Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010

I know lots of folks who are saying that they are so ready for this year to be over and how this was such an awful year. I sympathize with that, I really do. We, along with family and friends have experienced heartbreak and disappointment in several different ways this year, but I don't think any of us can truly say that nothing good has come from this year.

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

Music Monday-Merry Christmas, Here's To Many More - Relient K



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

Music Monday - I Celebrate The Day set to scenes from the Nativity Story



Nothing could say it better.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Music Monday: What child is this by CRYSTAL LEWIS



Now that Christmas time is almost here, I guess it's time to reflect that with Music Monday. Here's one of my favorite Christmas songs of all times by the amazingly soulful Crystal Lewis.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday - The Hard Way

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday- "Defender (Call Upon The Name)"



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

Music Monday: I Want It That Way


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

Music Monday: For unto us a child is born (Sir Colin Davis, Tenebrae,...



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

Music Monday: There's a Platypus Controlling Me (HQ) Lyrics in...

Who said Music Monday can't be fun? Gotta have some Phineas and Ferb from time to time! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday: Find Your Wings

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

Happy Halloween

Ta Da.... Matthew ended up being his beloved Alvin. He was so happy!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Monday: Who I Am Hates Who I've Been

So thankful for God's grace... I'm not perfect and I don't expect you to be. Thank God for the grace that bridges the gaps in humanity.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday- How To Save A Life

Could I have changed things?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Music Monday: Give Me Your Eyes

Love this song... such a great reminder that it's not about me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Love

I told Matthew he didn't have to take a nap yesterday... he was thrilled. He enthusiastically replied, "That's fantastic! I told you I don't even need naps anymore!" Although he fell asleep twice in the car yesterday while we were out running errands before church, I still decided that no official nap was okay.

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

Beauty Will Rise

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

James is 30!


Happy Birthday to my amazing hubby!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rainbow Cake




Okay, so I've seen plenty of folks who made rainbow cakes and focused on the outer appearance of the cake, but I wanted to try something different. Here are a few pics of the rainbow cake I made for my mom's birthday. The first is a picture of the different batter mixes, the second is a picture of the mixed batter in the cake pans, and the last is a pic of the cut cake. I thought it was pretty cool.






















Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Peter Gibbons Liberation Day!



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

A George Divided




I'm so feelin' it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Little Miss Enabler

I don't even know where to begin, so I won't. It just wouldn't be productive. It's ironic though; I've been furious about your enabling for years now. Now that the ice has been broken about your enabling, I just don't have any words for you. I guess sometimes it's just best to say nothing at all. I see now that God has been preparing me for this over the last month. A month ago, my attitude and my words would have been very different right now. I'm thankful to see God working in my life and I'm thankful that He's given me lots of truths to hold on to during this season, however long or short it may be. It is what it is, huh?

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

Why I need Harry & Edward in my literary world


Since last spring, I've mainly read lots of the same thing: the entire Harry Potter series (in a month and a half), the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, the Twilight Saga, and the Notebook. Other than that, there have only been a few random books along the way. It doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that there are seven HP books, seventeen Scarpetta books, and four Twilight books, it adds up to much more... especially when you consider all of these have an average of 500/600 pages.

Anyway, with that said, it's not a secret that I'm all about some Harry Potter and love those Cullens. Some folks look at that and can be critical (for various different reasons), and sometimes they make me feel like I owe some explanation for what I read. I've got 20 pages left of The Notebook and, although I can acknowledge that it's a good story, it doesn't take me away from reality at all. I've found myself sobbing multiple times, because it's just so heartbreakingly real. There are way too many similarities between Noah and Allie and James and myself... way too many.

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.
While I loved reading the Scarpetta series and always felt I was in the backseat of Marino's squad car listening to him and Kay figure it out, it's not exactly an escape. I love the Notebook and will keep reading Nicholas Sparks' books, just for the sake of trying new things, but I'm on page 180 of 200, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a box of tissues for the last 20 pages.
Anyway, that's why I'm thankful for Harry Potter, Ron Weasly, and Hermoine Granger; that's why I'm thankful for all of those spectacular Cullens. They take me away; that's what books are supposed to do. With that said, I love my life and am so thankful for James, Matthew, and all the folks in it. I'm thankful for God's bountiful blessings in my life... it's not my life I'm escaping from when I read; it's just a temporary break from the world that surrounds us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet (What I've been trying to say)

I bought the performance track for the song "Where Joy and Sorrow Meet" more than six months ago. When I buy performance tracks online, I usually only get a 30 seconds demo of the song, so many times I'm not sure what song I'm getting until the download is finished. I just figured I could work toward learning it and several other new songs and get them all ready over time.

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

Happy Easter!

It's been a busy weekend, but I wanted to take a quick minute to say that I'm so blessed and so thankful for the amazing love of God. I'm so undeserving of His love and I'll never understand why He loves me, but I'm so thankful that He does.


Happy Easter!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Twilight: A Phenomenon?


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

March for Babies

It's that time again: March for Babies is coming up in May. Please check out my fundraising page and consider a small donation to March of Dimes. Heck, I'll even accept large donations... I'm not picky! :D

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

Little Lady

Okay, so I've never really been a dog person. Never. I've always preferred cats for some reason, even though they are horribly bossy and ungrateful. I have never owned a dog in my life, but know enough to know that they're just, well, different from a cat-owning experience. Well, none of that really matters now. We have accumulated a puppy. Nice, huh?

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

She was named after Matthew's favorite engine from Thomas and Friends. Not surprising, huh? Well, it is what it is now.... I'm sure adjusting to a family dog should prove interesting.