If you didn’t see the previous post, that is where Nora pictures (and even a couple of vidoes are).
Once again, I can’t thank you enough for your encouraging comments, FB messages, and e-mails. I am continually amazed to hear how my posts of Nora’s story have inspired and affected your lives for the better. It is definitely a mutual feeding ground. You inspire me and encourage me more than you could ever possibly realize. Even if you don’t comment, the stats of the visitors to this blog speak volumes. There are the moments where I step back and think to myself, “REALLY? Me? Something I wrote is having a profound impact in all these people’s lives??” I don’t and can’t take credit for any of it except the fear and worry — that would be mine, despite my efforts to be rid of it. However, by choosing to cling to my faith and turning to God during this trying time I believe God is working through me in what I write with the talent He gave me. I just marvel and question as to why God would have chosen ME of all people to engage in this journey. I never imagined myself as some kind of spiritual leader, or holy dignitary, and certainly not saying that I am! I love to partake in Bible studies, but I would’t consider myself an expert in scripture. I still have to page through the whole Bible twice trying to find a particular book before eventually resorting to the Table of Contents.
I know there are probably people from my high school or college days wondering, “What in the heck??” The person writing these posts probably isn’t the Aleisa they remember. I most assuredly don’t suddenly have it “all together” now, and I hope that I don’t come across that way. I still yell at people doing 45 in the left lane, I still lose my temper with my kids and the phone and cable companies, my sense of humor is often times inappropriate, I don’t always put my grocery cart back in the cart corralle, and I rip the tags off of mattresses and pillows. I also still rock out to the Beastie Boys from time to time as well (but I don’t think God so much minds that?). So why would God choose me? I felt unworthy, unqualified, lacking in strength and ability. Upon closer examination, however, that seems to be the common theme throughout many of the Bible stories. Many of the people that God singled out and used to fulfill His purpose were not who we would expect Him to choose. These were no noble, hearty, natural born leaders that God chose.
Gideon. His response to God was, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manaseh, and I am the least in my family.” His clan wasn’t ONE OF the weakest, it was THE weakest!
Moses. He answered, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? … What if they don’t listen to me or believe me? … I am not an eloquent speaker, I am slow of speech and tongue! … Please send someone else to do it.”
David. Again, he was the youngest, least important member of his family. He was so unimportant that he wasn’t even presented when Samuel came in search of God’s chosen king over Israel. David’s father Jesse presented only his strongest most robust sons – obvious leaders. Further evidence that God’s idea of a person of strength is NOT ours. Nor was David of exemplary moral character as time went on. He committed adultery and murder!! Why would God have bothered with a man like this? I believe it is because when all was said and done, David had a repentant heart. Despite his human inequities, he was a man of God.
In searching through the Bible this morning to find exact reference to these stories I was only casually familiar with, I was humbled. I am in no way putting myself in the same category as these Biblical greats, but I am putting myself in the same category of being on the receiving end of God’s grace and mercy. Unqualified, ill-prepared, self-absorbed, sarcastic, and even a bit of a recluse, God seems to have seen something else in me that I never could have imagined. I am proof that you do NOT have to be in perfect spiritual condition to be accepted, chosen and loved by a mighty, mighty God.
But being a Christ follower must not be any fun, perhaps you imagine (as I once did). What fun is it if you have to be good, nice and perfect all the time? That life style is reserved for people like judgmental Church Lady on Saturday Night Live…
I didn’t want to be like that!! (eyes rolling)!! That is what I thought for much of my life. But… As it turns out, that’s not at all the case. No, I don’t partake in many of the activities I once thought were the funnest thing(s) in the world anymore, but I assure it’s not out of guilt or obligation. I’m just not interested in them anymore. I look at it like this: there was once a time in my life that I could have spent the entire morning and afternoon playing with Barbie dolls. As I grew older I became interested in other things. That wasn’t really entertaining anymore. There’s never been a time within the past 30 years that I longed to go back to that life of playing Barbies. There are way better things to occupy my time with! I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be pre-qualified. I don’t have to be strong. I don’t have to be the epitome of morality. All I have to do is say, “Yes, Lord!” With faith and hope I accept and receive God’s grace and mercy. My family’s circumstances are certainly not easy right now by any stretch of the imagination, but they are bearable with God either walking beside us or carrying us when we can’t walk on our own.
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)
Incompatible with life? I think not! Praying for y’all!
My favorite verse…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.(Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV) IT IS NOT ABOUT US! It is about HIM…Thus the road we travel with T18. I am a deeper and much more compassionate person because of loosing my son to T18. Hard but I can relate to some many more people. Be strong! His strength is all we need.
God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
ROMANS 8 : 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose…..
Now read that again and again and again. !!!!! You have definitely been called. You are being used by a higher power for his purpose, and look at all the good that is pouring out of it., and he is not done with you yet.
I have been to many Christian ladies conferences and listen to the motivational speakers and every single one of them confessed to what you just said about yourself…..”WHO??? ME ???” Yes, you Aleisa !!! The one thing they all had in common was, they had something to say about something that was out of the ordinary ….something that set them apart from everyone else. And the way that God used them and made everything work together for the GOOD !!!! All I can say is, you better buckle up and be prepared because its gonna be good !!!! If he leads you to it, he will lead you through it. You have helped so many people, including myself, already in this journey….you have followers….people who are praying you through this with you…you are not alone. You were chosen because he trusts you…he knew he could depend on you.
Also, you are being put where you need to be. God works in mysterious ways.. Keep doing what you are doing. You are such a blessing to so many !!!
YES! Exactly the words I’ve often looked for to say I’ve changed, I’m not the same Heather that I used to be in high school & college. Thank you!!
We’re saying, “Yes, Lord!” with you!!! Thank you, Aleisa, for challenging me again and gently lifting my eyes upward toward His face. Blessings, blessings, BLESSINGS to your sweet family!
ALEISA, I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU DAILY. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TOGETHER THROUGH NORA AND YOU. PEOPLE THAT DOES NOT KNOW EACH OTHER, BUT IS INTERESTED IN THE SAME THING. THAT BEING HOW LITTLE NORA ROSE IS DOING, AND HOW HER PRECIOUS FAMILY ARE DOING. YOU BLESS ME SO MUCH WITH YOUR MESSAGES. I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT MY DAY IS ALWAYS BRIGHTER AFTER I READ YOU MESSAGES, OR THAT I CAN GO TO BED AND SLEEP MUCH BETTER. NORA IS FILLING OUT SO GOOD. IT LOOKS LIKE HER BIG BOTTLE IS ALMOST AS BIG AS SHE IS. HA! HA! I CAN TELL SHE LOVES HER MILKIES. YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IS SUCH A BLESSING, AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR JOURNEY WITH US. YOU HAVE SO MUCH ON YOUR PLATE RIGHT NOW, BUT TAKE TIME OUT TO SHARE THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES, VIDEOS AND MESSAGES. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I LOVE NORA AND HER FAMILY, HOPING SOME DAY I WILL BE ABLE TO MEET YOU ALL. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and never posted, but after reading this, I’m compelled to. I’ve fallen in love with sweet little Nora and your family. Every day I enjoy seeing what your family is up to, how Miss Nora is, but most importantly, how God is working in your lives. I got a WORD today. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to be perfect, just a child of The King! God is for us and not against us and he will work in our lives as long as we say ‘yes, Lord’. He can work even in our ‘hard’ and ‘scary’ circumstances!! Thanks again for your eloquent writing. I’m praying for you and your family!
Love this post! You have put into words how my husband and I have felt in our walk with the Lord over the past few years. We are not any better than anyone else….we are just “different” now in some ways and still the “same” in some ways. Thank you for posts. Know that you have people in Alabama praying for you and your sweet family. God is using you in AMAZING ways!
You have been open to all of us that read your blog – but more importantly you have been open to the Lord’s leading. Thank you for sharing your little Nora and your family with us.
I just have to say how much of a rebel you are… ripping off those mattress and pillow tags!!!! You go girl!!!!
Love this post! If we are faithful, God will take care of the rest; whether we think we are qualified or not. You have touched sooooo many lives with your posts and pictures. Praying over your family; especially your sweet little angel. Blessings to you all 😀
I Love your blog and what a precious baby you have!