Saturday, December 19, 2009

DARE

I wrote this blog a couple of weeks ago when I thought this sweet little boy had died, but he rallied for a few more days. So since writing this I have come across ONE case of what I call a BIBLICAL healing. Recently a friend of ours, a missionary, told us his story. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer a few years ago had surgery chemo, the works and was doing fine. Then on a CAT scan, it showed a mass in his lung. He was scheduled for a trip to Kenya and the doctor told him to go on, somewhat implying it could be his last trip...There in Kenya, he was prayed for by about 30 pastors, and liberally anointed with oil. He felt something when they prayed and some of the problems he had been having with chemo immediately were resolved. His hands and feet had split open and were painful. They were healed. When he got back to America, he had a biopsy planned. They went in and found dead tissue in that area. He had a CAT scan done and there was a hole that matched exactly to the mass that was previously seen on the CAT scan. Since that time, about 2 years ago, the hole has gradually been filling in with healthy NEW lung tissue! This guy is a for real person who does NOT exxagrate or lie. He also does not go spouting off about this, I actually had to ask him my famous question "Do you know of any BIBLICAL healings" I've known him for years but did not know this part of the story.

However this is the only case I know of....Now you can read my angry blog. I'm not angry at all at God just foolishness in the church.



A sweet little 2 yr old boy died recently. I've been following his updates on caring bridges, his family is a friend of a friend. He had leukemia most of his short life. His parents come across as the sweetest, most loving family. They found out in October that he only had weeks to live following his 2nd transplant. Even though I knew his death was near, I'm so angry that he had to die!! I'm just bawling about this little guy, that I've never met, and for his parents.

On his caring bridges page, I was reading some of the responses and some kook who didn't have the backbone to sign his/her name wrote all this stupid crap about speaking words of faith over him and he'd be healed...what an idiot!

I DARE anyone reading this to send me a DOCUMENTED case of Biblical healing! Not some story, not someone who went into remission after chemo but a healing like in the Bible where there was no medical intervention and yet the person was completely healed after prayer. I'm not talking about a cold that went away or someone quit throwing up from a stomach virus. Nor am I talking about things that can be explained like someone taking a long time to get pregnant....I want to see the real deal~ A complete total instantaneous healing just like in the Bible!

My church teaches that healing is provided for in the atonement, yet I'm 44 years old and I've never seen a documented healing. Maybe God doesn't move like that anymore. I'm not doubting His ability, I'm just saying that IT AIN'T HAPPENING" Go ahead and prove me wrong but I want to see a COMPLETE HEALING! Not "I'm a little better"


Show me "The blind who see, the deaf who hear, the retarded child healed, new limbs, new eyes, cancer free....I've seen 3 wonderful young Christians who were in ministry die in the past year of cancer despite thousands of prayers.

I don't believe anyone can show me proof cause if it was out there, the person who was healed would be on all the christian tv shows, in the christian magazines, even in secular magazines. I feel like the christian world is like the little children's fable "The Emperor Has No Clothes" Everyone says all the spiritual things but it's empty air, false silly words and people still are dying...

I guess what makes me so angry is the false hope and the empty promises that the Charismatic/Pentecostals are so fond of! Shut the heck up!!!! I can accept the fact that the Bible says "It is appointed unto man once to die and after comes the judgement" I understand that death entered into the world by man's disobedience and that one day there will be no more dying. I can totally accept that. What I can NOT accept is foolishness from Christians! And I'm talking about mainstream Pentecostals not necessarily "Word of Faith" people~don't get me started there. The so called middle of the roads folks are strange enough!

Put up or shut up! Stop saying things that are not Bibically true nor are they even happening today!

I think we need to honestly look at the issues of healing. I'm proud of our denomination and the fact that it does seem some leaders are being more honest about the issues of healing. I recently saw a video that was a round table discussion regarding healing and it was very balanced. I'm sure some would say, we're backing away from the faith...NO I just think we are being honest!!!

So send me documentation....I'm waiting!

DISCLAIMER; These are my thoughts as I honestly look at the issue of healing. I do not represent my husband or our church.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas newsletter '09

Merry Christmas ‘09

Another year has come and gone and here we are at the end of 2009. It has been another busy year for us, a year in which we have seen God’s faithfulness! We are still pastoring in Zephyrhills Fl, but not Branchborough Assembly of God…now Jon pastors Grace Church (new name-same location) We love the name change. It reflects the spirit of the church and the message God has given Jon, the grace of God. This year we bought a church bus and have started a bus ministry. God has also sent us a children’s pastor and a youth pastor! What a blessing! We have also added some new families to our church this year. It’s been a good year.

Jon finally received his transfer from Lake Correctional in Clermont, a hour’s drive away, to Zephyrhills Correctional. He is blessed to work with some staff he has worked with before. ZCI is a great prison and a very unique as it has a hospice wing, as well as chronically ill inmates and ones who are dealing with mental health issues. He has a Sunday morning service that averages about 70 inmates. He is thrilled to be there! And thrilled to be free from a 2 hour daily commute!!
Jon and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this past October 12th! WOW-so glad we’ve had each other to go through life with. Our whole meting/dating/eloping is a crazy story but God knew what He was doing, putting the two of us together! We didn’t really get to do any big trip but maybe next summer!

In other news…Stephen is now in 8th grade and back at Zephyrhills Christian Academy. He is doing GREAT and is gearing up for basketball season. We’ve been really pleased with his grades, he’s keeping an A-B average in everything and really putting a lot of effort into everything. Knowing that high school is coming up next year, he is very motivated. He’d like to be dual enrolled for 11th and 12th grade in the community college and he knows he has to hit the ground running to be able to meet that goal! He also wants to get a job now that he is 14 yrs old so he’ll be looking after basketball season. Also he had a great summer, he went to youth camp two times with two different sets of friends.

Shad is now 6 yrs old and in kindergarten at Zephyrhills Christian, where he is making straight A’s, keeping an average of 95 and above. He loves school and hates to miss a day! We thought he’d do good but it is amazing how well he is doing. Shad got glasses this year. He looks like a little professor when he remembers to wear them. He is so outgoing, all the kids at school know him, from the minute he gets out of the van, he’s yelling “hi” to someone.

Sam ,5 yrs old, is also in kindergarten, but on a home bound program through the school system. His teachers come out to the home four days a week and work with him. Sam has had another challenging year, what’s new? This year we found out he has kenotic hypoglycemia, so severe it caused him to have a terrible seizure in May and has put him in the hospital almost every month since then. We have began to have to check his blood sugars and in order to keep them up he has recently been given CORNSTARCH-crazy huh? But it works! We put it in his bottle of Pedisure and it keeps his sugar stable Thank God!!! The doctor feels he will out grow it but at this point he is still so tiny. He is the size of a 2 ½ year old and he hasn’t grown much in the past 2 years. For our Xmas picture, he is wearing the same pair of jeans he wore 2 yrs ago…24 month size. Part of Peter’s Anomaly is short statue but he seems to be smaller than most kids with it. He is our little baby boy and we adore our midget Also this year in August, we learned that the retina in his left eye has totally detached causing him to be black blind in that eye. That was hard for us to hear as we have fought SO hard for that little eye and the little bit of sight he had in it. With a child that has such a small amount of sight, you fight for everything! However his right eye has done well and he gets around so good with it. Almost every day he does something to amaze us, something we wouldn’t have thought he could do This year we also learned that he is deaf in his left ear and has some hearing loss in his right. He will be having some more tests to determine exactly how bad it is. We probably won’t be able to do hearing aids, even if they’d work, cause Sam can’t stand anything touching his head. The reason we are doing the testing is just to see how bad it is and if it’s something that could get worse.
Just recently we were told he may have Tardive Dyskinesia, a form of Parkinson’s that was caused by taking REGLAN for his reflux when he was younger. He has uncontrollable movements that are not neurological seizures so this may be the complex answer to that. There is nothing that can be done for him but it shouldn’t get any worse. We hate that a medicine could have caused this!

So you may wonder why we are happy and thankful after the year we’ve had…we know why…we serve a faithful God who is with us through it all. Having a child with health issues, opens us to a world of families/children that we didn’t really know existed, and it makes us cherish each moment! We love the normal times when they come and we trust God when those harder times hit. No matter what we realize this world is not our home, we’re only passing through and it’s gonna be alright…one day everything is gonna be alright. Living our life in the light of eternity makes it easier to accept the rough spots…”cause there is coming a day, when no heartaches will come, no more clouds in the sky, no more tears will dim the eye, all is peace forever more on that happy golden shore, what a day, glorious day, that will be, What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see…” We look forward to that day!

We hope each of you will have a wonderful Christmas and a great 2010! We love hearing from each of you. This year we have discovered FACEBOOK and love how that keeps us connected with friends all over the world. You can reach both of us on FB but Jon doesn’t keep up with it as much as I do You can also email us at theclanton5@aol.com . I have also started a blog that you are welcomed to read my blog address is www.myreallifebyyvonne.blogspot.com/ I love writing on it but be warned that sometimes it’s a bit raw. You can also check out the website I have for Peter’s anomaly (what Sam has) It’s not really complete but I have people from all over the world contacting me regarding it www.petersanomaly.com and last but not least, the church’s website is www.gracechurchofzephryhills.org . You can listen to Jon’s sermons weekly on there. And of course our home number is 352 567 6208. Hope to hear from you all this year!

Merry Christmas from the Clanton Family

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More and More Christmas pics!




I just want to add more pictures.

Of all the things I "treasure" in this life, there is nothing that can compare to our family pictures and videos! Actually to me there is no physical thing that means anything to me. you know I'm the "Queen of NO clutter" I don't care about any personal possessions, it could all burn up tomorrow and it all could be replaced EXCEPT for our pictures and videos. I truly treasure them! We have about 40 photo albums from the time we got married to today and 100's of videos. That is so important to me. Although it's sometimes hard for me to look back on pictures of the kids when they were babies, especially Steve, without getting nostalgic and a bit sad that they are growing so fast!!!

Next to my pictures/videos I do like my wardrobe. It's taken me 44 yrs to get my style right and I like most of my clothes. Some are unique, things I've gotten in thrifit stores, that I probalby couldn't find again. The shirt I'm wearing I got at a thrifit shop, name brand (the only thing to buy in a thrift shop) and brand new with the tags still on! It's fun to me, to put together an outfit, shoes, jewerly...I even like to iron. I don't always have the time to do it but it is relaxing to me unless I'm in a rush!

More Xmas pics




I love having pictures of my family! These are great. They were actually easy to do thanks to Rick and his wife and we had fun doing them even though I almost broke my leg...just kidding... These were taken in Lakeland at Hollis Gardens off of Lake Mirror. We took pictures there 2 years ago and what's funny is Sam is wearing the SAME pair of jeans in both pictures! They are size 24 months and he is going to be 6 yrs old in feb! We love our midget!!!!!

I'm thankful that we made it through another year and are all doing ok.

Christmas pictures '09




Wonderful pictures taken by our friend Rick Hencye @Digital Events Photography @ 352 406 0720

Monday, November 30, 2009

Be Real




I've been thinking so really deep thoughts lately. It's somewhat redundant from my posts on Facebook but...

I despise silly Christian slogans...you know what I mean "God won't put more on you than you can bear.." Does anyone in the world but me know the context of that scripture???? It's talking about temptation and how God will make a way of escape, it has nothing to do with problems/burdens etc... I have sworn that the next person who says that to me I'm gonna slap silly or at least give them a theology/bible lesson! I didn't have $20,000 in student loans for nothing!!

Today I watched part of a funeral for a well known pastor who recently died. The funeral seemed so shallow, forgive me, I'm sure his family is hurting but it seemed like they masked it, almost like he wasn't dead. I don't know how to explain it...I've been to funerals that were triumphant and awe inspiring but this big funeral just seemed so dead (ok I couldn't help that) I think the folks couldn't explain WHY this Word of Faith guy had died and not been healed so the funeral was just weird! Be real people~ the guy is dead, you can't hide that!

Do you know what I mean when I say folks aren't real? Christians have such a hard time admitting that God did not come through in the way they wanted Him to do and so they say dumb things to cover their confusion/angry. I've seen it time and time again. People try and explain why bad things happen...there is a simple explanation in the Bible! We live in a fallen world, we will walk through the valley of the shadow of death but we don't have to be alone!!!

Often people say things to me that are so stupid that I really want to slap them silly! I get told all the time I'm a saint~ok anyone out there who really knows me ...would NOT describe me as a saint! Or the person will say "God knew who to give that little boy to" or "Special moms get special babies" Well heck...I don't want to be special!!! I don't want my son to be retarded and blind and partially deaf...Come on why would ANYONE think statements like that bring ANY comfort to my heart???? Do I want to trust a God who would CAUSE something like this to happen to a child? NO of course not!

I'm so glad that the Bible is totally clear on this subject. We live in a fallen world, that's the bottom line as I've stated before in my posts. Man chose to sin and brought disease and death into the world by giving control of their lives over to the devil. God did not create blindness or cancer or even death! I can trust God even when it hurts so much I feel like I can't breath. I know He is with us, holding our hearts and hands, whispering comfort in our ears. This journey we call Life is short, just a dress rehearsal for eternity. Then on that day, we won't be bound by this world, the former things will be done away with and He God Himself will wipe every tear from our eyes! Then we can share with other believers our story of how God brought us through our journey. I believe God's heart is moved by our sorrows.

For some reason my heart has been grieving the last few days over Sam. I don't really understand why now, we don't really have any major issues going on...I don't know...But my heart has hurt so much. I wish he didn't have so many issues, I wish he was a regular little 5 yr old boy going off to kindergarten, getting in trouble for talking in class. I can't even dream of how it would be. It's so far from the reality of his life that I can't even see it in my mind's eye. I wish we had a "normal" future to look forward to for him. That doesn't in any way dim my love for him but I just wish....While I'm typing this, I'm just crying so hard because it really hurts my heart. I don't allow myself to grieve too much, hardly ever because I think it is not productive or healthy. but sometimes reality overwhelms me and it seems more than I can bear in my heart. Sometimes I can't believe that I can go on but I do...what choice do I have? I can't fall out by the side of the road and give up on life just because it's not the way I planned it. If I did that, then I'm not trusting in the goodness of God.

So I guess what I'm saying is don't be a Job's comforter when you try to help folks going through things. Be real, life is hard but it's better sometime to say "I'm so sorry you're going through this" than to try and come up with a dumb reason! Be real admit when your heart is heavy don't just say silly "Christian" slogans. Read the Bible ` Psalms, job many of Paul's writings in the NT, contain writings that are real, that show heartache and confusion but also trust in God.

I don't have all the answers but I know I'm going to hold onto to God's hand through life and trust Him. Why be bitter, does that change anything? Does that help anything? NO Been there, done that, got the tshirt...! It was NOT a fun place to be in! I've found that trusting God through the hard times may not change the hard times but it changes ME!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Journey

Yesterday we took Sam to St Joe's to see Dr Declue, a doctor who specializes in metabolic disorders. He ran some more blood work on Sam and ordered an ultrasound of his liver. The liver may not be storing his sugars correctly and that is something that can be fixed with meds. He also gave me a prescription for a shot if Sam becomes unconscious or has a seizure. The only thing is the shot has to be mixed up...can you see me mixing a shot when Sam is seizing....God I hope I can do it!!! Anyhow he thinks cause Sam is so small (the size of a 2.6 yr old ~even tho he is gonna be 6 yr old in Feb) that's why he is so hypoglycemic. Usually kids grow out of it by now but he has so little fat to draw on that there is no reserve for him. One idea to prevent the episodes is to add CORNSTARCH to his bottles of pedisure. It seems to be helping kids to maintain their sugars better. I had just read that on the Internet so I wasn't surprised. The dietitian is calling me with the amount to start giving him. Maybe that will be all he needs!

So Sam is keeping us on our toes as usual but I love him so much, all this other stuff doesn't matter. WHATEVER it takes to keep him healthy I'll do!!! When it's your child, you learn you can step up to the plate. I can remember all the different things I do or have had to do in the past and the fear I had starting the things...but then you get used to it an just do it!

The biggest step was coming home with him from the NICU on a heart monitor and oxygen and the suction machine. WOW that wa a trip but we made it through...then after his first corneal operation and the doctor explaining to me how to do the eydrops into that little tiny BLOODY eye! Somehow we didn't get the explanation BEFORE the surgery that we'd be doing eyedrops after.....I looked at the doctor like "you're crazy! Surely you are gonna send a nurse home with me...."I truly thought I'd pass out but guess what? I didn't!!! Then the blood sticks! OMG I was shaking the first few times I had to do them. I'm so over that now!!!! It's nothing! So what's the big deal about giving him a shot....I don't know...I feel faint!!!!

Life is a journey~you can NOT control it! but you can control how YOU respond to life's challenges! I want to respond with faith and humor! I laugh at situations alot cause that's the only way to get through things sometimes. If I can find some humor in the situation it helps. You can live your life with all gloom and doom...but who wants to??? Life is gonna be hard, it's scriptural- that means there is plenty of scripture to back me up:) But you can CHOSE to trust God and know that He'll be with you. You can also CHOSE to look on the lighter side when ever possible.

Have you meant people that take themselves and their situations too seriously? I have and it's so stupid! I've been around some who are just going through the natural processes of life and you'd think they had such heavier burdens than anyone else in the world. Then I met families who are REALLY going through some firey trials and they just ooze peace, contentment and faith! I want to be like that!!! We all are gonna face hard times, loss of a loved one, health issues...but we've got to remember this world is not our ultimate home, we're only passing through. If we trust in Jesus, one day it is ALL gonna be alright.

I'm not saying not to be sympathetic of situations. The bible says "weep with those who weep" When you go through a life journey that is hard, it is easier to weep with those who weep. Even if your situations are not the same, the emotions are. I cry so much easier now for others than I ever have before in my life because I KNOW some of the heartache the others are going through. I'm glad my heart is softer to others. I'm glad my heart is moved with compassion for the trials that others go through. But again, this world is not our home. ONE DAY everything is gonna be ok! That's what I hold onto and I think I have the authority to speak into other's lives that same truth~because I go through some rough times that others will never have to face. I don't know why some people can go through trial after trial and other's just face the "normal" trials of life (parents growing older, dying...small health issues...) I don't know some folks have easier lives...it's just life. there's no reason to get angry or bitter....because one day EVERYTHING is gonna be alright!

I look at things so different than I did before I had Sam. I feel blessed even in the midst of a storm. I can't explain that at all. It's certainly NOT because I'm more spiritual or a better person...but trusting God in the midst of life's struggles and truly believing He is in control, is a wonderful place to be at!! I could be bitter but I'm not, I'm so thankful for what I have and the promise of heaven/eternity...

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Chosen One~ SAM



Chosen One
If before you were born, I could have gone to Heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you...
If God had told me "this soul will one day need extra care", I still would have chosen you...
If He had told me "that one day this soul may make my heart bleed", I still would have chosen you...
If He had told me "this soul would make me question the depth of my faith", I still would have chosen you...
If God had told me "this soul would make tears flow from my eyes that would overflow a river", I still would have chosen you..
If He had told me "our time spent together here on Earth could be short", I still would have chosen you...
If He had told me 'all that you know to be normal would drastically change", I still would have chosen you...
Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you...
Thank you God for allowing me to be Sam's mommy!

I didn't write this beautiful poem but I got it from the page of a mom who's little boy is facing his last days as he has fought cancer for over a year. I wept when I read it. I could add a few more lines but I think it says what is in my heart about my boy Sam!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thinking of my twins~Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


Today 13 years ago, our twins died. It was an awful day and I almost died in the process. I wrote about it in more details in an earlier post but I just want to take the time to honor my babies. I don't have all the answers about the after life but I know that there is one. I don't know if the twins are still babies or if they've grown...but I know when I see them again I'll know them because the scripture says "we shall know as we are also known" I know that heaven is real and it is a comfort. When you begin to look at life with an eternal perspective, it really changes things!

I believe we live in a fallen world and that's why we have sickness, disease and death. I don't think God brings it upon people. The Bible is very clear "that the thief comes to steal and destroy but that Jesus came to give us life" so I know where bad things come from and where good things come from. Pretty simple huh?

It took me awhile to get past my anger and confusion, and when I say awhile I mean years....kinda of a yucky time to say the least! But through God's grace, I was able to walk through it. Then when I was faced with all the struggles that Sam has had, my mindset was so different. I had learned to trust God. See before I lost the twins, I thought I trusted God and I did to a point. But when I went through that heartache, my faith was shattered because I had the mindset that God should make everything right~right now! And when this huge heartache came, my faith couldn't stand. Through those years of walking through a deep valley, a valley that I put myself in, I actually did learn to trust God that He is good all the time, even if our hearts are breaking, He is still good. God doesn't take pleasure in sickness or death He sent Jesus into this world to redeem us from the curse of sin. But God doesn't go against the laws of nature that He put into place. If He did no one would ever die or be sick...which would be great but that's not how it is. It is how it would have been if man hadn't chosen sin in the garden of Eden and that's how it will be one day again but right now, we live in a fallen world.

My trust in God now is like the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshcah and Abendgo... "we know our God is able to deliver us but EVEN IF He doesn't we're still gonna trust Him" And they went into the fiery furnace, but although they went into it, they also came out of it! So we may go through fiery furnaces, but if we trust God He will bring us out of them! We may not get the miracles we'd like immediately, but one day we will. That old song...Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" has some true theology in it."What have I to fear, what have I to dread, Leaning on the everlasting arms, I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning leaning safe and secure from all alarm" If we can get to the point that we trust God although we don't have all the answers, there is a "peace that passes all understanding" Our hearts can be breaking but we're trusting and we can know in the deepest part of our hearts that we are safe and secure.

I'm not perfect by any means, but there is a difference now when my world is rocked, I know that everything is gonna be alright. It may not be alright today, tomorrow or even 10 years from now but one day when I stand before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; everything is gonna be alright! He is going to wipe away every tear. I've got a lot of tears to be wiped away but it's gonna be alright. I don't write this as one who has not suffered or as a trite "Christian" statement but it's what is deep and settled in my heart.

My world was rocked this week when we found out that Sam is totally deaf in one ear and has sub-normal hearing in the other. My world has been rocked alot lately. When Sam started dealing with the life threatening low blood sugar/seizure issues in May and the seven hospitalizations since and now with us having to check his blood sugar daily...it was rocked. Then when we found out in August that his retina had detached-blown out-imploded and he had NO sight at all in his left eye. That little eye that I fought so hard for, for so long...my world was rocked. But rather than get bitter I CHOSE to trust God. I'm not trusting because I think if I behave a certain way, then God will move a certain way ...NO! I'm trusting because "who do I have in heaven or earth but you O God" There is a peace that I can't explain but I KNOW it's all gonna be alright!

Again, I'm so not perfect. I'm just on a journey like we all are on. Thankfully God works with us all to draw us closer to Him if we chose to do so. As I've walked this journey of mine over the past 13 years since our twins died, I've made so many mistakes and done things I wish I could undo but I'm so thankful that God continued working with me. At one point I was so angry I didn't want to have anything to do with God, Christianity or whatever. But still through all that hurt and anger, God still kept speaking to my heart. I'm so glad He did. It was a process not an overnight one!

A few weeks after Sam was born, I had an "epithamy" in the hallway of Lakeland Regional when I saw a family taking home a perfect baby while mine was in the NICU with so many problems...right then and there, I said in my heart "God I'm going to trust you. I'm not going to walk through that valley of anger and bitterness again" And honestly I've had to restate that a few times but it's easier every time that something happens to trust God. God has always been there to give me comfort when things were bad. When we learned in August that Sam had lost his left eye, I sat on the hospital bed with him just out of surgery and my heart broke. I was alone in the room with him. I had held it together when the doctors talked to us and in the recovery room with people all around but when we were alone and Jon and Steve had gone to get us lunch and it was just me, Sam and God, the tears came. His eye sight is so very fragile and we were warned that day to prepare ourselves, the same thing could happen to his good eye at any time. So of course, my heart was overwhelmed but in that instant, I felt God's presence and I knew everything was going to be ok. Did that mean he'd never have another eye problem? No it meant that one day, he's going to have perfect vision, it may not be on this earth but for all of eternity he will be able to see all that heaven has, he'll see me and he'll see Jesus. This life is but a vapor, a mist...eternity is forever. One day his understanding will be full and he'll be able to hear the angels singing and he'll be able to speak clearly...one day!

If we can view this life in the light of eternity it will make a difference in how we live our lives and how we react when our world is rocked. Trusting God is a process for us humans but He can walk with us through ourlife journey if we let Him. And He can give us the peace that no one else can!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

20 years




Last Monday was our 20 years anniversary. Doesn't seem possible that 20 years, two decades have come and gone since that day we eloped and got married at the Bartow courthouse, after only knowing each other one month! What a ride it has been! I truly can say there hasn't been a dull moment! We've taken some big risks and huge leaps of faith and it's been fun!

We didn't know that day when we took each other "for better or worse" exactly what we were committing to, no one does on their wedding day. Those vows have really led us around the world on some crazy adventures. We didn't know we were committing to a little boy who would bring us such heartache but such unexplainable joy...or a little orphan boy in China..or our twins who are in heaven...or our wonderful firstborn Steve. We didn't know all those children lay ahead. Believe me that was not on our mind that day!

We didn't know all the moves we'd make across country or the ministerial positions we'd take. We had no idea what all was in store for us but it's been fun.

On the way, we have had our share of heartache, more than our share. At one point, the heartache was too much and I didn't know if we'd make it but God brought us through and made our marriage stronger than ever.

It's been good and I look forward to many more years with Jon~I hope we live to be old folks and make it to our 60th wedding anniversary, healthy and in our right minds. (That would be better than we are now!) I'd be 84 and Jon would be 85~ so that's my goal:)

We never feel like we've reached some stopping point in our lives. Always we wonder what is ahead for us. Another move, different church...? We like to stay open and flexible. In all this time, we've never really bought a house, we've never wanted to be tied down to any one place. Although now with Sam, I don't see us going to be missionaries in deep dark Africa, but we've still open to new possibilities. Sometimes we look at people that have lived their lives in one place, one job..and feel sorry for them. That would drive us both up the wall. It's not that we're unstable, Jon's been a chaplain for almost 13 years and I worked for the Department for over 7 before Sam was born but we live open to something new changing our lives suddenly~I guess if you get married in a month, you have to be wired to be like that!

Anyhow it's been fun! I've realized so many of my dreams and so has Jon. We've had these great kids, we worked and lived in NYC, Jon's been a chaplain (not a job I really wanted him to take but it fits him like a glove) , he's pastoring a great small but growing church, we've traveled...it's been great! I'm so thankful for God giving me Jon as a husband. He's a wonderful husband and a terrific dad. He puts his family first and that means alot.

Marrying "that poor preacher" was the best decision I have ever made. I'm blessed and have a wonderful life I only dreamed of as a girl. It's not perfect but I have someone who walks with me through those hard times, someone who is there with me in the hospital, and who helps me take care of our munchkins (especially Sam!) I'm blessed!

I meant to write this post on our actually anniversary but couldn't. But I love you Jon!!!!

Thoughts on a chilly morning




I haven't been posting much lately but I keep promising to do so...Life has been crazy for us. Sam continues to have issues with his blood sugar. 2 weeks ago, on Sunday I woke him up to get him ready for church and he was out of it. I yelled for Steve to get some OJ and thankfully Sam could still drink. We loaded him up and rushed him to Lakeland where he stayed for 3 days. His blood sugar had sunk for no reason. (by the way, Steve and I took him so the service could go on...the stress of being a pastor's wife) Finally they gave me an Accura Check machine so I can track his blood sugars. This past week he woke up throwing up and I called Jon to come hom and we took him to the doctor. His blood sugar was high enough we didn't have to go to the ER. This time we managed it at home and he has done ok, still a bit border line in his drinking cause he tends to get real deydrated real quick and he's not been drinking as much as we'd like. So with all of this plus his eyedrops, doctor appts., daily home bound teachers, the other boys/school, the church, Jon's dad in the nursing home, and Jon's work....life is a bit stressful!!!

But I love posting and will try to be more faithful!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Healing~It's all about TRUST!

What do I, a mom of a special needs child, think of healing? I was raised Pentecostal and have seen thousands of people prayed for over the last 44 years but I can not truly say I've seen a real miracle. We thought that God had touched Sam's eye 2 years ago when the doctors were sure that the retina had detached but even then it was not a total healing, it seemed to be a "crises healing' where nothing got any worse than it originally was. Now however we find that that retina has detached AND the eye is dead/decaying....so was it a "miracle" 2 years ago or just a wrong diagnosis?

In the past 2 years, I have seen three middle aged ministers/spouses die from cancer despite hundreds of prayers...I told Jon recently that I wasn't praying for anyone else because everyone I pray for dies! Three people associated with our church died in the last couple of years also.

My husband is an Assembly of God minister and in our tenets of faith, we believe that healing is provided for in the atonement. In other words, through Jesus' death on the cross, He paid the price for our healing. So where is all the healing? I have friends who are in different denominations and fellowships and they don't see healings either, Church of God, Word of Faith etc...They are all "believing God for a miracle" but the miracles never come. I don't mean "miracle" like "PTL, my headache is gone..." Or some medically explainable reversal happens, like someone responses to chemo or surgery. I mean there are no miracles that I know of that have happened without medical intervention ones that can be proven by medical records.

Are you seeing the blind healed, the deaf hearing, the lame walking? How about the Down's syndrome or child with CP healed? Are people being healed of AIDS? It is not happening!

Even in the NT Bible times, Paul wrote of saints dying, he told Timothy to take a little wine for the stomach sake (seems to indict that Timothy may have had some stomach problems) and he talked about having to leave one of his workers behind as he was ill. Paul even talked about his thorn in the flesh that many feel was poor eyesight, so not everyone walked in "divine healing"

I see now especially in the Charismatic/Word of Faith movement ministers get sick or have a child with problems, they want to play it down. One big leader in the Word of Faith movement has s son with autism and the boy is almost an adult and it is played down so much. Why? Because I feel since the child is not perfect and the healing hasn't come, the minister is afraid of being looked down on for not having enough faith... I know another minister who has a child with a physical deformity and they are always "believing God for a miracle" Get over and accept your children!

What is REAL FAITH? Is it not, just simply trusting God? It has always worried me when folks run around chanting silly things and expecting God to move. When a certain phrase is uttered and we expect God to HAVE to do something to please us, then what's the difference between Christians and people that believe in voodoo? It's all man trying to make God move in a way that makes them happy! Wow, us insignificant humans trying to tell the God of this universe what to do! Is that not the stupidest thing you've ever heard????

So where does that leave us, are we without hope? No~ we have hope. If you trust in God, no matter what the outcome, He will take care of you. You may not get what YOU want and live forever on this earth, but you will live forever with Him. Will I quit praying for God to heal Sam? No, but I do pray for God's will to be done. How safe is that? Years ago, I wasn't sure about that, I half thought it was always God's will to heal, and now I know it is His will but our timing and His may not be the same. We ALL want the quick fix instead of allowing the circumstances of our lives push us towards God. But if we will trust God enough to say "Father your will be done" is that not true faith. Trusting the He knows what is best, and that He knows the end from the beginning, frees us to know we are in His hands! He should be the driver of our life and we should be the passenger. Who is in control of your life? God or you?

It seems so simple to me. God made this earth perfect. Adam and Eve chose to sin thus sin and death entered the world. God sent Jesus to redeem the world and save us. However we still live in a fallen world thus we deal with death and disease until that final day when we go to be with the Lord or He comes to get us. That is it in a nutshell.

So how do I deal with this personally? I truly trust God. There is nothing else I can do. I have found a peace that truly passes all understanding. Does that mean I never am sad or worried about Sam's condition? No but even when my heart is aching I can whisper, "God I trust you" Does that make me a saint? No that ain't happening! But I know in my core that God is in control so no matter what happens, I can lean on Him! I don't know why God is not moving with signs and wonders in this particular time but I believe He could if He chooses to do so. I don't think that we as the body of Christ is in such gross sin that God can't move but I rather feel that God seems to move in waves if you look at church history. Obviously when Jesus was on the earth, He did alot of healings BUT He didn't heal everyone EVERYWHERE he went for various reasons. He died heal Lazarus and raise him from the dead but Lazarus still died. I don't see him walking around anywheres today. In the NT times, there were healings but as I wrote before, there was also place for sickness and obviously everyone ws not healed. In church history there are healings throughout but not huge amounts until we get to 1940-70. There seemed to be an out pouring of healing around the world at that time. Then by the 80's healings had become weird. I remember some guy praying for my cuz I had one leg longer than the other according to him. I was trying not to crack up while it was going on. He pronounced me healed and whole and I never even knew I had a problem:) I hear of healing over seas but in this day and age, if there were healings that could be documented, it would be on the news, at least Christian news. I don't hear of our missionaries getting people healed of AIDS. If it was happening, I would hear it!!!

We have taken Sam forward for prayer for healing many times. We taken him to services where there was a well known minister who has seen some documented healings in the past and we had Sam prayed for. We were invited as pastors to another service when he was little and a well known evangelist was going to pray for him. He knew we were there as invited guests and he called us forward for prayer. He was such a farce and a fake it was unbelievable! Instead of praying for Sam, he said I need to have my eyes healed, cuz it was a generational curse. (My eye problem and Sam's problem is not even in the same category of eye problems) So he proceeded to pray for me ON CAMERA! He never did pray for Sam. I just stood there and glared at him then took my baby and went to the back of the auditorium and cried. I cried out of frustration that someone would be so fake and weird! But through it all, I knew in my heart that I could trust God!!! If somethinkg like that were to ever happen to me again, I would rebuke the minister before the congregation. And if you want to know who it was, feel free to call me!

So do I not believe in healing? No I believe God can heal. I just think we Christians think the healing should come when and where we want. Would I love for Sam to be healed? DUMB QUESTION! of course I would love that! I dream of that happening but I trust God!!!!!!! No matter how long we live on this earth, it is but a blink of the eye in the light of eternity and I know then my son will be totally healed and I can't wait for that day! Until then I will trust God, if God heals him on this earth as a sign and a wonder so be it! I will give God all the praise but if He waits until that we stand before Him, I will still give Him all the praise and the glory!!!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

August

What a month from the fun of General Council and seeing so many old friends to the swine flu.....

We had a great time at our church's General Council, it's held every 2 years. This year it was in Orlando and really easy for us to go to. We had a blast. Honestly the best part to me was seeing all our old SEC and ministry chums. We all had stories to tell about the ministry over the last few years.

Then we took Sam to Miami on August 19th for an surgery. It was a stressful time even in planning it as we now have to take into account his low blood sugar. There was controversy while we were driving down as to where he'd be on the surgery schedule. I got really upset as I had asked to have this all straighten out so I wouldn't get stressed out prior to the surgery no such luck. We almost turned around and came home but decide to go through wit it .

For the first time we found a good hotel sorta near the hospital. It was a Hampton Inn and so nice and only a few exits from the hospital worked out great. We've always HATED every place we've stayed down there. If it was close to the hospital it was gross if it was nice, it was too far away...

On the way to the hospital, Sam threw up a little. They decided to go ahead and take him in. so when we got there at 8:30, they were ready for him. Then the nurses were snapping at us, asking us where we'd been...I quite clearly told them that we were told to be there at 8:30 for surgery at 10 am. One snappy nurse looked at the orders and then apologized

The right eye is fine but the left eye has lost all sight. His retina detected and has disergrated. When the retina is gone, there is nothing medical science can do at this point and there is no hope. I was devastated. He started throwing up in recovery so we stayed until about 7pm so he could stay on IVs and then drove home got here about 1 am. He woke up throwing up and we had to take him to the ER and of course he was hospitalized. We tried to bring him home on Friday but he got sick and we had to turn around and take him back. He can't manage his sugar so he has to be on IVs. He finally came home on Sat night

On Monday school started and Shad went off to kindergarten and Steve to 8th grade!! They go to a nice Christian school. Shad loves school but unfortunately got sick with the swine flu last Saturday so he's on bed rest and we're all on Tami flu....

so in anutshell that has been my month! Wonder why I have't blogged? I'll put more details later, just wanted to post something....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Religion sucks

Last night I had a weird experience that I want to share...

On Sunday nights, we have home group in our house. We are studying the book of Romans and have great discussion about the scriptures. Everyone in our church loves the group and it gets rather crowded on some nights. After we finish, we have supper together and spend like an hour or so just hanging out. It's great and it is perfect for our church.

Well last night a couple of families had driven up and I walked outside our fence. Happy got out and ran over to a new truck that had pulled up. The couple was sitting in the truck and I thought they were afraid of Happy so I walked over and began talking with them. I invited them in to our home and explained that we do a small group on Sunday nights. They began responding by being rude! The man said "No one has church anymore on Sunday night" I said we were having church, just not in the sanctuary but that they were welcomed to join us. He said " No we're going to go on down the road.." Then the wife says as they are driving off "And people put the words to songs on the walls" I just rolled my eyes out of my head! We laughed about it and went on and had a great time without the couple.

Later Jon and I were discussing the situation and began talking about how RELIGIOUS people do not like to change. They feel if it was good enough 50 years ago, it's good enough now. Well that just doesn't work in the world we live in. Now the gospel does NOT change but the way we reach out does and we as leaders need to be flexible and change our way of doing things in order to minister to the needs of the congregation and the lost.

The main reason the church's name was changed, was for a new start for this old church and to show to the neighborhood what is the focus of our church ~ Grace, the grace of God. The grace of God is what draws people to Him.

When God first put the home group idea in Jon's heart, I was not really feeling it but I really see how it ministers to the congregations! It's amazing what happens in and through the group! Now we all look forward to Sunday nights with a new expectation that we are going to learn together and share our lives together. I can't get over how folks are touched and just how they enjoy it.

We made some real changes in the past year, in order to minister to the congregation and it's been so good. Again the gospel never changes but in the world we live in, the way we share it has to change with the times. People are so busy and their lives are so tightly scheduled. They have the Internet, Face book, IM, twitter...We have to connect to folks where they are not what's easiest for us! We have to realize we live in 2009 not 1949! Life is much more complicated and busy now. And people crave, real fellowship with each other ~ discussing the Word and learning how to walk this walk of faith.

I grew up around religion and it does suck. That's not what Jesus died on the cross for so we can have a traditional service on a Sunday night and use hymnals...Grow up and move on! There is nothing wrong with a traditional service. I like Sunday night services in church but I'm mature enough to realize, that's not the only way God can move!!! I love hymns and I know them all so I don't need a hymnal or the "words on a screen" but my relationship with God is not based on either! If that is the only kind of service that is "spiritual" what would you tell someone in a Muslim nation who has to worship quietly with a handful of believers in a small room on a Tuesday night...?

Jon always says that my place in the body of Christ is to kill religious cows! And it is true, I can spot legalism and bondage a mile away! God has brought me through so much in my life, that I have such a solid foundation, that people's opinions of me don't bother me. If I sense a "religious" spirit or attitude, I'm going to deal with it and help to protect our church. It's really weird how we get folks like that who pop up occasionally. We don't encourage nor welcome someone with an attitude that is like that. I had someone call me a few months ago who was interested in attending our church and working in it. I could tell this guy was a church hopper and very legalistic ~ he was all about the KJV ONLY. He wanted assurance from us that he'd be allowed to preach here if he attended. After I finished laughing , I told him "No way Jose"! I also told him that he needed to learn to submit to a godly pastor and not expect to minister in a church if he was not faithful and submitted!

So to the couple who left, there's a couple of things I'd like to say...first be open to God doing something NEW! Second Submit to the pastor you are under. I could tell they were from a church background and if I could guess, I'd say they've never learned to submit and they get mad at the preacher and try to control him. They probably have little to no spiritual life on their own. Third "Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you"! We are about knowing God and experiencing Him not a list of rules!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SEC Reunion~invitation!

Sunday August 9th 11am @ Grace Church 7060 Berry Road Zephryhills Fl 33540 (352) 567 6208. We're 15 min north of the Lakeland Mall. It's for anyone in this area or if you're still here following General Council.

JUSTIN FENNEL our favorite comedian will be speaking! Following the service we will have a FREE cookout here at the church and spend time getting reacquainted!

This is for anyone regardless of your SEC "group"! Come one come all. Feel free to tell non Face book friends about this. SEC teachers and staff are invited too! It'll be fun~ please RSVP!

Thanks to Pam W and Brenda G for this great idea!!!!

Hope to see ya there,
Yvonne Mock Clanton

I really need a count so if you're coming please RSVP so we will have enough food:) 352 567 6208

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Day

What a yucky day I had yesterday. Terrible headache and having to take Joey cat to the vet to be put to sleep. I cried all over the vet tech person. I was a mess. They weren't sure what was wrong with him so that kinda freaked me out but none of the other cats are sick so it probably was cancer. Cats get cancer a lot.

So today is a new day and I'm trying to get a grip on things...I think yesterday was like the straw that broke the camel's back...In the past 3 months Sam has been in the hospital 3 times. He's been diagnosed with low blood sugar that caused a seizure. He has a surgery in Miami on the 19th and we think we may take him up to NY for another go at his left eye in Oct/Nov. All that has just really got to me. I haven't cried in months so I've had like a floodgate of tears! Usually I push down tears or I'd be crying all the time. On top of day to day life trying to manage our finances...not seeing my husband much with the church and prison work...sometimes life is a bit too much! I'm not one to get depressed but enough is enough! I'm claiming my right to a little depression:)


so I'm back to being positive today and doing laundry cleaning house, getting ready to go to General Council to see all my friends. General Council is the convention the Assembly of God has every two years. It's neat cause you get to see other ministers you've not seen in years! I am so excited about it! They have Kid's Council going on at the same time and Shad is signed up for everything. Steve will be hanging with his buds from Harvest as they are in the finals for Fine Arts. He also has a PK party to go to and of course Sam will stay with us. This year they do have a Special Needs Kid's Care but it was expensive and I don't know if he'd stay plus if he caught something from someone.... anyhow it will be a good time.

In the past week I've connected via Facebook with some moms whose kid have Peter's/Peter's Plus and I even talked with one mom. We belong to an exclusive club! It's neat to talk to someone going through a similar journey! Peter's is so rare that you feel you alone are on the journey (only about 50 cases world wide...) so it's good to hear from others!

So I'm going to start back blogging more, this summer has been busy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If I could still I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now!


Six years ago this morning I found out I was expecting Sam! Wow what a journey these past six years have been! I include my pregnancy with Sam because it was so traumatic:) I'm glad that I did not know all that was ahead for me when I took that pregnancy test! I probably would have had a heart attack! But God has been with us through it all!

That morning we were still on our vacation. The week before we had gotten home from Branson Missouri and spent some time at the beach with family. Of course we'd been trying to get pregnant for months. The day before I found out, Jon's coffee made me gag. He was kidding and said that maybe I was pregnant. But that month we'd actually had not been doing the fertility drugs, what with travel, vacation, staying at relatives houses...so I didn't even take him serious...Until I woke up sick on my stomach with achy boobs! So I took the test and it was positive. Jon was out jogging so I ran outside and down the road waving the stick. (which i still have by the way!) Jon knew what it was from a distance. We woke up Steve and told him and he was so mater of fact about it. He said "God is sending me a brother" We quickly told him that it could be a sister and he was like "No way I always pray for a brother!"

Of course within days we were worried about the pregnancy as there was no heartbeat when there should have been one...and on and on...

But like the old gospel hymn "If i could still I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now!'

Sam has been the greatest joy and the greatest heartache of my life. I know that doesn't sound too good but it's true. I have cried more in the past six years than I've ever cried in my life BUT I have felt such a deep love for my baby boy that it has been worth it all. He's the answer to my prayers and I know God sent him to us and he is perfect in every way in our eyes! I'm so glad we have Sam what a journey he has taken us on!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Overwhelmed!

What a crazy couple of weeks...

Sam was in the hospital Last Monday- Wednesday. He had an ear infection but all his levels got really messed up. Since then he has had projectile POOPING~ not unlike projectile vomiting just with poop~lots of fun. I'm worried that he'll end up back in the hospital with dehydration but he is in good spirits, which is better than his mom! He has been in the hospital every month since May around the 20th, how weird is that? Next month he has to have surgery, I'm just dreading it.

I have a very sick kitty (of my 18 or so) and I'm worried about him but don't have the money to take him to the vet. I could take him but I know I can't afford all the tests that would need to be run. I just feel so bad for him. He's a nice cat. I wormed him yesterday to see if that would help, he seemed to drink a little more broth today but he is bad off. I'm worried that some of the others will get what ever he has...

One of our church members an older man has gotten progressively worse, his organs are shutting down , he had a heart attack, cancer...it just makes me feel so sad for him and his family. My father in law has been in the hospital again and he is in a downward progression also. It's just so sad... Life can be a bit too real sometimes.

I'm just feeling overwhelmed by life today!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Too Busy....

What a busy month! I've not been blogging like I should!

Summer has been filled with so much activity that I find it hard to take the time to blog but I'm still here and plan on getting back to blogging on a regular basis soon. And yes I'm still walking!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Still walking...

Yes I'm still getting up at an ungodly hour to go and walk around the lake four times. This should be 3.6 miles, according to city workers. It seems some mornings like it's 36 miles!!

Then I come home and help Steve mow the church yard. Since we have only 2 push mowers this is a daily job in order to get it all done in one week. If anyone would like to give us a riding mower we'd be so happy!

And you wonder why I've not been posting,,,

By the way I've been killing myself yet gained 1 pound! Oh the joys of being over 40! And I hate when I hear people say " Muscle weighs more than fat" Ok that is just stupid. A pound is a pound! Usually very fat people use that argument!!

Peter's Anomaly and Peter's Plus Anomaly


My son Sam was born with Peter's Anomaly. It is a very rare eye condition. Currently the medical info suggests there are only 50-100 cases worldwide. It's so rare that the NORD National Organization of Rare Diseases lists it but has no info on it...

The most common symptom is a cloudy corneas which makes it impossible for the child to see out of the eyes. The cornea is basically the wind shield of the eye. If you can imagine a dirty windshield, that is basically what a child sees. There are other problems related to the eye- size, pressure etc.

Our son had corneal transplants which he rejected and now has corneal implants which has given him alot more sight. It is hard currently he has to have 32 eye drops a day!

Peter's Plus is the eye condition plus learning delays, short statue and a host of medical problems. We feel Sam has that also. There is not a chromosomal marker yet so it is not confirmed but he has about 75% of the symptoms.

It's very hard to find info about this condition. I plan on setting up a website to try and help other parents. It was a shock when we found out and no one was there for us so I'd like to be there for some other families.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Ok I'm in the exercise mode...3 days walking 3.6 miles each morning and eating low fat. Boy I feel good about it! We usually eat low fat because Jon's family history is filled with folks who have had heart attacks, by-passes etc...so he'd like to stay off the operating table! But in my 40's diet alone is not enough. I stay very busy with the children but that alone is not enough to lose weight. I believe walking daily will do it for me. I have to admit it does make me feel good to be out early and sweating:)Plus I know the benefits to my heart and my body. I want to live a long healthy life so I need to continue on this track!

I worry about getting old, having health problems and dying.I guess we all do to some degree but having Sam makes me worry about his future. He will always need someone to take care of him and I want to be that person! Life is different when you have a child with handicaps. Other people don't understand the terror that can grip your heart when you think about that child not having someone who loves him to watch over him. That is my only real worry about the future. I recently was talking to a friend about this matter and he just didn't get it. (of course this guy doesn't even have kids...) The guy was saying things like "Sam would be fine..." I've had other people tell me things like that but not parents of children with disabilities!!!! We all share that particular burden and concern!

So in looking towards the future, that is my biggest concern...I really hope the rapture takes place before I get old!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Exercise and diet

I recently (last night ) decided I HAVE to diet and exercise...so today I walked 3.6 miles and ate a turkey sandwich for lunch and a salad for supper...I have a goal to lose 20 pounds by August 4! We have our church's General Council in Orlando and we'll see lots of old friends and I want to look good! So wish me luck!!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Get to know me list

I was sent this on Facebook. so I thought you all might want to read my answers...


Are you a vegetarian? NO


Do you believe in Heaven?
YES! IT IS MY HOPE!

Have you ever come close to dying?
Yes. iN 97 WHEN I LOST THE TWINS I HAD DIC- UNCONTROLLABLE BLEEDING AND WENT INTO SHOCK. FROM WHAT I'VE HEARD FROM DOCTORS/NURSES 99.9% DON'T SURVIVAL DIC!!!

What jewelry do you wear 24/7? WEDDING RING

Are you eating? NO


Do you eat the stems of broccoli? NO

Do you wear makeup? YES!!!!!!!


Would you ever have plastic surgery? I DON'T THINK SO
.

Have you ever done anything illegal? YES...ONLY A FEW TIMES...


Can you roll your tongue? YES


Do You have a boyfriend or girlfriend? I BETTER NOT SINCE I'M MARRIED!!

Do you believe in Abortions? NO- ESPECIALLY NOT AFTER HAVING SAM- I SEE THAT EACH LIFE HAS A VALUE TO GOD!!!!


What is your Hair color? BLOND NO GRAY THANK GOD!


Do you smoke?
NO WAY!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? TO A BEAUTIFUL REMOTE ISLAND WITH A WONDERFUL SPA!!


Do you sleep with stuffed animals? NO I SLEEP WITH A CORGI, A BIG 23 POUND CAT AND A BABY KITTEN THE SIZE OF A HAMSTER..OH YEAH A HUSBAND TOO AND SOMETIMES SOME KIDS...NO ROOM FOR A STUFFED ANIMAL!


If you won the lottery, what would you do first? GET A GOOD STORY TOGETHER FOR MY CHURCH AND DISTRICT!!!! LOL i WOULD PAY OFF ALL OUR MEDICAL AND OTHER BILLS!!!! tHEN BUY FOR MY FRIEND'S HER ORPHANAGE IN CHINA FOR ALL HER SPECIAL NEEDS BABIES


Gold or silver? GOLD


Hamburger or hot dog? HOTDOG


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? pizza!


City, beach or country? WOW HARD. I LIKE ALL THREE FOR DIFFERENT REASONS BUT I GUESS IT WOULD BE COUNTRY, BEACH THEN CITY


What was the last thing you touched? MY MAGNIFYING GLASS I NEED BIFOCALS!

Where did you eat last? IN MY KITCHEN


Do you read blogs? READ THEM AND WRITE THEM!!!


Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex? NO


Ever been involved with the police? I WAS A PROBATION OFFICER /SUPERVISOR FOR ALL TOGETHER 11 YEARS!


Do you talk in your sleep? NO


Ocean or pool? SWIMMING IN A POOL IS EASIER BUT THE OCEAN FEELS SO GOOD...CAN'T DECIDE


Whats your favorite song at the moment ? THE "NEW" AMAZING GRACE "My chains are gone, I've been set free, my God my Savior has ransomed me and like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love amazing Grace"


Window seat or aisle seats?
aisle seat


Do you feel you've had a successful life? YES God has been so good to me. My life could have turned out so different but for His grace...I have a loving husband who is faithful and strong, three wonderful boys and all the animals my heart could want. God has been so faithful to me. I got my BA from SEC and lived and worked in ministry in NYC, traveled alot, adopted a little guy from China and am now my husband is pastoring a nice country church near alot of our friends. I had a good career with the state as a PO before Sam ...All in all it's been a good life. Jon recently found an old journal of mine (how embarrassing ) but I had my "life goals" written down. It was SPOOKY!!!! I wrote down I wanted to have 3 kids one adopted...travel. marry a pastor...complete school...so many goals I had met!! Life has had some heartache but it's been GOOD so far!!


Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? CUT IT


What is your favorite sport to play? N/A


Basketball or football?
football


Do you drive a stick? NO

Cake or ice cream?
Cake

Are you self-conscious? SOMETIMES, DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION. IF I'M IN "MY" ELEMENT , NO I'M NOT BUT IF I'M IN A NEW SITUATION..I AM


Do you like any of your close friends?
LOVE THEM

Have you ever given money to a bum?
YES

Have you been in love?
Wow, yes!

Where do you wish you were?
I'M SATISFIED MOST OF THE TIME. SOMETIMES I WISH WE WERE MISSIONARIES AND MAKING MORE OF A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, TOUCHING MORE LIVES DAILY BUT WE'RE IN A GOOD PLACE FOR US AND OUR KIDS NOW!

Who's your best friend and why?
My husband, we have gotten so close over the years in a way I never dreamed possible in the beginning of our marriage. Now we even know what the other one is thinking, we may not agree but we know:) Besides him, It would be Angela Harris comstock Sabaria...BFF since we were kids. We don't see each other enough but the deep friendship NEVER goes away! We know each other's deepest secrets!!And we knew each other when we were kids, so many memories...

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? YES thanks to Sam several times...one just recently when he had the seizure!!

Last gift you received?
a funky flower arrangement with acountry church in it...

Last thing you spent lots of money on?
I try not to spend lots of money on anything...I guess our 2 week vacation in the Keys last summer

Where do you live?
Zephryhills Fl

Last wedding attended...
a real "hillbilly" wedding for this couple who never have attended our church, they just saw us in the phone book and called and asked us to get married here. It was wild. They were 1 hour late, the maid of honor didn't wear shoes...it took alot of self control not to burst out laughing!!!

Favorite restaurant?
Red Lobster

What is your favorite kind of car?
I actually like minivans...they are great

Most hated food(s) ?
Brussel Sprouts; liver

Most loved food(s)?
Pizza, Fried chicken, lemon cake...

Can you sing?
Not too good...

Person on your mind?
Sam- still worried about his health issues..

What's your least favorite chore?
I'm weird, I like to clean I guess I'd have to say the 32 eye drops I have to give Sam every day , that gets hard on hm and me

Favorite drink?
Pepsi and sweet tea (not together)

Currently have a Crush?
no

How long was your longest drive in a car? Zephryhills Fl to Rochester NY for Sam's eye surgery in 07. Or it may have been from New York City to Springfield Mo for a convention in '94

Why do you do Facebook notes?
to connect with old friends

Do you know the Muffin Man?
Not personally

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Public vs Christian vs Home Schooling


I've been home schooling Steve since Jan'08. Steve had always gone to a private Christian school and we were comfortable with that, we like him having the social interaction. But at that time, there was so much going on with Sam, I didn't have the time to take Steve back and to from school as it was across town. So I started home schooling. I have a BA and for 2 years was an education major until I realized I did NOT want to be with a bunch of bad kids all day long. So I felt qualified to teach him. The Christian school Steve went to in Zephryhills used textbooks where a kid works at his own "pace" and the program is called ACE. It's really easy to teach, most of it is self taught anyhow.

Most of the time I enjoy home schooling. It's not a huge effort on my part and I like Steve being around the house. Sam loves to be with Steve and will often go and sit in a recliner in Steve's room while Steve works so that helps out too. But there are days when he drives me crazy!!!!!

Steve is so sweet and so much like his dad in all the good ways but also in the bad ones. He is a procrastor! He doesn't have any drive to do his work. Now most subjects we do ok in as far as time goes but he hates math and just will not stay focused! Steve is finished with all his 7th grade books except for Math and a couple of English. So everyday is a pain for me! I have banned him from the computer until he finishes the year up and he is not happy with me. With this curriculum, the student must score a 80 or above to pass the book. He never has scored less than that but he just takes forever to do his work and finds any excuse to not do it. This is one of the irritating things about home schooling.

So there is always a debate about public school vs. private vs. home schooling. I will never send my children to public school. It ain't agoing to happen!! I think parents that subject their kids to public school are just asking for trouble. I have friends that would strongly disagree with me but that is how I feel about public school. I have good friends who are teachers in the public school system and they are great BUT they can only control their classroom situation. They can't be free to speak their minds or deal with situations in an openly Christian way. I love that Steve's books have Christian themes. His English sentences that he has to diagram are about famous missionaries or Bible stories. It's a way to get the Word into the kids every day lives.

As a probation officer, I was in public schools alot and it was horrible just walking down the sidewalks. I don't want my kids in that cess pool. Some people will say that you can't shelter them forever...To that I say my kids are so NOT sheltered from the REAL world. As pastor's kids they see alot and they deal with real life. Not a bunch of foolishness. When we were in school in the 70's. 80's, kids would have been kicked out for the things I saw them doing and saying when I'd walk the halls. I remember one girl cussed at Mrs. Blankenship our asst principal and she was expelled for the year. It just didn't happen!! My kids are not going to be in that cess pool where the grownups have in many cases have lost control. I had a friend that taught for a while in a middle school and he told me he couldn't send kids to the office for cussing even at him! Foolishness and mayhem!! That's not the real world. I can guarantee you those kids will not speak to their employer like that or if they do, it'll be the last time because they will be fired! It's a failed system that allows such nonsense to go on.

I say shelter your kids from the world!! That is what the Bible teaches in NO uncertain terms. When God was giving the Hebrew the law and His commandments in Deuteronomy ch 6 He really emphasised to teach the law to the children. In verse 7 it says " You shall teach them diligently and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk in the way, when you lie down and when you rise up." It doesn't say to give the state 8 hours of your child's day to talk to them about all other kinds of stuff. Also if you look at Psalm 1 the chapter starts out with " Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in this law he mediates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters that brings forth in his season." I for one am not going to put my kids in a place to sit in the seat of the scornful! Remember we have to stand before the God of this universe one day and He will demand of us an accounting of how we raised our kids!

So what if you can't afford Christian school and have to work so you can't home school? Trust God He will make a way for you to send your kids to Christian school or to home school. God has always provided for us to send Steve. We didn't take him out because of financial issues but rather because of Sam's issues. He was missing alot of school with us going to Miami so much and then the eye drops, at one point I was doing 42 so I didn't have the time to take 1 1/2 hours of my day transporting him back and to to school.

This coming year Steve and Shad will be going to the Christian school and we are just trusting God for the finances. He has never failed us and He won't this time either. Sam will be in the Home bound ESE program through the School Board, he will get all his instruction and therapies at home. If he had not gotten approved, I was going to go through all the steps to home school him as a ESE child. Even though Sam does not understand alot, I'm not going to have him in an environment of chaos! But with all his eye drops and his fragile eyes and health, it was no problem to get him classified as home bound. If there had been or if there ever is in the future, I will home school him. I know more about him and his situation than any teacher ever would. Once I took him to speech therapy through the school board and the teacher was trying to use flash cards with him. I asked her if she was aware he was blind...!!!I think I can do a little better than that!!!


Christian schools are not utopia but there is so much more control over the student's behavior and what they learn and are exposed to. The kids still have to learn social things like how to deal with bullies etc but those are normal things. I had one friend who taught 2nd grade in Lakeland and she had 2 different boys in the same month bring in Playboy to class! Wouldn't happen in a Christian school. Why? Most of the parents are Christians so they probaley aren't going to have Playboy laying around and if a kid did that they would know that the consequences would be harsh. Also in Christian school, you have alot of positive peer pressure. Steve has some good friends that are really trying to live their lives as Christians so really bad behavior is usually frowned on by the group.

So I hope my post has encouraged you to think about the schooling your children are getting. What are they around 8 hours a day. What has more influence on their lives?? It's something to take seriously!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Clean House-LET IT GO!

This afternoon I watched one of my favorite shows Clean House. If you've never watched it, let me tell you about it. A group of four people go to a cluttered house and convince the owners to clean up and get rid of junk. Most of the people have way TOO possessions and do not want to get rid of things. During the show the home owners are convinced to clean out their house and have a giant yard sale in order for the group to repair and buy a few nice things for the home. There are usually some tears and anger on the part of the homeowners who do not want to give up anything even in order to get something so much better. In each case the end result is a nice NEAT non cluttered home with a few new things to take the place of all the junk that was there before.

It's a great show and each time I watch it (thank God for DVRs) I have this uncontrollable urge to clean out my house. Now you all that know me KNOW I don't do clutter. I'm a bit obsessive about my house being clean and free of clutter. Only the fact that I have 3 kids gives me any clutter. I have rules in my house and the number 1 rule is: If you haven't used/worn/played with or needed it for 6 months, it needs to go!! I take stuff to thrift stores or give things away or throw them away on a regular basis. My husband would be a pack rat if I let him but he does appreciate a clean house, he just can't keep it that way. So today after watching the show, I had to clean out all my kitchen drawers. I felt so much better afterwards. There is probably a mental condition for me and my obsessiveness...but at least my house is clean and orderly most of the time!

I teach the kids to hold on lightly to possessions. "It's ok to have stuff but don't let stuff have you" The kids are good at giving up stuff to others (except for getting rid of real animals). I really try and teach them that they didn't bring anything into this world ( I was there and can attest to that!) and they can't take anything with them.

I see so many people that hold on so tightly to their possessions, homes, cars, jewelry etc. It's sad to me. I can think of several people that are bound by their possessions. I think for some people possessions define to themselves who they are. My aunt that raised me, lived during the depression. She and her sisters owned so much stuff. Our house was so cluttered. When she died and I inherited the house, it took us weeks of going through and throwing things away or giving them away. There were things still in boxes, never used that we just gave away. She didn't take anything with her but for years, those things comforted her. I know a family that lost a loved one and has kept all her stuff and the lady that died was a pack rat herself. Whew - they fill their houses and garages and spend money on storage units to keep stuff. They have so much stuff they don't even know what they have! It's crazy! Sometimes I can hear in someone voice when they talk about "my house, My car my my my "
It's weird but when the word MY is repeatedly emphasised, I'm ususally thinking "This person is too into their stuff" Without fail, I tend to be right (in my opinion) The person usually has a garage/shed full of junk they don't need and they hold way too tight to the things they do need. I was in a car wreck and the person I hit (it was her fault for pulling out) kept crying about "her car". It was new and she obviously loved it. I could have cared less about my car, I was so grateful MY kids and I were still alive. I knew we'd get something else to replace it and as long as it had a/c I didn't care!1 We ended up getting a better van than the one that got hit!

Probably because of how I was raised in junk and clutter, is why I like things clean and clutter free! I was a psychology minor myself! Possessions have never meant much to me. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to invite 30 little kids to jump on my furniture and rip it up. But if I no longer have a use for something, it's time for it to go. We've moved so many times in our life and ministry that I've been forced to keep things to a minimal, now it's just a lifestyle. I could box up my entire house in a day or less and be ready to go. When we just had one child, sometimes I'd buy him junk toys, you know what I mean. Well those days are so gone. Not only do I not have the money to do that, with 3 kids, you can't do that! And forget Happy Meal toys! First I usually don't buy a Happy Meal cuz I can buy some hamburgers and one fry for them to share and they can get a drink at home! But in the rare times I do buy something like that, the toy doesn't leave the restaurant! I really try to think when buying the kids Christmas or Bday presents about what I'm buying. I'd rather buy a few quality gifts than a bunch of junk for them. This is something I've really learned in the past few years with 3 kids. Kids do better with fewer toys. They seem to play with them more and appreciate them more.

So when I say I'm not into possessions, I don't mean it pridefully ( I hope I don't) but I really do try to remember that this world is not my home, I'm only passing through. I think in this day and age we have so much stuff in the here and now, our gaze is not upwards but it's on this earth and the things of this world. Now I am not some weird person who lives like the Amish or worse but I do think we Christians tend to get caught up too much in this world and its' things. The older Christians used to sing about heaven and that was to be their reward "I'm satisfied with just a cottage below, a little silver and a little gold but in that city where the ramsoned will shine, I'll have a robe a harp and a crown, I've got a mansion just over the hilltop..." Nowadays Christians demand that God gives them a mansion here, a Lexus and lots of gold and silver...Something just doesn't seem right about that.

Anyhow after watching that show, it really has some spiritual insights. So often we hold on to junk even though God wants us to get rid of it so He can do something beautiful in our lives. But we want the junk, we can't see beyond our situation to understand what God can do for us if we just LET IT GO! In some shows, there is such a battle for some particular object, that the group gives up on tearing that object away from the family and instead of the family getting something nice in its' place, they have to settle for less. One story they tried to get an old junky useless juck box from this guy. If they could sell it in the yardsale, they would redo a room for him and give him a big screen tv, but he wouldn't let it go so he had to settle for less. It looked so silly to see a grown man holding onto junk when he could have had so much more.

LET IT GO!!

So if you have things you need to give to God or things you need to give to Goodwill LET IT GO you'll be so much more happier!

ps. If you need me to come in and help you clean your clutter, I'd love to :) I've done that for a few friends but I am BRUTAL!!!! Get rid of the foolishness and mayhem!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sam is doing great!


Update on Sam ...

He is doing great. He is eating more as we offer food to him every couple of hours. I've never done that before since he can let us know by hitting his highchair if he's hungry. I'd never liked to encourage too much eating because I don't want my kids to be obese!

Thankfully all tests seemed to indicate that the seizure was caused by him having low blood sugar. We had suspected something like this because when he would get sick, he'd get so sick, he'd be unresponsive and always end up in the hospital on IVs.

We are concerned as this could be an indicator of other issues but we just take one day at a time and trust God to lead us and his doctors!

Harvest A/G Fine Arts Group



Sunday we had the Fine Arts youth group from Harvest Assembly of God. They did an outreach to the community with us on Saturday. Over 200 families were personally invited to visit our churh and given a door hanger with a flyer and a packet of microwaveable popcorn. It was great to see youth excited about reaching the lost.

Sunday they ministered in both services and did an awesome job. It was great to have them and uplifting to us personally. Plus a sweet family took our little boy kitten home to live with their little girl who is wheel chaired bound. I thought it was fitting that the little guy would go to such a great family, who like us have had to deal with some adversaty. It was a good day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sam's Seizure!!

Thursday afternoon I went in to check on Sam, who was taking a nap and found him having a seizure. It was awful. I grabbed him up and ran in to the living room, and called 911. He was cold to the touch and unresponsive. After an eternity, the ambulance arrived and took him to Lakeland Regional. On the way there he began seizing again. No one knew what to do but then I remembered he'd had low blood sugar last year so they checked his sugar and it was so low, it was not readable. He was immediately given glucose and the his sugar shot up. He still was not very responsive. From Lakeland he was sent to St Joes' in Tampa that night. They ran alot of tests on him and it was determined that he had low blood sugar and that probably his liver doesn't store the sugar very good. It's the opposite of diabetes. The day before, he had eaten and drank fine but didn't take a bottle at night nor did he take it the next day and he didn't want breakfast. So that caused his blood sugars to drop. We know what to do to prevent this in the future hopefully. If he has another seizure, we may have to do blood checks at him regularly...I hope that don't happen!

So now we are feeding him little meals every time he turns around! He may end up as a little Buddha before long! I'm a bit traumatized by all of this and may post more later but needless to say we are constantly watching him. For now he is sleeping with us, he seems afraid and we are a little afraid to have him out of our sight!!