Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Come To Me

When you are hurting,                                          COME TO ME and
I will bind your wounds.
When you need to assured,
I will give you My embrace.
When you can no longer go on,
I will carry you.
When you need comfort,
I will wipe your tears.
When you are uncertain
of my Love, COME TO ME
and I will speak
my heart to you.
Always remember that
in your need
you are coming to the One
who came for you.

By: Roy Lessin

This is a poem that I saw hanging in my inlaws office at their house several months ago but I never really paid attention to it.  Then several weeks ago I was checking my email and I looked to my right and I could see the picture of Jesus holding a  baby lamb.  I was so moved and I thought to myself "Wow, I am that baby lamb!"  I have never crawled in Jesus's arms so much in the past 2 years. 

This poem also reminded me of our son's Andy and Lincoln.  There is not a day that goes by that Charlie and I don't hear the words from our boys "Hold me Mommy or Hold me Daddy."  Of course we drop whatever it is that we are doing and we hold our precious babies.  I just soak up the way they look at me and the way they are so dependent on me.  This is how I started feeling when I would cry out to Jesus, "Hold me."  There have been so many times that I run and jump into God's word and it feels as if I am being craddled in the loving arms of my Redeemer, my Saviour, my Heavenly Father. 

Come to me when you are hurting:  Are you hurting or have you been hurt by someone you love?  I have been on both sides of this question.  In my past I have said hurtful things to people that I wish I could take back, but the damage is done.  I have also been the one who has experienced the hurtful words or actions from someone.  At times like these I would have anger, frustration and even wish bad on those I hurt or who hurt me.  How silly and immature.  I think about these times and I am so ashamed of myself the way I reacted.  I have been shown unconditional love by Jesus over and over and over again yet I didn't want to show this kind of love to others.  Then convictions came.  God really worked on me and my heart with this scripture:   Mark 11:25  "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop, in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your failings and shortcomings and let them drop."

When you need to be assured come to me and I will give you embrace:  I am doing this as I write today.  I  have been second guessing myself and if this blog was something that God had really laid on my heart.  I have turned to Charlie over and over and told him "I don't know what to say.  Can you help me?"  Charlie would encourage me to just start writing about what God has done in me.  He also would tell me to pray and ask God what it is that He wants me to share.  Again this is the scripture he gave me about being assured in Him:  Isaiah 49: 14-16 "I will never forget you.  See, upon the palms of my hands I have written you name."  Wow, God was not literally sitting in front of me saying "Lacy, this is what I want from you."  He was speaking to me through His word.  I encourage you pick your Bible up and read.  He will reveal Himself in a mighty way.

When you can no longer go on, come to me and I will carry you:  I have had this feeling so many times of "I cant go on, or I can't do this anymore."  In my past I would just give up and want to roll around in my self pitty.  I remeber thinking "What did I do wrong?  Why is this happen to me?  Is God mad at me?"  I was so focused on "Me"  that I was blind.  I couldn't see that God wants to use my hurts or tiredness for His Glory if I allowed Him too.  Again once I started searching scripture God opened my eyes to:  2 Corinthians 9:8, we're told, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."  I learned that God is able to make all things right.  No matter how hopeless I feel somtimes I know that God can take my situation and turn it into Grace.

When you need comfort, come to me and I will wipe away your tears:  I need comfort on a daily basis in this world.  We are Satan's playground and he loves nothing more than to make me and you feel insecure about ourselves or the good things that are happen in our lives.  I shared this in one of my other blogs and Charlie had this scripture engraved on my Bible cover so that I see it on a daily basis.  I lean on this one:  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

When you are uncertain of My love, come to me and I will speak My heart to you:  Have you ever felt like God didn't love you or that you were so far gone that God wouldn't want a sinner like you?  I shared in a past blog about some choices I had made several years ago that were not healthy for me or my family.  I began to slip away from God and His plans for my life.  I was so focused on Lacy and what made me "happy"  that I was losing sight of God and His purpose.  I was quickly being devoured by Satan's lies "God doesn't love you.  How could he?"  I began to panic and I was so scared but once again I opend my Bible and 1 John 4:8 "...God is Love." and John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." 

My prayer for each who read this blog is for you to run into your Heavenly Father's arms.  He loves you yesterday, today and forever!  Praise Him!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lead Me

Today's blog is not easy for me.  I have never had to write something like what I am about to share with you.  God has worked in my life in a powerful way these last 2 years and I believe he wants me to share with you how he took me from being shattered into a million pieces to a women of God.  The purpose is for you to understand that no matter where you are right now as you read this blog, God loves you with a unconditional, supernatural forgiveness.  God's forgiveness happens daily and forever.  You can never be too bad or so far gone to climb into his arms and embrace his mercy and grace. 

Charlie and I have been together now for over 10 years and married for almost 9 years.  When we got  married I just knew we would have the "perfect" marriage.  We had our normal weekly date night and always put each other first.  Then we started our family and we both had different priorities, our kidos.  Not only did we have kids, we also owned our own business.  We have both always loved athletics, health and fitness so we opened a gym.  For the first 1 1/2 it was smooth and business was booming.  We built it and people came.  We were the new business in town and everyone wanted to work for us and workout at our gym.  We became so consumed with our members and building the business, then we had our children to take care of and our finances to juggle.  We began to lose track of each other.  We by no means had a bad marriage but it got to the point where we let everything around us consume us instead of keeping our focus on each other and God.  This is so easy to do when you are playing Church and God, just going through the motions.

 We went  to Church on Wednesday nights and on Sunday mornings, because that is what you did.  We appeared to have it all together.  "The Parish's" had the perfect life looking from the outside in.  Inside me as a wife I knew deep down that God would not tolerate us taking advantage of Him or His bride, the Church.  But, yet I continued down the slippery road.  For a while I began to crave attention from Charlie and I noticed that we were not each others focus.  He was busy running the business and making money and I  had to take care of the kids and juggle the business and personal finances.  I also began to pursue fitness modeling and acting jobs.  I became so into Lacy, how vane and lonley.  I had several opportunities with being a double in movies and I took them.  My focus was not on my kids who needed me or my husband who was too busy to spend quality time with me.  I again craved and wanted to be noticed again by Charlie and I wanted him to lead me.

 I was on a road of self distruction and heartache.  It felt like I was crying out inside "save me, love me, help me, lead me!"  But, Charlie couldn't hear me.  We were Satan's playground and were to blind to see.  1 Peter 5:8 "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  We were becoming Satan's dinner.  He knows we are both children of God and he wants nothing more than to bring us down with him and destroy our family, our children. 

Several months pasted by and although we didnt see it, I was drifting farther from God..   I was being pulled away by The Prince of this World (Satan) and in the mean time I didn't realize God was working on Charlie and his heart.  Charlie was being transformed into the Man of God he was suppose to be, the leader I dreamed of.  I began to notice the way he would look at me and the way he played with our boys, the way he was reading his Bible (something I had not seen in a long time).  He was so different, he had a new heart, he was a new creation.  2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 

But, I was so involved in Lacy that I was blinded and was being tied up with chains of shame.  I could see the change in my husband but I felt so far away from him and God.  I knew something was different about my heart when someone would use my Lord's name in vane and it didn't make me sick to my stomach anymore.  I was empty inside, my heart was black. 

Quickly Charlie began to fight for me. 

He saw that it was way more serious than Lacy has lost her focus, it was there is a spiritual battle going on inside her.  Charlie knew that I was saved years ago when were dating because he was the one who had led me to Christ, but he also saw that Satan had sunk his teeth into me.  Charlie began to pray for me all the time and he would even pray with me but I was numb.  I felt like I was being strangled and that I was so far gone that God wouldn't want a sinner like me.  Every negative thought that you can think of was being poured into me by Satan.  He had me and was fighting hard to pull me into the pit of hell with him.

 I remember wanting to pray and cry out to Jesus but the words couldn't come out.  My mouth was zip tied.  I would cry a lot to Charlie and tell him "I want what you have.  I want to know Jesus again.  I want to be washed clean and start over."  He would encourage me to pray and he would hold me as I tried but again no words could get out.  My heart was going to explode wanting to be full of Jesus.  Then it happened, it was May 6, 2009.  We had just woke up one morning and I was crying as we sat in our bed.  I was so tired of being a victim and I wanted victory.  I closed my eyes and held Charlie's hands and the words came to me. I asked Jesus to come back into my heart and make me new again.  The way I felt at that moment was supernatural and only Jesus could give me that.  I was being washed clean by the blood of Jesus while in my husbands arms.  WOW, what a powerful and unforgetable moment. 

About 2 weeks later, Charlie and I took a trip to Destin, Fl to get away.  Our boys were with grandparents and it was a much needed trip for us. 

While on vacation, I got a text one morning at 5 am.  I remember thinking "who on earth is texting me and it better be good!"  I grabbed my cell and it was Charlie.  I looked next to me in bed and he was gone.  The text read "go down stairs."  I was still confused and shocked because Charlie Parish never gets up at 5am especially not on vacation. 

So, I got up and walked down stairs.  At the dinner table were 3 candles and my Bible opened up to the story where Jesus washed the disciples feet.  A note was attached to the story that said "Read me!"  I had heard the story many times growing up and so I read it again.  But when I read it this time I understood it.  In so many words Peter told Jesus you cant wash my feet because you are my God and in Peter's mind he didn't want Jesus to demean himself and serve a unclean man.   Then Jesus told Peter basically if I dont wash your feet you can't walk with me, so Peter said wash my whole body.  Next to my Bible was another note from Charlie that said come to the beach.  I went right away.

 As I am walking down the steps to the beach I see the most beautiful sun rise and rose peddles cover the beach for several yards.  I see a blanket with Charlie and lots of wonderful food (donuts and fruit).  I was so excited and it was so romantic.  He had me flustered and giddy inside.  I sat next to him and he told me how much he loved me and how he would never let our family fall away from God and that he was going to lead me and our boys by God's law.  I began to cry and I could see Jesus's love pouring out of Charlie.

 Then Charlie got up and walked over to me and kneeled down infront of me and he had a bowl full of warm water and a wash cloth. 

He began to wash my feet. 

Talk about crying, I was sobbing and couldn't control myself.  He told me Jesus had laid it on his heart to have me read the story in my Bible about Jesus washing the disciples feet and then he wanted Charlie to wash mine.  Once again I got to experience God's power and love poured out on me.

Wait, it gets better. 

After he washed my feet he asked me to dig in the sand.  I did as I was asked.  I found a box and as I am opening Charlie kneels down infront of me.  I look into the box and it is a beautiful diamond cross ring.  I look up and he takes my hands and asked me to marry him again with Christ as the head of our marriage.  Again, tears are pouring out of me like a faucet.  Of course I said "YES!!!"  He told me that he wanted me to wear this ring and when I look at it think of Jesus's love for me and of his love for me.  I experience Jesus's unconditional love and my husbands unconditional love.

I share this story openly as a testimony to prove what Jesus said in the book of Revelations..."Behold I make all things new!" Think about when you first got married, if you are married.  Do you remember your vows and what they mean?  I am being honest when I say "No, I don't remember!"  That day was a blur to me.  I just wanted to be married and on my honeymoon. So, we decided that we would renew our vows on our 10 year anniversary which is still 1 year away.  We will do them on the beach at sun rise infront of our Savior and the head of our marriage, Jesus.  Our parents, siblings, and children will be there.  We want our 4 boys to see Mommy and Daddy renew our vows and for them to understand how much we love each other and that marriage is forever. 

I would strongly reccomend the washing of your spouse feet and making Christ the very center of your marriage. Jesus can fill your marriage with a love that is stronger than anything on this earth. Ecclesiastes 4:12: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  We had this verse engraved in our wedding bands. 

Through this last 2 years of growth in Jesus Christ he has Blessed us beyond what we deserve.  As most of  you know we are expecting twin boys, Abel and Luke.  We are so excited about these 2 little miracles and raising 4 Godly men.  And one other  surprise is God has called Charlie into the ministry.  This was something I never would have guessed in a million years.  He is following God, and He is leading our family.  And it is my lifes ambition to be the wife described in Proverbs 31.  It is amazing what God will do with you when you are totally sold out to Him and His purpose for your life.  Below is a video that means the world to me and I hope you enjoy it.  Listen close to the words. 

God Bless!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Carrying 2 Is Easier Than 1

First of all I want to say Thank you to everyone who has started reading our family blog.  I am no writer but I do enjoy sharing our family adventures with you.

Today's blog is all about the pregnancies I have been Blessed to carry.  They are all similar yet different.  I have decided that carrying 2 babies (Abel and Luke) has been easier for me than my single pregnancies with Andy and Lincoln. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Andy we were shocked, excited, scared and all the other emotions you feel with your first.  I suffered from severe headaches for the first 15 weeks or so.  I never had nausea or vomiting but my head wanted to explode all the time.  There is not a whole lot Doctor's can do in the early stages of pregnancy except tell you to take tylenol and rest.  That was very frustrating.  Then the middle of the pregnancy was a breeze.  I was sleeping great and going 90 to nothing.  Work was good and I felt like I had tons of energy.  At about 25 weeks I started with contractions and slowly started noticing I would have tons of pressure in my tummy.  Not long after about a week past and I went to Doctor and discovered I was in pre-term labor.  Talk about freaked out and panic mode set in.  I had to stop work and do nothing but eat and rest.  I must admit it was nice being at home and reading my books and just taking care of the house and Charlie.  I had to be put on meds to control my contractions.  At about 33 weeks I had a really starnge episode where my body just wanted to give up.  I ended up in the hospital and was in and out of it a lot.  I remember Charlie being very scared and praying over me everyday.  Come to find out I was having some allergic reactions to several meds that my body had started to reject.  I had Andy 1 week later the day I turned 34 weeks.  He was a perfect 5 pounds and 11 ounces. 

Another 2 1/2 years passed before Lincoln made his grand entrance into this world.  This pregnancy again was a lot like Andy in the fact of headaches and being tired at the start.  It was different as far as me taking it easy because I had had 2 miscarriages prior to getting preggy with Lincoln so I toned it down a bit  and for me that is very difficult but I wanted this baby more than anything.  At the time it was hard for Andy to understand why Mommy couldn't wrestle or pick him up like I had been doing since he arrived.  It broke my heart and his.  Towards the middle of the pregnancy I felt again very good and had lots of energy.  Then at about 22 weeks with Lincoln the contractions started.  I got really scared cause I thought my body was going to give up again like with Andy and I would be in the hospital.  Again I was put on a different med for contractions and I began to do better.  It was at about 32 weeks when my body wanted to get rid of in the little invader inside.  I was taken to the hospital and given fluids for 2 days until my body calmed down.

 I will never forget the day I was released from the hospital and we hadn't been home maybe 1 hour when I began to breathe funny.  I didn't notice like Mrs. Debbie (mother in-law) that I was struggling to catch a breathe.  She decided to call my Doctor and they told her to get me back to the hospital now.  So, off we went.  I called Charlie at work and said you need to meet me at the hospital.  Of course he was confused and didn't understand what was going on.  By the time we go to the hospital and they wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery I was not doing well.  I had several Doctors that I didn't recognize and I was a little worried at that point.  Then I saw my Pastor from my Church walk in the room briefly to see Charlie.  I knew in my heart it was bad.  All I kept thinking was get Lincoln out of me please.  I began to panic some and then passed out.  I don't rememer a whole lot about the rest of that week becasue I was not awake most of the time.  Towards the end of the week I was told my body was in congestive heart failure.  What???  I thought to myself.  That can't be, what on earth is happen to me?  My Doctors along with the heart specialist were able to get things under control and save me and Lincoln.  I didn't know how close I was to meeting my Savior that day.  I ended up giving birth to Lincoln and he was a healthy 6 pounds even. 

Almost 8 months ago when we found out we were expecting twins.  We were very excited and shocked.  God had given me a dream and here we are.  This pregnancy I did experience the headaches early on and I was tired at times.  I have had a wonderful experience carrying 2 little boys.  Once they began to move it was the strangest thing to know that there was 2 of everything inside my tummy.  The whole time I keep think "how am I going to carry 2 babies when I had such a hard time carrying 1 baby?"  I have put these twins in God's hands completely.  I have had 2 experiences so far where I was in pre-term labor and my Doctors were able to determine a medication that is given to heart patients was the best fit for me plus I have weekly injections in my hip of hormones.  They seem to have really gotten things under control.  I went to the specialist today 1/15/11 and we got to see our boys.  I am near the end of week 33 in the pregnancy.  I will be 34 weeks on Tuesday which is where I was with Andy and Lincoln were born.  Abel and Luke are very healthy and growing.  Baby A is on my right side and is currently breech and he weighs 4 pounds 5 ounces.  Baby B is on my left side and is head down weighing 4 pounds 9 ounces.  The fluid around both boys was low but not dangerous.  We go back in 1 week and see how big they are and have fluid checked again.  I am so amazed at how well my body has done with these 2 miracles.  God has Blessed us over these last 5 years
and we are in awe of Him.

                     "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..."  James 1:17

As I sit here and write I began to think about what God has taught me through these last 5 years of carrying His gifts from above.  I have learned not to take my time for granted for sure.  I didn't realize how close I was to meeting our Lord 2 different times.  I have learned patiences and God's timing is perfect.  At the time we struggled to get pregnant and then losing the 2 babies I was so bitter and selfish.  I wanted them now and I was angry with God for not allowing me to have what I wanted.  I sounded like a 2 year old wanting a toy or candy.  I basically was kicking and screaming and was so consumed with what Lacy wanted that I couldn't see.  It turns out God had a huge surprise for our family and that He would reveal His plans on His time not mine.  The verse that God gave me during my selfish ways was " For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11  This scripture became so powerful to me that it is engraved on my Bible cover and I see it every day. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet The Parish's

Welcome to the first post of our family blog entitled, The Blessing of Six. To get my feet wet in the world of internet blogging, I want to just begin by telling you about our six blessings...Meet The Parish's!

Charlie and I have been married 8 1/2 years and will celebrate our 9 year anniversary on June 15th of this year.  We met 10 years ago at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church in Sunday school. God couldn't have had better timing in both our lives.  Charlie had just lost his brother, Andy and I was lost as a goose (spiritually lost).  We didn't realize at the time that God was creating something beautiful and was about to Bless us beyond what we could imagine.

It has been a very fast 5 years since God Blessed us with our first born, Andy!  He is named after his Uncle Andy.  When we found out we were pregnant and would be expecting a boy there was no doubt what his name would be.  Charles Andrew Parish was born on December 11, 2005.  A little about our first born:  Andy is our white headed, blue eyed baby.  Andy is so full of life and his smile lights up a room.  He has a very tinder heart like his Daddy and is worried about how others feel all the time.  He never wants to be in trouble and doesn't like to disappoint anybody.  Andy loves wrestling just like Daddy and is very animated when he plays.  He actually acts out every move and knows ALL the wrestlers names and can sing their theme music.  He is such a good boy.

God Blessed us with our second son, Lincoln Cain Parish on July 1, 2008.  He is our pistol and I do mean the life of the party.  He is sooooo loud and wants to be heard, he gets that from me hahahahaha!!!  I was a spit fire growing up and my parents always told me I would have one just like me and I would pay for my raising.  Well my raising arrived that summer in July.  We were so thrilled to have another son.  Lincoln has brown, wavy hair and blue eyes.  Total opposite from Andy.  Lincoln loves to play in the gray area, meaning you tell him not to cross the line he will at least put his feet on the line and then give you this smile that says "I am going to do it even though I know I will get a spanking.  But it is soooooo worth it."  Lincoln is also the child that doesn't really care what anybody thinks about him.  Not sure yet if that is good or bad.  He always has us on our toes and the excitement never stops with Lincoln, the life of the house!

About 8 months ago we found out we were pregnant.  Charlie and I had 2 miscarriages between Andy and Lincoln so to find this out was beyond excitement.  Little did we know that God had a BIG surprise for us.  At about 6 weeks we went to see a heart beat.  On the way to our Doctor's appointment I was not talking much and Charlie was worried about me.  He kept asking "what is wrong?  I thought you would be excited about today?"  I told him I was very excited but I had a dream about the pregnancy and I believe God gave me this dream.  I told him I believed we were having twin boys.  So of course he said "no way, that is not possible."  I told Charlie I didn't think it was either but we had named them and the names were Abel and Luke.  After we talked I felt better and just kind of brushed my dreams to the side.  Well, God gave me the dream for a reason, we were in fact  pregnant with TWINS!!!  During the ultrasound we saw 2 small heart beats.  We cried and just held each other.  We believe God had taken our 2 babies we lost and needed them but now he was given us a very unexpected gift of 2 boys.  And of course their names are Abel and Luke.  I am currently almost 34 weeks pregnant with baby boys # 3 and 4.  We are so excited and have been Blessed 4 times more than we deserve.  We are so excited to be chosen to raise 4 Godly men in today's world.

The purpose of this blog is to share our family with you and what God has done in our lives.  We want to keep you up to date with what is going on with our family, and also to share God's unconditional love with you.  The Blessing of Six blog is a window into the life of our family of six.  Its about the blessing we consider it to be a family of six. And about the ways God continues to bless each one of us. Charlie has always said our family doesnt have experiences...we have adventures.Welcome to our great adventure.I hope you enjoy reading and looking at pictures as much as I have enjoyed creating it.  God Bless You!