Empty of the Treasure, by Lisa Beavers

Please welcome back for the SECOND time, my dear friend, Lisa Beavers!

It was Valentine's weekend. It was also the same month that marked 10 years since my husband had gotten down on one knee, opened up a box to reveal a princess cut solitaire diamond, and asked me to marry him.

I was enjoying an evening out on the town with my coworkers as a treat from our boss who gave us tickets to see the show “Grease”. We had dinner before the show, then afterwards spontaneously decided to swing by Krispy Kreme because what's better than fresh, hot donuts at 10:00 at night? I came home giddy from sugar, bubbling over with stories to my husband. I plopped on the couch next to him, and suddenly noticed as I looked down at my left hand that something was very wrong. The diamond from my engagement ring was gone. The prongs stuck out, empty of the treasure they had held onto for 10 years.
Not the actual ring ;)

My heart plunged. One minute I was a happy storyteller, the next a devastated wife who had lost the jewel that cost my husband so much. For all the places I had been that night, finding a diamond would literally be like finding a needle in a haystack. The next day I went through the motions of hope, called all the places I had been, and reported the loss of the diamond on the crazy chance it would be found. One woman I talked to basically laughed at me for ever thinking I would find it, and hung up on me. Others were more compassionate and sincere while promising to look for it. Who was I kidding? I knew it would take a miracle to bring my diamond back onto my finger. I shared the story woefully with some ladies in my church family at a brunch the next day, and one of them said, “Well, you never know what God might be up to here. He is all about showing us how He cares for even the smallest details of our life, and He is also able to do what seems impossible.”

On the way home, I decided for the first time to really pray about the whole thing. Honestly, I didn't even think to pray about finding it because it just seemed SO impossible. As I prayed, something truly beautiful happened. I started out by telling God I believed He was capable of helping me find my diamond. I told Him I believed He knew exactly where that little shining gem was. I asked Him to redeem this sad story, and bring about something of value. I just couldn't bear the thought that this was a senseless loss that would have no redemptive meaning. Even if I never found my diamond, I asked that He would redeem this loss, and bring about something good and beautiful for me. I couldn't shake the feeling He had something for me to discover in all of this. I asked Him to show me. It was then I heard myself say to Him, “God, you are more precious to me than diamonds". Then the tears slid down my face, and with the tears came this incredible deep down peace as I let go. If I only had Jesus, I truly didn't need a single other thing in this life. Suddenly the diamond lost it's value as my relationship with the Creator of the Universe found it's rightful place in my heart as the MOST PRECIOUS THING!!

Oh readers, if I could somehow communicate the joy that filled my heart, you would be able to believe me when I tell you I told God “It's ok if I never find my diamond again. If it took me losing a diamond to re-discover my love for You, and to be reminded I can be fully satisfied in You, it was WORTH IT.”

THIS is the climax of this story. Finding my SATISFACTION AND JOY IN MY CREATOR. The way He romanced my heart back to Him so I was too in love with Him to be caught up in the loss of a diamond.

The climax of the story is NOT that He allowed my fingers to brush up against something small and hard and sparkly a few days later in the folds of my purse. It is NOT that my original diamond was returned to me and is now re-set (in a much sturdier setting!!) on my finger. No, my diamond is now all the more valuable to me BECAUSE ITS LOSS GAVE ME SO MUCH MORE as I fell in love with my Jesus again.

Engagement Day- February 28, 2006 =)

First Virtues- 12 Stories for Toddlers

My 2 1/2 year old son's motto in life seems to be, "Full Speed Ahead!" at every moment. He is a boy with  loads of energy, enthusiasm, and passion. He loves to have fun, and sometimes gets himself into quite a pickle doing so. Needless to say, when I sat down with him to read, "First Virtues- 12 Stories for Toddlers" by Dr. Mary Manz Simon I didn't have high expectations he would pay much attention.

I have to tell you, he was hooked by the first page! In fact, I was able to read the first 4 1/2 stories to him before he was ready to get down. I believe what kept his attention the most were the animals in the stories. He loves animals, and enjoyed seeing them interact with each other.

After he hopped off the couch, I continued reading the book. I was personally struck by the, "Parent Connection" section that appeared after each different virtue represented through a different animal. These sections give parents small bits of practical advice on how to implement virtues such as kindness, patience, politeness, and thankfulness. It is so helpful for me, as a parents of toddlers, to read advice like, "Let him (the toddler) watch a timer while he's waiting for his bread to toast" in order to show him what patience looks like. I love stuff like that- so helpful!

This book has been wonderful for my son and me as we navigate this journey of learning and growing together!

The Secret Garden

This past Saturday, May 14, my little brother married the most perfect girl for him! Allow me to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. John Mark Amos!

After almost a week away from home, I returned back to our regular routine, but with a new sense of joy in my heart. I felt relaxed. I felt happy. I felt at peace. I felt rejuvenated. I felt something bubbling inside me, but I couldn't quite place my finger on what it was. I didn't want to interact with my regular world yet. I wanted to stay in the bubble of wonder. I wanted to soak myself into what I had just experienced. As I contemplated this, I realized I was genuinely rejoicing for John Mark and Elizabeth. I was deeper than happy or even thrilled- I was worshipping our God with them.

Elizabeth had a dream to marry John Mark right outside her family's farmhouse in a tucked-away "Secret Garden". The forecast for their wedding day was bleak, at best. Cold temps and rain were almost certain. I felt an ache in my soul over the thought of Elizabeth not being able to get married in the perfect spot she had dreamed of. The very place her Dad and family members had worked so hard to maintain. There was a major downpour during rehearsal, so we ended up practicing in the family barn- which was Plan B. Though it was darling in there, Elizabeth's desire was to be outside in her Secret Garden.

I think this is the part that just sticks in my soul. Wouldn't you know the morning of their wedding was sunny and absolutely beautiful! Not a drop of rain. Not one dark cloud. It was a perfect miracle from Jesus- His very blessing shining down on John Mark and Elizabeth. His sweet gift to them alone. He fulfilled the desire of His sweet daughter, Elizabeth's heart. GOD IS LOVE.

At one point during the ceremony, the bridal party gathered around the Bride and Groom to pray over them. I was honored to be able to participate! While I was praying, I kid you not, the sun burst through the sky and shone brightly over them! My back got so warm from the hot sun, I couldn't help but squeal (after the prayer, and very quietly!) to them, "The sun is shining!" God, what a good, good God you are. How striking to experience His tenderness and love to them.

It did end up raining later in the day, but the reception was in the darling barn and everything turned out perfectly!

Yep, that's my funny little guy running away while Uncle Luke snaps his suspenders! =)
Now for the picture blast you've all been waiting for!

Chuck made the sign Jase carried down the aisle- my man is amazingly talented!


Congratulations to my little brother, and brand new little sister! Love you guys to pieces!  


Chuck took Jase on a special outing, so Basye girl and I are hanging out together. We love our girl time! She's a happy thing, and we are thankful!

THANK YOU all so much for your prayers for her during her surgery, and now during her recovery. A friend of mine's daughter had this same surgery three times, and she shared how the recovery was always tough. She was right. Baby girl does not like her drops or ointment, and that stresses this Mama out. The way Basye's eyes are, it LOOKS like she's in a lot of pain, but she is acting happy and sweet as ever. She slept through the night the last two nights, although she woke up at 6am today. Poor Papa (my hero!)- his morning started early.

We've been asked a few questions about Basye, and thought we'd answer some of those in case anyone else is wondering. To learn about the kind of surgery she had, you can check out this link: http://www.pedseye.com/strabismus_surgery.htm 1 in 3 children have to have the procedure done more than once. We find out in 2 weeks if Basye will have to undergo this again. WE ARE PRAYING SHE DOES NOT!

Yes, Basye can see! She has some ointment we use that causes her vision to be blurry, but only until it dissolves. In terms of vision, once she gets glasses, she will be able to see a lot more clearly, and her eyes will continue to align.

Recovery time should take about two weeks. I'm looking forward to (and nervous) about giving her a bath tonight.

Thank you so much for praying. This has been a tough journey- we are tired, overwhelmed, and wanting the best healing for our girl. It's been a bit traumatic for me to experience this. I am feeling very mentally, physically, and emotionally weak. I'm thankful the surgery part went well, but we still have a ways to go.

That's not to say there's been an absence of Jesus. Quite the contrary. He's here. He's very real. And He's very good.

-He's provided beautiful and loving baby-sitters for Jase
-He's blessed us with a caring staff of doctors and nurses
-He's given us a community of Jesus-followers to lift up Basye on our behalf
-He's provided texts from loving friends
-He's given Chuck and I a chance to bond and grow together
-He's blessed Basye with peace, rest, protection, and healing
-He's allowed us to get sleep when we need it
-He has covered us in a cloud of peace, and fought against fears
-He has shown His unending goodness and favor on us

Where would we be without the intimate, incredible love of Jesus? Praise Him. And thank you all for being apart of this journey with us!


She just loves strutting around in her pink boots!
I often wonder why my baby girl has had so much happen to her little physical body her first year of life? I don't really need an answer, it's just something I wonder. I've spent a lot of time worrying over her, pretty much since she arrived and had to be whisked away from me in the hospital so as not to catch the flu from her own Mama. It boggles my mind when I consider how many things have come up since then that we've had to face head-on for her.

It's easy to get choked up thinking about facing another huge, physical obstacle for her first thing tomorrow morning. Thankfulness reigns in my heart as she has absolutely no fear or anxiety heading into surgery because she's a baby. She has no fears because she doesn't know what's coming. A lot of times I think the anticipation is the worst part of situations like these. I can't wait until her surgery is over, and she's well on her way to recovery.

God has blessed me with a certain amount of peace this week, but as Basye's eye surgery draws near, I find my stomach in knots, and my hands shaking just a little most of the time. I fully believe and am counting on the grace and peace of Jesus to flood us tomorrow during her surgery, and during her recovery. I'm banking on it, because I know my Jesus. I know His goodness. I know His faithfulness. I know His peace. I love Him so much for it.

We SO appreciate your prayers for our Basye Jane. She is a fighter. She is resilient. She is strong! She is our Daughter of the Lord, gift of grace.

They will begin prep for surgery on her at 7:30am tomorrow morning.