Rise up men !

We know that in America it’s called a “women’s issue” or a “personal choice”, but in our family it’s a question of creation, the Creator and our responsibility to it.

Below you will find a link to a recent article about this and it’s impact on marriages. ¬†Thank you Jeff and Tricia for sharing your testimony!!!!

Read it here

So many families and their children are blessed because of your witness and commitment!!!!

Thank you Jeff and Tricia! It’s always great to read some good news.

Our new home

We moved in last November. We intended to write all these fabulous blog posts on life and happenings around here…but we all know where the road of good intentions leads ūüôā

SO here’s a recap/ overview of life thus far in Martin Land.

We’ve had multiple visits from the cutest cousin on earth, Hudson, who was kind to bring along our Aunt and Uncle too ūüôā We enjoyed teaching him how to feed the animals.

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Sophie bought a new puppy, Angel, who was part border collie. ¬†As time went on it became clear that Angel’s daddy was a dachshund!!! Yes, she never really grew legs but did get much longer ūüôā She is now full grown and plays frisbee like a camp (even though she’s just 3 inches off the ground).

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Then we thought, why not just get more dogs. ha ha. ¬†But yes we did, for the farm of course. ¬†Two Great Pyranese puppies to join our already full grown Grt. Pyr.. ¬†Our full grown one is named, Bagel, of course. ¬†And the other two new puppies (now 7 months old) are Chai & Benedict (as in eggs). And we HAD to include a “rear view” because great pyranese puppies have the cutest fluffy butts ever!

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The kids have built mobil chicken coops, put up fencing, built barn stalls, planted fields of sunflowers, built raised garden beds for our veggies (raised high for all kids to reach and no dogs to sleep in), built many bee hives (Jacob has 8 now), and so much more.

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The sun rises every morning in our back yard and shimmers through our farm like gold dust. ¬†It’s just awesome.

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Sophie’s new cow gave birth to a sweet baby boy, and our hay guy brought us a baby jersey bull that someone had dumped on the side of the high way!!! So now Sophie milks the momma, loves on the baby, and bottle feeds the other baby!!!

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The little girls are hatching baby chicks- such a joy!

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The kids bought out the paint section entitled “bold, not boring”, and repainted our playset and added pavers and balance beams too! ¬†It was such a fun project, and a great time spent with our new friends the Giblins.

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And that is just the beginning of it all………….

 

Perfect Timing

Well I had been having some of those days. ¬†You know, THOSE kind of days. ¬†Days when you think you are not doing the best job you could. Days when you’re tired and blah and just don’t feel like it. ¬†Days when go through the motions waiting for nap time to come, but it doesn’t. ¬†Sure we would all like to have “awesome mom” days everyday, but lets face it. ¬†There are days that aren’t always awesome. Well, I was having some of those days and they were starting to stack up on each other causing me to have not the most stellar attitude around ūüôā

Oh sure, I could post all the days that are AWESOME, full of laughs, giggles, and grins. ¬†We have lots of those days. ¬†They’re great. ¬†But frankly, when you’re a parent there are going to be days that have more discipline in them than you’d like.

So, knowing life wasn’t going to fix itself, I got up early one morning, Sean was away on a business trip, the kids were all in bed, and I was trying to read my Bible to set my mind on things greater than myself….. when the sun interrupted me! ¬†It was a rainy gloomy morning to start. ¬†Perfect for enjoying hot coffee and a little scripture reading before kiddos run wild through the house. ¬†I sat next to this rainy window and BAM the sun seemed to jump out of the clouds. ¬†It was sparkling off of all the rain still falling. ¬†So, I ran outside and this is what I saw at 6:00 am………….

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God makes many promises to us in Scripture.  The rainbow is a reminder of that.

He will never leave us. ¬†He will always give us what we need. He will always give us strength and wisdom when we ask for it. ¬†He will teach us His ways so that we won’t stumble. ¬†He will set us in a wide and spacious place because He delights in us. ¬†He will give us the desires of our hearts when we commit our ways to Him. and so much more.

I love how perfect God’s timing is. ¬†I love that on THAT day I got to wake up with a electric rainbow to energize my day. ¬†Not yesterday. Not the day after. ¬†THAT day- perfect timing.

As always.

 

The Gift of Pain

It sounds crazy.  Who would look at pain as a gift.  Who would want it.  Who would be grateful for it.

Pain hurts.

Our hearts, our emotions, our memories, our thoughts, our body, our loved ones.

Pain hurts.

and that is GOOD, very, very GOOD.

 

October of 2007 –We have a child that doesn’t feel pain. ¬†Half of her body is numb from nerve damage of Spina Bifida. ¬†She can’t feel her legs. ¬†As a result she can’t move her muscles. ¬†Because nerves that feel, tell your muscles- hey move!

When we first moved into our old house in CT there was radiant heaters on the base board areas of the rooms. ¬†One day Jamie was playing with pretend food sitting right next to one. ¬†Other kids did it. THey loved to warm their toes on the baseboards. ¬†Sooner or later you move your foot. ¬†It gets hot. ¬†Jamie didn’t. ¬†Time passed. ¬†Kids played happily. ¬†The house was new to us so we didn’t know yet where a problem lie waiting. ¬†She crawled away to another area of the room and I saw her back. ¬†Her shirt bloody and oozing. ¬†I lifted up her shirt to find a massive burn. ¬†She didn’t feel it. ¬†Not one bit. ¬†Later as she was healing up she would complain about an “Itchy pain” in her shoulder. But the burn was down way low near her waist. ¬†We found out that pain was shooting up her nerves in her back!!!

January of 2011– On the day of her birth our dear Jocelyn died. ¬†We were blindsided by this mack truck of pain & sorrow. ¬†We dug deep searching for reason and purpose in what seemed like a huge hole in our hearts. ¬†By God’s grace we found that reason and purpose. ¬†We saw a greater value and worth in her short little life than we could have ever imagined. ¬†We saw the impact she had on healing so many peoples hearts that were wounded from loss in the past. ¬†But that initial mack truck of pain was beautifully hard and retchedly awesome. ¬†WHY? ¬†Because it was sooo BIG and SOOO PAINFUL that we HAD to face it. ¬†We HAD dig it out. ¬†We HAD to beg God to open our eyes to understanding greater than our humanity could see. ¬†If it didn’t hurt, if the pain had been minor, we, in time, would have “moved on”. ¬†OH HOW GRATEFUL I AM THAT WE NEVER “MOVED ON” AND THAT WE HAD DEEP, DEEP PAIN!!!! Because we clung together with our children, we grew closer to them, we sought the Lord more than ever, we shared to Truths of Scripture with confidence and no shame or worry of appropriateness. And we will NEVER NEVER NEVER forget. ¬†She is a permanent part of our hearts and minds not just because she is our daughter (of course that is true) but because the pain was SOOO immense we will never forget. We can’t.

July of 2013– In the daily routines of parenting, we catch a glimpse, and it stops us in our tracts. ¬†Jamie looked at us with only one eye while the other stared into the distance. ¬†We knew right away. ¬†Shunt failure. ¬†Sean swooped her up and took her to children’s hospital ER. ¬†At first, they didn’t think it was shunt failure. ¬†We insisted. They pushed back. ¬†No it’s not. ¬†Shunt failure is sooooooo painful. ¬†The migraines alone or so intense that it causes one to vomit. ¬†And look at her- she’s happy as a clam. ¬†And she was. ¬†Now, we had had some behavior issues. ¬†But that’s it. ¬†24 hours later she ended up in surgery with nuero getting a new shunt on her brain.

Nothing. Nothing at all. ¬†Came home with NO pain meds. NO PAIN MEDS!!! after they had literally just drilled a new hole in her skull, placed a shunt in and had two very large sets of stitches on her head (with some of her hair shaved off). NOTHING. ¬†She wakes up the next day. ¬†I look at my daughter all stitched up on her brain, missing hair, and I shake my head in amazement of God’s timing and causing us to see her eye problem quickly. I am “wowed” by God causing us to look at her in a such a way that we “happened” to catch her eye not moving. ¬†Had she gone to sleep that night she may not have woken up. God is AMAZING. ¬†We do not believe in coincidence. It is not of our own accord by any stretch of the imagination. ¬†God’s timing was impeccable. ¬†I shake my head again as I look at her and say good morning. She says “mom, my head is kinda itchy”. ¬†I couldn’t help it. ¬†I laughed out loud. ¬†I picked her up and showed her her head in the mirror and said “yes honey, thats where they cut into your head for your new shunt. It’ll probably be itchy for a while as it heals” ¬†“oh, ok” she says and “MOVES ON”. ¬†She did what I am glad that I can NOT do so easily- she MOVED ON. ¬†She had NO pain. So, she didn’t care. ¬†It didn’t matter.

 

I could list a 1000 more examples God has given us through our children with special needs. ¬†From jumping out of trees and belly flopping on hard ground only to brush off the grass and MOVE ON, to ripping braces off your teeth with your bare hands because they were annoying, or ripping all your toenails off (yes and the flesh too) while in bed one night because they were “too long”, or maybe something even more hair raising than toenails- like twisting out 3 teeth in one night (with your bare hands) that we NOT EVEN AT ALL loose so that you could have teeth come out like a sibling did!!!

and so on…….

next time somethings hurts

next time something wrenches your gut in pain and sorrow

next time pain blindsides you

next time pain slowly etches away at your mind, emotions, and memories……

it may take you time, but don’t “MOVE ON” and be “tough”

there’s no great godly glory in “toughness”

instead

dig deep, keep your eyes open even when you want to look away

beg the Lord for wisdom and discernment, for perspective to see what God sees and not what you see

you WILL NOT be diminishing the event of pain, nor will you “MOVE ON” quickly

instead

you will heal and find you have within yourself a great capacity to care

(and less and less of an ability to “move on”)

And THAT is a VERY good gift that pain will give you.

 

 

 

CELEBRATE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Families have traditions.

Big ones and little ones. ¬†Sometimes you even make new ones. ¬†Since living in Texas we have stumbled upon a new tradition in our family. ¬†It happens every night at dinner, the kids ask Sean “Daddy, how many babies were saved today?” ¬†and he always has an answer.

Today OFL reached 800 babies saved!!!!!!!!! Over 100 of those babies were just this past month in April ūüôā If they keep it up at this rate with out any growth they will save 800 more this year….but if they grow every month ūüôā ¬†Man, we love math like that!!!

800

eachday

 

Now we know that the ministry at Online For Life is much more than that and it runs deeper in the lives of individuals they reach out to, but for our littlest kiddos, they don’t get counseling women in crisis, marketing, development/training of pregnancy centers, or national strategies to blanket cities in godly pregnancy centers and wipe out abortion city by city….

….they get babies. ¬†Cute, adorable bundles of life that grow up to be brothers and sisters. ¬†So that is what they ask Daddy- ¬†how many babies Daddy how many today?

babies