Friday, August 23, 2013

My dad

It will be two weeks tomorrow that I got the call about my dad. I’ll never forget it. I was at the park in Minnesota with Rebecca, Taylor, Avery, and Tucker. Rebecca and I were pushing the kids on the swings when my phone rang. It was my sister and I knew from the second she started talking that something was wrong. She had come home from a friends house that Saturday (August 10th) around lunch time to see my dad lying on the drive way. I know the vision of him lying there will be with her forever and I just pray for God’s peace over that memory. She called me after the paramedics arrived and all we could do was pray together. I paced the park, holding Tucker, and prayed out loud for my dad, my sister, my mom, my brother, the whole situation. I called David and he gathered the girls together to tell them that Granddad was very sick and they needed to stop to pray. Rebecca even prayed out loud over me as we waited and that is a precious memory to me.

The paramedics worked on him for 30 minutes. My mom made it home from work shortly before they called his passing. My mom said that by the time they called it, my dad had regained full color because all the work they were doing to get his heart beating again. His skin was soft and warm, his hair was blowing in the wind, and he looked peaceful as the sun beamed down on him. It was a surreal moment to hear that he had gone on to be with the Lord. And to be quite honest, it’s still surreal to me after two weeks.

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My neighbor saw him around 11:30 that morning as she left to walk her dog. She said that he was sitting in the chair outside on the drive way taking a break from yard work. She waved to him and he waved back. When she returned from her walk, she didn’t see him sitting there, but didn’t notice anything else. I assume he had fallen onto the driveway from the chair. They say it was a heart attack, at age 55. We spent most of the week with my family last week and every time I walked by the chairs on the drive way, I would just stop and wonder how the event must have taken place and thought about my dad just lying there. I even sat down in the chair I imagine him sitting in before he breathed his last breath.

Here one minute, gone the next. I guess that’s how it is for everyone. But it’s just always so unexpected. The week leading up to my dad’s death, God really laid on my heart for me to pray for him. Our church had begun something they do every January and August called 21 days of prayer. I made a notecard with his name on it (along with 4 others) to pray for each day. My prayers for each person were that the Father would draw them near Jesus (John 6:44), against the spirit that would blind their mind from the truth (2 Cor. 4:4), they would come to know Jesus relationally and deepen relationships with him (Rom 8:15), for believers to cross their paths and enter into positive relationships with them (Matt 9:38), and for a revelation of who Jesus is and what he has done for them (Eph 1:17). God answered every single prayer for my dad that week. Two days before his death he spent all day Thursday and Friday at church. He volunteered at the Leadership Summit and I know that in those two days alone, he was drawn closer to Jesus, his mind was opened to the boldness of Christ, he experienced God, he formed relationships with other believers, and he most definitely had a revelation of who Jesus is when he got to stand before the throne on August 10th. I may not have planned for my prayers to be answered through death, but death doesn’t get to win. Jesus is victorious over the grave and my dad is standing at the foot of the throne, rejoicing! He is free from this world – free from seizures, stress, smoking, job lay offs, debt, worry, heart disease, etc! Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and my dad is free! He isn’t sad he is gone. He is happier than he could ever be and that brings so much peace.


I was thinking the other day about people who lose loved ones who aren’t sure of their salvation. That has got to be so scary. I couldn’t imagine sitting at my dads memorial service not knowing if he was with the Lord or not. It is such my prayer that through this tragedy, people who don’t know the Lord would come to know Him. He is so, so good and He longs for his people to have a relationship with him.

Speaking of my dad’s memorial service – it was beautiful! We opened with everyone standing on their feet to worship the Lord. Why? Because the Lord is good and triumphs over death! We stood and sang “Whom Shall I fear (Angel Armies)” by Chris Tomlin. It starts with these words: “You hear me when I call, You are my morning song. Though darkness fills the night, You cannot hide the light. Whom shall I fear? You crush the enemy underneath my feet. You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still. Whom shall I fear” I just love that song! Pastor Matthew spoke some beautiful words about my dad and about just being bold for Christ. My sister and I said a few words and David read a devotion out of the The Jesus Calling that my mom picked up and read on the day of my dad’s passing. It said:

“Relax in my healing, holy presence. Allow me to transform you through this time alone with me. As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry. Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw. As your trust in me goes up, fear and worry go down. Time spent with me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not. Energy and time are precious, limited entities. Therefore, you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important. As you walk close to me, saturating your mind with Scripture, I will show you how to spend your time and energy. My word is a lamp until your feet; my presence is a light for your path.”

Wow! I love when God speaks! Dave also read the devotion from the 14th, which was the day of his memorial service. That was spot on too! Pastor Matthew said a few more words and we stood to worship one more time as we sang “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. I love when it says, “And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, still my soul will sing your praise unending, 10,000 years and then forever more!” What truth! That is Cori’s favorite worship song and now we can think of my dad every time we hear it.

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In the midst of sadness that my sweet daddy is gone, there is so much peace. Peace that can only come from the Lord. Thank you, Lord! I am sad that my kids won’t get to know their granddad. Sad that I won’t get to grow old with him. Sad that I won’t get to physically see him, hug him, and be in his presence. But all of those things are only for a while. 1,000 years is a day and a day is 1,000 years – 2 Peter 3:8. I will get to see my daddy again before I know it and my kids will have a grand time with him running around in Heaven. It doesn’t make the sorrow go away completely, but it definitely gives us all something to look forward to.

As I went to bed the night my dad passed, I asked the Lord to give me a clear vision of my dad in Heaven. I just needed to see it. As I looked up at the ceiling I could see my dads face, more beautiful than ever before. He was smiling and there were beautiful rainbow like rays shining behind him. It was glorious and something I’ll never forget. If you draw near to God, he promises to draw near to you. James 4:8. I pray that people are touched and moved to draw near the Lord because of my dad’s story. Even if one life is changed, it was worth the tears I shed.

I love you dad and I miss you so much. But, I’ll see you again soon.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I bet you thought I was gone forever!

Monday night I sat around the dinner table with 10 women. Some who do Premier, and some who do not. We have these family style dinners once a month and we call them Fun 2 Share. I really look forward to these sweet times of fellowship and I am so thankful for Premier because it gives me the opportunity to be in fellowship with some amazing women! I say all this because I had everyone at the dinner table write down two truths and a lie to help everyone get to know one another a little better. One of my truths was that I used to be a blogger. It made me sad to think that I “used” to be a blogger. But, that is just the truth! I think what makes me sad are all those lost memories. I mean they are in my head (well, some of them), but being able to go back and read the blogs I wrote when Cori was just a baby are precious to me! So, I wanted to take today to write down a few things…


6 months has come and gone, and I have a little boy who is FULL of life! Tucker David is sitting up all on his own, eating baby food once a day at dinner time, interacting with his sisters, loves snuggles from his mommy, and has the BEST laugh ever!!! Oh, my .. when that boy starts laughing, it makes my heart go pitter patter. There is something truly special about having a boy and I am loving every minute of it! Just a fun milestone – after putting him down for a nap the other day, he woke up after about 45 minutes into his nap. He started crying and it took us a few minutes to get the girls settled and get back to his room to check on him. Well, when we got back there, he was sitting up in the middle of the crib! What 6 month old baby can get from laying down to sitting up?! He is a cool kid!



Finley is a ham and just turned two. When people would talk about the terrible two’s, I thought it was a total myth. Well, my friends, it’s not! We have had our share of temper tantrums and rebellious behavior. I actually told David the other night that Finley and I just aren’t getting along at the moment. But I know that God is using her to refine me and using me to refine her. I truly believe that all those things that we see as difficult with our children, are actually God’s gifting to them. If only we could see the gift the way God does (and in the moment of kicking and screaming fit on the floor!!!). I’ve also been praying a lot about this whole “middle child” thing. There have been a lot of “middle children” at my jewelry shows lately. I know that the Lord is using those women to help me as I raise my middle child. They have given me such wisdom! I am just praying and believing that she will not get lost somewhere in the middle, but that she would know with full assurance WHO Christ created her to be and find her complete self worth in the Lord! In the midst of all those hard times though, Finley has a big heart! When no one is watching, she is always thinking of others. She will be the first to share and she will always give you the first of what she has, not the last. I think she will be the type to give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. We always say that we think she’ll be our missionary child.

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Cori is a true first born! Wow, sounds like I need to read a book on birth order! She is 3 years old going on 13, and she is sure to let you know it! I do love when she tells me that she promises to stay 3 forever! Wouldn’t that be nice?! She is a big help with her brother and sister and is definitely our most obedient child. She loves structure and routine (a little like her mama) and is very particular about things being in certain places (a lot like her mama)! She can get frustrated by the amount of dog hair on the floor because of our ever shedding dog, Maverick. She must get that from me! Ha! David just rolls his eyes and tells me that if I quit making a fuss about all the dog hair, she wouldn’t even see it. She no longer takes a nap, but does have quiet time in our room for an hour everyday. She desperately wants to do school at home on a consistent basis so I am working on getting a pre-school plan in place with some other home schooling friends. Cori loves to smile, have her picture taken, and then look at all those beautiful pictures of herself. She loves to play in jewelry and says the wants to be a jewelry lady when she grows up. I love it! She starts ballet next month and it’s all the talk at our house right now! She does have her moments of selfishness and we’ve been having some discussions on telling the truth as well. I know she just wants to please you by telling you that she did what she knows you want to hear, but the Lord delights in those who are truthful, Proverbs 12:22. That has been “the” verse at our house over the last few weeks. Well, that and “do nothing out of selfish ambition, but in humility consider others better than yourself” Philippians 2:3. There is so much training to do as a parent! Whew!

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Here are the three little rascals at the moment. This was taken on our annual Smith family beach vacation in June. They are a blessing to me.

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In other news, Dave just finished his first year in fellowship and we have 2 more to go. Birmingham has been good to us! I really am thankful that I had Premier when we moved here though! It’s really what pushed me out of my comfort zone to meet new people and make friends! God is just so faithful! I’ll try to be back soon!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Newborn & Family Pictures

I love a sweet photo of a newborn baby, especially when it’s my newborn baby! Oh, they are just precious!





Family Pics…











Our photographer had to come back a second time because Finley wasn’t super cooperative the first time for sibling photos. Luckily, my mom was in town during her visit and got some sweet pictures of my mom and the kids!



Wednesday, March 27, 2013


A few days after we brought Tucker home from the hospital we had a seriously cold, cold front come through Birmingham. It was so cold that is SNOWED!!! We had about three inches of snow in our front yard and were snowed in!! Of course we weren’t snowed in because of the 3 inches. We were snowed in because it had rained the night before it snowed, which iced over the road we live on. Since we live on an incredibly steep hill, no one could drive up or down it with the frozen over ice! Dave even tried to go to Crossfit the following morning but couldn’t because of the ice on the road. Oh, the joys of living where it gets cold! I miss Florida so much on those cold days!

Tucker and I stayed in the warm house, but Dave and the girls ventured out to make snowmen and play in the snow! They had a BALL!!!!


before the snowman…


after the snowman! They looked a little worn out and COLD, don’t ya think?!


Mr. Snowman was still standing two days later, even after all the snow had melted. Cori decided that he needed some hair! HA!


This was the view of our backyard while it was snowing out. Check out that awesome swing set my handy husband made! Looks pretty good with snow on it!

The Alabama winter wasn’t too bad, but I am REALLY (and I mean REALLY) looking forward to warmer weather! These last few days have been frigidly cold and I am longing for the sunshine and warmer temperatures!!!!!!! I mean it’s almost April for crying out loud!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First few days at home…

Our first few days at home as a family of 5 were so sweet. The girls simply could not get enough of their brother!! They wanted to just sit and hold him ALL THE TIME!! That has worn off over the last few weeks, but I love seeing them so in love with one another!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Welcome TUCKER!!!

As we pulled into the parking deck at 5:00pm at the Women and Infants Hospital I had many different emotions rushing through me. Feelings of excitement, nervousness, anxiousness and joy all at the same time. All my pregnancies and deliveries have been very easy, but each time, I am always a little nervous, especially when I’m scheduled to come in. With Cori I was 5 days late and just tired of waiting so I went in and they kept me at 4cm. But, with both Finley and Tucker, we scheduled an induction since I had been hanging out at 4 cm for a week or two. It’s just a different feeling walking in with no pain deciding that today is the day we will have a baby. And, walking into the hospital with Tucker, I was extremely tired!!! I had tried to squeeze in every last little thing I could before having him and was up late every night getting things done and ready. But as we got settled into triage so they could check me and see where I was at, I felt extremely at peace, ready to have baby #3.


In triage I was still 4cm dilated and having contractions infrequently. It would be 9 minutes, then 15, then 9, then 20, then 8. Finally they checked me into a room and started Pitocin. About 30 minutes later I got my epidural and everything was going smoothly until I started feeling a bit faint. The anesthesiologist was still standing behind me finishing up the epidural when all the sudden I said, “I think I’m going to pass out.” Dave said I was looking extremely pale and they had me lay down on my side and put me on oxygen. My heart rate had dropped a little and so did Tuckers. The anesthesiologist finished up the epidural with me laying down and the nurse then decided to monitor me for another hour, while on oxygen, to make sure everything was okay with baby. They also stopped the pit drip so labor would slow down a bit. Each time I had a contraction Tuckers heart rate would drop a little and they wanted to make sure he wasn’t in a whole lot of stress before delivery. It was a quiet hour of watching the monitor. Even Dave was watching it a little more intently than normal, which made me slightly uneasy, but I figured if it was really serious they would be doing more than just watching. Finally, our heart rates evened out, we started the pit drip again and the doctor broke my water around 8:30pm. Whew!

After they broke my water, the nurse, Dave, and I all made some bets on when Tucker would arrive. I was 6cm at that point. I normally dilate from 7-10 rather quickly so Dave said he thought Tucker would arrive at 9:05, I said 9:45, and our nurse said 10:30. We waited and waited. I talked to a few dear friends of mine on the phone and eventually the 9:45 marker past. I was actually disappointed. I asked her to check me again and when she said only 7cm I was shocked and a little mad. I know that sounds so lame, but I just expected it to go faster than that! Wow, am I impatient! Around 10:15 I was talking on the phone to my sweet friend Lacy. We were talking about Rally that day and how labor was going, etc. I was in no pain at all. Granted I had an epidural, but still! At 10:30 the doctor came in and I told Lacy I’d call her back. We made small talk with our doctor as she sat at the foot of my bed. I was telling her that I didn’t expect it to take this long, etc. Then all of the sudden I started getting VERY uncomfortable. I upped my epidural and told my doctor that I thought she should check me. She checked and sure enough I was 10cm and the baby was on his way!! She very quickly got herself ready and got my body in position. The contraction came, I pushed 3 times and out popped sweet Tucker. It was very different than it was with the girls. I very distinctly remember the “crown of fire” as they like to call it with Cori and Finley when their heads were crowning. When Tucker came out it was so smooth and easy. There was no crown of fire! He was a few ounces smaller than the girls, but it really felt so much better!! As soon as he was born the doctor gave him to me to hold. My heart literally melted. He was just the sweetest thing in the world. It’s amazing how with each baby born, I love them more than life itself. Child birth is just incredible like that!


Tucker David Smith ~ born at 10:42pm on January 12, 2013. 7 lbs 2 ounces. 19 1/4 in.



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I got to hold him for such a long time before they took him to weigh him, measure him, and give him a bath. They were such sweet moments. There is something so incredible about having a son and the strong connection/bond I felt with him right away. I definitely feel connected to my girls too, but it’s a little different with a boy. I had heard people say that before, but never really understood until I felt it too.







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The next day, Dave went home to pick up the girls so they could come meet their brother. They were SO excited about Tucker’s arrival, especially Cori. She was the proudest big sister when she came into the room to meet him and all she wanted to do was hold him! Finley brought her own little baby to hold too. They were just the sweetest!!




The whole experience of having a third baby was wonderful! I honestly LOVE having three kiddos and feel so incredibly blessed. God has given us more than we could ever ask or imagine!!!