Tag Archives: Bible verses

It’s A……..

On Monday, we went to the doctor and had another ultrasound.  It turns out we are having a…

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BOY!

 

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We are SO excited!  We were going to be ecstatic either way, but it is so good to know!

Here are some things we’re really excited about with him being a little boy (Michael’s thoughts in italics):

  • Boys are so much fun to play with
  • Boys Don’t Break Daddy’s Heart
  • Boys are cheaper
  • Rough Housing/Wrestling/sports/etc.
  • Dad and Son bonding Time!
  • I can just picture the house being filled with little boy noises–trucks, guns, and everything else a little boy has to sound out as he plays
  • Boys have way less drama
  • He will have a boy cousin that’s only around 5 months older than him.  They’ll be best buddy-cousins!
  • Boys Are Cheaper!!!! (did we already say that?)
  • All of the monster and dinosaur baby boy clothes are adorable
  • All of the monster and dinosaur baby boy clothes are MANLY and AWESOME!!!!

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We’ve also decided the name already.  Actually, we’re over-achievers and had first child and second child boy and girl names picked out already.  But that’s besides the point.  🙂  His name will be:

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Josiah Michael Elizondo

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A little background information…  We love the story of Josiah in the Bible (2 Kings 21:24-23:30).  He became king of Judah at the age of 8.  2 Kings 22:2 says,

He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

While there were some other good kings in Israel and Judah, 2 Kings 23:25 says,

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

He destroyed all of the false gods and places where false worship was practiced, and he turned the people of Judah back to God.  They began following the Law again and they celebrated Passover for the first time in many, many generations.

We just love his story–how such a young boy can live his life for God and impact an entire nation.

After we decided to name him Josiah, we looked up the meaning in one of my pregnancy apps.  It means “God heals” or “Jehovah has healed.”  This is absolutely perfect for us because God healed my body in order for us to even be able to have him.  We are so blessed.

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Thank you for letting us share our story with you!  We’re so excited about our little boy!

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–Michael and Staci

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Q for you:  Any tips on raising boys?  Any other reasons to add to our “excited it’s a boy” list?

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Our Baby Story – Part 1

Michael and I wanted to share a little more about our baby story–this journey to where we are now.  It’s been a long almost two years, but I think that makes where we are now that much sweeter.  The following story is one of transparency.  We feel that by sharing our true story, God might use it to encourage someone else who is in a similar situation.

(Michael’s thoughts will be in italics.)

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Our Baby Story – Part 1: Our Infertility Journey

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In December of 2009, we decided to get off birth control and just see what would happen.  At first (from about Dec 09 – Apr 10) we were pretty iffy about whether we were ready or not.  While we loved the idea of having a baby, I don’t know if we were ready to actually be parents and all that comes along with that. By the time summer came around, we were both really ready to start a family.  However, it turned out to be a good thing that we didn’t get pregnant before or around then because that’s when all of the job change/moving stuff started happening.  And it would have been so crazy to be expecting a baby when we didn’t even know where we were going to be or what we were going to do. 

It was definitely a time for us to see God’s hand in not letting us get pregnant at that time.

During the summer and throughout the fall, we began to slowly tell family and some of our close friends.  We were worried that it would cause all kinds of questions and things every month, and we weren’t sure how we would feel about people knowing.  But it turned out to be the best thing.  It was such an incredible relief to know that the people who were closest to us were praying for us and supporting us through all of this.

We came to Beaumont in October of last year.  While I still wanted to get pregnant right away, I now see that we were able to spend some really great times with the students here that we wouldn’t have been able to with a baby or a huge pregnant belly.  This past summer was especially good for community building and growing closer to our youth.  And we’re thankful that we had this time.

But it was still tough.  By this point (last winter), I really, really wanted to start a family.  But I was trying to hold it all in and act like everything was fine.  I mean, I knew that I was supposed to trust God completely, so I convinced myself that by burying it deep down, that’s what I was doing.

In the middle of the night on Dec. 22, I thought I had a miscarriage.  I called my doctor in OK (it was really tough to go through all of this without a doctor, by the way, and there were no openings until June for any of the good doctors here), and she said to go to the ER to get checked out.  We went to the ER the next morning, and it turned out it was probably just a ruptured cyst.

Honestly, I was really disappointed.  I was hoping that it was a miscarriage, because then at least I would know that I could get pregnant. 

And after a year of trying and not getting any results, we just wanted some kind of an answer.

One of the ladies at our church who is a nurse called and got me in to see a doctor (actually, a nurse practitioner) in February.  After talking to her, she ordered an ultrasound for a few weeks later.

This was also a difficult time because it was the one year mark for trying unsuccessfully to conceive.  In the fertility world, this meant that we were officially diagnosed as fighting infertility.  It was hard to let that truth sink in, and even harder to think that this might be a bigger problem than we thought.

In between this time, I went on a spiritual weekend called a “Walk to Emmaus”.  It was incredible.  My Walk was from Thursday to Sunday, and it was just a time of drawing close to God and learning about His grace and our response.  I had a chance to talk and pray with our “spiritual director” for the weekend, and she told me that she and her husband waited 17 years for her son.  She prayed over me and told me that she believed that God has given me a promise–we will have children.  God also helped me to be honest with Him about my feelings.  Even though I was putting on an “I’m trusting in God” face, I was broken inside.  So I finally shared with God just how deeply I was hurting.  And through my honesty and brokenness, God began to heal my heart and give me true trust in Him.

One verse that she shared with me began to be a lifeline in my life.  Even though I’d memorized this verse as a child, and it had meant a lot to me over the years, it took on a whole new meaning.  She told me that she believed God wanted her to give this verse to me, and I began to cling to its truth like never before.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires or your heart.”  –Psalm 37:4

A few days later, I had my ultrasound.  Afterwards, my nurse’s nurse told me that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and gave me some medicine.  I had to go home and look up what that even meant, because she wasn’t informative or very helpful.  However, after my bloodwork, they told me (over the phone) that everything looked fine, and there was nothing wrong with me.

I also read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” around this time and I started charting and taking my Basal Body Temperature every morning.  I can’t recommend this book enough.  It really helped me to understand my make-up as a woman, and I continued to be amazed at how God created us.

It was also around this time that we shared our story with even more people (my Emmaus Walk had given me confidence to share and ask more people to pray).  We began to have the view of “the more people that know, the more people that can be praying.”  It was a wonderful gift to have so much love and support surrounding us.

During Easter weekend, while we were in Tennessee for my brother’s wedding, it finally hit me how hard it had been not being able to get pregnant.  Without sounding like I wasn’t looking toward it before, I just had my doubts and reservations up to this point.  I had seen how God had kept us from having a baby for different reasons (moving from Oklahoma, starting a new job, looking towards buying a new house, etc.) but I guess it finally clicked in my mind that we were way past normal as far as fertility is concerned.  I also so how heavy it weighed on Staci to not be pregnant, and we spent an evening just holding each other and crying in our hotel bed.   At this point it had been a year and 4 months with no positive response, and it was even more frustrating that the Dr.s didn’t really seem to have it together.

We kept having doubts about the medical advice/diagnosis we’d been given, and we felt I needed a second opinion.  Through my uncle’s help and recommendation, I was able to see a doctor in Houston in May.  She was incredible!  From the first few minutes with her, Michael and I knew that God had brought us to her.  She explained that, yes, I do have PCOS, and she even made lists of every cause of infertility in women and showed me how I don’t have any of the other things.  She gave us a plan for the following 3 months (hormone medicine and ovulation predictor kits to see if I’m ovulating or not) and said for Michael to go to the doctor as well.

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And this is where we’ll end Part 1 of our Baby Story.  Stay tuned for more!

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–Michael and Staci

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Building Our House – Part 4

If you’ve missed Parts 1-3, you can find the links here:  Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

Over the past couple of weeks, there haven’t been drastic changes (like us going from having a slab to having walls and a roof in 5 days!) but there have still been exciting additions.  It’s still just so crazy how fast this is all going!

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5/26/11

Two Thursdays ago, we went to visit the house, and saw that we now have windows!

The front one isn’t really what we were picturing–it seems squashed.  So when we went to pay another part of our deposit the next day, we asked about it.  We’d actually never met our builder (at least I think that’s what he is…he is the one that owns the company who is building our house), and he was in the office on Friday.  His name is Tom, and he is very nice!  It makes us even happier to be building through them.

Anyway, he asked how everything was going and if there was anything at all he could help us with.  So we (very hesitantly–we didn’t want to be “those people”) told him that the window wasn’t really what we were wanting.  And he said it was absolutely no problem at all.  They’d get it fixed (at no cost) and not to worry at all–they want us to be 100% satisfied and excited about building with them.

I can’t tell you how much this impressed us.  He even went out and looked at a few houses with windows like what we were imagining and took pictures to send to our foreman.  They really do go above and beyond to make sure their customers are enjoying the whole building process.  We are SO glad that we get to deal with such a great team to build our house!

Now…back to the house.

We are going to love these big windows in our living and dining rooms!  It seemed so much more “real” with the windows in.

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5/28/11

My cousin, Paul, and his wife, Liz, came to visit last weekend.  We had SUCH a great time with them!  It was super relaxing, and just what we needed.  We took them out to our house on Saturday.  They’d also shingled most of the roof!

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6/1/11

Michael and I were at the Texas Annual Conference (the annual conference for this area of United Methodist Churches) from Sunday to Wednesday of this past week, and when we got back, we went to check on our house and write some Bible verses on the boards.

They’d put our cedar beams up in the front!  We can’t wait for them to finish the front porch–I know we’re going to love it.

Sheetrock filled our living room, and they’d also installed our guest bath tub.

I think I’d mentioned in our last house update that we wanted to write Bible verses on the “walls” before they were sheetrocked.  My dad was the first one to give us the idea, and then Michael’s parents suggested it, and other friends had similar ideas.  We thought it was a great idea!

In order to keep things somewhat short in this post, I’ll wait to share the verses we used.  We’d looked them up and printed them out earlier in the day, and we just went around with Sharpies and wrote on the wood.

I absolutely LOVED this.  It just felt like we were claiming God’s promises and His truth for our household and for our lives.

We also signed and dated over the front door.

“But as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

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6/4/11

On Saturday, we went back to see if anything had been done, and they’ve delivered our bricks!

Woo-hoo!  Now things will pick up again.  I can’t wait to see it all put together.  Ours will be the first house in any of their divisions to use this particular brick.  I hope we like it!

They’ve also delivered our tub and done a lot of the plumbing.  They’ve also started putting in the pesticide things in the walls.  I don’t know all of the technology, but I know that there are going to be all of these little tubes (the black things) in the walls for pest control.  Once a year, someone will come out and connect to the outside of the house and use these tubes to spray inside the walls for bugs.  Pretty neat, huh?

They’ve also cleaned everything up, so we have a feeling they’re getting ready to lay the sheetrock soon.  It’s been so much fun to see this whole process unfold.

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–Staci

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I Don’t Get It – By M

Ok maybe I do get it… but it’s just not how I am any more.  Let me explain what I’m talking about…

I know that I mention Jon Acuff in probably half of the blogs I write.  I don’t mean to be a creepy-psyco fan or anything; I just happen to read his blog often (along with several others) and I read this post about “The Hangover 2”, and it got me thinking…

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Quick Disclaimer:  This post is NOT meant to be written towards anyone.  It is also MEANT to be a non-judgmental assertion of some of my thoughts.  If you have seen or plan on seeing “The Hangover 2”, please know that I would never EVER judge you for what you may or may not watch at the movies.  That would just be ridiculous.

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With that said…  When I first heard about the first movie, I already had one good reason to not go see the movie: The name.  I know, I sound like my mom….  😦    But truthfully, that is enough to stop me from spending $10 at the theater.  I can’t exactly imagine anything good coming out of a movie with a title like that.

However, I really would like to make this post about more than just one movie.  There’s something I find a little disturbing in the trend of the young generation of the church/Christians.  We seem to be really good at justifying things that we do that we know we probably shouldn’t.  This applies to more than just movies; you can apply it to TV shows, books/magazines we read, things we do on the weekend, things we do with our boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.

I think that’s why I liked Acuff’s blog post so much.

If you didn’t click on the link, his post is essentially about the excuses that  Christians make when they see movies that they know, like “The Hangover”, will be full of all kinds vulgarity, and probably shouldn’t see anyway.  We make excuses like being “relevant” and “with the times”, covering your eyes during the nudity, focusing on the “deeper” meaning of the film, or, in Acuff’s terms, reverse Jesus-Juking anyone who questions you watching it (in other words calling someone judgmental and closed-minded for not watching it, and for judging what they haven’t seen).

I think about the verse Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  And also in 1 Corinthians 10:23 ” ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive.”  I have a choice to do whatever I want to do.  God isn’t gonna stop me.  And… I like that!  I like that God doesn’t force me to love Him, or do anything on His behalf.  However, some things that I want to do just aren’t good.  Some things I want to do, in the words of Paul, are just not “beneficial” or “constructive” to me.

I am a firm believer in finding God in “secular” things.  Staci and I are always connecting movies, TV shows (especially LOST), music, and books (even including Harry Potter) to our relationship with God.  I love to find God in things that people didn’t intend because I believe that what the Bible says about all creation singing His praises is true.  But I also believe we can find these things in movies much more wholesome (great, using another word my mom uses) than movies like the “Hangover”.

Once again, I want to reiterate that I am not trying to judge those who do what they do.  It’s their choice.  I’m also not trying to sound “holier-than-thou” by saying that I have simply chosen the alternative.  The truth is, I didn’t always make these kind of decisions in my life.  Remember at the beginning of this post (which was so long ago that you probably don’t) that I had said I do get why people watch these kind of movies. There was a time in my life when I would have gone (and did go) to the opening night of movies like the “Hangover”.  Where I watched what I thought looked funny regardless of vulgarity.  In fact, I  even owned a handful of those kind of movies.  I laughed at the worst parts and scoffed at those who thought I was doing the wrong thing.  And then I realized that God has the best thing for me, while most of things I do are only the “good” (or, a lot of times, not so good) thing.  So now I have stopped watching many of the types of movies and TV shows I once found funny due to vulgarity, and the funny thing is, as I have moved away from watching those things, the less I have a desire to see one, and the more I am convicted when I do watch one.

This post isn’t meant to judge, just to hopefully get you thinking.  ” ‘Everything is permissible’ – But not everything is beneficial…”

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What is the best movie you’ve seen in recent months (and if it’s “The Hangover 2” be honest.  Like I said I won’t judge you)?  What’s one you’re looking forward to in the upcoming ones?

(For me, by far, Inception is the best one I’ve seen recently (even though that was a while back).  And I know it sounds nerdy, but I’m actually excited for Harry Potter 7 pt. 2 this summer.)

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– M

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Scripture Memory 2011

 

Scripture memory is something that I just haven’t been as dedicated to as I would like.  There have been times that I’ve memorized a lot of Scripture, but then there are also times where I’ll go literally years without memorizing anything.  I don’t really know how to put what I’m trying to say into words, but I the way that those verses that I have memorized pop into my head when I need them most.  There are so many verses that I have memorized that are so special to me.  One of the things that I wanted to do this year was start to memorize Scripture again.

When I was a freshman in college, I participated in my first Beth Moore Bible Study with some other girls from my church.  Since then, I’ve done some other of her studies, and the Lord has really grown me through them.  I added the Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore’s ministry) Blog to my Google Reader (RSS feed) a while back, and a few days before Christmas I saw that they have a Scripture memory program through the blog.  This was exactly what I was looking for!  I’m really excited to be a part of this because it will give me the accountability that I need to actually follow through with my commitment.

We’re going to be memorizing two verses a month, and you just sign in on the 1st and 15th to tell which one you’re choosing.  Here’s the link in case you’re interested in learning more:  http://blog.lproof.org/category/scripture-memory-2011.  I ordered the little spiral, and it’s been great so far!

Here are the two verses I’ve chosen this month:

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

 

I just wanted to share this with you because it’s something I’m excited about doing.

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–Staci

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Worry

My cousin sent me the notes from her pastor’s sermon.  It is exactly what I needed.  I’ve really been worrying a lot lately.  I’m not a huge worrier by nature, but when I do worry, I worry big time.  And once I start worrying about something, it seems like everything else just snowballs and before I know it, I’m completely overwhelmed.

When I read these notes and looked up the verses this morning, I was reminded that God is indeed in control.  He knows my future, and He’s going to take care of me.  I really don’t need to worry–it’s going to be ok.

I thought that I’d pass these notes on to you.  I hope they encourage and remind you like they did me.

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BREVITY – STOP WORRYING

DREW SHERMAN @ COMPASS CHRISTIAN CHURCH – COLLEYVILLE, TX

Theme verse of the year: 2 Timothy 1:7

Scripture: Matt 6:25-34; Psalm 118:24

STEPS TO STOP WORRYING FOR YOURSELF AND LET GOD TAKE CONTROL

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1. GIVE – Give your worries to God

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

*Stop thinking you can do this on your own.
*Stop being a control freak over your spiritual life.

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2. INVITE – Invite God to take control over yourself

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  1 John 4:18

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,”  Ephesians 3:16-18

*Prayer “Holy Spirit will you release in me a spirit of power, love, and self control. Not a spirit of fear, timidity, and anxiety.”

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3. FOLLOW – Follow God and He will take care of you

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:25-34

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

See also: Matthew Chp 11; The story of Job

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THINK:

Have you ever gotten to the end of a long day and wanted so desperately to simply lie down and get a good nights rest? However, as you lay there you become anxious. Our thoughts are flooded with worries about tomorrow and things that have happened in your day. You finally drag yourself out of bed 6 hours later feeling more tired than when you laid down, and now you are worried about being tired and how you are going to function on top of all the other worries that kept you tossing and turning all night. It seems as if our world lives in a perpetual state of worry. In fact, it seems as if the church has become a place of greater worry than ever before. Yet we read those words in Timothy that we are not part of a timid movement, but a movement of power! The question we have to keep coming back to is what Paul says in Romans, “If God is for us who can be against us?” Those are brilliant words for those who know Christ. We need not worry because Christ …IS…FOR…US! What are some of the things you worry about? Why do you find it so hard to turn those over to God? What is the number one worry that you need to let go of today? How will you live in power and not timidity this week?

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LIVE:

Sit for a moment, close your eyes and try to put yourself in the culture that Jesus lived. No running water, poverty, multiple gods, incurable disease, and a multitude of other problems. It seems as if worry was an essential part of living, yet they
found hope in a savior named Jesus. He was bigger than their circumstance. Look for ways to make Jesus bigger than your circumstance.

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We sang “It Is Well” after reading about the composer (Horatio Spafford).  Read his story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Is_Well_with_My_Soul Or watch it here:

Then we ended with this

 

Still by Hillsong

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust

 

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I’m SO thankful that my cousin shared this with me.  And I’m thankful that her pastor taught about this.  But most of all, I’m thankful that it’s true–there really is no need to worry because God is in control.

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–Staci

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Sea of Emotions

Do you ever have those days where you are full of so many different emotions that you feel like you’ll drown in the sea of them?

That’s where I am today.

I feel like I can’t even begin to summarize what all has happened in the past few days, weeks, and months.  Let’s just say it’s been a doozie.

I am so, so thankful that God has given me an amazing husband to go through all of this with.  And I’m even more thankful that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God has a plan and He is ALWAYS faithful.  Even when my emotions are changing quicker than I can blink, He always remains the same.

Joy, excitement, anxiety, frustration, hope, thankfulness, confusion, clarity, uncertainty, hurt, anticipation, happiness, contentment, patience, impatience, relief, shock, peace, overwhelming-ness, sadness, doubt, certainty, amazement, worry, love and surrender have just been a few of the emotions I’ve felt recently.  And some of them I can’t even find a name for.

But the most amazing thing in all of this is God’s goodness.  It’s the HOPE that He’s given us that makes all of these emotions and the circumstances that cause them more than worth it.  We’re so excited to see His plan unfold.

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Earlier this summer we challenged our youth kids to really grow deeper in their faith.  One of the things we challenged them to do is memorize James 1.  I’d memorized this in college, and God has brought it to my mind SO many times over the years.  Verses 2-5 have been especially meaningful to me.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5

He keeps reminding me of other Truths as well.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

 

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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So that’s a little bit of where I am.  Even though it’s been crazy, we wouldn’t trade this time for anything because it’s brought us closer to God and closer to each other.  Thanks for letting me try to articulate some of what I’m feeling on here.

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–Staci

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PS. Please don’t mention anything that’s been going on if you know about it.  Thanks!

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