… but I’ll say it again. This year, I am GOING to blog my sessions. There is much to come! So stay tuned. <3
My first session of 2016 was with this young woman right here! Katelyn is one of the strongest and most dedicated women I have the pleasure of knowing and I’m so proud to call her a friend! Love ya, girl! Keep it up!
I got a phone call at 8:30pm and answered it, “Hi Mama!” It wasn’t my mom but her boyfriend. I couldn’t understand a single word he was saying through the tears and yelling. An officer finally took the phone and calmly told me that my mom had been hit crossing a street and was being taken to the hospital by ambulance. I asked “Is she okay?!”
He replied “They took her immediately and she’s on the way to the hospital. I’m not sure of her condition but you’ll need to head over there.” He then asked me if I needed a police officer to pick me up and I let him know I could drive myself. I got off the phone and voiced to my husband how strange it was that he offered to come get me but, honestly, figured he thought I had been drinking (it was a Saturday night) and couldn’t legally drive myself.
I picked my brother up and the drive to the hospital was full of laughs and precious, rare time spent only with each other. We walked into the almost empty Emergency Room, let the check-in desk know who we were there to see and the sweet girl told us that “(our mom) hasn’t been cleared for visitors yet, please take a seat and they’ll be with you soon.” About 15 minutes later, the sweet girl walks over admitting paperwork to sign. I signed it without a second thought as to why SHE wasn’t the one signing it.
Some time goes by and we were feeling a bit agitated with the company and wait. I went to the front again and asked when we could go back to see her. The sweet girl told us she would go check and a wonderfully warm nurse came out and asked us back to a separate waiting area. Yet again, this seemed completely normal to us.
We waited for, what seemed like, an eternity. Until finally, two doctors and the wonderfully warm nurse walked into the room. They sat down, took a deep breath, and the doctor told us that “(your mom) went into cardiac arrest at the scene and we weren’t able to revive her.” She then asked us for identifying marks, which we gave and she confirmed. She handed me a small bag with her bloody jewelry and a packet of information for grieving families and I begged her to go back and try to revive her again. The doctors left, my brother snatched the bag of jewelry from me (later to hand it back washed off with handsoap and water) and I hit my knees.
I prayed for the man who killed my mom and I asked that the Lord would use her life for His glory. I prayed that through her, ONE life would come to know and love Jesus Christ. I begged God to not have let my mom die without a divine purpose.
The months following were a blur. I was dealing with a difficult pregnancy, bed rest and two small children at home. My “unshakeable” foundation began to crumble and I felt like I was suffocating. I was prescribed an antidepressant and a sedative but nothing was truly helping. I was at a point where I would get angry seeing women my age with their moms, I was completely detached from my faith and I was so.very.bitter. However, I was getting good at putting on a strong face and saying the right Christian things in regards to her passing but my heart was hard and I didn’t know if I had ever had any faith at all if it could just SHATTER all around me. I gave up on God.
I began to question His goodness. I couldn’t see how a loving God could take her from me! Take her from her grandkids! Take her from her son, who NEEDS her to dance with him on his wedding day! I was trying to help my brother see through the dust but inside, I had NO answers. I was more lost than I had ever been, I was clawing my way out of this pit of hopelessness and getting absolutely nowhere.
My mom had become my Isaac. He was ASKING me to lay her at His feet and trust Him and I was flat-out refusing. Because I couldn’t see the sacrificial ram caught in the bushes, I refused to build the alter. But God, in all His mercy, did not give up on me. October 18, 2014 was the crack in what I believed to be a firm foundation – it was the breaking of my heart BUT it was the beginning of a rebuilding that only He could accomplish. I am still in the process of laying my Isaac down and taking my hands off of her. Trusting that He loves her more than I do and believing that He will use her beautiful life to save the souls of many. He has asked me to trust Him, to allow Him to meet the needs once met by my momma and I am working on it, moment by moment. My faith wasn’t built on the easy days, my TRUE faith has been built when I asked God to take this cup from me and he said “No.”
Casting Crowns – “Just Be Held”
Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands
Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who wont let go
Let’s just skim past the fact that it’s been OVER A YEAR since I last updated this blog! A LOT has happened in this last year, maybe a Life Behind the Lens is due too, but first things first, CHRISTMAS MINIS!
WHEN :: Saturday, November 07
TIME :: 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00
WHY :: Because minis are a quick and painless way to update those family photos for your Christmas cards and walls!
WHAT :: You will get 15 digital images, a photo print release AND a custom digital Holiday card!
WHERE :: TBA
HOW :: Email email@example.com with your FIRST AND SECOND choice for a time slot. These are first come, first served so make sure you get your picks in! They usually fill up fast.
Hello blog readers! Me Oh My! It has been quite a while since I last posted anything, but I’m making it a priority to keep up with my blogging!
Whew! What a busy week we’ve had in the Salonga house! Friday and Saturday, we were busy with the AFHE home school convention! Let me tell you, as a home-schooling mommy, I GEEK OUT seeing so much curriculum and material in one place! AH! So awesome! We left with so much encouragement, FIRE and love for what home-schooling brings to our family. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite things I picked up in the exhibit hall! Even if you aren’t a home-schooling family, most of these items would be AWESOME to have on hand for your children!
First, this bad boy!
This planner, I can already tell, will be an incredible addition to our homeschooling year! I did have a different home-school planner last year and it just didn’t really work for us so I made a bee-line for this one this year and scooped it up! Full of tips and scripture to begin your week with! And I am excited to plan goals for each of my little students. HERE is the link to check it out on amazon.
Next, I absolutely love these books! We purchased five at the convention last year and five more this year! The kids LOVE reading these books, they are written and illustrated well for young readers! Other titles behind this first book include George Washington, Amy Carmichael, Brother Andrew, Lottie Moon! Check them out on amazon! I bet you’ll love them too.
Third, we bought these cute little blocks from one of the Young Entrepreneur booths! Sadly, I did not get their card so I can not link back to them but it was a group of very young men that came up with this great idea and we knew our kiddos would LOVE them! AND THEY DID! We gave it to them and asked them to figure out what it was for, and they did! And our sweet little Type A child, colored the hole corresponding with the crayon she will keep in it.
Finally and likely my favorite find!
Brain Breaks! Small cards with SIXTY different ideas on how to get your kids to move around a bit to break up their day! I LOVE this! The book included explains how and why movement matters in the development of our young ones and has photos and descriptions of each idea. It’s seriously AWESOME! While I was cutting, I had the kiddos do a tree activity and it evolved into something so much more than just a simple command on a card! We had so much fun using our imagination and giggling with each other! And Heather, the creator of these cards, is one of my FAVORITE speakers at the convention! HERE is her blog, read her posts and check out the Brain Breaks!