When God Gives and Takes Away

It’s always seems easy to accept when God gives us beautiful things… it’s easy to accept the exciting news of a new job, a new baby on the way, a new friend, a new love. Those things are exciting to accept and something more often than not that people look forward to and dream about. When God gives, it’s easy to love him. It’s easy for the praise to flow off of our lips and from our hearts. But how easy is it to praise him when the darkness of something being taken away comes? When the taste of bitterness can still be tasted in your mouth, when your heart hurts from the crushing weight of devestation. How do you praise God when something so beautiful is taken from you too soon? 

About 6 weeks ago, our family endured the most devastating loss we have ever experienced. My brother, Christian, and his wife, Skyler, faced both beautiful and worst days of their life. Skyler, my sister-in-law was 34 weeks pregnant with their second little boy. She had been facing a very rough pregnancy all while chasing after their super cute one year old little boy Asher. On April 27,2017 Skyler’s water broke unexpectedly. Now some might not think to worry, a baby born at 34 weeks has a very good prognosis of being born completely healthy. But this was not like any normal pregnancy. Early on Skyler and my brother found out their baby had a low chance of being born with Edwards Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18. My sister-in-law decided to not go further with testing because she knew, no matter the outcome, she was going to carry her baby to term and love him beyond anything in this world. 

As her pregnancy continued, doctors warned both her and my brother that their son would most likely not survive delivery. The devestation of hearing those words are unlike any other. How does one go from the joy and excitement of finding out they are pregnant to the heartbreak of hearing their baby may not survive? Well, Skyler and Christian… they went straight to God. No hesitation, they claimed healing, they claimed joy and miracles. The beauty of their strength and faith through this walk was an amazing inspiration to so many. So many people were praying and standing with them in agreement for healing. 

So, April 27th, Skyler brought her beautiful little boy into the world via emergency c-section. Levi Josiah Clark was born at 7:56pm weighing 3lbs 6oz. He went against what the doctors said and he was born ALIVE! Doctors said he would not survive delivery, God had something else planned. He was so tiny and so beautiful. You could look at him and see the markers that indicated he did have Trisomy 18. Yet, with the certain deformities that came with Trisomy 18, he was absolutely perfect. It’s amazing, because in that moment it was like God allowed us to see how he looks at each one of us. There’s nothing that can separate his love from us. There was nothing that could separate the love each one of us had for Levi. 

We all enjoyed such beautiful moments with Levi that we will cherish forever. Although Levi was born the prayers for him did not stop. In that moment, it’s easy to question God. It’s easy to want to know why the healing we all prayed for didn’t come. Why the miracles we wanted so badly didn’t happen. In the Bible,  Isaiah 55:8-9 says; “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

It’s hard to grasp that verse when your in the midst of darkness. ‭Yet that is where the faith kicks in, for us not to lean or trust on our own understanding but to put our full trust and faith in God. 

Levi may not have gained the healing we expected, but he did gain complete healing. He took his last breath on earth and inhaled the holy presence of God the next on May 1,2017. He left this world behind in the comfort of his mommy and daddy’s arms who were surrounded by all the people who love them the most. 

Some have said we are justified to be angry at God, but how could I be angry at God when he gave us so much? 4 days may not seem like much time, and it’s really not here on earth, but each day that passes, we are one day closer to being able to spend all of eternity with Levi while we worship in the presence of the King of Kings. God allowed us each to see Levi alive, we got to hold his hand, rub his prescious baby feet, look into his tiny eyes as he peeked at us when we spoke to him. God let us experience a true miracle. He let us experience joy knowing that Levi is healed and whole, he will never suffer or know pain. Most of all, God have each of us a peace that surpasses all understanding. He brought us each closer together as a family. Relationships grew because of this sweet miracle boy. He helped strengthen our relationship with God. 

If you’re in the middle of heartbreak right now, I encourage you to lean on God. It doesn’t mean the hurt and anger of losing something or someone isn’t there, it just means that through all of it, God will be right next to you to guide you through it. His promises never fail, his words never return void. He is a Good Good Father. His peace is better than anything you can look for in worldly objects. His grace and mercy renews every morning and he will carry you through. 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭


Levi Josiah, we love you sweet boy! We will think of you everyday. We love you with all of our hearts! ❤️

You are so loved

I think one purpose God has for my life is to speak life and love into other women. I’ve always said God has such a funny sense of humor, because for one, I’ve always felt disconnected from having female friends. I was always the one that felt left out, alone, and different. I can literally count on one hand the actual true friends that I have. 

One thing I always wondered was why is “What is wrong with me God?” I always thought it was something I was doing wrong. Little did I know that God would really begin shining a huge light on what his purpose is for me this year. Now I am truly seeing that God didn’t want me to feel alone or disconnected, he wanted me to feel fulfilled by him. Yet, as I walked those paths, I’m seeing that God is using me to speak into women who have dealt with all of these things and more. 

I’m eager to fulfill this purpose, he’s opening my eyes and my heart to women, he’s already allowed me to see a glimpse of what exactly they are going through. The pain, the rejection, the beauty, the joy, the love or feelings of being unloved. My heart is aching to pray over the women he points out to me. I’m ready God. 

With that being said, to every woman, God wants you to know that He LOVES you! He SEES you! He KNOWS your needs and your wants. He waiting for you to let him in, in to the deep dark places that are hidden from everyone except you and him, the pain that you’ve buried, the guilt and shame you try to hide. He’s here to Heal and to bring Life and life more abdunately! He wants you to know, that nothing you’ve done, in the past or currently, can or will keep you away from him. He seeks to have your heart. He will purify and cleanse you! You’re future is not based off of the bad mistakes or decisions, or unwanted circumstances that you’ve made or been through! He’ll use everything bad that has happened to turn it into good. So if there one thing that you get out of this, I hope you know that God loves you! He’ll be your strength when you’re weak. He’ll love you even when you feel unlovable. He’ll be the father that you never had. He’ll heal your heart from any pain you’ve ever faced. He is a good good father! 
Blessings, 

Lexi O. 

The Night Before School

Here in Houston, School starts back up tomorrow, August 22. I know I should be running around my house in circles gathering everything up that my boys will need, yet I find myself sitting here looking through pictures reminiscing of when my boys were just babies. How does time fly by so quickly? How is it that Alex  is already going into 5th grade and Naelen-Joel  is going into 1st? It just seems like they shouldn’t be this grown already. I told my husband I’ve felt like i’ve been on the verge of tears all day long. HA!

I have been going through tons of questions in my mind for days on end now. Asking myself things like  ” Are they ready?, Have I done everything possible on my end? Have I taught them to be kind and loving to everyone they come in contact with? Have I taught them what it’s like to always be the light, to be leaders and not followers?” Oh they just keep racing through. It’s so easy as a mom to get caught up in worry and fear. We live in such a crazy world and all I want to do is protect my sweet babies (not so much babies any more).  So right now, i’m putting them in God’s hand. I know he’ll keep them and guide them through another school year.

I pray that God will protect each and every child starting school tomorrow. I pray that he will give them a passion to learn. That they will walk in wisdom and always stand for what is right. I pray they each child will walk in favor with their teachers and friends. I pray that every student including my own, will speak life over each other and be rooted in God’s love. I pray complete peace over the entire school year. And that each child will grow and enjoy this year the most!

Parents, my pastor said somethings today that I’m taking to heart, “Greatest gifts to give you children are Words of Affirmation”. Tell them they are doing great, that they are going to do great things and that you are proud of them! It will change their direction! As long as i’m alive I will continually to speak blessings and life over my children.

Have a great night everyone!

 

Blessings,

Lexi O.

God can’t bless who you pretend to be…

Recently I listened to an interview that Steven Furtick did and it completely changed my world.  So often we try to be what the world tells us we should be. I’ve realized that I too have tried to be something that the world says I should be. Why have I gotten lost in a world that’s truly lost itself? My God created me, and you the person reading this, for something much greater than what the world could think of.

God’s revealing to me that he’s fully equipped me with everything that I need in order to succeed. He’s the only one to rely on. Here I am trying to rely on myself and God is just over here like, “um, hello, I got this, I don’t need your help.” So if there’s one thing I’m sure of right now, it’s that God is in control and won’t let you down. Stop pretending to be someone you aren’t because God can’t bless that. When we stop trying to take control of every situation and allow God to move through us, life will begin to flow the way it should. Go out and be who he’s called you to be. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, God isn’t looking for perfection, he’s just looking to bless you!

Blessings,

Lexi O.

From a Mom…

I’ve been going through tons of papers and pictures tonight. Mostly to clean out old junk and sift through what’s needed and what is not. (That in itself sounds like copious amounts of fun right? ) Anyways, I found some pictures that instantly brought tears to my eyes. Thinking back to when I was a child, a new wife and a new mom. I really try to make it a point to never take being a mom for granted, it’s a beautiful gift. But i’d be lying if in between the chaos and arguing, whining and bickering I said that I don’t get caught up in it and forget to be grateful. So tonight as I look at my two sons and one daughter sit at the table eating and talking with their cousin, i can’t help but to Thank God. Getting to be blessed with being their mom is the most amazing job i’ve ever done. It’s honestly breathtaking.

Getting to watch their personalities shine through and begin to blossom into amazing individuals is so rewarding. I thank God for 3 beautiful healthy children, who have two eyes that can see, two ears that can hear, great health, two working lungs, a healthy beating heart, two legs that allows them to walk, run and jump. I honestly thank God so much.

At the same time, my heart aches for the women who long to hold a baby of their own in her arms. There’s women out there tonight praying and longing to hear just the tiniest cry. My heart aches for the mother who can’t breath because her child is going through yet another heart surgery. The mother who is going home with an empty womb and empty arms because her sweet baby left to be with Jesus too soon. Tonight I pray for you. I pray that God will give you peace, and that you will soon be blessed with all the desires of  your heart. Tonight I pray that through all the frustrations and heartache, the tears, the doctors, medical treatments and sleepless nights that God will hear your cry out to him. He’s a good good father, and he wants to give you everything. Trust in him, I promise he won’t let you down. He works everything together for his good.

Tonight I’m thankful. I’m thankful that God listens, that he blesses and he loves. Tonight, whether you are already a mom(by giving birth or adoption), waiting on your baby to be born or waiting to get pregnant, we are connected. I’m praying for you. Joy will come!

 

Blessings,

Lexi O.

2-0-1-6

Well Hello 2016! I think the last time I actually wrote a blog post was the beginning of 2015! It was my best of intentions to write more last year, and I really did write a lot, but went without posting them and ended up getting extremely busy with LIFE. That’s ok right? (hehe)

Well I’ve made many goals for this year, and tried to keep them realistic and light. One of those goals being to write more and share my heart. It’s not always perfect, but hopefully there will be things that everyone can relate to a little bit.

2015 was a good year that brought it’s ups and downs. Rene and I are looking forward to what this year will hold. I’m looking forward to continuing to guide our children to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I’m excited to continue learning how to be an amazing supporting wife, expanding and growing deeper in God’s love and wisdom together as one and individually. I’m also pretty excited to see how God will help me in growing my Real Estate Business and to see how he will use me to help touch other peoples lives.  Rene and I have talked a ton these past few days reflecting and casting vision over our family for this next year and to be honest, I think it’s going to be AMAZING!

If there is one thing that I can encourage you to do, it’s to sit down with your spouse if you are married or sit down with your self, and set goals. They don’t have to be anything crazy, but start believing for something together and start praying over it with each other. We received the same advice from amazing couples who have spoken into us, and it’s honestly the best advice. It doesn’t even have to be just during the New Year, but constantly revisit and update those goals. It allows you to see how you are growing and What God is doing in your life. It’s also a sweet bonding between you and your spouse.

Blessings,

Lexi O.

 

GOODBYE 2014, HELLO 2015!!

Hey Everyone! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I know we are seven days into the New Year, but it’s still new! HA! So it seems like 2014 went by in a flash!  We took our kids out of public school and started Homeschooling! Our sweet baby girl turned 1!! My husband was living out his dream and then that door shut right in his face (More about that in a later post titled “Dreams and Closed Doors”), We traveled to Florida to visit my family, My brother announced that him and his wife were expecting their first baby, My husband started working on his own CD.. It was an all around great year, with many ups and  a few downs. God has been beyond faithful and we couldn’t be more thankful!

In the midst of it all, I think I really started to lose myself. All I began to think was, so God put all these desires in my heart just for me to be a stay-at-home mom who Homeschools!? And that’s when self-pity began to sink in. I was always feeling down! I was down about not having many friends, I was down about not being in school pursuing what I wanted… I was actually being pretty selfish in the way I was thinking. Yes I was doing an amazing thing to build my kids up and I didn’t regret that, but I didn’t see the true value in it. I just saw the sacrificing it was taking. And to top it all off, my Kindergartener and Third Grader didn’t appreciate the sacrifice I was making (what kids actually do in the beginning?) for them and just kept asking when I could sign them back up for public school. What a great booster!? HA.  It often crossed my mind that the best thing to do was place them back in school.

WHAT A LIE TO BELIEVE! I look at my kids and all that they are learning here at home with me and Rene and think how could I ever want to send them back? It’s been the greatest time with my kids! I have even learned so much more about them! So before the year was over, I truly turned around and began to seek God on what exactly he was doing in my life and what  he was calling me to do. Come to find out, I’m right where he wants me to be. I’m raising up the next generation! I’m filling them up with the word of God and inputting tons of knowledge so that they can help be a better change in this world.

I of all people know how hard it is to lose yourself in the craziness of being married and raising kids at a young age. Trying to find yourself again can be tough, but if you seek The One who Created you, finding out who you truly are in Him will be a lot easier than trying to do it on your own.

I’m all about finding scripture that can help with where I am in a season of life, so this is my scripture for you.

“The Steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when he delights in his ways [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. -Psalm 37:23-24(AMP)

This scripture has helped me so much knowing that God has directed my steps and  He is the one that supports me. I’m so glad I know that I am right where God has directed me to be. If you are going through something close to what I have been going through, I would love to pray for you. Send me a comment or an email with details or no details and I will surely lift you up to our mighty God.

Blessings,

Lexi O