Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Regardless of how devastating our circumstances are, God can use those to build us back up to serve Him in ways we've never thought before, and for that, I'm truly grateful. That's another example of how God, and God alone, can turn despair to hope if you're surrendered to Him. Even in our darkest hours, He is still on the throne and He's our shelter.
With our miscarriage earlier this year, the death of a brother, and a few other seemingly small things in comparison, this year was hard emotionally and physically. However, I'm here to tell you that God was so good to us in so many ways. Every single time I need a whisper of love from my Father, He was there. Every time I needed strength, He was there. There were times when I needed the comfort that no other can give, but He was there. There were times when we were in need and He was there for those too.
It wasn't all bad though. I've been blessed with another year of staying home with our son. Our 4 year-old Matthew has grown so much and has learned so much this year. His writing is improving daily, along with his reading. His imagination alone is incredible. I cherish the time with my husband this year as well. It wasn't easy for him at all, but we're getting through it all and I'm blessed by this marriage that we share.
Oh, and Liberty... there are so many ways I've seen God working at our church in 2010. I'm so blessed and thankful to be a part of it. My prayer is that He'll continue to guide us and that we'll all seek Him like never before.
So, in closing, while 2010 brought heartache than we're used to, I also saw God move and felt His presence in new ways. I heard Him say more than once "It's not easy, but you're not alone" and for that, 2010 will always be a dear part of my story.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Okay, so the video quality isn't good, but I chose this one because I'm 99% sure I was at this RK show. If I'm right, this is the Nashville show from December 3 and I'm on the front row, over to the far right. Pretty cool, huh?
Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
A dear friend of ours experienced a very painful, difficult few days last weekend. It was horribly painful to watch and know that there was nothing you could do but be there for your friend and turn it over to God. I know our friend had lots of dear prayer warriors in his corner. Even though they didn't know the need, they prayed to our Defender and He showed up in a mighty way. I saw mercy and grace that I've only read about in my life.
God is with us; there is no doubt! I found this song on Saturday and the words carried me through it all this weekend. My hope is that it blesses you the way it blessed me!
Monday, November 22, 2010
I blame all of you for this. I didn't even get a chance to watch the American Music Awards last night, but all I've heard about on facebook this morning is the Backstreet Boys/New Kids on the Block performance last night. As you can imagine, I've been on YouTube for a while this morning, listening to all of these BSB songs from my teenage years. Ahh, memories...
Monday, November 15, 2010
The more I listen to my Messiah rehearsal cd, the more I love it! This one is one of my favorites we're doing.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Who said Music Monday can't be fun? Gotta have some Phineas and Ferb from time to time! :)
Monday, November 1, 2010
I've been singing this song to my little love since he was born, but it still makes me cry like a baby.
Matthew started kindergarten today; being able to do this with him is such an amazing gift that I don't take for granted. So, my Love, as you grow each day, these are my words to you. I'm so blessed to be your mommy! :)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
However, once we got home from church and played for a while, it was time for PJs. I noticed that he had gotten quiet once he was able to watch The Upside Down Show... Little did I know the true picture. Isn't it wonderful?!? I heart this boy!
It took me right on back to 2006, when he slept like this all the time!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I hold on to God's truths... I know the words of this song are so true. I believe them with all of my heart. I have to wonder though, when will this miscarriage fade away? I promise, I'm really okay 95% of the time. However, when I close my eyes at night, more often than not, my dreams seem to always paint pictures of babies and pregnancy. I guess you can't run from the true desires of your heart, huh?
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tomorrow marks the first annual Peter Gibbons Liberation Day. August 7, 2009 was my last day working for the nasty Lumbergs of the world. It was the end of one season and the beginning of a new one as a SAHM. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to devote so much of my time to my family.
And yes, it does feel good to be a gangster. :)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
I will only say this: I'm disgusted by the fact that you would attack my beloved during your defense of your beloved. The words you said can be forgiven and forgotten for the most part, but you left a nasty wound. Wounds heal over time, but they do leave scars. You did this; you created some massive drama for yourself that you'll hopefully regret soon. I'm not sure how long it will take though, since you do enjoy a little drama from time to time. Your hateful words and attitude have scarred your relationship with my beloved. The scar may eventually fade, but it will always be there as a reminder of the time that you made your choice. You have to live with that. We may come back around, but I just don't know when (if) it will be possible. The wound is just too fresh right now. You made your choice, Little Miss Enabler. As the expression goes, you made your bed, now lie in it.
Friday, June 18, 2010
As for the Scarpetta books, they're really good, but they don't help you escape this world at all. The main character, Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner; these stories focus on different crimes and capturing the evil people who committed them. I got to where I couldn't read the Scarpetta books too close to bedtime; if I did, I would have nightmares. Let's face it, we can't make it through a single 30 minute newscast without being reminded of how many evils there are in this world.
So, that my friends is why I need Harry and Hogwartz. There's good versus evil, but it's just not real. It's so captivating and magical, but it's NOT REAL!!!! That's why I need Edward, not so much Bella, but boy do I need Edward. He's everything a fiction man should be, but He's not real either and neither is anything else in Twilight. It's nice to leave reality for 30 minutes or an hour here and there escape to places that don't exist. It's what books are all about. From the time I was a kid reading about a town called Chewandswallow, to exploring Narnia with the Pevensies (although Narnia is more real than most care to admit), I love the fact that authors can take all the elements of reality and transform them into a magical story that you keeps you coming back. That's what books are all about.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
We found out we were expecting again the week before Easter. Deep down, I knew it would be best to wait several weeks before telling anyone, but James and I were so excited. There I was only five weeks along and we started announcing our good news. We were already planning names and picking nursery colors. Don't get me wrong, the whirlwind of Matthew's birth was in the back of my mind. Because of Matthew being born spontaneously at 28 weeks, I will forever be a high-risk OB patient. That does tend to make it a little different than your typical, happy-go-lucky pregnancy, but we were excited nonetheless.
Anyone who really knows me knows that I am not a needy patient, but we noticed a few things to be concerned about during my seventh week and decided a midnight trip to the ER was needed. After several tests that lasted well into the morning, I was diagnosed with threatened miscarriage, basically meaning that my chances of miscarrying were greater than most. We kept going and smiling though as we made our way into the follow-up appointments. I had a total of four ultrasounds in between my seventh and twelfth week and they just never saw a baby forming. Everything had set up the way it was supposed to, but there just wasn't a baby (referred to as blighted ovum in the medical world).
I knew miscarriage was coming and I had prepared myself as much as I could emotionally. As prepared as I was, it was really was a flood of emotions for me. It started up the night before Mother's Day. I can remember James and Matthew giving me their Mother's Day cards and gift that night as I was struggling to hold it together. Finally, I got alone, got my Bible, and asked God show me what He wanted me to hear. I turned to Psalms 30 and began to read the passage I've read and sang many times. Verse 5 was what really echoed in my heart though: "Sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning." What a word! It was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. It was (and is) okay for me to feel sadness; that didn't (and doesn't) mean I am any less grateful for this amazing life He has given me, for His mercy, His provision, His strength, His guidance, my amazing husband, our Matthew, who truly is a gift from Him ...I could go on and on. It took me a while to feel like I had permission to grieve, but He said it was okay.
You know, the last part of that verse is my favorite though: JOY COMES IN THE MORNING! I'm okay; that doesn't mean I don't have moments that are tougher than others. In fact, even as I'm writing this, I realize this experience is more raw than I thought. It's not always easy, but it's okay. I'm so blessed; I say it all the time, but I'm the most blessed (and undeserving) person I know. As much as James and I would like to add to our family, it's okay if we don't. Matthew is more amazing each day; my love for him is more than I can even comprehend. We are so blessed that God gave him to us; trusted us to raise him up. The older Matthew gets, the more honored and humbled I am that God would use James and me to guide his life and help him become the man God desires him to be.
So, here I am at the place where joy and sorrow meet. I'm singing it tonight and the words are more real to me now than I ever dreamed. It's not just another song to me anymore. Here are two of the verses from the song by David J. White:
"There's a place the lost surrender and the weary will retreat
Full of grace and mercy tender in times of unbelief
For the wounded there is healing, strength is given to the weak
Broken hearts find love redeeming where joy and sorrow meet..."
"There's a place of thirst and hunger where the roots of faith grow deep
And there is rain and rolling thunder when the road is rough and steep
There is hope in desperation, there is victory in defeat
At the cross of restoration where joy and sorrow meet."
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Okay, so I cannot by any means call myself a Twilight expert or anything even close to it, but I have serious issues with the movie. Keep in mind, I've only read the first of the books and seen the first movie, but this is yet another instance where the movie is such a failure in comparison to the book. Maybe that's harsh, but I am really struggling to call the movies a "phenomenon." In fact, I don't even understand how anyone who read the book can actually like the movie. It's too different and I can't understand why it had to be so different.
I really was never interested in reading the books, but James bought the first one last weekend. He specifically bought it because of some conversation in the youth ministry circles regarding the themes in the book and wanted to check them out for himself. He hasn't read it yet, so I can't really even discuss my theme-related thoughts with him yet, but despite what I was expecting to find, the book itself was good. It was an easy read-a lot more light-hearted than the Scarpetta books I've been reading for the last six months- and I even caught myself seeing good old Edward Cullen differently than I expected. In fact, I think the Edward Cullen charachter is by far the most endearing thing involved. Without Edward, it would be just another high school love story. Stephenie Meyer truly did hit gold when she created him.
On that note, Robert Pattinson is the only reason the movie wasn't a complete disappointment for me. He is the perfect face for Edward Cullen, but I can't say that about any of the other characters. I'm not sure if the screenplay just wasn't what it should have been, but all of the other main characters in the movie left me completely blank. None of them brought life to those characters ... and they could have been so much more. They were so much more defined in the book and the characters/actors in the movie just don't do the book justice.
So, to sum it all up, the movie is okay, but I really feel like it's been built up way too much. The only reason I'll keep watching is to see Robert Pattinson's portrayal of Edward. The book was good enough that I'm very eager to read the next one. I'm still not sure that I'm ready to jump on the bandwagon and call this a phenomenon, though.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I walk in honor of my son Matthew, who was born 12 weeks early. We were very blessed because we had few prematurity-related complications. That's not the case for many who are affected by prematurity. Please join us as we march for babies everywhere!
Check out my fundraising page: Marchforbabies.org/ebcopeland
Saturday, January 9, 2010
It all started the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We were walking down the back steps to head to church and heard the unmistakable sound of puppy yelping, which is all rather odd since we don't have a dog, much less puppies. James found the source of the yelping and realized that a ragged, emaciated momma dog had adopted us overnight. Not only did the momma adopt us, she brought a gentleman friend along with her. We presumed him to be the "baby daddy," as they say in the ghetto, but quickly realized that Clifford was just a noble dog trying to take care of his friend and her babies.
Anyway, the reality set in that these two and the babies would be with us for while or at least until they were old enough to send to a shelter. I did my best to stay away all together since I'm not really fond of dogs. After all, there's no sense in getting to know them at all if they're only passing through. Well, we easily found a home for Clifford, but momma and babies were still spending their nights under our porch. Ordinarily I wouldn't care and part of me doesn't really even want to be compassionate, but it's just so cold here right now. Even for January, Alabama isn't usually this cold. It's been bitterly cold this week. We've asked for ideas on how to keep them warm and done the best we can, but it just didn't seem to be enough.
We finally decided it was time to give a gentle, or slightly harassing reminder that these babies and momma really need to find a home. We asked around... no real interest and even called a local animal shelter. It looks like the animals are caught in some office politics, because the former manager of the organization answered the phone and was not anxious to help us at all. We got nowhere with her... she wouldn't even give us any suggestions.
As a last resort, James decided to haul the babies off to the local Wal-mart with a free puppies sign and see what happened. Within 30 minutes or so, they all had homes. However, we didn't have a way to take Momma Cleo, so she's still here. She's quite irritated with us, too. It seems that one of the babies somehow made her way into the family, though. James is such a sucker; he really pushed for us to keep one for "Matthew." "Matthew really needs a dog." "It would be great for Matthew..." Translation: James wants a dog!
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce the newest member of our family: Lady