As Mrs. S got to the top of the steps the girls bellowed out Welcome to your new home! Each girl welcomed her with a smile and told their new friend their name. Mrs.S was so proud of each one of the girls!  She knew in her heart if each was honest today brought their own painful memories back to them! She was happy to know they were able to work through in order to bless some one else.
Mrs.S smiled with such pride and said " Girls this is Lillian and she will be with us permanently!" All though the girls were very excited to have a new sister they kept their joy in their hearts and welcomed her with smiles and each gave her a small hug to welcome her to her new home.
It was weeks before Lillian allowed herself to join in with the girls and open up. She stood back and watched from a far. She had been raised that Jesus was bad and she should never want to go to church or prayed to Him. For these reason that is why Mission Hope Girls Home was the choice for her to come to live. Her past would be hard to over come. However her foster parents knew in the right environment she would flourish and grow. She would be able to overcome the brokenness and live a beautiful life of love. 
Time would be the best medicine and lots of love.  after Lillian arrived Mrs. S
noticed that unless Lillian was looking at her or the other girls she didn't reply them when thy spoke to her.

 One afternoon the girls were outside playing kick ball and the ball rolled into the road and Lillian chased after it. She looked both ways before going into the road to retrieve it. She didn't hear Natalie calling to her. there was a motorcycle coming up the hill. When Lillian reached down to retrieve the ball she caught a glimpse of what Natalie could hear out of the corner of her eyes and moved just in the nick of time.
Natalie screamed and rushed to her new friend! "Lillian you scared me! Did you not hear that motorcycle coming up the hill?" Blushing deeply Lillian replied " No I didn't, if I hadn't seen it .... Well ... I could have been really hurt or even worse, Natalie! When I looked up I could see your mouth moving! I knew you were truing to warn me! Thank you so much, these last few months I have felt more love than I ever have before. Especially from you! I can not thank you enough, yet I can't help but wonder If I could have died today?" Lillian's eyes dropped to the ground. Natalie however wondered if her friend and sister in her heart was asking herself what would have happened to her if she had died. Natalie quickly lifted a prayer that Lillian would accept that Jesus loved her and wanted to live in her heart as He did hers. Mrs.S had asked the girls not to push the issue but to pray for Lillian. Pray they did every chance they got! All the girls were soon surrounding Lillian expressing their concern. Caroline spoke up and said " I think Mrs.S needs to know what just happened! Lillian I have noticed but I haven't said anything you don't hear us a lot. Are you having a hard time hearing us at times? Please don't be afraid to say anything, if you are we are all worried about you and we know you will tell us things when your ready." Lillian looked down at the ground and moved the gravel under her feet with her pink tennis shoes. She wiped her raven hair of her eyes. "Kinda, I mean I can normally read lips. That wasn't possible in this case though. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. My old teacher tried to get my parents to have a hearing screening. They never did so I always just stayed to myself. She did not even realize that tears were steaming down her face. Until she sniffled. "Why are you crying?" Ellie asked sweetly. " I think its because, I finally know what it feel like to have a real family!"
Image result for group hug
 All at once Lillian's four sisters wrapped their arms around her and hugged her tightly. Samantha looked up at her sister and said kinda weepy. " Now you know how I felt a little over a year ago! It truly only gets better from here! Come on I think we should let Mrs.S about what happened this afternoon!" " Your probably right lets go!" Lillian agreed.
The girls headed into the house each taking their shoes and jackets off leaving them in there cubbies in the mud room. The girls found Mrs. S in the kitchen humming her favorite hymn. As she peeled potato's for loaded baked potato soup for the families dinner. "Oh hi girls! I was about to call you ladies in to help get things ready for supper. Caroline will you set the table?" " yes ma`am"  Samantha could you pour everyone some sweet tea? "Yes Ma`am " "Ellie can you put the cornbread muffins in a bread basket and make sure we have butter on the table ?" "Yes ma`am  Natalie you and Lillian will have clean up duty tonight! " Yes ma`am Momma !" "Lillian did you hear me sweetie?" Lillian's back being turned didn't hear Mrs.S talking to her and didn't reply when spoken too. " Lillian" Mrs.S turned to realize what was going on when she was about to address the situation . She crossed the white tile kitchen floor and touch Lillian on the shoulder. " Lillian dear I think we may need to talk."  At those words tears rushed from her eyes! You don't want me do you? I am more than what you want to love and she rushed form the room. Mrs. S went to follow her to comfort the sweet girls she had grown to love as her own in such a short time! She would never dream of sending her away! "Mrs.S Let me go" said Samantha softly" I think I can help assure her that's not what you ment at all!" I think we can help you understand what brought this on today Momma!" Natalie chimed in! " Yeah" Caroline and Ellie said at once. The girls spent the next fifteen minutes or so telling  about the afternoons events, being sure not to leave out what Lillian had shared with her sisters. "Oh! I see" Mrs.S replied. I think I may should go reassure you sweet girls just confirmed what my heart already knew! I believe she is also beginning to  realize that Lillian was starting to realize that Jesus was actually wonderful and loves her more than she ever knew.
Mrs.S sent a a silent prayer up to her Heavenly Daddy, asking Him to guide her words and let them Lillian to Him somehow.
Mrs.S found Lillian curled up in a ball on her bed still still crying. Mrs.S knelt down beside her caressing her hair and began gently speaking. " Lillian I am so sorry you are so upset. I promise I was not upset with you! Your sisters told me about what happened outside today. I know that must have been very scary for you! I can not imagine not being able to hear all the beautiful voices and sounds around you. When I  told you we needed to talk, it was never going to be a talk about not wanting you! I love you Lillian and I want to be your forever Mom and family!" " Do you really mean that?" Lillian asked "I do with all of my heart! Would you like that Lillian?" Lillian's face softened and a smile broke out on her face . " More than anything in this world! I have never ever had someone love you the way you love and take care of me!" Lillian said in between cries of happiness. "Well now that we have decided your mine forever!" Mrs.S smiled. " I believe we need do need to talk about what happened outside today. Lillian why didn't you tell me you couldn't hear and you had been reading lips?" " It's normal for me! I have always  for as long as I can remember." "Well first thing in the morning we will call and make an appointment to see what is going on and see if we can get it fixed how about that?" Lillian just looked up at Mrs.S and gave her a smile and nodded in agreement. "Well my sweet girl if I know your sisters I bet supper is on the table waiting for us! What ya say... Wanna go eat ?"'Lets go' Lillian said and took Mrs.S and held her hand on the way to kitchen! At dinner Mrs. S told the girls she would be making Lillian a doctors appointment to see what is going on with her hearing ! She went on to share she would like all the girls to be praying that there is something to help her to hear better! All the girls agreed to do just that pray for healing! 
The girls readied for bed said their nightly prayers and quickly drifted to sleep. The  next morning was a gloomy grey rainy kind of day. Caroline was the first to wake. She stretched and made her way to the bathroom and readied herself for the morning. She made her way to the kitchen. She found Mrs.S at the table reading her Bible. Caroline smiled, she new it was like a old friend you met with each morning. She loved being the first to wake in the mornings. It ment she would have sometime with Mrs.S by herself before school. Mrs.S looked up and smiled brightly. "Good morning Caroline, did you sleep well?" "mmmhmm did you?" "I did thank you" answered Mrs.S. 
'"Its not like you to be up so early sweetie is everything Okay?" "It is... I have a question though.." " What is it sweetie?" " Well I was wondering if it was okay if I called you Mom instead of Mrs.S? I  have been with you since I was three and you the only Mom I have ever known! I am 7 now and I can't imagine ever calling anyone but you Mom!" Caroline looked up with Mrs.S with large tears rimming from her eyes. threatening to to spill at any moment!
Mrs.S Crying her own self pulled the long blonde hair girl into her arms and embraced her in a hug! " Caroline nothing would make me happier! I hope you know you are my daughter in my heart and always be, no matter what!" Mrs. S held the sweet girl in a long hug as she closed her eyes and prayed to her heavenly Daddy a short prayer of thanks for allowing her to have the most precious gift of a lifetime besides salvation! The gift of being Mom.   
"Would you like to help me with breakfast?" " I would love too, Mom" Caroling answered with so much love and joy in her voice. The morning went by quickly the the family had breakfast together Mrs.S made a appointment for Lillian for the next morning.
The girls settled around the school table. Their school mornings always began with devotion and prayer and this morning would be no different. Mrs.S read to the girls from the book of Joshua 1:9
have I not commanded you" Be strong and courageous . Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, For the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.
Mrs. S took time to talk to the girls about being scared of new things and when things seem scary. She reminded them their Daddy in heaven promised never ever to forget them. He will be with them always and protect them. He would use the things that the devil their enemy had tried to hurt them with to bring beauty and healing to someone else. She reminded the girls that when they hurt Jesus hurt too. He wants nothing more to heal the broken places of their heart and light them for Him so His light can shine.
Lillian listened to each word that was spoken for the first time she was truly curious of this Jesus Mrs.S and the other girls seemed to love with all of their hearts. when Mrs. S was finished with devotionals she asked all the girls if they had a prayer request all of the girls said in unison we need to pray for Lillian's ears that they can do something to help when she goes to the doctor. Mom Caroline asked " Didn't you teach us that Jesus is our healer and when 2 or more pray He is here with us?" If anyone noticed that Caroline has finally called Mrs.S Mom no one made a big deal about it on the outside. What she didn't know all her sisters except Lillian's heart exploded with joy. They knew healing had finally began and the wounds of her heart were becoming scars that didn't hurt as much anymore.
Mrs.S Responded with " I sure did ! His word also tells us to have faith! I have faith that He is going to help Lillian to hear again." Mrs.S made sure Lillian could see her lips as she talked! She wanted the sweet girl to know that they all loved her but Jesus loved her even more. She knew in her heart that only Jesus was going to be able to change her heart toward Him! She sure hoped it was soon so that her heart too could begin to heal.
All though Lillian held on to each word that was spoken. The words that were spoken to her over and over won out that day... 
That night as Mrs tucked each girl into bed. She kissed each girl good night and whispered in each girls ear a familiar verse. " For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  2 Timothy 1:7." She reminded each girl that Jesus was with them as they slept, they were loved and safe. When she reached Lillian she recited the same verse and reminded her that she was safe now. Jesus was with her always and she just knew that the next day the doctor would have good news about her hearing. Lillian just looked deep in her eyes and and slightly grinned when she whispered goodnight!
The next morning Mrs.S woke the girls early so everyone could get ready for Lillian's appointment.
Mrs.S had promised the girls lunch at their favorite burger joint with shakes all around to celebrate the good news they anticipated. 

The office was decorated in bright cheerful colors. their was toys in the waiting room. Lillian was nervous she had never really seen a doctor and wasn't sure what to expect.
As the other girls gathered around a table of puzzles laughing and having a good time.
Lillian hung back and sat nervously beside of Mrs.S.
About fifteen minutes and Lillian's name was called by a blonde haired nurse with the kindest eyes.
Mrs.S took her hand and gave her a lil squeeze before kneeling down beside her to reassure her everything was going to be okay.
The nurse measured Lillian's height, weighed her and checked her eyes/ it was son made aware that not only Lillian's ears were a concern. She failed her eye exam as well.
It was becoming clear there was more to her story than most knew ... The appointment led to two more appointments. Lillian would see a ophthalmologist and a ear, nose, and throat doctor. Her hearing was worse than expected and would need a specialist opinion on what could be done. The pediatrician assured Lillian they would get her the best help there was to help her to see and hear! Lillian left the office with tears streaming down her face left wondering why a Jesus who was suppose to love her so very much had allowed so many things she didn't understand happen.
Mrs.S tried very hard to cheer Lillian up on their way to the restaurant! Reminding her no matter what was before them they would get through this together and Jesus would be with them every step of the way! 
Lillian looked at her with tears streaming down her cheeks and asked " The same way He has been up till now?"
Mrs.S assured her He was and he was going to make things better just wait and see! She silently prayed that God would give her and the other girls the words to say to reach Lillian and lead her to Him...
As she watched the girls at the restaurant gather around their new sister and try to cheer her up by telling her how cute she is going to be in her new glasses. Mrs.S thought to herself how blessed she had been to watch God gently heal the broken pieces of the beautiful girls that called themselves the A Life of Faith girls.... She wondered what it was going to take to lead the newest member to that  same beautiful faith and gift of salvation. So true healing can begin..... 

© Shellie Almond and Once Upon A Stitch In Time ,2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shellie Almond  and Once Upon A Stitch In Time  with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
All Doll Pictures belong to me ! Other pictures do not belong to me