Dance Through Your Desert!

Yeeessss!!!! Dance THROUGH your desert! Thank you @CreativeBrainAgency for your encouraging, uplifting, enlightening words!!!

Creative Brain Agency

Is. 43:19 ESV Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Ha! That’s what I have coming up, nay, bubbling up inside of me right now in the face of our mutual enemy – one, big ole fat – HA!

More than ever he has been in the face of many; shouting his accusations, releasing hissing whippers, and forcing his plans – or at least trying to force his plans – to bear fruit, as rotten as that is in our lives – bleh!

Well, since he’s in our faces — I say, as long as he is there, spewing his words, we might as well SPEAK GOD’S WORD into his face! Let’s be Kingdom productive, shall we?

But GOD! Hear His Words clearly from Is. 43:19 —

DANCE…

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Ten Big Dreams for Ten Little Toes, 2nd Edition!

Live Book Reading of Ten Big Dreams for Ten Little Toes, 1st and 2nd editions!!!

Excited to do some fun giveaways on Thursday (after the live reading)!!! To make it available for all time zones, I’ll just be taking names from the FB invite (those “interested” or “attending”). So if you are busy during the live reading or asleep 🙃, I’ll still put your name in the mix for the giveaway. 🎉📖❤️

Invite link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1674191252749316/

.•Shirts by Tee is for Teacher by Letters and Lace👕🤩🥳

•Confessions for Kids book by Faith Talks with Emily Preston🙏🥰

#TenBigDreamsForTenLittleToes #Giveaway #JesusPaidItAll #CerebralPalsyKids #AllThings #DelusionalFaith #BelieveBeyondReason

Things DO Change Overnight

95172978_2561018867497457_4245959618913632256_oDo you know that one of the “issues” I previously shed many tears over was that Sophia didn’t smile? I remember walking through Tx Children’s Hospital NICU and seeing so many of the babies smiling. It warmed my heart but also shattered it. In the first few months, I had only seen Sophia halfway smile on a very few occasions (around a big ‘ol breathing vent tube, at that) and I longed for that full, joyful smile babies give. As you can see from her pictures now, she is literally all smiles. Even when she’s grumpy or frustrated, we can get a smile out of her with something silly.

Do you know one of the other “issues” I shed many tears over was Sophia not eating by mouth? She left the NICU after 10 1/2 months with a nasal feeding tube. A whole year passed and still she couldn’t take a bottle. A 5-week stay at a feeding clinic in September 95215561_2561018957497448_7482222677655027712_o2014 transitioned her from a feeding pump to bolus syringe meals, but the prognosis was still that she needed a feeding tube surgically placed. The window for her to learn to take in enough food without it long passed, or so it seemed. I wouldn’t move from the promise God placed in my heart though: no feeding tube, eating by mouth. Three months later she exponentially started taking a bottle over the course of a week. A week! Years later we introduced purées and she had been on them since. Well this January, Sophia and I went to a healing conference together. I had never traveled alone with her and on the last day there, I ran out of purées and yogurts. I went through a drive-thru chicken joint and dared to get green beans with her mashed potatoes. I sat in the back of the car with her and she ate all of it. Then I offered her teeny pieces of chicken. She ate it. 😳 Homegirl has been eating EVERYTHING since. She loves Mac n’ cheese, PB&J’s, and Indian food!

My point? Things DO change overnight. You might be one day away from the manifestation of what your heart is urging you to believe. See it now. Believe it now. Keep speaking life to that seemingly “dead” situation. When I tell you that this girl is doing ALL things, I’m not hoping as the world does. My hope is in Christ alone, therefore IT IS DONE!

I speak life to your situation too! Every assignment from the enemy completely demolished by God’s grace through faith! Now, quit repeating what the enemy has been whispering to you, feeding fear and doubt. Only allow the truth of God to escape your lips and stand confidently in your authority through Jesus Christ. Believe beyond reason!

Happy Faith-Speakin’ Friday!

Under Review…

For months, I could feel the not-so-subtle Holy Spirit nudge to come and reread my blog entries. I thought this was weird since all my blog entries were event-based. I mean who has the time to reread snippets of your own life… I lived it already. Then again, when I wrote about it.

How do you even rewrite something that’s already happened? The events hadn’t changed.

After finally rereading one of the older entries, I realized that no, the events hadn’t changed but my perspective had. My perspective of the truth had evolved. There wasn’t anything significant. The bigger picture I wrote about was still the same, but little details had changed to match up with the Bible much more (because now I just knew more of the Bible). More time in the Word, more time with God, more seeking to renew my mind… It made some of the commentary I had written just plain incorrect.

At the end of one entry, I wrote something along the lines of “Move, God, move. Move like only You can.” It made me raise an eyebrow and giggle. How dramatic. More importantly, how inaccurate! God didn’t need to “move” for this mountain to move. I didn’t have the understanding yet of who I was in Christ when I wrote that. I approached the situation with such an Old Covenant mind frame.

Now I know that Christ lives IN me! He’s able to do “immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in me.” (Eph. 3:20) My previous stance was like waiting for a check to come in the mail, when the money has already been direct deposited in your bank… AND it’s waaaaaayyyy more than you thought you were getting!

I completely understood why Holy Spirit kept tugging at me to come back, reread and edit some details. There had been some growth and some details didn’t match up to what I now knew. God had so graciously welcomed me to step out and start writing before I “knew enough” or was “experienced enough,” but I still held the responsibility to pursue more of Him so that He could use me as a vessel of truth. His truth.

I might still not have it perfectly, but as we gain new revelation, we need to make sure that we correct any places we’ve misstepped. Then push forward. It will happen if you’re willing to step out, still learning. We have the mind of Christ, therefore, we can start right where we are, allowing our minds to be more and more renewed.

So about 15 of my posts now read “UNDER REVIEW.” I’m gladly revising those posts though because it means I’ve grown. Plus, I didn’t want to risk someone reading that one misstep of a detail and feed that Old Covenant mentality. The cost is too high. Our authority lies in knowing who we are in Christ. Without the fullness of that truth, we are defeated through our lack of knowledge.

You’ve possibly read these following verses many times before. When you “chew” on it this time, savor it once again, allowing it to further nourish you. There’s something new, something deeper, in it every time if we take it in like the life that it is to us.

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe…”

Ephesians 1:17-19

How beautiful this walk with Him is, Him revealing His unimaginable love for us, more and more. This is my prayer for you today. This is also my prayer for myself… that we know Him better. Not just about Him, but actually know Him.

Before March is over…

In light of just remembering March is considered Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, I did not want to miss this last day in March to indeed make Cerebral Palsy aware…

Jesus Christ is still Lord and you, cerebral palsy, MUST BOW to the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10-11). Freedom from all symptoms, all setbacks, and all limitations was bought and paid for in full at the whipping post (1 Peter 2:24).

#CerebralPalsyAwareness #MustBowToTheKing #DelusionalFaith #BelieveBeyondReasonD5B3D79D-4CEA-4A82-8617-905F16538359

Grace Gets You Past the Finish Line

This past February, I ran my first (and possibly last) half-marathon. I know to avid runners that might be a morning warm-up but for the rest of us, 13.1 miles sounds outrageous! It’s been five months and I haven’t ran one bit since then and often mumble to my husband, “I can’t believe I ran 13.1 miles.” Yes, I throw in the “point one” because it matters, especially when you feel like there’s nothing left.

Before finding myself committed to the half-marathon, the furthest I had run was a 5k. I could count on one hand, possibly one finger, the times that I had jogged those entire 3 miles. So when I found myself staring at the Hand to Hold Facebook post, asking for friends to join their team for the Austin Marathon, I hesitated. I saw that aside from the actual full marathon there was the option for a 5k (totally within my safe zone) and then there was also a half-marathon option. My heart swelled with determination as my stomach turned over in anticipated regret. I absolutely knew I had to do the half-marathon. This was so much deeper than just bragging rights.

Hand to Hold is an Austin-based organization that supports NICU families, through NICU stays, the loss of a child, and life after. Having experienced all of the above, they are so dear to my heart. This marathon was being held 2/17/19, exactly six years and one week after my sweet babies, Nicholas and Sophia, came into this world way too early. My eyes teared up as I read the date because I knew this was my victory run. It was me showing up to do the seemingly impossible after having experienced the seemingly impossible… finding peace within the sorrow of losing Nicholas, standing on God’s Word for Sophia to breathe. To eat. To be seizure-free. To live.

I invited my hubs , my brother-in-law, and mom to take on this mountain with me. They politely opted for the 5k. Later I would come to find out that the end of the Austin marathon is not only symbolically a mountain. It literally feels like one.

With a little less than 3 months to prepare, I quickly found a training plan. The plan went great some days, and not so great others. My original goal was to jog the whole way but as the weeks passed with me getting more and more behind on my training schedule, my goal turned to just making it to the finish line before they cleaned up for the day.

About three weeks out, I made it up to 8 consecutive miles. I was ecstatic despite not being able to feel my legs. I truly felt like I had this in the bag. I mean, what’s 5 more miles? Ha! Unfortunately a family member’s health issues soon required my free time and I completely quit training. Completely.

Feeling disappointed in my lack of training, I convinced myself that it didn’t matter how I got there, I just needed to make it to the finish line. The day before the race, we packed up and checked into our nearby hotel. I was ready for a good night’s rest.

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned either. Some sniffles from Sophia soon turned into deep hacking coughs. Each hour, I got up to oil her chest and pray healing over her body. When the 5AM alarm went off, I felt defeated. “God, I’m exhausted. I couldn’t even walk a mile right now.” He urged me to “just show up.” My mother agreed to stay back in the room with Sophia, while my hubby and brother-in-law saw me off at the start line.

As Audible read “Birthing the Miraculous” in my earphones, I watched a glorious sunrise manifest. Gratitude overwhelmed me. “This is it, God. This is what showing up and giving it all to You is.” I glanced at my watch hear and there, checking to see how much further, but mostly my attention was taken by the beautiful healing miracles that were being read to me. My eyes swelled with tears numerous times, but I quickly found that I could either jog or cry, but not both effectively. I raised my hands to God hear and there, not paying much attention to those around me. There were several areas where bystanders holding signs poured so much encouragement into my heart. People handing out water and snacks, cheering runners along… truly an outpouring of God’s love.

8 miles. My body seemed to remember it had done this once before but seemed confused on anything after that. Intense pain started impairing my stride. I couldn’t unflex my feet at some points, feeling my calves wanting to lock up. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “I still have a full 5k and some to still finish.” I did what I know to do. I started to speak to my legs. I commanded them in the name of Jesus to work the way they were supposed to. I told them that they would not lock up and get me to that finish line. I did this on and off for miles, literally not knowing how many more strides I could go jogging. You might think that’s crazy. That’s fine. Can I tell you what crazy faith does?

I made it to that finish line. I jogged the whole way too, making it in 2 hours and 32 minutes. My “training” miles were around 12 to 13 minute miles, which phased me absolutely zero since I wasn’t going for time. My half-marathon miles averaged 11:36/mile. My brother-in-law said as they were tracking me on the app, he realized my pace just kept improving. How is that even possible? The more I was listening to these miracles on my audio book, the more it literally fueled me. You still might be missing the point…

Team Hand to Hold_UsGrace got me to that finish line. That’s what gets us to every finish line. God’s grace. You can say, “Well, you must’ve been somewhat prepared…” or so many other dismissive excuses. I’m telling you what I felt in my body that day. What my heart experienced. It was God saying “This is indeed your victory race. And even when you fall short and didn’t do all that you felt you needed to do on your part, still show up. My grace carries you the rest of the way, victoriously.”

God’s grace got us through our NICU stay when I literally had nothing left. God’s grace carried us when our financial crisis seemed impossible and the bank would call monthly about our mortgage. God’s grace took over when I couldn’t stand to see Sophia have one more seizure, yet still had months to endure before they disappeared. God’s grace holds me when I mourn over my Nicholas yet still have a lifetime before I can see him again. God’s grace carries me now when I feel like I can’t wait another day to see my little girl walk, or talk. God’s grace.

It’s so full and fills in every part that we fall short, everything we feel is missing. It’s free and it’s yours and it’s mine. Although we’re so undeserving, God loves us SO much that when everything we can do in our power falls short, His grace gets us to the finish line victoriously. Better than we could have planned or imagined.

Whatever your struggling with, just ask our Heavenly Father to receive a new wash-over of His mighty grace and mercy. His love is powerful and potent. Don’t foolishly dismiss it when it’s so readily available.

I pray that whatever “finish line” is seeming impossible to reach in your life right now, that you recognize that it is NOT impossible with His grace. When your “legs” are giving out, that you will use Kingdom authority to speak God’s will over them. I release that over your situation right now. Receive that, in Jesus name. ❤️

 

 

Ten Big Dreams for Ten Little Toes

So excited to share our book! It made it as a #1 Amazon New Release the first few days!!!
With this book, I celebrate my babies and God’s goodness. 6 years ago on February 10, 2013, I met my two sweet babies, Nicholas and Sophia. Unfortunately, it was 4 months too soon, leading to Nicholas passing the following day and Sophia spending the next 316 days in the NICU.
Fortunately, God is good ALL the time and truly makes beauty from the ashes. Our story isn’t what we planned or expected, but oh, how it is indeed beautiful and blessed.
Thank you, Lord, that You are who You say you are!
Ten Big Dreams for Ten Little Toes

Please Join Us in Supporting Hand to Hold

d8193538-ec60-43c9-a278-b579a092dff8In honor of Sophia and in memory of Nicholas, we will be participating in the Austin Marathon (completing the 5k and half-marathon) on February 17, 2019, a week after our babies’ 6th birthday. Please help us raise money for this awesome organization that helps families like ours!

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/teamh2h/elizabethbobe?utm_campaign=oc&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=crowdrise

Bigfoot and Peace Beyond Understanding

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Today I opened up my journal, from our NICU stay, to start typing it up…

My first entry after everything initially happened with the babies was on 3/24/13. It read:
“God is a loving God and I know He’ll get us through this hard time.”

That made my heart swell because I know that was Holy Spirit speaking… Nicholas had just passed away not even two months prior, and I had still yet to hold Sophia…

But God.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.“ -John 14:27

Peace beyond understanding does not belong in the same category as Bigfoot (you’ve heard rumors of it but still don’t know…). It’s real and your Heavenly Father wants you to have it. In fact, He gave everything for you to have it. 💗

Such a Time as This

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This year for Character Day at Sophia’s school, I pondered on which character that her unused Roman princess costume (from last year) could represent. I thought about digging out her book, The Princess and the Pea. It seemed to be the easiest option.

Something settled into my heart though when I thought of princess characters. My thoughts drifted to something recently prophesied over our family. This young lady, who weeks before spoke so passionately about what she saw for our life and Sophia’s purpose, had mentioned Esther from the Bible and going “before kings.” I remember feeling so filled after she spoke life into my heart that night and excited to share it with my husband. I eagerly told him how this young lady embodied God’s love so much that it was almost uncomfortable… but not in a bad way. It was just so much love oozing out of her in such a sweet, calm manner.

After going back and forth a bit, I decided the reoccurring thought had purpose, so Esther it would be. Although Esther is not just a character, but a part of true history, she was the “character” of choice this year. This “well, maybe” thought then soon transformed into a “well, of course” thought. Sophia’s journey, our journey, is indeed for such a time as this! A time when so many people are hopeless and fearful. A time when people find it easier to settle for disbelief, rather than dare to believe beyond reason. A time when people seek perfect circumstances before they think they can find their true joy and peace. Surely, Sophia’s life is for such a time as this!

Aren’t we all Esthers, though? Isn’t there something in each one of us that has the ability to rock the foundation of hopelessness and defeat? I truly do believe so.

So I encourage you to find your inner Esther today. Be bold. Be confident. Know that you are called to change this world for the better. Believe it. Believe it beyond reason. 🙂

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