"May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit."

~Romans 15:13

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Promise

I will always be there to hold your hand and guide you to where you need to go. I will never let go. NEVER.
Sometimes I will push you harder than you want to be pushed. But, know this my sweet Lilah, the more I push, the farther you go.
And the farther you go, the more I will cry... Tears of joy because you have found your path.



But, you must remember that no matter the path you are on or were given. My hand will always be there to help you, lift you up, guide you, help you stand tall...and walk on your own two feet.
I am your Mama Bear. And I love you with every fiber of my being. I am utterly grateful for each minute I spend with you. I am grateful for the hard lessons and the beautiful "tulips" in Holland.


Thank you for teaching me what life is really about. Perspective is a beautiful thing. Thank you for giving me the perspective I needed so desperately.

I love you SO much!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A trip to the Zoo

A few days ago we took the kids on a very spontaneous trip to the Jacksonville Zoo.

Here are a few of the images I captured from our trip:

many of you know my love for the Big Cats. Too bad they don't have my FAVORITE: tigers.
We got a chance to feed the giraffes

Lilah was very interested in the goats that decided to lay down "in" their food bowls
Check out her studying them
Animals are God's natural art. The way they move, walk, fly, swim, act, their colors...

When I go somewhere....anywhere....I try to be present about thew world God created
and I am SO blessed to be able to have been given a gift(no matter how small it may be) to see HIS creation and have (somewhat of) an "eye" to capture what He made.

We fed the birds. Eli was the luckiest. Two birds at once!

I love Sammie's face here....
And this is a CLASSIC! The girls are posing for the picture and Eli is So mad that I am taking pictures....again. Sometimes it must stink to have a Mom as a photographer. Maybe someday he will appreciate it. Maybe.
and a great one of my beautiful daughters.
Thank you, God, for my blessings.

Each one of them!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lilah HOPE walking and talking

Watch this. Did you see it?

Did you see what I see in her?
Perserverance, Determination, never-give-up mentality...

SHE encourages me to NEVER give up...on anything...anything or anyone.

If God can use her to get to me and change me to a runner...a runner who fights hard when her legs want to stop, when her brain tells her it hurts, when her mind has convinced her that she cannot go on, but her heart says , "GO! Philippians 4:13"

THEN...
Jesus can use her to get YOU to do something you are scared of to....

Keep loving, keep trying, keep on being the hands and feet of Jesus.

ALWAYS!

Love

There have been so many times that I have wondered if God was "proud" of me for the way I live my life. I have wondered, sometimes daily if I my life were to end today would I have openly shared Him and His love with others.
I ask myself this:
*was I the hands and feet to someone hurting?
*did I share my heart with someone who is lost, heading back in the dire tion of sin, or just needs me to shut up and be there while they cry it all out?
*have I loved like He would love?

At least one of these I would have to answer "no" to. I am not perfect. I "fail" in many ways each day.

That......is......ok.

For you and for me.


The difference between failing and choosing to live in sin, is that when we have the Holy Spirit in us we want to never be the old person again. We want to dig farther, deeper, harder to remove all the crud from our life so we can bask in His glory. We will fail. We are human. But, our failure doesn't give us permission to continue to live a sinful life just because we call ourselves a Christian and get baptized. True love for Christ and having Him in us means we NEVER want to be how we were. We beg others to call us out, hold us to the standards of God, and love like Christ does. Yes, we will make mistakes, but the same mistakes cannot occur everyday if Jesus lives in us. They can't because it's not possible.
When you have a relationship with Jesus(not a religion of stand, sit, kneel, look at me I'm a Christian), a pure, tell Jesus everything everyday, because He already knows, BUT you need and want Him in you, relationship....you change. How you see yourself changes. You don't see yourself as a screw up. You don't see yourself as unworthy. Nope, you see yourself as a work in Jesus. You see others as His work, too.
You forgive easier, laugh longer, love deeper, but also know when to say "NO" when tough love must be present.

2Corinthians 5:17 says that if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. The past is gone. Each day is new.

This verse shows us that we CAN be made new in Christ. It doesn't give us permission to live daily in our sin. It tells us that if we truly desire Christ to live in us, we are made new and the old, bad, awful choices are never made again because Jesus steers the ship of our lives by our heart. Our hearts are different when we really let God in. Really let Him in.
Not for show, not for anyone, or anything other than ourselves and our NEED for Him in our lives.

Not sure about you, but I need Jesus in my life...and the old me.....she died a LONG time ago.

I'm not perfect, but gratefully and very blessed....to be new in Christ today.

Much love to you all...
Katie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Facebook...

Many of you have tried to contact me and are concerned why....
I have deleted my Facebook account.

I will miss sharing and giving help to those who really need it, but there are things that have made me have to close it.

I hope that you will email if you need me and I promise to do my VERY best to update this website as I can.

Our family could use your prayers right now.

Thank you.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Truth...

I shared this morning and thought I would share here, as well...

THE reason I share what I do with people is to show my brokenness, vulnerability, and weakness. I also realize that people can take that and use it against me, judge, criticize, and attempt to hurt my heart. That is a chance I must take...in order for me to continue to share the truth about Jesus. I MUST be real. Now, I will do my best to use better discernment in certain areas, but I also am called to tell that this life is NOT perfect. This life comes with GREAT days and HORRIBLE pain. BUT, if I keep focusing on the pain ONLY I will never be able to see, feel, and understand the JOY and peace that is found in CHRIST.
HE has redeemed me from the lies I believed from a VERY young age. 7 to be exact.
Satan will do everything he can to keep me believing those lies that I am not worth it, too fat, too ugly, not strong enough, etc, act. BUT, I know the TRUTH today.
Today I know that no matter what Satan throws my way, Jesus loves me unconditionally. He died for me, and YOU. He came YEARS ago to set me free of my chains. He also knew that I would have a HARD, daily battle to let those lies go. I would be surrounded by "things" that make me believe those lies. HE has used several life experiences to bring me to my knees. He has used those life-altering moments to break me from this world and focus on HIM.
HIS truth.
HIS love.
HIS redemptive, INCREDIBLE love.

Once you truly accept Jesus in your heart you will be changed...FOREVER.

Yes, you WILL face uncertainty and pain. I will guarantee that to you, BUT what I can promise you is a relationship with a SAVIOR that will lead to JOY.
Will you have days,months, and years of hurt? yes.
BUT, you can also be free. You can know that there is LOVE. REAL love, that comes with Unfailing promises. LOVE that will set you, YOU, the prisoner free. You can be Paul in chains, real chains in prison and still be free from the burdens of guilt, shame, and fear. You can know that if you ask HIM into your heart, REALLY ask, REALLY mean it and NEED Him, that HE can fix and heal all that is so empty and lost.
THEN...
you are changed. YOU are HIS...
Beautiful, made in HIS image, nothing-can-separate-you, sins are FORGIVEN, price has been paid, DEBT is gone.
THEN your behavior changes.
Once your heart opens HIM in, you finally let the sin out.
No, I am not a stand on the corner,yell at you about going to hell type...
I am a truth-talking, Jesus FREAK...proud.
I fly THAT "freak flag" proudly!

I ask you to please click HERE . Turn your sound on. Close your eyes. Keep them closed.
LISTEN...

Let the tears fall. There is freedom in them. There is freedom hearing the words God wants you to hear. Allow HIM to fill you back up. Please listen, please allow HIM in. Please allow HIM to heal your heart. ONLY Jesus can. ONLY Him.
No drug, no pill, no person, no drink, no thing, JUST Him.

Allow this song to minister to your heart...
"You're the one He madly loves....enough to die"

It just doesn't get ANY better than THAT!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inspired


For those that have read this (now website) blog for the last few years, you have been able to (hopefully) see that I have grown.

No, not in a "hey, you got taller" or a "Katie, do you have something you would like to share" but a perspective, spiritual, closer walk with Jesus growth.


See, I understand now.

I get it.


I really do.


I understand that Lilah was given to me for a very specific purpose.

I am not quiet. Not by any means.


I am a talker, a sharer, loud, outgoing, talkative- type. Sometimes those things have landed me in some serious hot water, but other times it has gotten me what I needed.


God sent Lilah to me because He needed to teach me. He also needed to teach others. So, even though I didn't understand at first and cried out to God in pain...He knew I would one day "get it."

Go back. Go back and read this website from the beginning...if you want and/or have time. Click on the link to your right and read. (her story from the beginning) Put yourself in my shoes. Allow yourself to feel my heartache, but then after your box of tissues is empty and then you get to share in the joys with me. You will begin to see that this butterfly has begun to spread her wings and fly.

I am finally able to see so much clearer than I ever have.

I am able to love in a way that I never once was. I am able to feel how GREAT our God is without just singing a song. I weep. I weep out of gratitude and thanks. My "valleys" have allowed for some amazing mountain peeks.

I am changed because of Lilah.


God used her to get to me...to my heart. To work in me and find the source of the "lies" I had been believing for YEARS...and let them go, learn the TRUTH...and be free. I was the prisoner in CHAINS of guilt, anger, pain, fear, bitterness, and frustration.

NOT today. No way. I am armed with TRUTH.


Delilah Hope Sharp was sent here as a teacher.

Last night at Karate another Mom came and grabbed my arm as I was walking to my car. She stopped me to tell me that her daughter saw Lilah through the window in her karate outfit and said how cute she looked and she wanted to see her. She asked if Lilah was joining her brother and sisters taking class and I said, "Not yet." Then I began to tell how I really want her to take. I want her to gain confidence and learn to defend herself. I think Karate would help her so much. Well, as I spoke a few other parents stopped and listened. Then they smiled and said how great they thought it was.


I got in my car and had an "I get it. Thank you , God" moment. 3 years ago I wouldn't have spoken to strangers like that. I wouldn't have shared about miracles and God and how awesome He is.

Today, I can.


Today, I watch as a little 35 pound miracle, stands up from a sitting position on the floor and walks in karate and shines Jesus' light for all to see.
video

Her "limitations" are shining God's light and proving HIS existence more than any of our normal "abilities."

I am so proud, grateful, and in awe that I am her Mother and I get a chance to be a part of this journey. Many, many thanks to Jesus for HIS wisdom.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just having fun

THIS is what it is ALL about...

being able to "fit in" in every situation, feel "normal" and enjoy life despite your "limitations."


Did you notice the legs moving back and forth, the standing, the interaction?

Praise God for all of this. I LOVE watching my babies play together.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lilah's Listening skills

I hope that you will watch this video and really pay attention...

Most "typical" children learn to follow directions and do as they are told at a very early age. For Lilah it takes her brain longer to process what you are asking her, what you mean, how to do those skills, and more.

This was taken tonight as we came back from our walk. She did as she was told quickly.

For me, this is absolutely HUGE.

Her brain is working. She listened, knew to turn her body, where to place her hands, she SAW it, walked closer to close the door, and more.

The "thought process" that it took her to accomplish that is extensive.

See, before Lilah I would have just thought, "great! my child followed a direction." Since having Lilah and watching her work SO hard at therapy EVERY day, (yes, she has some sort of therapy daily) I now have a greater appreciation for what it takes our brains to work.

My hope is that you will all see the miracle that is Lilah and know how awesome our God is and that He does exists and He does love us so, very much.


Bumble bee

My Dad calls Lilah his Bumblebee.


My Dad and I have not always had the best relationship, but in recent years we have both grown and come to see each other very differently. You see, Christ can change us all in ways that one would NEVER understand.

Jesus has used Lilah to change us all...


My Dad told me this quote :

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.” Mary Kay Ash




Every time Lilah does something awesome my Dad will send me a text that says, "BUZZZZZ!"
Last week I came up with an idea for his birthday...
So I called a few fellow photographer friends and my sweet friend Christine who took our family photographs, has been a great friend to me, has mentored me in MANY ways, oh, and she is pregnant with TWIN miracle baby girls...agreed to come help me. Actually, Christine has been voted BEST photographer in Savannah for...oh Gosh...years now.....
Anyway, Chrissy told me she had availability that night...well, when the BEST says jump...you JUMP!
All of the images in this post are from the night that my vision came to life. MANY thanks to Chrissy for holding Lilah, taking pictures for me while I calmed Lilah down, got her to smile, dance, sing, etc
Chrissy snapped this one while I was loving on Lilah with my camera ( I probably should have sent all the raw images to her and she would have done this incredibly better)
and then the image below is what I had printed for my Dad for Lilah.... BIG. (don't worry, I sent him smaller copies of the others I couldn't decide which ones to print)
This "bumble bee" wasn't suppose to do many, many things...but by God's grace she has flown and flown and flown....
and she will keep on flying.

Jesus has given Lilah to me for me to tell of HIS greatness. He has given Lilah to me for me to help her fly. He has given her to me to mend relationships and help me see HIS love.

God thank you for sending this gorgeous Bumble Bee so I could see my Dad's heart.

Happy Birthday Dad(Poppa)...Happy Birthday.

Yes, Dad...I should have told you to get tissues first. Have fun showing off your gift at work...oh, and your welcome for allowing the ladies at work to see you cry while you opened it. I love you.
Katie

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lilah HOPE is a MIRACLE!

This short video shows so much about determination, faith and hope. Remember just a few short months ago none of this was even happening...
Thank you, God for ALL of these blessings!