Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cloth Diapers

Well, I recently came into a large quantity of cloth diapers via a friend, and so I am now going to enter the world of cloth diapers for the sake of saving a buck. I will of course incur more labor in cleaning said diapers, but at least they are re-usable and better for the environment.
Now, anyone who knows that I have a newborn, probably figures I will use them for her, but I am actually contemplating using them on my two year old. She shows no interest in potty training and to buy her diapers is quite costly since the larger the diaper size, the fewer you get in a case. We are in size 5's and we go through about a case ever two weeks or so, that is two cases a month. Ugh, even with the off brand it is still outrageous. Especially when I only budget for $50 in household expenses a month. Household is anything that doesn't fall under food or entertainment, so dish soap, laundry soap, t.p., etc, and diapers.
You can see where this is going.
I am also hoping by putting my two year old in cloth that she will become more aware of her pee and poop and the discomfort of it all, to encourage potty training. She loves to sing the potty song, but sitting on the potty is still a novelty rather than a necessity. She poops in her diaper and doesn't think another thing about it, and when asked if she has poops she says 'no' a lot of the time.
Weird, because I assume she can smell it just like me....ha!
So, I guess this post is all about my decision to use cloth diapers on my two year old rather than my two month old, and hopefully the two year old will potty train before we run out of size one diapers for the newborn (I still have 2.5 cases left from baby showers). I'm hopeful, but not to the point of holding my breath.
Wish us luck.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Only those who have been in bondage and freed can fully appreciate freedom. If you have read my previous post on deliverance, you will understand what kind of freedom I have received, but it goes so much further. In truly understanding my identity in Christ, I have had so much more confidence in prayers, especially praying for others. I use to always second guess myself, especially when I thought I heard something from the Lord, and now I just go with my instinct and boldly do what I feel the Lord is saying.
Yet the thoughts still try to come in, some new and some not so new. Not like the ones that prompted me to pray for deliverance, but no less of a nuisance. Ones that say 'you will look like an idiot if you say that' or 'they won't like you if you do that' or even 'you didn't really hear that from the Lord, you just made it up'. I wish I could say that I recognize them as quickly as I should by now as the lies that they are, but I still doubt for a moment and take the time to ask God to confirm what I feel I have heard, and He has. He is so faithful. I know He loves my new found confidence and the fact that I ask Him to confirm things does not faze Him a bit.
My joy most days is almost tangible. If I could glow, I surely would, especially when I have worship music on. His Spirit is so dear to me it often makes me want to cry when I think of His goodness to me. I know this isn't a very well thought out post, but I felt I must try to express the awesomeness I have been feeling and share it with those who might also want to feel this way. Invite the Lord Jesus Christ to dwell in your inner person and He will come. If you have done this, but are not feeling the freedom or joy that I have expressed, then ask Holy Spirit to highlight any areas in your life that the enemy maybe holding ground.
I know it sounds so simple, but it is that simple, and when a thought comes to you mind, maybe something from your past or something someone said to you, focus in on that.
Now oppose that thought or memory, repent if you need to repent, renounce it if it is a lie, rebuke it if it was a wound that has caused you to believe lies about yourself. Example, if Holy Spirit reveals something someone said to you and you believed the lie, then renounce your agreement with the lie and declare who you are in Christ, out loud! Words have power when they are spoken aloud. The Lord created the whole world with words!
Now that you have renounced the lie/opposed the area of oppression in your life, proclaim your freedom, also aloud, again, assert who you are in Christ and you should feel freedom and it should cause you heart to want to worship Him. If you don't yet feel free, then go back to the step where you asked Holy Spirit to highlight areas in your life. He may highlight something else to deal with. Keep repeating the steps and inviting Holy Spirit to heal you and it will happen!
So that is what I wanted to say today, to encourage others that they can have freedom in Christ too. Just accepting Christ isn't always enough, sometimes you have to specifically seek out areas that the enemy is influencing you life and renounce the lies that you have believed about yourself. Mine was that I was a disgusting, dirty person and I allowed that to shame me and kill my confidence and never really forgive myself. It also caused me to never completely accept the love of God for me. I knew He loved me in theory, but I had never allowed myself to truly believe it because I didn't believe it about myself. I wasn't lovable was the lie, and once I saw it as a lie and renounced it, I have had more joy than I can express to you. It can really be that simple.
Blessings to my beloved readers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vacuum Cleaners and Talking Bears

For months Kinsey was afraid to meet new people, she would cling to me and refuse to look at new people who tried to talk to her. In new surroundings it would take hours for her to warm up enough to go play, and if anything at all upsetting happened in a new place, her fun was over and she was ready to leave.
Then, I guess about six months or so ago, she decided that she wasn't afraid of those things any more. When she sees new people she smiles and talks to them, in new places she runs off to play without another thought. She still keeps me (momma) within sight if she can, but she is much more independent.
She also use to stand and just observe almost the whole time in her Children's Church class, and now she participates and talks and plays. Everything I read says this is normal for her age and that it happens just that fast. One day nervous and stand off-ish, the next, social and happy.
Well it also says they can develop sudden fears to things that they have been around their whole lives. It is just a part of developing awareness or something like that, and she has come into a new phase of it.
Her whole life she has seen and been around the vacuum cleaner and it is loud, yes, but has never scared her. Now she acts afraid and sits on the house whining the whole time in a high pitch squeeking sound that I can hear even above the vacuum's 'vrooming'. Weird.
Another new one is the Christmas bear she has played with for months now. You push his hand and he reads the Christmas story about santa and his reindeer. His mouth moves and his head turns back and forth like Stevie Wonder. She loved him for weeks and weeks, but now when you turn him on she freaks out. It is so funny, but I try not to laugh.
Her last silly fear is the Harrigan boys 'vrooming' their cars around in the house. They may have crashed into her long ago, but there was not traumatic experience I can link the fear to. They don't bump her with them any more, but she gets so worked up when they even start to make the 'vrooming' noise. They can be across the room and she will run to me like the car is coming to get her. It is so weird and rather sudden. I feel bad when she acts so afraid because the boys don't get it, I don't even get it and so I try to explain that she is just afraid and thank goodness they just shrug their shoulders and move on. There really is no rhyme or reason to it and so I just hope that we grow out of this phase soon.
Especially the one with the vacuum, because the high pitch squeaking noise she makes while I'm using it is highly annoying. I keep thinking the wheels on the vacuum are squeaking, but it carries on even after I've stopped moving it and it is coming from the couch, not the machine. Hahaha!
Too funny!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Recently I posted my testimony of deliverance to the IHOP Testimonies page and felt like it was what I was suppose to do. They read it from the stage the very next night and would have called me on stage to tell it in person had I been able to go that night. Still, I felt the power move as they read my testimony from the stage and I was so frustated that I couldn't tell the whole story myself.
The testimony submission form said a maximum of 200 words per testimony and so I had to cram it all into 200 words and cut out a lot of parts. So here is the full version, for the world to read.
About two weeks after the Awakening Services started I was at one of the meetings, don't even remember what day, but I was standing in the crowd, feeling nothing. They called out people who needed physical healings to come forward and I thought to myself, 'well I don't need that, but Lord, if I could ask anything of You I would have You clear my mind'.
Many times in my past I have asked Him to wipe my memories clear. I have a photographic memory which allows me to recall things from my past, even my wild years in High School and all the bad movies I've ever seen. Mostly perversions is what I recall and was asking the Lord to wipe them clean. Perverse scenes in movies, perverse thoughts that come from the movies and so forth, they would come at me a lot. Especially when I was in church, or doing ministry, or when I was suppose to be focusing on the Lord, these thoughts would come into my mind and I would feel instant shame and guilt.
Then the accusations would begin from there, that I was filthy and disgusting and that the reason I couldn't control these thoughts was because I was filthy and perverted, and I believed the accusations. They (the accusers) also said things like, 'how could you think something like that when you are in church, you are pathetic and sinful'. It was crippling to say the least and I could not forgive myself as a consequence.
Even as I have grown in the Lord, these thoughts have always been there, and it was such a source of shame that I never told anyone about them. Not my mother, not my husband, no one knew.
Mike Bickle is always saying that when we sin, to repent quickly and press delete because God forgives us that quickly and presses delete. Well I could never do it. I was always repenting, but never pressing delete and I would keep myself at a distance from the Lord for days sometimes in punishment for my lack of control over my thought life. I would repent over and over for the same things because I could not forgive myself and I thought it was all me.
So I prayed that night in the Awakening Service for God to clear my memory of all the bad things, and He did. I felt a shift and my mind instantly felt clear (that is the only way I can describe it) and I thought to myself, 'was that it, did it just happen'. So I waited a few days, no thoughts, no accusations, no guilt.
Then, one day I was sitting on the couch holding my newborn, Kalei, and a thought tried to come in, a perverted thought, and I was so aware of it and knew it was coming from 'outside' of me that I instantly rebuked it, and it left quickly. That gave me some confidence in my new found freedom and then that same Sunday Mike Bickle preached on the Enemy's Fiery Darts and how Satan will not want to give up the ground that he has lost in your life. He will try to enter and reclaim that territory that he once held and that we must stand in our identity in Christ and contend for our breakthough. It all made so much sense.
These thoughts were never mine. Yes, I had bad memories and had watched bad movies, but I was not the one taking my mind there in the middle of church. It was the enemy throwing it in my face and making me feel ashamed to keep me from knowing who I truely was in Christ.
Since this realization I have had victory after victory over the enemies attempts to put these thoughts back into my head. My mind is so clear and with it has come so many other unexpected results.
I can now read my Bible and enjoy it. I could never love the Word before this time. I always knew that I should love it because people always told me so, but I never did. Now my hunger for it is growing daily and I can not get enough of it.
My prayer times are also growing more sweet. Less time sitting, fighting to keep my focus on the Lord and more time actually talking to Him and hearing back from Him. It is a true gift, an added gift to the freedom I have been given.
Another thing that I was never able to do before is see myself as His true daughter. Now that I see myself as clean before Him, I have more confidence in the things I ask for, and I have more faith to receive them. Also, when I do sin, I am quick to recognize it, repent and for the first time, press delete without guilt or shame hanging over me for days afterward.
It truly is freedom and without that guilt and shame to hold me down, the enemies attacks against me are less and less able to come in. I see them more quickly for what they are and bind them, rebuke them, and put them out. In general, my discernment for spiritual things is heighten now too. I see more often the sneaky undertone of the enemy in seemingly harmless forms and can steer more clear of it.
With all of this has come a new level of worship in my heart as well. I am His daughter, and He has given me authority, and so I am full of praise and joy like never before.
I share all of this with my friends and family because I am convinced that I am not the only one to be held back by overwhelming guilt and shame. It could show itself in many forms, mine was thoughts, not actions from my past, but they enemy used them to accuse me and I believed the accusations about myself and therefore could not allow myself to truly believe that God loved me and would hear me.
In my head I knew He loved me, because everyone said so, but in my heart I did not believe it was like I was family. More like a naughty servant who had come back and He had accepted her back, but could never forget her betrayal and so always held her at arms length.
The truth is, He never saw me that way, He always wanted me in His arms, and for the first time I am able to let Him hold me, to love me, and I trust it.
One scripture that the enemy twisted to use against me however was the one that goes like this: 'It would have better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.' (2 Peter 2:21)
The accuser told me that often because I had known God when I was young but then chose to turn my back on that in High School to have fun, and that even though I had come back to the Lord after High School, it could never be the same again for me. It was worse for those who left the knowledge of God for the world. That is NOT however what that scripture is saying, it is talking about False Teachers and those who knew the Lord and fell away, never to come back to Him. On the day they are judged, it will be worse for them.
Yet the story of the Prodigal Son is the scripture that I should have been reading. He does not make us live as servants to pay for our betrayal against Him. If we leave Him for sin, but then realize our error and turn back to Him wholeheartedly He welcomes us back wholeheartedly as sons and daughters and loves us as if we had never left. It is that way for me, and it can be for you to, even now.
Blessings to you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Driving in Snow

I have never been one to shy away from driving in snow, which is usually quite the opposite opinion of my sex in general, but I have always viewed it as a challenge worth conquering.
So today, after another 4 inches was dropped on Kansas City, and the wind started to pick up, I decided that I needed some butter and Ken needed maple syrup and while I was out I would get some diapers and go to the bank also.
Ken knows I'm not afraid to drive in the snow, so when I say I'm going out, he just makes sure I give the van a good warm up since it is so freezing cold out. I do, and then it is down the snowy driveway hill, to the street. We live on a windy scenic road and it is all together beautiful when the snow is on the ground, but I have also seen many people in our ditches on snowy days. Today was the exception, not because Kansas City people have become more responsible snow drivers, but because they were mostly likely all staying in.
I however, did not stay in, and enjoyed all the beautiful scenery as I drove to Target. Once out on a main road, it was even easier, but so far, so good, no slipping, no sliding. Get to the Target parking lot, the lane to get the parking lot has not been plowed, so I plow it with my van, making sure not to stop, because without the forward momentum, I knew I would never make it out.
Still, I pushed through, got to Target, their lot was amazingly plowed, all the way down to the pavement, I could even see the lines to park. Got what I needed, headed to the bank, did fine there also, got back out on the main road to go home. Great, great, great.
Back down the windy road to our house, know that the hill is going to be a challenge, so I only slow down a little to turn into the drive, using all my momentum to get up the steep first stretch. Then, the driveway turns into a Y, and I make the mistake of going my usual way of left. There are two cars parked on the side, so I try to give them a wide berth, and...... I slide off the driveway a bit into the grass and I'm stuck.
I don't try to 'vrooom' my way out though, I know I am stuck on the grass and will only get stuck more if I 'vrooom', so I turn it off and happily walk inside with my bags.
My husband is sort of irriatated that I went left. He says, 'why would you go that way, I didn't plow that side.'
So he goes out with the tractor to see what he can do. I stay inside. He comes and says he needs my help, so I follow.

He has backed the beast down, out of where I had it stuck, but he backed it down too far to the left, over a 4x4 timber that is the guide for the driveway, and almost down into the ditch at the side of the drive, while almost raking the side against a tree.
Now I don't feel so bad, but I pray real hard as we try to get it out of that spot. He pulls with the tractor, and I 'vroom' the van when he gives me the signal. At one point he put me on the tractor (which I have never driven) and says, 'its easy, just push this and then push this'. Uhhhh.
After only a few small trys with me on the tractor he decides it is better with him driving the tractor and so we switch back. As I climb back into the van, I pray to the Lord, please let this van come unstuck!
When we 'vroom' in unison this time, it moves forward a bit and the front tire is over the 4x4, but then the strap pulling me snaps.
So Ken quickly gets down and ties the two pieces together and then he pulls me the rest of the way out. Prayer works.
Overall though, I think it is so funny that I drove all the way to Target, the bank, and back and then got stuck on the last leg of the journey, the drive up the hill to our house....ugh.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Blizzard

Well, the blizzard is not yet here, but it is on its way; suppose to be here by noonish! I can't hardly stand the thought of more snow, since we have not yet thawed out from the last snow storm on Christmas. Still, I know Missouri is not the only state being affected, so I'm sure anyone who reads this is somehow affected by all these snow storms or different ones and can relate.
Having children, however, makes it even more unbearable. There are so few things to do with small children stuck inside, and Kinsey is so stir crazy it is making me crazy.We have watched so many movies I feel like a bad parent, but it is the only thing that helps me cope with being stuck inside and it keeps her out from under my feet while I bake and cook comfort foods.
As a nursing mother, I can eat whatever i want at the moment, but I'm suppose to drink a lot of water every day and I have been failing the last few because its been so cold outside. All I want to drink is coffee or warm tea, and so I have been, but it catches up to me and then I feel horrid.
Today my goals include drinking all my water, drinking only one cup of tea, and then quilting and keeping the girls happy (sort of). I also have cooking on the agenda, banana bread and molassas cookies, yum.
So that is my plan for coping with another snow storm on the way, cooking sweet things and watching movies, and quilting to use up some of my creative energy.
Sorry this is such a boring post to read, but this is just my personal blog. Soon I hope to start a second blog about gardening. I want to do reviews of plants that I have grown in my garden and give home gardeners a list of armature garden tested plants to choose from in the garden center and how to find them cheaply and how to choose a plant and so forth.
So if that sort of thing interests you, then look for my new blog link, coming soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year...

Well, lots of people in blog land are writing about their hopes for the new year and after some of my own reflection, I thought I would document some of my own hopes. I can be as ridiculously unoriginal as I want to be because so far I don't think anyone reads my blog except me. Personally, I don't blame 'them' either. All I write about is being a momma of two and trying to juggle that while maintaining an ever deepening relationship with Christ. So some of my posts are all about the girls, and others are all about Jesus.
Not a real reason to blog maybe, more like having a personal journal online for the Grandmas to read from Peoria to keep up on the Brooks'.
Today, however, I am going to pretend that people actually read this and that when they periodically look at my blog, they may comment and ask how these goals of mine are going for the year, as a way to keep me accountable.
Here it goes:
Short term goals (first 1/2 of the year): 
Sew more, get better at it and actually finish projects started.
Stick to my budget hardcore.
Stick to my schedule, even more hardcore than I do the budget.....that's gonna be hard.
Tithe 10% of my time to seeking the Lord...(again, has to do with schedule, very hard).
Scrapbook family memories regularly (before I forget the details).
Read for leasure.
Tell my friends how I feel about them more often (in a good way)
Make a Prayer Wall for our home to teach Kinsey how to pray for our family and friends and the nations.
Long Term Goals (whole year):
Find a burden from the Lord that I can interceed for (there are lots of good ones, I just need to find one to focus on)

Start a good veggie garden this year and actually maintain it all season.
Find a new house and make it my own.
Write the first draft of my book (working on this one already, but takes a long time to write)
Learn to listen better.
Raise more support in Peoria and become even more connected with our friends there!

Reason for all of these goals: To better love Jesus and my Family, they are both so dear to me!