‘Remember?’

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“Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”

Mark 8:18 ESV

That word of Jesus leaps off the page to me, ‘remember.’

And His question comes back to me ‘And do you not remember?’ every single morning… how could I ever forget???

I hear You, Lord! I DO remember, vividly…

August 27, 2011… a day our family was forever changed… a day that marked us- and defined our faith.

Now, today, 8/27/18, it’s been 7 years, and I still stand amazed at what my God has done, and continues to do, each and every day.

Let me tell ya!

Because of what we went through, going from death to life, with the power of our tongues ONLY because of Jesus, and speaking the Word of God over our daughter, she is fully healed and alive today.

She’s married, (3 years this December), a registered nurse, and serving the Lord in the Peace Corp in Zambia with her husband Asa, declaring the marvelous deeds of the Lord- making a difference every day in the lives of others.

We have a deeper, stronger faith. We went through the flood, ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ literally, and our roots are firmly established in the revelation of a Father who never leaves us. NEVER.

We came through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’, when we emerged out of the deep end, and we have an awareness of God‘s abiding presence that forever changes the way we see impossible situations. NO one can tell me a situation is impossible when God’s involved, because I know otherwise!

Don’t ever settle for less than what God redeemed us from! Nothing is impossible with my Jesus!

God.

He was in the van with us. He was our ‘ever present help in our time of need’.

The moment we cried out ‘JESUS! Jesus, Jesus!’ He was right there, working on our behalf.

He sent His Holy Angels, who navigated my husband out of a treacherous situation… from the drivers seat, through a crushed door and broken window, glass everywhere… across LIVE POWER-LINES, in the pouring down rain- the Angels protection shielded him from harm, assisted him in getting her unbuckled and out of the pinned position of being sandwiched between the rear of her seat and the roof of our crushed van, over the the passengers side where both her Heavenly Father and her Daddy waited.

“Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.”

Psalm 23:4 GNTD

Honestly, when the tree fell suddenly on top of our van while we were driving, only five minutes from home… we were thrust into total darkness. The span of the tree so big, it covered our van… and the shield of our eyelids when we were thrown into unconsciousness also was utter darkness.

When my husband awoke first, his first instinct was survival and protection. Searching frantically for a cell phone to call 911, realizing the gravity of our situation he attempted to wake me, ‘WENDY! WENDY!’ he hollered my name multiple times. I seemed to hear him as if in a dream, with his voice sounding far away, though he was sitting right next to me…

My hand went to my head and neck, exploding in pain… then I heard these words:

“MORGANNE’S NOT BREATHING!”

These words reached into the depth of my darkness, my eyes flew open, heart was shocked into beating…dazed, seeing broken windshield and tree limbs covering us, trying to move my body around towards where our daughter was sitting, and then seeing her there… lifeless, like a rag doll, long arms and long hair hanging over side of seats edge alongside her knees…with the rear of her seat folded on top of her, the roof of the van pinning on top of her-I instantly was gripped by a level of fear and panic I never experienced before in my entire life!!! A sight forever branded on my heart and in my mind- not a day goes by that I don’t ‘see’ that gut-wrenching image…

I knew I needed to speak but the enemies grip on my throat was so tight it seemed literally impossible.

BUT GOD!!!

The power of the living Christ within me through my Helper, the Holy Spirit, arose a mighty spirit of faith. In fact, the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead was activated in me-and I cried out ‘Jesus!!! JESUS- HELP MY BABY GIRL!!’

As I twisted in my seat, I reached out my hand and touched her pulse, on her neck and wrist. THERE WAS NO PULSE! NO HEART BEAT!

Words of LIFE, God’s Word, started flowing off my tongue, guided by the Holy Spirit, as I laid my hands on her- ‘Morganne will live and NOT DIE, and shall give account of the deeds of the Lord! It is written! When believers lay hands on the sick they SHALL recover! We resist you Devil! We submit to God, you MUST FLEE! Go! Leave her alone! She will live and not die in Jesus Name!’

And we prayed in the Spirit, kept saying ‘Jesus! Life! Help our baby girl! JESUS! LIFE!

6 minutes from when we found the phone and called 911, she remained unchanged…Lifeless.

But our God breathed life back into her, by HIS Words we uttered over her.

She started to breath. And rescue arrived… they pulled her out of the narrow opening on the passenger side of the van; no time for jaws of life or crane to remove tree…

And took her to the emergency room. Praise God for first responders!!! We do, all the time!

Throughout our ordeal, a total of 13 initial days in two hospitals-finding out of her massive blood loss and brain bleeds, fractured skull, multiple hematomas and subdermal bleeds, major brain damage on both lobes and brain stem, hearing the words ‘1-5% chance of survival with little to no quality of life if she makes it’ , emergency ground medic transfer to MCV during the height of Hurricane Irene, followed by a 9 hour brain surgery then hooked up to life support for three days… we held tight to God’s Word and each other.

Our son and older daughter with us, we kept praying and speaking God’s Word of life over her. A nightmare for each one of us…only we ALL were living in the same one.

We fought the good fight of faith. We refused the reports we were hearing and only believed God’s. We kept on saying she would fully recover and that it would be expedient. Nothing else was acceptable. It didn’t line up to what we believed, and we believed GOD.

On the third day, she awoke, though her journey of recovery and HER fight of faith was just beginning.

It was soooo hard seeing her in pain! Seeing her swollen beyond recognition; all of her long beautiful hair, gone- replaced by vicious staples across half of her head… all a testament now of the incredible God we trust in and serve, and of her amazing strength.

Fighting severe pain, inability to see in one eye, unable to walk, she kept saying ‘I need to run!’ Even though she couldn’t even yet stand. Doctors and nurses told her ‘honey you need to understand that you have a severe brain injury. You can’t do what you used to be able to do. This is what having a traumatic brain injury is about, it’s for life, this is your new normal.’

Our feisty girls response? ‘Will you stop telling me what I can’t do when my God says I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength?!’

On the 13th day, against all odds, our daughter WALKED out of MVV to our vehicle, on her own two feet! She refused the wheelchair. Of course she refused it- she was making a statement without words, she didn’t need it!

The next day, she surprised her team at an invitational run; and on the way home stopped at the storage yard where the wreckage of the vans remnant remained… seeing her standing there, looking at the van, I knew we were looking at what a miracle looks like. Another image branded forever on my heart…

Two weeks later after intense physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, and lots of prayer, she returned for a consequent brain surgery to reattach her bone after swelling went down… and after another five days of intense pain, and hospitalization at MCV, she was home again.

And, one month after original accident on September 30th, she returned to school- to all her advanced and AP dual enrollment college classes, and that afternoon?

Morganne ran with her cross country team!!! I’ll never, ever forget it.

The power of the tongue… Like a rudder on a ship- it’s so tiny in size yet it powerfully steers the direction of our lives by the words off our lip.

When we line up our words with God’s Words- life will always follow.

“What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.” Proverbs 18:21 GNTD

“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

Proverbs 18:21 MSG

This year is bittersweet, as we always commemorate this day with an anniversary dinner to honor God and thank Him for saving us, and for restoring our daughter back to life, miraculously… but with Morganne being thousands of miles away across the world from us, we will celebrate in two separate time zones, and in two parts of the world.

We will always remember, Jesus, what You’ve done for us. We will tell the world of Your goodness every opportunity we have-

‘We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony’. (Revelation 12:11)

If I could encourage one person not to give up by ‘remembering’ and sharing what Jesus did for us, then our trial has been worthwhile.

Jesus Himself tells us in Mark 11:22, ‘Have faith in God.’ We live by faith., and never stop thanking Him for the incredible things He has done.

We remember…

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Little Children’s Imaginary ‘Friends’ Have Spiritual Purpose

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Often times, little children have imaginary ‘friends’.

To them, they ‘see’ their ‘friends’ as real people. They confide in them. They are content for hours spending time with them.

They talk with them, eat with them, play with them- as if they are REAL people.

Little children are given great imaginations by God! They love to sit on the floor and pretend real life situations and act them out.

They make up stories, acting out with dolls, or toy cars, or they ‘play’ house or doctor, policeman, cowboy etc.

Many times when my children were little, they’d say “Mommy, come play with me!”

And quickly they’d assign me a position-a role to act out “You be the mommy, I’ll be the baby.”

Without effort on their part, they’d come up with the most natural conversations as they play-acted. But for me, it was not as easy to ‘pretend’ anymore as a grown up.

I loved watching my children play alone content with their ‘imaginary friends.’

They’d be oblivious to me standing in the doorway,observing their conversations, lost in play as if I was the invisible one and their ‘friend’ was more real than me.

I believe God gave little children the gift of imagination, and especially imagination friends for a reason.

It teaches them at a young age to be comfortable with themselves talking out loud to an ‘invisible’ yet very important figure in their life they believe to be real.

Colossians 1:15 (NLT) “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation”

The gift of a childlike imagination is from God. Children have innate unquestionable faith. They ‘see’ with the pure, undefiled eyes of faith.

Playtime for a little child with an unseen ‘real’ friend, is prayer preparation time with an unseen REAL God!

I believe God gave little children the gift of imaginary friends to allow them to grow comfortable talking out loud to their unseen friend/s, so that without question they will be able to ‘see’ Jesus, and talk with God whom they can’t see, but know is there.

When we ‘see’ Jesus as our real, personal living friend- when we become comfortable as as child talking with Him openly and anything and everything- we will ‘become as a child.’

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Patience:  A fruit to ripen

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#Patience
Patience isn’t something most of us are born with. It surely doesn’t come automatically the moment we take a breath-it’s developed. It’s a process. It takes time.
Children are not automatically patient. As mom looking back, I can’t even count the number of times I told my children “just be patient” or “in a minute!” When you stop to analyze that statement it’s actually quite funny. A little child? Be patient? Most adults struggle with being patient, yet we expect our children to ‘be patient.’
Most people, including children, truly don’t understand what this word means. “Patience.” Yet we expect it from everybody. But are WE being patient?
Children learn patience when it’s demonstrated. They live what they see demonstrated. It is learned over time but so are other characteristics.  

I know as a mom, there were times when I demonstrated patience with my children, yes; but there were MUCH more times when I didn’t. I wish I could change that now. I can’t. I was still ‘fruit’ in the process of being developed at the time I was raising my children… 
Webster defines it this way:
Patience:
“the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed.”
The word “patience” historically comes from the Latin, patientia, meaning suffering, which also gives us the word patient, referring to someone who is suffering from being sick or injured.
“Patience” is one of the fruits of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22) Fruit takes time to ripen. So does patience.  
The Strong Concordance for the original Greek word translated to our English language for patience is:
#8318 pa’-shens (hupomone, makrothumia):
“Patience” implies suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity. As such it is an essential Christian virtue to the exercise of which there are many exhortations. 
We need to “wait patiently” for God, to endure uncomplainingly the various forms of sufferings, wrongs and evils that we meet with, and to bear patiently injustices which we cannot remedy and provocations we cannot remove.
PATIENCE: The quality of forbearance and self-control which shows itself particularly in a willingness to wait upon God and his will. Believers are called upon to be patient in their expectations of God’s actions, and in their relationships with one another.
Patience is often hard to gain and to hard to maintain, but, in Romans 15:5, God is called “the God of patience” as being able to grant that grace to those who look to Him and depend on Him for it. 
It is in reliance on God and acceptance of His will, with trust in His goodness, wisdom and faithfulness, that we are enabled to be patient, endure, and to hope stedfastly.
“Patience” is a form of #Love
In 1 Corinthians 13:4, “LOVE is patient.”
Ahhhhhh.
This is key.   
“God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
We are to walk in love. (Ephesians 5:2)
When we are patient with one another, 

we are demonstrating Gods love. When we are patient with ourselves, we are receiving Gods love.  
While we strive to be patient all the time, to be loving all the time, we fail.
Progress takes time. We’re all human.
Praise God that HE never fails! He is ALWAYS patient with us, ALWAYS loving towards us.  
Join me today to commit to exercise our patience with one another.
#FaithActs!

Mothers Day Front Porch Blessing

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Mothers Day Front Porch Blessing
There’s something profound that happens when a seed is planted into the ground.

It’s not something we can easily explain because it involves faith, something we can be sure of, even while we can not see the end at the beginning.

It also involves different elements and conditions.  The type of soil the seed is planted into, the surroundings that are around the seed, even the expectations of the one who planted the seed.

The seed- it’s just a seed.

And- there are MANY  different types of seed.

It’s full of possibilities.  It’s full of potential…

Potential to ‘be’ what it was designed to be. 

But a seed unplanted?  It is just a seed… it’s unborn potential of what ‘might‘ be…

But imagine for a moment how far reaching that one tiny seed could travel once it IS planted! 

You see, the ‘seed’ was programmed to reproduce after its own kind.

Every single form of life, God created uniquely and miraculously within itself, the potential seed to reproduce after its own kind. 



The tomato plant bears tomatoes.  Within the tomato are… you guessed it…seeds. 

Seeds of potential that, if planted, will reproduce more tomatoes.

But what would happen if, say, the tomato seed was never planted?  
Let’s say, for purpose of illustration, the tomato seed was placed inside an envelope, and stored away in a dresser drawer for years…

The little seed, intended for so much more life to bring… remains only just a seed… a seed of possibility, a seed of potential… but never realized it’s purpose.

Today, I want to suggest the amazing POWER that is concealed with the seed of our thoughts, our words, and our prayers for our children.

As a mother of three different, uniquely individually talented and gifted children, I was challenged.

I was challenged in planting the seeds of hope for my children in the garden of my heart.  

See, I had to realize the gifts within each of my children, and recognize each one is unique in their own right. 
And I had to weed out the garden of my heart with prayer. 
I had to protect and nurture the environment in which the seeds of their lives were planted…

And like each seed we plant in our gardens, each child take time to grow it’s roots into the soil of life, even before the ‘plant’ from the seed raises to the surface!

When a seed is planted, it’s thrust into the darkness of the soil. 
It’s covered up.  
It’s not seen.  
It’s seemingly isolated, and alone.  

But just like when the fertilized seed is planted into the womb is unseen, in a dark place… the seed planted in the soil is unseen, in a dark place.

But it’s the thoughts, words and prayers we give towards the seeds that help them develop.  

God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:11 says “for I know the thoughts I have towards you, sayeth the Lord, thoughts of good and not of evil, thoughts to prosper you and not to harm you.”



When we put our faith in the Word of God, cling to it, trust in it, BELIEVE it, no matter what we see, hear, think, imagine, feel… and when we keep confessing what God’s Word says, the unseen realm changes the seen realm.

Something happens in the soil of our heart.  

A confidence in what God is doing takes over the uncertainty of what we are not seeing.

When we add in the POWERFUL fertilizer of prayer, oh my!  

God watches over His Word and performs it!  GOD  is the miracle grow for our seed!

He will cause those things that are not as though they are!

His plans that He alone deposited into the seed of our children’s life begins to unfold, and our family garden begins to bear much fruit, bursting with flavor and variety!

This Mothers Day,  May 2017, my three blessings demonstrated their love towards me in their own unique way.  

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The seeds planted into the lives of our children when they were babies have grown into a beautiful, loving, blooming garden of life.

Our son, who is self employed with a busy Handyman business that specializes in flooring, ceramic tile and bath remodels,  hand delivered me beautiful flowers.  



And he spent time with me. For him, the sacrifice of time away from his growing business was a huge gift!  
I’m STILL enjoying the beautiful flowers!

Our last born daughter Morganne Grace and her husband Asa blessed us with invitation of their college graduations on the same day.   They are newlyweds of 17 months.


They graduated from BOTH colleges debt free!  They treated us to lunch with them afterwards… gifted me with a meaningful card and thoughtful practical gift that was on my ‘wish list’.

And our first born daughter, Helen Page, who lives four and 1/2 hours from us- oh my- it’s hard on a momma being separated from your child- even though they are grown and independent!

She sent me a Mothers Day blessing that greeted me today on my front porch… which inspired me to write today’s blog… 
When I arrived home from healing service today, a package that was assembled by Helen awaited me with much forethought, time and creativity…  and will keep reproducing…


Each gift of love came from seeds of love that were planted years ago, watered with thought, God’s Word, and much prayer.



And these seeds?  Our children? 

They continue to reproduce after their own kind.

I’m grateful to God for a full garden. 

I’m grateful for the variety of uniqueness in my children.  

I’m thankful to God that He directs the seeds of our children to grow, prosper, bless, and bring in a rich harvest, each in their own individuality, uniquely special way.

And I’m eternally grateful to stand beside this incredible man, my soul mate and high school sweetheart, ministry partner and husband to watch God’s love continue to reproduce in the seed of our marriage.

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Being a mother is not always an easy ‘job’.  
Pain is associated with the joys that come with the title ‘mom’… 
Iamjesusgal Ministries
When we open our hearts to a newborn baby, we become vulnerable to heartache.  
Sacrifice begins, and never truly ends. 
As the baby grows, into an active demanding toddler, we wonder if we will ever sleep.  
Then toddler grows into a school aged child- and we wonder how we will survive the separation of child leaving us, if only for a few hours a day- and hold back the tears, adjusting to ‘sharing’ our child with the teacher…
Then teen years come- and for some, additional children may follow the one- so that the juggling of emotions become more skilled- how can we possibly love another child the same?  
We realize we can’t.  Our love for each is unique.
Many of the child-rearing milestones we reach come with a price… 
They fall. They get hurt. They become sick. They get rebellious. They make mistakes.  They grow into people.
You spend sleepless nights when they are late coming home, waiting for the phone to ring or the front door to squeak open… holding your breath until they are finally home. 
They exhibit a strong will, sometimes a stubborn streak, and they go a different direction than the plan you envisioned for them…
You cry yourself to sleep many a night, until you realize it’s better to trust God for them, and then you spend much time on your knees, in prayer.  
Then they grow up. 
They leave for college, but you soon realize they never really come ‘home’ again. 
You were not prepared for this.
Or were you preparing for this allaling, from the very beginning?
They move on and move out.   They come home to ‘visit’ and leave again. 
They get married. They move away. And they get busy living their life, independent and successful. 
And as proud as you are of them, you miss them. 
 You miss the sounds of their little feet running up and down the stairs… you miss the slamming of doors and sweet hugs and goodnight kisses. 
You miss them climbing in your lap, asking you to read the book ‘just one more time, mommy!’ 
You miss the walks in the parks, the swings and the slides.  You miss their mastering accomplishments, beaming with pride.
You miss cheering for them at soccer games, encouraging them at cross country meets.
You miss the squeaky missed notes of instruments & voice while rehearsing a song, and applauding them at band concerts and choral concerts. 
You miss all of their friends coming by the house, some staying overnights… 
You find yourself adjusting from a full, boisterous house of five + to a quiet home of two… 
And then somehow, you adjust again to how it all began…just the two of you, only different.  
Part of yourself is no longer nearby.
But the joys of motherhood, with all the heartaches, is only one part of my life, indescribable. 

I come to realize that motherhood IS joy.  Joy is a state of being, not a feeling.
Joy doesn’t change because if our emotions, or circumstances.
Being a mother, with all the hurts, and fears, brings indescribable joy.
A joy that is not to be wasted.  A joy that is a privilege and a cause for praise.
I have dear friends who long for this experience & my heart aches for them. I pray for them, and try not to take my blessings for granted. 
I am far away from being an expert, or a ‘perfect’ Mom.  I have made many mistakes as a mother, tried to ‘figure it all out’ while raising our three, while trying to figure out life in general. 
Not easy. But- I have come to realize, as imperfect as I am, that I was the ‘perfect choice’ as mother to my three, because you know why?
Because God chose me.
And that???
THAT is the main thing I’ve never figured out- 
God, You have given me the absolute BEST gift ever- of being chosen to be the mother of Douglas Roundy Jr, Helen Roundy and Morganne Skinner, and now You’ve given me another son, through marriage, Asa Skinner.  
I can’t comprehend the love of God, in that He blessed me, undeserving me, to marry my high school sweetheart, Doug Roundy…
Or how God blessed us to grow an amazing family, with each of our quirks, and shortcomings, yet also with each of our unique talents and abilities, and hearts desires.
God, You somehow created us imperfect people perfectly, and formed us together into a family, to do life together.  
It’s part of Your perfect plan, even though in part, we don’t really understand.
As Mothers Day 2017 comes to a close, I ponder all the myriads of emotions, and memories collectively over the years of being a mother- and I say Thank You God, for choosing me for the best ‘job.’
The best ‘job’ in all the world, is being chosen by God to mother my children, the 3 +1.  
As a mother, I’ve learned what unconditional love looks like.
It’s the picture of God’s love.
It endures with patience and serenity, its being kind and thoughtful.
Unconditional love is not being jealous or envious;  does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 
It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked nor overly sensitive and easily angered.
Unconditional love does not take into account a wrong endured. 
It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth when right and truth prevail. 
Unconditional love bears all things regardless of what comes, believes all things, looking for the best in each one.
Unconditional love hopes all things-remaining steadfast during difficult times, endures all things without weakening.

Unconditional love never fails, it never fades nor ends.