Boys Second!

I forgot to post pics of Boy Wonder’s second birthday, ooops..!

For his birthday i wanted it to be very chill, no pressure to make him nap, cause he wouldn’t and no pressure to have a bunch of his friends over since he would end up playing with one anyways, or fighting them… ;)

SO we put balloons in his room to wake up to and in the living room to play with (Cars ones of course ) and then we just had a normal morning. After his nap we took his best friend Eden to a very large Farmstead/Petting Zoo, Deanna Rose. Of course Eden was PUMPED to go and Bode had no idea where we were going. So we loaded up the kids, Anne loaded up hers and off we went! As a responsible parent i made sure to bring my camera, with only about 1/4 battery life left.. :/ But it was a blast, the kids had so much fun just playing and holding hands most of the time. They even went running off to the chapel!! ;)

*side note I have never been to a petting zoo before…. So I thought it would be a blast to go IN the little goats pen and feed them with the kids.. Dan nodded and said “Well you can go ahead..” The second I got in there I was swarmed and jumped on and pinned against the fence by this bigger goat! AH, my camera slammed against the posts, and boy was hitting them saying “top it, top it, stop it”, and “no no no”…so cute, and scary… Lesson learned…

So this is what we did….Some are camera and some are top notch iphone ;)

We fed the fish…Massive gold fish


Captivating

Today I was doing dishes and cooking and decided it was time to light a candle.

As I made my way to the table with the lighter I decided to light it and let Els see the flame and see what her reaction would be. As I lit it she was instantly consumed, not breaking eye contact and captivated. I kinda giggled to myself suprised at her reaction and went along my way. She watched the candle on the table for a long time and would keep going back to it from time to time. I told her that Jesus’ eyes looked like that…..

As I thought about it later I couldn’t help but think,

Is it any surprise that humans are captivated by fire? How we can sit around the fire for hours just gazing into the flicker? Isn’t it amazing how we can watch the ocean ebb and flow for hours and yet its never the same tide? Or how relaxing the sea breeze is to the soul? We are captivated by beauty. By creation. By Him.

The things in creation that I can think of that trump beauty and are nothing short of breath taking, are the thing made to stand out and show who He is, what He’s like.The ocean and its vastness, and mountains and their majesty, the expanse of space holding each star and constellation, the wind’s whisper, the sunset as its painted across the sky, the array of emotions or the intricacy of the human heart, the consuming flames of a fire, the delicacy of a flower, the colors of a rainbow, the flash of lighting and the boom of its thunder. And to think thats only describing Him?!

I was talking with a friend just the other day about thinking about the Lord as ‘everlasting’ was hard for me. He is just so great and eternal, yet never changing, never decreasing, and never growing. He just IS. The Holy Spirit broke in with that still small voice and said,

I am like the seasons Ash. Always new and fresh. Yet always a new year and New season, but still the same. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.

I dont think I need to expound there.. ;) He tends to layman’s it for me, yet it seems so profound.

Then it kinda struck me. Watching Elsie be utterly and completely captivated by the flame, I want to be like that. She was so captivated and still, yet she was scared. But never once did she break eye contact. Her eyes were fixated on it, no matter how long or how many times I did it, she stared just like it was the first time. There was once where she actually slowly and uneasily put her hand out to try and touch it and boy scared her. It was so precious (on my track of mind) to see her reach out but yet when she got scared she pulled her hand away and just stared.

I want to be captivated with Jesus like that every time he crosses my mind like it was the first. To behold the holy, fierce, loving God, looking back at me for my gaze, for my captivation, my fear, and my love, for my undivided attention. I want to behold Him like its all so new. I want Him to be my soul captivation, just like a child. I want it to be my prayer day in and day out.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God {Jesus} like a little child will never enter it.”

Eternity Speaking- Misty Edwards

While we were on our trip across America for the two wedding this last two weeks we had our old ipods going and this quick blip of Misty’s come on. Its a 14 minute blip to music. If any of you have ever heard Misty preach, she preaches with such passion its hard not to listen and take in every word. She is INTENSE!

It is a quick teaching/yelling to music that holds so dear to my heart. I listened to this everyday faithfully at work or driving for almost a year. it got me through so much and kept my eyes straight, and not grasping after the wind. I though of how wonderful it had been to me in the past and i wanted to share it.  I would completely recommend listening to one of her sermons. She speaks my language. Here is a link to a few of her own teachings.
http://www.mistyedwards.com/ 

I hope it speaks to you like it had for me :)

Here is the link to THIS actual sermon as she says it, i hope I got it right, but i do have two kiddos and a husband so……….. You can listen as you read mine or whatever you prefer.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=K6GLPNNX 

Eternity Speaking

We use words like friend of God, or we use words like experience God, and I don’t think we really know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a Being, a vast uncontainable, undefinable, outside if time, Being. That we so flippantly talk about called God. Before time began He was, this vast expanse, I mean you cant get outside of Him. You could go to the very edge of the edge of the edge and still God is there.

He is Undefinable, He is.

And this is eternal life to know this Being. And the knowledge of God leads to the love of God. And Jesus said it, He says, “If you know Me and if you abide in Me, you will love.” And this is a generation who will have visions, and visitations and will see things that no other generation has ever seen, but at the end of the day, Did you learn to love? Did you learn to Love? At the end of the day when its all said and done and you are just a naked human soul before the throne of God, Did you learn to Love?

Life is a Vapor.
For real.
Life is a vapor, and you are not of this world.
For real.

Its not just a nice song, its not just a nice thought, its not an escapism just to kinda get out of responsibility, its a reality. You are not of this world. You are going to die in about 50 years, for real, maybe sooner at best. Life is a vapor. You are going to die, sooner then you think. You are going to face the uncreated One, in your barrenness, in your raw self, you are going to face the uncreated One.

All flesh is grass fading away.
Only You last only You remain.

But what you do in this age with your heart response in love is the only thing, the only thing, the only thing that matters. In the truest sense of the word. Why are you here? To choose love. You are made for the uncreated One. And the one thing He wants from you is your voluntary love. He wants you to stand without offense, and He wants you to stand in the knowledge of Him, in voluntary love. And one of the number one ways that voluntary love is expressed is through pouring out your life for your brothers and your sisters. It is a violent, a Violent reaction when you go against the current of the age,and you say, “I will not live for myself, I will not live pursuing my own way, I will not built my own kingdom, I will not go my own way, but I will choose to go low, in humility. I will serve my brother, I will serve my sister, I will lift them up making them greater then I. Knowing in the age to come I am storing up riches, upon riches, upon riches, which in just a moment I will see.

It is a violent thing to stand in an age of lovelessness. It is a violent thing to stand in love, before the uncreated One and say, “I want to love you with all my heart, You who I cant not see.

May my life scream transcendence.

There is a God, and he has a Son. And His affections are on me. And the expressions of those affections in this darkened word is my life poured out. The reason why the greatest expression of Love in this age is servant hood is because He is a Servant. You want the knowledge of God become as He is. Look at Him and then do what He does. You will be flooded with the knowledge of God. If you want the kingdom of Heaven, you want the power encounters that your looking for, that Im looking for, we want this realm of eternity, become a servant of all. It is the surest and the only way to the knowledge of God. Because He is a servant. That is His very nature, He comes and He gets under the people. He comes just like he did the first time, He is a servant, Yes He is a great King.

He is a great king who serves.

If you want the knowledge of God and you want the supernatural encounters, dreams and visions and healings and encounter. Dive deep into the love of God, and express it through loving your brother.  And you will be flooded with the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God always leads to Love. Always. Because He is Love.

If you know Him, He goes, “How can you say you love God, but you hate your brother? Your a liar and there is no truth in you.” And do you know what it means to hate your brother? It doesn’t mean to only say I hate them and be frusterated. Thats not the only thing that hate means. Hate means jealously, contention, strife. Those kind of things are birthed in a hate for your brother. Those are the kind of things that lead Cain to kill Able. It was the jealously, contention and the strife that created a hate in his heart. If you embrace hate you become like the enemy.

How many of you have read Matthew 5, 6, and 7Sermon on the Mount, Christianity 101, He says turn the other cheek, He says love your neighbor, this is the way of the Kingdom. Yes we are going to do great exploits, yes we are a generation who will stand in a warring spirit, yes we are a generation who will lay hold of the things of God but how will we do it? We will do it though the power of passion, through the power of love. It is violent.

There is a great equalizer called eternity and it doesn’t matter what sphere you might have or what hand you’ve been dealt so to speak. It doesnt matter what your circumstance is, if you have a horrible home life, and you have all of these issues that your trying to work through, nobody’s mentoring you. Nobody’s going to bring you to the fullness of who you are. You have all these thing coming against you, and nobody’s really there to help you, those things are not going to limit you from being great in eternity. Your going to die any minute anyway, you may not have a great sphere in this life, you might and you might not, it doesn’t really matter but if you don’t you can be eternally, eternally, eternally wealthy, eternally great.

There is an invitation that the Lord wants to give you in this hour. To set your heart on a pilgrimage, not of this world. Set your heart on a pilgrimage to be great in eternity. You are going to be there in just a moment, you are going to be there in just a moment. And what you have done in love and service is what is going to stand in that day.

Give yourself to the heart of God.

With a violence, give yourself to the love of God, and to loving your brother and your sister and I promise you in just a moment when we step over that line, and we stand in eternity, your wisdom will be justified. Your wisdom will be justified. It is the only thing that stands, it is the only thing. Its what is done under the sun that is vain, when you do things as an end in themselves, they end.

The only things that remains is what I do before the uncreated one.

Are we a people who are willing to give everything to the fasted lifestyle to Christianity? Theres no other way to be a christian. Its Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Jesus himself said it, theres not an alternative way its not only reserved for a few. Now what it looks like may look different for different people. Its not an option, if you want to live as a Christian in your generation and you want to make a difference and you want to make and impact Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is the only way. Its servant hood and its love, because He is love and humility is His nature.

You want the knowledge of God, then embrace His nature, embrace who He is. He said, “This is how you know that I am in you and you are in Me, this is how you know. If you abide in Me and I abide in you, you will ask what you want and it will come to pass.” But how do you know if you are in Him? If you do His command. And do you know what His command is? LOVE. And I think that the Lord is saying to this generation, “Die to yourself, DIE to yourself, that He could live.” Die to yourself and you are having a ministry.

Your ministry is to lay down your Life.
Your ministry is to not live of this world.

You want to be an apostle, you want to be a prophet, you want to be a great man or woman of faith lay down your life. lay.down.your.life Die to yourself daily, pick up your cross and follow Him. Die to yourself through desire, through desire and you will find a romance that will be awakening your heart. You were made to live with something to die for. You were made to live for somebody else. Its like romance, its like giving yourself to someone else. Its living totally other than.

There is a passion living inside of the human soul. I think its even unique in this generation. We want something to live for, to fight for, something to die for. This is it… lay down your life, lay down your life, lay down your life, and you will enter into such a divine romance, you will enter into the power of God like you have not known. But only when He can trust you. When He can trust you is when you are walking in true humility. When we are walking as He walked in this life, not of this world. My heart is set on a pilgrimage. Not clinging to things, not grasping after the wind, not of this world. Walking steadfast day by day by day, abiding in love doing what He has commanded. Living an expression of His heart in this age.

My ultimate destiny is to become one with the uncreated one.
My ultimate destiny is to marry the Lamb.

And I want to be equally yoked in that day. I want to be equally yolked in love. And to be equally yolked in love I must be as He is. Holy as He is, not of this world, not given to jealousies, and contentions and things that weigh us down. Not the lust of the age, not of this world. Its all fading away anyway. Its all fading away anyway. Its all fading away. Its just a grasping after the wind, all of it. The only thing that remains is the heart that lays in emotion of the knowledge of God, that heart that lays in servant hood, that heart that lays in love for the uncreated one. This will remain. This is wisdom, the days are short, the days are very, very, very, short. Not only are you going ot die in a minute, but its the end of the age. The days are very short. And he wants friends in this hour. He wants friends of the bridegroom, for real.  He wants apostles, He wants prophets, and He wants people He can intrust Himself to. Who will not cling to the people, who will not who will not take his own sheaths and build his own kingdoms. He want shepards after his own heart.

His heart is a heart of a servant. His heart is the heart of a lover.  You want to be a shepard after His own heart, do you want to stand in the councils of God and hear what is going on, The emotions between Jesus and God and Holy Spirit. You want to be a friend of the bridegroom, do you want to be a radical forerunner at the end of the age?

Love and love well
Serve and serve with all of your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength.
Go low in humility, and He will lift you up
Your wisdom will be justified

This is all that remains, this is all that reamins. Every time you say, “yes” you are reclothing your inner man and you are living from a different age. When you say, “I choose love, I will not take vengeance, I will not take revenge, I will not be jealous, I will not live according to my flesh. I choose love.” You are working that muscle and you will be strong in that day, and you will be strong in this day. Thats the only thing that remains.

Fill us with the knowledge of you oh God, fill us with the knowledge of you. teach us the simple way, show us how to serve our brothers and sisters, teach us the way of greatness. Lord I ask that You would do what only You can do, and You would let a clear sound of the frailty of life and what is coming in eternity, would You write it on our hearts oh God. Write eternity upon our hearts, Write eternity upon our hearts, Write eternity upon our hearts. That we would live for the age to come, that we would not be of this world, that we would not be weighed down by the jealousies, contentions, the strife, the lust of this age. God I ask that you would invade this generation with the knowledge of You.

That Awkward Moment When

I had a few people ask me to blog my dental mishap. So heres the story. :)

A few weeks ago I had finally scheduled a dentist appointment which has been long in the making. By long i mean like eight or nine years in the making. Yeah thats how I roll. Anyways..

So i schedule my appointment get it for the afternoon, 1pm to be exact. I stress all weekend at what could possibly be going on in my mouth. I eat lunch and get a call from a frazzled secretary asking me if i was still coming. I respond with;

Ash: “Uh, yes of course. I’ll see you in an hour, its only noon.”

Secretary: “No, its ten after one, you need to get here now. Where are you?”

Ash: “Wait? What no its 12 Im looking at all my clocks. Someone messed with your time.”  (Yes i did argue with the lady, since i was clearly NOT in the wrong)

Secretary: “Ma’am Your late, how quickly can you get here?”

Ash: “Ok, ok, i can be there in twenty”

Lots of whispering and talking to the others in the office….

Secretary: “That will be fine, see you then. Just hurry”

SO i go darting out of the house with just a measly Listerine rinse, (pre dentist appointment 101 fail) completely confused and harshly joking to myself how kansas must be in a different time zone since it was only NOON. After driving for about ten i start thinking about how crazy the whole situation is, and call Dan to reassure myself of the time.  I know that Kansas area code is 913, and the number i had called and recieved was not to my knowledge, a 913 number. WEIRD

So i call the office again….Im sure they thought i was completely crazy by now.

Secretary: “Hello?”

Ash: “Hi, this is Ashton Shjandemaar, we just talked?”

Secretary: (sigh) “Yes?”

Ash: “I just wanted to make sure where your located. Um, your in Kansas City, Kansas right?”

Secretary: “Yes, Yes, are you coming?”

Ash: “Yes, but your on Kansas City, KANSAS right?”

Secretary: “Ye…wait where?”

*awkward pause as i repeat my question

Secretary: “OH HUNNY, you are not going to make it in twenty minutes!”
*Laughing
“We’re not in Kansas City, we’re in Ontario, Canada!!”

Ash: “……….haha………?”
By this time things were making sense, (how on earth did i manage this?)   “Wow, ok i thought something was weird here! I dont know how i managed that!!??”

*both laughing at this point

Secretary: “Well that makes the time change make sense! Sorry Dear, but you did make my day! Bye”

Wow, seriously CANADA!? I honestly dont know how i did that. I must have just googled the name and clicked the first sight, but it said Overland Park, Kansas.. Weird.

Well I made someones day, and had enough laughs for a year! Dan of course will never let me live it down. He even tweeted about it! It actually made my day! Dan: “that awkward moment when you have to be in Canada in twenty minutes” Thats for the support, babe ;)

Well theres your story. haha The scattered mind of a momma!

On a side note i did make it to the place i thought i made the appointment at and told the lady the story, and she didnt even crack a smile. Wow really? I even thought it was funny! So they were able to get me…….. dang it……..

Not being to the dentist in 8 years and having two babies in under two years really kills your teeth. And bad teeth run in my family. SO your paryers are welcomed! :)

Ash

LIFE

We had a little fun today in the yard, and even did a little praying! ;)

Jesus,
I plead your blood over my sins
and the sins of my nation.
God, end abortion and
send revival to America.
Amen

The Days to Follow, NICU


I want to let you all know about the birth and the days to follow of Els. Not in huge detail, because there is just no way to describe most of it.

Im not going to go into all the details of birth. But I was admitted on Tursday night, and and had her on Friday afternoon. I did have another epidural after going the night, so i was to call when i felt ‘pressure’. I was dilated to a three for over a month and was till at a three. Within 30 minutes after breaking my water i was HOLDING her in and yelling at Dan to go search the halls for a nurse. There was no time to be polite and call! I gave two pushes and she was out in my arms. No tears, no burns, not anything! the Lord was sooo good.

She was 6 pounds 13 ounces, and 20 1/2 inches long. Absolutely PERFECT, so small, and joyful. Her name fit her so well.

See how nice she was, not screaming. (probably b/c she couldn't breath) but happy :)

 

  
T
This first picture is when she was in the nursery before they transferred her
And the second once she arrived at Childrens Mercy

PS…
See this nastiness!? I looked like i weighted at least 400 pounds!

She fell asleep in my arms for about thirty minutes. Once they started to clean her up they decided to take her to the nursery and watch her.

My mom arrived around that time, and the doctor came back in to have a ‘sit down’ talk with me. I think my heart literally stopped beating. He was concerned with her breathing and heart. He told me that there was alot of muffled noise in her chest and they couldn’t tell alot at this point. They were considering  a heart murmur and multiple other things. He said if she wasnt improving in the next bit they were going to ship her down town to Children’s Mercy.

I was blacking out and the room was spinning. Once he left, I had to clear my mind. I had my mom call Dan, (who took his sister home) and let him know what was going on, while i stumbled to the shower my legs still numb.

I went to see her in the nursery as they were about to load her up and take her away. I got to talk to her, and hold her little hands. It was the hardest ting to do, she breathing was so deep and she was struggling so hard just to get one breath. The people came and loaded and buckled her into a incubator, and i had to watch these people take my daughter away.

The words were gone. What can you possibly say to them? Say to your baby? My mom took a nurses chair and was verging on passing out, i finally let out my tears, with the last gasp of air before they went down the hall i said,

“Drive safe” thats all i could say, get her there safe, make it there. Take her like she was their own, and drive safe. Im trusting you….

I went back to my room and cried. I had to wait to see her. I only held her once, and i was stuck away from her. My mom stayed with me that night, which was such a blessing. I was so upset and was feeling a disconnect with her already. I was starting to withdraw myself, but pulled through to the next day.  Dan spent the night up with Elsie, you aren’t able to sleep at all at the NICU in the rooms so he stayed awake talking to her and reading his word aloud to her.

I was let go way to early so i could go be with my baby. I was swollen the size of Texas, from my hips down. I literally had huge kankles, it was gross.

The next nine days were a world in and of them its self. I dont think i have ever been so weak, and at my lowest. To leave one child and go to the other was heart wrenching. And since we were not able to sleep at the hospital at all we had to leave at night. The absolute hardest part of all the experience was to pull out of the parking lot and look at the building and know your baby was there, by herself. There just aren’t words to tell you the pain and helplessness you have as a parent.

I know i would never be able to explain the feelings accurately, so i will spare myself having to go back and you more reading!  SO here are some pictures to sum up those ten days. Some of her journey to health.

I am only posting a few, of our camera pictures. Most of the pictures we took were on my iphone, and i just do not have the time to go though all of them. Im also not editing or making them fun on the page…. just deal… ;)

She was diagnosed with bad pneumonia, and her chest was full of fluid. Thus her troubles breathing, and her heart rate.

This was once she was at Children's Mercy, and hooked up to her antibiotics and oxygen

This was my second time holding Elsie, the first time when she was all hooked up. 2 days old

SO little. Grandma holding her!

Our first time doing skin on skin.

<3 (absolutely exhausted)

She did three days of Bili lights.

Daddy and his little girl

She didnt like to be talked to while she was under the lights since she couldnt see. :(

Her first bath we gave her. A little stressful with all the cords and iv’s.

All clean

This was her first time eating!!! It was around day five or six after she was born. On about day three she got a nutirents iv to help her :)

This was Little Elsie’s room and bed. All of her equipment and IV’s were on the stand and her oxygen was around the back.
  
This was once she was off her oxygen the day before we went home. She was finally acting like a happy normal baby!